Today it’s International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, so I figured I’d rec some books with homophobia.
This is not a theme I go hunting for when deciding what to read, but it’s present in many books, far more books than the ones I’m gonna list below. I hopped over to Goodreads M/M Romance Group and scrolled through their shelf with books listed as theme-homophobia. There were over 1000 books there, but here are a few of the ones I’ve read.
The Tin Star by J.L. Langley
It’s so long since I read this you wouldn’t believe LOL I can’t say that I remember a whole lot, but I remember the main character being thrown out by his father for being gay and ending up with a hot cowboy.
James Killian learns the hard way that sometimes smaller towns can be full of bigots. When he comes out to his father he is not only kicked out of his home but off the Quadruple J where he works as the ranch foreman. With nowhere to go and little money, his savior comes in the unlikely form of his older brother’s best friend, the man he’s been in love with for over half his life.
Ethan Whitehall is a successful rancher and a well respected man in his community. His ranch the Tin Star has been in Ethan’s family for generations and affords him a certain prestige and power in the small town he calls home. Ethan knows without a doubt that all of that could shatter if his sexual orientation were to ever become public. But when he learns his best friend’s younger brother’s banishment and the reasons behind it, Ethan can’t help but get involved.
He’s always had a soft spot where Jamie Killian was concerned, and it may very well be his downfall.
Change of Heart by Mary Calmes
This is not my favourite Calmes story, but it fits the theme, and if you’re out of things to read… Panther shifters are fun.
As a young gay man—and a werepanther—all Jin Rayne yearns for is a normal life. Having fled his past, he wants nothing more than to start over, but Jin’s old life doesn’t want to let him go. When his travels bring him to a new city, he crosses paths with the leader of the local were-tribe. Logan Church is a shock and an enigma, and Jin fears that Logan is both the mate he fears and the love of his life. Jin doesn’t want to go back to the old ways, and mating would irrevocably tie him to them.
But Jin is the mate Logan needs at his side to help him lead his tribe, and he won’t give Jin up so easily. It will take time and trust for Jin to discover the joy in belonging to Logan and how to love without restraint.
Six Degrees of Lust by Taylor V. Donovan
It’s a long time since I read this too, and I never read the last one. I read the first two, but the third wasn’t out yet, and then I never got back to it. And if I remember correctly, the second ended on a cliffhanger.
New York City FBI team leader Samuel Shaughnessy lives for his immediate family and his job. After a marriage gone wrong, he has stuck to a firm rule when it comes to relationships: he doesn’t have them. Sexually active and emotionally unavailable keeps him satisfied, especially now that he is in hot pursuit of a serial killer targeting gay men.
Machlan O’Bannon manages a successful sports bar in Houston, and after years of waiting, he’s ready to stand up and be the man he always wanted to be: out, proud and drama-free. His politically-aligned family wants to keep him locked in the closet, but Mac just wants to be true to himself and live his own life.
One man is as high strung as the other is laid back. A chance meeting brings them together, and one night of passion ignites a fire neither can fight. Their lives are not only miles apart, but as different as day and night. They don’t want to get involved, but they might not be able to keep apart.
Hainted by Jordan L. Hawk
Oh, I think it’s time for a reread on this one. I remember the ghosts, but I don’t really remember the love story.
A retired ghost hunter. A man seeking redemption. Can they stop an ancient evil from destroying the world?
Dan Miller once hunted the zombie-like revenants known as haints. He protected the living and quieted the dead. After his parents’ death, Dan gave up his own dreams to raise his young siblings. But when a necromancer’s dark magic leads to murder, Dan must once again take on the mantle of protector and put his life on the line
Leif Helsvin needs Dan’s help to hunt down the necromancer. But the desire to solve the murder and find justice isn’t the only emotion at play between Leif and Dan. As the two men grow closer, the passion between them threatens to ignite into a fire neither of them can control. Will Dan give into his desire for Leif, or will the necromancer’s evil destroy their love before it can even begin?
Cost of Repairs by A.M. Arthur
Something contemporary after the evil ghosts? I was hovering with my thumb over this one just a few days ago thinking that maybe I should read it again.
Samuel Briggs moved to small-town Stratton, Pennsylvania, to escape his tragic past and try to start over. When he’s not out walking his beat as a police officer, all he wants is peace, a manageable routine, and time to fix up his newly-purchased project home. And Samuel absolutely does not have room in his new routines for a relationship. Except a chance encounter with a handsome diner cook unexpectedly shakes his resolve.
Rey King lives for his work as a short-order cook, part-time hardware salesman, and full-time handyman. He’s in debt up to his eyeballs, so he isn’t looking for complications. And the gorgeous blond cop who comes to Rey’s rescue is a complication he definitely doesn’t need. Lucky for him, Samuel feels the same way.
