Welcome to week 28 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 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 historical romance week with Sarah Waters birthday, which is July 21st.
Below you’ll find reading suggestions. Better yet, 3 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 Historical Romance week: July 18 through July 22
by S.W. Andersen
$5.99 (Also in Kindle Unlimited)
Gunslinger Sarah Sawyer has overcome her demons, vengeance-seeking relatives, and a loner streak as wide as the horizon to settle down out west with her partner, Jo.
But peace seems too much to ask for with the influx of new settlers, illness, and brazen thefts stirring tensions.
When a spate of white killings puts Native Americans in the crosshairs as the culprits, Sarah has a whole lot of questions and few answers she’s willing to swallow.
Driven by her desire to protect her town and root out injustice, Sarah reluctantly picks up the badge and seeks to reveal the truth.
by Del Robertson
Mayhem. Brutality. Murder. These are the tools of the trade – and Kris Wolff is the master of her profession. Captain of the high seas, a roguish pirate, her heart hardened by life, her passion tightly controlled by the secret she’s forced to keep. Faced with a new danger, The Wolff finds herself unable to guard her heart from the tumultuous desires that Alexis DeVale has awakened.
ONLY ONE WOMAN…
As devastatingly beautiful as she is headstrong, noble-born Alexis DeVale abruptly finds her preordained life in upheaval. Abducted at swordpoint, held for ransom, thrust into a maelstrom of lawlessness and piracy…
HAS THE POWER…
The strength of her passion, the depth of her love…
TO TAME THE WOLFF…
by Anna Ferrara
Long before there was Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, there were two other stories some preferred not to tell…
“I have three profitable businesses and more money than anybody else in the land, some people even say I’m the fairest in the land, and yet you who obviously enjoys everything I buy for you are ashamed of being seen with me because I am a woman?!”
One year after leaving the North behind, Queen Katherine and Princess Eirwen find themselves struggling with new desires they never had to deal with before.
It doesn’t help that Eirwen’s new cinder dust covered apprentice brings to Eirwen something Katherine can never give, while someone Katherine once knew has taken to calling them “beasts”.
When desire brings out the worst in them and those around them, Katherine and Eirwen have to seek creative ways to get to that happily ever after they once thought possible, before it slips out of their reach once again, this time maybe forever and always.
Keep scrolling for more reading suggestions!
by Yolanda Wallace
February 1862. The War Between the States has been raging for nearly a year with no end in sight. Philadelphia socialite Wilhelmina Fredericks is safe from the war’s clutches, yet she feels compelled to do her part to bring the madness to an end. Accordingly, she disguises herself as a man, takes up arms, and heads South to join the fight. What could possibly go wrong?
Clara Summers’s father and older brother are serving in the Confederate army. Forced to look after her two younger brothers as well as the small Tennessee farm the family depends on for its livelihood, Clara has no time for or interest in love. Then she meets a handsome Union soldier named Wil Fredericks, and her loyalty to both her family and the Southern cause is put to the test.
by Edale Lane
Available in Kindle Unlimited
What if Robin Hood was real, only the heroic outlaw had been a woman?
Robyn lost everything: her home, her family, and her freedom. Branded as an outlaw by the Sheriff, she reinvents herself by joining Little John and his band in the guise of a boy, soon becoming their leader. But she misses the woman she loves, her best friend Marian.
Marian is distraught over the news concerning Robyn and wishes to leave court for Nottingham to find her. Queen Eleanor sends her back as a spy to check up on Prince John, Sir Guy, and the greedy sheriff, while she tries to raise money for King Richard’s ransom. Soon Marian forges an alliance with Robyn to foil a traitorous plot, discovering her feelings run much deeper than friendship.
Can Robyn win Marian’s love, help the poor of Nottingham, save the king, and defeat the sheriff, or will his merciless sword strike her down?
by Karin Kallmaker
A one-way stage ticket to the frontier leaves a young woman penniless and alone in Long Grass, Wyoming. With no other hope than to survive another day, she takes up the only profession open to her. Years later she encounters a one-of-a-kind cowboy she can love, and her first taste of pleasure – and happiness.
Cowboys, however, are born to wander, and their kisses are as brief as the lives of young women without family or means. Accepting that her days will be numbered too few, Darlin’ escapes into her scribblings where her dreams of freedom can soar over the limitless prairie.
When she recognizes her own truth and a chance for love in the longing gaze of a townswoman, will she finally find kisses she can trust?
