If you’ve been following along for any length of time, you already know about most of these, but it bears sharing again and again, and Pride month seems like a good time to give them another air. I tend to get in a rut sticking to the same tried and true authors and only occasionally venturing forth to try a new one. When I do, it’s often because I read a recommendation from a trusted source.
Some of my faves are from popular, bestselling authors, some from lesser-known authors. But all are well done stories with characters that touched my heart. To keep the post from getting too long, while at the same time sharing as many amazing stories as possible, I will try not to ramble on too much about these books, but rest assured, these are all faves on my rereads list and I heartily recommend them.
I don’t mention it below because it isn’t currently available, but The Sixth Sense series by Sarah Madison ranks among my top faves and is re-read often. That series includes: Unspeakable Words, Truth and Consequences, and Walk a Mile. I believe if/when the series is re-released, it’s still due a fourth book to tie up the overarching series mystery. The book level mysteries are tied up with each book, and even if another is never written, I’m satisfied continuing to reread these and imagine what might happen next.
The Plumber’s Mate Mysteries
by JL Merrow
Technically paranormal, I suppose, although it reads basically like a contemporary series. Everything about it is contemporary with the exception of Tom’s ability to follow a thread of emotions to find things that have been hidden (which does feature heavily in the stories). There’s a good dose of hurt/comfort and fabulous side-characters/family members (and cats) throughout.
From the first book’s blurb: Tom Paretski’s not just a plumber with a dodgy hip courtesy of a schoolboy accident. He also has a sixth sense for finding hidden things. Called in by the police to help locate a body near Brock’s Hollow, he’s staggered to encounter Phil Morrison, his old school crush—and the closeted bully whose actions contributed to Tom’s accident.
The romance arc unfolds throughout the series with a few ups and downs, but all concerns are relatable and worked through, and we get plenty of HFN goodness along the way to their HEA. I don’t think the series is complete. I hope not, anyway. Each book has its own separate mystery.
I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve read and/or listened to theses books. I re-listened to the whole series just recently.
More Faves from JL Merrow
The Adrien English Mysteries
by Josh Lanyon
Contemporary mysteries with a separate mystery in each book. Lots of lovely hurt/comfort, too. The romance arc takes the full series to complete, and it is not your typical romance arc. The relationship has its ups and downs, but never is there an HEA to be yanked away with a flimsy excuse. There are barely even HFNs until well into the series (plenty of hope for us readers, though). Rest assured, there is a solid HEA at the end, and also know that everything completely (and I do mean completely) falls apart for them midway through. The second half of the series is like a second-chance story arc with a glorious redemption scene, only in this series we get to actually go through the beginning turmoil that they’re getting that second chance to overcome.
I was late to the party with this series (thankfully, actually, since I didn’t have to scream, “The hell you say!” and throw my reader at the wall before waiting goodness knows how long for the second chance/redemption to begin). The first five books were already out, and I’m not sure if the sixth was even intended at that point (it’s more of a lovely long epilogue with a mild mystery), so I was able to tear through them without publishing delays between books.
This series also has fabulous side characters/family members filling out the story. I’ve reread and/or re-listened to this series countless times, too.
More Faves from Josh Lanyon
The Carstairs Affairs
by Elin Gregory
There are two books in The Carstairs Affairs series but only book 1 (Eleventh Hour) is currently available (2nd edition). I had them both in first edition and rebought the new version of book 1. I dearly hope book 2 (Midnight Flit) will be rereleased, too. Not only will I snap it up myself even if the changes are negligible, but I want lovely readers everywhere to be able to enjoy both of these fabulous stories. My dearest wish is for both books to become available in audiobook, too. It makes it easy for re-reads since I already know the story and don’t have to worry about the occasional distraction throwing me off.
No worries in the meantime, though, book 1 totally stands on its own. It’s a brilliant historical mystery involving an undercover agent and a not-quite-an-agent borrowed from the ciphering department due to his ability to pass when cross-dressing, so the two can pose as a married couple on their mission.
Elin Gregory has a few more books out that I keep meaning to read, but haven’t gotten to yet. I’m sure I’ll love them once I finally do, because her writing is top notch.
Earth Fathers Series
by Lyn Gala
These books are just so much fun. Max ends up stranded in space, far from home, amongst aliens after he gets caught up in an inter-stellar chase (thought at the time to be an alien invasion) and is rescued by the good guys after the bad guys blow up his fighter jet. He has to find work to earn his way back home, and a fun miscommunication has him agreeing to something that’s not quite what he thought it was. I adore all the main characters, and have reread and re-listened to both several times now.
More Faves from Lyn Gala
by Holly Day
This story was just so much fun. I’ve been making my way through Holly Day’s backlist and have enjoyed every one of her stories that I’ve read so far, but this one stands out as a top fave that I plan to reread for years to come. The antics this squirrel shifter and his fated mate, a wolf (who’s quite horrified to discover he’s mated to a squirrel of all things), are hilarious.
Here’s a paragraph from the blurb: Gideon Everett might have dreamed about the day he’d find his mate, but his mate was never an unorganized, nut-hoarding squirrel shifter in those dreams. Wolves eat squirrels, so when Jyran walks into Gideon’s bar, he throws him out and tells him he wants nothing to do with him. He has a reputation to think about, and he will not be known as the wolf who mated a squirrel.
More Faves from Holly Day
Twelve Letters Series
by Ellie Thomas
I adore this gentle series with its lovely ensemble cast of characters. Gentle, but not without drama. I love all the characters, but Percy, the one we loved to hate early in the series, has risen to the top and refuses to be supplanted as my fave of the series. This author excels at creating a lovely and historically accurate backdrop for the stories to unfold in.
More Faves from Ellie Thomas
Leather & Tea Series
by K.L. Noone
This is a series of shorts, so I can’t say too much, but I assure you, it is a fun series! I’ll just leave you with the opening to the book 1 blurb: Some nights, American secret agent Ben Smith just wants to come home to his husband. He misses that English accent and smile and, of course, Simon on his knees. He wants his perfect submissive at his feet, so the world and his mission can fall away.
More Faves from K.L. Noone
The Meet-Cute Chronicles
by Nell Iris
This lovely set of meet-cute shorts is everything I’ve come to love and expect from Nell Iris. Perfect for when you need to chill and reset after reading some heavy drama. All fairly short, so I don’t want to give too much away.
This is from the Box Set’s blurb:
Three accidental meetings. Three cases of instant attraction. Three HEAs.
What do one dyslexic man overwhelmed by too many books, one man walking a dog getting caught in the rain without an umbrella, and one man lost in the woods have in common? Nothing, except unexpectedly meeting the man of their dreams …
More Faves from Nell Iris
I could go on, but I’ll stop here for this round of favorites. I’ll save the rest for a future post!
What are some of your favorite LGBTQIA+ reads?