Transgender Day of Visibility is March 31st, and what better way to celebrate than the same way I like to celebrate basically everything—with romance novels!
These books encompass a wide variety of different gender pairings across multiple categories and even genres (what’s romance without a little fantasy?), but they’ve all got one thing in common: at least one of the leads is trans or nonbinary.
The Love Study
Office temp Declan isn’t much for commitment—not when it comes to his career or his love life. Which makes him the perfect candidate for nonbinary YouTuber Sidney’s advice show, which will send Declan on a series of dates in order to find the right person…while publicly reporting back on all the wrong ones.
But even The Love Study can’t pull Declan out of his shell; none of the dates seem to be going anywhere. In fact, there’s only one person Declan’s clicking with: Sidney.
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For the Love of April French
One of my most anticipated debuts of the year, this romance stars a trans woman named April French who has no expectations of a happy ending; hanging out at Frankie’s, a kink club, gives her everything she tells herself she needs.
But then she clicks with a Dennis, a new guy at the club who seems a little out of his element but very into her. And now April has to figure out if she can open up her heart and let herself want the magic she thought was forever out of her grasp.
The Doctor's Discretion
Ottoman is the go-to author for trans romance across genres, including the steampunk A Matter of Disagreement, the contemporary Documenting Light, and this historical, set in 1831 New York and starring two doctors who find happiness in each other’s arms.
When a patient arrives at the hospital who’s accused of being a trans man, which means he could be committed, Drs. William Blackwood and Augustus Hill will have to work together to protect him — especially since one of them could find himself in the very same danger.
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This sapphic fantasy novella reimagines Cinderella as a trans woman named Ella, who’s forced to go by Cole after her father passes away and she’s left with her transphobic stepfamily.
Then she’s invited to the ball by Princess Lizabetta herself. When she finds she’s every bit as welcome there as Ella despite having been invited as Cole, Ella glimpses her chance at a happily ever after for the first time, if only for a fleeting hour. But what if she could find her way back for good?
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I can’t possibly stop at one trans Cinderella fantasy, especially when they travel such different paths! This one stars a gender-questioning farmer named Cynthia, who attends closeted gay Prince Longhollow’s ball. Cynthia is hoping to convince the prince to finance the purchase of her family’s farm.
Her (trans) godfather is more than happy to help, but Cynthia has bigger problems: her stepsisters, both of whom she’s fallen for. (Yes, this is a polyam romance.)
Long Macchiatos and Monsters
Short but sweet, this novella stars genderqueer Jalen, who meets hot trans guy P and falls hard and fast for him over bad sci-fi movies.
But P is grappling with transphobia at home that wreaks havoc on his emotional availability, and just as quickly as sparks flew, Jalen—who’s also Going Through It—is forced to wonder whether there might be too much standing in their way.
(Spoiler: there isn’t, and just watching them be there for each other is a delight.)
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The third novel in Zabo’s Twisted Wishes rock star romance series centers sexy bass player Mish, who lands in the hospital when she’s attacked by a stalker.
On the bright side, her new security detail — trans guy and martial arts expert David — sure does make staying safe look good. But how safe will she stay if he’s distracted by how hot things are when they get together, especially when the stalker returns? Can he keep her safe and in his bed at the same time?
Starting from Scratch
Ben has started on hormones and gotten top surgery, and now he’s back at school and ready to re-start his life.
But it’s impossible for him not to get hung up on the fact that putting himself out there will ruin his plan to stay stealth, and the fear of being rejected is all too real. He’s so anxious, in fact, that he’s missing the fact that he’s already met a guy who likes him exactly how he is.
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The Calyx Charm
The third book in the Sacred Hearts companion trilogy stars Violetta Benedetti, a trans woman with magical powers. Violetta is forced to hide in the underworld in order to prevent her father from using her magic for his own gain.
Her whereabouts aren’t her only secret; her long-held love for her best friend, who never knew Violetta was a woman, occupies a significant corner of her heart. But now he’s dead, and he’ll never know her true identity or her feelings…at least that’s what she thinks.
In reality, Tibario has been reborn as immortal, and he, too, has powers that must remain hidden from a determined, criminal parent — a mother who wants to destroy Violetta’s family. And it turns out, Violetta isn’t the only one who’s been hiding feelings.
Their romance seems impossible, but it just might be strong enough to cross every line there is, including the mortal plane.
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