Sapphic Return to Hometown Romances (IHS Reading Challenge #33)

Welcome to week 33 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 Return to Hometown week with National Cheap Flight Day, which is August 23.

Below you’ll find reading suggestions. Better yet, 8 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 Return to Hometown week: August 22 through August 26


Bittersweet Homecoming

by Eliza Lentzski

$0.99 $4.99 (Also in Kindle Unlimited)

They say you can never go home again, but sometimes you have no choice. A phone call in the middle of the night and news of a death in the family has Abigail Henry catching the next flight out of Los Angeles and traveling back to the small hometown she hasn’t visited in a decade. Nearly everything and everyone looks untouched by time, but it’s Abigail herself who has changed.

A love story by genre, Bittersweet Homecoming grapples with the basic question: Can you really ever go home again? You might never be able to go home again, but it’s Charlotte, the beautiful bartender at the local pub, who can tempt Abigail into staying.



by MJ Duncan

$0.99 $7.99 (Also in Kindle Unlimited)

Joss Perrault left Sky, Colorado after high school with no intention of ever returning, but all that changes when she inherits Atramentum. Burned out on public accounting after too many sixteen-hour days, the allure of operating a small, independent bookstore is too tempting to resist, and Joss decides to walk away from the career she spent the last decade building to move back to the resort town high in the Rockies. Cupid strikes as she’s moving into her new place outside Sky and, contrary to popular belief, Cupid has four legs and a tail, hits like a linebacker, and answers to the name George. Before Joss can recover from being tackled by the Great Dane, she finds herself face to face with George’s mom, Maeve Dylan. Joss is immediately smitten with her beautiful neighbor, but their conversations walk the line between friendliness and flirtation like it’s a tightrope, and Joss is reluctant to do anything that will risk their budding friendship. Thankfully for her, however, George doesn’t give up so easily.


Turning for Home

by Caren J. Werlinger

$0.99 $6.99 

Like her mother before her, Jules Calhoon couldn’t wait to escape her small Ohio town. Unlike her mother, though, Jules couldn’t disappear forever. When she’s called back for her grandfather’s funeral, the visit unleashes a flood of memories and starts her on a lonely—and familiar—path.

Her partner, Kelli, feels Jules slipping away but can’t figure out how to pull her back. In desperation, she turns to Jules’s oldest friend—and her ex—Donna. The problem is, Donna never could figure out why her relationship with Jules ended so long ago, and she never stopped loving Jules.

When a lonely, confused teenager reaches out to Jules for help, the past and present are set on a collision course, igniting a chain of events that will leave none of them unscathed.


Coming Home

by Teresa Purkis

$0.99 $2.99 (Also in Kindle Unlimited)

Coming home is a heart-warming novel about family and relationships. It interweaves humour and loss in a poignant, amusing story, laced with love. It will make you laugh, cry and appreciate life.

The last place Jocelyn Harrold wanted to be was back in the city where she was born. After moving away for a fresh start she was home to attend the funeral of her beloved Nan who had recently passed. She was dreading spending the time with her family and all the unwelcome memories that would bring.

During her visit, love and life begins to blossom again. When greeted with a new bombshell can she risk her sanity and find the strength for a second chance at family life and love.


Secret of Stone Creek

by Natalie London

$1.99 $7.99 

Jennifer Cameron arrives in Stone Creek, Wisconsin to sell her grandparents’ large Victorian home. While going through the contents of the house, she finds an old newspaper describing the discovery of a girl’s body behind the school in 1951. When Jennifer learns the murder was never solved, she decides to investigate it as something to occupy her time. Several women in town, including the charming real estate agent, Laura; the lovely and mysterious librarian, Diana; and the murder mystery all vie for her attention.

As Jennifer becomes involved in the mystery and a budding romance, other unexplained deaths occur in Stone Creek.

In a dramatic confrontation on the night of July fourth, Jennifer’s life is in danger when the identity of the killer is revealed. Will her love interest figure out that Jennifer is in trouble before it’s too late?


Thundering Pines

by Rita Potter

$2.99 $8.99 

Returning to her hometown was the last thing Brianna Goodwin wanted to do. She and her mom had left Flower Hills under a cloud of secrecy and shame when she was ten years old. Her life is different now. She has a high-powered career, a beautiful girlfriend, and a trendy life in Chicago.

Upon her estranged father’s death, she reluctantly agrees to attend the reading of his will. It should be simple—settle his estate and return to her life in the city—but nothing has ever been simple when it comes to Donald Goodwin.

Dani Thorton, the down-to-earth manager of Thundering Pines, is confused when she’s asked to attend the reading of the will of her longtime employer. She fears that her simple, although secluded life will be interrupted by the stylish daughter who breezes into town.

