Welcome to week 19 of the 2022 IHS 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 SapphFic 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 email@example.com).
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 Romantic Suspense with Get Caught Reading Month.
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 for Romantic Suspense week: May 16 through May 20
by Kaya LaSalle
$4.99 (Also in Kindle Unlimited)
Even the toughest armor can be shattered with the right leverage…
When Ayla Jacobs accepted a position as a K-9 handler working private security for a mysterious client, she had no idea she was about to be roped into the criminal underworld. Now she’s working for the most beautiful–and deadly–woman she’s ever seen in her life. She should be running away as fast as she can, but instead, she finds herself falling for her new employer.
Lina Beaufort has spent the last eight years building up her empire. As one of the most influential criminals on the West Coast, she has a business to run and a reputation to maintain. The new K-9 handler she hired was supposed to be just another member of her security team, but there’s something about Ayla that keeps her coming back for more.
Sparks fly between the two women, but Lina’s past is catching up with her. Can the unlikely pair find their happy ending? Or will they lose more than just their newfound relationship as they fight to stay alive?
by Crystal Chard
$6.99 (Also in Kindle Unlimited)
When everything’s at stake, how close is too close?
Forensic Psychologist, Grace Weatherford, wants her old job back with the Covert Intelligence Squad, but on her own terms. Yet when CIS offer up a case with a mysterious female perp at the centre, she can’t say no. The catch? Grace’s speciality is undercover guidance – she now has to go all in.
Nadia Florescu is nobody’s fool. She’s survived worse than the grim CIS cells and suffered in ways Grace cannot imagine. So giving up the names that CIS demands is a game she can play and win – no matter the cost.
When their worlds collide, and Nadia’s shocking story begins to unravel, professional lines blur. But is Nadia really who she says she is? And how many boundaries will Grace cross for justice – and an uncompromising and beautiful suspect?
Disclaimer: This book contains scenes and topics that some readers may find upsetting.
by Alexi Venice
$4.99 (Also in Kindle Unlimited)
Monica Spade insists she isn’t a trial lawyer, much less one who represents dangerous criminals. Despite her protests, Judge O’Brien orders Monica to serve as standby counsel for a young woman accused of repeatedly stabbing her boyfriend.
Setting aside her abject fear, Monica drags herself to the jail to meet her new client, Stela Reiter. A demure Romanian, Stela looks more like a meek librarian than a person capable of overpowering and stabbing a young man to death. Unlike Monica’s other clients, Stela is coy and secretive during their interview.
Meanwhile, Monica’s girlfriend, Shelby St. Claire, is keeping secrets of her own, forcing Monica to question the foundation of their relationship. Cursed with intrepid curiosity, Monica digs into the backgrounds of both women.
Monica uncovers sexual innuendo and layers of international intrigue. Stuck between an unrelenting judge and a killer in a pink cardigan, Monica pursues the truth in court while fighting to keep Shelby and herself out of harm’s way.
by Ruby Scott
$5.99 (Also in Kindle Unlimited)
Can the dead rise again?
When bodies of predatory criminals keep turning up in suspicious circumstances, Detective Ashley Tate and her team know they are dealing with a serial killer.
But what links the crimes? Each victim’s resurrection.
How can someone die on Monday yet be walking and talking on Friday?
As Ashley’s ex-girlfriend and journalist Jude Abrahams whips up public approval for the apparent vigilante murders, the pressure on Ashley builds but with more questions than answers each case becomes stranger.
Dare they believe what they are seeing?
In this fast-paced, lesbian thriller no one and nothing is quite as it seems. Within a tangled web of love, sex, power, and deceit, the truth is far stranger and more sinister than any of them could have ever believed possible.
by Terri Cutshall
$8.99 (Also in Kindle Unlimited)
Alex could lose everything, again …
As a genetics researcher, Alexandria Bennett is confident when it comes to decision making at work, searching for a breast cancer cure, but when it comes to decisions of the heart, not so much.
