2021 Book of the Month Winners

Every month, readers get a chance to vote for their favorite new releases featured in the I Heart Lesfic newsletter. Below, you’ll find the winners for each month.

 

February 2021 Winners

 

ROMANCE / ROM COM

 

MERCY

Four Point Universe: Book 11

by Max Ellendale

Available in Kindle Unlimited

Ex-rock star, Dusty Song, abandons her music career to become a U.S. Marshal tasked with safeguarding vulnerable people from the criminals set on silencing them. When Dusty first encounters the illustrious Honorable Judge Bidwell, she sees a woman marked by the cases she’s tried.

Years later, Dusty remembers the strong-willed, audacious woman as the unlikeable star of the courtroom. When she’s called in to revisit the case following a series of disturbing reports, she comes upon a Mercedes Bidwell much different than her memory recalls. The two women walk together on a path seeded by those who came before them, carrying a silent wish in hope that someday someone will see them for who they truly are.

 

EROTICA / EROTIC ROMANCE

 

ON THE RECORD

Love in the Limelight: Book 1

by Raven J. Spencer

Available in Kindle Unlimited

Out and proud lesbian singer/songwriter Emmy Whittaker is not amused when her manager books her on Andrea Stone’s show.  Stone, who has a reputation for hearing differing opinions on controversial issues, doesn’t fit the bill.

For the concessions Andrea has made, she’s been rewarded with a stellar career and wealth. In her opinion, the sacrifices have been worth it. Meeting Emmy shakes her beliefs.

A fateful decision they make leads her to understand that sometimes, the cost of compromise can be too high…

On The Record is the first book in the Love In The Limelight trilogy. Each title features a different couple and can be read as standalone.

 

HISTORICAL ROMANCE

 

A CALL TO JUSTICE

The Journey of Sarah Sawyer: Book 3

by S.W. Andersen

Gunslinger Sarah Sawyer has overcome her demons, vengeance-seeking relatives, and a loner streak as wide as the horizon to settle down out west with her partner, Jo.

But peace seems too much to ask for with the influx of new settlers, illness, and brazen thefts stirring tensions.

When a spate of white killings puts Native Americans in the crosshairs as the culprits, Sarah has a whole lot of questions and few answers she’s willing to swallow.

Driven by her desire to protect her town and root out injustice, Sarah reluctantly picks up the badge and seeks to reveal the truth.

Book three in the Sarah Sawyer series is an exciting Western that’s as down to earth as the dust on a tough rancher’s boots.

 

FANTASY & PARANORMAL

 

UNCHARTED

by Alli Temple

Available in Kindle Unlimited

In a world of arrogant nobles and their punishing laws, Georgina will be hanged if anyone discovers she is a spy. But when the wicked prince proposes marriage, Georgina must accept. Refusing would expose the secrets she has delivered to a hidden resistance and forfeit her life. With her wedding day looming ever closer, salvation comes from an unlikely source.

Pirate Captain Cinder is a terror on the open sea, striking fear into hearts wherever she sails. Now she has a new target. The vulnerable Princess Georgina should be an easy mark in Cinder’s kidnapping plot. But the legend of Captain Cinder is more intertwined with Georgina’s own history than either of them expect.

Treacherous storms. A mysterious pirate king. The prince’s unrelenting pursuit. Georgina and Cinder can only escape by following the uncharted course of their hearts. But just as a future together is within their grasp, Cinder’s past threatens to drag them both to the deep.

Uncharted contains piratical violence.

 

THRILLER / MYSTERY / ACTION & ADVENTURE

 

OUTSIDE IN

by Breanna Hughes

Cali Evans is a survivor. Her life hasn’t been easy, but her late father raised her to be smart, tough, and dependent only on herself and her wits. On the eve of her 21st birthday she meets Owen Bray – a beautiful and intriguing young doctor who equally frustrates and captivates Cali. That fateful meeting inspires Cali to make a better life for herself.

The next day, hoping to make positive change, Cali hops a bus for the West Coast but never reaches her destination. Instead, she wakes up in an underground bunker with no recollection of how she got there. Upon her arrival, she learns that she’s one of just forty survivors of a fast-spreading environmental toxin and that human life outside of the bunker has ceased to exist.

Tired of the vague explanations and half-answers coming from the people in charge, Cali takes it upon herself to investigate the real reason why she’s there and begins to uncover the sinister truth.

Trigger Warning: Some violence.

 

MEMOIR

 

BETWEEN A ROCK AND A SOFT PLACE

by Renee Bess

The short stories in this collection invite you to walk alongside characters in the midst of their journeys. Meet the Black high school student who dares to take a glimpse of her future-self while she sits at the mercy of the straightening comb in the beauty parlor. Observe the newly-degreed journalism major who travels alone to 1920’s Paris in search of truths and secrets. Tread gently beside the woman who struggles to cope with her lover’s departure.

 

AUDIOBOOK

 

ACCIDENTAL HONEYMOON

by Miranda MacLeod

narrated by Lori Prince

Would you marry a woman you hate for a life-changing inheritance?

Monica’s business has been hit hard by a global recession, her ex-girlfriend is selling the house out from under her, and the hot handy ma’am Ray, who was hired to fix up the place, turns out to be the most annoying woman on the planet. Could things get any worse?

All Ray wants is to finish her job and say adios to the world’s most high-maintenance client. But after being mistaken for Monica’s girlfriend, how can Ray walk away when going along with the charade would grant an old lady her dying wish? It’s not like Ray intended to be so charming that Monica’s grandmother would rewrite her will.

Now, the unlikely couple stands to inherit a vineyard in rural New England and a heap of cash large enough to change both their lives. The only hitch? They have to get hitched. And since Monica is a professional wedding blogger, they’ll have to make it the wedding of the century while convincing two million followers they’re madly in love.

