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The 30 Best Lesbian Romance Books You Should Have Read Already By Now!

The 30 Best Lesbian Romance Books You Should Have Read Already By Now!

We all know our fair share of lesbian icons. Ellen, Sappho, Virginia Woolf – to forget them and their contributions to queer media and acceptance would be a true crime. But one could also say that fictional characters can be icons and positively influence real ones. 

Just ask anyone with a book crush – every lover of the written word. If you feel seen, there’s no need to feel ashamed – we’re all in the same boat and wouldn’t have it any other way.

While we might not be able to find a reciprocating partner between printed pages – unless you find someone in the real world notices you while reading – that doesn’t mean that they’re not worth investing in, and that doesn’t make the stories and life journeys within the best lesbian romance books – love, loss, and yearning included – any less meaningful. 

Lesbian Romance books - best Lesbian Romance books - Best Books for Lesbian Romance - books on Lesbian Romance

Many people consider queer romance fiction to be a modern phenomenon from the era of the internet, especially when it pertains to young adults and contains YA themes, but much like bad-faith breakdowns of the connection between Sappho and her ‘friend’, they couldn’t be further from the truth. 

Much to the contrary, lesbian fiction has been running strong for thousands of years, with some of the earliest recovered excerpts coming from as early as 2,500 years ago. There’s Sappho again for you – if only this Grecian poet knew the queer icon she’d turned out to be.

This trend continued with the swell of modern novel styles, with a few periods of works from the early 19th century holding and implying strong lesbian themes very often, even where the slightest male-to-male mention of homosexuality would have been picked up on immediately.

The 1928 novel ‘The Well of Loneliness’ is often considered the first explicitly lesbian-themed novel written in English, but it certainly wasn’t the last. The 50s and 60s brought a flood of queer interest into the literature world, with a famous example being Tereska Torres’ ‘Women’s Barracks’. 

Today, there are more readers interested in lesbian fiction than ever before, and the genre gains traction every day. It’s addictive and captivating; it mirrors fantasies and dreams set in the real world and – most of all – packs an emotional rollercoaster ride for the ages. You don’t need to be told that, though – after all, you’re here and reading this article.

So let’s cut out the preamble and step into the world of the classic and dreamy, and check out our top ten suggestions for the best lesbian romance books and your next read.


Like the sweet apple which reddens upon the topmost bough,

Atop on the topmost twig, — which the pluckers forgot, somehow, —

Forget it not, nay; but got it not, for none could get it till now.


Like the wild hyacinth flower which on the hills is found,

Which the passing feet of the shepherds for ever tear and wound,

Until the purple blossom is trodden in the ground.

One Girl by Sappho
Queer Literature

Don't have time to read them all? Why not try listening to them? Audible is a great platform for listening to audiobooks because it offers a wide selection of books, including bestsellers and exclusive content. With Audible, you can listen to your favorite books on-the-go, whether you're commuting, working out, or doing household chores.

The Audible app also has features like adjustable narration speed, a sleep timer, and the ability to create bookmarks, making it easy to customize your listening experience. Additionally, Audible offers a membership program that gives members access to a certain number of audiobooks per month, making it a cost-effective option for avid listeners. 

A great resource for people who want to maximize their time and make the most out of their daily activities. Try a free 30-day trial from Audible today, and you'll get access to a selection of Audible Originals and audiobooks, along with a credit to purchase any title in their premium selection, regardless of price (including many of the books on this list!) 

For ebook lovers, we also recommend Scribd, basically the Netflix for Books and the best and most convenient subscription for online reading. While they have a catalog comprising over half a million books including from many bestselling authors, for some of the books on this list, you'll still have to purchase individually - either as a paperback or eBook to load on your Kindle - due to publishing house restrictions. 

Lesbian Romance books - best Lesbian Romance books - Best Books for Lesbian Romance - books on Lesbian Romance (1)

The One Woman by Laura May

Graphic designer Julie takes great pride in her work and ability to manipulate the eye’s behavior, but there is one thing in her life that she cannot control or remain satisfied with. Her boyfriend of three years, Mark, is distant and undedicated, leaving her feeling somewhat alone and as if something is missing. 

That is until a business trip brings Ann into her life, and the two women quickly begin to feel an instant connection to each other. Though they come from relative backgrounds and are both somewhat inexperienced, Julie quickly knows that she has to know more about and spend more time with this new entry into her life, no matter the cost.

Next comes a series of sharp, life-changing realizations. She begins to understand that she has found what she had been missing alone and that this is not an isolated event but rather the start of a tidal wave of change in her life. She begins wanting things that she has never wanted before, experiencing emotions that cannot be denied so much as she can lie about what they are.

Where will this new journey take her, and at what price?

May certainly hit all the best notes of the genre with this piece, and this work from her certainly displays strong merit for the future. As for the book itself, it is a no-brainer for the recommended list and a must-read for any looking for their fix of lesbian romance and self-discovery.

