The best recent LGBT romance novels

Chosen by Sarah MacLean for The Washington Post:
  1. "A Gentleman’s Position," by K.J. Charles (Loveswept)
    A fascinating examination of social and class lines in Regency England, when gay men and women were required to keep their sexuality secret for fear of imprisonment or death. For four years, Lord Richard Vane has been obsessed with his remarkable valet, David Cyprian. Not just an attendant with sartorial savvy, David is also an expert fixer, able to make nearly any scandal or political problem disappear.
  2. "Roller Girl," by Vanessa North (Riptide)
    When Tina Durham, a newly divorced trans woman, wakes to a flood in her kitchen, she never expects the plumber she calls to be a woman who will change her life. Joanne (Joe) Delario is more than an attractive handyperson — she’s also the captain of a roller derby team seeking new members. Tina is eager for a way to be close to Joe but even more eager for the new female friendships roller derby promises.
  3. "Fast Connection," by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell (self-published, e-book)
    Dominic Costigan returns from eight years of military service, searching for a place for himself in his home town. Determined to explore his interest in men, Dominic heads for Grindr and meets Luke Rawlings, who, like Dominic, is bisexual. Luke is a divorced father who is committed to keeping romantic relationships separate from his day-to-day life. This, of course, is not so simple. A former Marine, Luke understands Dominic’s need to start over better than anyone.
  4. "For Real," by Alexis Hall (Riptide)
    One of the best romance novels of the last year. At nearly 40, surgeon Laurence (Laurie) Dalziel is reeling from the end of a decade-long relationship. Against his better judgment, the submissive Laurie finds himself at a BDSM club, where he stumbles upon the much younger Toby Finch. What ensues is a romance that subverts many of the genre’s expectations.