When a bombshell is revealed at the meeting, two women seemingly so different are thrust together. Maybe they’ll discover they have more in common than they think.


Time of Day

by Nicole Pyland

$2.99 $7.99 (Also in Kindle Unlimited)

Kinsley James has a nice life in South Lake Tahoe. She has a great career in real estate and a great group of friends she’s known for a long time. She also has a crush. Things had been easy when the object of that crush lived on the other side of the lake. Kinsley had been able to push her attraction aside. She’d dated other women. She’d even mostly forgotten about that time in college when she’d shared a futon with a girl three years her junior that seemed so much more comfortable in her own skin than Kinsley had ever felt. Then, her crush moved home.

Riley Sanders decided to move back to South Lake Tahoe to settle down with her long-time and also long-distance girlfriend. Her plan was simple: find a real estate agent; find a house. Once she had that house, her girlfriend would move, and they’d be able to finally share a life together.

Riley’s plan doesn’t quite work out. But, sometimes, the plans people make take paths of their own, taking people exactly where they need to be after all. In Riley’s case, her plan took her to Kinsley, a woman she’d known for a while but had never considered herself close to. Things change, though, when she realizes Kinsley may be the woman she hasn’t even known she should be looking for.


A Change of Heart

by Sam Skyborne

$2.99 $6.99 

When duty and obligation stand in the way of your dreams, which will you choose?

Carol is sorted, sane and very successful. Unfortunately, she is also single but has convinced herself she is happy that way—living a high flying corporate life in Tokyo with a faithful little cat called Sappho…. until she is forced to return home, to her overbearing mother’s holiday resort on the island of Lesvos to host her best friend’s hen party.

Nothing could have prepared her for what was to come, including being rescued from certain death by a gorgeous lifeguard. Carol soon realises that Lisa saved more than her life… but things rapidly get complicated as Carol finds herself torn between duty, friendships and new love.

Will love win though in the end?


Whatever It Takes

by Callie Hall

$2.99 (Also in Kindle Unlimited)

Coming home isn’t enough.

For Emily, writing about love is easy, but experiencing it for herself is something else altogether. This is especially true when the focus of her heart is the same woman she ghosted more than twenty years ago.

Sarah is smart, beautiful, and just as stubborn as Emily remembers. Considering the fact they’ve spent more time apart than they did as friends, it’s going to take a lot more than a simple apology to undo all of the wrong she’s done.

However, when two kids go missing on a school trip, Emily and Sarah will have to work together to get everyone home on time.

The experience leaves them rattled, bringing them closer together while causing some of the parents to question their relationship.

With so many aspects of her life on the line, can Emily push her fears to the side long enough to win Sarah back, or will she give in to the pressures of their small town society and leave for good?

Whatever It Takes is a second chance sapphic romance with a happily ever after.


Only for the Summer

by Shannon O’Connor

$2.99 (Also in Kindle Unlimited)

Someone should’ve told me pretending to date your best friend only works if you aren’t in love with them.

Kennedy Davis is not in love with her best friend. That’s what she tells every girl she dates anyway, but it always ends up the same.

Sienna Stevens is in love with her best friend, but she’s too afraid to admit it. A hopeless romantic who hopes her best friend might one day see her as more.

When Kennedy must return home for her brother’s wedding it only makes sense to bring her best friend along. But Kennedys fears of returning home give Sienna a chance for Kennedy to see her as more—by being her fake girlfriend.

So when the line between friends and more gets blurred with Sienna, will Kennedy finally see what everyone’s been telling her all along and confess her true feelings? Or will she hide how she feels to keep their friendship?

After all, a fake relationship only for the summer, can’t hurt right?


Keep scrolling for more reading suggestions!


Take Two

by TB Markinson & Miranda MacLeod

Available in Kindle Unlimited

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?


Home For Christmas

by A.J. Marchant

Available in Kindle Unlimited

For the first time in ten years, Lucy is going home for Christmas…

A corporate lawyer at a high-powered firm, Lucy’s days are spent fixing problems, brokering deals and making other people rich. Little does she know that going back to her small coastal village will be nothing like she expects and that the corporate world has already beaten her there.

Ange, a generational ocean fisher and Lucy’s ex, challenges Lucy’s way of living and working, immersing her back into the slow coastal life, giving them a second chance at becoming something, and reminding Lucy why she wanted to be a lawyer.

On her very first day back, Lucy finds out a large corporation threatens to alter the very heart and soul of the close knit community. Like always, she jumps into action, looking for a way for the villagers to fight back. Will it work? Or will their efforts be thwarted? And will Lucy and Ange get their second chance, or will history get in the way?