Two determined women in a hostile world save themselves — and each other — in a lyric, sensual love story as only Karin Kallmaker can tell.
by A.L. Lester
The quiet village of Bradfield should offer Dr Sylvia Marks the refuge she seeks when she returns home from her time in a field hospital in France in 1918. However, she is still haunted by the disappearance of her lover, ambulance driver Anna Masters, two years previously. Settling back in as the village doctor alone in her large family house is more difficult than she realised it would be after the excitement of front-line medicine. Then curious events at a local farm, mysterious lights, and a hallucinating patient’s strange illness make her revisit her assessment of Anna’s death on the battlefield.
Lucille Hall-Bridges is at a loose end now her nursing work is finished. Her Mama and Papa are perfectly happy for her to pursue any or no career or social round; but she felt useful as a nurse and now she really doesn’t know what to do with her life. She hopes going to stay with her friend Sylvia for a while will help her find a way forward. And if that involves staying at Bradfield with Sylvia … then that’s fine with her.
But Sylvia is still focused on finding out what happened to her very good friend Anna three years ago; and the unbelievable events at a local farm over the course of the last year don’t seem to have helped her let that go.
Will the arrival of Lucy in Bradfield be the catalyst that allows both women to put their wartime stresses to rest? Can Sylvia move on from her love affair with Anna and find happiness again with Lucy, or is she still too entwined in the unresolved endings of the past?
by Clare Lydon
They were each other’s first love. But that was a lifetime ago…
Eunice Starling didn’t mean to fall for Joan Hart, but she did. How could she resist those stunning eyes, that dynamite smile? Months later, she didn’t want to leave Joan and marry a suitable man, but she did. Over the years, Eunice tried to forget, but she never forgave herself.
Now, 60 years later, Eunice comes face to face with Joan. They might be older, but Joan’s eyes are still the same. But after so long apart, is that enough? Are the pair destined to finally live out their big London dreams?
For the latest instalment in the London Romance series, best-selling author Clare Lydon travels back in time to uncover the story of Eunice and Joan, and the love that was ripped from their grasp. Told from 1958 London to the present day, get ready to have your heart broken, then pieced back together again. This is a story of burning passion, shattered dreams, and ultimately, enduring, endless love.
by Carolyn Elizabeth
It’s the early 1700’s and sixteen-year-old Julia Farrow, spirited daughter of a shipping company owner, lives and loves on her own terms. With a sharp mind and sharper tongue, she constantly defies family and society expectations with no regard for the consequences.
Branna Kelly, only child of an Irish immigrant sailor, is hopelessly in love with Julia and imagines their life together as captains of their own fate. Left brokenhearted after Julia’s rejection, she embarks on a journey to chart a new shipping route to the Caribbean. Before Julia can explain her decision, Branna’s ship is overrun by merciless pirates. All hands are presumed lost.
Fifteen years later, Julia is running the Farrow Company and sailing with the crew on her newest ship when an encounter with pirates leaves her the lone survivor to be rescued by the infamous Raven, hard-hearted captain of the mercenary ship, Banshee. Julia is shocked to discover her rescuer wears a familiar face.
The Raven and the Banshee is a passionate tale of vengeance, forgiveness and second chance love in a swashbuckling adventure on the high seas.
by Jean Copeland
How much courage does it take to be yourself? In a decade when good girls conform to strict family and social expectations, Beatrice Darby is about to find out. After a harmless admiration for her older boss, sophisticated Abby Gill, blossoms into a full-blown crush, Beatrice is startled to discover why she’s never felt like other girls.
She soon learns the necessity of “passing,” the shame of secret “sin,” and the pressure to meet family expectations, all while suffering the angst of unrequited love and the disastrous end to her friendship with college roommate and future sister-in-law, Gwen Ridgeway. When Abby reappears years later, can Beatrice go against all she’s ever known to be happy? Will she have to choose between honesty and her family?
by Lynn Ames
It’s March, 1943. World War II rages across the globe, and twenty-five-year-old Nora Lindstrom is about to take a huge leap of faith. One of the few women in the male-dominated field of physics, she travels to an undisclosed destination to undertake a vital, top-secret project that the government insists could help the Allies win the war.
At eighteen, Mary Trask is ready to put high school and the boy who wants to marry her in her rearview mirror. But what alternative could the future hold for the dyslexic daughter of a train conductor? When a cousin in Tennessee provides Mary with a cryptic job opportunity, she jumps at the chance to rewrite her life.
