100 books like A Gentleman Never Keeps Score

By Cat Sebastian,

Here are 100 books that A Gentleman Never Keeps Score fans have personally recommended if you like A Gentleman Never Keeps Score. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Ice Planet Barbarians

Avalon Griffin Author Of Unbound by Shadows

From my list on romance for empowering escapism.

Why am I passionate about this?

I started reading romance because I wanted to drown myself in stories of women stepping into their power and getting everything they wanted. Romance is a genre often looked down upon because of the happy-ever-afters, but I think that’s part of why it can be so deliciously subversive. Most (but not all) romance novels are centered on women, their voices, their sexuality, their desires, and their victories. In a world that’s often cruel, escaping into a world where dreams and fantasies are possible can be liberating. I started writing romance because I wanted to be a part of these stories and craft a world for others to escape into.

Avalon's book list on romance for empowering escapism

Avalon Griffin Why did Avalon love this book?

No, this isn't the title of a B-movie—it's the fun, sexy, and surprisingly sweet start of a series with wonderful world-building and likable characters.

This book is about how a group of human women abducted by evil aliens crash-land on a planet full of hunky, endearing aliens and the adventures they share.

I loved how the aliens cherished and celebrated the women in this story instead of reviling their humanity, as I've seen in other sci-fi stories. The spicy scenes are hot, and the heroine is a natural leader who doesn't passively wait around to be rescued.

This is a dual-POV story, and the alien hero's confusion over human quirks is quite funny. Escapism at its best!

By Ruby Dixon,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Ice Planet Barbarians as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

You'd think being abducted by aliens would be the worst thing that could happen to me. And you'd be wrong. Because now, the aliens are having ship trouble, and they've left their cargo of human women - including me - on an ice planet.

And the only native inhabitant I've met? He's big, horned, blue, and really, really has a thing for me...


Book cover of Dark Needs at Night's Edge

Avalon Griffin Author Of Unbound by Shadows

From my list on romance for empowering escapism.

Why am I passionate about this?

I started reading romance because I wanted to drown myself in stories of women stepping into their power and getting everything they wanted. Romance is a genre often looked down upon because of the happy-ever-afters, but I think that’s part of why it can be so deliciously subversive. Most (but not all) romance novels are centered on women, their voices, their sexuality, their desires, and their victories. In a world that’s often cruel, escaping into a world where dreams and fantasies are possible can be liberating. I started writing romance because I wanted to be a part of these stories and craft a world for others to escape into.

Avalon's book list on romance for empowering escapism

Avalon Griffin Why did Avalon love this book?

I’m a sucker for stories about two outcasts who find belonging together, and this book does that beautifully.

It’s about a ballerina who haunts her beloved home after being murdered in the 1920s. She’s bored and desperately lonely until a crazed vampire becomes imprisoned in her mansion.

Because he’s not human, the vampire can see the beautiful ghost, and sparks fly.

This book is a master class in writing sexual tension since the characters can’t touch initially. Once they could touch, I loved how the heroine was fully comfortable in her sexuality and assertive with her less experienced vampire partner.

The author also does a great job of showing how the two progress and change through their own character arcs, with love being the catalyst for their growth. 

By Kresley Cole,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dark Needs at Night's Edge as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

On the night lovely Neomi Renate, a famous ballerina at the turn of the century, was murdered, an evil force turned her into a spectre - a phantom that's neither alive nor dead - and cursed her to relive her harrowing death every month during the full moon. Unable to leave her home, she has managed to scare away any trespassers, until she encounters an inhabitant even more terrifying than Neomi herself.

When Conrad Wroth, a vampire warlord who's been half-mad for centuries, first beholds Neomi, he knows nothing will stop him from claiming the ethereal beauty as his own…


Book cover of A Duke by Default

Avalon Griffin Author Of Unbound by Shadows

From my list on romance for empowering escapism.

Why am I passionate about this?

I started reading romance because I wanted to drown myself in stories of women stepping into their power and getting everything they wanted. Romance is a genre often looked down upon because of the happy-ever-afters, but I think that’s part of why it can be so deliciously subversive. Most (but not all) romance novels are centered on women, their voices, their sexuality, their desires, and their victories. In a world that’s often cruel, escaping into a world where dreams and fantasies are possible can be liberating. I started writing romance because I wanted to be a part of these stories and craft a world for others to escape into.

Avalon's book list on romance for empowering escapism

Avalon Griffin Why did Avalon love this book?

Have you ever dreamed about escaping all your problems by picking up and moving to Scotland to become a sword-maker?

