The best lesbian romance books

Who picked these books? Meet our 70 experts.

70 authors created a book list with lesbian romance books, and here are their favorites.

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Desert of the Heart

By Jane Rule,

Book cover of Desert of the Heart

Mari SanGiovanni Author Of Greetings From Jamaica, Wish You Were Queer

From the list on LGBTQ+ books that are also movies (…or should be).

Who am I?

When I was young and just figuring out the whole gay thing, I had to cross state lines to see the one gay movie and smuggle out the one library book I was too afraid to check out. In the 1970s and 80s I grew up knowing I was part of a group that was rarely talked about, aside from jokes. I've enjoyed so many stories that didn't represent me. If the struggle is real, I want to see, hear, and feel the whole messy bunch of it. I like the uncomfortable process of writing, and make promises that I later break: I can always tone this part down later…and then I never do.

Mari's book list on LGBTQ+ books that are also movies (…or should be)

Discover why each book is one of Mari's favorite books.

Why did Mari love this book?

I loved this book because it was the ultimate slow-burn romance coupled with an older woman coming out story, which was truly original at the time. As is almost always the case, the novel is better than the movie, but this one brilliantly made the transition to the film renamed Desert Hearts, which was helped by the amazing chemistry between the actresses and a director that did not shy away from sex scenes which were both graphic, yet beautiful. 

Set back in the 1950s, this sizzling & heartwarming matchup is the trifecta of opposites attract: class, age, and attitude towards coming out, this book was a romance with substance, sprinkled with a bit of comedy, my favorite recipe. 

Desert of the Heart

By Jane Rule,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Desert of the Heart as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Set in the late 1950s, this is the story of Evelyn Hall, an English Professor, who goes to Reno to obtain a divorce and put an end to her disastrous 16-year marriage. While staying at a boarding house to establish her six-week residency requirement she meets Ann Childs, a casino worker and fifteen years her junior. Physically, they are remarkably alike and eventually have an affair and begin the struggle to figure out just how a relationship between two women can last.

Desert of the Heart examines the conflict between convention and freedom and the ways in which the characters…


The Ladies of Missalonghi

By Colleen McCullough,

Book cover of The Ladies of Missalonghi

Amy Q. Barker Author Of Rue

From the list on women’s fiction with an unlikely heroine.

Who am I?

I'm a women's fiction novelist with a love for drama without trauma. As an avid reader myself, I write what I know—moving stories written for women and about women. In my books, I sweep you off your feet, lead your heart to a place it's never been before, make you think, make you fall in love, make you yearn for justice, make you aspire and hope and dream. And I promise a happy ending every time, or at least a realistic, thought-provoking tote of warm feelings you can take with you. I hope you enjoy my reading recommendations below! 

Amy's book list on women’s fiction with an unlikely heroine

Discover why each book is one of Amy's favorite books.

Why did Amy love this book?

The premise of this short novel sucked me in right away. Missy Wright is shy, unhappy, poor, and a spinster. She is stifled and demeaned by her overbearing sisters and the local small-town gossips where she lives. Despite the fact that Ms. McCullough paints the portrait of a fairly unsavory heroine in the form of Missy, I still found myself rooting for her, wishing with all my might that she would (under the most improbable circumstances) find love. When I write about a heroine in my own novels, I want my readers to see past appearances and the superficial trappings of our society’s ideals. That is what this novel does—it draws you in and makes you believe the impossible is possible if only we can see beyond what is right in front of our faces—that dreams really can come true, for all shapes, sizes, styles, and substance.

The Ladies of Missalonghi

By Colleen McCullough,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Ladies of Missalonghi as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An endearing tale, full of wit, warmth and romance, from the bestselling author of The Thorn Birds.

The Hurlingford family have ruled the small town of Byron, nestled in the Blue Mountains, for generations. Wealthy, powerful and cruel, they get what they want, every time.

Missy Wright lives with her widowed mother and crippled aunt in genteel poverty. Hurlingfords by birth, all three are victim to the family's rule of inheritance: the men take it all. Plain, thin and unforgivably single, it seems Missy's life is destined to be dreary.

But then a stranger arrives in town. A divorcee from…


How Sweet It Is

By Melissa Brayden,

Book cover of How Sweet It Is

Nicole Pyland Author Of No After You

From the list on sapphic romance that will make you laugh.

Who am I?

