Welcome to week 7 of the 2022 IHL Sapphic 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 firstname.lastname@example.org).
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 Fantasy Romance with Tell a Fairytale Day, which is this Saturday, February 26.
Below you’ll find reading suggestions. Better yet, 9 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 Fantasy Romance week: February 21 through February 25
by Belinda Harrison
$2.99 (Also in Kindle Unlimited)
Skylar has spent the past six winters travelling throughout Attica and the Peloponnese assisting those who requested aid, her father her only companion.
Princess Alexis of Trachis has spent the past five winters with the fearsome tribe of Molossians in Epirus, honouring the alliance her betrothal formed.
Two women with nothing in common. But when Skylar saves Alexis’ life, an invisible bond is formed, igniting an undeniable attraction. Alexis’ intended husband may be fierce, but so is Skylar, and both are used to getting what they want.
In the fight for the princess, there can only be one winner. Can Skylar have Alexis or will old alliances win out?
by Emma Sterner-Radley
$2.99 (Also in Kindle Unlimited)
A dying world.
An academy to train seafaring heroes.
Four eighteen-year-olds trying to survive it all.
Silver beasts, lack of provisions, royal intrigue, and cloaked threats plague this realm. Four young people are chosen to attend the Hall of Explorers academy to train their minds, bodies, and magic, to sail and find their people a new world.
Representing the Lakelands, Eleksander, the sensitive boy with a shrouded past. From the North, Sabina, the rational warrior with her snowtiger. On behalf of the Woodlands, Hale, the fearless orphan with something to prove. From the Peaks, Avelynne, the insecure countess with a shameful secret.
Before they brave the unknown seas, they must complete their training. Not to mention getting to know each other and become a tight-knit team. Disturbing and bloody incidents soon make that even harder than it should be. Not knowing who to trust makes it worse.
They will have to face their individual issues and overcome them together if they’re to avoid becoming puppets in a game where they don’t understand the rules. Or worse, die before even finishing their training.
by Amy DeMeritt
$3.99 (Also in Kindle Unlimited)
What happens when a lesbian samurai refuses to marry the king? He kills her lover and then orders his sorceress to curse her to immortality as a five-inch-tall woman, of course. Fast forward almost 600 years. Mae’s plan to try to meet a beautiful woman backfires and instead she befriends a young IT nerd who is all too excited to try to help her break her curse – which requires a woman to fall in love with her. Can a five-inch tall lesbian samurai find love? Can Mae’s curse be broken? Or will the enemies of her past come back to destroy everything?
by Mar Delaney
$2.99 (Also in Kindle Unlimited)
She can find anything … except the heart she couldn’t keep.
In the walled desert city of Petrichor, Kettrin makes a living by using her unique magical talent to find missing objects and people for anyone who can pay.
The one person she won’t look for is her childhood friend and former lover Mirsagh, a thief who stole Kett’s heart—and then broke it.
But when Mirsagh shows up wanting to hire her to find someone lost in the desert, Kett can’t say no.
Even though, for city girl Kett, it means venturing into a perilous wasteland where her very survival depends on a woman she still cares for—but isn’t sure she can trust.
by Anna Ferrara
Before there was Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, there was another story some preferred not to tell.
“Mirror, mirror on the wall, who in this land is fairest of all?”
“You, my Queen, are fairest of all,” the Princess had said, unravelling a nightmare of obsession and forbidden desire.
At an apple orchard in the dead of the night, Queen Katherine runs into her reclusive stepdaughter for the first time in 17 years. Surprised by her ravishing beauty and unconventional boldness, she pursues a friendship, only to find herself inescapably captivated by the Princess’ charm and wanting more.
“The Princess is a thousand times fairer than me,” she concludes in an inexplainable fever of despair that shocks her servants as much as it does herself.
But at a time when romance between women is unthinkable, the Queen has to put on all the pretence she can muster to keep her horrible secret from both her powerful husband and the smitten huntsman trying to win her heart.
To make matters worse, seven peasants and a handsome Prince threaten to snatch the Princess’ affections and take her away from the castle for good.
The Queen has to decide once and for all what to do about her strange feelings for the Princess, before she misses her chance.
This intimate retelling of the popular Grimms’ fairy tale will change your understanding of the wicked Queen’s infamous jealousy forever.
by Rachel Ford
$4.99 (Also in Kindle Unlimited)
A secret order, hunted by two rival kingdoms. A network of spies and saboteurs.
Valia Iceborn is the daughter of two worlds, and a servant of none: her mother was a Northern outlaw and her father a Southern deserter. She grew up in the wilds of No Man’s Land, but the open sea is her home. She swears no allegiances, lest they be to gold.
Knight Protector Portia Daysen is a loyal of daughter of the empire. She goes where she’s told, and does what she’s told. When the empire sends her to the bustling city of Black Port to ferret out a mysterious secret order threatening stability in the region, she doesn’t think twice.
Plunged into a world of deceit and derring-do, where no one is who they pretend to be, and nothing is at it seems, Daysen’s investigation leads her to Valia’s dock.