That’s exactly what the heroine does in this book. Contemporary romance isn’t my favorite, but everything Alyssa Cole writes is full of emotional depth, diverse characters, and chemistry for days.

The hero of this book is a sexy, lovable grouch, and the heroine battles her own insecurities and struggles with ADHD in a way that makes you want to cheer by the end of the book.

I loved the themes of finding your own path despite family expectations, and how the hero never tried to rein in the heroine but stepped up his own self-growth to meet her.

By Alyssa Cole,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Duke by Default as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An NPR Best Book of the Year - A Bookish Favorite Book of the Year - A Bookpage Best Romance of the Year

Award-winning author Alyssa Cole's Reluctant Royals series continues with a woman on a quest to be the heroine of her own story and the duke in shining armor she rescues along the way...

New York City socialite and perpetual hot mess Portia Hobbs is tired of disappointing her family, friends, and-most importantly-herself. An apprenticeship with a struggling swordmaker in Scotland is a chance to use her expertise and discover what she's capable of. Turns out she excels…


Book cover of The North Wind

Avalon Griffin Author Of Unbound by Shadows

From my list on romance for empowering escapism.

Why am I passionate about this?

I started reading romance because I wanted to drown myself in stories of women stepping into their power and getting everything they wanted. Romance is a genre often looked down upon because of the happy-ever-afters, but I think that’s part of why it can be so deliciously subversive. Most (but not all) romance novels are centered on women, their voices, their sexuality, their desires, and their victories. In a world that’s often cruel, escaping into a world where dreams and fantasies are possible can be liberating. I started writing romance because I wanted to be a part of these stories and craft a world for others to escape into.

Avalon's book list on romance for empowering escapism

Avalon Griffin Why did Avalon love this book?

For fans of slow-burn, enemies-to-lovers fantasy, this book is gold.

With Beauty and the Beast and Hades and Persephone vibes, this book tells the story of a human woman who is kidnapped and wed to the Frost King, a brooding immortal.

The writing is beautiful, and I appreciated how it took a long time for the heroine and hero to trust each other and break down their walls. Both characters are deeply flawed, yet you still root for their happiness.

The world-building is lovely and folkloric. Getting into the steamy parts takes a while, but it’s worth the wait!

By Alexandria Warwick,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The North Wind as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Lush. Dark. Romantic. Introducing a newly reimagined tale written in the vein of Beauty and the Beast and Hades and Persephone.

Long before civilization, there were the gods. And before the gods, there was the earth, the celestial bodies, and air given flesh. They are the Anemoi-the Four Winds-and they have been banished to the four corners of the world.

Wren of Edgewood is no stranger to suffering. Her parents are gone. Survival is all she knows. For three hundred years, the land known as the Gray has been encased in ice, surrounded by a great barrier called the Shade,…


Book cover of The Soldier's Scoundrel

Katherine Grant Author Of The Viscount Without Virtue

From my list on historical romances for intersectional feminists.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a historical romance reader, I’m a sucker for stories about the glamorous aristocracy falling in love. While Regency and Victorian romances have explored feminism for at least the last two decades, the genre often falls short of asking more of itself. Of course the debutante shouldn’t need a man – but while the story liberates her, it doesn’t take any notice of the non-aristocratic,  non-Anglican, non-White, less-abled, and/or non-cishet straight characters around her. I yearned for stories that required my favorite aristocrats to acknowledge, examine, and leverage their privilege. All five of these authors deliver – without forgetting our favorite tropes and genre conventions!

Katherine's book list on historical romances for intersectional feminists

Katherine Grant Why did Katherine love this book?

Whenever I read a Cat Sebastian, I sigh in envy at how well she writes nuanced characters with nuanced emotions.

In Soldier’s Scoundrel, two heroes from very different backgrounds unite around a single goal.

From Jack’s perspective, we see the challenges of poverty and classism. From Oliver, we see a veteran trying to adjust to everyday life.

Together, they try to protect and defend women from physical, emotional, and economic abuse. Their love story is beautiful, requires them to pierce layers of their psyches to find vulnerability, and makes you feel all of the feels.

Even better, by the end of the novel, I had a new perspective on how the patriarchy works in societal systems. This is a read that made my empathy grow like the Grinch’s heart! 

By Cat Sebastian,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Soldier's Scoundrel as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A scoundrel who lives in the shadows

 

Jack Turner grew up in the darkness of London’s slums, born into a life of crime and willing to do anything to keep his belly full and his siblings safe. Now he uses the tricks and schemes of the underworld to help those who need the kind of assistance only a scoundrel can provide. His distrust of the nobility runs deep and his services do not extend to the gorgeous high-born soldier who personifies everything Jack will never be. 