Nora and Mary are drawn together under impossible circumstances. As the fate of the world hangs in the balance, they find solace in their love for each other. But in a place where secrecy is paramount, their relationship is forever changed by the consequences of secrets well kept.
In this new historical fiction novel, award-winning author Lynn Ames returns us to a time where the contribution of women was often overlooked and the casualties of war were not always limited to the battlefield.
by Lynnette Beers
After she gave up a promising career as an artist and turned her back on her British roots, Gemma Oldfield settled into life in Los Angeles to be with the woman who’d captured her heart. When things don’t go as planned, Gemma buries herself in her work as a Hollywood set decorator—all the while clinging to the hope that the passion with her lover can be rekindled. But she must temporarily leave L.A. behind and return to England after her grandmother’s unexpected passing.
Once there, she discovers shocking secrets she could never have foreseen. When she finds hundreds of letters written from a mysterious person dating as far back as the 1930s, Gemma embarks upon a quest to understand why her grandmother took so many secrets to her grave.
In her pursuit to learn more about her grandmother’s past, Gemma meets an intriguing woman who has the potential to change the course of her life forever. But can Gemma open her heart to love again? Will she stay in England for a new beginning or return to the States to the life she knew before?
by Lyn Denison
It’s the 1960s. Life was different then. But Tyneholme, the magnificent, historic home of one of Brisbane’s pioneering families, the well-known Chaseleys, endures. Dickie Chaseley, grandson of the first Chaseley to arrive in Australia, is a respected businessman, and his vivacious wife, Vivienne, is a much loved patron of a large number of charities.
Circumstances have drastically changed young Laura Dawson’s comfortable and sheltered life and she gratefully accepts what she sees as a lifeline, a job working with Viv Chaseley. Laura moves into Tyneholme and into the unbelievably amazing world of the Chaseleys. Working with Viv gives Laura the confidence she knows she lacks, and it brings new meaning to her previously uninspiring life.
She meets Dickie and Viv’s elder son, Richard, and his lovely wife, Sara, and their younger son, the dark and slightly dangerous, Nicholas. Then the Chaseleys’ only daughter arrives home from the UK. Viv had said she was sure her daughter and Laura would become great friends, but nothing could have prepared Laura for her meeting with the poised, worldly, so very attractive Rosemary Chaseley.
by Linda North
Available in Kindle Unlimited
In 1901, Rose McLeod and her father are in Cairo to acquire ancient Egyptian relics for their antiquities business back home in Baltimore. A notorious slaver, known for procuring concubines for harems, attempts to abduct Rose. She is rescued only to find she is now captive of a beautiful woman claiming to be the pharaoh of a kingdom hidden deep in the Sahara. Merytneit is autocratic, arrogant, and entitled. She believes Rose is a gift from Goddess Neit. Rose refuses to accept any of this. She’s a “freeborn American woman.” During her journey across the desert to the Valley of Wind and Dreams, Rose joins Meryt’s three companions as a reluctant member of Meryt’s family. Rose discovers the women are not just Meryt’s companions. “Harem. This is a harem.” Cultures clash, danger intrudes, and passions flame. Travel with Meryt and Rose across the Sahara to the Valley of Wind and Dreams, where they discover their entwined destinies as decreed by the ancient Egyptian Gods.
by Patricia Spencer
In this gender-bending lesbian romance, set in England just before the Regency Period, things aren’t always as they seem.
The Countess Maryam Wyndham’s solicitor has been siphoning her late husband’s estate into his own pockets and now she finds herself destitute. One last asset, Skylark Manor, stands between her and homelessness and she must sell it to the highest bidder so she can take care of her three young children.
The man who wants Skylark the most is the Marquis Julien D’Avenant, a half-English half-French aristocrat who fled the bloodbath in France after the revolution and has lived in near-seclusion since his return to England. When he does come out in public, he causes a stir. His nose is a beak, his face is slashed, and he dresses in an immaculately-tailored version of the long trousers worn by the working class revolutionaries who stormed the Bastille.
One look at the extraordinary D’Avenant takes Lady Maryam’s breath away. He has an air of wildness about him, a feral streak, a shimmering, shifting countenance. D’Avenant is an anarchist with eyes the colour of lapis lazuli. But as the owner of Edgemere Estate, which surrounds Skylark, he says her property isn’t worth anywhere near what her solicitor says she can get for it.
When she decides to go see the distant estate for herself, D’Avenant impulsively invites Lady Maryam and her children to stay at Edgemere while she does so. It is only on cooler consideration that D’Avenant realizes that opening his home to this beautiful stranger could destroy everything he has built over the past ten years.