The One Woman By Laura May - Best Lesbian Romance Books

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6 Times We Almost Kissed (And One Time We Did) by Tess Sharpe

Penny and Tate do not get along. Owing to their mothers’ lasting friendship, they had to endure playdates, movie marathons and more. They can barely keep their tempers in check during those times. Tate’s mother has been long overdue for a liver transplant. Things turn ugly when Penny’s mother volunteers to be the living donor.

The mothers decide it is best to live in one house until both recover. Penny and Tate are aghast at having to live together. Together, they make a pact to live peacefully and prevent one of those accidents. You see, the teenagers somehow keep almost kissing! No one wants that! Will they grow closer under one roof, or will another tragedy tear them apart forever? 

The author has given depth to the main characters by telling us their history. We see the trauma they have gone through in the past and how it shapes their life now. She also depicts their relationship with each other, with their mothers and with their other friends very realistically. Both the teens are complete and interesting individually.

The love story is not there to give them identity. It happens between two fully developed characters. The point of view is shared between the two protagonists. The timeline is not linear; it’s peppered with flashbacks. Tess Sharpe crafts the prose to make an engrossing read.

This book is an emotional story of two young adults navigating their way in the world. If you like your rom-com laced with heavy themes like trauma and grief, look no further!

6 Times We Almost Kissed (And One Time We Did) - Best Lesbian Romance Books

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Read Between the Lines by Rachel Lacey

Rosie is your regular book nerd. She inherits her mother’s bookstore, Between the Pages, and loves working there! She is great with people and enjoys helping them find the right book. Rosie has started chatting with her favorite lesfic author, Brie, on Twitter. What was fangirling quickly turns into friendship, and they talk about everything. Well, not everything.

For instance, she doesn’t tell Brie about the sexy woman in a suit who walks into the bookstore with her adorable niece. She also doesn’t tell her that Jane, her landlord, is terminating the bookstore’s lease and the building will be demolished. If she had, she would have known that all these three women are the same! Jane uses the pen name Brie to write steamy lesbian novels.

By day, she is a property manager in a family property business. Jane is not thrilled about her day job. But since her family needs her help, she toils through it. Rosie holds Jane responsible for terminating the lease and despises her. When she finds out that Brie is the same as Jane, will her growing love for the latter be enough?

Read Between the Lines is an enemies-to-lovers story set in Manhattan. Watching them fall for one another amidst all the mess is engaging. The point of view jumps back and forth between the main characters. The slow-burn romance is topped up with a generous serving of steamy scenes. This cute love story is perfect for the movie; You’ve Got Mail fans.

Read Between the Lines by Rachel Lacey - Best Lesbian Romance Books

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Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden

Set in New York in the 80s, Annie on My Mind follows the friendship and then the romantic relationship between two seventeen-year-old girls named Annie and Liza. Published in 1982, the book has since never left print and is one of the best-known lesbian novels of all time. 

Our main character Liza Winthrop lives in Brooklyn Heights and attends the nearby private school of Foster Academy alongside her younger brother Chad. The Academy is currently in the midst of financial troubles, which is nothing but added stress to Liza, who is struggling to become an architect and follow in her father’s footsteps.

In strong contrast to Liza’s academic struggles, Annie Kenyon lives in a shabby neighborhood not so far away from Liza but in an entirely different world.  

Her father, grandmother, and mother are strong figures in her life, and she shares many passions with them and the world around her, but nothing can prepare Annie for the strength of emotion and passion that awaits her shortly.

The wonder and art of Annie on My Mind are in its glimmering take on teenage love and affection, drawing relatability and gripping tension from even the smallest elements and growing the characters like Annie’s dear flowers into beautiful, blooming bouquets. This is no tale of tragedy but rather of the wonderful and amazing side of lesbian love and just how high the heart’s passions can burn.

Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden - Best Lesbian Romance Books

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Back in Your Arms by Monica McCallan

Quinn is an ambitious woman from the small town of Kingsford. Seventeen years ago, she left home for a happier life in New York. She is now a successful real estate agent in the city. But she is lonely. When she left home, she also left behind her depressed mother, her little sister and her childhood friend, Sawyer.

Now, a deal of a lifetime takes her back to her hometown and forces her to face her feelings. Before she left, she had feelings for Sawyer that never came to anything. She has had seventeen years to shove them deep inside, but when she lays her eyes on Sawyer, she realizes they never left.

They are bottled up inside her, ready to burst forth. But will she get a second chance? She broke Sawyer’s heart when she selfishly left Kingsford. Quinn also realizes that second chances are not just for romantic love but also the family. Will they forgive her? Should they?

Sawyer’s character arc is a delight to read. Sawyer lived all her life in Kingsford, working in her family’s antique store. Initially, she is this kind, sweet person who hardly says no. We see how she grows into a confident young woman who stands up for herself.

Quinn is a well-rounded character. She is selfish yet caring. The author makes the feelings and lust between the main characters almost palpable. The pent-up love is apparent in their interactions. The author astutely holds back the romance at certain points, making the reader ache for more! Who wouldn’t love a second-chance romance story this good?

Back in Your Arms by Monica McCallan - Best Lesbian Romance Books

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Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami

Sumire is an aspiring author. She is the kind of compulsive writer who has to write everything down to make sense of it. She has a friend, K, who is a teacher. The two of them have known each other for a long time. They enjoy each other’s company and spend hours talking on the phone. K is in love with her and debates whether he should tell Sumire.

