Happy #BiWeek! This week is dedicated to raising bi and pan visibility, as well as to educating and promoting bi/pan voices!
To celebrate the week, I asked the Just Love reviewers what their favorite books are with on-page bi/pan representation. This inspired some fantastic conversation, and a wonderful list of books across the queer romance genre! Here’s what they had to say:
The first characters that come to mind are Will Derrie from Kris Ripper’s Scientific Method series and Jake Riordan from Josh Lanyon’s Adrien English series. I loved Will from the start because he was so open and has this innocent air about him, but Jake really had to grow on me. His acceptance of his own bisexuality took him the whole series and it was interesting to see him become comfortable with himself.
Check out the Scientific Methods series, by Kris Ripper
Half the characters from Santino and Ais’ In the Company of Shadows series.
I love that in most cases these characters know what they like and they don’t give a shit what anybody else thinks. The problems they have with relationships aren’t due to them questioning their sexuality – they’re cool with who they are – but rather with other extenuating circumstances.
Also, Shane and Gabriel from Cara McKenna’s Shivaree series. Because Shane’s figuring out his sexuality as he realizes he can’t resist the pull of Gabriel’s confident sexual charisma. It’s still one of the hottest series I’ve ever read.
Check out In the Company of Shadows by Sonny & Ais [free]
I’m going to say The Girl Next Door by Amy Jo Cousins, because it is one of my all-time favorites. It’s M/F, and has two of the most incredible characters I’ve ever read. Steph is bisexual and will not let anyone forget that. Even when she starts dating Cash (who has an open heart and an open mind!), she’s still bi! There’s also a delightful bit later in the book where Cash gets to explore his bi-curiousness, which I won’t spoil but is really lovely. And Steph is so badass, I love strong, sexy women who are confident in who they are and who they want!
Also, Nat from Between Ghosts by Garrett Leigh! This is a military romance about a journalist who embeds himself with a British troop in Iraq, and while Connor was the main character, Nat absolutely stole the show. He’s a guy who knows what he wants, and has zero shame about that. While I don’t recall any on-page mentions of how he identifies, I read Nat as being pansexual, and I adore this line:
“I’m not gay, Connor. I like birds too much to call myself that, but I’m into blokes too. Fuck, I like it all.”
Check out Between Ghosts, by Garrett Leigh
My favorite recent bi character is hands-down Raymond Rodriguez from the Five Boroughs series by Santino Hassell. The thing I love best about Ray is how chill he was about his sexuality. Knowing that his older brother was secretly gay since a young age made it “normal” for him, and he never questioned it or panicked when he started getting attracted to David. I’ll also add that his journey as a bisexual continues in Interborough (out in Oct), and this definitely sealed him as my favorite bisexual ever!
“Is David claiming to help you explore this bisexual thing?”
Ah. Okay. It was definitely about David.
“You don’t got to make it sound like he’s creepily tricking me, but yeah, he was.”
I’ll also add both characters in Garrett Leigh’s What Remains, Jodi and Rupert. Absolutely adored them. Both men had very different bisexual history and then what happens when one of them got amnesia which only gave him his memories from back when he thought he was straight… <sobs for days>
Who the hell was Jodi to judge a man flying blind in his sexuality? Accepting his own bisexuality had been a journey fraught with denial and false starts. It was only in the last year he’d truly grown into it…
Check out What Remains, by Garrett Leigh
If you just want to list them as books with bi/pan characters that are great but where their bi/pan-ness doesn’t play a huge role, I want to nominate:
- Ariah in Ariah, by BR Sanders
- Dill in Prosperity, by Alexis Hall
- Jones in There Will Be Phlogiston, by Alexis Hall
Check out Ariah, by BR Sanders
Stuck Landing, by Lauren Gallagher. Why I loved the book? Because it dealt with so many difficult truths. Because the characters talked and communicated. Because Anna’s bi-phobia and trust issues were main topics in the book that needed to be handled with care, and were. But also because bi-phobia is dealt with in the forefront. In your face. No remorse. No excuses. A lot of people are bisexual. End of story. So when the main reasons for the relationship struggle are based in bi-phobia, there is no flinching, and it’s dealt with head on.
Of course, when I say “give me your top one or two books with bi/pan rep”, sometimes people don’t listen and list more. *clears throat and looks pointedly at the group* So, without further ado, here are the ones that people couldn’t help but include!
- The Cut & Run series, by Abigail Roux, which features several on-page bisexual characters (and one demisexual biromantic character later in the series)!
- Nick Ventura from Piper Vaughn and MJ O’Shea’s The Luckiest. “Because it’s a classic case of a character you want to strangle before you ultimately fall in with them.”
- First and First by Santino Hassell. One of the secondary characters, Aiden, is on-page pansexual. “I’m pretty sure he identifies as pan.” The word slowly translated. “He identifies as bread?”
(Okay, one of these was mine. I can’t follow my own directions, so sue me!)
On behalf of all of us at Just Love, we want to wish you a very Happy #BiWeek! Our little community of reviewers is made up of a variety of orientations, and we’re all really excited about Bi Week and about raising bisexual visibility!
We encourage you to tweet, blog, and raise awareness… not only during this week, but through the entire year!
A few resources to check out:
This list of books is not complete. In fact, trying to narrow down our picks to just a few books was incredibly difficult. We want to thank all of the authors who show bi and pan representation in their works, and all of the bi and pan authors who speak out about their own experiences! You can find all of our reviews for bisexual and pansexual characters here!
If you have a favorite book with a bi or pan character, please comment here, or tweet us @justloveromance with hashtag #BiWeek to let us know!