But what starts as an afternoon of no-strings sex inevitably complicates itself, as the two men learn how deeply each other’s emotional damage goes. When Rey is seriously injured protecting a friend, their already shaky foundation cracks a little more. Samuel barely pulled his life back together after his first lover’s death and falling in love again isn’t part of his recovery plan. He knows renovations are always a gamble, but this one isn’t about risking money—it’s about Samuel risking his heart.
Too Stupid to Live by Anne Tenino
Every time I see this book, I smile. Sam, my dear Sam. It’s not too long ago I reread this, but at the moment I hardly read anything new. I only reread old books LOL, so perhaps I should read it again. Everyone needs a boyfriend who’s willing to play Highlander 😆
A Romancelandia Novel
It isn’t true love until someone gets hurt.
Sam’s a new man. Yes, he’s still too tall, too skinny, too dorky, too gay, and has that unfortunate addiction to romance novels, but he’s wised up. His One True Love is certainly still out there, but he knows now that real life is nothing like fiction. He’s cultivated the necessary fortitude to say “no” to the next Mr. Wrong, no matter how hot, exciting, and/or erotic-novel-worthy he may be.
Until he meets Ian.
Ian’s a new man. He’s pain-free, has escaped the job he hated and the family who stifled him, and is now — possibly — ready to dip his toe into the sea of relationships. He’s going to be cautious, though, maybe start with someone who knows the score and isn’t looking for anything too complicated. Someone with experience and simple needs that largely revolve around the bedroom.
Until he meets Sam.
Sam’s convinced that Ian is no one’s Mr. Right. Ian’s sure that Sam isn’t his type. They can’t both be wrong…can they?
* * * * * * *
The Romancelandia stories can read in any order — jump in wherever you’d like!
Word count: 80,500; page count: 315
Moonstruck by Piper Vaughn and M.J. O’Shea
I’ve been meaning to reread these books too. This is the third in the Lucky Moon series, and I remember liking the second book a lot.
One night between them would never be enough…
Moonlight. Luck. Two massive bands with huge international followings. One epic, historic collaboration.
Should be a no brainer, right? And it would be. For sure.
Except Moonlight drummer Surya Patel slept with Luck’s manager during their combined tour last summer and then bolted in the dead of night. Not exactly cool, he knows, and he’s regretted it ever since. Surya’s also been avoiding his proximity. For obvious reasons.
Of course when the label sends someone to talk Surya into cooperating, it’s Em, the manager, the one night stand… the guy who’s caused Surya months and months of regret.
Em is frustratingly professional. Charming. Gorgeous. He drives Surya wild. It doesn’t take Surya long to realize what they had was far, far more than sex. The heat between him and Em burns too brightly. Surya will never be satisfied with just one night.
He wants forever.
When All the World Sleeps by Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock
Another book I reread not too long ago. This is rather creepy. Or not creepy, creepy, but Daniel killed someone in his sleep and now he has to live with it.
Daniel Whitlock is terrified of going to sleep. And rightly so: he sleepwalks, with no awareness or memory of his actions. Including burning down Kenny Cooper’s house — with Kenny inside it — after Kenny brutally beat him for being gay. Back in the tiny town of Logan after serving his prison sentence, Daniel isolates himself in a cabin in the woods and chains himself to his bed at night.
Like the rest of Logan, local cop Joe Belman doesn’t believe Daniel’s absurd defense. But when Bel saves Daniel from a retaliatory fire, he discovers that Daniel might not be what everyone thinks: killer, liar, tweaker, freak. Bel agrees to control Daniel at night — for the sake of the other townsfolk. Daniel’s fascinating, but Bel’s not going there.
Yet as he’s drawn further into Daniel’s dark world, Bel finds that he likes being in charge. And submitting to Bel gives Daniel the only peace he’s ever known. But Daniel’s demons won’t leave him alone, and he’ll need Bel’s help to slay them once and for all — assuming Bel is willing to risk everything to stand by him.
Let It Go by Mercy Celeste
More cowboys, but this one with a heap of trigger warnings that you should take seriously. This is doom and gloom, graphically so.
When alcohol and fierce tempers land two cowboys from the rodeo circuit under house arrest, it may be time to Let It Go.
Can hidden secrets and a common enemy hold the key to happiness or… will they destroy them both?
Creed was the main focus of Eli’s fierce temper. For ten years the two men left a trail of destruction in their wake, with rodeo, beer, and fists all they had in common. Until a judge had enough and sentenced them to house arrest—in the same house. They’d either learn to get along or they’d kill each other.
