Welcome to week 30 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 Friends to Lovers week with International Friendship Day, which is this Sunday, August 7th.
Below you’ll find reading suggestions. Better yet, 9 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 Friends to Lovers week: August 1 through August 5
by Miranda MacLeod
When her dating app decides she’s a man, what’s a lonely lesbian to do?
Jamie Richards is a scientist who embraces reason– except when it comes to romance. Tired of her impulsive streak leaving her heartbroken, she’s determined to do everything right the next time she’s in love. But her resolve crumbles when a technical glitch matches her with perfection in Claire, a woman who lives on the opposite side of the country. Who is straight. And under the impression that Jamie’s a guy. But Jamie can’t help being smitten. Would one tiny lie be so terrible if it gets her closer to the woman of her dreams?
Claire Flores is a dreamer and a believer in signs, but she has a secret that keeps her cautious about love. All she wants is a picture-perfect family of her own, but she’s never met a man who attracts her. Until now. Throwing caution to the wind, she goes from Portland to Boston to meet Jay, her online love. Instead she meets Jamie, his work colleague, who befriends her in Jay’s unexpected absence. Claire’s heart is aflutter. Jamie stirs up feelings Claire never knew possible, but how close can she get without having to admit that she’s been lying to herself about her dreams all along?
What starts as a simple fib soon snowballs as Jamie fabricates increasingly ridiculous tales to keep her identity as Jay under wraps, until a comedy of errors threatens to topple the whole charade to the ground. Can true love prevail when it’s founded on a lie?
by Dorothy Rice Bennett
$5.99 (Also in Kindle Unlimited)
After wandering aimlessly for years through the South Seas, tanned, athletic, and wealthy Kate Brighton returns home on a sailboat bound for Seattle.
When The Lavender Loafer docks briefly in Sequim, Washington, Kate recalls that she has an old friend living there. Deciding to explore, she strides across the small Olympic Peninsula town, pausing for breakfast at a rustic coffee shop called The Little Red Barn.
Angie, her curvaceous server, sports a long auburn braid and shining, dark brown eyes. Feeling a familiar tingle of desire, Kate considers checking out this stunning young barista, hoping she is a lesbian.
First Kate must look up her friend, Marianne, a Cornell University grad student when undergrad Kate was swimming competitively. Soon Kate discovers that things have changed radically: while she has been wandering the globe having fun, Marianne has survived an auto-accident and is confined to a wheelchair. Her caring partner, Jake Summers, crafts furniture and art objects while watching out for Marianne.
Impulsively, Kate decides to stay in Sequim for a while. She returns to the coffee bar; Angie seems very happy to see her. Kate shortly learns that the barista is a lesbian but has two young children. Having limited experience with kids, Kate wonders how to woo this charming woman. And despite their admittedly mutual attraction, the two are very different: Angie has dreams but can barely feed her family, and Kate, while having deep pockets, has avoided responsibilities and commitments.
by Stephanie Shea
$0.99 (Also in Kindle Unlimited)
On-the-rise fashion photographer Blake Elimar has only ever been in love once—with her then best friend, Drew. It’s taken five years to piece herself together, especially since the last time they’d seen each other was at Drew’s wedding. Drew Dimitrov has officially been dubbed the model world’s new it-girl. In a career-defining moment, she has been given her first nude photoshoot at Luxe magazine, and Blake just happens to be the photographer. It’s a reunion neither expects. But can anyone stop an avalanche once the ice begins to fall?
by Alysia D. Evans
$2.99 (Also in Kindle Unlimited)
What do you do when life has got on top of you? When you need to find yourself? The answer, Lucy decided, was to disappear into another world. Expand her knowledge, learn how to live life from a new cultural point of view. That’s what she expected from her exciting holiday to Botswana. But when she met Jaz, her tour guide, Lucy was about to learn a whole lot more about herself. And considering what was happening back at home, her holiday became a life-changing event.