No problem, aside from the simple fact that they can’t stand each other. There’s a good chance the whole thing could end in disaster, but is it possible these enemies might find true love along the way?

Best-selling lesbian fiction author Miranda MacLeod has written a slow-burn fake-relationship romance that will warm you through and through. Listen to it today!

 

January 2021 Winners

 

ROMANCE

 

CAPTIVE IN THE UNDERWORLD

by Lianyu Tan

A dark lesbian romance retelling of the Hades/Persephone myth.

In the land of the dead, Queen Hades’ word is law. Hades gets what she wants—always—and what she wants is a certain goddess of the springtime.

Innocent Persephone never expected to fall prey to the Queen of the Underworld. With her tears and pleas for freedom ignored by pitiless Hades, Persephone must learn to satisfy her keeper in all ways, lest she suffer the consequences.

And though she cannot deny that something blooms within her, something forbidden, Persephone despairs of ever feeling the sun upon her skin once more.

No matter the cost, Hades intends to keep her. Forever.

Trigger Warnings: Non-con/dub-con scenes between the main characters, emotionally/physically abusive relationship between the adult heroine and her mother, references to parental neglect and abuse when the heroine was a child.

 

EROTICA

 

CURIOUS

by Les Mood

Available in Kindle Unlimited

This is a collection of twelve stories about women discovering and exploring new aspects of their sexuality. Some of the women depicted, as in the title story Curious, are scratching an itch they did not realize they had. Some of them, as in Les Biennes Society of London, are indulging the desires they had been suppressing. Several of the stories are about women unexpectedly, and happily, finding themselves being seduced by another woman.

Each story can be read independently, although a few have overlapping characters. And each story contains descriptions of intimate activities, sometimes involving more than two people, and thus are intended for adult readers only.

 

FANTASY / SCI-FI / SPECULATIVE / PARANORMAL / DYSTOPIAN

 

INSPIRATION TAKES A VACATION

by Annette Mori

Available in Kindle Unlimited

Abby Prentice is suffering through the worst writer’s block in her entire career. After deciding to escape her home’s confines, she takes a walk on the beach and meets a mysterious woman who, Abby believes, must be the reincarnation of Helen of Troy. After the strange woman claims that she is on vacation, Abby quickly offers her personal services as a tour guide. Evasive about where she lives and why she has chosen Forks, Washington, as the destination for her three-day vacation, the stranger is only mildly annoying to Abby.

Feeling burnt out, Musetta desperately needs a vacation. Her boss reluctantly agrees to three days. On the first day of her adventure, she is delighted to almost literally run into her favorite writer and begin her three-day adventure. As she spends more time with Abby, she finds it increasingly difficult to return to her job despite the catastrophic consequences of leaving her position. For the first time, Musetta is falling in love.

Soon into their journey, both women notice something odd is happening all around them. Abby is not the only writer experiencing a block. Art in every form has come to a screeching halt in the Northwest. The media is forecasting an end to cultured civilization, beauty, and emotion as we know it. Will the women find a way to return inspiration to the Northwest, and does Musetta have the key to solving the crisis?

 

ROMANTIC SUSPENSE / MYSTERY / THRILLER

 

LOVE KILLS TWICE

Fatal Fidelity: Book 1

by Rien Gray

She needs an assassin.
They’re the best in the business.
Falling in love was never part of the deal.

Desperate to escape her abusive husband, Justine hires a contract killer. Campbell’s services come at a high price, and their dark, seductive charisma leads Justine right into their bed. Hiding an affair while Campbell designs the perfect murder has Justine walking a tightrope of stress, but each time the two of them sleep together, it’s harder not to get attached. Campbell struggles with their own traumatic past, convinced that the truth will drive Justine away.

There’s a faint hope that things could work, save for one problem: Justine’s husband wants her dead too.

Revenge is easy—heartbreak could cost both of them everything.

Trigger Warning: There is one on-page murder of a side character and mentions of past domestic abuse.

 

POETRY / FICTION

 

POETRY FOR THE PEOPLE!

Poetry for the New Millennium

by Sandra de Helen

“Can I change hearts and minds? I’m trying.”
From “Day 82: Can I Change?”

Sandra de Helen’s newest poetry collection is all about changing hearts and minds. This collection of poems, gleaned from many decades of keen observation, show the poet to be insightful and clear-headed yet displaying
a sly wit. Her musings on justice, politics, women in society, war and peace, racism, the 2020 pandemic, and more will be enjoyed by anyone with a heart. The poems here go all out with attitude and with skillful creation by a poet at the top of her game. As the Rainbow Awards judges said: “The author wrote with lyrical, beautiful sentences that painted pictures in my mind. Her choices in style and presentation were fabulous.”

 

AUDIOBOOK

 

TWO TO TANGLE

Tangle Valley: Book 2

by Melissa Brayden

narrated by Melissa Sternenberg

Finding forever is simply too hard.

As a renowned chef, Gabriella Russo knows how to season a good dish. It’s her personal life that’s been too spicy for her liking. Ready to take a break from the rollercoaster of romance, Gabriella’s moved to Oregon to open Tangled, a restaurant on the grounds of Tangle Valley Vineyard. A good glass of wine and space to create is all she requires.

Ryan Jacks brings all the girls to the yard, or so it should say on her business card. She’s a skilled carpenter who’s been told more than once that she’s good with her hands. When Ryan takes a job building a new restaurant, her world comes to a halt. The sassy chef is sexy, insightful, and comes with the kind of smart mouth that has Ryan rethinking just about everything. But with Gabriella off the menu, what’s Ryan supposed to do?