Sapphic Slow Burn Romances (IHL Reading Challenge #3)

Welcome to the third week of the 2022 I Heart Lesfic Reading Challenge. Before we get to the books, we want to remind you of two ways you can interact with other readers to enhance your experience during the challenge this year.

First, you can join the I Heart Lesfic Facebook reader group. Every Monday we will announce the category for the week, and every Wednesday you will have the opportunity to post what book you are reading and be entered into the monthly drawing for a $25 Amazon gift card. (For those who are not on Facebook and still want to enter, remember you can email your reading selection to

Second, we have created a Goodreads group where readers can discuss books, swap recommendations, and generally have a good time.

Now, to get to the task at hand. We paired slow burn romances with slow cooking month, which if you didn’t know was a thing, now you do! To get in the spirit, TB busted the crockpot she purchased a year ago out of the box and made chili.

Below you’ll find reading suggestions for slow burn romances. Better yet, some of them are on sale, so scoop up a fantastic read at a bargain. Before you click any buy buttons, please ensure the sale price matches. (Some international prices may vary.)


The following books are on sale to celebrate slow burn week:


Love at Sunset Cottage

by Jenn Bridges

$0.99 $3.99 (Also in Kindle Unlimited)

Kendall is coming down from a high. Her last art exhibition was a huge success. She has achieved what she’s always strived for. Now the inspiration she needs escapes her. When her agent books her a stay at an Air BNB on Tybee Island Kendall is excited. The warm salty ocean breeze seems like it should be just the ticket to get her out of the rut she’s found herself in. Another side benefit catching up with her former summer fling Riley.

Riley owns the local lesbian hangout. Through the years it’s become a home away from home for the ladies who live or visit the community of Tybee Island. Riley’s quick smile and easy wit make her easy to fall for. Three years ago, she had what amounted to a casual fling with Kendall. Even though their relationship has long sense ended they’ve continued texting one another through the years. Both find themselves excited by the prospect of reconnecting. Though Riley is insistent that she no longer dates tourists she’s immediately drawn once again to her former flame. She finds herself falling harder and harder for Kendall. Her perfect woman is right in front of her. Denying her feelings is hard but falling for a tourist could leave her heart broken.

As Kendall’s two months draws to a close, she’s torn. The trip brings her more than she bargained for. Deep connections, friendships, and if she’s not careful maybe even the prospect of a new romance.


Cafe A’Moor

by Elle Armstrong

$0.99 $3.99 (Also in Kindle Unlimited)

There’s an instant connection when Max and Lauren’s eyes meet across a crowded café. But their attempts to get to know each other, are constantly thwarted by either Max’s mysterious alarm or Lauren’s frenemies, who Max nicknames the three witches.

As the witches stir up a storm, Lauren tries desperately to escape the spell binding her to them. Meanwhile Max is left wondering if her and Lauren are meant to be, or destined to be fated lovers.

A visit from an ex, kickstarts a chain reaction, leading to drama on the moors, that will have far reaching repercussions. Will Max and Lauren get to be each other’s amours, or will outside sources combine with the witches, to spoil everything?


Aspiring Affection

by Nicole Higginbotham-Hogue

$0.99 $4.99

When River Jensen hires Marie Reynolds as her restaurant designer, she is apprehensive about the other woman’s commitment to the project and wonders if the woman’s modeling aspirations will get in the way of her own dreams. However, as their relationship blossoms into one of affection, River’s trust in the other woman is tested, and Marie is left with the choice to follow through with River’s restaurant design or to give up everything to follow her own dreams.


The Truth

by Erica Lee

$1.99 $4.99 (Also in Kindle Unlimited)

Three lives. One truth.

Carly Foster has spent her twenties dating one mistake after another. When she meets Diana Cox, she thinks she finally chose a good one. Little does Carly know, Diana is hiding a big secret. When Diana admits to what she has been hiding, it’s Carly’s turn to decide whether the possibility of Diana being the one is enough to risk making another mistake.

Samantha Phillips is Carly’s best friend, and she has a secret of her own. For years, she has been in love with someone she shouldn’t be. Now she is trying to throw herself back into the dating world and struggling with losing her best friend to a woman who doesn’t seem to deserve her.

Hailey Smith should have it all. She’s married to her high school sweetheart and together they have a sweet little girl. Unfortunately, things aren’t always as perfect as they seem, and Hailey worries her wife may be cheating on her.