When Alex meets Madison Thornton, a Pharmacist Consultant, looking to settle down and have a family, all the safe and comfortable rules by which her internal compass is governed will be tested. The undeniable attraction between Alex and Madison is immediate and a budding romance is there for the taking, but only if both women are willing to let go of their fears and trust in it.
While Alex navigates her heart and desires, outside forces threaten breakthroughs in her research, creating an entirely different kind of fear in her world. Will Alex be able to protect the women she has dedicated her life to helping and be brave enough to let love in?
$5.99 (Also in Kindle Unlimited)
Felicity Davis, principal of Rawson Girls Grammar School, is a passionate educator, an inspirational leader, some say even an ice queen, although she’s not sure about that last one. But one thing Felicity knows is that she is perfectly happy with her life. That is until the trauma, the darkness of her past, comes crashing into her present, revealing a deeply buried secret, and placing Felicity and those she loves in incredible danger. Inspector Tal Diamandis takes on the case, attempting to extinguish the flames of Felicity’s past before they consume her. Matters become complicated as Felicity and Tal realise their mutual spark of attraction but when they finally connect the shocking links, the explosive conclusion will leave everyone reeling.
Can Felicity play with fire or will the fire become an inferno?
by Alison R. Solomon
A terrified suspect.
A woman caught between her friend and her lover.
Wynn Larimer (who readers met in Along Came the Rain) is putting out the trash late one night when a car smashes into her, injuring her so badly that her entire livelihood is put in jeopardy. The accused perpetrator is Gabriella Luna. The timing couldn’t be worse—Gabriella is about to become a permanent resident but is now terrified of being deported. Caught in the middle of it all is Kat Ayalon, who is Wynn’s best friend but in love with Gordy. How can Kat support both women, if helping one means selling out the other?
by Renn Loraine
$4.99 (Also in Kindle Unlimited)
Nicole is shaken. Her ex-girlfriend has been found dead under mysterious circumstances. Now someone is trying to kill her – and she doesn’t know why.
The clues lead Nicole to the set of a television series about the glamorous, women-loving starlets of Hollywood’s Golden Age. Working under the hot lights, Nicole learns of their hidden lives – and finds herself falling for a captivating, auburn-haired actress.
As Nicole gets closer to unearthing the murderer’s motive, however – she will discover that some in Hollywood are still willing to kill to keep its secrets.
by Anna Ferrara
For Vlada, a cruise ship singer, raised to be Christian, her same-sex, God-fearing, Bible-quoting singing partner, Dasha had always been someone she could only ever peep at in quiet moments, whenever nobody was around, or looking…
… until a stranger claiming to know how to get her the love of her dreams changes everything.
Suddenly, Dasha is head over heels in love with Vlada, open to homosexualism, ever ready to throw religion into the wind in order to be with her. Everything is lovely and wonderful, for a while, until the consequences Vlada had not been warned about rear their terrifying heads… and make her question the rationality of giving up everything for a love disapproved by God, church and family.
In this story with multiple endings and many surprises, the fate of our protagonists will depend on the choices you make on their behalf. How will you behave when life pushes you beyond the boundaries of what you know to be possible, or true? Would you put your trust in faith or love when that happens? Would you be able to survive?
by C.L. Cattano
$4.99 (Also in Kindle Unlimited)
Crime and love… two reasons to meet online.
After pulling off the biggest heist of her career, Benny is ready to retire from her life of thievery. She thinks she’s found the perfect way out in Evelina, who falls hard for Benny’s online persona, Darby — but when they finally meet in Italy, both may be in for a very unexpected surprise…
Opportunities to retire from life as a thief don’t come around often and Benny is determined to make this one pay. The last thing on her mind is romance. Evelina did not expect to find love when making friends online. After finding her Darby though, she is certain she has stumbled upon her soulmate. She will do whatever it takes to bring Darby to Italy so they can finally meet face to face.
Two women have very different reasons for being online. Will they both get what they want, or will putting trust in someone they have never met in person turn out to be a disaster?