Who I Believe

by Jamey Moody

Available in Kindle Unlimited

What happens when you find out everything you’ve been taught is wrong?

As a preacher’s daughter Rebekah Mathews had been drilled on right and wrong her entire life, but then she met Megan Neal. With one kiss Rebekah knew loving Megan couldn’t be wrong. But how could she have the life she wanted with another woman? She had so many questions on what was happening inside her heart. Unable to find the answers, Rebekah returned to college and then realized, together they could find a way. When she hurried back, Megan was gone.

Twelve years later, a widowed Rebekah is desperate to help her little girl, Anna, navigate the loss of her father. Her last option is to go home, back to where her questions began.

With one last shred of hope, Rebekah enrolls Anna in an art therapy program. When she walks into the counseling center, she finds Anna smiling and laughing with her counselor. Rebekah can’t wait to thank the woman and then she turns around.

Rebekah locked eyes with Megan Neal. Could she help her little girl find her way? Was Megan the answer she’d been seeking all along? Was this the second chance that haunted her dreams?



by A.C. Henley

Private Investigator Quinlan McKee has returned to Los Angeles after a three-year absence, only to find herself embroiled in a world of child slavery and police corruption. Chaos ensues as she finds an unlikely ally in a savvy police detective, Vivian Walsh, who lives by the letter of the law. Quin unwittingly becomes engulfed in the lives of new friends and old acquaintances during her journey through the seedier sides of two cities, Los Angeles and Chicago. Risking her sanity and her heart, she will search for the truth about a buried past and soon be pulled into a web of deceit and intrigue…putting everything she thought to be true in doubt. Quin searches for her happy ending where the lines blur between good and evil, friend and foe.


Safely Home

by Lyn Denison

There’s a stranger in town. Carolyn Winter is cool, in control and content with her single life. She’s certainly not looking for a relationship. Been there, done that, not pleasant. She has all she needs at the moment. A new job and a new home.

And when someone, an attractive someone, is catapulted into her life, and keeps reappearing, she tells herself nothing can happen. It’s far too complicated. Isn‘t it?

A prodigal sister returns. Tess Wainwright has never been in love. She knows she’s run away from everything. The only worthy thing she’s done is raise Bronte and the nine-year-old deserves more than life has dealt her. Now it’s time for Tess to finish getting her life in order, find some normality, reunite with her older sister, and hopefully make a better life for herself and Bronte.

Of course the universe has never been Tess’s friend and it looks like it’s running true to form. Her sister, an army nurse, is deployed to Afghanistan, but she assures Tess her friends will help her settle back into life in her home town. Liv, Mac and Dee are doing just that and Tess starts to think, universe aside, for once she’s made the right decision.

Then that same universe has a change of heart, quite literally, and sets two lonely women on a collision course.



by Estela González

Mariana Sánchez Celis has traveled the world as a pianist trained at the Juilliard School of Music. But when her mother has a stroke and her beloved uncle suddenly disappears, Mariana must put her life on hold to return to her home in Ayotlan, Mexico.

She soon discovers her town is no longer the place she remembers. Ayotlan’s beaches, sea turtle colonies, and historic center are decimated under decades of neglect and abuse. What part did her late father have in this? And could it be related to her uncle’s disappearance?

When Fernanda Lucero, a member of the indigenous Concáac people, convinces Mariana to join her sea turtle and architectural conservation projects, the deepening love between Mariana and Fernanda threatens to put them both further in harm’s way. This, together with the web of secrets Mariana unravels, stands to radically transform her and her family’s fate.


Saving Sam

by Lynnette Beers

As an experienced San Diego lifeguard, Sam Cleveland has been trained to save others. On what becomes the most treacherous beach day ever, she battles the sea as her ability as a lifeguard is tested. While she risks her life to rescue swimmers from the rough surf, her world comes crashing down when she learns that her brother Robert has been in a serious accident. She then must leave San Diego and the young woman she’s recently started dating to return to her hometown—a place that holds a horrid memory from her childhood.

Once back in Mississippi, Sam sits vigil at Robert’s bedside. Always protective when Sam was a child, Robert clings to life as investigators search for the person responsible for his accident. As she faces the possibility of losing her brother, Sam is reminded that her hometown holds an unspeakable secret that she and Robert vowed to always keep buried.

On the hunt for the man who intentionally harmed Robert is Lieutenant Annie Wright—the woman who captured Sam’s heart years ago. Now just friends, Sam and Annie work together to find the person responsible for Robert’s injuries. But as painful childhood memories resurface, so do old feelings of love. Will Sam choose to move forward with the chance at new romance in San Diego, or will she return to the comfort of familiar love with Annie in Mississippi?


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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