By Mikey Rox
Summer is just starting to heat up – literally! – and it’s time to hit the beach. Throw down a towel, pop open the umbrella, and sink into the sand with these LGBT-themed recreational reads that’ll keep you entertained all season long.
The Pink Marine
by Greg Cope White
Gay Mormon Greg Cope White hilariously recounts the summer he haphazardly enlisted in the pre-Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Marine Corps at age 18 and spent a summer in boot camp (because all he heard was “summer” and “camp” when his best friend proposed the idea), an experience that gave the author a sense of belonging and self-worth in the last place he ever expected it.
Here Comes the Sun
by Nicole Dennis-Benn
Heralded as one of the best books of the summer by Marie Claire, Redbook, Elle magazine, Publishers Weekly, and the New York Times, Dennis-Benn’s debut novel exposes the dark corners of womanhood set against the sun-drenched resorts of Jamaica as Margot, taught as a girl to trade her sexuality for survival, commits her life to ensuring that her younger sister Thandi doesn’t suffer the same fate. When plans for a new hotel threaten their village, Margot is forced to confront the many burdens she bears, including her fight for financial independence and her forbidden love for another woman.
Heart in Chains
by Elodie Parkes
Relationship-weary Conner, scorned and single, escapes to Indonesia to put the past behind him. Mysterious Jay Levesque holds secrets of his own as he tries to put a lifetime of dangerous liaisons to rest. Alas, neither of their hesitations are a match for the romance of the exotic island or its erotic summer nights.
by Garrard Conley
As the LGBT community continues to struggle with religious acceptance in a post-Orlando world, Conley’s memoir about being outed and forced to make a life-changing decision – agree to conversion therapy or be disowned – is even more poignant and important. Heartbreaking and courageous, Boy Erased will simultaneously enrage you and make your count your blessings.
by Annabeth Albert
The fourth installment in Albert’s Portland Heat series, which received the April 2016 Seal of Excellence by RT Book Reviews, Knit Tight gets tangled up in the would-be affections of Brady and Evren – a well-liked local barista and charming out-of-towner, respectively – as Brady tries to get the handsome stranger out of the friend zone and into frothier territory.
I Am Woman: Surviving the Past, the Present & the Future
By Daliah Husu
Still having trouble making heads or tails of the “T” in LGBT? You’re not alone. Many of our lesbian, gay and bi brothers and sisters struggle with what it means to be transgender – and how to appropriately address, recognize, and appreciate transgender people – but Husu’s honest and emotionally charged memoir shines a flickering light on her stigmatized world of self-hatred, dependency on men, drug abuse, sex work, and what it’s like to be a not-so-privileged trans woman in America. You can’t understand another person’s experience until you’ve walked in their shoes, as they say, and it’s time to take the first step.
Jury of One
by Charlie Cochrane
A murder in nearby Abbotson thrusts inspector Robin Bright into yet another intricate web of crimes, but there’s something more curious about this case: An old crush of Robin’s lover Adam pops up in the murder investigation, ultimately jeopardizing the happy couple’s relationship in this homo whodunit. Jury of One is the second book of the Lindenshaw Mysteries series.
The Scheme of Things
by Tim Parks
Henry Dodge does his best to hide what makes him different from the other boys – like his bourgeoning lust for his brother’s best friend Danny – by escaping into the TV, movies and music of the 1980s. As such, his affinity for nighttime soap operas leads him to devise a plan to follow Danny to Los Angeles, unchartered territory for the teen, which has secrets of its own.
by L.A. Witt
Gay throuples get their own comeuppance in an all-too-familiar tale of three boyfriends trying to make a ménage à trios work over the long term. But just when it seems like it couldn’t be more idyllic, the trio face a roadblock on the path to triangular happiness when the original couple starts to question their love for one another but each still holds a torch for their rock-star third wheel.
Mikey Rox is an award-winning journalist and LGBT lifestyle expert whose work has been published in more than 100 outlets across the world. He splits his time between homes in New York City and the Jersey Shore with his dog Jaxon. Connect with Mikey on Twitter @mikeyrox.