 

A soldier untarnished by vice

 

After the chaos of war, Oliver Rivington craves the…


Book cover of All Down Darkness Wide: A Memoir

Simon Wu Author Of Dancing on My Own: Essays on Art, Collectivity, and Joy

From my list on overthink and cry at the club with.

Why am I passionate about this?

For the last seven years, I’ve worked with art and artists, particularly those who prioritize spaces like nightclubs as spaces of expression. Museums and nightclubs have both helped me bring my fullest self to fruition, from my queer experiences to my immigrant experiences. I believe something magical resides within those spaces that connect friends, family, and music, and it remains difficult to put a finger on, but you recognize it when you see it. These books are just a taste of a way to better understand that experience of collectivity—across love, friendship, and art—and I hope you enjoy them as much as I have! 

Simon's book list on overthink and cry at the club with

Simon Wu Why did Simon love this book?

I loved Hewitt’s writing style; it’s lush and intimate and deeply personal, and overall a heartwrenching queer memoir about loving someone who doesn’t want to love themselves anymore.

Trained as a poet, Hewitt has a knack for turning very mundane personal experiences into luminous scenes infused with spirituality. 

By Sean Hewitt,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked All Down Darkness Wide as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A luminous memoir from the prize-winning poet - a story of love, heartbreak and coming of age, and a tender exploration of queer identity.

'Beautiful' Colm Toibin
'Rapturous' New York Times
'Extraordinary' Observer
'Stunning' Sunday Times

When Sean meets Elias, the two fall headlong into a love story. But as Elias struggles with severe depression, the couple comes face to face with crisis.

Wrestling with this, Sean Hewitt delves deep into his own history, enlisting the ghosts of queer figures and poets before him. From a nineteenth-century cemetery in Liverpool to the pine forests of Gothenburg, Hewitt plumbs the darkness…


Book cover of 'Curing Queers': Mental Nurses and Their Patients, 1935-74

Lesley Glaister Author Of A Particular Man

From my list on relationships and sexuality in post-World War II Britain.

Why am I passionate about this?

About myself: As a novelist I’m crazy for detail. I believe it’s the odd and unexpected aspects of life that bring both characters and story worlds to life. This means that I try to be an observer at all times, keeping alert and using all five – and maybe six – senses. My perfect writing morning begins with a dog walk in the woods or on a beach, say, while keeping my senses sharp to the world around me and listening out for the first whisper of what the day’s writing will bring.

Lesley's book list on relationships and sexuality in post-World War II Britain

Lesley Glaister Why did Lesley love this book?

I read this while researching my novel and what an eye-opener it turned out to be. It draws on a rich source of resources and the personal testimonies of gay men in the mid-20th century. These are touching and sometimes upsetting as well as illuminating and clearly demonstrate how much more tolerant our culture has become.

I was really moved as well as fascinated and educated by this beautifully put together book.

By Tommy Dickinson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked 'Curing Queers' as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Drawing on a rich array of source materials including previously unseen, fascinating (and often quite moving) oral histories, archival and news media sources, 'Curing queers' examines the plight of men who were institutionalised in British mental hospitals to receive 'treatment' for homosexuality and transvestism, and the perceptions and actions of the men and women who nursed them. It examines why the majority of the nurses followed orders in administering the treatment - in spite of the zero success-rate in 'straightening out' queer men - but also why a small number surreptitiously defied their superiors by engaging in fascinating subversive behaviours.…


Book cover of A Marvellous Light

S.H. Cotugno Author Of The Glass Scientists

From my list on a spicy queer romp through history.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a queer, nonbinary author and lover of historical fiction, I’ve spent countless hours thinking about how to tell stories I care about in a genre that has traditionally excluded people like me. We all know that life was hard for LGBTQ+ folks growing up in, well, basically any time in recent history. There’s a time and place for realistic depictions of those hardships, but we also need space to imagine ourselves in more joyful, fantastical depictions of the past. After all, if straight people can enjoy Jane Austen without thinking too hard about the legal rights of women during that era, why can’t queer people do the same? 

S.H.'s book list on a spicy queer romp through history

S.H. Cotugno Why did S.H. love this book?

I’ve been a huge advocate for queer representation in kids’ and YA stories for years, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve started to crave stories about queer adults. I want to know what life looks like after coming out, after coming of age. That’s why I was delighted to discover A Marvellous Light, an Edwardian-era romantic caper chock-full of sprawling country manors, scheming aristocrats, and lots and lots of magic!

