Sapphic Forced Proximity / Stranded Together Romances (IHS Reading Challenge #29)

Welcome to week 29 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

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 Forced Proximity / Stranded Together with National Talk in an Elevator Day, which is July 29th.

Below you’ll find reading suggestions. Better yet, 6 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 Forced Proximity / Stranded Together week: July 25 through July 29


Do It for the Prestige

by Kaya LaSalle

$0.99 $4.99 (Also in Kindle Unlimited)

One fateful night in the club leads to more than Claire ever could have imagined…

Claire Evans is going places. She’s moving up the ranks as a PR strategist for the rich and famous, and she’s more than happy to put her personal life on the back burner while she focuses on her career. Go figure that the one time she does something impulsive and sleeps with a gorgeous stranger, said stranger walks into her office the next day–as her newest client.

Arianna King is a rockstar with a reputation. The rumors are out of control, and she needs help taking back control of the narrative about who she is and how she lives her life. But she wasn’t banking on a PR strategist like Claire…

Two careers hang in the balance, but the tension between the two women is undeniable. As time goes on, the lines between professional and personal begin to blur…but will they be able to turn their fling into something more? Or are they destined for heartbreak?


The Setup

by TB Markinson

$0.99 $3.99 (Also in Kindle Unlimited)

Can a weekend change your fate?

As soon as Rory Price’s plane touches down in Britain for her two-year work contract , she has big plans to see and experience everything she can. The one thing that isn’t on the twenty-seven-year old’s agenda is a relationship.

Tell that to her matchmaking British friend who sets Rory up on a coffee date on her first full day in the new country.

Imogen Wright doesn’t want any more complications in her life. The only thing she’s considering committing to is adopting a dog.

Their blind date starts off disastrous, but there might be more than meets the eye.

Will the two headstrong women continue to clash, or will they see what’s so obvious to their matchmaking friend?


The Heart of the Rodeo

by Nicole Higginbotham-Hogue

$0.99 $5.99 

Blake Young is one of the best bull riders that Melville has seen in years. When she ends up falling off a bull during one of the biggest competitions of her career, she is placed in the hands of an in-home doctor, Dr. Jane Steibold and one of her worst fears, not being able to take care of herself. Blake and Jane clash at first, but as Blake gets used to the restrictions of her new lifestyle, she begins to realize that having Jane in her life might be just what she needed all along.


Wolf Country

by Mar Delaney

$0.99 $2.99 (Also in Kindle Unlimited)

A lot can happen in a remote cabin in a beautiful wilderness, with only one bed.

Laney thinks she’s only doing a good deed when she rescues a wolf caught in an illegal trap—until the wolf transforms into a beautiful naked woman in her arms!

Sheltered Dasha grew up in an isolated werewolf pack under the rule of a strict alpha, but she immediately recognizes her rescuer as her mate. Now Laney is nursing her back to health in her isolated cabin in the gorgeous Alaskan wilderness, while the two women dance around the magnetic attraction drawing them together.

In Dasha’s sparkling eyes and beautiful smile, Laney might have found the piece she’s been missing—if she can learn to let someone else in, after years of being alone. And Dasha has always taken her cues from her pack … but when mate bond and pack bond collide, she has to trust her own heart and instincts to tell her what’s right.

With Dasha’s pack determined to separate them and a dangerous, armed poacher on the loose, Laney and Dasha must decide what they want and fight for what’s theirs, in a remote winter wilderness where the greatest unexplored country is the wilds of a human heart.


Wolf of Mine

by C. A. Hall

$2.99 $4.99 (Also in Kindle Unlimited)

Unplugging from the Internet, social media, and her dating app is just the sort of vacation Carley needs. One year. One whole year to unplug, recharge, and break away from everyone’s love life, including her own.

Of course, her plans didn’t include a beaten down rancher, a serious case of homesickness, or a renovation gone horribly wrong.

But when a very kind and attractive neighbor comes to her rescue, it seems as though Carley might have a reason to stay after all.

Bree knew Carley would be a problem the moment they met. Not only had her wolf altered her to the human, but Bree couldn’t get her out of her head. If not for her brother Jackson and her loyalty to the pack, she would’ve told Carley right then and there what the other woman meant to her wolf.

Problem is, Bree isn’t a loner, and it will take a lot more than a simple conversation to get her brother on her side.

Carley’s visit is temporary, and as the months go by, Bree fears her time might be running out.

Can she reveal her truth to the woman she loves without risking the safety of the pack? Or is there a reason why unions between humans and wolves rarely exist?