These three are about to find out that their lives are connected in ways they would have never imagined. All three have their own story and their own perspective of the life they are living. Every person they meet also does. That leaves one very important question – what is the truth?


Broken Not Shattered

by Rita Potter

$1.99 $8.99 

Even when it seems hopeless, there can always be a better tomorrow.

Jill Bishop has one goal in life – to survive. Jill is trapped in an abusive marriage, while raising two young girls. Her husband has isolated her from the world and filled her days with fear. The last thing on her mind is love, but she sure could use a friend.

Alex McCoy is enjoying a comfortable life, with great friends and a prosperous business. She has given up on love, after picking the wrong woman one too many times. Little does she know, a simple act of kindness might change her life forever.

When Alex lends a helping hand to Jill at the local grocery store, they are surprised by their immediate connection and an unlikely friendship develops. As their friendship deepens, so too do their fears.

In order to protect herself and the girls, Jill can’t let her husband know about her friendship with Alex, and Alex can’t discover what goes on behind closed doors. What would Alex do if she finds out the truth? At the same time, Alex must fight her attraction and be the friend she suspects Jill needs. Besides, Alex knows what every lesbian knows – don’t fall for a straight woman, especially one that’s married…but will her heart listen?



by Monica McCallan

$2.99 $5.99 (Also in Kindle Unlimited)

Campbell St. Clair never expected her first novel to catapult her to success. She should be excited that she’ll be consulting on the movie adaptation, but she’s struggling. Her ability to write her newest novel has been practically non-existent, she’s all but given up on having a social life, and with the recent loss of her father, she’s trying to understand what she wants for her future.

Sloane Murphy’s career has been careening forward for the last decade, so it doesn’t matter that she doesn’t like being an actress. The movie is a great opportunity for her, and in spite of her ambivalence, the show must go on. She’s done this enough times that she just needs to follow the script and hit her lines. But she wasn’t expecting to see Campbell St. Clair, at least that’s what she goes by now, on set, and her presence sends Sloane’s already precarious life into a tailspin when their paths collide again.

Neither are the same people they were when they’d met in college, but do either of them know who they are now? In a world of playing pretend, it’s hard to know what’s real, even if it’s right in front of them.


Playing with Matches

by Lacey Schmidt

$2.99 $7.99 

Dr Augusta Stuart has devoted her adult life to supporting the mental health of disadvantaged children. A lonely move to head a new clinic in San Antonio prompts her to realize she should do something to build her own romantic well-being too. Her foray into the widely variable world of Internet dating contradicts her hopes of finding a reasonable happy-ever-after partner, so she lets a friend set her up instead. That date, with the very contrary Callia Alexana, proves to be the most vexing of all. Their prickly debates are somehow as unexpectedly fascinating as playing with matches, and Gus is forced to consider what preconceptions she is willing to burn to find true love.


Keep scrolling for more reading suggestions!


Chef’s Kiss

by Stephanie Shea

Available in Kindle Unlimited

Valentina Rosas has always known what she wants. Mostly. Sort of. At least, she does now. And what she wants is the coveted staging role at Gia, San Francisco. With four years at the top of her class in culinary school and enough tenacity to fuel the entire Mission, no one doubts she is about to land the job of her dreams—including the three-person cheer squad made up of her best friend and adorably overbearing parents.

Renowned chef Jenn Coleman is not a people person. Her rise to the top of the culinary industry stems from a cultivated blend of top-tier schooling—from her nonna—and bouts of carefully managed misanthropy. Owning and operating two Michelin starred restaurants doesn’t leave time for much else anyway. Just ask her ex.

When the new stage at her restaurant trips into her with all the grace of a baby giraffe, it’s a sure recipe for disaster. But for all of Jenn’s reserve, Valentina has twice the allure, and the chemistry between them is just… chef’s kiss.

If only Jenn wasn’t Valentina’s boss with nearly ten years between them.


Before You Say I Do

by Clare Lydon

What happens if you fall for your bridesmaid?

Abby Porter has a high-flying job and the perfect fiancé in Marcus Montgomery.

But Abby’s world turns on its head when he hires a professional bridesmaid to help her in the run-up to the wedding. When Abby meets Jordan, she can hardly breathe.

Marcus is oblivious.

The wedding is weeks away.

Now, the only question is: will Abby make it to the altar?