Keep scrolling for more suggestions!
by Wendy Hudson
Erin Carter is alone. Plagued by childhood nightmares since the loss of her mother, she embarks on a journey to trace her father, hoping to find some semblance of family and put the darkness to rest. A tentative thread leads her to Hopetoun, in rural Scotland, and the welcoming Cornfield Castle.
There she meets Abigail Miller, the castle chef, who quickly becomes her tour guide and search partner. Along with Abigail’s brother, George, they decipher village gossip from truth, fact from folklore, and offer Erin sanctuary within the castle walls.
But when Erin’s nightmares start to close in, can she defeat them and learn to live again?
by Cade Haddock Strong
After a Mercedes rear-ends Wallace Mahar, her annoyance evaporates the moment the offending driver steps out of the car. Much to her dismay, the stunning woman hands her $10,000. Then disappears.
Ellen Church hoped throwing money at the woman she rear-ended would make her go away, but when she sees her at a bar, she realizes Wallace may be a bigger complication than she first thought. Ellen doesn’t have time for relationships, even if she is attracted to the cute swim coach. She has her eyes on a bigger prize—a Warhol painting with something very special hidden in the frame.
Reformed art thief Mattie Pearson is trying to live on the straight and narrow. After their failed heist at the Schuyler House, she married Alex Holland and the two women couldn’t be happier. But when Mattie’s old friend Ellen shows up with a big-payday proposal, the lure of her old life proves too strong to resist.
The Warhol job draws Wallace deep into the world of female art thieves, and even deeper into the dangers of romance with a woman who steals art—and hearts—for a living.
by Fiona Zedde
A lesbian romance filled with intrigue and sizzling sexual tension as enemies discover that the other side of hatred…is desire.
Agnes Noble is private, mysterious, and untouchable. She rules House of Agnes, the most exclusive escort agency on the East Coast, with a diamond fist. Crossing her is a mistake no one makes twice.
Investigative reporter Lola Osbourne is not afraid. She’s gunning for the House and its so-called queen. She’ll make sure no other innocent gets dragged into Agnes’s alluring web, to be used and discarded the way Lola’s sister was.
But her plan to get close to the elusive madam shatters the moment her eyes meet the Queen’s. One look and everything’s different. More complicated. Dangerous.
Now, Lola’s not just fighting to topple a queen from her throne, she’s also scrambling to escape their explosive collision with her suddenly vulnerable heart intact.
by Rien Gray
She needs an assassin. They’re the best in the business. Falling in love was never part of the deal. Desperate to escape her abusive husband, Justine hires a contract killer. Campbell’s services come at a high price, and their dark, seductive charisma leads Justine right into their bed. Hiding an affair while Campbell designs the perfect murder has Justine walking a tightrope of stress, but each time the two of them sleep together, it’s harder not to get attached. Campbell struggles with their own traumatic past, convinced that the truth will drive Justine away. There’s a faint hope that things could work, save for one problem: Justine’s husband wants her dead too. Revenge is easy—heartbreak could cost both of them everything.
by Jesse J. Thoma
What happens when the woman of your dreams lands in your swimming pool at the same time that buckshot riddles not only your back deck, but also your comfortable, orderly, safe life?
When bounty hunter Holt Lasher splashes into Isabelle Rochat’s swimming pool, Isabelle assumes the shotgun blast was meant for Holt. After all, who would want to shoot a corporate CPA when a bounty hunter is standing in front of her? The answer forces Holt and Isabelle on a perilous journey through an underworld of drugs and underhanded deals, from the Rhode Island House of Representatives to a methadone clinic. Compelled to protect Isabelle by a sense of duty and an attraction neither of them expected, can Holt catch the assailant in time, or will her commitment to the chase leave the idea of happily ever after impossible?
by Jade Winters
Available in Kindle Unlimited
Can just one mistake change your life forever?
When Louise meets her friends for pre-Christmas drinks, little does she realise how her life will change when walking home that night.
