Before we get to today’s new releases, including gems by Melissa Brayden, Hildred Billings, Adrian J. Smith, Amanda Radley, and many others, we have some announcements.
IHS SAPPHIC READING CHALLENGE
It’s week 28 of IHS’s Sapphic Reading Challenge. Click here for reading suggestions for Historical Romances. 3 of the books featured on the page are on sale.
Remember, 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.
VOTE FOR FAVORITE SECOND CHANCE
We asked readers to nominate their all-time favorite sapphic second chance romances. Find out who made the cut and cast your vote. Voting ends on August 13 and the top three winners will be announced on August 17.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR
CHRISTMAS IN JULY SALE STARTS THIS FRIDAY
by Addison Clarke
Available in Kindle Unlimited
After receiving life changing news, Hayden uproots her entire life to be with Molly. But when new information comes to light, will they let their happy bubble burst or figure out how to keep what they found?
Deal ends July 19.
Here are this week’s new ebook and audio releases and announcements.
Please click on this link for how to submit books (ebook and audio) for the newsletter. IHS will not include books unless they receive an email from either the author or publisher.
Happy reading and listening,
TB, Em, Faith, & Miranda
by Hildred Billings
Available in Kindle Unlimited
Cassandra Stephenson is dead. So is her good name.
Bereaved widow Monica had the perfect marriage. For thirty years, she and college sweetheart Cassie made a home, built a business, and celebrated their love with hardly a secret between them.
Until Cassie dies in a tragic accident. Then all the secrets are let loose, like the sins from Pandora’s box.
Monica was not the only one. From around the world, three women step forward to claim the inheritance Cassie left behind!
2022 IHS Reading Challenge Categories: Age Gap; POC Character; Singe Parent; Neurodiverse; Enemies to lovers; Loss/Grieving; Forced Proximity
by Melissa Brayden
When your parents name you and your three siblings after flowers, the world is stacked against you. At least, that’s how Aster Lavender feels. The youngest daughter, Aster always keeps her head down and lets her siblings stand in the spotlight. She sells her gourmet doughnuts from Hole in One, the small drive-through stand in sleepy Homer’s Bluff, Kansas, and daydreams about seeing the big beautiful world. Love is never going to happen, especially when the only other lesbians in town are already married to each other.
Beautiful Brynn Garrett arrives to fill in for Homer Bluff’s only veterinarian, and suddenly every pet in town is sick. Brynn’s older, smarter, and way out of Aster’s league. Plus, she’s only in town temporarily and definitely running from something. Aster didn’t plan for a connection so strong it knocks the wind right out of her, but Brynn makes her feel like anything but a wallflower.
2022 IHS Reading Challenge Categories: Medical Character; Animals
by Tiana Warner
Available in Kindle Unlimited
An age-gap lesbian celebrity romance about how much you’d risk to have your dream.
Talented A-lister Cate Whitney is the gorgeous middle-aged movie star almost every lesbian has a crush on.
Rachel Janssen, an introverted medical physics student, is no exception. So when her celebrity crush starts filming near her Vancouver apartment, she can’t believe her luck.
A chance encounter with Cate leads to a little swooning, small-talk, and a shock offer to help the star as a science consultant on her Marie Curie film. And, wait, could Cate actually be flirting with Rachel?
However, as the chemistry sizzles between them, Rachel struggles with the harsh reality of being linked to a famous actress. Paparazzi keep dragging her into the spotlight when all she wants is to be taken seriously in her medical career.
Is falling for a superstar too much to handle? Even if sexy Cate Whitney is the one everyone wants? Even if she’s everything Rachel needs?
2022 IHS Reading Challenge Categories: Age Gap; Celebrity; Hot & Steamy
by Ali Spooner
Cedra Tyler’s dream of becoming a songwriter in Nashville was put on hold due to her mother’s failing health. When the time came for Cedra to start her journey, she left her home in south Alabama with a heavy heart.
Arriving at Ma Bentley’s boarding house, meeting her housemates, also fledgling musicians, she feels the warmth she was missing since leaving home.
Her housemates realize Cedra’s talent as a song writer and begin to gel as a group. The pain and loss she had experienced added a layer of emotion and longing in her lyrics, unusual for someone of her age.
They form a band, The Bentley’s, named after Ma who is much more than a landlord to them all. Cedra falls for bandmate Juliet, and that inspires her creativity even more.
Will The Bentley’s achieve their dream of making it big in Music City?
Has Cedra found her forever in the arms of Juliet?