He considers their conversations intimate, more than those of lovers and craves Sumire’s body. But when Sumire falls in love with her boss Miu, an older woman. Miu and Sumire are very different. For one, Miu is glamorous, while Sumire wears baggy second-hand clothes. She, too, like K, is confused about confessing her feelings. All their lives change when Sumire goes on a trip to a Greek island with Miu.

K gets a call from the latter saying that Sumire has gone missing. What ensues is a tale of love, loss and desire. The author, Haruki Murakami, builds an enchanting yet mundane world with his pen. Like a classic Murakami novel, we cannot categorize this book. Is it a romance? Is it a detective novel? Is it about self-discovery? It’s hard to say.

We listen to the story from both Sumire’s and K’s points of view. The lyrical prose and vivid descriptions will keep you glued to the book. This coming-of-age novel has elements of magical realism. If you are looking for a contemporary novel that touches upon profound existential questions, look no further!

Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami - Best Lesbian Romance Books

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Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson

Set deeply into her guided destiny of becoming a missionary, Jeanette is her adoptive mother’s pride and joy – spreading the word of God and all his doctrines as she has been taught ever since being chosen as one of His voices and utterly dedicated to all things holy. 

Or at least she was before she fell for one of her converts and began to lose faith in everything around her. Her beliefs, her mother, her practices, and what it means to be a woman. She chooses to leave the church at the age of sixteen and instead sets off to live life with the young woman she has fallen in love with.

Performing a witty and intelligently critical parody of religious extremism and the harmfully shaping effect it can have upon young people, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit provides a coming-of-age story unlike any other, taking Jeanette from tight-locked seclusion to experimentation and finding herself as she truly is. Wonders await, and the past lies far behind.

Somewhat autobiographical, the emotions written into the book’s pages are surprisingly genuine and striking, leaving the reader feeling as though they are being slowly drawn into the world of its story and what it means to be trapped within and then escaping from the arms of religious entrapment.

Writing as an experienced composer of prose and evoker of thought, Winterson’s descriptions and phrasings are works of art, as is her deeply personal exploration of memory – which makes this one of the best lesbian romance books (in our mind, at any rate!).

Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson - Best Lesbian Romance Books

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Mangos and Mistletoe by Adriana Herrera

There is a prestigious, televised Holiday Baking Challenge in Scotland. Kiskeya Burgos knows this is her one chance to prove to her family and herself that she can make it in the culinary world. She left home in the Dominican Republic to make a place for herself in a professional kitchen. She needs to win this competition.

And she will if she can get her irritatingly happy teammate, Sully Morales, out of her mind! On the other hand, Sully can’t believe how grumpy Kiskeya is! A home cook, Sully has spent too many years as the family’s caregiver. She is in Scotland looking for a fresh start. She is confident that they can win the competition. If only Kiskeya saw what a great team they made!

As the competition intensifies, so does the chemistry between the two. The push-and-pull moments between them are relentless and sweet.

The protagonists are Dominican, but their relationship to their roots is different. Sully was raised in the States, while Kiskeya is a first-generation, recent immigrant. How they express their culture both in the kitchen and outside is different. This is a healthy portrayal of immigrants who face constant scrutiny in expressing their origins. Adriana Herrera’s poetic prose is addictive.

There’s a very good chance that you will want to finish reading this novella in one go! Well, we can’t blame you. The sweet, swoony romance, Scotland’s scenic backdrop and the tense competition get to you. This cute sapphic love story is perfect for a mid-week pick-me-up!

Mangos and Mistletoe by Adriana Herrera - Best Lesbian Romance Books

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Backwards to Oregon by Jae

Luke has been living as a man since she was 12. After serving in the Army, she wants to settle down. In 1850, the American government passed a law to give away free land to white male settlers in Oregon. Luke decides to capitalize on this land grant and move west. Before leaving, she visits a brothel where she meets Nora. Nora is a charming woman who has an adorable daughter.

She is sick of her life as a prostitute but is also resigned to it. Her family abandoned her after she bore an illegitimate child, and she has nowhere to go. Nora’s story melts Luke’s heart. The land grant promises land to women, too, if they are married to the settlers. Luke asks Nora to marry her to escape from the brothel.

Nora sees this as her only chance to provide a better life for her daughter and agrees. As the newly married couple set out on the long journey, they do not expect love to be waiting at its end. The romance develops painfully slowly. There are passionate, intimate scenes as well. The deeper Luke falls in love, the more she is scared of revealing her secret. 

The author, Jae, writes about the journey in great detail. It is as if you are traveling to Oregon in the mid-19th century. The landscape descriptions are accurate. There is also the question of Luke’s gender. Jae does not label her as transgender or use male pronouns.

This might be a conscious choice, given that such awareness and vocabulary were not prevalent back then. All in all, this is a historical romance that fans of queer literature can’t miss!