Lost in Paradise

by Rachel Lacey

$2.99 $4.99 (Also in Kindle Unlimited)

When a Manhattan businesswoman and a reclusive French artist are stranded together on a deserted island, opposites attract…and sparks fly. But with love on the horizon, will they survive to claim their happy ending?

Nicole Morella boards a private Mediterranean cruise with one goal: to reclaim herself after her divorce. When she sits next to a beautiful blonde in the ship’s lounge, she’s knocked off balance by the immediate attraction between them, and it’s not just because Nicole hasn’t found her sea legs yet. Fiona stirs things in Nicole that haven’t been stirred in a long time, but a fiery kiss turns dangerous when the ship is hijacked. The women launch a daring escape, leaving them adrift in an empty lifeboat.

Fiona Boone has been adrift most of her life, but never in such a literal sense. She’s a survivor, though, so when they land on a deserted island, Fiona’s ready to do whatever it takes to stay alive until they’re rescued. In the meantime, she can’t get enough of the feisty woman she’s stranded with, despite her usual fiercely independent nature. Although they’re lost, Fiona finds something unexpected in the comfort of Nicole’s touch. But when an injury puts her life in jeopardy, they begin to worry help won’t arrive in time. If she survives their ordeal, Fiona might just face her biggest challenge yet: falling in love.


Keep scrolling for more reading suggestions!


Indigo: Blues

by Adrian J. Smith

Available in Kindle Unlimited

Anxiety ridden Sarah finds more than she bargained for in a no-nonsense rancher and baby cow.

Taking her best friend’s advice, Sarah travels to Indigo B&B to distract herself from her upcoming tour. Instead, she comes face-to-face with Indigo’s ruggedly alluring owner, Eli. The vision of strength and confidence, Eli evokes Sarah’s envy as well as an undeniable attraction. Sarah wonders if there is more beneath Eli’s façade and how deep both their demons go.

Eli wants nothing more than to fit into her tiny hometown. When singer-songwriter Sadie Bade shows up for two weeks at her new B&B, Eli fights her attraction, playing it off as star struck. As the days wear on, and Eli learns more about the enigmatic Sarah, she finds it impossible to keep up the pretense. But when her ex-girlfriend hints at getting back together, Eli is left with an equally impossible choice…what will she give up for Sarah?


First Position

by Melissa Brayden

Anastasia Mikhelson is the rising star of the New York City Ballet. She’s sacrificed creature comforts, a social life, as well as her own physical well-being for perfection in dance. Even her reputation as The Ice Queen doesn’t faze her. Though Ana’s at the peak of her career, competition from a new and noteworthy dancer puts all she’s worked for in jeopardy.

While Natalie Frederico has shown herself to be a prodigy when it comes to ballet, she much prefers modern dance and living on her own terms. Life is too short for anything else. However, when the opportunity to dance with the New York City Ballet is thrust upon her, it’s not like she could say no. Dealing with the company’s uptight lead is another story, however. When the two are forced to work side-by-side, sparks begin to fly onstage and off.


Enemies to Lovers

by Aster Glenn Gray

Handcuffed together. Only one bed. Which will win: Megan and Sarah’s sizzling sexual attraction, or their compulsion to correct each other’s atrocious fandom opinions?

Shy library science student by day, fanfic writer by night, Megan is thrilled when she discovers her new crush Sarah shares her favorite fandom. Smart, gorgeous, and brashly confident in her thoughts on fandom, Sarah is Megan’s dream girl… until Megan realizes that Sarah is also her Tumblr nemesis, who called Megan’s popular ongoing fic “the cancer that is killing fandom.” Clearly, they must never speak again.

But when a writing club exercise leaves them handcuffed together, they have no choice but to duke out their differences, until they reach an agreement on the most important question of all: is hatesex as insanely hot in real life as it is in fic?


Highland Whirl

by Anna Larner

When city girl about town Roxanne Barns reluctantly accepts a holiday invite to her best friend Eve’s birthday party in the Scottish Highlands, the last thing she expects is to fall for the very person she’s been dreading seeing again—the feisty Highlander, Alice Campbell.

The moment Alice learns that Roxanne is visiting her home hamlet of Newland, she couldn’t be more suspicious or defensive. A warm welcome is certainly not the plan, let alone falling in love.

Despite Eve’s warnings that Roxanne is not relationship material, Alice can’t ignore her growing attraction. She absolutely trusts Eve’s judgment, but taking her advice just might break Alice’s heart.


