Trans Love | Collection Development

Build your collection of trans and nonbinary romances with this list of key titles.

Everyone who wants to should be able to see themselves in a romance novel. The ecstatic joy of reading about people falling in love is only amplified when readers connect to the characters on a personal level.

Romance has a reputation—absolutely warranted—of being an exclusive club. Until fairly recently, it was rare to see publishers pick up books starring Black characters, other people of color, or LGBTQIA+ leads. Also still rarely seen are disabled, chronically ill, or neurodiverse leads (rarer still are nuanced depictions of disability). Romance is very slow to change, but it is changing for the better and beginning to include main characters who are not white, cisgender, and straight.

As an example, transgender and nonbinary romance is finally starting to pick up steam (pun intended) in the publishing world. For years, readers could find these romances through self-publishing platforms, but they are starting to break into traditional publishing. These books fill a necessity in the market to show love involving people of all genders with their different perspectives and needs. Contemporary romance regularly includes transgender, nonbinary, BIPOC, and disabled people as main or important side characters. However, there are certainly still gaps in the market. Fewer historical romances include transgender and nonbinary main characters, even though people have been transgender and nonbinary throughout history.

Librarians should note the tendency in romancelandia for white cisgender women authors to dominate the field of LGBTQIA+ romance, particularly m/m pairings. Some title selections here illustrate this, with m/m transgender and m/f transgender stories specifically. As a community of librarians, and a community of readers, we need to push for more stories written by people who share the perspectives of their characters. This does not mean that romances written by white women are bad or out of touch, or that librarians shouldn’t purchase them. However, it is important that selectors lift up Black authors, queer male authors, trans authors, authors who are more than one of these identities, and all underrepresented voices in order to ensure that people from all experiences are invited to the conversation and can influence the genre. It is also important to note that not all authors who are trans or non-binary are in a position to be out and are not required to be out. Assumptions about gender identity of authors should be made with caution.

These books document a range of romance from sexy to chaste, with tropes noted when they are present, and all feature trans or nonbinary leads. Starred titles () are essential for most collections.


Aimes, Penny. For the Love of April French. Carina Adores. 2021. 352p. ISBN 9781335630995. $14.99.

This is one of the highest-rated romances of 2021, and it isn’t hard to see why. A fluffy BDSM m/f trans romance (yes, they exist!) that does not disappoint.

Alexander, TJ. Chef’s Kiss. Atria/Emily Bestler. 2022. 320p. ISBN 9781982189082. $17.

Perfectionist pastry chef Simone is thrown by the transition to video content at her job and her outgoing and brash new manager Ray. A frenemies-to-lovers f/nonbinary romance that’s as comforting as pot pie.

Kelly, Anita. Love and Other Disasters. Forever. 2022. 384p. ISBN 9781538754849. $15.99.

London, the first nonbinary contestant on the United States’ favorite cooking show, wasn’t expecting love when they signed up to compete, but that’s exactly what they find with clumsy divorcée Dahlia. This f/nonbinary is equal parts sweet and spicy.

Lee, Victoria. A Shot in the Dark. Random House. 2022. 336p. ISBN 9780593500514. $17.

Ely has a steamy night with a stranger, but then finds out the stranger is an art legend and her new photography professor, Wyatt. Their shared traumas deepen their connection, but their professional relationship requires that they not pursue a romance. This trans m/f story is passionate, genuine, and deep.

Metzger, Matthew J. What It Looks Like. JMS Bks. 2016. 266p. ISBN 9781535376068. $15.50.

Eli, the transgender son of a police chief and a forensic scientist, has his world flipped upside down by Rob, a former convict. This hot and heavy m/m romance has a rich story and emotional depth.

Milan, Courtney. Hold Me. self-published. 2016. 350p. ISBN 9781539664369. $15.

Maria is a viral STEM blogger who’s been talking to a man through her blog for months. Little does she know it’s the sexy, annoying Jay on the other end! This modernized You’ve Got Mail is an ambitious m/f enemies-to-lovers trans romp.

North, Vanessa. Roller Girl. Riptide. 2016. 130p. ISBN 9781626494183. $9.99.

