Popsugar Reading Challenge category: A book about a forbidden love
The Stealth Lovers, by Cait Gordon
This book is the prequel to Cait Gordon's hilarious space opera, Life in the 'Cosm. In the latter book, Viv and Xax are side characters, gay reptilian hairdressers who informally adopt Virj, and who turn out to be badass warriors when danger threatens.
The Stealth Lovers is Xax and Viv's story, starting from their time as young army recruits. Viv is a closet case from an aristocratic family; Xax is flamboyantly gay, and king of the witty wisecrack. Together they become an unstoppable fighting team known as "The Stealth," with an equally unstoppable love for each other. The dialogue is very funny and witty, and the love story has real warmth.
Although their world is quite alien, their army sounds a lot like ours: officially tolerant of LGBT members, but subjecting them to hostility and hidden indignities. Denied the chance to legally marry or have children, it becomes clear why it's so important to them to be father figures for Virj (who appears only in the epilogue).
The books can be read in either order - they're hilarious as stand-alones or together.