2022 IHS Reading Challenge Categories: Musician; Loss & Grieving
by Kris Bryant, Amanda Radley, & Emily Smith
Fate intervenes on behalf of love when characters are unexpectedly stuck together. With too much time and an irresistible attraction anything could happen.
In EF5 by Kris Bryant, wedding photographer Alyssa Bates is running late to a job she desperately needs when officer Katy Emerson pulls her over for speeding. She gets a warning from the sexy woman in uniform and the sirens alerting them to an approaching tornado. Their only option is to shelter in an abandoned diner where they must resist temptation and fight for their lives.
In Trapped Tycoon by Amanda Radley, trainee investor Clara Foster spends her weekend at the office catching up on paperwork when the ice queen owner Francesca Burford arrives. Francesca doesn’t know who the shy employee is, and she doesn’t much care, until they attempt to leave the office at the same time and get trapped in an elevator.
In Wings Over Boston by Emily Smith, flight paramedic Ryland Matthews and pilot Tess Goodwin have an uncomplicated past that included a no-strings tryst before they went their separate ways and never looked back. That is, until a medical emergency and an unlikely coincidence leaves them grounded together in the middle of nowhere with nothing to do but relive history and ignite the passion neither can forget.
2022 IHS Reading Challenge Categories: Ladies in Uniform; Forced Proximity; Ice Queen; Medical Character
by Taylor Rickard
Saving a family legacy comes with all sorts of surprises and a maze of challenges for Caitlin Balle and Amanda Sherman. Their mission is to preserve Hobcaw Point, and create a loving relationship that will continue the long line of the Balle’s of Hobcaw Point. Nothing goes smoothly in dealing with crooked politicians, disapproving mothers, complicated legal problems, a missing deed, a cache of Confederate gold and some well-meaning but interfering ghosts!
Three hundred and fifty years ago, an ambitious Scotsman and his Irish wife came to the new Carolina Colonies. They bought some land on Hobcaw Creek with a small natural harbor and built a shipyard that would serve the creation of the Port of Charles Town, Charleston during the Revolutionary War and South Carolina during the Civil War until it was burned to the ground and waterline by General Sherman in 1865. The land stayed in the family for another 150 years until an ambitious city councilor tries to take the land to build a community yacht club.
Now Caitlin Balle must try to save her family legacy, including the historical ruins of the shipyard, with the help of Amanda Sherman, a civil engineer hired by the county to oversee the project – a civil engineer who is the great great granddaughter of the man who burned the shipyard down. Charleston society has a very long memory, and Shermans are not welcome in certain circles – especially lesbian Shermans who are courting one of their own.
2022 IHS Reading Challenge Categories: Enemies to Lovers; Return to Hometown; Ghosts
University Square: Book 4
by Brenda Murphy
Celebrated concert pianist Nüwa Zhou had it all. Until she didn’t. Forced out of the closet while testifying at the kidnapping and murder trial of her obsessive former assistant turned stalker, she retires from the high-pressure world of performing to recover at her parents’ estate.
Stone mason, and frustrated sculptor Julia Johnson, spends her days stone building walls and patios while dreaming of quitting her day job.
After a chance encounter with Julia leads to more, Nüwa imagines a life with Julia. When her stalker returns, determined to kidnap Nüwa and end anyone who stands in his way, Nüwa will do whatever it takes to keep Julia safe, but will it be enough?
2022 IHS Reading Challenge Categories: Age Gap; Rich Girl / Poor Girl; POC; Hot & Steamy; Celebrity; Character with Mental Illness/Disability
Lovefest: Book 1
by Allie McDermid
Available in Kindle Unlimted
Holly Taylor didn’t expect to return to Glasgow. And she certainly didn’t expect her parents to enter her into a dating competition on her first day home.
Jen Berkley is happily single. Having vowed to never date again after her horror ex broke her heart, no one is more surprised when her best friend convinces her to take part in a dating contest.
Jen wants to win the money. Holly wants to regain the trust of her parents. Will they get what their hearts desire or will the charade fool no one?
Set in Glasgow and full of Scottish charm as well as lashings of delicious desire, smouldering sexual tension and even a few laughs, buy Love Charade today and find out if some things just can’t be faked…
2022 IHS Reading Challenge Categories: Fake Relationship; Hot & Steamy; Forced Proximity
by Dena Blake
A chance meeting and a no-strings rendezvous in Las Vegas has chemistry flaring between Blair Haskell and Rachel Taylor. But long-distance relationships rarely work, and Blair’s still kind of hung up on the woman back home who broke her heart. When Blair’s friend Morgan hears about her wild night in Vegas, she doesn’t let the opportunity for a wager slide. Morgan proposes a bet: which of them can get Rachel into bed again?
