Prince Tal has long awaited his coming-of-age tour. After spending most of his life cloistered behind palace walls as he learns to keep his forbidden magic secret, he can finally see his family’s kingdom for the first time. His first taste of adventure comes just two days into the journey, when their crew discovers a mysterious prisoner on a burning derelict vessel.
Tasked with watching over the prisoner, Tal is surprised to feel an intense connection with the roguish Athlen. So when Athlen leaps overboard and disappears, Tal feels responsible and heartbroken, knowing Athlen could not have survived in the open ocean.
That is, until Tal runs into Athlen days later on dry land, very much alive, and as charming—and secretive—as ever. But before they can pursue anything further, Tal is kidnapped by pirates and held ransom in a plot to reveal his rumored powers and instigate a war. Tal must escape if he hopes to save his family and the kingdom. And Athlen might just be his only hope…
This books was so cute and charming! Tal is sailing around the kingdom as his coming-of-age tour and saves a young man by the name of Athlen. Athlen jumped off the boat and Tal believes he is dead. Heartbroken, he tries to distract himself—until he runs into him on land.
Tal is a kind character who wants to help. He wants to listen to his people and do whatever he can to ease their suffering. There is one catch, however, and it is that Tal can use magic. Magic is very frowned upon in this world since Tal’s grandfather destroyed many other kingdoms with magic and killed a lot of different creatures. This puts a large target on Tal’s back—so much so that he is kidnapped.
Athlen is a complex and fun character as well and the two are so adorable together. This felt very much like a Little Mermaid retelling and I loved it for that. It was a quick read, which is also nice for me since I get distracted easily with all the stuff I juggle… If you love YA gay romances with princes and fantasy, then definitely check this story out!
This month’s post is all about new beginnings for the new year! I decided that making a list of some YA LGBT+ reads I am excited for would be a great start of the new year! I am glad I did, because I found some super cool finds! And don’t forget to check the bottom of the post for links to everyone else’s blog posts and to enter the giveaway!
For fans of Vampire Diaries and dark academia, two queer teen bloodsuckers at an elite vampire-only boarding school must go up against all of Vampirdom when they uncover a frightening conspiracy on campus.
Kat Finn and her mother can barely make ends meet living among humans. Like all vampires, they must drink Hema, an expensive synthetic blood substitute, to survive, as nearly all of humanity has been infected by a virus that’s fatal to vampires. Kat isn’t looking forward to an immortal life of barely scraping by, but when she learns she’s been accepted to the Harcote School, a prestigious prep school that’s secretly vampires-only, she knows her fortune is about to change.
Taylor Sanger has grown up in the wealthy vampire world, but she’s tired of its backward, conservative values—especially when it comes to sexuality, since she’s an out-and-proud lesbian. She only has to suffer through a two more years of Harcote before she’s free. But when she discovers her new roommate is Kat Finn, she’s horrified. Because she and Kat used to be best friends, a long time ago, and it didn’t end well.
When Taylor stumbles upon the dead body of a vampire, and Kat makes a shocking discovery in the school’s archives, the two realize that there are deep secrets at Harcote—secrets that link them to the most powerful figures in Vampirdom and to the synthetic blood they all rely on.
OMG! I am so excited for this one!!! Dark academia, vampires, and F/F??? I’m sooooo excited for this one! I’m excited for all of them, but this is my jam right here! We don’t get enough F/F rep, so I am glad we are seeing more in publishing. I am going to devour (pun intended) this book when it comes out.
The Haunting of Hill House meets Knives Out in a bid for an inheritance that will leave Helen Vaughan either rich…or dead.
Helen Vaughan doesn’t know why she and her mother left their ancestral home at Harrowstone Hall, called Harrow, or why they haven’t spoken to their extended family since. So when her grandfather dies, she’s shocked to learn that he has left everything—the house, the grounds, and the money—to her. The inheritance comes with one condition: she must stay on the grounds of Harrow for one full year, or she’ll be left with nothing.
There is more at stake than money. For as long as she can remember, Harrow has haunted Helen’s dreams—and now those dreams have become a waking nightmare. Helen knows that if she is going to survive the year, she needs to uncover the secrets of Harrow. Why is the house built like a labyrinth? What is digging the holes that appear in the woods each night?And why does the house itself seem to be making her sick?
