We all love a good historical romance, but they're not all heterosexual - quite the contrary, in fact! Historical fiction gives authors and readers alike the chance to experience the stories of LGBT people throughout history - those stories still being relatively rare in commercial publishing. These stories are of people who led complex, fascinating, emotional, often difficult, but also exuberant and joyful lives - in short, lives more varied and interesting than most people expect. Read on and find your new favourite historical romance right here.
Colette Moody£13.50 £12.55
The Gulf of Mexico, 1702: When pirates of the square-rigger Original Sin steal ashore to abduct a doctor to tend to their wounded, they end up settling for the doctor’s attractive fiancée—Celia Pierce, the town seamstress. Together with Gayle Malvern, daughter of wounded pirate captain “Madman” Malvern, Celia becomes a reluctant participant in an unexpectedly thrilling journey through the Caribbean. For Gayle, Celia’s presence is at first a welcome and shapely distraction, but as her attraction to the seamstress deepens, she realizes that Celia comes to mean more to her than is almost cerntainly prudent. As Celia and Gayle navigate the perilous territories of gypsies, prostitutes, mercenaries, and slave-traders, they forge a partnership born of necessity that Gayle soon hopes will veer away from insurmountable danger—and instead detour directly to her bed.
Reid Forrest Reid£9.94
Fifteen year old Graham Iddesleigh dreams of a past life, where he frolicked in a garden with a young Greek god. However, his dreams threaten to come to an abrupt end when his father decides to send him away to school. But what is Graham's surprise when he meets a fellow schoolboy, Harold Brocklehurst, who is the very image of the Greek god of his dreams! Graham falls deeply in love with his new friend, and the two boys spend an unforgettable summer together -- until a heartbreaking tragedy occurs, a tragedy that will change Graham's life forever.
Nicola Griffith£9.99 £9.29
In seventh century Britain, a new religion is coming ashore while small kingdoms are merging, frequently and violently. Hild is the king's youngest niece, with a glittering mind and natural authority, She is destined to become one of the pivotal figures of the early Middle Ages: Saint Hilda of Whitby. But for now she has only the powerful curiosity of a child and the precarious advantage of a plotting uncle, Edwin of Northumbria, who will stop at nothing to beome king of the Angles. Hild establishes herself at her uncle's side as the king's seer, and becomes indispensable - as long as all goes well for Edwin. The stakes are high - life and death - for Hild, her family and for all those who seek the protection of this strange girl who seems to see the future.
Yaa Gyasi£8.99 £8.36
Effia and Esi: two sisters with two very different destinies. One sold into slavery; one a slave trader's wife. The consequences of their fate reverberate through the generations that follow. Taking us from the Gold Coast of Africa to the cotton-picking plantations of Mississippi; from the missionary schools of Ghana to the dive bars of Harlem, spanning three continents and seven generations, Yaa Gyasi has written a miraculous novel - the intimate, gripping story of a brilliantly vivid cast of characters and through their lives the very story of America itself.
Bernardine Evaristo£8.99 £8.36
Barrington Jedidiah Walker is seventy-four and leads a double life. Born and bred in Antigua, he's lived in Hackney since the sixties. A flamboyant, wise-cracking local character with a dapper taste in retro suits and a fondness for quoting Shakespeare, Barrington is a husband, father and grandfather - but he is also secretly homosexual, lovers with his great childhood friend, Morris. His deeply religious and disappointed wife, Carmel, thinks he sleeps with other women. When their marriage goes into meltdown, Barrington wants to divorce Carmel and live with Morris, but after a lifetime of fear and deception, will he manage to break away? Mr Loverman is a ground-breaking exploration of Britain's older Caribbean community, which explodes cultural myths and fallacies and shows the extent of what can happen when people fear the consequences of being true to themselves.
Isabel Miller£14.99 £13.94
Set in the nineteenth century, Isabel Miller's classic lesbian novel traces the relationship between Patience White, an educated painter, and Sarah Dowling, a cross-dressing farmer, whose romantic bond does not sit well with the puritanical New England farming community in which they live. They choose to live together and love each other freely, even though they know of no precedents for their relationship; they must trust their own instincts and see beyond the disdain of their neighbors. Ultimately, they are forced to make life-changing decisions that depend on their courage and their commitment to one another.
Neil Bartlett£6.99 £6.50
It is 3 a.m. in The City, and in a dark corner of The Bar, two lovers collide in the beginnings of a passionate and violent affair. Boy: nineteen, beautiful, ready for anyone to take him home, and 'O': the Older Man, cynical, unpredictable, and at the mercy of his personal demons. Their romance is orchestrated and observed by the owner of The Bar, Madame, who looks after her boys and ensures that their haven remains inviolate. At once a joyful celebration of homosexual love and culture, and a devastating evocation of the homophobic climate which stemmed from the 80s AIDS crisis, Ready to Catch Him Should He Fall offers a decisively contemporary recasting of the traditional love story. First published in 1990 and immediately acclaimed as the work of a bold new voice in English fiction, Neil Bartlett's powerful debut continues to shine with an ageless wisdom and wit.
Mary Renault£8.99 £8.36
The first in a sensational trilogy exploring the legendary life of Alexander the Great. Alexander's beauty, strength and defiance were apparent from birth, but his boyhood honed those gifts into the makings of a king. His mother, Olympias, and his father, King Philip of Macedon, fought each other for their son's loyalty, teaching Alexander politics and vengeance from the cradle. His love for the youth Hephaistion taught him trust, while Aristotle's tutoring provoked his mind and Homer's Iliad fuelled his aspirations. Killing his first man in battle at the age of twelve, he became regent at sixteen and commander of Macedon's cavalry at eighteen, so that by the time his father was murdered, Alexander's skills had grown to match his fiery ambition.
AJ Fitzwater£10.99 £10.22
No Man’s Land is a historical fantasy and a love story set in the golden plains of North Otago, in the South Island of Aotearoa New Zealand. Dorothea ‘Tea’ Gray joins the Land Service and is sent to work on a remote farm, one of many young women who filled the empty shoes left by fathers and brothers serving in the Second World War. But Tea finds more than hard work and hot sun in the dusty North Otago nowhere—she finds a magic inside herself she never could have imagined, a way to save her brother in a distant land she never thought she could reach, and a love she never knew existed. Inspired by feminist and LGBTQ+ history and family wartime memories, A.J. Fitzwater has turned a piece of forgotten women’s history into a tapestry of furious pride and love that crosses cultures, countries and decades.