And crossing sabers with the most formidable – and charming – foe of her career might be the last mission Knight Protector Portia Daysen ever takes.
by Emily Noon
$5.99 (Also in Kindle Unlimited)
Lambda Literary Award Winner – Aurora’s Angel is a blend of action, adventure and slow-burn romance centered around shapeshifters, set in a vivid fantasy world. Joined in a battle for survival, a broken-winged angel and a shapeshifter huntress with a bloody past form a bond that may change their world. Alone since her father’s murder, Aurora has spent years hunting his killers. Battle-weary she’s ready to start over where no one knows who or what she is – she just has one last mission. Everything is going to plan until she discovers the beautiful winged girl caged underground. Her decision to rescue Evie and to help her get home safely, despite avians being infamous for selling out shifters like Aurora to cutters and black-market flesh dealers, will put her on a perilous path. As the women travel together their attraction grows but Aurora is guarding her lonely heart almost as much as her dangerous secrets and Evie is struggling to accept how important Aurora has become to her. With their enemies conspiring to kill them, they may be each other’s only hope. Aurora is powerful but she’s also emotionally scarred. It will be up to Evie to save her from herself and to fight for them, or innocent people will die along with the guilty ones and Aurora will disappear from Evie’s life forever.
by Kate Christie
$6.99 (Also in Kindle Unlimited)
For reporter Kenzie Shepherd, life is busier than she anticipated when she took up the mantle of Galaxy Girl, Seattle’s off-worlder superhero. Working with her sister Sloane and her former mentor, D’aman—AKA Galaxy Guy—has been amazing, and their unofficial partnership with Panopticon, the federal bureau responsible for alien identification and regulation, less acrimonious than she’d expected. But her newly established relationship with Ava Westbrook, genius businesswoman and sister of Earth’s most notorious anti-alien terrorist, is under pressure. Not only do they never seem to have enough time together, but Kenzie is worried that her friends and family are going to blow a collective gasket when they find out about Ava.
Meanwhile, Ava is struggling in her own way to juggle work and time with Kenzie. She knows her family wouldn’t support their relationship, either, not when Kenzie is an actual superhero from outer space. As the two women grow closer, Ava is determined to hide Kenzie’s identity from her extremist relatives. At the same time, she launches a clandestine investigation to answer the following questions: Why are off-worlders disappearing? What is Sentinel planning? And who exactly—or what—is Labyrinth?
Join Kenzie, Ava, and their cast of friends and family to find out what happens between the dawn and day in book two of the Galaxy Girl urban fantasy series, where alien refugees live on the fringes of society, Kenzie Shepherd may well be the last daughter of a long-dead planet, and Ava Westbrook wishes everyone could just get along.
by Britney Jackson
$6.99 (Also in Kindle Unlimited)
A sapphic fantasy adventure for people who love dangerous women, magical worlds, and lesbian pirates.
Emilia Drakon was once the youngest and kindest of the dragon sorcerers, but she’s now the last of her kind. Betrayed and angry, she trades her meekness for a sword and embarks on a quest for vengeance that will lead her straight into the arms of the legendary Captain Maria Welles.
Captain of the famed pirate ship, the Wicked Fate, Maria is every bit as treacherous and bloodthirsty as they say. She has her own vendetta and practically jumps at the chance to trick Emilia into joining her crew.
But when their animosity toward each other blossoms into a passionate romance, the two women will have to decide what they want most.
Keep scrolling for more reading suggestions!
by Cameron Darrow
Available in Kindle Unlimited
Few illusions are more effective than the ones you make for yourself.
A second-class citizen with a shattered heart, Vimika is ready to start her life over. But as a freelance wizard in Atvalia, that’s easier said than done. So when she’s offered a job that could afford her that new life several times over, what choice does she have but to take it? Yes, it involves tracking down something that is either impossible or highly illegal, but money solves everyone else’s problems, why not hers? Because no deception is more powerful than self-deception. Now cut off from her magic in the middle of a job she should never have taken, Vimika must confront herself in more ways than one. Trapped alone with a wizard out of time, she’ll have to fight not only the illusions keeping them imprisoned but the ones guarding her heart. Failure might trap them both forever, while success could grant them a freedom neither has ever known. Or get them killed.
At least she’d never have to wake up with a hangover again.
by Genevieve McCluer
When Dovana was a child in Lithuania, Roze saved her life. Roze is a Laume, a type of Lithuanian fae. The two became fast friends, staying in touch by leaving a letter and a present for the other every year.
Now, Dovana is in college in Toronto, and while those letters still mean the world to her, she wants to see Roze again. She investigates everything she can think of to learn more about the fae and stumbles upon a hidden society of fiends.
Meanwhile, Roze has been focusing on her duties of saving children in danger, while trying to prevent the fate that she knows Dovana is destined for, but nothing she does seems to change it. When she has to come to Toronto to save Dovana from her own investigation, she finds that she can’t avoid destiny…or love any longer.
by Thea Landen
Available in Kindle Unlimited
The kingdom of Dardrith is under attack from hordes of juvenile dragons. When the king offers marriage to his daughter as a reward to whoever can discover the source of the dragons and prevent future infestations, Meg’s best friend, Ronan, convinces her to help him win the ultimate prize and save their families from a lifetime of poverty. Despite her initial reluctance, they also enlist the aid of Ronan’s sister, the village blacksmith, and a stranger Meg meets in the local marketplace.