by Linda Crist
On September 7-8, 1900, the island of Galveston, Texas, was destroyed by a hurricane, or ‘tropical cyclone’, as it was called in those days. This story is a fictional account of Mattie and Rachel, two women who lived there, and their lives during the time of the ‘great storm’. Forced to flee from her family at a young age, Rachel Travis finds a home and livelihood on the island of Galveston. Independent, friendly, and yet often lonely, only one other person knows the dark secret that haunts her. Madeline “Mattie” Crockett is trapped in a loveless marriage, convinced that her fate is sealed. She never dares to dream of true happiness, until Rachel Travis comes walking into her life. As emotions come to light, the storm of Mattie’s marriage converges with the very real hurricane. Can they survive, and build the life they both dream of? This second edition of one of Linda Crist’s best-loved novels maintains the original story, while incorporating some reader-pleasing passages that were cut from the first edition. As an added bonus, the short story “Something to Celebrate” is included at the end of the novel, detailing further adventures of Rachel and Mattie.
by Nicole Pyland
$7.99 (Also in Kindle Unlimited)
Charlie Adams has two best friends. Ember Elliot and Hailey Grant, the woman she’s secretly been in love with since the moment they met over a decade ago. She has watched Hailey date all the wrong women and never said anything about how she wanted to be Hailey’s forever love.
Hailey Grant had a first love that she was comparing every other woman to. When that woman comes back into her life, Hailey has to get to know her again after all this time. As Hailey tries to figure out if her first love is actually her forever love, she sees something is different about Charlie.
When the two women embark on new relationships, they’ll have to finally confront their growing attraction for each other and decide if they can be brave enough to risk the most important friendship they have for possibly something more. Charlie might just be the girl who gets the girl after years of watching Hailey be miserable with other women who didn’t deserve her, and Hailey might have just had the right woman by her side this whole time.
by Callie Hall
$3.99 (Also in Kindle Unlimited)
A twelve-year friendship. A burning crush. Can Taylor convince Charlie to give them a chance?
Taylor’s spent the better part of her adult life crushing on a woman she can never have. Her friendship with Charlie is unquestionable, unbreakable as long as she keeps her hands to herself. But being friends while standing on the sidelines can only last so long, and Taylor’s patience is about to run out.
Charlie’s smart, beautiful, and devoted to the animals she takes in. The time Charlie spends at the shelter leaves little room for anything else. Including Taylor.
But when destiny forces them to move in together, not even Charlie can ignore the sparks buzzing between them. They only have to live together for a few weeks, but as the pressure builds, Charlie’s resolve starts to unravel.
In a friendship that’s strictly platonic, can these two keep to themselves, or will Charlie’s admission surprise them both?
by Sue Graham
$4.99 (Also in Kindle Unlimited)
Michaela is driven by ambition and her vast creative fire burns for expression, acknowledgement and acclaim. Kim has been there, knows the cost, and has lost the spark of inspiration she once had. Their chance meeting and growing friendship sets in motion a series of events that leads them through loss and heartbreak onto new paths of discovery. How will they finally put the past behind them to find their peace and place in the world?
by C. A. Hall
$3.99 (Also in Kindle Unlimited)
If you had to choose between leading your pack and accepting your mate, what would you do?
As alpha, it’s up to Jack to keep her pack safe from anything that poses a threat. This includes humans, rogue wolves, and shifters who’d rather see her dead. But when Piper, a raven from Jack’s past, walks back into Jack’s life, she’ll have to make a choice.
Should she continue her role as alpha or open herself up to a mate?
In Jack’s mind, it’s either one or the other, and after twenty years, she’s having a hard time letting go of both.
Keep scrolling for more reading suggestions!
by Nicole Spencer-Skillen
Available in Kindle Unlimited
Twenty-five-year-old Ashley is an aspiring writer living in New York City. A recent lack of inspiration leads to doubt in her ability. She can’t envision a career outside of the bar she works in or any possible way to become unstuck from the cycle that consumes her.
But then, an overdue evening out with her two best friends leads to a surreal experience.
When she meets Megan, the energy in the room is enough to captivate Ashley—the infectious smiles that pass between them are electrifying. Smiles that, for a brief moment, make even Ashley—a true cynic—believe in fate.
The beautiful, sweet and mesmerising Megan isa Stanford graduate with one goal—to play basketball in the WNBA. She shares with Ashley a story about unfaltering love that’s compelled by the force of fate—a story about her grandmother, Nancy. It ultimately becomes the catalyst for their future relationship and the inspiration Ashley’s been looking for.