In the aftermath of a car accident which leaves Louise in hospital, she forms an unlikely bond with Kirsty – the sister of the other accident victim. After the initial shock of what happened wears off, Kirsty and Louise begin to question if it was really just an accident.
As they work together to uncover the circumstances surrounding the crash, romance blossoms between them but their fledgling relationship is tested when nefarious forces try to spin the narrative to conceal a darker truth.
Can Louise and Kirsty overcome the odds and stay together? Or will the shocking reality tear them apart?
by Benna Bos
Dr. Helen Nims is hauled into the police station when her new girlfriend is found murdered. Terrified and confused, she finds comfort from a stranger. But when that stranger turns out to be a crime reporter, Helen has to decide if she can be trusted or if confiding in the stunning podcaster will pull Helen deeper into suspicion.
Agnes Coates loves reporting on true crime. But it hits a little close to home when her first crush from high school is found dead in a bathtub. A gorgeous surgeon is tangled up in the police dragnet as they search for the killer, and Agnes must navigate her own feelings as she digs into the mystery and seeks out the truth.
With so much to lose, Agnes and Helen will walk the line between kisses and crime.
by Cass Sellars
Corporate entrepreneur Jess Ivan has everything she should ever want: a successful business, a home in the city, and a gorgeous woman on her arm. So why isn’t she happy?
Romance is the last thing Skylar Addison has time for. She’s ready to take the next giant leap in her career, and the manager position at Ivan Associates can get her where she wants to go.
But not everything is as it seems. When Skylar discovers a well-organized fraud operation, uncovering the truth means working closely with her charming new boss. An unexpected attraction catches them off guard, and while Jess knows she’s found the one for her, Skylar isn’t so sure. As Skylar fights enemies who might be closer than they appear in order to save Jess’s business, Jess fights for the one she believes should be hers.
by Nicole Stiling
Juliet Mitchell is doing just fine. Her career with the Shell Creek Police Department is on track, her son, Declan, is amazing, and for the first time in a long time, life is simple, if unremarkable. Until a dead body is found outside the Shell Creek Library.
Sienna Bennett doesn’t know how she ended up here. She’s overwhelmed as a big city victim advocate, her soon-to-be-ex-husband is living in their pool house, and she feels like her stepson, Declan, blames her for the state of their family. She needs something else to focus on.
Juliet and Sienna might share a history with Declan’s dad, but they’re nothing more than friendly acquaintances. When they’re thrown together in the midst of the biggest investigation Shell Creek has ever seen, neither anticipates a forbidden attraction. It definitely isn’t worth upending the life they’ve worked so hard for. Is it?
by JD Wilburn
Detective Bo Alexander knows the perils of drugs and alcohol all too well, and she’s made it her mission to keep people safe.
Cass Halliburton grew up in the Voleurs, the most ruthless motorcycle outlaw club in the world, and she’s in Galveston Island to watch over the national expansion of her “business.”
Bo’s assigned to the task force looking to take her down, and Cass plans on making sure Bo keeps her nose out of club business. But the clues aren’t adding up, and the attraction surging between them only makes things more dangerous. When Bo stumbles on a secret far more threatening than anyone anticipated, a stranger in the shadows wants payback.
Bo and Cass are on opposite sides of the law, and their battle of wills may not only decide their chances at love, but also their fate.
by Lesley Davis
Landing the lead role in a movie is exactly the break TV actress Cole Calder needs. Her rise to fame has made her the target of an obsessive group of fans who ship Cole with her straight, married costar, turning what used to be her dream job into a nightmare. Thankful for the opportunity to start something new, Cole is more than ready to leave the show, and its troublesome fans, behind.
Eris Whyte has her career path all planned out, and accepting her first movie role opposite Cole Calder is an unmissable opportunity. Eris has no plans to be distracted from the course she’s set for herself, but unfortunately, Cole is gorgeous and very distracting.
Cole and Eris are dedicated to making their movie a success, but one fan won’t accept that Cole has moved on. She’ll stop at nothing to see her favorite characters together again, no matter who she has to hurt in the process.
Miranda, Em, & TB
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