I’ve published more than 30 books in this genre, and more are on the way. I am passionate about it because I started writing Sapphic romance myself after reading a few really great books in the genre for the first time and the books that made me want to write myself were the ones that made me laugh and had great character development to go along with the laughter. The books I write today are often funny, some are sarcastic, and they’re focused on characters. These books also fit that bill. 

Nicole's book list on sapphic romance that will make you laugh

Discover why each book is one of Nicole's favorite books.

Why did Nicole love this book?

This book is one of the first I read in the genre, and it’s not overtly funny, which is why it’s here. I love books that are dramatic and show character growth while adding in humor. It doesn’t have to be over the top and should play to what the characters are going through. The main character talking to her fish isn’t something I expected to find in a book about finding love after loss, but it’s there along with some hilarious side characters that work in a bakery with Molly. The levity in those moments helps separate from some of the harder moments as our main character, Molly falls for the love of her life’s little sister in a small town where everyone knows everyone else’s business.

How Sweet It Is

By Melissa Brayden,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How Sweet It Is as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Some things are better than chocolate...

Molly O’Brien is a sweetheart. Her friends and neighbors all think so. While she enjoys her quiet life running the town bakeshop in Applewood, Illinois, she wonders if there could be more. After losing the love of her life four years prior in a plane crash, Molly thinks she’s ready to navigate the dicey dating waters once again. However, you can’t always pick who your heart latches on to. When Jordan Tuscana, the beautiful younger sister of her lost love, returns to town, Molly finds her interest piqued in a manner she wasn’t prepared…


Carmilla and Laura

By S. D. Simper,

Book cover of Carmilla and Laura

Lianyu Tan Author Of Captive in the Underworld: A Dark Lesbian Romance Novel

From the list on queer stories inspired by myths, legends, and classics.

Who am I?

I loved books as a kid, especially fantasy books, but could never find anyone like me within their pages. I’m a lesbian Chinese writer who adores stories about messed-up, complicated queer people. I’m thrilled by the range of books available now that feature queer, messy characters. We all deserve representation, and to me that means representation that’s complex, that encompasses the ugly and the beautiful. One of my goals as an author is to make you fall in love with monsters—brutal, flawed women who may not deserve love, but who demand it all the same.

Lianyu's book list on queer stories inspired by myths, legends, and classics

Discover why each book is one of Lianyu's favorite books.

Why did Lianyu love this book?

This novella is a close retelling of Carmilla by Sheridan Le Fanu, which is the OG sapphic vampire story. It recasts the ending to give the leads a happy ever after, and ups the sapphic content to modern standards, adding a bit of steaminess. Simper’s version retains Laura’s initial ambivalence and horror towards Carmilla, the historical setting, and the gothic flair. It’s a must-read for fans of the original who are looking for a more modern interpretation.

Carmilla and Laura

By S. D. Simper,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Carmilla and Laura as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the late 19th century, Laura lives a lonely life in a schloss by the forest, Styria, with only her doting father and two governesses for company. A chance accident brings a new companion, however – the eccentric and beautiful Carmilla.

With charm unparalleled and habits as mysterious as her history, Carmilla’s allure is undeniable, drawing Laura closer with every affectionate touch and word. Attraction blossoms into a temptation Laura fears to name, a tantalizing passion burning brighter than the fires of hell. But when a mysterious plague begins stealing the lives of young women in her home and the…


Feed Them Silence

By Lee Mandelo,

Book cover of Feed Them Silence

Sarah Gailey Author Of Just Like Home

From the list on for making you lose sleep.

Who am I?

I love books that keep me up at night. I'm constantly trying to get into a good, healthy bedtime routine—but I am also constantly sabotaging that effort by finding books that I simply can’t put down. The feeling of being drawn so deep into a story that the hours slip away is easily one of my favorite feelings in the world. I also love books that make me wake up in the middle of the night, books that slide into my brain and plant new ideas there. As an author, I am always striving to write those books. I can think of no higher compliment than “I stayed up all night reading it.”

Sarah's book list on for making you lose sleep

Discover why each book is one of Sarah's favorite books.

Why did Sarah love this book?

When I was a kid I was very excited about wolves. Not in the sense that I knew a lot about wolves—I didn’t study them and learn about them—so much as I felt certain, in my heart of hearts, that if I met a wolf, we would understand each other in a way no two creatures ever have. Feed Them Silence is a book that returned me to that sense of certainty, but with a more fundamentally realistic understanding of the nature of animals as existing outside of human understanding. I couldn’t put it down, and the hours slipped right past me.

