To Make a Long Story Short: Dating in the Time of Covid

Let’s face it - dating, love, it’s all tough right now. Having a first kiss through a mask or sanitizing after holding hands is exhausting, but don’t worry we have you covered with our collection of romance and erotica short story eBooks available to you wherever you are! Don't have time to read a full-length novel? We have plenty of shorter time-commitment options for you. Below is a tour through the genre with the mentioned titles pushing the marker to the sexy side. Basically, look no further for company on these socially distanced nights.

While these aren’t specific titles included in Denver Public Library’s Short Story Core Collection (aside from Zane’s Sex Chronicles), it seems important to highlight some of this genre’s works and how accessible they are to you from anywhere.

Ready? Let’s dive in!

If you’ve dabbled in this genre before, there’s almost no doubt that you’ve come across Zane’s Sex Chronicles by Zane. This set of 15 urban erotic short stories will keep you warm at night and is a fixture on our Short Story Core Collection. The stories are fast-paced reads that you won’t want to put down. If you have already read Zane’s Sex Chronicles or want to explore more, this has been made into a TV show by the same name. Much of Zane’s other work is available in print or digital format at the library - check it out!

Up next is Radclyffe. There are too many and too great a variety of Radclyffe’s work to mention just one, but here you will find all that the library has available as eBooks. Her credentials are endless - retired surgeon (you’ll often see first responders and physicians in her work), seven-time Lambda Literary Award finalist in romance, mystery, and erotica, two-time Lambda Literary Award winner in both romance and erotica, and president of Bold Strokes Books - one of the world’s largest independent LGBTQI publishers. Whether you’re looking for an encounter in the emergency room or just a classic love story, Radclyffe has something just for you. There are many print options of her work available at the library, as well.

Maybe Summer love is what you’re after. If so, check out Summer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories by an assortment of authors, covering everything from realistic fiction to horror to fantasy. There’s a bit of heat and a bit of love in the variety of stories by well-known young adult authors.

If you want to turn the steam all the way up, take Todd Gregory’s Promises in Every Star out for a date. Todd Gregory has credentials as a multiple Lambda Literary Award winner and is also being acclaimed as one of the top authors and editors of gay male erotica in recent years. This short story collection is full of passion!

If you’re looking for something a little longer than a short story, but not quite a novel, check out these two eBooks each with two novellas (slightly longer than a short story) - Maneater by Mary B. Morrison and Noire and Lifestyles of the Rich and Shameless by Kiki Swinson and Noire. These two collections are urban erotica with one of the authors, Noire, being the originator of the genre. These stories of revenge and hedonism will have you enthralled from the start. If you like these, check out some other works from Noire in our eBook collection.

Now we’re going to step away from realistic fiction and enter a fantasy world. Again, while this next collection technically contains novellas, they will still leave you with enough time for the rest of your day. Night Shift by Nalini Singh, Ilona Andrews, Lisa Shearin, and Milla Vane contains four stories that will bend your mind while grasping your heart. From people who change into animals to shapeshifters to other paranormal and fantasy phenomena, the characters will have you pondering the very plane of existence your love life can hold. For more paranormal short stories, check out Women of the Dark Streets edited by Radclyffe and Stacia Seaman. Fantasy is a huge subgenre within romance and erotica that certainly doesn’t stop here. There’s a good chance that if you’ve thought about it (or you probably haven’t), someone has written it.

To close, here are some additional read alikes to fit what you may be looking for:

Liked Outlander by Diana Gabaldon? Try Kissing the Highlander with stories from Victoria Roberts, Vonda Sinclair, Eliza Knight, Terry Spear, Willa Blair. If you want to stay in the Outlander world, try Lord John and the Hand of Devils by Diana Gabaldon for the interests of the suave Lord John Grey.

Was The Vampire Diaries series by L.J. Smith your thing? Try Immortal: Love Stories with Bite edited by P.C. Cast.

Maybe Downton Abbey is your preference? Try An Officer But No Gentleman by Bronwyn Scott. This historical fiction subgenre has endless options and far too many to mention here.

Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James your cup of tea? Try Wild Nights by Jaci Burton or Laced with Desire.

Missing out on travel? Escape to Pleasure edited by Sandy Lowe and Victoria Villasenor has you covered.

Are fairy tales or bedtime stories for you? Myth and Magic: Queer Fairy Tales edited by Radclyffe and Stacia Seaman or Enchanted: Erotic Bedtime Stories for Women by Nancy Medore might be for you.

Maybe you’re a fan of the classics? Wuthering Nights by I.J. Miller based on Emily Brönte’s work could be for you. This one is a novel, but it shows that your options are not limited at all in this genre.

Was watching Hamilton on Disney+ the highlight of your year? Hamilton’s Battalion: A Trio of Romances by Rose Lerner, Courtney Milan, and Alyssa Cole will throw you back in with three stories, featuring all of your favorite characters. This one is a print book, but I couldn’t help mentioning it.

As you can see, there’s a short story (or something slightly longer) for everyone in our romance and erotica eBook collection!

A guest blog by Zach, DPL librarian and member of the Short Story Core Collection Team





Written by Becker on August 10, 2020