Now that high school is over, Ari is dying to move to the big city with his ultra-hip band―if he can just persuade his dad to let him quit his job at their struggling family bakery. Though he loved working there as a kid, Ari cannot fathom a life wasting away over rising dough and hot ovens. But while interviewing candidates for his replacement, Ari meets Hector, an easygoing guy who loves baking as much as Ari wants to escape it. As they become closer over batches of bread, love is ready to bloom . . . that is, if Ari doesn’t ruin everything.
Writer Kevin Panetta and artist Savanna Ganucheau concoct a delicious recipe of intricately illustrated baking scenes and blushing young love, in which the choices we make can have terrible consequences, but the people who love us can help us grow.
An erotic graphic novel that pushes all the right buttons, Cheat(er) Code is a hilarious, sexy, and surprisingly tender story about navigating heartbreak and rediscovering your own confidence.
Kennedy and his boyfriend Seth have been together six years, and honestly, it's pretty comfortable. That is, until the couple gets into a huge, potentially relationship-changing fight. Kennedy turns to his trusty video games to distract himself, but when a random power surge hits, he's transported inside his video game library. Dazed and incredulous about his digital predicament, Ken finds himself seduced by a silver daddy, rutting with a couple of barbarians from an epic fantasy, and sorting through a lot of confusing feelings about his favorite anthropomorphic cheetah character. Kennedy will need to confront his biggest fears to get back to reality before the game glitches him out of existence, but sometimes, the unexpected (and unexpectedly sexy) is just what you need to hit the reset button.
Check, Please! is written and drawn by Ngozi Ukazu.
Eric Bittle—former Georgia junior figure skating champion, vlogger extraordinaire, and amateur pâtissier—is starting his freshman year playing hockey at the prestigious Samwell University in Samwell, Massachusetts. And it’s basically nothing like co-ed club hockey back in the South. For one?
It’s a story about hockey and friendship and bros and trying to find yourself during the best 4 years of your life.
Dani (@danidoit) read Check, Please! and says...
I LOVED the main character, he's so sweet and easy to root for... it's easy to see where the romance is going pretty quickly. The way the love story is handled is almost a little too good to be true. It's definitely a feel-good romance, not erotica.
I plan on recommending this to a friend of mine who is straight, but loves hockey (you learn a lot about hockey) and another friend who is gay but is not into sports. I think that both of them would get something out of it. Once I got around the technical difficulties (trying to find the best way to read it*) I had a hard time putting it down. I'm glad I found it when a lot of story line had already come out.
I would call this comic PG-13. There is definitely swearing (one character is named Shitty), but it didn't stand out to me, so I don't think it was offensive or out of character. Some characters do talk about hooking up, but it's a college setting with college-age characters.
*Love In Panels recommends reading this in the Tumblr app or heading to their shop and buying it in PDF.
Suzanne would like to add that Dani sent her texts at 10pm and the next morning at 9am raving about the comic and whining that she had to go to work instead of continuing to read. Sounds like this is a good one!
Fresh Romance, Vol. 1:
FRESH ROMANCE is an exciting collection of romance comics from some of comics' most talented creators, including Kate Leth, Arielle Jovellanos, Sarah Vaughn, Sarah Winifred Searle, Sarah Kuhn, Marguerite Bennett, and Trungles. From unhappy historical marriages to covert teenage romances, there's something for everyone in FRESH ROMANCE.
Fresh Romance, Vol. 2:
FRESH ROMANCE VOLUME 2 is an exciting collection of romance comics from some of comics' most talented creators, including Cecil Castellucci, Irene Koh, Sarah Winifred Searle, Sally Jane Thompson, Suzana Harcum & Owen White, and Julia Hutchinson. From testing new relationships to romances spanning decades, there's something for everyone in FRESH ROMANCE!
Suzanne's post from July 2016, originally posted at Heroes & Heartbreakers is below. Rosy Press's content was acquired by Emet Comics, who published the second volume of Fresh Romance.