Feed Them Silence

By Lee Mandelo,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Feed Them Silence as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Lee Mandelo dives into the minds of wolves in Feed Them Silence, a novella of the near future.

What does it mean to "be-in-kind" with a nonhuman animal? Or in Dr. Sean Kell-Luddon’s case, to be in-kind with one of the last remaining wild wolves? Using a neurological interface to translate her animal subject’s perception through her own mind, Sean intends to chase both her scientific curiosity and her secret, lifelong desire to experience the intimacy and freedom of wolfishness. To see the world through animal eyes; smell the forest, thick with olfactory messages; even taste the blood and viscera…


Book cover of The Perks of Loving a Wallflower

Katherine Grant Author Of The Viscount Without Virtue

From the list on historical romances for intersectional feminists.

Who am I?

As a historical romance reader, I’m a sucker for stories about the glamorous aristocracy falling in love. While Regency and Victorian romances have explored feminism for at least the last two decades, the genre often falls short of asking more of itself. Of course the debutante shouldn’t need a man – but while the story liberates her, it doesn’t take any notice of the non-aristocratic,  non-Anglican, non-White, less-abled, and/or non-cishet straight characters around her. I yearned for stories that required my favorite aristocrats to acknowledge, examine, and leverage their privilege. All five of these authors deliver – without forgetting our favorite tropes and genre conventions!

Katherine's book list on historical romances for intersectional feminists

Discover why each book is one of Katherine's favorite books.

Why did Katherine love this book?

When I want a historical romance that knows exactly what it is and how to hit the right notes with each of its tropes, I turn to Erica Ridley.

Take the opening conceit of The Perks of Loving a Wallflower: It felt so familiar to read about a shy heroine who has a secret group of bluestocking friends and who is trying to avoid her parents’ matchmaking schemes.

From there, however, Ridley uses the conceit of a missing cipher to match Philippa with Tommy, a master of disguises and rejecter of labels.

Through a very fun, comforting historical romance plot, we get to explore gender roles, identity, and class snobbery.  

The Perks of Loving a Wallflower

By Erica Ridley,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Perks of Loving a Wallflower as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As a master of disguise, Thomasina Wynchester can be a polite young lady-or a bawdy old man. She'll do whatever it takes to solve the cases her family takes on. But when Tommy's beautiful new client turns out to be the highborn lady she's secretly smitten with, more than her mission is at stake . . .

Bluestocking Miss Philippa York doesn't believe in love. Her heart didn't pitter-patter when she was betrothed to a duke, nor did it break when he married someone else. All Philippa desires is to decode a centuries-old manuscript to keep a modern-day villain from…


Chasing Stars

By Alex K Thorn,

Book cover of Chasing Stars

Molly J. Bragg Author Of Scatter

From the list on sapphic superhero.

Who am I?

I’m a trans woman who writes sapphic science fiction, fantasy, superhero novels, and contemporary romance. I’m been a huge fan of superheroes my whole life, and Supergirl has been my favorite superhero since I saw the original Helen Slater movie back in the 80s. In addition to being a fan, I’m currently writing a series of sapphic superhero novels called Hearts of Heroes.

Molly's book list on sapphic superhero

Discover why each book is one of Molly's favorite books.

Why did Molly love this book?

This is a relatively lighthearted superhero romance about Ava, an alien who works as the personal assistant to a big Hollywood star named Gwen. When Gwen asks Ava to pretend to be her girlfriend because it will help Gwen with the custody battle with her ex-husband, all the predictable fake dating shenanigans ensue.

The book is a fun, comfortable read with a good bit of pining, a fun sister relationship, and an interesting superhero plot.

The focus on Ava’s and Gwen’s emotional journey through the story makes it an engaging read the first time through, and a nice, comfortable reread for those days when you just want to lose yourself in a comfy book.

Chasing Stars

By Alex K Thorn,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Chasing Stars as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For superhero Swiftwing, crime fighting isn’t her biggest battle. Nor is it having to meet the demanding whims of Hollywood screen goddess Gwen Knight as her mild-mannered assistant, Ava.It’s doing all that, while tracking a giant alien bug, being asked to fake date her world-famous boss, and realizing that she might be coming down with a pesky case of feelings.A fun, sweet, and sexy lesbian romance about the masks we all wear.


Living

By Lise Gold,

Book cover of Living

Katia Rose Author Of This Used to Be Easier

From the list on mental health in relationships.

Who am I?