When Tina calls a local plumber, she doesn’t expect the woman of her dreams to walk through the door. Not only does Joe fix her plumbing issue, she also introduces Tina to roller derby, female friendships, and passion. A f/f sports romance featuring a trans main character that is certain to entertain.

Northcote, Jay. Second Chance. self-published. 2018. 254p. ISBN 9781717134417. $10.99.

Nate moves back to his hometown with his daughter but is uncomfortable with people knowing who he was before—until he reconnects with his best friend from high school and sparks fly. This m/m trans friends-to-lovers brings heat and authenticity.

Ottoman, EE. Documenting Light. Brain Mill. 2016. 292p. ISBN 9781942083429. $16.95.

Wyatt comes to the historical society to learn about an old photograph and is helped by the weary historian Grayson, a nonbinary person who’s lost their confidence. This slow-paced m/nonbinary romance is tender and atmospheric.

Ripper, Kris. The Love Study. Carina Adores. 2020. 336p. ISBN 9781335943194. $14.99.

Nonbinary YouTuber Sidney hosts an advice show and decides to help Declan out by starting a new series. Sidney sets Declan up on a bunch of dates, and Declan reports back on how each date went. This adorable m/nonbinary romance is perfect for fans of adult contemporary and new adult.

Seabrooke, Lily. Fake It. self-published. 2021. 462p. ISBN 9798451184288. $19.95.

Fans of the fake-dating trope, rejoice! New restaurant owner Avery faces backlash from a seasoned restaurateur, and in swoops TV cooking star Holly Mason to save the day! A trans f/f bisexual romance that’s full of drama and a little bit of steam.

Zabo, Anna. Reverb. Carina. 2019. 317p. ISBN 9781488051265. $3.99.

Musician Mish Sullivan takes charge and refuses to hide from a stalker. She is interested in David, her bodyguard, not for safety but because their chemistry is its own music. Mish is pansexual and David is trans in this fresh take on the bodyguard trope.

Zeller, Dov. The Right Thing To Do at the Time. Tiny Golem Pr. 2018. 347p. ISBN 9781893121560. $12.94.

This witty, modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice is also an exploration of Jewish culture and the meaning of love. The trans m/m romance is sweet and complex.


Ridley, Erica. The Perks of Loving a Wallflower. Forever. 2021. 346p. ISBN 9781538719541. $8.99.

Tommy is a master of disguise and solver of mysteries. Her new client is disinterested in male suitors and unhurt when her betrothed runs off with another woman. This nonbinary/f Regency romance is charming and fun, perfect for fans of Bridgerton.

Sebastian, Cat. Unmasked by the Marquess. Avon Impulse. 2018. 320p. ISBN 9780062821607. $5.99.

Robert seeks the help of Alistair, Marquess of Pembroke, to launch his sister into society. Eventually Alistair agrees, in part due to Robert’s charm and beauty. This intricately plotted m/nonbinary romance is a delightful slow burn with many twists and turns.


Bakkalian, Nyri A. Grey Dawn. Balance of Seven. 2020. 262p. ISBN 9781947012059. $15.

A genre-bending time-travel romance between a female Union soldier who disappeared at the Battle of Gettysburg and a present-day trans soldier. This f/f romance is original and certain to entertain military romance fans.

Chant, Austin. Peter Darling. self-published. 2021. 310p. ISBN 9781087808659. $12.

A retelling of the classic Peter Pan story, where Peter and Wendy are one and the same. Peter returns to Neverland after 10 years living as Wendy, to find that the Lost Boys are now men, and his old nemesis Hook is suddenly enticing. This m/m trans romance based on the fairy tale is sensual, clever, and a must-read.

Magdon, Rae D. Tengoku. Desert Palm. 2016. 364p. ISBN 9781942976271. $16.50.

Kaede is a wandering warrior accompanied by her spirit wolf. Imari, daughter of a daimyo, enlists Kaede’s help, and the two set off on an adventure that may change the fate of the Empire. This f/f friends-to-lovers transgender romance has rich worldbuilding based on Japanese mythology and folklore.

Peterson, May. The Calyx Charm. Carina. 2021. 343p. ISBN 9781488055201. $7.99.

This trans f/m fantasy retelling of Romeo and Juliet has it all—friends-to-lovers, familial conflict, and resurrection. What’s not to like?

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