To Ashley, the word destiny has never been anything more than a crossword clue found in the NY Times, but she can’t deny the transcendent depth of their connection as an unseen force keeps pulling them back together. The question is—will it be enough?
A beautiful friends-to-lovers lesbian romance about taking risks and figuring out that sometimes the perfect person has been right in front of you all along.
Kylie and Regan have been best friends since kindergarten, supporting each other through thick and thin.
While everyone thinks they would be perfect for each other, they insist there’s no chemistry between them—and Regan should know since she’s a chemistry teacher.
To prove it, they agree to a little chemistry experiment: they’ll go on three dates with each other.
So what if their gazes start to linger and accidental touches no longer feel platonic? They chalk it up to the romantic atmosphere—until a friendly good night kiss turns passionate.
Can their friendship go back to the way it was before? Do they even want it to? Or will they risk losing what they have for a chance at love?
by Raven J. Spencer
Available in Kindle Unlimited
Will she choose love or tradition?
Shelby Grace Nash, known as the drummer in Emmy Whittaker’s band, is stepping out of her friend’s shadow to produce an album of her own.
While making her dream come true, Shelby Grace has to examine the reasons why her engagement to race car driver Ethan fell apart. Is it because he didn’t respect her wishes, or was she never really in love with him?
Her feelings for Emmy’s sister Julia, and the attention of a homophobic fan, complicate her life further.
Shelby Grace has to figure out who’s truly on her side, and if she’s willing to choose love.
by Addison Clarke
Available in Kindle Unlimited
Hayden Forrester has decided to live like she was dying. After all, her doctor told her she was. She quit her job, moved out of her hometown, and confessed her love to her best friend.
Molly Jaymes has everything planned out. That is until Hayden shows up on her doorstep in the middle of the night. A whirlwind of emotions follow them the next few weeks as they grapple with Hayden’s diagnosis and their budding relationship.
But when new information comes to light, will they let their happy bubble burst or figure out how to keep what they found?
by Clare Lydon
This Christmas, Tori Hammond is on a mission to find love.
Her ideal present under the tree would be a shiny new girlfriend, so Tori gives herself one month to find that special lady by December 25th. Christmas spells romance and she’s going to grab some.
Love Christmas? Love romantic comedies? Then you need to read All I Want For Christmas and prepare to be swept off your festive feet! From the author of international smash-hits London Calling and This London Love, Clare Lydon has crafted another page-turner, bursting with seasonal attitude & wit.
by Jazzy Mitchell
Maggie Ambrose is a fifty-six-year-old career politician who plans to run for president. To kick off her presidential bid and introduce herself to the masses, she’s writing a revealing memoir. Her publisher insists she divulge more than her political pedigree to gain the nation’s attention, but Maggie’s not eager to confess the details of her challenging childhood, complex familial relationships, or her failed first marriage. Will the nation embrace a female lesbian candidate after she opens the door to a painful past?
by Kitty McIntosh
Available in Kindle Unlimited
Being the only witch in a small Scottish town is not easy. Especially when the love of your life is totally unaware of the fact.
How will Diane react to Gillian’s professions of love? And more importantly, will she run for the hills when she finds out she’s a witch?
As their town fights for survival against frequent and unusual storms, the women face personal battles of their own. Can their relationship survive the turmoil? Or will long-hidden secrets pull them apart?
by Brenda Murphy
After a string of failed relationships, brilliant litigator Eunice Park is determined to stay single. Who needs distractions when you’re trying to make partner at Chicago’s most prestigious law firm? A Sunday afternoon visit from the police is the beginning of a series of events that turn Eun’s life upside down, and she’s forced to return to her hometown and confront her estranged family.
Morgan Wright, locksmith and part-time animal shelter volunteer, is convinced the perfect woman exists, just not for her. After a chance encounter with Eun, Morgan becomes embroiled in Eun’s family drama.
