Girl Next Door Sapphic Romance (IHL Reading Challenge #9)

Welcome to week 9 of the 2022 IHL Sapphic Reading Challenge.

The $25 Amazon gift card winner for February has been contacted.

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 Girl Next Door with Girl Scout Week and TB has stocked up on Thin Mints to lounge on the couch with a sleeve of the delicious cookies, a big cup of tea, and a fabulous love story.

Below you’ll find reading suggestions. Better yet, 7 of them are on sale, so scoop up a heartfelt 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 Girl Next Door week: March 7 through March 11


Learning to Flirt

by Kallie Mont

$0.99 $3.99 (Also in Kindle Unlimited)

Did you know some turtles can breathe through their butts?

Maggie knows, and to her utter horror, she just blurted that out in front of the most attractive woman she’s ever seen. Cue the nervous flop sweat.

In a tiny town on the coast of Rhode Island, Maggie has built a quiet life running her family’s bookshop. But as much as she loves her work—and the eclectic town she calls home—something is missing. Then one day, an absolute smoke show walks through the front door and throws Maggie off her (arguably, very small and unreliable) game.

Parker’s entire life blew up a few months back when she walked away from her home, job, and longtime girlfriend, all in a single day.

When a new job presents itself in the next state over, she jumps at the chance for a fresh start, determined to avoid romance this time around. But, because life always has a way of knocking Parker on her ass, she finds the most alluring, adorably nervous woman standing behind the register of a local bookshop.

Add in that Maggie’s over a decade younger than Parker and has a really hard time finishing a sentence around her, and everyone ends up flustered.


And Then I Met You

by Erica Lee

$1.99 $5.99 (Also in Kindle Unlimited)

Have you ever met someone and known from that very first moment that they were going to have a big impact on your life? That’s how it was with Willow Stone. She was that person to me. She will always be that person to me.

And this is her story.

Before you get your hopes up, I need to issue a warning about this story. There’s happiness. And there’s an ending. But there’s not a happy ending. At least, not in the conventional sense.

Anyway, my moment came at freshman orientation when the girl who would eventually become my everything stood up during introductions and proudly announced, “My name is Willow Stone, and I’m going to die on December 27th, 2019.”

A sapphic love story about living and loving to the fullest.


One Golden Summer

by Clare Lydon & TB Markinson

$2.99 $7.99 (Also in Kindle Unlimited)

Would you trade fame for love?

Saffron Oliver is the golden girl. Golden hair. Golden skin. Golden movie career.

Only one problem: she hates it.

She flees to her sister’s seaside town – where she meets the confident & charming Kirsty McBride.

Kirsty is everything Saffron wants to be. Perhaps also, everything she wants.

But Saffron can’t have it all. So now, she has to decide: does she crave Kirsty enough to blow up her golden life?

Best-selling lesbian romance authors Clare Lydon & TB Markinson have written a sizzling lesbian love story about not being afraid and going after what you really want.


Back in Your Arms

by Monica McCallan

$2.99 $5.99 (Also in Kindle Unlimited)

Seventeen years ago, Quinn McKinley left her small town of Kingsford for a shot at a happier life. Now a successful real estate agent in New York City, she’s brought back on behalf of a client, begrudgingly accepting her return home in order to close the deal of a lifetime.

Coming back opens doors she’s done her best to keep closed all these years, namely, how she felt about her childhood best friend, Sawyer Kent.

Sawyer’s spent her whole life in Kingsford, working at her family’s antique store and trying to make everyone happy. Quinn’s return is unexpected, knocking her routine existence more than a little off balance. She’s still frustrated at how Quinn left things between them, and even if she has all kinds of unresolved feelings, she’s got bigger problems to worry about right now.


Come Back To Me

by Maria Jackson

$2.99 $4.99 (Also in Kindle Unlimited)

After selling a successful start-up, Robyn comes home to search for a purpose in life. A chance encounter with her older sister’s best friend leaves her speechless. Back in high school, Callie was a million times cooler than Robyn could ever hope to be. So why does she suddenly want to hang out with Robyn?