I write romance novels that are as much about the characters learning to love themselves as they are about people falling in love with each other. While most of my books are romantic comedies, that doesn’t stop my characters from facing some of the darkest parts of themselves and coming out on the other side feeling sure of their own worth. I often explore mental health topics, and I love to see other romance authors de-stigmatizing things like therapy, medication, and reaching out for support. The romance novels I’ve included below cover a wide range of subjects, but they all handle mental health with care, respect, and hope.

Katia's book list on mental health in relationships

Discover why each book is one of Katia's favorite books.

Why did Katia love this book?

Living has all the best ingredients for an epic slow-burn romance: a shocking first encounter, two very different heroines from completely different worlds, a beautiful friendship that unfolds with care and heartwarming tenderness, and a simmering layer of tense attraction that will keep you turning the pages as fast you can to see the burn finally burst into flames. It’s also a story that handles the topics of grief and depression with respect and a poignancy that makes this story difficult to forget. I love romances that focus on the growth of the individual characters as much as the development of their relationship with each other, and Living does a beautiful job at balancing both.

Living

By Lise Gold,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Living as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

During her morning exercise, yoga instructor Cam Saunders finds herself rescuing a young woman who has walked into the sea, seemingly intent on taking her own life. When the woman in question turns out to be a famous actress, Cam promises to keep her secret safe.

Six months later, America’s sweetheart Ella Temperley is working hard to get her life back on track, grieving the loss of her twin sister and fighting a deep depression. Despite her fame, she feels alone in the world and keeps thinking of the woman she owes her life to.

After Ella shows up in…


Ever The Hero

By Darby Harn,

Book cover of Ever The Hero

Molly J. Bragg Author Of Scatter

From the list on sapphic superhero.

Who am I?

I’m a trans woman who writes sapphic science fiction, fantasy, superhero novels, and contemporary romance. I’m been a huge fan of superheroes my whole life, and Supergirl has been my favorite superhero since I saw the original Helen Slater movie back in the 80s. In addition to being a fan, I’m currently writing a series of sapphic superhero novels called Hearts of Heroes.

Molly's book list on sapphic superhero

Discover why each book is one of Molly's favorite books.

Why did Molly love this book?

Kit is a scavenger in a city ruined by an alien spaceship that crashed decades ago, giving rise to superheroes. When a chance meeting leads to her starting a relationship with Valene Blackwood, one of the most powerful superheroes on the planet. A little too powerful. 

Valene’s powers are slowly driving her mad. Kit sets out to find a way to help Valene, but ends up getting superpowers of her own, and in a duel to the death with Valene’s father, who wants to take over the city. 

I love this book because it’s a unique take on the question of what makes someone a hero, while also looking at how people with privilege respond to marginalized people gaining power, and why some relationships are doomed to fail.

Ever The Hero

By Darby Harn,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ever The Hero as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Superheroes are big business. Imagine not being able to afford them.



Kit Baldwin can't afford trouble, not in a city where superhuman Empowered only offer their help for a fee. But rent doesn't wait so she scavenges the ruins for valuable artifacts from a crashed alien ship. When Kit discovers a powerful alien object, it pays off more than she ever hoped.


The artifact draws the attention of Valene Blackwood, the one Empowered with a conscience. Valene's gifts come at a price; she hears everything, everywhere, always. Kit's ambition morphs into harnessing the object's cosmic potential to mitigate the trauma…


The Beverly Malibu

By Katherine V. Forrest,

Book cover of The Beverly Malibu

Iza Moreau Author Of The News in Small Towns

From the list on mysteries featuring lesbian detectives.

Who am I?

Halfway through my first novel, I realized that I was writing in a genre that had received little critical study and had almost no visibility. To find my way around the genre—and my place within it—I began reading heavily and before I knew it, I had read well over 200 lesbian mystery novels and devoured almost every serious review and critical study The dozen books I have written over the last decade reflect this study. In them, I hope I have succeeded in expanding the genre in some small way and adding to the menu of a hungry and discerning LGBTQ audience. 

Iza's book list on mysteries featuring lesbian detectives

Discover why each book is one of Iza's favorite books.

Why did Iza love this book?

Forrest’s Kate Delafield, a San Francisco homicide detective, is surely the most famous character in lesbian mystery fiction. She is also the first lesbian police officer. Although most of Forrest’s 10 Delafield novels deserve 5-star ratings, The Beverly Malibu goes far beyond the usual whodunit limits in that it revisits the terrible McCarthy era when minorities—including the LGBTQ community—were kicked down at by the elite. This is also the book where Kate meets her long-time lover Aimee. 