Because D’Avenant is not who he says he is. He is a woman disguised as a man.
by Shelley Thrasher
Jacqueline “Jaq” Bergeron—New Orleanian, suffragist, freethinker—drove an ambulance on the battlefields of Europe during the Great War. She returns home and finds herself isolated in rural East Texas, keeping house for her war-hero husband as she awaits his promised divorce and plans her escape. But then she meets Molly.
Molly Russell lives for her music, which sustains her as she cares for her son and husband, and suffers her mother-in-law. When she meets Jaq, a world she never imagined opens to her—a world entirely out of reach.
With the storm of war still raging in Europe and other battles to be fought at home, can two women bound by the land and family ties find the freedom to love and build a life together?
by Missouri Vaun
Cody Walsh leaves Arkansas for California. Lured by stories of opportunity, even for women, Cody disguises herself as a man and prepares for the arduous journey west.
Lillie Ellis leaves New York to accept a post as a schoolteacher on the frontier near a small homestead she just inherited from her uncle. Lillie’s ultimate desire is to become a painter, and she hopes the Kansas frontier will offer her the freedom to follow that dream. In the nineteenth century, a young woman has few options in the East that don’t revolve around marriage and motherhood. Lillie is interested in neither.
Cody rescues Lillie after a chance encounter in Independence, Missouri. Their destinies and desires become entwined as they face the perils of the untamed West. Despite their differences, they discover that love’s uncharted frontier is not for the weak in spirit or the faint of heart.
by Jane Walsh
Country mouse Lady Honora Banfield arrives in London with one mission: to catch a husband. A perpetual wallflower, she’s going to do whatever it takes to win a proposal from London’s most eligible bachelor, including teaming up with the most popular (and least proper) woman in London.
Miss Jacqueline Lockhart is having too much fun in her sixth season to ever consider settling down, even though she’s been unsuccessful at mingling with the upper echelons of London society.
When Lady Honora agrees to exchange invitations to the most exclusive events in return for Jacqueline’s introductions to eligible gentlemen, neither expects their friendship to ignite passion. Nora and Jacquie begin an affair with the strict understanding that it will end once Nora is married, but as a proposal becomes more imminent, choosing between a conventional life without love, or certain ruination if they stay together, isn’t as simple as it seems.
by Rebecca S. Buck
Evelyn Hopkins leaves everything she knows and heads to London at the height of the Roaring Twenties, intent upon living her life to the fullest. But will the dark cloud of the Great War keep her from happiness and love?
Edward Hopkins returned from the war, but he is a shadow of his former self, broken by his experiences. His sister makes him a promise: to live her life well enough for both of them. London is a colorful world of jazz, fashion, and opportunities for lust and romance at every turn. When Evelyn meets handsome, eccentric Jos—with her butch style and gentle manner—she knows true attraction for the first time. But can love sustain them through tragedy and carry Evelyn into a new life she can be proud of?
by Lois Cloarec Hart
In 1899 two women from very different backgrounds are about to embark on a journey together – one that will take them from the Old World to the New, from the 19th century into the 20th, and from the comfort and familiarity of England to the rigours of Western Canada, where challenges await at every turn.
The journey begins simply for Kicker Stuart when she leaves her home village to take employment as hostler and farrier at Grindleshire Academy for Young Ladies. But when Kicker falls in love with a teacher, Madelyn Bristow, it radically alters the course of her tranquil life.
Together, the lovers flee the brutality of Madelyn’s father and the prejudices of upper crust England in search of freedom to live, and love, as they choose. A journey as much of the heart and soul as of the body, it will find the lovers struggling against the expectations of gender, the oppression of class, and even, at times, each other.
What they find at the end of their journey is not a new Eden, but a land of hope and opportunity that offers them the chance to live out their most cherished dream – a life together.
by Justine Saracen
It is 1944, and vast armies drive each other back and forth over blood-drenched Europe.
In the midst of it, two radically different women meet, one a Russian speaking American on a failed diplomatic mission and the other a Soviet sniper. The American, fleeing a sordid past worthy of Dostoyevsky, has murder in her heart but has injured no man. The other, a once-saintly believer, has killed a hundred of them for Stalin. Their politics are worlds apart, but a reckless drunken kiss has tied them together, through church and trench, incense and the smoke of battle. If they survive the war, can they survive the peace?
Faith, Em, Miranda, & TB
Want to stay up to date on all the happenings on IHS? Sign up here for the newsletter and never miss a thing.