To celebrate International Asexuality Day, we’ve put together some reading suggestions featuring sapphic asexual & ace-spectrum characters.
A slow-burn romance about seeking the perfect rhythm between two very different people—and finding happiness where they least expect it.
Pop star Leontyne Blake might sing about love, but she stopped believing in it a long time ago. What women want is her image, not the real her. When her father has a stroke, she flees the spotlight and returns to her tiny Missouri hometown.
In her childhood home, she meets small-town nurse Holly Drummond, who isn’t impressed by Leo’s fame at all. That isn’t the only thing that makes Holly different from other women. She’s also asexual. For her, dating is a minefield of expectations that she has decided to avoid.
Can the tentative friendship between a burned-out pop star and a woman not interested in sex develop into something more despite their diverse expectations?
by Jacqueline Ramsden
Available in Kindle Unlimited
Maybe a weekend is just the right amount of time to fall in love.
Sloane Abbott likes her quiet life. She owns a landscaping business, she tends her plants, lives alone, and secretly crushes on her favorite nonbinary garden center employee, Polly. Between anxiety and modesty, Sloane’s never planning on telling Polly she likes them. She’ll just be admiring from afar while she deals with her demanding family and fulfills her sister’s order.
Polly Stanwick loves people. She has the best time working at Blooms, talking to customers, hanging out with the kids, and generally being a ray of sunshine. When they hear their regular, Sloane Abbott, is having a rough day, they naturally sweep in to help.
What neither of them is expecting is for Polly’s colleague to suggest her as a fake date for Sloane’s weekend with her family. For Sloane, it’s the only way to avoid the heteronormative life her parents will push on her, so despite her misgivings, she agrees. It’s only one weekend, right?
Fooling the Abbotts into thinking she and Polly are a couple is easy, but for Sloane, handling her own feelings is harder. Holding hands and sharing a bed doesn’t make things any easier—nor does Polly being there for her in all the ways she ever wished somebody would.
Sometimes the hardest thing to face is our own potential to grow.
The Art of Growing is a 75k-word slow-burn, friends-to-lovers, fake-dating romance over a weekend full of mutual pining and blurred lines.
by Jax Meyer
Available in Kindle Unlimited
Phoenix Murray has had enough. Enough of her incompetent boss. Enough of her addict father always asking for money. Enough of the struggle to survive. So when her aunt offers her a job as a cook at the South Pole, she jumps at it. Even when she’s asked to avoid casual sex to keep the peace in the tiny community.
Astrophysicist Ashley Bennett can’t wait for her year at the South Pole. Not only will it allow her to focus on her PhD research, it’s a key step in her plan to become a Mars colonist. Avoiding the complications of dating in a society that doesn’t understand asexuality is a bonus.
When Phoenix and Ash meet, they can’t help but push each other’s buttons. Phoenix doesn’t understand that her confident sexuality puts Ash on edge while Ash’s curt formality triggers Phoenix’s insecurities about her upbringing. But living at the bottom of the world means there’s nowhere to run, and as they find common ground, their differences aren’t nearly the hindrance they thought.
Rising From Ash is the first book in the Forged by Fire series, a slow burn contemporary lesbian romance that shows the power of intimacy to form a new life.
by Sage Donnell
Available in Kindle Unlimited
Lisa is content with her life in Portland, OR. She has a teenage daughter, Jordan, who is great and becoming more independent all the time in spite of, or maybe in part because of, her fairly recent diagnosis of epilepsy. She has friends, including an ex-husband who makes a good parenting partner. She has a part time job she enjoys. But when she meets Jess, a physical therapist volunteering her time with her Jordan’s high school track team, she feels something stir.
Getting closer to Jess brings romance, for sure, and also acts as a catalyst for some necessary change. But when Lisa learns more about Jess, will the spark still be there? Will Jordan be okay with the changes in Lisa’s life? What about her ex-husband, with whom Lisa’s life is still pretty entangled? And how will Jess deal with that?
This feel good lesbian romance follows Lisa as she navigates a new romance at thirty-eight, a changing family unit, and a teenager with health issues. The drama is low, but the romance is strong. Features an ace (asexual) character.
by TB Markinson & Miranda MacLeod
Available in Kindle Unlimited
Can a long shot bring love to a couple of lonely hearts?