The Allure Of The Night Train

by Pumpkin Spice

Available in Kindle Unlimited

They lived out their wildest, wettest fantasies on the move. Three different stories of women, all intimately connected to The Night Train, finding ways to satisfy their needs in ever more inventive and erotic ways.



by Cade Haddock Strong

Wen Apollo dreams of seeing the world beyond the small riverside town where she grew up. But operating the local mailboat keeps her tethered to Coopersville. Islands dot the river, and their residents rely on her to deliver everything from food and medicine to pet food and plumbing supplies.

On a raw spring day, Wen goes to Owl Island—the summer home of the illustrious Gage family—to deliver a package. It’s addressed to the family’s oldest daughter, Estelle, a woman Wen has long admired from afar.

Estelle Gage fled to the islands seeking solitude and an escape. With the deadline for her latest novel fast approaching, her sole focus is to write. But when the handsome mailboat captain shows up on her doorstep, writing is no longer the only thing on her mind.

A steady stream of packages continues to bring Wen back to Owl Island—and to Estelle. But as summer looms, so does the impending arrival of Estelle’s family. The return of the Gages will most certainly spell the end to Estelle and Wen’s idyllic time cloistered together on the island. What will that mean for their budding relationship?


Two Pines

by Tessa La Vella

Available in Kindle Unlimited

Clara shifted her weight from one naked foot to the other. “I’m cold,” she whispered. Marie smiled. Of all the attempts to get into her bed – and over the years there had been quite many – this was probably one of the cutest and most charming ones and definitely impossible to resist. Young photographer Marie Claythorn’s life seems to be changing for the better when a lawyer informs her that she is the sole heir to her grandfather’s house in Chesleyham. Upon arriving at the small village, however, she gets bad news: a distant cousin also poses claim to the house – which is already in a devastating condition. When she meets her cousin for the first time, Marie is immediately irritated. Clara Wright is convinced that she can buy Marie’s share of the house, but the matter is not resolved so easily. While the tension rises between the two women, a snowstorm breaks out, blocking all roads and rail tracks. They have no option but to stay in the ruined property – together, despite their obvious dislike. With electricity gone and the house playing tricks on them, they have to move closer together until eventually, tension turns into passion.


Reclaiming Love

by Amanda Radley

Sarah Campbell told one tiny white lie.

When her tech-giant employer moves her to a cottage on a small Scottish island to work on a classified, controversial, and potentially world-saving project, Sarah must keep her eco-terrorist mother in the dark to prevent her from disrupting everything. Sarah’s cover story—she’s fallen in love, she and her girlfriend are escaping the bustle of the city, she couldn’t be happier… But Sarah’s better at firewalls than real walls, and when she arrives at the run-down cottage, she quickly discovers she needs help.

Pippa Kent is a widowed, semi-retired structural engineer who’s done with love. She fills all her free time running a handywoman service on the island. When Sarah calls Pippa out for the most basic repairs, Pippa can’t help but wonder—often out loud—how anyone could be so inept at home maintenance.

Then Sarah’s mother suddenly decides to visit and meet her daughter’s wonderful new partner. With little option, Sarah begs Pippa to be her fake girlfriend. Only the more time they spend faking it, the less pretend it feels.


The Island Between Us

by Wendy Hudson

Lesbian romance and adventure collide in this gripping story of survival and second chances.

Georgia Hamilton is an adventurer. After a life spent exploring the most remote places on earth, she’s found her way back home to Scotland, where she teaches her expert survival skills.

Kelsey Campbell has spent her whole life acting, both personally and professionally, and has had it with the pressure of keeping everyone else happy. Craving somewhere far from the glaring spotlight, she signs up for a two-week team survival course.

It’s not just the remote island location that appeals to Kelsey. There’s the fact she met the course leader years ago and always regretted how they left things.

However, just as Georgia and Kelsey are renewing their long-lost connection over bushcraft, a storm hits, leaving them stranded. With the group’s lives now in Georgia’s hands, the race is on to find a way home.

As the reality of survival kicks in, their battle becomes about more than just facing the elements.


Not My Father’s Daughter

by DJ Fronimos and Elke Lakey

Kerstin Meineke has always known she’s bisexual, and reconnecting with a former classmate and declared lesbian makes her ponder the what-ifs of her own choices. Kerstin’s adult son has moved out and her marriage is in a rut, so when her mom dies, Kerstin fulfills her last wish and travels to the US to meet her biological father.

Finally finished with veterinary college, Sara Peterson decides the next step is to find her perfect life partner. Online Sara locates a candidate who meets all her criteria, but when their in-person meeting is a disaster, she convinces herself to stick to loving animals.

It’s March 2020, and both Kerstin’s and Sara’s lives grind to a halt once COVID hits. The ever-practical Sara invites her new “sister” Kerstin to stay with the family, never mind that her mother resents Kerstin, the daughter from a previous marriage her husband failed to mention. Things quickly become tense.