The Beverly Malibu

By Katherine V. Forrest,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Beverly Malibu as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

On Thanksgiving Day, LAPD homicide detective Kate Delafield and her partner, Ed Taylor, are called to an apartment building on the edge of Beverly Hills to investigate a premeditated and pitiless murder.

No one appears particularly grieved by the shocking end to old-time Hollywood director Owen Sinclair. Surely not three other tenants of the Beverly Malibu, who worked in the motion picture industry during the blacklist years and loathed Sinclair for having been a "friendly witness" before the House Un-American Activities Committee.

Nor is Sinclair's latest ex-wife grieved or even his children. Nor film actress and former paramour Maxine Marlowe.…


Whitewater Rendezvous

By Kim Baldwin,

Book cover of Whitewater Rendezvous

Rachel Spangler Author Of Thrust

From the list on sporty sapphic romances.

Who am I?

As the author of several sapphic sports romances, I find sports world rife with passion, complexities, and inherent conflict. I’ve had the privilege of working with several professional athletes and Olympians, and I’m always drawn to their drive. Sports, especially high-level sports, function as a pressure cooker to reveal our real personalities for better or for worse. There’s something appealing about studying people who push their minds and bodies to the brink in pursuit of something bigger than themselves. I think in some small way that connects with who as I am a writer and my own drive to always improve.

Rachel's book list on sporty sapphic romances

Discover why each book is one of Rachel's favorite books.

Why did Rachel love this book?

This is one of my favorite romances of all time, and while it’s not a novel about a competitive sport, I think it’s important to note sports can provide so much more than “winning” narratives. In this book, a group of women whitewater kayak through Alaska, and they use their outdoor sporting skills for a wonderful adventure wrapped around a sexy romance that still gives me all the heart feels even after having read it at least ten times. I love literally everything about this book, from the beautiful settings to the character development to the action scenes. Ten out of ten for Kim Baldwin.

Whitewater Rendezvous

By Kim Baldwin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Whitewater Rendezvous as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Danger, destiny, and romance on the river.A wilderness kayak adventure brings together two very different women—Chaz Herrick, a laid-back outdoorswoman, and Megan Maxwell, a workaholic news executive. As they battle the challenges of nature for survival, they discover that true love may be nothing at all like they imagined.


Tipping the Velvet

By Sarah Waters,

Book cover of Tipping the Velvet

Michelle L. Teichman Author Of The Space Between

From the list on young adult books for women of all ages.

Who am I?

At heart, I’m still just a girl. I don’t think I’ll ever grow out of wanting to experience the excitement of first kisses, first loves, and of coming out, when everything was new and exciting, and the world was full of promise. That’s why we return to YA even as adults. To feel the butterflies of a first crush, the fluttering of first love, and the agony of first loss. Those transformative books, the ones that change the trajectory of our lives, are usually young adult novels. I wrote The Space Between to give readers a story to fall in love with and take with them the rest of their lives.

Michelle's book list on young adult books for women of all ages

Discover why each book is one of Michelle's favorite books.

Why did Michelle love this book?

If you identify anywhere on the LGBTIQ2+ scale and haven’t heard of Sarah Waters, you’ve likely been living under a rock.

Her debut novel, Tipping the Velvet, is probably better known as the three-part BBC series, but the book is what truly makes the characters come to life. From naïve, small town, oyster-girl in Kent to the life of the London Stage, Waters takes you through Victorian-era England via the point of view of beloved heroine Nan Astley.

If you’re looking for a sexy, sensuous, and downright gritty novel about what life was truly like for a ‘tom’ growing up and coming out in the nineteenth century, this is the book.

Tipping the Velvet

By Sarah Waters,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Tipping the Velvet as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Piercing the shadows of the naked stage was a single shaft of rosy limelight, and in the centre of this was a girl: the most marvellous girl - I knew it at once! - that I had ever seen.'

A saucy, sensuous and multi-layered historical romance set in the 'roaring' 1890s, Tipping the Velvet follows the glittering career of Nan King on her journey from Whitstable oyster-girl to music-hall star to cross-dressing rentboy to East End 'tom'.


One Last Stop

By Casey McQuiston,

Book cover of One Last Stop

Lianyu Tan Author Of The Wicked and the Willing

From the list on inspired by history with queer Chinese protagonists.

Who am I?