Backwards to Oregon by Jae - Best Lesbian Romance Books

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The Color Purple by Alice Walker

Winner of the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, given the National Book Award for Fiction, and considered a cornerstone of American fiction as a whole, The Color Purple is a touching, gritty, and emotional work – capturing and demystifying dark topics and daily struggle in a valiantly shameless and unique manner. 

Faith, bravery, and perseverance are all strong themes in The Color Purple – taking the reader on a journey to a time not so long ago and in a world of tribulation still experienced by many. 

The story takes place in the South of America circa 1900 and follows a 14-year-old African-American maid named Celie through escaping her nightmarishly abusive father – first into an almost equally torturous arranged marriage and in her own right as an adult. 

Celie and her sister Nettie’s shared letters and strong connection form the entire text of the book – remaining consistent even as Nettie moves to West Africa with a missionary family and Celie finally finds peace and true love with Shug Avery – a female blues singer who enters the story as the mistress of Celie’s husband.

Despite the quality and merit of its story, however, The Color Purple hasn’t had an easy ride since its publication. A common target for censorship due to its sometimes violent content and strong themes of homosexuality, the book has consistently been of the US’s top hundred most banned and challenged books since the 1990s, and this controversy spread to the 1985 movie of the same name. 

The Color Purple - Best Bisexual Romance Novels

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Catch by Kris Bryant

Sutton is working at her dream job as an offensive coordinator for an NFL team. In high school, she was the first female quarterback on the team. It is in high school that she meets Parker, the new cheerleader. Sutton falls head over heels for Parker, and they both have a great time together.

But soon, rumors start going around, and Parker’s extremely religious family goes berserk! Parker dumps Sutton and starts dating the quarterback of another team. She eventually ends up marrying him. Fifteen years later, Sutton’s NFL team recruits Grayson Moats, a reputed quarterback, to lead their team.

When she hears this, Sutton is not happy since Grayson was the guy who stole Parker from her. Is she willing to break their marriage for a second chance at love? Does Parker still feel the same about her?

We hear the story in first person from Sutton. We hear her thoughts and ride along the roller coaster of her emotions. But we know precious little of what goes on in Parker’s mind. She remains a mystery, which only adds to the plot. The timeline switches between the present and the past. We get glimpses of Sutton’s wholesome relationship with her father.

In stark contrast to Parker’s family, he is supportive and understanding. Sutton is a well-developed character. She is strong, hardworking, and likable. Kris Bryant’s writing keeps us hanging on to every word. Bryant loves football, which shows in the novel. An F/F romance with sports references galore? Yes, please!

Catch by Kris Bryant - Best Lesbian Romance Books

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A Family Affair by Harper Bliss

What’s worse than an impending divorce? Falling for your sister-in-law! That’s exactly what happens to Kate. She has been married to Kev for ten years, but their marriage seems to be nearing its end. She recently discovers that she can never have kids, and Kev is hardly around. Divorce seems inevitable. Kev occupies himself by remodeling their home while Kate goes away to her mother-in-law’s pool house.

Stella, Kev’s sister, is an actress preparing for a big audition. She is happy to have Kate over though she doubts if Kate even likes her. Turns out she does- a little more than what is good for both of them. Kate had always considered Stella this spoilt, superficial child of the family. But now she sees how wrong she was. Stella is sensitive and caring.

They bond over the smallest things, and one night, things go a little too far. Harper Bliss is a terrific writer who takes the delicate subject of infidelity and makes it not ugly. The affair is not about rebounding or lashing out.

There is a genuine connection and vulnerability between Stella and Kate. It is not a perfect story, but that’s how life is sometimes. Stella and Kate must figure out what to do with their feelings amidst the awkward family dynamics.

We hear the story from both Stella and Kate. The inner dialogue that these women have is very relatable. They feel passion, guilt and pain. Speaking of passion, Bliss writes a mean sex scene!

This is a love story that borders on grey. If stories that blur the lines between what’s right and what’s not are your thing, go for it!

A Family Affair by Harper Bliss - Best Lesbian Romance Books

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Ash by Malinda Lo

Trapped under the Cinderella-esque gloom of her deceased father’s wife and stepmother, Ash’s only escape from the misery and sudden abandon of her real life is found within the pages of her real mother’s books and their countless, varied fairy tales.  

Though even those glimmers of hope are not enough for her, not enough to distract her from the days when she cannot simply retreat to her fireside and read. Ash wishes to be taken away, to leave her newly found misery for a different place, where she does not have to suffer under her wicked stepmother and the memory of the life she used to have before her father’s death. 

Little does she know, however, that the subjects of her reading interests are far from fictional. They live just around the corner.

From there, talented write\r Lo builds on the story – both present and past – with great talent and expressiveness, allowing readers to dive with Ash into a new world of wonder, intrigue, release, mystery, and everything that she had ever been looking for from the world. This includes, most importantly, Kaisa: the King’s Huntress, and a bombshell to break Ash’s previously dull life asunder.

Written like poetry and a therapeutic reading experience in practice, Ash is a statement of resilience and catharsis – displaying the power of love within the folds of its tender, romantic pages and insisting that nothing, no matter how overwhelming and depressing, can halt nurturing of true love when it wants to grow. 