Gorgeous and brilliant, Sara possesses a quirkiness which intrigues Kerstin, and she falls for Sara practically at first sight. Sara’s rational world is turned upside down when she realizes the feeling is mutual. Kerstin and Sara struggle to do the right thing, but boundaries are shattered when passion overtakes them. Too soon, Kerstin’s vacation ends and she knows their goodbye must be forever. Sensible Sara comes to the same conclusion.

But what if theirs is the once-in-a-lifetime love they both long for?


Truth or Dare

by C. Spencer

It’s a long weekend among six friends whose lives have intertwined through years of U-Hauls and regrets, almosts and what-ifs. As that poorly timed snowstorm whirls into town, it threatens to kick pent-up desires and tightly held secrets over the edge—especially for Jessie, who can’t stop thinking about her best friend Hadley.

Meanwhile Brie’s past overshadows her present-day, and the Lasleys just hope to enjoy their much-anticipated wedding anniversary. If everyone would just keep it together for the next few days, and if this snow would taper off, they just might pull off Sunday’s celebration. Drama free.


Pleasure Cruise

by Yolanda Wallace

Spencer Collins lives life virtually, keeping the real world—and everyone in it—at a distance. When she’s given a chance to spend a week surrounded by sun, sand, and hundreds of women on a lesbian cruise, she has the opportunity to venture outside her comfort zone. If, that is, she can muster the courage.

When Amy Donovan is named cruise director for a trip to the Caribbean, her mission is twofold: keep her scandal-plagued company’s reputation afloat and her hands off the passengers. Both prove problematic when she’s blindsided by her attraction to the sweet and adorably shy Spencer, only to discover a stranger’s quest for revenge threatens to turn their dream trip into a nightmare.

Sailing the high seas might turn the tide of romance their way, if the killer doesn’t get there first.



by Julie Cannon

In the middle of a three-week fishing trip, commercial fisherman Roberta (Bert) Coughlin rescues Alissa Cooper from her burning yacht and has no choice but to take the pampered rich girl along.

Alissa and Bert are from very different worlds. Bert struggles to succeed with the whims of Mother Nature. Alissa owns a successful advertising agency and is the epitome of high class and high fashion. When Alissa volunteers to help on the boat, Bert is more than a little surprised at how well she does.

The attraction between them grows, and one stormy night their pent-up desires crash together like the waves against the ship. When the ship returns to port, both women realize their lives are too different for anything other than their brief affair. They are simply too different. Their families are too different. Their lives too different. Then why do they keep coming back to each other?


Snow Angel

by Ronica Black

Maggie Douglas enjoys her reclusive life in the mountains. She writes her books, loves her dog, and enjoys the spoils of living at the base of the San Francisco Peaks in Northern Arizona. Hurt by a long-time lover in her past, she keeps people at bay and keeps her life simple…

Ellie Falcon is dangerously beautiful and infinitely famous. Her life is ruled by her agent, her job, and an endless schedule of appearances. She stars in the number one show on television, she has the world at her fingertips, but she is desperately lonely and desperate to get away…

One snowy evening brings the two together in a way they never could’ve imagined. Can they both let the past go and let love in?


Reality Check

by Nicole Pyland

Available in Kindle Unlimited

Cali Banks lost her job and needs money fast. When her best friend tries to sign Cali up to appear on a reality show where contestants complete ridiculous challenges for cash and prizes, Cali tells her she’s crazy. When she gets a call back for an audition, she thinks there’s no chance the show will be interested in her boring life. Little does she know; that’s just what they’re looking for. When Cali agrees to go, she’s thinking about keeping her head down and trying to win as much cash as possible so that she won’t lose her apartment and have to move back in with her parents.

Dayton Maine is a reality show mainstay. She’s already done three and has been asked back for a fourth by the Berserk producers. Dayton understands she’s there to bring the drama. She has no problem doing that. She also has no problem hooking up with her fellow female contestants should the opportunity arise. She loves the challenges and the thrill of the chase. She’s there for the fun and the fame.

When the two meet, it isn’t exactly love or lust at first sight. Dayton thinks Cali is a hermit who judges the rest of them. Cali’s pretty sure Dayton’s just there to reconnect with an old flame and get as much camera time as possible. While the cast members get kicked off one by one, though, the two women find common ground mixed in with a whole lot of differences. Dayton finds herself in a new position, chasing a woman for more than just one night, and Cali finds herself trying to live in the moment and trust that this woman might be the one she had been waiting for all along.

Happy reading!

Faith, Em, Miranda, & 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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