Joni Fisher is facing economic ruin. The once successful advice column she runs with her mother is on the brink of cancellation, and it’ll take a miracle to turn things around. Joni’s last-ditch effort to save her job and preserve her mother’s legacy is The Love Project, a web series she’s developing to bring the Help Me Henrietta franchise alive for a new generation. All she needs is a willing victim…er, star.
Hope Alvarez dreams of falling in love, but she’s always suspected she’s different. Physical attraction is a foreign language to her. After her only prospect for a meaningful relationship falls through, Hope has to face the fact that she’s completely hopeless when it comes to love. Can her favorite advice columnist, Henrietta, save her from a lonely future?
As the series gets underway, fans swoon for the lovable yet unlucky Hope, and they’re not the only ones. Joni is smitten, too. But she’s been down that road before, vowing never again to fall for a straight woman who will keep her forever in the friend zone. Except, what if she’s been reading the situation all wrong? Helping Hope make sense of her identity might save Joni’s job, but will it also bring her love?
Best-selling lesbian fiction authors TB Markinson & Miranda MacLeod have written a touching slow-burn romance about love striking when least expected.
by A.L. Lester
Jones is determined to find out what caused the unexpected death of her father whilst they were exploring ancient ruins in the Himalayas. Along with a stack of books and coded journals, he’s left her with the promise she’ll travel back to England for the first time since childhood and try being the lady she’s never been.Edie and her brother are leaving soon on a journey to the Himalayas to document and collect plants for the new Kew Gardens when she befriends Miss Jones in London. She’s never left England before and is delighted to learn the lady will be returning to the mountains she calls home at the same time they are planning their travels. When they meet again in Srinagar, Edie is surprised to find that, out here, the Miss Jones of the London salons is “just Jones” the explorer, clad in breeches and boots and unconcerned with the proprieties Edie has been brought up to respect.The non-binary explorer and the determined botanist make the long journey over the high mountain passes to Little Tibet, collecting flowers and exploring ruins on the way. Will Jones discover the root of the mysterious deaths of her parents? Will she confide in Edie and allow her to help in the quest? The trip is fraught with dangers for both of them, not least those of the heart.
by Elin Annalise
Twenty-six-year-old Courtney Davenport is loud, fun, and always the heart of a party. She’s also asexual and runs a talking service for other aces who are worried about coming out.
But when her sworn enemy Sophie Sway phones the helpline, Courtney is thrown.
Courtney and Sophie have been enemies forever. Growing up at an expensive boarding school that pitted them against each other has ensured their rivalry lasted way beyond graduation. And now Sophie’s not just coming out to her–unknowing that it is Courtney at the end of the line–but worse! In the coincidence of the century, Sophie’s also moving next door.
Furious, Courtney decides to do everything in her power to make Sophie think her new apartment is haunted, so she’ll move away. But then the two of them are invited to participate in a reality-style TV show where their rivalry is turned into a game. Now, there’s no way Courtney can get away from Sophie as each of them is encouraged to carry out more and more elaborate pranks on the other in order to be crowned the winner.
And the more time Courtney spends around Sophie, the more she begins to question her feelings about her…
After all, love is a small step away from hate.
by Idella Breen
They say that one’s life is defined by moments, like scenes in a book, that stand out above all the rest of the slush that makes up a person’s existence. Gwen had come to agree with this sentiment. There was the moment when her parents abandoned her, then there was the moment Remus took her into his clan, there was the moment she pushed Sam Lander into a mud puddle and they became best-friends-for-life, and there was the moment she met Cait and Snow.
What Gwen couldn’t have foreseen, what she couldn’t have prepared for, was the moment her awkward-self literally stumbled into the two women that would challenge everything she knew and believed about herself. She wouldn’t have guessed that they would break her in ways unimaginable and then they would fortify her against the world. Gwen was many things, practical was among them, but a dreamer was not. And the two women that made her drop her coffee on a hot summer day made her hope and dream like she never thought possible.
They made her want, they made her need, and they made her believe in a little thing called love.
BUY US A COFFEE
Running IHL takes the three of us many hours every single week. Also, the costs add up. Last year we setup a Buy Us a Coffee page, which allows people to help cover the expenses. When we first announced the page, we were blown away by the response. Not only were people willing to pitch in, but all of the kind notes and encouragement brought more than a few tears to TB’s eyes. If you’d like to support us, click here. Every cup helps immensely! If you’d like to learn more about TB’s initial response to the outpouring of support, click here.
Have a wonderful day!
Miranda & TB
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