I loved books as a kid, especially fantasy books, but could never find anyone like me within their pages. I’m a lesbian Chinese writer who adores stories about messed-up, complicated queer people. I’m thrilled by the range of books available now that feature queer and Asian characters. We all deserve representation, and to me that means representation that’s complex, that encompasses the ugly and the beautiful. One of my goals as an author is to make you fall in love with monsters—brutal, flawed women who may not deserve love, but who demand it all the same.

Lianyu's book list on inspired by history with queer Chinese protagonists

Discover why each book is one of Lianyu's favorite books.

Why did Lianyu love this book?

One Last Stop is an example of why I rarely read blurbs, because I’m allergic to spoilers, but it’s impossible to talk about this book without spoiling the premise (which is on the blurb), so here it is: a floundering Southern plus-sized bi white girl meets a Chinese butch on the train in New York, and said butch turns out to be displaced in time from the 1970s.

It’s a new adult sapphic rom-com, with fated love, grumpy x sunshine, and found family tropes, plus the whole “teaching a time traveler about the internet” thing. It was cute and heartfelt, like everything from McQuiston, with a side dose of queer history lessons.

One Last Stop

By Casey McQuiston,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked One Last Stop as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For cynical twenty-three-year-old August, moving to New York City is supposed to prove her right: that things like magic and cinematic love stories don't exist, and the only smart way to go through life is alone. She can't imagine how waiting tables at a 24-hour pancake diner and moving in with too many weird roommates could possibly change that. And there's certainly no chance of her subway commute being anything more than a daily trudge through boredom and electrical failures.

But then, there's this gorgeous girl on the train.

Jane. Dazzling, charming, mysterious, impossible Jane. Jane with her rough edges…


Kellen's Moment

By Robin Alexander,

Book cover of Kellen's Moment

Mavis Applewater Author Of Home For The Holidays

From the list on holiday romance.

Who am I?

I am an award winning author who loves a good romance. I love when two unlikely people meet under challenging circumstance. Bringing these two characters together has been the basis of all fourteen of my books. Home For The Holidays took a series of short stories and blended two of my favorite events finding love and the holidays. 

Mavis' book list on holiday romance

Discover why each book is one of Mavis' favorite books.

Why did Mavis love this book?

Robin Alexander is one of my favorite author’s. She blends romance and humor into a heart warming tale. Kellen is looking for that perfect moment. The perfect person to share her life with. Finally, she is convinced that she’s found her. There is one major problem, the love of her life Stevie is a Sealy and Kellen is a McLin. Much like the Haitfields and the McCoys the McLin’s and the Sealys do not mix.

Kellen's Moment

By Robin Alexander,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Kellen's Moment as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Kellen McLin has been waiting for her moment for a long time. She says when two people who are meant to be together find each other, they know it instantly. Kellen believes her moment girl has finally arrived, but there’s one big problem—she’s a Sealy. The McLins and the Sealys are south Louisiana’s version of the Hatfields and the McCoys.

Stevie Sealy left Louisiana for college and didn’t return except for holiday visits with her family. After a breakup with her boyfriend, she decides to move back to the town of Sealy temporarily. She never really understood or wanted to…


The Price of Salt

By Patricia Highsmith,

Book cover of The Price of Salt: Or Carol

Mari SanGiovanni Author Of Greetings From Jamaica, Wish You Were Queer

From the list on LGBTQ+ books that are also movies (…or should be).

Who am I?

When I was young and just figuring out the whole gay thing, I had to cross state lines to see the one gay movie and smuggle out the one library book I was too afraid to check out. In the 1970s and 80s I grew up knowing I was part of a group that was rarely talked about, aside from jokes. I've enjoyed so many stories that didn't represent me. If the struggle is real, I want to see, hear, and feel the whole messy bunch of it. I like the uncomfortable process of writing, and make promises that I later break: I can always tone this part down later…and then I never do.

Mari's book list on LGBTQ+ books that are also movies (…or should be)

Discover why each book is one of Mari's favorite books.

Why did Mari love this book?

Groundbreaking at the time, simply because it featured a happy ending between two women…what a concept! Seems like this should not have been a tall order, yet, in 1952, it was a revolutionary idea that a lesbian love story would not end with tragedy which was the recipe of the day if a writer dared to write about forbidden love. 

If you are addicted to push/pull in romance stories where the stakes are high but the characters are willing to jump higher, you may fall in love with this book. 

The novel was mesmerizing and lovingly translated into film. Hollywood learned that if you want a straight audience to easily imagine how a woman who had been living a straight life previously (though not authentically) could fall for another woman, simply cast Cate Blanchett in the film and, boom, everyone gets it.