Damage Control

by Jae

A famous actress falls for the female PR agent she hired to stop rumors about her sexuality in this heartfelt lesbian slow-burn romance.

An actress practically since birth, Grace Durand has finally made it in Hollywood. When a photo of her in a seeming compromising situation with another woman is plastered all over the tabloids, she fears for her career as a lead in romantic movies.

Desperate for a publicist who’ll convince America that she’s straight, Grace hires Lauren Pearce, one of Hollywood’s leading PR agents, not knowing that she’s a lesbian.

Lauren has dealt with PR nightmares for years, so doing damage control for one more rich, spoiled client shouldn’t be a problem—or so she thinks. But the more time she spends with Grace, the more she realizes how different she is from her television persona.

Getting involved with her client is not in her game plan, especially since it would confirm the rumors and ruin Grace’s career, but the attraction between them is growing as they run the gauntlet of the paparazzi together.


If I Were a Weapon

by Skye Kilaen

Available in Kindle Unlimited

See the future. Set things on fire. Fall in love? A superpowered sci-fi romance.

When dying alien ships materialized across the Earth, their nanite infection knocked Deneve Wilder out cold. She woke up with the ability to see the future. Determined to keep anyone from using her visions for evil, she took to the road. Giving up everything was a small price to pay for freedom.

The ship that hit Jolie Betancourt’s town gave her the power to set things on fire. It was safer to start over in a new city. Then one terrible mistake demonstrated far too clearly that for her, solitude is safer. For everyone.

So when Deneve shows up after a vision of Jolie being kidnapped, Jolie wants little to do with the frustratingly attractive drifter. Deneve’s surprised by how much she wants to thaw the pretty shopkeeper’s chilly attitude, but the idea of staying in one place sets off her alarm bells.

If they can’t evade whoever’s abducting people with powers, however, the growing connection they both feel anyway might be the least of their problems.


Kick Back

by KJ

Available in Kindle Unlimited

Sophia Lindstrom plays football for South Melbourne. She’s tall, focused, intense, and has some major trust issues, which she’s currently ignoring. Sophia just wants her life to stay exactly the same, which means playing AFL, running the boutique fine foods and wine store with her brother, and volunteering at the homeless shelter. The same.Cameron Weathers is smart, sassy, also has some major trust issues, and knows she is a great reporter if only she was given the chance to shine. Her sexist editor assigns her the job of shadowing some of the players from this season’s women’s Australian Rules Football League so she can write fluffy stories for the lifestyle page. Not exactly hard-hitting journalism. When Cam and Sophia meet, there’s instant chemistry, which is immediately put on hold when their everyday lives are shattered by misogyny, media manipulation, and tragedy. Cam, Sophia, and the other players discover that football games are not the only contests they need to win. Now they’re fighting for the entire league, their professional status, and even their lives. Sophia and Cam attempt to expose the sinister activities, come to terms with their mutual attraction, and eventually discover that kicking back at those who seek to destroy can open the door to love.


Fenced-In Felix

by Cheyenne Blue

Felix falls hard for a cute drifter whose horse she’s boarding in this slow-burn, small-town, lesbian romance. But is the woman, or her horse, what they seem?

Felix Jameson is working hard to get her outback hospitality business off the ground. Her work doesn’t leave much time for distractions—and that includes romance.

But when she meets Josie, a drifter who asks Felix to board her horse, Flame, Felix is delighted. Not only can she use the extra money, but it means she will see a lot more of the intriguing Josie.

But there’s something suspicious about Flameꟷshe bears an uncanny resemblance to a valuable stolen racehorse. As Felix falls hard for Josie, it’s hard not to wonder whether the mysterious woman is all she seems.


Up Against Her

by Lisa Elliot

Available in Kindle Unlimited

Skye, Head of Qualitative Research, loves her job exploring what makes people tick and generating insights for her clients. She’s worked her way up and is on the brink of a promotion at her top market research consultancy. But when she’s forced to merge her department and compete for the job she thought was hers, she’s seriously displeased.

Brianna, Head of Quantitative Research, prefers numbers and statistics over people. Confident and successful, she never shows any vulnerability at work and keeps her personal and professional lives strictly separate. She’s only been at the consultancy for six months, so when she’s offered the chance to go for the top job, she doesn’t hesitate.

They have two months to work together, jointly leading a single research team, to prove they should be the next Director of Research. As rivals going for the same job, their opposing styles clash as they try to lead their team into a new future.