Callie’s left behind her guitar-playing days, and the lifestyle that went along with them. These days, she spends all her free time with her energetic puppy. When she runs into Robyn, she’s instantly drawn to her changed, confident new self. And although Callie always thought she was straight, Robyn is… hot?

As the two women spend time together, Robyn’s years-old crush intensifies – and Callie’s certainty about her orientation falters. But if they admit their feelings for each other, will the present be able to overshadow their past?



by Erin O’Reilly

$2.99 $7.99 

At fourteen, Hannah Garvin met ‘the one’, Charlene Gaines and her life was never the same. They were inseparable and spent every moment they could together. One day, Charlie left without a word and again, Hannah’s life took a dramatic change.

Hannah vowed to never fall in love again. When she meets Mick, a new arrival to the small Texas panhandle town near her family’s farm, her heart remembers what being in love was like, and yearns for more.

Will Hannah let the memory of Charlie go so she can start a new life with Mick? Or will her heart betray her and hold on to her love for Charlie?


The Simple Answer

by Lily Seabrooke

$3.99 $5.99 (Also in Kindle Unlimited)

Emily Garrett had a plan for after college: back to her hometown of Ember Grove, where she had a great job waiting for her that she was going to focus on. After forgiving her last girlfriend too many times and only finally getting out, she’s not keen on dating again–not for a good, long while.

Vanessa Schreier is a different person from when she was a kid–or at least, she hopes she is. A clique ruler in school who used her influence to bring down anyone who got in her way, she’s come back to Ember Grove not too long ago to make amends. Most people know her as the woman who’ll help anyone, anywhere, anytime, but some people aren’t so quick to let go of the her past mistakes. One of those people is Vanessa herself.

And one is the girl who just moved back in next door: Emily Garrett, her brother’s best friend, her old next-door neighbor, and her favorite target to pick on as a kid.

Emily’s not stupid. She knows she had a crush on Vanessa as a kid even when she was bullying her, and judging by the way it feels to look at Vanessa now, she knows part of her still feels the same way. After spending college accepting one apology after another from an abusive girlfriend, she is done with accepting apologies from anyone–especially girls who make her heart race.

But Vanessa, and the drive she has to make things right, are hard to avoid.


Keep scrolling for more reading suggestions!


The Number 94 Project

by Cheyenne Blue

Available in Kindle Unlimited

Renovation takes a sexy turn when a cute country girl rocks up with a tool belt and plans that throw the whole gay neighbourhood into disarray in this light-hearted lesbian romance.

When handywoman Jorgie’s uncle leaves her an old house in Melbourne, it’s a dream come true. Sure, 94 Gaylord Street is falling apart, and she has to deal with her uncle Bruce’s eccentric friends thanks to his unusual Will.

But that’s okay. She’ll fire up her power tools and turn the dilapidated terrace house into a desirable inner-city pad. Then she’ll sell up and head home to the country.

Jorgie hasn’t counted on falling for cute neighbour Marta, who’s found her heart-home among the tight queer-community of Gaylord Street. Between mugs of too-strong tea and Jorgie’s lack of a working shower, the two forge a surprising connection.

But what happens when the renovation’s complete? Can Jorgie really just toss aside her tool belt and saunter away?



by Rachel Lacey

Available in Kindle Unlimited

One woman’s hiding place is another woman’s home away from home.

After losing her job and her girlfriend, Phoebe Shaw retreats to Vermont. Renovating her late grandmother’s cabin into a vacation rental seems like the perfect way to lie low for a while. But the last person she expects to encounter on the property is the woman whose kiss was her teenage sexual awakening . . . and whom she’s never quite forgotten.

Taylor Donovan has been hiking on the trails behind the Shaw family’s cabin her whole life. As children, Taylor and Phoebe were best friends before sharing a secret summer romance when they were sixteen, which left Taylor brokenhearted when Phoebe fled at the end of the summer. Now the property has become Taylor’s home away from home, and she wants nothing more than to convince the Shaws to sell it to her. But Phoebe’s return puts a crimp in those plans–and brings back old feelings she thought she’d overcome.

