Five Steamy Lesbian Reads for the Holidays

For a lot of us, the holidays mean packing up a bag, putting on your best “I’m a successful adult!” face, and heading to your childhood home for an indeterminate amount of time that feels like both half a day and six months.

And while holiday times with family can be innocent and fun and pure as the driven snow, the truth, as irrefutable as a Canadian toque, is that even though we’re heading home, it doesn’t mean we stop being horny.

Another truth, this time as warm and cruel as Frosty’s death, is that if you’re cruising the channels for a good romance holiday show on the Hallmark channel or Netflix, you’re going to see a lot of hetero holiday love but rarely anything overtly queer.

This sucks!

LGBTQ people are JUST as capable of falling for all these silly tropes — falling in love under the snowflakes, or seeing that stranger sitting next to the fire in the ski lodge and wondering what’s gonna to happen when you get snowed in and have to gather together for warmth, or going home for the holidays and meeting up with a former high school friend or foe and suddenly they’re hot and you want to bang their brains out! Romantic-foible equality for all!

But now I bring you good tidings, those of you with e-reader capabilities: there are seasonal, sexy e-reads to fulfill your wish list.

Are they literary heavy hitters for which you’ll need a thesaurus and previous experience reading Nietzsche? No! Are they fun romps through a winter wonderland with queer characters? Yes! Are said characters often trapped in places and hate each other at first but then fall in love and there’s really no risk except that which makes the love even more defined? Yes!


These books are some of the best brain food this time of year, the equivalent of eating Christmas cookies and drinking hot toddies and not giving a damn if you get scurvy from a lack of vitamins. This is good, this is fulfilling, this is easy, and this is made just for you.

What makes them EXTRA special is their e-reader status, so you can peruse your Kindle or iPad or phone or whatever device you use, and no one in your family will be the wiser.

Let your family think the blush in your cheeks is from the winter’s cold, and get your holly jollies this holiday season with this starter list.

1. Snow Angel, by Ronica Black

Ahhh, who doesn’t love a tale of a mountain recluse hellbent on ignoring other people (and love, obviously) who randomly has to hang out with a super-popular movie star who’s looking to get away from the bright lights of stardom and into the warm arms of a winter lover? I love these Notting-Hill-esque tales of superstars falling for normal people, ok?? It’s basically the only real magic I still believe in.

2. Taken by Storm, by Kim Baldwin

A train has derailed high in the Alps (sexy!) and most of the people on the train are trapped by an avalanche! Good thing hard-scrabble reporter Hudson Mead is on the case, who builds a team to go for help that includes rock-climber extraordinaire and librarian Steffi Graham. These two are clearly made to have this deadly meet-cute, and they have to keep each other alive to save everyone else. The disaster! The intrigue! The survival! The forearms! All one big recipe for love.

3. Snow Globe, by Georgia Beers

OK, this book starts out with the premise of a Christmas wedding, which in and of itself makes my skin want to leave my body and hitchhike to the moon, but guess what? It’s not going to work out, and our heroine, Kenzie, decides to take the shards of her picture-perfect life along with her best friend Allison on her honeymoon to South Florida. From here, gay shenanigans ensue! Dancing! Flirting! Suitors! Rum runners! An LGBT resort called The Rainbow’s Edge! This book has it all if you need a little heat in your winter reading.

4. Wolfsbane Winter, by Jane Fletcher

I love Jane Fletcher in general, and her Ranger series is *chef’s kiss* perfect. But this book, not of that series, is perfect for winter, and Fletcher knows how to write a good sex scene. Here, we go a bit into the fantasy realm with Deryn, an Iron Wolf Mercenary who makes it a point not to care about anyone or anything so she doesn’t get hurt. But I have a sneaking suspicion that might change when she meets Alana, a mysterious woman who is also a veterinarian. Falling in love when you really, really don’t want to is the worst, but it’s the best for those of us on the sidelines.

5. Hunter’s Pursuit, by Kim Baldwin

I think Kim Baldwin specializes in using the cold to bring lovers together in peril. This one is so exciting: Kat is a mercenary contemplating retirement in her hillside hideaway when a super babe with memory problems and assassins on her tail shows up at her door. Kat has to decide what to do about this woman, who may or may not be deadly, and what to do when she starts falling for this woman, which may or may not be sexy (it is, it’s very sexy). It’s one of those “oh no we are stuck in close quarters together, whatever shall we do” situations that only gets hotter with the threat of death or dismemberment lurking outside.

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Molly Priddy

Molly Priddy is a writer and editor in Northwest Montana. Follow her on Twitter: @mollypriddy

Molly has written 50 articles for us.