Ash by Malinda Lo - Best Lesbian Romance Books

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The Red Files by Lee Winter

Lauren King is an ambitious journalist from Iowa. Her grit took her from writing about butter cows to A-list celebrities in LA. But she is not content. She wants to write real news, the news that matters. Catherine Ayers was a celebrated chief of a news agency in Washington DC, but after a humiliating fall later, she works in a lowly gossip column.

She is vicious and cold. An unusual development at a corporate launch pricks their interest, and they decide to work together on the case. The novel takes a turn into a dark and intriguing detective novel. As they work together on the case, they begin to feel the attraction between them. But unlike usual love stories, this one is characterized by the lack of cute, romantic moments.

The protagonists are aware of their feelings but do not let them get in the way of the task. The few intimate scenes between them more than makeup for the lack of more. Lee Winter does an impeccable job of writing a cold character. Catherine’s icy exterior is not something Lauren can fix in a hurry. Which is what it should be, right? No one can fix another person. 

Winter’s writing is witty and funny. There are many laugh-out-loud moments in the book. But when the story turns into something heavy, the language appropriately changes too. The story has many mysterious twists, keeping us turning the pages in a trance.

Winter is an Australian who did a remarkable job writing a novel set in America. Craving a sapphic romance with loads of mystery? The Red Files is the one for you. 

The Red Files by Lee Winter - Best Lesbian Romance Books

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Catch and Cradle by Katia Rose

Nothing good has ever come of dating your teammates. As the lacrosse team captain, Becca Moore insists on keeping the romance out of the locker room. After her dramatic breakup in her first year, she knows this is for the best. But her heart does not cooperate when Hope Hastings joins the team. Becca has been distracted since the day Hope walked in and cannot rein in her feelings.

Hope has had a secret crush on Becca since the day she joined the team two years ago. But she knows it is hopeless because Becca is very strict about the no-dating rule. When the heart knows what it wants, nothing can stop it, not even the strictest rules. They both fall in love as the lacrosse season progresses. The author, Katia Rose, spent time developing her characters.

Hope is dyslexic and feels that she is not good enough. She is the kind of person you would love to be friends with. She is caring and fun. Becca has a tough exterior but a complicated past that gives her trust issues. Lacrosse makes her feel safe and in control, and she buries herself in the sport. 

The novel also handles the often traumatic experience of coming out. Rose writes about the nuances of coming out. She shows that it is not the same experience for everyone. The representation in this book is great too!

There’s lesbian, bisexual, non-binary and dyslexic rep without it feeling forced. The strong army of secondary characters adds depth to the story. This is a sapphic college romance that you need to read!

Catch and Cradle by Katia Rose - Best Lesbian Romance Books

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Sometime in Summer by Katrina Leno

Bad luck is the word of the year for Anna. After all, it hasn’t been a very pleasant few months for her, and she refuses to attribute that fact to anything else. She believes that bad luck drove her parents to divorce, her friends to give her the cold shoulder, and her mother to sell the family’s bookstore. After all, what else could it be?

She continues to feel this way for some time, persisting even when she discovers that she and her mother will be traveling to the seaside for two months over the summer. In Anna’s mind, she cannot imagine anything other than more bad luck awaits her there.

In reality, however, she couldn’t be further from the truth. There are many surprises down the road for her, and none of them will be like anything she has ever experienced. Comets, a different life, and two new but somehow intensely familiar friends.

How much summer magic will the getaway bring her, and how many new things will Anne discover about herself on the tranquil seaside?

Katrina Leto is a well-accomplished writer, and Sometime in Summer is yet another masterpiece to add to her repertoire. Sensitive, polarizing, and packing real character development that changes the entire voice of the novel in gradual, natural steps, readers can expect a deep dive with this book and an experience unlike any other that is sure to not leave one’s mind for a long time. 

Sometime in Summer by Katrina Leno - Best Lesbian Romance Books

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And Playing the Role of Herself by K. E. Lane

Caidence Harris has bagged a leading role in a police drama shot in LA. This is the peak of her acting career, and she is thrilled. Her co-star Robyn Ward is a glamorous actress on her way to super-stardom. When Caid sees her on set, she is deeply infatuated. But she does not expect anything more than friendship because she cannot imagine Robyn liking her.

But boy, could she be wrong! As Caid and Robyn start dating, their insecurities bubble up. Every relationship is a litmus test that brings out the best or the worst in us. Can Caid and Robyn’s love stand these trials? K.E. Lane writes complete three-dimensional characters. They have their strengths but also vulnerabilities.

They are quick to anger or tend to be bossy. Caid is a strong woman who is comfortable with herself but also insecure in the budding relationship. Robyn is more secure in her career but fears her growing affection for Caid. They are not perfect; they are human. The secondary characters are done well too. Especially the best friends of the main characters. 

The story is told in first person from Caid’s point of view. We hear her thoughts. We fall in love with Robyn when she does. We lust after Robyn’s sexy body when she does. And the chemistry? Let’s say it’s a good thing if your book doesn’t catch fire!

Lane touches upon the different aspects of being gay- career repercussions of coming out, support or lack thereof from family and friends, fear of rejection and the sweet anticipation of that first kiss. This sweet romance story has deeper homosexual issues shrouded in it. Sound like your type?