The Price of Salt

By Patricia Highsmith,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Price of Salt as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

WITH A NEW FOREWORD BY VAL McDERMID

Therese is just an ordinary sales assistant working in a New York department store when a beautiful, alluring woman in her thirties walks up to her counter. Standing there, Therese is wholly unprepared for the first shock of love. Therese is an awkward nineteen-year-old with a job she hates and a boyfriend she doesn't love; Carol is a sophisticated, bored suburban housewife in the throes of a divorce and a custody battle for her only daughter. As Therese becomes irresistibly drawn into Carol's world, she soon realizes how much they both stand to…


Curious Wine

By Katherine V. Forrest,

Book cover of Curious Wine

A. L. Brooks Author Of Dare to Love

From the list on coming out later in life.

Who am I?

I knew in my early teens that I wasn’t straight, but back then, the thought of coming out was too scary. I waited until I was twenty-three to do so, and it was still scary even being ten years older! So I can relate to stories of women of all ages discovering their less-than-straight sexuality. It’s rarely easy, no matter how many years you’ve lived already. It still requires good support from the people who love you, and one thing in common in all of the books I’ve recommended is that family, or often found family, plays a crucial role in the newly-out woman feeling comfortable being themselves.

A. L.'s book list on coming out later in life

Discover why each book is one of A. L.'s favorite books.

Why did A. L. love this book?

The first sapphic book I ever read, over 30 years ago, still holds a special place in my heart. The two women stumble into their attraction for each other in a way that is believable and tender, and they take a journey together that is still relevant to our times. While one woman, Lane, had previously thought a same-sex relationship could be a real possibility for her, the other, Diana, had literally no idea until she meets Lane and is swept off her feet by her feelings. Simply a lovely story that I’ve re-read many times.

Curious Wine

By Katherine V. Forrest,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Curious Wine as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The intimacy of a cabin at Lake Tahoe provides the combustible circumstances that bring Diana Holland and Lane Christianson together in this passionate novel of first discovery.

Candid in its eroticism, intensely romantic, remarkably beautiful, CURIOUS WINE is a love story that will remain in your memory.


Twice Shy

By Aurora Rey,

Book cover of Twice Shy

'Nathan Burgoine Author Of Faux Ho Ho

From the list on queer audiobooks to walk your dog by.

Who am I?

As someone who’s never been allowed to drive, but gets motion-sick reading in a bus or car, I’ve been a lover of audiobooks since I had my Walkman and a backpack full of audiobook cassettes. As a queer man, I’m always looking for more immersive stories about people like me. Finding queer voices and queer narratives is so important to me as a way to offset how queer people don’t have an inherited continuance of our culture as most marginalized people do; books are a way to fill that gap. I do own a rescued husky, and there’s nothing like an engrossing audiobook to get me through those minus-forty Canadian winter walks with a dog.

'Nathan's book list on queer audiobooks to walk your dog by

Discover why each book is one of 'Nathan's favorite books.

Why did 'Nathan love this book?

The way Rey handles butch-femme relationships never fail to impress me, and I think so much of it comes down to how expertly she manages to make her butch characters so non-toxic in their masculinity. They support without taking over, lead without diminishing, and her characters are so often imperfectly doing their best that you root for them even when you know they’re about to do something they’ll regret. Twice Shy puts two women together who’ve both divorced their exes, and listening to Kiera Grace perform Quinn and Amanda tentatively finding their way to each other was as sweet as Amanda’s bakery’s cupcakes. Oh, I should warn you, though: any Rey book will make you hungry. Bring snacks.

Twice Shy

By Aurora Rey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Twice Shy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Sometimes, you get a second chance at love. Sometimes, you hook up with your ex and remember why you broke up in the first place.

Amanda Russo knows better than to give her failed marriage another try, but the brief fling reminds her there’s more to life than work and parenting. When the architect she hires to remodel her bakery turns out to be as charming as she is talented, Amanda finds herself ready to take a chance on new love. The only problem? Her ex-wife didn’t get the memo.

For Quinn Sullivan, the sting of divorce is still fresh.…


Sisters of the Great War

By Suzanne Feldman,

Book cover of Sisters of the Great War

Connie Hertzberg Mayo Author Of The Sharp Edge of Mercy

From the list on historical fiction with rockstar nurses.

Who am I?

