Make the Yuletide Gayer with These LGBTQ+ Holiday Reads

LGBTQ+ holiday reads
Photo by Annie Spratt @ unsplash.

Not everyone gets into the holiday season the way I do, but if you’re someone who decorates as soon as it’s societally appropriate to do so, loves looking at lights, and has more than fourteen hours of Christmas music on your iTunes (…not that I do, or anything), then you’d probably love to have some awesome holiday books to read as you flick through the various streaming services trying to pick the perfect holiday movie. And you may, like me, have never considered that there might be a plethora of LGBTQ+ holiday reads to choose from!

With a few exceptions, the world of holiday films remains depressingly straight in 2021 (although we can add one more to the list with this year’s Single All the Way!). Fortunately, there is a bit more variety when it comes to books, so make the yuletide extra gay with one of these LGBTQ+ holiday reads. Most of these are romances, so if that’s not your cup of tea, I’m sorry I couldn’t find something for you.

I do have to admit that I personally have never read any of the books on the list, primarily because it didn’t even occur to me that books like this existed until I stumbled across a few on Netgalley earlier this year. (I know, I’m ashamed of myself, too.) However, I’m definitely adding a few to my “to read” list as we speak. (Or, as you read.)

Also, please be aware that this is far from a comprehensive list! If you have a favorite book that I’ve neglected to include, please let me know! And I would love to be made aware of any books about Hanukkah, Diwali, Kwanzaa, or any other winter holidays.

LGBTQ+ Holiday Reads – F/F

Mangos and Mistletoe: A Foodie Holiday Novella by Adriana Herrera

Fans of the multitude of baking shows will be sure to love this wlw romance about teammates on a holiday-themed baking show in Scotland. An own voices story featuring a POC lead, Mangos and Mistletoe features two women who both have something to prove, if only they can get it together enough to win the competition! This one sounds really cute, and I love a good baking show, so I’ve definitely added it to my TBR pile.

The Christmas Proposal by Lisa Moreau

Are you a fan of the stranded in a snowstorm trope? You’ll find it in this wlw romance about an event planner forced to plan her ex’s proposal, who winds up stranded somewhere called Mistletoe Mountain with her ex’s personal assistant. Is there only one bed? You’ll have to read to find out!

Holiday Hearts by Diana Day-Admire & Lyn Cole

Here’s another one with the stranded by a snowstorm trope, and this one definitely includes there was only one bed! (Well, there’s only one hotel room, but come on, you have to know where that’s heading.) This wlw romance features two travelers, Logan and Mick, who get stranded in Chicago and decide to have a one-night fling, and then they realize that Logan’s brother is the college friend Mick is spending the holidays with.

Humbug by Amanda Radley

A CEO needs a new personal assistant to plan the company Christmas party, and she finds it in a woman who is so in love with Christmas that her nickname is “Christmas Girl”. I would side-eye a CEO/PA relationship in real life, but I have definitely devoured those fic AUs for my different ships.

Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur 

Who doesn’t love a little fake dating? Darcy and Elle meet through a dating app and do not hit it off, but Darcy wants to get her brother (the app’s creator) off her back, and Elle wants help dealing with her overbearing family during the holidays. It’s not quite enemies to lovers, but I am always in favor of two people who start out antagonistic towards each other and end up falling in love. Adding this one to the list!

Under the Mistletoe by Everly James

Do you have a trope bingo card? You might get bingo with this wlw romance, which features enemies-to-lovers, oh my god they were roommates, and stranded in a snowstorm! Samantha and Gia are attending the same writers’ retreat and end up roommates, and they get off on the wrong foot.

Being Merry by Meka James

Oh my god, they were roommates. Yes, again! In this wlw romance, Noelle is facing homelessness around the holidays, but she won’t let that dampen her spirit. Luckily, a coworker comes through with a housing possibility, but Lennox absolutely does not want a roommate, especially one as festive as Noelle. Come on, who doesn’t want to read yet another story about polar opposites falling in love?

The Holiday Treatment by Elle Spencer

This wlw romance may feel a little bit meta, because Holly wants to make the yuletide gayer and finally get a queer Christmas movie on her network. She may finally get the chance when Meredith moves into the holiday division, but things may get sticky when the two of them start dating. Can they keep things professional and accomplish their shared goal of getting a holiday movie with two female leads?