Trapped on Eli’s rundown Florida ranch, Creed discovers Eli’s secret, one that he shares. But he didn’t count on Eli learning all of his secrets, especially the one that would shatter their newfound truce.
Scarred to his bones, Eli avoided relationships like the plague. Yet something about the quiet Creed had always pushed his buttons. Falling in love with him was never part of Eli’s plan. When it happens he’s unprepared and out of his league. When a shared enemy comes calling Eli can only think of keeping Creed safe. He never dreamed that their lives were linked or that Creed’s former life could destroy them both.
Will love be enough to save them?
Story of abuse, mental, physical, as well as sexual. Scenes of extreme violence.
Linhart’s Beautiful Beast by Mel Bossa
Historical prison romance with all that it entails. Well worth the read!
The Great North, Quebec, 1934. Joe Vega, the Beast, has been locked up in Linhart Prison for three years. The brutish guards harass him because of his size, but Joe remains cool.
Until Christophe Dubois, the disowned son of an affluent politician, is led into Joe’s cell. From the moment Joe sees him, he suspects the ginger-head is trouble. Christophe is bold, curious, and feisty, and Joe can’t resist the temptation of climbing into the man’s bunk for long. However, the beautiful spoiled Christophe is a furnace to which both guards and convicts want to warm their hands, and Joe must fight to keep Christophe safe.
Linhart Prison may be a cruel place, but when the two men are released from its walls, they find an even tougher world out there.
Is the flame burning between Joe and Chris enough to keep them together?
Nowhere Ranch by Heidi Cullinan
More cowboys. There is something with cowboys and homophobia, it seems.
Love will grow through the cracks you leave open.
Ranch hand Roe Davis absolutely never mixes business with pleasure—until he runs into his boss, Travis Loving, at the only gay bar within two hundred miles.
Getting involved with the ranch owner is a bad idea, but Roe’s and Travis’s bedroom kinks line up against one another like a pair of custom-cut rails. As long as they’re both clear this is sex on the side, no relationship, no interfering with the job, they could make it work.
Shut out by his family years ago, Roe survived by steadfastly refusing to settle into so much as a post office box. As his affair with Travis grows into more than just sex, Roe’s past catches up with him, threatening the thin ray of happiness he’s found, reminding him it’s well past time he went on his way.
But even a loner gets lonely, and at this point, there’s nowhere left to run. The shame and sorrow of what he’s lost will stay with Roe wherever he goes—until he’s ready to let love lead him home.
Glitter by Ayla Starr
Less than 3000 words, but so worth it! And free.
I kept tripping over my feet, tripping over my words, and eventually gave up talking all together. You continued to smile anyway.
Think of England by K.J. Charles
I know I’ve recommended this book a thousand times, but it’s awesome.
Lie back and think of England…
England, 1904. Two years ago, Captain Archie Curtis lost his friends, fingers, and future to a terrible military accident. Alone, purposeless and angry, Curtis is determined to discover if he and his comrades were the victims of fate, or of sabotage.
Curtis’s search takes him to an isolated, ultra-modern country house, where he meets and instantly clashes with fellow guest Daniel da Silva. Effete, decadent, foreign, and all-too-obviously queer, the sophisticated poet is everything the straightforward British officer fears and distrusts.
As events unfold, Curtis realizes that Daniel has his own secret intentions. And there’s something else they share—a mounting sexual tension that leaves Curtis reeling.
As the house party’s elegant facade cracks to reveal treachery, blackmail and murder, Curtis finds himself needing clever, dark-eyed Daniel as he has never needed a man before…
In the Middle of Somewhere by Roan Parrish
This is lovely. Or you know, Daniel’s family are jerks, but tattoos and woodworkers!
Daniel Mulligan is tough, snarky, and tattooed, hiding his self-consciousness behind sarcasm. Daniel has never fit in—not at home in Philadelphia with his auto mechanic father and brothers, and not at school where his Ivy League classmates looked down on him. Now, Daniel’s relieved to have a job at a small college in Holiday, Northern Michigan, but he’s a city boy through and through, and it’s clear that this small town is one more place he won’t fit in.
Rex Vale clings to routine to keep loneliness at bay: honing his muscular body, perfecting his recipes, and making custom furniture. Rex has lived in Holiday for years, but his shyness and imposing size have kept him from connecting with people.
When the two men meet, their chemistry is explosive, but Rex fears Daniel will be another in a long line of people to leave him, and Daniel has learned that letting anyone in can be a fatal weakness. Just as they begin to break down the walls keeping them apart, Daniel is called home to Philadelphia, where he discovers a secret that changes the way he understands everything.