  1. I so desperately love queer romances and also *whispers* I DON’T LIKE SO MANY OF THEM. I usually just end up reading my old fanfic favorites! So thank you thank you for providing a list of wonderful recommendations!

    Also “IS THERE ONLY ONE BED IN THE CABIN??? USUALLY!” made me chortle at my work desk right in front of the COO so, cool cool cool.

    • Agree with everything in this comment right down to the fanfic rereads and the amazingness of the one bed in the cabin line!

    • These comments make me feel so much better. Another hard same, down to preferring to reread my favorite fics and having to stop and clap at the one bed line.

    • i know exactly what you mean! i found so many of these books when i gave up booze and had so much spare time, and fell in love with how these authors are writing and continuing characters and putting themselves out there but YES definitely enjoy your fan fic, i haven’t figured out fan fic yet but if you can find something that is very specific to your tastes then hell yeah buddy hell yeah.

  2. also my favorite things about these books are the very gay professions:

    – a librarian AND rock climber
    – mysterious veterinarian
    – mountain recluse

    • Someday someone will finally email me to ask the lesbrarian question I’ve been prepping for my whole life: books about queer lady librarians. Will this day come soon??

      • So…where are the book suggestions for books about queer lady librarians?

        (I actually read a romance novel with an ace lesbrarian recently. It was okay- very trope-y, but I suppose that’s the point? Thaw by Elyse Springer, if anyone’s interested. The author has a series of these books, and they’re short, easy reads.)

        • Jericho by Ann McMann(?)! It’s probably my favorite lesbian romance novel and it features a badass small-town librarian.

  3. One of my new favorite hobbies is recommending books like these to my public library’s OverDrive e-book catalogue and then watching as it suggests some straight romance novels for me to read while I wait.

    Eventually I really am just going to have to buy them myself. But I’ll keep recommending. It’s a public service.

  4. I Love wlw romance ! Just love it.

    Sometimes though, I’ve stumbled across some real duds, so I truly appreciate this post.

    Thank you for plowing ahead (haha) to find these recommendations !

    • oh for sure, there are duds out there, but i personally and solely anecdotally believe that we run into more of those because LGBTQ themes weren’t/aren’t in mainstream publishing, so we went to where they were, and we hit more chaff than wheat because there’s not a sifter like in a publishing house so we attribute the large amount of bad books to the genre and not the system in which it lives

  5. I love your description of the genre and I love this list. Peeeersonally I would have added “Under a Falling Star” by Jae. I got into reading mindless romance because I have a super stressful job (immigration attorney/defending folks from deportation) and there’s nothing quite as escapist as books like these.

  6. Thanks for these recommendations! Lesfic has been one of my favorite guilty-pleasures lately, but like others have noted the quality can be pretty hit-or-miss, so it’s great to get some good recs.

    My other, related guilty-pleasure is listening to lesfic audio books — ESPECIALLY if they’re narrated by Abby Craden. For anyone else interested in good lesbian audiobooks, I’ve liked Harper Bliss’s French Kissing series (pretty much just a big lesbian soap opera) as well as Radcliffe’s Honor Series (a ridiculous but fun lesbian secret-service thriller), both of which are narrated by Abby Craden’s perfect, sultry voice…

  7. Thank you for this! I love queer romance.

    I’ll add Edge of Glory by Rachel Spangler. Two seasoned athletes, an uptight down hill skier and a laid back, goofball snowboarder meet while training for the Olympics and hijinks ensue.

    NGL – it let me live out all of my Olympic snowboarder girlfriend fantasies.

    • That is an amazing book. Highly recommended. Adorable romance staring two total athletic hot bodies.

    • hi hello i once wrote a teen wolf fanfiction about lesbians at the olympics, this is EXACTLY my speed, is there a lesbian sporting romance subgenre I need to check out?

  8. The other day I was watching Love Between the Covers and honestly I have no idea why people would put down a business that makes millions (Thank you Radclyffe for BSB and the best WLW romance/erotica around).

  9. I just re-read Snow Globe last week!

    Two other books I can think of that are set around Christmas (I think one is just after and one just before) are Fresh Tracks by Georgia Beers and Chasing a Brighter Blue by Gerri Hill

  10. I read a ton of lesbian romance and am excited to see some related content on Autostraddle. Thanks Molly.

  11. Hello, this weekend is good for me, since this time I am reading this enormous informative article here at my home. I know your expertise on this. Writing only comments will close the discussion straight away! And will restrict the benefits from this information.

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