The band of aspiring heroes doesn’t travel far before the identity of the stranger is exposed; she is none other than the king’s daughter herself, Princess Celendra. Aside from being the heir to the throne, Celendra is keeping some other secrets. During a battle with a group of dragons, she reveals she has magical powers, the ability to conjure and manipulate elements such as fire and water. Furthermore, she confesses that, like Meg, she would prefer to pursue romantic relationships with other women, which she hasn’t told her father.
As they journey throughout the land, Meg and Celendra embark on a passionate fling, though Meg tries not to form any deep emotional attachment to the princess due to their respective social classes. Following revelations about the dragon attacks and her family history, Celendra must choose between doing what’s expected of her or taking charge of her own destiny. The future of Dardrith is at stake. Can Meg and Celendra find a way to remain together while protecting the people and home they love?
by Sarah Ettritch
Picking up where Book One left off: Two time travellers are determined to embrace new lives, but reality soon dampens their starry-eyed enthusiasm. One time traveller vows not to give up; the other reaches for the black rhyme book. Both struggle with doubts. Were they truly born before or after their time? Will love conquer all?
by Lianyu Tan
A dark lesbian romance retelling of the Hades/Persephone abduction story, set in mythological ancient Greece.
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 chafes beneath her mother’s hawkish gaze and mercurial temper. Demeter has rebuffed all her daughter’s suitors, but she is not yet satisfied; she strives to crush Persephone’s spirit.
Still, when Hades pulls her into the dark realm of the underworld, Persephone longs for the world above, even if it means an eternity under her mother’s thumb.
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.
by Barbara Ann Wright
Adella del Amanecer is from a noble family whose pride comes from dedication to the kingdom of Sarras. She works long hours as a diplomat and barely has time for her sisters, let alone romance, a fact that makes her nights feel longer than her days, especially when she thinks about the lovely bard on the corner.
As an ex-spy for the Firellian Empire, Bridget Leir has fled from crises and corruption until settling in Sarras, where she can hide as a bard. When a chance meeting with a beautiful diplomat leads to romance, Bridget’s new life feels filled with promise, until Sarras investigates Firellian rumblings of war. If the truth comes out, the Sarrasians—and Adella—will never believe Bridget’s spying days are done, and worse—Adella will be accused of sleeping with the enemy. It’ll be the gallows for them both.
by Jane Fletcher
In the port city of Fortaine, two young girls acquire new families.
Four-year-old Eawynn, the unwanted illegitimate daughter of an ambitious noble, is dumped in the temple. When she is old enough, she will be initiated into its sisterhood of priestesses. Meanwhile Matt, the street urchin, earns a crime lord’s admiration, so much so he adopts her as his daughter and heir to his underworld clan.
Nearly two decades later, their paths cross when Eawynn is appointed custodian of the Shewstone, the mystical orb of prophecy. Unfortunately for her, Matt is on a mission to steal it.
by Ali Vali
Kai Merlin is heir to her mother’s throne in Atlantis, and she takes her duties seriously, but lately her mind has been on her fiancée Vivien Palmer. After a chance encounter when they were children, meeting again and falling in love proved to be fate, but melding their worlds as they plan their wedding isn’t going to be easy.
Vivien has spent her life searching for the secrets she’d always known were hidden beneath the waves, but nothing prepared her for what Kai and her people had successfully kept hidden for eons. She finally has a sense of belonging, but unseen enemies will stop at nothing to conquer and destroy their world—including everything and everyone she holds dear.
Below turbulent waves, Kai and Vivien must fight for what is right as life and love hang in the balance.
by Sheri Lewis Wohl
Search and rescue volunteer Johnnie Lancaster and her dog, Cougar, serve their community by bringing home the skeletal remains of the lost no one could save. But sometimes being the best at what she does isn’t good enough. Nothing has trained her for a serial killer who appears to chew on the bones of their victims, and it’s not long before Johnnie is convinced the killer walks by day as a human and hunts by night as a werewolf.
Forensic anthropologist Shantel Kind has never seen a case like this one. That doesn’t mean she’s prepared to believe in a preternatural killer. As she works closely with Johnnie, their attraction is impossible to deny, but the death toll keeps rising, and time is running out. They might have to risk their lives—and their love—to stop a werewolf.
by Kelly Wacker
When art historian Melissa Warren inherits three of her grandmother’s paintings that have captivated her since childhood, she sets out to discover more about the little known artist and the locations of the mysterious landscapes. Her search takes her to the Colorado Bear Conservancy and the artist’s great-granddaughter, Sula Johansen.
Sula is reluctant to help Melissa, but their instant chemistry is impossible to ignore. Sula is torn between falling in love and hiding the truth about who and what she really is. Of course, if Melissa paid closer attention to minor details—like the fact that Sula enjoys nibbling berries off the vine, is unusually strong, and consumes way too much honey—Melissa might not be in for the shock of her life.
Miranda & TB