With each twisted revelation, Helen questions what she knows about Harrow, her family, and even herself. She no longer wonders if she wants to leave…but if she can.
Another dark mystery, this one also sounds really fun and dark. I am a big fan of Knives Out and I read The Haunting of Hill House when I was very little (need to read it again because I do not remember it). So if you are a fan of horror and mystery, this one sounds eerie! Be sure to add it to your list!
A witchy, atmospheric lesbian contemporary romance set in Salem—from the acclaimed author of Fans of the Impossible Life. Perfect for fans of Nina LaCour and Becky Albertalli.
Seventeen-year-old Eleanor is the last person in Salem to believe in witchcraft—or think that her life could be transformed by mysterious forces. After losing her best friend and first love, Chloe, Eleanor has spent the past year in a haze, vowing to stay away from anything resembling romance.
But when a handwritten guide to tarot arrives in the mail at the witchy souvenir store where Eleanor works, it seems to bring with it the message that magic is about to enter her life. Cynical Eleanor is quick to dismiss this promise, until real-life witch Pix shows up with an unusual invitation. Inspired by the magic and mystery of the tarot, Eleanor decides to open herself up to Pix and her coven of witches, and even to the possibility of a new romance.
But Eleanor’s complicated history continues to haunt her. She will have to reckon with the old ghosts that threaten to destroy everything, even her chance at new love.
Improbable Magic for Cynical Witches is a romantic coming-of-age about learning to make peace with the past in order to accept the beauty of the present.
Another F/F that sounds beautiful and magical! This one caught my eye as someone who is of the witchy vibe and loves cute coming of age stories. I think this one will be a magical ride and heartwarming.
For as long as Sigrid could remember, she’s wanted to become a mighty, fearless valkyrie. But without a winged mare, she’s a mere stable hand, left wondering who her parents were and why she’s so different. So when the Eye shows her a vision where she’s leading a valkyrie charge on the legendary eight-legged horse Sleipnir, she grabs the possibility of this greater destiny with both hands, refusing to let go.
Too bad that the only one who can help her get there is Mariam, an enemy valkyrie who begrudgingly agrees to lead her to Helheim but who certainly can’t be trusted―even if she does make Sigrid more than a little flustered. As they cross the nine worlds, battling night elves, riding sea serpents, and hurtling into fire to learn the truth about Sigrid’s birthright, an unexpected but powerful bond forms.
As her feelings for Mariam deepen into something fiery and undeniable, Fate has other plans for Sigrid. What happens when the one thing you think you were meant to do might end the nine worlds?
Can’t say no to anything Norse Mythology! I am hoping with more Loki franchise, that there will be a surge of Norse Mythology-based YA like this (and that an agent will pick up my own manuscript based on Norse Mythology). If you love all things valkyrie, Norse, and F/F, be sure to grab a copy!
In Rosiee Thor’s lavish fantasy novel with a Jazz Age spark, a politically savvy teen must weigh her desire to climb the social ladder against her heart in a world where magic buys votes.
Flare is power.
With only a drop of flare, one can light the night sky with fireworks . . . or burn a building to the ground — and seventeen-year-old Ingrid Ellis wants her fair share.
Ingrid doesn’t have a family fortune, monetary or magical, but at least she has a plan: Rise to the top on the arm of Linden Holt, heir to a hefty political legacy and the largest fortune of flare in all of Candesce. Her only obstacle is Linden’s father who refuses to acknowledge her.
So when Senator Holt announces his run for president, Ingrid uses the situation to her advantage. She strikes a deal to spy on the senator’s opposition in exchange for his approval and the status she so desperately craves. But the longer Ingrid wears two masks, the more she questions where her true allegiances lie.
Will she stand with the Holts, or will she forge her own path?
Rosiee Thor is an amazing author! I’m excited for this book as it has some ace rep, which doesn’t get much rep often. It sounds beautiful and having read some of Thor’s work, I know it is going to spark!
A ragtag band of misfits gets swept up in Holy Land politics in Travelers Along the Way by Aminah Mae Safi, a thrilling YA remix of the classic legend of Robin Hood.