And Playing the Role of Herself by K. E. Lane - Best Lesbian Romance Books

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Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters

Nancy “Nan” Astley has lived in Whitstable, Kent. She works in her family’s oyster restaurant and is proud of Whitstable oysters. She is fangirling over Kitty Butler, a music hall sensation who performs while dressed in men’s clothes. She watches Kitty’s every performance and eventually becomes her dresser.

Nan gets a chance to follow Kitty as she performs in the big city when they become friends. Eventually, she, too, becomes a performer alongside Kitty. Behind the stage, they confess their feelings for each other and become lovers. But that’s not all. An unexpected event happens, and Nan’s real adventure begins. 

We hear the story from Nan’s point of view. It is fun to be inside her head, though not always pleasant. Nan is not likable; she selfishly abandons her family and can be insensitive and, sometimes, even sexually aggressive. But as we read more of her story, we get to understand her past experiences and how they have shaped her. 

Sarah Waters paces the plot very slowly until she doesn’t. When the unexpected event happens, the pace quickens and all the slow build-up finally makes sense. The author gives us a peek into London, populated by the hidden gay community.

The descriptions of the city and the sets are extremely detailed. The erotica does not shy away from bold descriptions. Did you know that the title is slang for cunnilingus? Tipping the Velvet is unquestionably one the best lesbian romance books and a gay Victorian epic that demands to be read!

Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters - Best Lesbian Romance Books

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One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston

Moving to New York was something that August needed to do. It was her act of breaking free, her grasp at freedom, her attempt to distance herself from everything she had ever known and to prove that she is truly an adult in her own right.

Her life is simple, her work is all-consuming, and her determination remains unshakable as the first months pass. After all – August doesn’t believe in luck or magic. She believes that things happen only when people work for them and that success and love will only find her if she puts her back into it.

That’s until she meets a girl on the train. A girl named Jane. August sees her once, then again, and then again until she takes the same line every day to see this mysterious stranger.

Soon, August’s story turns from a record of her daily conquest up the ladder of progress to a tale of great love, comedy, and magic. That’s right – the magic of a kind that forces August to dig up everything she had tried to push away and venture quite literally into the past.

Taking a distinct, entrancing voice with each of its characters in equal measure, One Last Stop is a work of contrasts and passions. A nominee for Goodreads Best Romance Novel of 2021 and loved by hundreds of thousands of readers, August and Jane’s Journey is a genre masterpiece and yet another top-shelf must-read.

One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston - Best Lesbian Romance Books

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How Sweet It Is by Melissa Brayden

Molly O’Brien is a sweet small-town girl. She loves her quiet life running the town’s bakery in Applewood, Illinois. Molly lost her wife to a plane crash four years ago. Cassie was the love of her life, and Molly is still mourning her loss. Just as she thinks she can finally start dating again, Jordan, Cassie’s sister, returns to town. Molly is unprepared for the whirlwind of emotions that Jordan sets off inside her.

Even if Jordan feels that same way, can they move beyond the loss of Cassie and love each other? Is it even right? Jordan is better at handling this awkwardness between them. She is an engaging and dynamic woman who is very different from her sister. They have been friends for a long, which forms the basis for their relationship.

This story has the potential to become an entangled mess. Falling in love with your late wife’s sister? That’s just a setup bound to be creepy. But Melissa Bryden’s writing makes it not that at all. She shows the conflict that goes on in Molly’s head.

And there are no quick fixes like that one kiss that changes everything. She builds the relationship patiently to make it believable. Bryden also does a great job of showing the protagonists dealing with grief even as they fall in love. The beautiful human experience of having multiple, often conflicting emotions is a joy to read.

The romance is cute and full of silly, sexy and profound moments. The intimate scenes between them do not feel like they have been carefully constructed for entertainment but are realistic. We can see the relationship develop and involuntarily start rooting for the main characters. You could get lost in this small-town love story.

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Fated Love by Radclyffe

Honor Blake is an ER chief who deals with the fragility of life every single day. She had a personal experience with death when her wife died in a freak accident when she was only in her twenties. She has not moved on and still wears her wedding ring. She sees no reason to move on, having a life she is content with. A rewarding career and a daughter she loves.

When Quinn McGuire, the gorgeous new trauma surgeon, joins her team, she sees nothing but a recruit. As Quinn starts to prove herself in the challenging ER department, Honor warms up to her and slowly brings her guard down. Quinn is more than a skilled trauma surgeon; she is kind, thoughtful and loving.

As they become friends, Honor hopes and fears that this has the potential to become something more. Unlike Honor, Quinn has no qualms about falling in love. Her admiration of Honor is mingled with attraction. But can she be patient as Honor finally deals with years of bottled-up grief? The honor comes with a heavy history and a child. Does she want to sign up for it?

Radclyffe is adept at conjuring medical dramas that feel ever so real. You can almost hear the rush and chaos of the ER room. Remember the good old days when people did not always have their phones on them and rented videos? Published in 2004, this book captures the early 21st century beautifully. The emotional intimacy between the main characters is even better than physical intimacy.

