Guest Post

Recommended Reading: LGBT Spins on Classic Romance Tropes from Megan Derr


My name is Megan Derr. I am an author of queer romance. I am also co-owner of Less Than Three Press, in the interests of full disclosure since some of my recs are from there. But they are honestly among my favorites – that’s why I contracted them!

But I did pull recs from all over the place. I tried to keep things short and failed miserably, but if you are looking for some LGBT spins on some classic romance tropes, here are some excellent places to start (I actually have many, many more, but nobody wants to read a fifty-page post). I tried to keep to just 3-4 per trope, but some get bonuses.

I will likely be doing more of these in the future, on my own blog so as not to plague Ever After, if you should need more recs down the road.

In no particular order:


Just a Bit Ruthless by Alessandra Hazard (M/M, Gay, Bisexual, Contemporary) is about a young man who is kidnapped by his father’s enemy. My favorite part of this book is that the MC has always had to suppress who he is because he lives in such a macho world, where even his friends unintentionally say hurtful things, and this big, brusque man who kidnaps him is the first to understand and accept all that the MC wants, needs, and is.

a boy called cinA Boy Called Cin by Cecil Wilde (Genderqueer, Trans, Bisexual, Contemporary) – one of the books I published, about a business tycoon billionaire and a college student, so two tropes! It’s a lot of fun and #ownvoices

Room at the Top by Jane Davitt and Alexa Snow (M/M/M, Gay, Bisexual, Contemporary) – This book is one of my comfort reads. I’ve read it 500 times at least, as well as its sequel. The only thing I hate is that they’re not in print so I can put them on my bookcase of favorites. It is BDSM, if that’s of interest/not interest, and done well by people who know what they’re talking about.

Bonus recs:

Breakaway by Avon Gale (M/M, Bisexual, Contemporary)

Return on Investment by Aleksandr Voinov (M/M, Gay, Contemporary)

On the Trail to Moonlight Gulch by Shelter Sommerset (MM, Gay, Historical)

(I am supremely frustrated I apparently have not read any F/F May/December, if YOU have recs, I would appreciate them. This is one of my fav tropes)

A Question of CouncelARRANGED MARRIAGE

This is another of my favorite tropes (I have written it A LOT). I had a hard time finding arranged marriage stories that aren’t MM (which is fine, but I’m trying to include more than gay MM, which is by far the strongest corner of queer romance)

A Question of Counsel by Archer Kay Leah (F/F, Lesbian, Fantasy) is the first book in a series that I love more than life. A woman is forced to pick a spouse from a family, and rather than the rotten brothers, she picks the sister. And of course nothing is that simple.

A Lover of Men by Julia Talbot (M/M/F, Bisexual, Historical) is from a collection of forced/arranged marriage stories (I wrote one!) and this is my fav from that set. A woman who proposes to a man because he prefers men and will leave her alone, but we all know that’s never how it goes πŸ˜‰

Goblet’s Edge by Lore Graham (M/M/F, Bisexual, Fantasy) is another threesome, because I’m a huge poly fan. This is about a man who is headed off to get married and takes his lover with him. Misunderstandings and such ensue, but of course all ends well.



Will & Patrick Wake Up Married (M/M, Gay, Contemporary) is an awesome play on the ‘wake up married in Vegas’ version of this trope, and it’s excellent. I read it as it was being released as a serial, but lucky for all of you, it’s now complete and you can give up sleeping to read it one go.

How Beautiful Thy Footsteps by Vanessa Cardui (F/F, Bisexual, Fantasy) is an interesting story with fairy tale notes intertwined with some BDSM elements, in that the price of a spell is absolute obedience for a year, or until the maker of the spell is brought her heart’s desire.

Scardust by Suzanne van Rooyen (M/M, Gay, Sci-fi) is the kind of book you better not start unless you have a lot of time on your hands because you will not be able to stop reading. I made the mistake of NOT having time and was in agony until I could pick it up again.



Complementary and Acute by Ella Lyons (F/F, Lesbian, Contemporary) is one of my absolute favorite stories, about two friends in school, misunderstandings, and piles of cuteness. It’s the kind of story guaranteed to fix a bad mood.

Under the Lights by Dahlia Adler (F/F, Bisexual, Contemporary) is an NA story, about an actress and the woman she unexpectedly falls for. It’s technically the second in a series, but I did not read the first one and didn’t have any problems.

Open Skies by Yolande Kleinn (Queerplatonic, Asexual, Aromantic) is probably an unorthodox choice to some, because it doesn’t have a romance. It’s about a man who pushes for romance, but the love interest is asexual and aromantic, and in the end, it’s their friendship that matters most to both of them, and friendships are just as vital as romances, so I opted to include it.

She Whom I Love by Tess Bowery (F/F/M, Bisexual, Historical) is another threesome (I told you they’re my favorite), and it’s pretty hella awesome. If you like excellent historicals, this one is for you. If you like threesomes, also. If neither of those is your jam, cool, but give it a whirl if you’re looking for something different. The whole Treading the Boards series is awesome (and the next book features two POC)

Bonus recs!

