Sapphic Single Parent Stories (IHL Reading Challenge #17)

Welcome to week 17 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

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 Single Parent with Mother’s Day, which in the US, is this Sunday. If you need to buy a gift, the clock is ticking.

Below you’ll find reading suggestions. Better yet, 10 of them are on sale, so scoop up some fantastic reads at bargain prices. 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 Single Parent week: May 2 through May 6


State of Grace

by Addison Clarke

FREE $5.99 (Also in Kindle Unlimited)

Blake Calloway has spent decades thinking her mother didn’t want her, but letters found in a chest tell a very different story. Determined to find the truth, Blake hops on a plane and heads for Moonflower Cove, Maine, searching for answers. The last thing she expects to find is Alexis.

Alexis Holland has watched Blake’s hit sci-fi TV show for years and is surprised when the actress shows up at the bar where she works. Despite the chemistry between them, she’s convinced it’s all in her head. After all, she’s a single mom with more baggage than a booked airplane. What could Blake possibly see in her?

Will they be able to overcome their past mistakes and traumas to embrace the new love before them? Or will Alexis push Blake away and retreat back to her safe world?

Content Warning: This novel references a rape that occurred off-page and is mentioned as backstory with no graphic detail.


Diving In

by Sage Donnell

$0.99 $4.99 (Also in Kindle Unlimited)

Morgan has finally had enough success as an author to pursue writing full time. She goes to Bonaire to write, but mostly ends up diving while gripped with a case of, well, not exactly writer’s block, but perhaps writer’s trickle. Words are coming, just slowly and painfully. When a mom and son move into the rental across the yard from her, at first she thinks it will make things worse. And, in terms of writing, it does, at least for a while. But getting to know Ash and Jake is definitely worth it.

Ash and her ten-year-old son, Jake, have been through a rough couple of years. When a windfall comes her way, Ash decides that they need a reset, and she takes Jake on the diving trip he’s always wanted. The across-the-yard neighbor is entirely too attractive, friendly, and competent, making Ash feel bumbling in comparison. But the more she gets to know Morgan, the less she wants to keep her distance.

As Ash and Morgan dive together, spend time in their shared yard, and bond over being Jake fans, the vacation fling starts to seem like more.


Love Burns

by Adrian J. Smith

$0.99 $5.99 

A chef must learn to open her heart when challenged by her young but wise nanny, who has a knack for turning up the heat.

Kimberly Thompson—or Kim Burns, her stage name—is a celebrity chef whose career is taking off. As a single mom who has a penchant for being a bit of a bitch, she goes through nannies like the flavor of the month until Becca Kline is sent to her by Kiddie Academy.

Becca—known as ‘the fixer’—is often sent to homes considered to be troublemakers. In charge of caring for four-year-old Michael, she is determined to make this job her last before student teaching in the fall and finishing up her degree, which she has been working on for the better part of a decade.

Neither Kimberly nor Becca are prepared for the changes headed toward them, and they both have to learn the hard way that love doesn’t wait or discriminate.


Sativa Strain

by Alexi Venice

$0.99 $4.99 (Also in Kindle Unlimited)

In Sativa Strain, Amanda carries with her the quiet confidence of a yogi, the unrelenting burden of a prosecutor, and the demons that torture the corners of her soul.

Newly re-elected as San Francisco’s DA, Amanda faces her biggest internal and external foes yet when she and Detective Tommy Vietti investigate a high-profile murder implicating Kara Montiago, the CEO of a Silicon Valley tech company and candidate for President of the United States.

Navigating the shoals of SFPD corruption and hidden treasures, Tommy and Amanda learn that Kara Montiago is a Sativa-smoking dominatrix who preys on male subordinates.

Battling her desire to control everything around her, Amanda rekindles her relationship with Dr. Jen, the love of her life, testing the boundaries of Jen’s patience.


Electric Love

by Shannon O’Connor

$0.99 $4.99 

Five years ago, Alexandria and Eden were thriving in the moment, falling fast and loving deeply. But when Eden broke Alexandria’s heart, she had to figure out how to carry on alone.

She created a life and family for herself. Alexandria never expected to see Eden again, but then they run into each other—literally—and sparks fly. Alexandria thought it would be nothing, until she couldn’t forget the way it felt to be near her again. With Alexandria’s new life and Eden’s fiancée waiting for her they shouldn’t be thinking about each other, but when they keep running into each other they can’t ignore the signs any longer.

So many things have changed in the last five years, but have their feelings?


The Miracle Girl

by T. B. Markinson

$0.99 $5.99 (Also in Kindle Unlimited)

To secure a loving future, she must shed an addicting past.

Newspaper publisher and world traveler JJ Cavendish continually feels pressured to live up to her Miracle Girl nickname. Not many people know she’s living a carefully crafted lie. She may not hide ties to the LGBT community, but she does hide past struggles with addiction.

When the Colorado native is handpicked to take the helm at a dying Denver newspaper, she ends up reconnecting with her long lost love in this contemporary lesbian romance. Only there’s a catch. If JJ fires the most belligerent editor at the paper, she risks losing the love of her life.

