Hi everyone! I hope you’re having a great week so far! I’m back with day two of my Pride Month posts with something a bit different! I’ve been seeing around a few people who want to get into adult sapphic romance novels but don’t really know where to start, and although I’m far from being an expert on the subject, I do read quite a bit in the genre. So, I thought, hey, let’s put that knowledge to good use and create a starting point for you with plenty of options in different subgenres and the likes to get you started!
Big Names, Big Publishers
So, I think a great, and pretty accessible place to start for beginners is looking at some of the bigger names and bigger titles being released from more mainstream publishing houses. Obviously, I’m sure you’re all aware of Casey McQuiston’s latest release which is an adult sapphic romance with some time-traveley elements to it – One Last Stop. Thanks to Casey being pretty well known, this makes the book pretty easy to pick up at your local bookshops, and you don’t need to do a whole lot of hunting to find it. Honey Girl is another 2021 release (and one of my all time favourite books) that is a fantastic place to start if you’re looking for really wonderful character relationships as well as a book that will probably make you tear up a bit! If you’re a fan of fake dating with a slight hint of hate-to-love then Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur is perfect for you (the sequel is also out now and features queer protagonists!). It’s also a great choice if you’re looking for a book to read around Christmas time that’s heavy on the cute factor but light on the festivity! The next two I haven’t had a chance to pick up yet, but I’ve heard great things! Something to Talk About is great for fans of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo (also another great book!) and features a romance between a well-loved actress and her assistant. Finally, Alyssa Cole’s latest novel How to Find a Princess is her latest sapphic offering (though I also highly recommend her novella, Once Ghosted, Twice Shy) and is an Anastasia retelling with Black sapphic protagonists and modern-day royalty!
Smaller queer publishing houses like Bold Strokes Books, Ylva Publishing, Bella Books, and NineStar Press are also a fantastic place to start! Here are just a few of the bigger names in indie publishing that I think are also a good place to start off your adult sapphic romance journey, and that are still pretty accessible! Jae is arguably one of the biggest names in lesfic, and I’m a wee bit ashamed to say that I’m yet to pick up one of her books! One of her latest releases, Wrong Number, Right Woman, seems to be a real favourite among sapphic romance readers and it features a slow burn butch/femme romance! Lee Winter is another favourite and is often hailed as being the writer to go to if you’re looking for a great ice queen romance! The Brutal Truth is one of her more well known titles and is perfect for those of you who want to read about a hot sapphic woman who would walk all over you! Georgia Beers is a personal favourite of mine – she writes really sweet small-town sapphic romances, and one I really enjoyed is Hopeless Romantic, which I think would really appeal to fans of The Falling in Love Montage by Ciara Smyth with its focus on rom-coms! I’m also yet to pick up one of Melissa Brayden’s books, but I have it on good authority that her Tangle Valley Romance series, beginning with Entangled, is really wonderful! Finally, we have Clare Lydon who is an author of a great number of lesfic romance novels! Before You Say I Do is probably one of her better known ones and feels very much like Imagine Me and You in book form!
Maybe contemporary and romance is not really your style, and you just want to dip your toes into the genre to get a feel for it – why not try starting out with a novella! There are tonnes out there to choose from, including some great ones you can read on Kindle Unlimited – in fact, all bar this first novella are available to read for free on Kindle Unlimited! Knit One, Girl Two is a really sweet and fluffy sapphic novella with Jewish main characters, a fat main character, and is perfect for lovers of fanfiction! It’s great if you’re looking for something with low angst and lots of cuteness! Skye Kilaen is one of my favourite indie authors – she’s never let me down – and Get It Right is a really great romance between a butch lesbian parolee and a gorgeous fat pansexual nurse who are figuring out their feelings for each other. This book has amazing characters and wonderful representation! Margaux Fox is another favourite of mine, and if you’re looking for something more in the vein of thrillers and fast-paced plots, try Falling For Her – Margaux’s writing is really great and this book will have you questioning everything! Electric Love is Shannon O’Connor’s debut novella and features both a really interesting narrative style and so much sapphic sexual tension! Plus the main character has the sweetest kid and some great friends who also have their own twisty stories! Finally, if you want to try out sapphic romance and support a trans author at the same time – try Lily Seabrooke’s writing! Her latest novella, Reach the Stars, is a grumpy/sunshine romance with a tv singing competition in which the main characters are up against each other!