Game On by Olley White (M/M, Gay, Bisexual, Contemporary)

The Only Way by Jamie Sullivan (F/F, Lesbian, Fantasy)

Owner of a Lonely Heart by Mel Bossa (M/M/M, Gay, Bisexual, Contemporary)

For Promise Yet Unbroken by Tygati (M/M, Gay, Graysexual, Sci-fi)

Torunament of ShadowsENEMIES TO LOVERS


Tournament of Shadows by S.A. Meade (M/M, Gay, Historical) is an historical book with an unusual setting, which makes it pretty awesome, for all I love me a good Regency. An Irishman and a Russian on opposing sides, who find they’d rather just be at each other’s side.

Watch Me (Break You) by Avril Ashton (M/M, Bisexual, Contemporary) is one of my favorite books by this author, though my heart will always belong first to her Boston series. These books are about gangs and criminals, so there is plenty of violence of all sorts, but Ashton knows what she’s doing and her books are enthralling

The Locket and the Flintlock by Rebecca S. Bucker (F/F, Lesbian, Historical) is about a highwayman! Who is a woman! And steals something important from a beautiful, stubborn woman determined to get it back, what is not to love?

Unhinge the Universe by Aleksandr Voinov and L.A. Witt (M/M, Gay, Historical) is set during WWII and nobody does that time period better than Voinov, and his partner in crime here isn’t so bad either πŸ˜‰ Again, there is violence, so heed warnings, but it’s a damned good book.

Bonus recs:

The Merman and the Barbarian Pirate by Kay Berrisford (MM, Bisexual, Historical Fantasy)

Scarlet and the White Wolf by Kirby Crow (M/M, Gay, Bisexual, Fantasy)

Bait by Lissa Ford (M/M, Gay, Contemporary)

Sand Raiders by TS Porter (M/M, M/M/F, Asexual, Bisexual, Fantasy)

Battle of Will by Sasha L. Miller (M/M, Bisexual, Fantasy)


Winter’s Bees by E.E. Ottoman (M/M, Gay, Steampunk) is a fantasy story about two friends who are told they must marry each other. One is happy about the arrangement, the other not so much. The other two books in this series are equally great (and the first one is enemies to lovers and has a trans character)

The Life & Death of Eli & Jay by Francis Gideon (M/M, Asexual, Gay, Contemp) is full of mutual pining, confusion, misunderstandings, and of course a happy end. I also like this one because it handles the asexuality so well, and there aren’t enough ace books out there.

A Little Familiar by R. Cooper (M/M, Gay, Urban Fantasy) is about a witch, a familiar, and a lot of mutually oblivious pining, which Cooper excels at. This a pretty, slow burn urban fantasy novel great for curling up with on a blustery day

Bonus recs

Promise in a Kiss by Piper Vaughn (M/M, Gay, Contemporary)

For the Clan by Archer Kay Leah (M/M/F, Bisexual, Dystopia)

Double Take J.K. PendragonMISTAKEN IDENTITY

by Rebecca Cohen (M/M, Gay, Historical) is an old favorite of mine, about a man who is forced to pretend to be his sister since she’s decided to run off with someone else.

Double Take by J.K. Pendragon (Poly, Genderqueer, Fantasy, warning: incest) I almost didn’t include because it does include incest, which is definitely not something that appeals to everyone. But it’s an interesting book, features a genderqueer character, and I love the setting

The Peacock Prince by John Tristan (M/M, Bisexual, Fantasy) is one of my comfort reads. Another man who must pretend to be his sister, likes it more than he ever realized he could, and a handsome pirate who is immediately enamored of the princess he gets instead of the one he expected. I heart this story to death.



Storms and Stars by Neena Jaydon (M/M, Gay, Sci-fi) also qualifies as enemies to lovers, and it’s another book I’ve read about a hundred times. Instead of an island, they get stranded on a planet, and it’s a truly excellent story.

Rock and a Hard Place by Jane Davitt (M/M, Gay, Contemporary) by Jane Davitt and Alexa Snow, one of my favorite author duos, writing a book about two men who are told they will learn to get along or else, and their day just goes downhill from there.

Counting Fence Posts by Kelly Jensen (M/M, Gay, Bisexual, Contemporary) is about two men who get stranded in a car in the midst of a blizzard, and of course learn their mutually oblivious pining is not as hopeless as they feared.

And that is all I have for this go-round. If there are tropes you really want to see in the future, let me know what they are. If you have recs, especially of the FF, trans, GQ, or asexual variety, please let me know. I am always on the lookout.

Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy the books!

Megan Derr is a long time resident of LGBTQ romance, and keeps herself busy reading, writing, and publishing it. She is often accused of fluff and nonsense. When she’s not involved in writing, she likes to cook, harass her cats, or watch movies. She loves to hear from readers, and can be found all over the internet.

Megan can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Tumblr, and

3 Responses to “Recommended Reading: LGBT Spins on Classic Romance Tropes from Megan Derr”

  1. AM Leibowitz

    I can definitely recommend a May/December f/f! Memoir in the Making by Adrian Smith. But if there are others, I want to know because it’s my favorite trope as well.

  2. Larissa

    That is an impressive list. There are definitely some books on there I haven’t read yet, but look very good. Thanks for doing this!

  3. M

    It’s no wonder you’re one of my favorite authors…we have the same taste when it comes to books :).

    Thanks for the recommendations!

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