Mid-afternoon office romps abound in this romantic comedy while also focusing on what it takes for a newspaper to remain relevant in this age of social media.

Must JJ lose everything in order to gain a life more fully her own?


The Unexpected Dream

by Nicole Pyland

$2.99 $7.99 (Also in Kindle Unlimited)

Mia Landis was so close to being an Olympian. Instead, she watched the Tokyo Olympics and her would-be-team from home with her one-year-old daughter. When Mia heard about a serious professional softball league starting up in the US, she thought it would be crazy to try out. After being convinced, though, she gave it a shot and ended up moving her entire life across the country.

Skylar Donahue lived for the game. Softball had been her entire world until an injury took away her shot to play in the Olympics. She resigned herself to coaching until she heard about a new league starting up. When she made the local team, she had no idea that a new woman in town would completely change her entire world.

Both women dreamed of representing their country in the Olympics. Neither of them thought their lives would take the turn they’d taken. But if they can see past what they thought their lives would be, and look at where they ended up, they might find a whole new dream; one that could last a lifetime.


Unknown Forces

by Samantha Hicks

$2.99 $7.99 

Jennifer Wilson spent the last seventeen years raising her younger sister Kelsey, after a boating accident killed their parents. It hasn’t always been easy – especially with her sister’s best friend, Riley Blake, always hanging around. Riley hasn’t had an easy life either. Growing up with an alcoholic father, abandoned by her mother when she was ten, Riley has learned to cope with being on her own. Her friendship with Kelsey is the only thing steadfast in her life, and she cherishes it.When tragedy and secrets emerge, Jennifer and Riley must learn to lean on each other. The growing attraction between them only complicates matters. When events conspire to keep them apart, will they trust the unknown forces that keep pushing them together, or hide from their feelings forever?


Instead of Happy

by Jamey Moody

$2.99 $5.99 (Also in Kindle Unlimited)

They were meant to be until hate tried to destroy their magical love.

Their families had been intertwined for years and they’d “heard” of one another, but when they met, Lovers Landing put a spell on them like no other.

Sure Jennifer had never been with a woman and Courtney up and moved to Houston to get a teaching job near them, no problem there. Who cares if Jennifer happens to be more than a few years older than Courtney and has two young sons.

Jennifer and her boys were completely enchanted and Courtney couldn’t get enough of them.

When Courtney’s integrity comes under fire they’ll need their Lovers Landing family more than ever. But is this magical love strong enough to battle the evil of hate? And can their family withstand the scrutiny of perception?



by Siri Caldwell

$2.99 $5.99 

This was not the plan.

After a career-threatening injury, backup dancer Rae Peters crashes at a friend’s in a middle-of-nowhere college town to recover. She’d rather be onstage performing with a rock star than stuck in a swimming pool doing rehab exercises, but at least the people-watching is good. Make that person-watching, because she only pays attention to one person: the cute water aerobics instructor who’s always lugging around accounting textbooks like she might be smart.

Jori Burgess is a grad student with a young daughter and a blackmailing ex-boyfriend. She’s got her hands full being a single mother, and studying, and teaching at the pool, and pretending to be someone she’s not. The last thing she needs is one more complication, but Rae is one complication she can’t resist.

Rae has no trouble resisting, because she promised herself a long time ago that flirtatious straight girls were not for her. Even if they claimed they weren’t that straight. Especially if they claimed they weren’t that straight. Really, thank you, but no. She’s not going to fall for someone who’s got red flags plastered all over her very attractive…uh…personality.

Being friends, though? Being friends is not a problem, and neither is dancing together, and neither is holding on a little longer than is strictly appropriate, and neither is…

Yeah. This could be a problem.


Keep scrolling for more reading suggestions!


Heart Failure

by Chris Zett

An enemies-to-lovers lesbian romance about daring to open your heart.

Dr. Jess Riley’s life is perfect, ticking all the boxes—successful cardiologist, newborn daughter, and a luxurious condo. That is, until she suddenly collapses from acute heart failure. Her entire world crumples along with her exhausted body.

Jess is forced to face facts—she can’t keep working endless hours, and she’ll have to move back home to recover.

To her shock, her mother has already taken in Lena Walker, a struggling artist who isn’t a stranger to heartbreak either.

At first, an unimpressed Jess resents Lena’s cheerful presence. Gradually, though, the two women form a tentative friendship over tai chi, picking fruit, and evening walks with the baby. A sexy massage leads to friends-with-benefits fun. But is it all too soon? Should two barely mended souls try to risk a future together?


Seconds Out

by Ruby Scott

Available in Kindle Unlimited

Abs (Abby) is a fit, smart, twenty-something, ex-boxing champion with a big heart.

Hayley is a divorcee with a wayward teenage daughter, an alcoholic ex-husband and a demanding job with crazy shifts.

When Abs meets Gracie she is reminded of the pressures of her own childhood. Compelled to offer Gracie the same helping hand which she benefited from as a teenager, Abs invites Gracie to train at Sapphy’s, the all womens gym where she works. That is until Hayley, Gracie’s mom finds out.