Of course, the novel does have explicit sex scenes. How could it not, with their sparkling chemistry? The fast pace of the ER is juxtaposed against the slow recovery from grief. This is a love story between three people, Honor and Quinn, and Honor and her late wife.

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Killing Eve: Codename Villanelle by Luke Jennings

Fighting fire with fire is dangerous, but sometimes it is a must. The first part of the world-famous Killing Eve trilogy, Codename Villanelle, is a tale of polarizing extremes – leaping between murder, chaos, and passion. 

The titular character Villanelle is an assassin. A very good assassin, and also a desired one for even the most exclusive targets – eliminating the rich, famous, and influential with the unbothered ease of a born hunter. But killing isn’t the entire world to Villanelle. Her taste is extravagant and exotic, and her penchant for living wild is insatiable. She fears nothing, and almost everything fears her.

But that all changes when Eve Polastri – former M16 officer – is hired to take Villanelle down at any cost. Calm, collected, and with a cutting edge of skill that threatens to rival Villanelle’s own, the chase that results from Eve’s determined pursuit is thrilling beyond all measure and leaves both women caught up in a web of action, betrayal, and change denser than either possibly could have imagined.

The author of the series, British writer Luke Jennings, has been successfully published for decades, and the strength of his experience shows in every page of the Killing Eve Trilogy.

The turns and twists are elastic and electric, and the slow yet magnetic development of enemies to lovers is a gripping, lip-biting one. Recommend it, and a must-read for all fans of action and the genre of lesbian fiction.

Killing Eve Codename Villanelle by Luke Jennings - Best Lesbian Romance Books

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Starting from Scratch by Georgia Beers

Avery King is a 34-year-old single lesbian who loves baking. It is something she shares with her grandmother, whom she also loves. Her dating life has been lukewarm so far. And she is wary of dating apps! Avery is content baking, hanging out with her grandmother, going out with her friends and spending time with her constant companion- her rescued pet dog Steven King.

Oh, and also secretly staring at her bank manager, Elena. Elena is stunning and hot. She is a single mom, and Elena dislikes kids. She does not want to act on her crush. She is happy to nurture it from afar. When her best friend pushes her into coaching a tee ball, she is in for a surprise. It turns out she isn’t bad with kids at all!

Moreover, Elena’s son Max is on the team too, and she gets along with him perfectly! Elena is taken by this attractive young coach who treats her son well. As they get to know each other, Elena, too, begins to like Avery.

But she wants to be a mom before anything else. She is afraid that a romantic relationship will sabotage his childhood. As she goes back and forth, can the introverted Avery wait around?

Avery tells us the story in the first person. We are in her mind and privy to every small thought she has, but it never gets too much. It just feels like your own stream of consciousness. Because of the first-person narrative, we know little about Elena’s thoughts except what she tells Avery.

The story captures the struggles of a single mother. The issues in a relationship where one person has a child, and the other does not are portrayed believably. This is a light read with a generous serving of the warm and fuzzy. Makes for a great weekend read!

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Wrong Number, Right Woman by Jae

Denny is your run-of-the-mill introvert. She is shy, an overthinker and reserved. These qualities do not qualify for a great dating experience. But Denny is okay with working at the grocery store and living with her sister and her eleven-year-old niece. She is amused when she gets a text message from a strange woman asking for dating advice.

She responds, thinking it is a one-time mistake, but the woman keeps texting her. And the banter develops. On the other side of the text message is Eliza, a part-time artist who makes bird toys. Eliza is charismatic and outgoing. If Denny had met her before texting, she wouldn’t have mustered the courage to talk to her. Thankfully, that didn’t happen.

When they meet in person, the connection is immediate and hard to ignore. But there is one problem- Eliza is straight. She likes men. She wishes the men she dated were more like Denny. That doesn’t mean anything, does it? 

This is a no-frills love story of two women who fall in love and discover themselves. The romance is infuriatingly slow-burn. It is only understandable since Eliza has to realize she likes women and accept it. The side characters are wholesome and add to the richness of the story.

Denny’s sister and Eliza’s friend, Heather, help them figure out their emotions. The main characters are regular people with regular jobs. The author does not rely on their profession to make them interesting. If anything, this only makes them more relatable.

If a no-drama, cute lesbian romance is your guilty pleasure, this one’s right up your alley!

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The Gilda Stories by Jewelle L. Gómez

Built up of a series of smaller tales and recollections ranging from 1850-2050, The Gilda Stories presents a journey through time, through the ages, and of keeping one’s ‘self’ despite the pull of the time and the influence of a dangerous society.

Our brave main character Gilda is black, queer, and rebellious – tired of her life as a plantation slave and determined to make things better for herself and the good people she meets at any cost. She bravely fights for this goal every day for the next two hundred years.

In case the wild divide in date raises any questions, it bears strong mention that Gilda’s status as an escaped slave is more than it appears, as her process of fleeing brings her under the wing of none other than a vampire. This creature of the night cares for and nurtures her, teaching her the price of freedom in exchange for her blood and status as a mortal being. 