LGBTQ+ Holiday Reads – M/M

Faux Ho Ho: A Little Village Novella by Nathan Burgoine

How about a little more fake dating, but with men this time? This mlm romance revolves around two roommates (oh my god, they were roommates), Silas and Dino, who pretend to be a couple to give Silas an excuse not to attend his conservative family’s Thanksgiving. But then Silas’s sister invites his “new boyfriend” to her upcoming wedding, and something has to give. The story sounds a lot like Boyfriend Material, which I read recently and loved, so I’ll have to make sure to check it out.

The Inside Edge by Ashlyn Kane

Honestly, of all the books on this list, this is the one I’m most excited about checking out. An mlm romance about an ex-hockey player and former figure skater who wind up as co-hosts on a new sports show. Will opposites attract? I’m assuming the answer is yes. I can’t find any mention of holidays with regards to this book, but it’s about winter sports and that’s close enough for me.

The Geek Who Saved Christmas by Annabeth Albert

The grumpy one is soft for the sunshine one in this mlm romance about neighbors with very different opinions on the holidays. Gideon and Paul have apparently been pining for each other from afar, even though they live next door to each other. Gideon is trying to get Paul on board for the neighborhood holiday lights fundraiser, and Paul needs Gideon’s help when he learns that his younger brother will be visiting for the holidays.

In the Winter Woods by Isabelle Adler

If you’re looking for a break from the traditional fluffy romances, then you might want to check out this mlm romance with a side of murder. Declan is isolating at his family’s cabin for the holidays, but when a killer strikes, he becomes the most likely suspect. He’ll have to team with the local (handsome) Public Safety Commissioner in order to clear his name.

American Christmas: A Dreamers Holiday Novella by Adriana Herrera

Another entry by Herrera, this mlm romance features POC leads trying – and possibly failing – to have the perfect Christmas. Potentially one of the only books on the list that features an established relationship.

His Christmas Sweater by C.M. Valencourt

Yet another book to play trope bingo with! Featuring stranded in a snowstorm and opposites attract, this mlm romance is the story of Owen, who gets stranded while on his way to visit his family and takes refuge in the inn run by Jacob. The problem is, Owen loves Christmas, and Jacob… well, Jacob loves peppermint schnapps.

A Winter’s Earl: A Regency Christmas Romance by Annabelle Greene

How about a little accidental baby acquisition with a side of stranded in a snowstorm? In this mlm romance, Sherborne finds a baby abandoned on the steps of his castle and uses the predicament as an opportunity to get back in contact with his ex-lover, Richard. Unfortunately, Richard still hates him because Sherborne outed him, forcing him into exile.

A Family for Christmas by Jay Northcote

In this mlm romance, Rudy invites his coworker Zac to his family’s house for Christmas when he learns that he will be alone. Naturally, Rudy’s family assumes the two of them are dating, and they go along with it rather than deal with an awkward situation.

Only One Bed by Keira Andrews

It’s right there in the title, everybody! This mlm romance features best friends (who may turn into something more). Etienne is a figure skater whose competitive career may be ending, so he asks Sam to come support him at the holiday show he’s skating in. And wouldn’t you know it, there’s only one bed in this cozy little cabin.

Glass Tidings by Amy Jo Cousins

Eddie is a bit of a drifter, and when his car breaks down in the middle of nowhere, he doesn’t exactly have the money for a bus out of town. But then he’s the key witness in a hit-and-run, and the local sheriff has him put up with one of the locals – the reclusive Grayson, who owns the local Christmas shop (and hates Christmas) – for the night.

Hot Mall Santa by A.J. Truman

Basically what it says on the tin. This year, the Santa at Oakville Mall is the complete opposite of fat and jolly, and everyone is chasing after him, including nerdy Tom, who works at The Décor Store. Tom has been chasing a promotion – and his boss – but soon finds himself lucking into a night with Santa (who presumably has an actual name, but it’s not in the summary), who is a lot nerdier than you would expect.

LGBTQ+ Holiday Reads – Other

Miss Claus by J.R. Hart

This one is a little different from the others on the list. This is the story of Santa’s daughter, who is sure to be next in line to be Santa, even if her lawyer ex is trying to bring up an archaic gender-biased law. Miss Claus is essentially the only book on this list that isn’t a romance, so if you want some holiday cheer but are more interested in an empowering fantasy than a romance, this is the book for you.

Author: Jamie Sugah

Jamie has a BA in English with a focus in creative writing from The Ohio State University. She self-published her first novel, The Perils of Long Hair on a Windy Day, which is available through Amazon. She is currently an archivist and lives in New York City with her demon ninja vampire cat. She covers television, books, movies, anime, and conventions in the NYC area.


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