Blair doesn’t buy in—after all, Morgan is the player, not her. But then Blair and Rachel unexpectedly meet again and share a passionate weekend affair. Blair is sure Rachel isn’t interested in anything more, but as her attraction spirals out of control, she’s in danger of falling.
Can a one-night stand turn into forever despite the odds? Or will the bet Blair never intended to make ruin their chances for a happily ever after?
2022 IHS Reading Challenge Category: One Night to Forever
by Melissa Tereze
Available in Kindle Unlimited
Their connection flares hot in an instant… but is it doomed to fizzle out?
After the death of her estranged father, Hayley McAllister plans to endure cold, wet England just long enough to tie up loose ends. Then she’s heading straight back to Ibiza, where she lives exactly as she pleases—performing her music, soaking up sunshine, and indulging in flings with gorgeous women.
She has no interest in meeting her dad’s new wife. A wife Hayley assumes must be just as bitter as he was. Until she comes face to face with Diane Astell—a walking, talking dream, from her dark hair and eyes and brilliant smile, down to her divine legs.
Diane is intimately acquainted with heartbreak and loneliness, both within and outside of marriage. Now? She just wants to let it all go and have some fun for a change. Despite their age difference, she quickly recognises a kindred spirit in the beautiful, vivacious Hayley.
Their sexual chemistry is hotter than the Ibizan sun, but their undeniable connection comes with an expiration date—and consequences neither expected. Now, both must decide if holding onto lives they thought they wanted is worth losing the love of a lifetime for.
2022 IHS Reading Challenge Categories: Age Gap; Love after 50; Hot & Steamy; Coming Out; Erotic Romance
Agent Morgan Stone: Book 2
by Adrian J. Smith
A bomb at a factory. A new case. Morgan will do anything to stop her world from spinning out of control.
With Mr. Jimmy’s case still on her plate, Agent Morgan Stone isn’t sure she wants to take on a second. Focusing on Jimmy’s young victims, she has little interest in a bomb that goes off in Chicago. With an end to restricted duty in sight after last winter, Morgan finds herself thrust into a new case she doesn’t want.
She has no option but to liaison with Detective Fiona Wexford and potentially ruin the tentative friendship they’ve been building. With her career, love life, and friendships crumbling around her, Morgan wonders, does she still have what it takes to stop a mad bomber?
Trigger Warnings: Racism and homophobia.
2022 IHS Reading Challenge Categories: Age Gap; Slow Burn; Love after 50; Suspense; Forced Proximity; Friends to Lovers; Mystery; Ladies in Uniform; Thriller
by Vaela Denarr & Micah Iannandrea
A werewolf and a vampire with an unbreakable bond. A cute witch fleeing her home for a crime she may or may not have committed. A burning desire for something more between them.
Years after becoming a vampire, Logan is finally on track to their goal: Making it big in the music industry with the support of their band and their girlfriend Kay, protector of the local supernatural community. For all its issues, with her by their side, Logan’s life is perfect. But when a new girl comes to town, Nemo, everything abruptly becomes much more complicated and Logan can’t ask Kay for help anymore. Because to do that, they’d have to admit to her that they’ve fallen for someone else…
Nemo, having fled her home for a crime she totally didn’t commit, finds a welcome distraction in Logan’s friendship. But her thoughts quickly become haunted by them and their gorgeous girlfriend.
As Kay realizes that what’s going on between Logan and Nemo exceeds the bounds of friendship, she has to make a choice: Keep her partner all to herself, or encourage them to explore their feelings, and explore her own. To let love make them one, or perhaps tear them apart.
2022 IHS Reading Challenge Categories: Paranormal Romance; Asexual; Vampire
Assassin’s Core: Book 6
by Serenity Snow
Alexi’s grandfather is dying and it’s his wish for her to not only become part of the Krovopuskov mob family but head the American branch of it. However, the choice might be taken from her hands when Black Raven, an enemy of the family, launches a destructive assault against the Krovopuskovs.
At the same time, her family calls on her for aid, but Alexi is facing a fight with the tenacious Nine. Backed into a corner, Alexi makes a choice and comes out swinging. In a fire fight for her life, Alexi calls on old friends to catch her back.