Jerusalem, 1192. The Third Crusade rages on. Rahma al-Hud loyally followed her elder sister Zeena into the war over the Holy Land, but now that the Faranji invaders have gotten reinforcements from Richard the Lionheart, all she wants to do is get herself and her sister home alive.
But Zeena, a soldier of honor at heart, refuses to give up the fight while Jerusalem remains in danger of falling back into the hands of the false Queen Isabella. And so, Rahma has no choice but to take on one final mission with her sister.
On their journey to Jerusalem, Rahma and Zeena come across a motley collection of fellow travelers—including a kind-hearted Mongolian warrior, an eccentric Andalusian scientist, a frustratingly handsome spy with a connection to Rahma’s childhood, and an unfortunate English chaplain abandoned behind enemy lines. The teens all find solace, purpose and camaraderie—as well as a healthy bit of mischief—in each other’s company.
But their travels soon bring them into the orbit of Queen Isabella herself, whose plans to re-seize power in Jerusalem would only guarantee further war and strife in the Holy Land for years to come. And so it falls to the merry band of misfits to use every scrap of cunning and wit (and not a small amount of thievery) to foil the usurper queen and perhaps finally restore peace to the land.
As someone who loves Robin Hood, this remix sounds amazing! Another LGBT that sounds wonderful, with a great rep, and a fun cast of characters. I still need to read A CLASH OF STEEL, which is part of this classic remix series.
A fascinating historical novel about Hilde, a former orphan, who experiences Berlin on the cusp of World War II and discovers her own voice and sexuality and finds a family when she gets a job at a cabaret, by award-winning author Kip Wilson
After her eighteenth birthday, Hilde, a former orphan in 1930s Berlin, goes out into the world to discover her place in it. But finding a job is hard, at least until she stumbles into Café Lila, a vibrant cabaret full of expressive customers—and Rosa, the club’s waitress and performer. As the café and all who work there embrace Hilde, and she embraces them in turn, she discovers her voice and her own blossoming feelings for Rosa.
But Berlin is in turmoil. Between the elections, protests in the streets, and the beginning seeds of unrest in Café Lila itself, Hilde will have to decide what’s best for her future . . . and what it means to love a place on the cusp of war.
I saw this book when the cover was revealed and I am so excited that it will finally be coming out! I loved the series Babylon Berlin on Netflix (not for anyone under 18) and this book reminded me of one of the main characters. I think it is going to be a heart-wrenching read, and as any reader, I can’t wait!
In this voice-driven young adult debut by Andrea Mosqueda, Maggie Gonzalez needs a date to her sister’s quinceañera – and fast.
Growing up in Texas’s Rio Grande Valley, Maggie Gonzalez has always been a little messy, but she’s okay with that. After all, she has a great family, a goofy group of friends, a rocky romantic history, and dreams of being a music photographer. Tasked with picking an escort for her little sister’s quinceañera, Maggie has to face the truth: that her feelings about her friends—and her future—aren’t as simple as she’d once believed.
As Maggie’s search for the perfect escort continues, she’s forced to confront new (and old) feelings for three of her friends: Amanda, her best friend and first-ever crush; Matthew, her ex-boyfriend twice-over who refuses to stop flirting with her, and Dani, the new girl who has romantic baggage of her own. On top of this romantic disaster, she can’t stop thinking about the uncertainty of her own plans for the future and what that means for the people she loves.
As the weeks wind down and the boundaries between friendship and love become hazy, Maggie finds herself more and more confused with each photo. When her tried-and-true medium causes more chaos than calm, Maggie needs to figure out how to avoid certain disaster—or be brave enough to dive right into it, in Just Your Local Bisexual Disaster.
So glad to see some bisexual rep! This book sounds fun, full of love, coming of age, and a lot of real world feels. High school brings a lot of new feelings, and when feelings for friends change, it is always a hard decision. I am looking forward to this book!
Max Remus couldn’t care less about finding his mate-unlike the rest of his fate-obsessed pack. He totally prefers hanging with his bestie, eating his dad’s steak sandwiches, and drawing in his trusty sketchbook.
But all that is about to change at the Blue Moon Festival-a summer camp where Elite Pack wolves go to find their mates. The festival is a right of passage for every teen werewolf, and this year’s festival will be one to howl home about. The alpha’s son, Jasper Apollo, is attending for the first time.