If you’re looking for a golden retriever/black cat romance with Jane Austen or E. M. Forster vibes, this one might be for you, though the previous warning regarding unsuspecting cishets still applies: despite its old-timey setting, this book doesn’t pull any punches in its steamier scenes, taking a refreshingly frank and direct approach to sexuality. 

By Freya Marske,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked A Marvellous Light as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Set in an alternative Edwardian England, this is a comedy of manners, manor houses, and hedge mazes - including a magic-infused murder mystery and a delightful queer romance.

'Lush historical fantasy . . . A delightful book, with richly developed characters' - New York Times

'Mystery! Magic! Murder! . . . This book is a confection, both marvellous and light' - Alix E. Harrow, author of The Ten Thousand Doors of January

For fans of Georgette Heyer or Julia Quinn's Bridgerton, who'd like to welcome magic into their lives . . .

Young baronet Robin Blyth thought he was taking…


Book cover of Something Fabulous

Sylvia Barry Author Of Lessons in Timing

From my list on grumpy/sunshine romance with a healthy side of yearning.

Why are we passionate about this?

Sylvia Barry is our invention, a solitary witch who writes queer romance from her lighthouse keep. As a pair of co-authors, one of us grew up with the dry humor of Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams, and the other grew up with fanfiction and romance tropes. We came together to write quirky, queer romances that are playful and ironic but also deal with deeper themes of self-discovery, trauma healing, and community. Rivals-to-lovers and grumpy/sunshine are our favorite tropes to write, especially in dual (or more!) POV, because the Yearning is always juicy, and we play off each other’s energy as we write our opposing characters.

Sylvia's book list on grumpy/sunshine romance with a healthy side of yearning

Sylvia Barry Why did Sylvia love this book?

It’s Oscar Wilde and the cast of Monty Python having an orgy on the set of Bridgerton–what’s not to love? 

Alexis Hall is an auto-buy author for us, and Something Fabulous is one of our favorites. It’s a hysterical romp–sexy and romantic but also deeply irreverent and laugh-out-loud funny. Chock full of shenanigans, relatable and diverse characters, and a fresh reimagining of Regency romance.

We love a grumpy duke. We love a chaotic, wide-eyed ward. We LOVE Sir Horley Comewithers and his questionable cabin in the woods. There’s a scene with a bee that has caused irreparable damage to our lungs and ribs. 

By Alexis Hall,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Something Fabulous as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the acclaimed author of Boyfriend Material comes a delightfully witty romance featuring a reserved duke who’s betrothed to one twin and hopelessly enamoured of the other.

Valentine Layton, the Duke of Malvern, has twin problems: literally.

It was always his father’s hope that Valentine would marry Miss Arabella Tarleton. But, unfortunately, too many novels at an impressionable age have caused her to grow up…romantic. So romantic that a marriage of convenience will not do and after Valentine’s proposal she flees into the night determined never to set eyes on him again.

Arabella’s twin brother, Mr. Bonaventure “Bonny” Tarleton, has…


Book cover of Widdershins

E.H. Lupton Author Of Dionysus in Wisconsin

From my list on queer historical romances with way too much plot.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a long-time writer who recently published my first two books in a genre I’ll call urban fantasy/queer historical romance. I also co-host a history podcast. It’s made me much more interested in how time and place figure into fiction! I also love a good love story, but after devouring a ton of romance novels, I realized I want a good plot to go along with the googly eyes and tender declarations of eternal devotion.

E.H.'s book list on queer historical romances with way too much plot

E.H. Lupton Why did E.H. love this book?

In this book, we get to watch philologist Percival Endicott Whyborne solve a dark mystery from his past and battle an evil cult in the company of Griffin Flaherty, an ex-Pinkerton turned private detective, and it is delightful.

Widdershins, MA feels like a real place, but also somewhere plucked directly from the pages of H. P. Lovecraft. Whyborne and Griffin’s relationship is sweet and tender. Whyborne’s best friend, Christine Putnam, is a spitfire in the best possible way. The early twentieth century is rendered in loving detail. And there’s a ton of dark humor. What’s not to love?

This is book one in a series of eleven, so you’ll have plenty to sink your teeth into.

By Jordan L. Hawk,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Widdershins as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A reclusive scholar. A private detective. And a book of spells that could destroy the world.Love is dangerous. Ever since the tragic death of the friend he adored, Percival Endicott Whyborne has ruthlessly suppressed any desire for another man. Instead, he spends his days studying dead languages at the museum where he works. So when handsome ex-Pinkerton Griffin Flaherty approaches him to translate a mysterious book, Whyborne wants to finish the job and get rid of the detective as quickly as possible.Griffin left the Pinkertons after the death of his partner. Now in business for himself, he must investigate the…


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