Are you searching for the best LGBTQ+ mlm books? These are the 13 absolute best mlm books that you need to get your hands on.
This post contains affiliate links. That said, I won’t ever recommend a book I haven’t read and loved myself.
Few things make me happier than reading LGBTQ+ Books. Especially mlm books. But I feel like the same 5 mlm books get recommended over and over again online. And if you're anything like me, then sometimes you like to expand your horizons when shopping for books. As a huge fan of LGBTQ+ books, I'm recommending 13 mlm books I absolutely loved.
You are going to learn all about the best LGBTQ+ mlm books from graphic novels to ya contemporary books.
There are so many incredible LGBTQ+ books, but for now, here are my absolute favourite mlm books you need to read.
This post is all about LGBTQ+ mlm books
What is an mlm book?
MLM can mean either multi-level marketing or man loves men. As a general rule, when talking about books it normally means Men loving Men. It's used to highlight books with specifically gay male representation.
What are the best mlm books?
1. Running with Lions by Julian Winters
Running with Lions is so underrated! Running with Lions is a sports romance set at a summer camp. It features a bisexual main character and a diverse sports team. It also has an adorable enemies to lovers romance.
This book follows Sebastian Hughes who is going to a summer training camp. And he is a member of an incredible team where he can be open about his sexuality. But Emir, an old best friend who hates his guts, is also at the camp.
I love how this book deals with sexuality in sports! There are not enough books that deal explicity with sexuality and diversity within sports. It was so refreshing to read about an accepting football team.
The author is Julian Winters. He started writing because he couldn’t find any books with people like him. Running with Lions won accolades for its positive depictions of diverse, relatable characters. The relationships between the football team are insanely heartwarming. Sebastian’s team is a multi-ethnic group with many different sexual orientations and they almost become a family.
Good reads rating: 3.72
2. Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender
If you're looking for books with summer vibes then you need to read Felix Ever After. Felix Ever After is an own voices book featuring a black, queer and transgender main character. It has an excellent revenge plot and friends to lovers romance.
It follows Felix Love who has never been in love. And he is desperate to experience it.
An anonymous student starts sending him transphobic messages. And the student publicly posts Felix’s deadname. Along with photos of him before his transition.
Felix decides to plot revenge. But his catfishing lands him in a love triangle.
Kacen Callender wrote Felix Ever After. Callender also won the Stonewall Book Award and Lambda literary award for Hurricane Child. They do a particularly good job at discussing difficult topics such as class disadvantage, transphobia and body dysmorphia. Oh and it features an adorable friends to lovers m/m romance.
Good reads rating: 4.37
3. Heartstopper by Alice Oseman
This is one of those books that is hyped up a lot online. But for good reason! Heartstopper is a bestselling LGBTQ+ YA book. And it's so popular that it's even being adapted into a Netflix TV Series. It's a friends to lovers romance set in a high school. If you're looking for graphic novels, then you absolutely need to read this one.
The book series follows Charlie Spring and Nick Nelson. Charlie Spring is an openly gay student in year 10. And he meets Nick Nelson a soft-hearted rugby player in year 11. They quickly become friends. But could there be something more?
Alice Oseman wrote and illustrated the graphic novel series. She is insanely talented. And she secured her first publishing deal at just 17 years old!
The graphics are stunning! Seeing the characters faces means you can really feel their emotions while reading it. And it's also an excellent choice if you're in a reading slump or just getting back into reading. Graphic novels are really easy to read. And this is a really light-hearted read.
Good reads rating: 4.52
4. Under the whispering door by T.J. Klune
If you're new to fantasy then I highly recommend T.J Klune's work. The writing is easy-to-read and while it includes fantasy elements, this book reads as more of a YA Contemporary.
It follows Wallace Price. A reaper comes to collect him from his own funeral. But instead of taking him directly to the afterlife, leads him to a tea shop in a small village.
Hugo runs the teashop but is also the ferryman to souls who need to cross over. But Wallace isn't ready to abandon the life he barely lived.
This book deals with so many heavy topics such as death, grief and loss. But despite such heavy topics this is such a light-hearted, comforting read. T.J. Klune uses laughter, emotions and romance to it.