When Max finds himself inexplicably linked with the exceptionally handsome but totally jerk-faced heir, he’s forced to grapple with the unexpected feelings clawing at his soul.
If Max rejects his destiny, will fate’s bite be worse than its bark?
Netflix’s Young Royals meets Teen Wolf meets Twilight–the first instalment in a thrilling new series, The Alpha’s Son is a heart-wrenching Young Adult, Boys Love, wolf shifter romance; full of yearning, comedy, and adventure.
I guess we got to give werewolves some love too 😛 If you love werewolves, or wolves in general, and some M/M rep, this sounds like your type of book! I am pretty excited for this books as it sounds very heartwarming, a little different than most werewolf books, and a great read.
Sixteen-year-old Dylan Highmark thought his winter was going to be full of boring shifts at the Dairy Queen, until he finds himself in love with a boy who’s literally too hot to handle.
Dylan has always wanted a boyfriend, but the suburbs surrounding Philadelphia do not have a lot in the way of options. Then, in walks Jordan, a completely normal (and undeniably cute) boy who also happens to run at a cool 110 degrees Fahrenheit. When the boys start spending time together, Dylan begins feeling all kinds of ways, and when he spikes a fever for two weeks and is suddenly coughing flames, he thinks he might be suffering from something more than just a crush. Jordan forces Dylan to keep his symptoms a secret. But as the pressure mounts and Dylan becomes distant with his closest friends and family, he pushes Jordan for answers. Jordan’s revelations of why he’s like this, where he came from, and who’s after him leaves Dylan realizing how much first love is truly out of this world. And if Earth supports life that breathes oxygen, then love can only keep Jordan and Dylan together for so long.
THE TEMPERATURE OF ME AND YOU is the story of first love, and the lengths we’ll go to figure out our hearts. What starts as an electric, chance encounter at a Dairy Queen quickly evolves into a heated romance, a journey of trust and identity, and a ticking clock for survival.
I’m excited to see what surprises are in this book! It sounds a little like Superman (or maybe his son :P) in high school trying to keep his powers a secret. Is this going to be superheroes? Or will it be aliens? I don’t know, but I really want to find out!
Sleeping Beauty meets Indiana Jones in this thrilling fairytale retelling for fans of Sorcery of Thornsand The Cruel Prince.
Fi is a bookish treasure hunter with a knack for ruins and riddles, who definitely doesn’t believe in true love.
Shane is a tough-as-dirt girl warrior from the north who likes cracking skulls, pretty girls, and doing things her own way.
Briar Rose is a prince under a sleeping curse, who’s been waiting a hundred years for the kiss that will wake him.
Cursed princes are nothing but ancient history to Fi—until she pricks her finger on a bone spindle while exploring a long-lost ruin. Now she’s stuck with the spirit of Briar Rose until she and Shane can break the century-old curse on his kingdom.
Dark magic, Witch Hunters, and bad exes all stand in her way—not to mention a mysterious witch who might wind up stealing Shane’s heart, along with whatever else she’s after. But nothing scares Fi more than the possibility of falling in love with Briar Rose.
Set in a lush world inspired by beloved fairytales, The Bone Spindle is a fast-paced young adult fantasy full of adventure, romance, found family, and snark.
Sleeping Beauty and Indiana Jones? Hello! This sounds like another great mix of legends with some bada** female characters! I am not sure who I am in book crush love with more yet, Fi or Shane… Can’t wait for this read and find out!
Carry On meets Arthurian legend in this funny, subversive young adult fantasy about what happens after the chosen one wins the kingdom and has to get married to keep it…and to stay alive.
Arek hadn’t thought much about what would happen after he completed the prophecy that said he was destined to save the Kingdom of Ere from its evil ruler. So now that he’s finally managed to (somewhat clumsily) behead the evil king (turns out magical swords yanked from bogs don’t come pre-sharpened), he and his rag-tag group of quest companions are at a bit of a loss for what to do next.
As a temporary safeguard, Arek’s best friend and mage, Matt, convinces him to assume the throne until the true heir can be rescued from her tower. Except that she’s dead. Now Arek is stuck as king, a role that comes with a magical catch: choose a spouse by your eighteenth birthday, or wither away into nothing.