Charmed by Morgan’s easy swagger, Eun invites her back to her hotel room. Bone-melting sex and a surprisingly soulful connection leaves Eun questioning her return to Chicago. But not everyone in Sikesville is happy Eun has returned.
by Gemma Johns
Available in Kindle Unlimited
Tess Harding’s whole life revolves around romance – other people’s romances, that is! As a date planner, Tess gets to facilitate the romantic lives of all of her clients, but she doesn’t really have the time or energy for her own. In fact, since coming out, she hasn’t dated a single woman.
Frankie Davison is desperately trying to reignite her relationship with Olivia – without much luck at all! When she stumbles across a brochure promoting ‘Date at Eight’ a service that creates romantic dates, she books them in for a series of six dates. Unfortunately, Olivia is a very reluctant participant and when she learns that the owner of Date at Eight is another school mum, she’s even more reluctant.
Tess is thrilled to assist Frankie and Olivia – her first ever lesbian clients – but it turns out that playing cupid for an ambivalent couple is the hardest job she’s ever had… and her growing attraction to Frankie is going to make it even harder!
by Lyn Denison
Kate Ballantyne’s life was cruising along very nicely. No highs. No lows. Just the way she liked it. She had a good job and a casual relationship. Then Patsy Maclean had a sixtieth birthday and Kate learned her entire family would be attending the party, including her younger daughter, Ashley.
As an orphaned ten-year-old, Kate’s young life had been turned upside down when she was sent to live with her aunt in the historic gold mining city of Charters Towers. For the quiet and lonely Kate, the extroverted Ashley Maclean had been her salvation. They were inseparable and their childhood friendship developed into love, a love Kate had thought would last forever. But Ashley had succumbed to family pressures and broken Kate’s vulnerable heart by dating and marrying the very acceptable young doctor, Dean Andrews.
It had taken Kate years to even begin to get over that betrayal and now, ten years later, that same Ashley Maclean was coming home. Kate told herself she was well over her, that Ashley had ceased to be a part of her life, that she had moved on and made a life without her. She kept telling herself that. Yet her reaction to just the mention of Ashley’s name had her wondering if her hard-won indifference was a battle she only thought she’d won.
by Maggie Cummings
Twenty-something Meg McTiernan is all about her career when her house hunt unexpectedly lands her at Bay West—a lesbian mecca tucked away in the suburbs of NYC—and her social life is given a turbo boost. There’s a pool, a softball league, even a nightclub practically in her backyard. In this loaded environment, finding the right girl just got a lot more interesting.
Case in point: law student Lexi Russo grew up at Bay West and is about to start an internship at the law firm of another local, self-assured, sexy Jesse Ducane. Lexi’s had a crush on Jesse forever, but Jesse’s the one Bay West woman she can’t possibly have. And not just because she’s her boss.
Together, new friends Meg and Lexi navigate romances, fun flirtations, juicy gossip, tons of drama, and maybe just the right amount of true love.
by M. Ullrich
Lauren Daly is fed up with her dead-end job, frustrating roommates, and unhealthy love life. She escapes to The Dollhouse, New Jersey’s hottest lesbian bar, where disappearing in a crowd of gorgeous women is exactly what she needs at the end of the day. But when the owner, Berit Matthews, approaches her for a casual hookup, Lauren pushes her away, knowing better than to put her heart on the line for a playgirl.
Berit loves her bar, her life, and the casual connections she has with the women around her. She can’t help her simmering attraction for Lauren, though, and Lauren’s rejection challenges her to prove she’s capable of friendship, kindness, and even matchmaking. Berit’s efforts draw them closer than either expected, but when The Dollhouse is threatened, they’re forced to fight for their sanctuary and their newfound love.
by PJ Trebelhorn
Quinn Burke loves being a bartender. She meets new women every night and has her choice of bed partners. That’s fine with her because she isn’t interested in anything serious after having her heart shattered eighteen months ago.
Grace Everett is perfectly content owning a bookstore, but not so much in her personal life. She wants forever, but hasn’t had much luck with relationships. She’s hoping the newest woman in her life will be the one.
When Quinn’s mother falls ill, something shifts in the twenty-year-old friendship for both women. Quinn struggles with old feelings for Grace, and Grace is seeing Quinn in a different light. They know falling for their best friend is wrong, but could it be the right kind of wrong?
Faith, Em, Miranda, & TB
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