My mother went back to school for her PhD in Anatomy when I was a pre-teen. During the summers of my high school years I worked with her in her lab, and let me tell you, you see your mother in a new light when you see her dissect a rat. Though I didn’t go into medicine, anyone raised in our household learned an impressive amount of biology just sitting around the dinner table. Consequently, I’ve always loved fiction with a medical bent. My mother was also the one to introduce me to historical fiction, so perhaps I was fated to write a historical novel with a nurse protagonist.

Connie's book list on historical fiction with rockstar nurses

Discover why each book is one of Connie's favorite books.

Why did Connie love this book?

Two sisters from Baltimore volunteer for WWI, one as a nurse, one as an ambulance driver. Though this isn’t a romance, each find love amid the gruesome reality of war – one with a doctor, one with another (female) ambulance driver. The sheer number of amputations will leave your head spinning.

Sisters of the Great War

By Suzanne Feldman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sisters of the Great War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Inspired by real women, this powerful novel tells the story of two unconventional American sisters who volunteer at the front during World War I

August 1914. While Europe enters a brutal conflict unlike any waged before, the Duncan household in Baltimore, Maryland, is the setting for a different struggle. Ruth and Elise Duncan long to escape the roles that society, and their controlling father, demand they play. Together, the sisters volunteer for the war effort—Ruth as a nurse, Elise as a driver.

Stationed at a makeshift hospital in Ypres, Belgium, Ruth soon confronts war’s harshest lesson: not everyone can be…


Legends & Lattes

By Travis Baldree,

Book cover of Legends & Lattes

Samara Breger Author Of A Long Time Dead

From the list on queer monsters who need a little kiss.

Who am I?

I am a writer and performer born and raised in New York City. In my previous life, I was an Emmy-nominated journalist and digital media producer, covering sexual and reproductive health. In addition to writing, I love musical improv, opera, Olympic weightlifting, and spending time with my wife and dog.

Samara's book list on queer monsters who need a little kiss

Discover why each book is one of Samara's favorite books.

Why did Samara love this book?

Just because you’re a monster doesn’t mean that you have to be a monster professionally.

Viv is an orc who leaves her past as an adventuring barbarian behind in favor of opening a cafe. In focusing on enjoyment instead of terror, growth instead of destruction, and staying in one place instead of forever roaming, she gives herself and her community a place to find peace.

The romance is almost incidental; as Viv puts down roots, her bond with Tandri naturally blooms. Tandri, too, is tasked with shirking the expectations of a creature of her non-human nature. Together, they reaffirm that each of them is dictated by choice, not destiny: the more powerful force by far. And after coffee, little kisses.

Legends & Lattes

By Travis Baldree,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Legends & Lattes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

High fantasy, low stakes - with a double-shot of coffee.

After decades of adventuring, Viv the orc barbarian is finally hanging up her sword for good. Now she sets her sights on a new dream - for she plans to open the first coffee shop in the city of Thune. Even though no one there knows what coffee actually is.

If Viv wants to put the past behind her, she can't go it alone. And help might arrive from unexpected quarters. Yet old rivals and new stand in the way of success. And Thune's shady underbelly could make it all…


The World Unseen

By Shamim Sarif,

Book cover of The World Unseen

Kay Acker Author Of Leaving's Not the Only Way to Go

From the list on sapphic about finding happiness in hard times.

Who am I?

I believe deeply that, as messy and painful as life is, there is always joy, and usually humor, to be found. The book I wrote, Leaving’s Not the Only Way to Go, pulls from some of the painful experiences I’ve had, and I often find myself following my description of the book, about two women who meet in a grief group, with “but it’s not a downer!” It’s true, because Leaving is also inspired by all the joy and connections I’ve made for myself, even in the midst of loss. I learned how to balance the two sides of life through books like the ones on this list. 

Kay's book list on sapphic about finding happiness in hard times

Discover why each book is one of Kay's favorite books.

Why did Kay love this book?

Another classic lesbian novel.

Two Asian women living in South Africa in the 1950s meet and take hold of a beautiful opportunity to care for each other, despite both personal struggles and the broader challenges of trying to build a life during Apartheid.

There is tragedy and loss, and also hope and defiance; the two of them have little victories, both personal and political, that build toward a promising future, even if they haven’t quite made it there yet.

The World Unseen

By Shamim Sarif,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The World Unseen as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 1950's South Africa, a free-spirited café owner falls for a young wife and mother. Their unexpected attraction pushes them to question the cruel rules of a world that divides white from black and women from men, but a world that might just allow an unexpected love to survive.