With his eighteenth birthday only three months away, and only Matt in on the secret, Arek embarks on a desperate bid to find a spouse to save his life—starting with his quest companions. But his attempts at wooing his friends go painfully and hilariously wrong…until he discovers that love might have been in front of him all along.
As a fan of Carry On, and a lover of Arthurian Legends, this book also looks like a fun read! It sounds like a cute read and I can’t wait to see if he finds true love, and what fiascos will happen on the way.
Revenge Dani Hoots (City of Kaus, #1) Publication date: November 16th 2021 Genres: LGBTQ+, New Adult, Science Fiction, Western
It has been three years since Elvira “Ellie” Ryder was betrayed by her best friend Cor and watched as her hometown of Kaus was leveled by invaders from a different Zone. Now sworn to seek revenge on him, Ellie has teamed up with her old friend Zach to find their long lost friend.
After getting offered a bounty hunting job—really an assassination job—they find out that part of their payment is the whereabouts of Cor. Without hesitation Ellie and Zach take the job and make their way to the Human Zone to assassinate their target. As they make their way through the desert, and through the Human Zone, they are up against the prejudice of their kind—Kausian, a race that can shapeshift but always stand out with their golden eyes. Nevertheless, they never miss a mark—that is, unless they find out the truth about who destroyed their kind and how their target is right in the middle of it all.
Will Ellie be able to forgive Cor after learning the truth? Or will she forever hold on to that hatred?
Dani Hoots is a science fiction, fantasy, romance, and young adult author who loves anything with a story. She has a B.S. in Anthropology, a Masters of Urban and Environmental Planning, a Certificate in Novel Writing from Arizona State University, and a BS in Herbal Science from Bastyr University.
Currently she is working on a YA urban fantasy series called Daughter of Hades, a YA urban fantasy series called The Wonderland Chronicles, a historic fantasy vampire series called A World of Vampires, and a YA sci-fi series called Sanshlian Series. She has also started up an indie publishing company called FoxTales Press. She also works with Anthill Studios in creating comics through Antik Comics.
Her hobbies include reading, watching anime, cooking, studying different languages, wire walking, hula hoop, and working with plants. She is also an herbalist and sells her concoctions on FoxCraft Apothecary. She lives in Phoenix with her husband and visits Seattle often.
With just one touch, bread turns into roses. With just one bite, cheese turns into lilies.
There’s a famine plaguing the land, and Princess Yzabel is wasting food simply by trying to eat. Before she can even swallow, her magic—her curse—has turned her meal into a bouquet. She’s on the verge of starving, which only reminds her that the people of Portugal have been enduring the same pain.
If only it were possible to reverse her magic. Then she could turn flowers…into food.
Fatyan, a beautiful Enchanted Moura, is the only one who can help. But she is trapped by magical binds. She can teach Yzabel how to control her curse—if Yzabel sets her free with a kiss.
As the King of Portugal’s betrothed, Yzabel would be committing treason, but what good is a king if his country has starved to death?
With just one kiss, Fatyan is set free. And with just one kiss, Yzabel is yearning for more.
She’d sought out Fatyan to help her save the people. Now, loving her could mean Yzabel’s destruction.
Based on Portuguese legend, this #OwnVoices historical fantasy is an epic tale of mystery, magic, and making the impossible choice between love and duty…
*I received this book from YA Bound Tours for my honest review*
This was a remarkable story that was full of color, imagination, and history. Pinguicha did a great job in her research and making this story feel grounded in the past, yet still have a flare of fantasy. I was fascinated by how the MC had a curse that turned everything she ate into flowers. I couldn’t help to wonder how I would deal with such a curse as an herbalist. It wouldn’t be practical, but the first five minutes would be cool!
The LGBTQ aspect was great and made me really feel for the characters, especially given the time period. Pinguicha put a lot of thought on how to portray the characters in the era and I really respect and admire that in books. It is ignorant to think LGBTQ wasn’t prominent throughout the history and it seems like a lot of books ignore that fact. Yay representation!
All in all, I highly recommend this book!
About the Author:
Born in the sunny lands of Portugal, Diana is a Computer Engineer graduate who currently calls Lisbon home. She can usually be found writing, painting, devouring extraordinary quantities of books and video games, or walking around with her bearded dragon, Norberta. She also has two cats, Sushi and Jubas, who would never forgive her if she didn’t mention them.