Of all the things Phoebe regrets, leaving Taylor is at the top of the list, but Taylor is determined to protect her heart. Yet the pull between them is stronger than ever. This time around, will love stay hidden . . . or finally see the light of day?


Always and Forever

by Lyn Denison

Shann Delaney, singer, songwriter and single mother, has struggled to get her life and her career on track, and now everything is coming together for her. Ten years ago she had left home after arguments with her father and she’d never returned. But it wasn’t just family problems that had caused her to run away. Shann had fallen in love with Leigh Callahan, the girl next door, but Leigh had broken Shann’s young heart and let her down when Shann needed her most.

Then Shann’s sister, Liz, asks her to return home to help out while Liz and their father both recover from surgery. Shann is torn between wanting to be there for her sister, reuniting with her father, and not wanting to take the chance that she could see Leigh Callahan again. However, she felt her son, Corey, deserved to know his family, and Liz assured Shann their father wanted to mend fences with Shann. And as to Leigh Callahan, well, she was happily married with a family of her own.

So, with reservations, Shann heads home to Brisbane. And the girl next door.


Please Be My Love

by Arizona Tape

When everyone is talking about boys, Jo can’t stop thinking about girls.

It wouldn’t be so bad if she could share her new discovery with her best friend, but how can she tell Ellie that she likes… Ellie?


Rough Around The Edges

by Crystal Chard

Available in Kindle Unlimited

Roxanne Mackenzie is not exactly living her best life. After moving to London to follow her dream of becoming a writer, she thought things would be different – better. Instead, they’re a whole lot worse. Meeting Josie Calhoun – the woman who has everything together, including the top button of her shirt – makes Roxy question how she’s been living her life. Josie can’t bear lies and values trust above all else, so what will she make of Roxy’s scandalous truth? Crystal Chard’s debut romance takes us on a crazy ride of laughs and tears with many mojitos along the way.


Meant to Be Me

by Wendy Hudson

A compelling, slow-burning, romantic suspense that will keep you guessing right to the end.

Trying to find “The One” is never easy and engineer Darcy Harris is finding it tougher than most. It doesn’t help she’s also dealing with a shadowy stalker trying to make trouble for her. But Darcy’s determined not to let anyone ruin her life.

Her loyal best friend and boss, Anja Olsen, is stuck in a strange conundrum, forced to question who she has become and who she wants to be.

Meanwhile, stranger Eilidh Grey’s first instinct is to run fearlessly toward chaos and love. But this time she’s on a collision course with fate.

A chance meeting on a snowy bridge in Inverness, Scotland, binds all three women together, creating an unexpected, tangled, love triangle. What happens when it all unravels?


Sleeping on Couches

by Nicole Higginbotham-Hogue

After breaking up with her long-term girlfriend, Jai decides to take a break from life and work on a friend of the family’s farm. While learning to appreciate herself and the things that she loves again, Jai meets one of the farm help, Sam. She and Sam grow close quickly, but Jai soon finds out that Sam is hiding dark secrets about her past. Will Jai figure out who this woman really is before she falls in love with her, or will it be too late?


Rocks and Stars

by Sam Ledel

For Kyle Lindsay, life is simple. She comes from the ideal suburban family—two hardworking parents, a geeky younger brother, and a supportive best friend. But everything changes when Kyle starts having those kind of thoughts about her soccer teammate.

Things don’t get any easier when college starts and she heads off to play for a Division I squad. Figuring out how to pass her classes is one thing. Figuring out herself and the other girls on her team, a whole other ball game.

Kyle’s struggle to own who she is and what she really wants may end up landing her on the bench and without the woman of her dreams.


Happy reading, peeps!

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 Girl Next Door Sapphic Romance (IHL Reading Challenge #9)

  1. Pingback: I Heart Lesfic Newsletter: March 8 Edition | I Heart Lesfic

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