If you're looking for fantasy books for beginners, you should definitely pick up some of T.J Klune's work. His writing is fantastic - easy to follow and simplistic with no purple prose.
Good reads rating: 4.26
5. A Marvellous Light by Freya Marske
There is so much to love about A Marvellous Light. It's an mlm romance about magic, a mystery to solve and a secret magical society. And it also has serious dark academia vibes.
It follows Robin Blyth. Due to an administrative error, he is named liaison to a secret magical society. So, he is forced to contend with magic's dangers and a deadly curse while he searches for his missing predecessor.
To do this, he'll need the help of Edwin Courcey. Edwin Courcey is his prickly magical society counterpart but he clearly wishes Robin were anyone else.
I love the secret society of magicians. And the Edwardian setting and mlm romance sets it apart from other books including secret magical societies.
If you like historical fiction or dark academia then you need to read this one. It's fantastic to read about gay men in an Edwardian setting.
Good reads rating: 4.13
6. Six of Crows & Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
Six of Crows is a ya fantasy duology about a magical heist. It also has excellent LGBTQ+ representation with an mlm romance between two main characters. It features super sassy banter, found family trope and a criminal heist.
It six teenagers living in Ketterdam. Kaz Brekker, a criminal prodigy, is one of the teens. He is offered a deadly heist for a huge payout.
But it’s an impossible heist. And Kaz will need all the help he can get to pull it off. So, he assembles five other teens to help him.
There is so much to love about Six of Crows – magic found family and super sassy banter. But I also love the LGBTQ+ representation. Jesper is one of the best bisexual characters
Jesper is one of the best bisexual characters I've ever read. And the romance between him and Wylan is perfect. You can seriously feel the chemistry sizzling between them when you read it.
Six of Crows is like a fantasy version of Oceans Eleven. If you’re a fan of the friendship group in A Court of Mist and Fury you should read this. There was plenty of banter between the friendship group.
Good reads rating: 4.47
7. The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater
The Raven Cycle is an incredible series. It's a paranormal ya fantasy book that features an excellent slowburn mlm romance. It also has a lot of autumnal imagery and would be a great book to read in Fall.
The Raven Boys follows Blue. Each year in the churchyard, Blue watches her psychic mother see those who are going to die that year. Blue never actually sees them herself. Until this year. When she speaks directly to a boy.
He is called Gansey and is a student at Aglionby school. The students there are known locally as Raven Boys.
Raven Boys has such dark academia vibes. It’s set in a local private school. Gansey is also obsessed with researching Welsh mythology. And it even references Latin.
The characters are what make this book. On the surface, it seems like a quirky loner meeting rich boys. But it’s so much more than that! The characters are all fully developed with fleshed-out (and tragic) backstories. The relationships between them are some of the best I’ve read in YA Fiction.
Good Reads Rating: 405
8. Red, White and Royal Blue
It follows Prince Henry and Alex Claremont Diaz. They cause a scandal in the press and have to pretend to be friends.
It made the New York Times Bestseller list and won a Good Reads Choice award. Also over 30,000 people have reviewed it on Good Reads.
This is such a comforting book to read. It's an empowering queer romance story that takes place in a parallel universe where a woman with mixed-race children is president. And it has such feel good vibes.
The relationships between the characters are what make this book so special. The chemistry between the main characters is excellent. And the banter is genuinely really funny.
Good reads rating: 4.21
9. Fence by C.S Pacat and Johanna the Mad
If you're looking for an LGBTQ+ graphic novel - then I highly, highly recommend Fence. Fence is a comic book series about an illegitmate son of an Olympic champion who joins the fencing team. It's a lighthearted sports romance series with a diverse cast. Plus you can read it on Scribd.
The graphic comic book series follows Nicolas Cox. He's the illegitimate son to an Olympic Champion fencer. And he is determined to make it as a fencer. But the fencing world is uber competitive and he's an outsider. He signs up for a competition. But he's put head-to-head with a fencing prodigy
I'm obsessed with the characters in this comic book series. They're insanely likeable. Especially Nicolas. Let me tell you - I was sooo invested in Nicolas making the fencing team. Plus Nicolas and Seiji also have a great potential 'enemies to lovers' romance.