The heat is on, and Alexi must trust Tia to anchor her heart as she becomes the flame of destruction to protect her family because hell hath no fury like a madam doubled down.
2022 Reading Challenge Categories: POC Character; Suspense; Fantasy; Hot & Steamy; Speculative Fiction; Paranormal Romance
All These Gifts: Book 2
by Skye Kilaen
Available in Kindle Unlimited
A dangerous attraction. A secret revealed. The superpowered sci-fi romance series continues.
Jolie knows that Deneve staying in Austin is only temporary, especially when a government agency far too interested in people who developed powers from alien ship nanites may have its eyes on the city. Too bad Jolie’s heart doesn’t seem to be getting the memo that Deneve won’t be around forever.
Deneve’s nanites won’t let her leave town, but without any precognitive visions of what catastrophe she’s supposed to avert next, she’s at loose ends. She’s also spending too much time close to Jolie, the beautiful woman who saved Deneve’s life with a wall of fire.
When an attack connected to a secret from the alien ships leaves someone dead, Deneve’s visions come back with a vengeance. But surviving the confrontation that follows is going to take more than seeing the future. Deneve and Jolie must start trusting the growing connection between them… and confront the truth about what happens when their powers combine.
2022 IHS Reading Challenge Categories: Slow Burn; Romantic Suspense; Ice Queen; Forced Proximity; Sci-Fi Romance
by Miranda MacLeod & TB Markinson
narrated by Lori Prince
They were the perfect couple until pride got in the way…
Gina Mitchells has a problem. The assistant professor is in charge of her college’s Pride festival committee, and the celebrity grand marshal they’d painstakingly recruited has just blown up the internet with a major scandal. Messing up the festival could ruin her chance to be approved for tenure. There’s exactly one famous person Gina knows who could save the day as a last-minute replacement.
The problem? The woman is Gina’s ex-girlfriend, and to say the relationship did not end well is an understatement.
Sophia Rossi has starred in so many squeaky-clean holiday romances since moving to Hollywood that everyone calls her the Queen of Christmas. An important new contract has her filming in a quaint New England town, but there’s a catch. It’s Sophia’s hometown, and surviving a month with her meddling, relationship-obsessed mother and sisters might be too much for Sophia’s sanity to bear.
When Gina reappears in Sophia’s life with a proposition, Sophia has one of her own. It’s a match made in heaven, if only they can get over their past heartbreak long enough to convince everyone they’ve rekindled their old spark. But can this fake relationship lead them to a second chance at love?
2022 IHS Reading Challenge Categories: Second Chance; Fake Relationship; Celebrity; Return to Hometown; Enemies to Lovers
Holiday Series: Book 3
by Nicole Pyland
narrated by Carolyn Eve
Aria Bancroft had been in love exactly one time. It didn’t go well, and ever since, she’s been floundering. Choosing sex over relationships and working as a freelance editor more to have something to do than anything else, worked for a time. But as her friends begin to couple off with their new girlfriends, Aria begins to wonder if she can ever feel that kind of love again.
London Carlson met a girl in high school and fell in love. After moving away, she tried to find that kind of connection with other women, but it was never the same. London focused on her friendships instead, and with two of those friends, she decided to open a bakery that happened to be in the same city where that long-lost love lived now.
It was July 4th, and Aria had just gotten back from Europe. She didn’t want to go to the annual fireworks display downtown, but her friends wouldn’t let her off the hook. Seeing the woman she’d only known as a teenager, shook Aria to her core, and she couldn’t believe the girl she’d once thought to be the love of her young life was standing right in front of her. Now that they’re both adults, can they put their past behind them and search for what could still be possible?
2022 Reading Challenge Categories: Second Chance; Rich Girl / Poor Girl; Holiday Romance
by Ellen Hoil
narrated by Rebecca Ballantine
Nicole, a socially awkward loner, hasn’t seen her family of origin or her hometown for decades. Blocking out the pain and memories of her earlier life, she’s spent this time honing her skills as a talented wildlife photographer. When she’s offered a dream contract for a book, she hesitates, realizing that she would have to return to her hometown to do it. She takes it, hoping she can enjoy it without seeing her family, the woman she had adored from afar, or dredging up the past.
2022 Reading Challenge Categories: Slow Burn; Girl Next Door; Medical Character; Forced Proximity; Grumpy / Sunshine, Return to Hometown
SAPPHFIC BOOK CLUB
JAE’S SAPPHIC BOOK BINGO
BUY US A COFFEE
Running IHS takes the four 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!
TB, Em, Faith, & Miranda
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