Genres and Sub-genres
Okay, maybe you’ve got this far and you’re like, Althea, these are great and all, but I’m a fantasy/thriller/insert-genre-here reader and these don’t feel like my cup of tea. And that’s fair enough, but I’ve got you! If you’re looking for a paranormal romance, why not give Toni Logan’s Share the Moon a go! This is set in a struggling vineyard and features three different romances, one of which features a ghost! If multiple POVs are your kinda thing, why not try it out! If you’re a big fan of historical fiction then I highly recommend Anne Shade’s latest novel, Masquerade! This is set in 1920s Harlem and follows two Black lesbian main characters falling in love to the backdrop of queer masquerade drag balls. If that doesn’t sell you already, then there’s also a really exciting thriller-esque plotline to it, too! If you want fantasy, especially if you love the cottagecore aesthetic, why not pick up Spellbound by Ophelia Silk. This is another novella that the people seem to love! It focusses on gentleness, honesty and the power of healing and following your heart, and is set in a tiny cabin in a very dangerous forest! Also the love interest is the witch that the village fears! If you love mysteries and thrillers, why not pick up Stone’s Mistake by Adrian J. Smith, which was just release on June 1st. This features FBI agents falling for each other over a high-stakes case involving a serial killer, and I can’t wait to pick this one up myself! Finally, I’ve mentioned her before, but this is maybe my favourite of her books so far – Glorious Day by Skye Kilaen. It’s an amazing sapphic sci-fi romance that has a princess/bodyguard dynamic that I know we all love, and it features a disabled main character. This is great if you love complex characters and an action-packed plot, but are still looking for a great romance!
Spicing Things Up
Okay so maybe you’re all good on the romance front but you want something a bit spicier. Fear not, because I have some great erotica recommendations that also feature some cute romance! Not Guilty by Brit Ryder is a great place to start out with this, because the book also has a prequel novella that you can try out if you’re still a bit apprehensive! This features sapphics that work in the legal sector and know exactly what they want and how to get it! A Lesson in Thorns is a pretty well known book in this genre, and it features a cast of characters who are all bisexual and some of the best sex scenes I’ve ever read. It’s also really atmospheric and perfect if you love the dark academia aesthetic! One Weekend in Aspen is another recent release that, despite its cosy exterior, is a whole different kind of hot when you turn the pages! It features a group of single sapphics on a weekend away to a cosy cabin and I’m sure you can figure out where it goes from there! If you’re still looking for something fantasy-related, why not give My Lord a try – this again features a cast of bisexual characters who are all morally-grey, and some really hot vampires! And it has polyamory rep!! This last book’s cover may seem like it’s more of a fluffy contemporary romance, but I can assure you, it is erotica! Fine or Punishment is a funny, short novella featuring a librarian protagonist and a sex worker love interest! It’s one that I’m hoping to pick up soon myself!
If, like me, you’re always on the hunt for books with your favourite tropes, don’t worry, here’s a selection of some you might enjoy! Starting off with enemies-to-lovers we have a personal favourite of mine, The Clinch by Nicole Disney. Technically this is rivals-to-lovers but the whole hate-to-love dynamic is still there! This was my favourite book of January and is perfect if you’re looking for a book with muscly sports sapphics that would not hesitate to punch you in the face (aren’t we all…)! If, like me, friends-to-lovers is more your kinda thing, why not try Lead Me Home by Shannon O’Brien. This is a sweet college romance between a new professor and a your favourite university café worker! The characters in this book are what makes the book shine along with Shannon O’Brien’s witty prose – I highly recommend this one! This next one is maybe a bit obvious! If you love a good ice queen then Ice Queen (told you) by Gun Brooke is really great! This was my first encounter with an ice queen main character and, personally, I loved it! The chemistry and sexual tension between the main characters is so, so good, and the plot is actually really well developed and doesn’t take a back seat to the romance! The next author is one that I’ve heard nothing but great things about, and I’m really excited to read this book. Pas de Deux is perfect for those of you who are looking for a second chance sapphic romance. This also features horse girl (or rather, horse woman?) sapphics but is apparently really easy to grasp even if you’re not immersed in the world of horse riding and dressage! This one is also an enemies-to-lovers romance, so two in one! Finally, if you’re looking for fake dating, here’s another book by Jae to give a go – Just for Show. This is a fake dating romance between a recently dumped bride-to-be and the fake fiancé she hires to keep up appearances. This has OCD rep and looks to be perfect if you, like me, love this trope!
If after all that you’re still looking for recommendations, why not check out my romance shelf on Goodreads, as I’m sure you’ll find something among the hundreds of books (literally) on there! That’s all for today! I hope this post was of some help to you, but if not just leave me a comment and I’d be happy to help you find something that suits you! Have a great day and stay safe, and I’ll see you tomorrow for day 3!