Hayley is adamant that her daughter will have nothing to do with boxing or Abs. After sparks fly, Hayley is left questioning what she really wants?

Secret desires lead to dangerous consequences for everyone involved in this hot, moving lesbian romance.


Falling Hard

by Jae

A womanizing surgeon falls hard for a single mom in this lesbian medical romance.

Dr. Jordan Williams devotes her life to two things: saving patients in the operating room and pleasuring her latest conquest in the bedroom. Her idea of commitment is spending a few hours together in bed.

Single mom Emma Larson is Jordan’s polar opposite. Family and fidelity mean everything to her. After an ugly divorce from her wife, a plastic surgeon, she and her five-year-old daughter move in next door to Jordan. While she finds Jordan undeniably attractive, falling in love with another womanizing surgeon is the last things she needs.

When a bad fall leaves Jordan in need of assistance, Emma decides to help her while she recovers.

Could those six weeks turn out to be the beginning of a happily ever after, or will they both end up with a broken heart?


Made In London

by Clare Lydon

Ready or not, here comes romance…

Photographer Heidi Hughes has been single since her daughter was born. But now Maya’s walking and talking, she’s ready to meet someone who’s happy with her cute-but-chaotic extra.

Eden Price’s world is all about order and precision: in her job, her home, her friendships. A PR guru, she’s designed her life to run like clockwork.

At least she had, until the universe decided she needed to meet Heidi. Now, Eden’s not sure of much, because Heidi is everything she didn’t want, but now categorically does. Can the family-phobic singleton really be falling for the single mum?

Book six in the London Romance series features cats, kids and calamity, along with chocolate spread exactly where you want it. Clare Lydon has done it again with another glittering and hilarious romantic comedy!


A Heart This Big

by Cheyenne Blue

A captivating opposites-attract lesbian romance about a city woman discovering her country heart.

Australian country girl Nina Pellegrini runs a program for city kids to experience a taste of rural life at Banksia Farm. But when a child is hurt and a lawsuit threatens, Nina is determined to find the best legal assistance to help her save the farm.

Enter high-flying lawyer Leigh Willoughby, whose city world is far from the farm’s chaotic mix of kids and animals. She certainly doesn’t have time for small cases that don’t pay or farm visits that wreck her cool—and her clothes.

Still, the warm-hearted Nina and her challenging, twelve-year-old daughter, Phoebe, are awfully hard to say no to. What on earth has she gotten herself into?


Friends and Lovers 

by Lyn Denison

A life-threatening incident had changed Mac Donovan’s life. Now restricted to desk duties she was focusing on recovery and returning to her old job. She also knew she had to make the break from a dangerous secret relationship.

On the positive side she was seeing more of her friends and realising how much she’d missed them. Her best friend, Dee, didn’t want Mac to move on alone and informed Mac she knew someone who would be just right for her.

Mac wanted no such complications. Then she met the delightful Liv Murray and Mac conceded Dee might be right. But Liv Murray had her own secrets, her own personal dilemma. Could they help each other and find what they were both seeking?

However, taking a step forward meant Mac had to sort out the mess behind her. Was she up to that?


One Woman’s Treasure

by Jean Copeland

After Daphne accidentally “steals” a family heirloom from Nina’s front lawn thinking it’s junk left for trash pickup, she learns she’s wanted by the police for questioning. Once the dust settles, Daphne and Nina form a friendship inspired by their mutual love for antiquing and a desire for a fresh start in their lives.

As they grow closer, their attraction moves way beyond friends. But who will be brave enough to confess her feelings first? Daphne, the self-conscious procrastinator who’s working hard to get her new business off the ground, or Nina, the newly-out mom whose priority is creating a stable life for her son? Before they can take a chance on becoming lovers, they’ll have to decide if love is worth the risk.


The Price on Her Head

by Suzanne Clay

She’s brought down hundreds of creatures, but this hunt might be her last…

Consummate hunter Myrine’s one focus in life is keeping her son Zale safe. Sometimes the danger is the wild animals that prowl outside the city of Kepithos. Sometimes the threat is the memory of a lethal plague that once decimated the townsfolk. But in the forefront of her mind is always the sacrifice of ten children every five years to the vicious minotaur that lives beneath the king’s castle—a ritualistic practice to keep the plague at bay.

So when it’s discovered that the minotaur has escaped its labyrinth, an enormous bounty to hunt it down is on the line. It’s not just to keep the forests safe. It’s to assure that the deities will not punish them for letting their weapon run loose.

When Zale comes down with an illness that mimics early symptoms of the previous plague, Myrine’s one hope for his healing is to take down this creature, receive the bounty, and pay the doctor’s high fee for both medicine and silence. The last thing she needs is a city full of panicked citizens considering his sickness an omen.

But a chance encounter in the forest shows her that everything she was taught was a lie. This minotaur is no mindless monster. Her name is Eleonora, and they have far more in common than they could ever imagine.

The Price on Her Head is a 30,000-word monster romance novella. It features a trans F/F pairing involving a human woman and a female minotaur.


Happy reading!

Miranda, Em, & TB

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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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