This is so easy to binge read. Graphic novels are very easy to read. But the found family, diverse cast and school setting make this especially binge worthy. If you're suffering from a reading slump or if you're a fan of Heartstopper then this would be a great choice.
Good reads rating: 3.98
10. Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
Song of Achilles is one of those books that always seems to get recommended when people mention LGBTQ+ Books on social media. And I was unsure whether to include it for that reason. But, I felt I couldn't write a post on mlm books without mentioning it.
Song of Achilles is a Greek Mythology retelling. It focuses on the romance between Achilles and Patroclus. It has one of the most adorable but also the most heartbreaking mlm romances.
The book follows Achilles and Patroclus. Achilles is handsome, strong and irristable to all who meet him. While Patroclus is an awkward young prince exiled from his homeland.
They are trained by the centaur Chiron in the arts of war and medicine. But they discover that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped. All the heroes are called upon to lay siege to Troy. Achilles joins their cause. And Patroclus follows. But the years that follow will test everything.
Song of Achilles has had almost 700,000 thousand reviews on Good Reads and it's still rated 4.4 stars. The ending is absolutely devastating. Even if you have a knowledge of Greek mythology and know what's going to happen. The way Madeline Miller depicts the strong and passionate romance between Achilles and Patroclus is incredible. The writing is beautiful and will have you sobbing like a child.
Good Reads Rating: 4.4 stars
11. Silver in the Wood by Emily Tesh
If you're looking for fantasy books with mlm romance - then you should definitely read Silver in the Wood. It's a fantasy book set in a magical forest. And it has an insanely cute grumpy/sunshine friends to lovers mlm romance. Plus it references mythological creatures such as dryads and faeries.
It follows Tobias who is a forest guardian. He is tasked to look after the forest. One day Henry Silver moves into Greenhollow Hall and everything changes. Silver starts to dig up old secrets that are best left forgotten. Plus they have an adorable mlm romance.
If you like the cottagecore aesthetic then you'll enjoy this book. The forest imagery is absolute gorgeous and definitely made me want to live in a cottage in the woods. It's really whimsical and enchanting.
This is also such a short and easy read. I listened to the audiobook. And the whole duology is only 5 hours. So you can easily binge read this in one setting. If you have a long journey this would also be the perfect audiobook to listen to because you can finish it in 5 hours. You can listen to the audiobook on Audible
Good reads routine: 4.02
12. The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta
This is one of my all time favourite books. Black Flamingo is a coming of age story about a mixed-race, gay teenager finding his identity and the power of drag. It is written in beautiful verse. It's a powerful story about embracing your uniqueness.
It follows Michael a British boy of Greek-Cypriot and Jamaican descent. And he is trying to come to terms with his identify as a mixed-race gay teen. Then at university he finds his wings as a drag artist Black Flamingo.
Before reading Black Flamingo my experience reading poetry was limited. If you're looking to read more poetry then this would be an excellent starting point. Dean Atta has a way of writing poetry that just compels you to keep listening.
It's a beautiful, light read. But at the same time it touches on so many truths. It particularly explores Blackness, Queerness and gender. There were many parts that had me tearing up. But I particularly enjoyed the following:
Don’t come out unless you want to. Don’t come out for anyone else’s sake. Don’t come out because you think society expects you to.
Come out for yourself."
Good reads routine: 4.41
13. The Backstagers by James Tynion IV and Rian Sigh
Okay, this is such a wholesome LGBTQ+ graphic novel. If you're a fan of Heartstopper, The Tea Dragon Society or the LumberJanes then you'll probably enjoy this one. It's a graphic novel featuring a mlm romance and the found family trope.
It follows Jory. He transfers to an all-boys private high school. But at first he's not happy at the school. Until he's taken in by the only ones who don't treat him like a new kid - the lowly stage crew known as the Backstagers.
The backstagers are a group of students who help backstage at plays. He makes great, lifetime friends. But he is also introduced to an entire magical world that lives beyond the curtain.
This is such a light-hearted, easy read. It's fairly short and the graphic style makes it easy to read pretty quickly. The romance was a bit insta-lovey. But it's such a wholesome read that it doesn't really matter. If you have a train journey this would be the perfect length read.