Now a vampire, Gilda moves on as the world moves with her – building a community of her own, bettering the world in whatever ways she can, and trying to make her way to where she belongs. The largest complication of that lattermost is finding where exactly she belongs. America is not a kind place, nor do its kind people find their lives easy.

This gripping, emotional tale follows Gilda until 2050, when she must make her hardest decision.

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Those Who Wait by Haley Cass

You can’t be a lesbian when you are a politician. Charlotte knows this, so she has mastered the art of hiding her sexuality. She finds hook-ups on dating apps, and that’s that. Who has time for love anyway? She has the political ladder to climb. Charlotte is ambitious and works hard at her job. When she gets a new match called Sutton and a very suggestive pick-up line, she is all game.

But the truth is Sutton did not send that message. Sutton recently discovered that she is bisexual. The minute she peeks out of the closet, her friend sets up a profile for her on a lesbian dating app. When she matches with the gorgeous Charlotte, her friend sends an explicit message on her behalf. Sutton is not the hook-up kind of girl. She wants to get to know the person first.

Since they are not on the same page, they do not proceed. Sutton requests the experienced Charlotte to teach her how to approach women and be her “lesbian guru”. As the mentorship progresses, Sutton proposes a friends-with-benefits situation. Charlotte is initially apprehensive but agrees to try it out.

But they unwittingly get closer than planned. Charlotte finds herself thinking of Sutton more and more. And not as a friend. The vivid descriptions of their longing and lust are just heartening. The lovemaking is tender and raw at the same time. 

This is a good old friends-with-benefits trope that never gets old. The book’s pace is just right to keep you returning to it. It’s a story of self-discovery wrapped in a delicate love story.

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No Strings by Gerri Hill

After an operation goes very wrong, police Chief Reese Daniels is transferred to sleepy Lake City, Colorado. Used to the busy environment of Winter Park, Reese is bored in her new role as Sherriff. However, she takes her job seriously and does it well, counting the days until she is transferred back. M.Z. Morgan is a forest ranger who has lived in Lake City long.

She loves the peace and the many friends she has there. It is almost worth being the only lesbian in town with no dating material. But when the new Sherriff arrives with her broody good looks, her libido sits up and takes notice. But no harm in being friends, right? Also, what can go wrong with a no strings attached relationship?

As it turns out, a lot. Morgan is falling hard for Reese. However, the latter’s constant reminders about returning to Winter Park make it clear that the relationship is going nowhere. Even if their chemistry is off the charts and the sex is great. And keeps getting better. Meanwhile, they try to keep the relationship secret to avoid rumors and homophobic reactions, but in vain.

In a small, tight-knit community, it is next to impossible to keep a secret. But they might be surprised by the support they get from the townspeople. Gerri Hill creates the secondary characters with great detail. They have background stories and unique traits. Of course, the main characters are very well fleshed out. They are clear and consistent throughout the story. 

This is a fluffy, small-town romance novel that you can polish off in one sitting!

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Some Girls Do by Jennifer Dugan

Morgan didn’t want to change schools, but it turned out that there was no choice. Coming out as gay was something she needed to do, but it was not something that her Catholic school appreciated.

Thus – upended and ruffled – she arrives at her new high school with somewhat of a reputation on her tail. Morgan is steeled, determined, and prepared to deal with whatever may come. She isn’t going to be moved again.

But the biggest challenge that awaits her there isn’t what she expected. It’s not homophobia or more chafing rules. It’s not being defeated as a champion of the track. No – it’s a girl named Ruby.

Ruby lives her life tinkering with cars and living out her mother’s dream to be a beauty queen in a wide array of local pageants. Little does her mother know, however, but Ruby is bisexual, and from the very first moment that she meets Morgan, there is no denying that she is drawn to the new arrival and everything that their being together would mean for her life and freedom.

The girls are different, but they both know in their hearts that they share something truly pure and that no challenge can erase them.

Some Girls Do a play on the classic friction between the popular and the unseen, the open and the closed. In its cliché but inventive waves, the book performs smart commentary on several important social issues without breaching the flow of its gripping, touching story.

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Behind the Pine Curtain by Gerri Hill

Coming out can bring out the worst or best in your family. For Jacqueline Keys, it is the former. When she came out to her family when she was 17, her mother told her to leave home and not come back until she came to her senses. With a hundred dollars in her pocket, she had hitchhiked, worked crazy shifts and is now a best-selling author.

Fifteen years after she left her small hometown, Pine Springs, Texas, she is summoned back for her father’s funeral. When she gets there, she finds out that her father’s lumber business is now hers to manage. This is not her biggest problem, though. It is Kay. Kay was Jacqueline’s friend since childhood and later her first crush. It was a long time ago, but the sight of Kay stirs up all those feelings in her.

As if the past fifteen years did not happen. While Jacqueline knows her mother’s opinion of homosexuality, she refuses to go back into the closet. She is no longer a confused teen. She is a confident young woman who is a proud lesbian. Does Kay feel the same way? Will she accept her feelings?

The return to hometown trope is intricately woven with a friends-to-lovers story. The novel is much more than that. It is also a coming-out story of family and small-town dynamics.

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