Sometimes I get tired of reading novels (OMG did she just say that?!) and I flip on the latest episode of Jane the Virgin. And sometimes… I read comics. Okay, a lot of the time. I’m in a comics-for-ladies monthly discussion group called The League of Extraordinary Gentlewomen. It’s a real thing and it’s amazing.
So I’m maybe a little biased toward the graphic novel/comic medium.I love the way that a talented writing and art team can reveal character traits and plot points with such subtlety that you don’t pick up on it. While there’s still a lot of “cheesecake” (women drawn with an abundance of T&A and little clothing) in some comics, a great number of female-forward comics are being published and gaining popularity. Examples include: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Ms. Marvel, Saga, Sex Criminals, and of course, Buffy.
You probably want to know why I’m writing about comics on a romance site. Loads of comics have romance B-plots, but none of them have been 100% romance focused since the 70s. (Saga has an awesome star-crossed lovers in space with a baby thing going, but the romance isn’t always at the fore.)
Allow me to introduce Rosy Press’s Fresh Romance, a bimonthly comic featuring 3 10-page stories in each issue. These have been serialized up until now but are available in completed versions on their website and will be printed and available at a comic store near you (or online) on August 10. The stories are diverse in terms of setting, sexual orientation, and racial makeup.I’ve read the first three stories and loved them. There will be 5 in all in the print edition, but you can get them now digitally if you’d like.
High school kids involved in some hijinks. I wasn’t sure at first what was going on, but it’s intentionally written that way and it’s very cute. The characters are hiding their relationships for different reasons, mainly family judgments. Subtle exploration of the ways we might be biased against certain relationships while accepting those others might shun. Plus, boys who say things like “Dude. The reason you don’t have a prom date is because you talk about girls like that.” No stilted dialogue, and such good messaging.
Ruined by Sarah Vaughn, Sarah Winifred Searle & Ryan FerrierDo you read historicals set in England? The title of this one ought to tell you enough. The credits list a “historical consultant.” You guys, just read it. It’s got scandal, an unfortunate? marriage, and of course, the romance.
The Ruby Equation
Adorable cupid/fairy uses math/logic to match people to earn her way back to her homeworld and a “better” assignment. Hijinks ensue. Will Ruby realize her true calling and the value of love?
Here’s the copy from the Kickstarter for the print edition:
I’m sure some of you will tell me in the comments about the extensive range romance-focused manga out there. PLEASE DO. I haven’t started on manga because it’s intimidating. If you’re feeling that way about comics, Fresh Romance is a great place to start!
When Chris joins the staff at her local record store, she’s surprised to find out that her co-workers share a secret: they’re all members of a secret fight club that take on the patriarchy and fight crime!
Starry-eyed Chris has just started the dream job every outcast kid in town wants: working at Vinyl Mayhem. It's as rad as she imagined; her boss is BOSS, her co-workers spend their time arguing over music, pushing against the patriarchy, and endlessly trying to form a band. When Rosie Riot, the staff's favorite singer, mysteriously vanishes the night before her band’s show, Chris discovers her co-workers are doing more than just sorting vinyl . . . Her local indie record store is also a front for a teen girl vigilante fight club!
Follow writer Carly Usdin (director of Suicide Kale) and artist Nina Vakueva (Lilith’s World) into Heavy Vinyl, where they deliver a rock and roll tale of intrigue and boundless friendship.
From Volume 1: Grim Beginnings
Part-time grim reaper. Full-time cutie! Like most university students, Kim works a part-time job to make ends meet. Unlike most university students, Kim's job is pretty cool: she's a grim reaper, tasked with guiding souls into the afterlife.
Like most university students, Becka has a super intense crush. Unlike most university students, Becka's crush is on a beautiful gothic angel that frequents the underworld. Of course, she doesn't know that.