They don’t get on. But as they spend more time together, prior assumptions give way to pleasant surprises. Will they keep it professional and ignore the electricity between them? Or will they find their way to each other against the odds?


A Story of Now

by Emily O’Beirne

Nineteen-year-old Claire Pearson knows she needs a life. And some new friends.

But brittle, beautiful, and just a little bit too sassy for her own good sometimes, she no longer makes friends easily. And she has no clue where to start on the whole finding a life front, either. Not after a confidence-shattering year dogged by bad break-ups, friends who have become strangers, and her constant failure to meet her parents sky-high expectations.

When Robbie and Mia walk into Claire’s work they seem the least likely people to help her find a life. But despite Claire’s initial attempts to alienate them, an unexpected new friendship develops.

And it’s the warm, brilliant Mia who seems to get Claire like no one has before. Soon, Claire begins to question her feelings for her new friend.


Dream Lover

by Lyn Denison

Jo Creighton’s life was in tatters. All she had to show for the last ten years was a failed marriage.

She’d grown up in a happy family, believing in fairy tales and true love. Not forgetting the knights on white chargers. And, naive little fool that she’d been, that’s how she’d seen Ben. Until they married. Now their marriage was over. Just another of her failures.

Gathering the last remnants of her resolve Jo decided to make a clean break, get away, find the person she’d been before Ben took over her life, moulding her into the type of wife he’d decided he wanted.

She took leave from work and learned that friends of her parents had a small flat up in the mountains that had just become vacant. It seemed as though it was meant to be. The clean, fresh mountain air would clear the fuzzy cobwebs from her mind. She’d rest, regain her emotional strength, spend some time on her own reacquainting herself with the Jo she’d been ten years ago, find a new path for her new life. Maybe then her recurring dreams would cease, or at least she’d see them through to the end, discover whatever it was she sought but never quite found.

A chance meeting with one of the most self-assured women Jo had ever met gave her new courage. Alex Farmer was all that Jo wasn’t and as her friendship with Alex grew Jo found a new strength in herself. And so much more. But was she strong enough to choose such a radical new direction.


Moon over St. Augustine

by Renn Loraine

Available in Kindle Unlimited

Meg doesn’t believe in ghosts.  And yet…

One night in a foggy St. Augustine cemetery, Meghan Thomas is startled by a beautiful woman who seems to have stepped out of Florida’s Spanish past. Stunned, but thinking the woman needs help, Meg follows her – only to discover she has disappeared.

The incident leaves Meg unnerved, but it’s only the beginning of what happens next: faint footsteps in her apartment at night, the sound of small items scraping across surfaces, and furniture that seems to have moved of its own accord.

And then one day – among the graceful palm trees and historic buildings of the oldest city in the U.S. – Meg seems to be the only one who sees the sensual woman in the black mantilla and long red skirt moving through the ancient coquina streets. Meg follows, not knowing the way leads to a mystery – and the woman who will change her life forever.


Where the Light Plays

by C. Fonseca

Two headstrong women from different worlds share a love of food, art, and the beach, sparking a lesbian romance with a slow burn as exquisite as its gorgeous Surf Coast setting.

Dr. Caitlin Quinn, a sophisticated, self-assured Irish art historian, arrives in Australia to work but ends up enjoying Australia’s local scenery—especially sun-kissed artist Andi Rey.

Andi, an impassioned artist on the glorious Surf Coast of Victoria, is grounded by her family and life, and focused on her first solo exhibition. That is, until Caitlin turns up and ignites a storm of longing.

Is their attraction enough to overcome career expectations, rising tension, and culture clashes? Can two such different people have a future together?


Happy reading!

Miranda & TB

About TBM

TB Markinson is an American who's recently returned to the US after a seven-year stint in the UK and Ireland. When she isn't writing, she's traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in New England, or reading. Not necessarily in that order. Her novels have hit Amazon bestseller lists for lesbian fiction and lesbian romance. She cohosts the Lesbians Who Write Podcast ( with Clare Lydon. TB also runs I Heart Lesfic (, a place for authors and fans of lesfic to come together to celebrate lesbian fiction.
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2 Responses to Sapphic Slow Burn Romances (IHL Reading Challenge #3)

  1. Pingback: I Heart Lesfic Newsletter: January 25th Edition | I Heart Lesfic

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