Unaware of the ghoulish drama she's about to step into, Becka finally gathers up the courage to ask Kim on a date! But when she falls into a ghostly portal and interrupts Kim at her job, she sets off a chain of events that will pit the two of them against angry cat-dads, vengeful zombies, and perhaps even the underworld itself. But if they work together, they just might make it... and maybe even get a smooch in the bargain.
A 2019 New York Public Library Best Books for Kids
A 2020 Tayshas Reading List Selection
A 2020 Maverick Graphic Novel Reading List Selection
Mads is pretty happy with her life. She goes to church with her family, and minor league baseball games with her dad. She goofs off with her best friend Cat, and has thus far managed to avoid getting kissed by Adam, the boy next door. It's everything she hoped high school would be… until all of a sudden, it's not.Her dad is hiding something big―so big it could tear her family apart. And that’s just the beginning of her problems: Mads is starting to figure out that she doesn't want to kiss Adam… because the only person she wants to kiss is Cat.
Kiss Number 8, a graphic novel from writer Colleen AF Venable and illustrator Ellen T. Crenshaw, is a layered, funny, sharp-edged story of teen sexuality and family secrets.
Author Mariko Tamaki and illustrator Rosemary Valero-O’Connell bring to life a sweet and spirited tale of young love in Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me, a graphic novel that asks us to consider what happens when we ditch the toxic relationships we crave to embrace the healthy ones we need.
Laura Dean, the most popular girl in high school, was Frederica Riley's dream girl: charming, confident, and SO cute. There's just one problem: Laura Dean is maybe not the greatest girlfriend.
Reeling from her latest break up, Freddy's best friend, Doodle, introduces her to the Seek-Her, a mysterious medium, who leaves Freddy some cryptic parting words: break up with her. But Laura Dean keeps coming back, and as their relationship spirals further out of her control, Freddy has to wonder if it's really Laura Dean that's the problem. Maybe it's Freddy, who is rapidly losing her friends, including Doodle, who needs her now more than ever.
Fortunately for Freddy, there are new friends, and the insight of advice columnists like Anna Vice to help her through being a teenager in love.
Two timelines. Second chances. One love.
A ragtag crew travels to the deepest reaches of space, rebuilding beautiful, broken structures to piece the past together.
Two girls meet in boarding school and fall deeply in love―only to learn the pain of loss.
With interwoven timelines and stunning art, award-winning graphic novelist Tillie Walden creates an inventive world, breathtaking romance, and an epic quest for love.
Tillie Walden has written a GIANT queer space opera that manages to be quiet and tense at the same time.
The story is told in two timelines, past and present, with a corresponding color change. The worldbuilding is fascinating, with the characters traveling through space to rebuilt various historic sites. The character development is also detailed, and though it's a little hard to sink into, with so many characters and two timelines, the payoff is worth it.
This book is over 500 pages, so when I say it's big? I mean it. It's sort of YA, sort of not, but it's definitely an f/f romance.
Patience is a kindhearted country girl, eking out a living in Edwardian England as tremors of social change rock the world around her. When she starts her employment in formal service on the grounds of an opulent country manor, she has no idea that her own personal revolution is about to begin.
Selfless, dutiful, and just a touch naive, she takes to both her place as a parlor maid and to her new roommate, the bookish and progressive lady’s maid, Esther. In another time, the two women would have kept one another’s company forever in their little attic bedroom, living out their days in the employ of a Lord. But it’s now the dawn of a new age. The expanding empire has brought with it not only plundered wealth, but worldliness and new ideas. Suffragists agitate in the street, idle-rich bohemians challenge sexual mores, and Patience and Esther slowly come to realize the world is wider and full of more adventure and opportunity than they ever imagined . . . so long as they find the will to seize it.
Sensual, sweet, and beautifully illustrated, PATIENCE & ESTHER is a steamy period romance and an inspirational erotic journey across the epic sweep of history, from the end of a gilded age to the start of an uncharted future.