When I was gifted a Kindle for my birthday this year, I did something that I admit, shamefully, I’ve never done in a bookstore: I perused titles in the “lesbian” category. After sifting through pages of poorly titled erotica, I stumbled across a terrible/AWESOME genre: lesbian romance.
The first lesbian romance novel I purchased was for a laugh; it had some spectacularly tragic cover art and a synopsis that sounded awesome but in the “so bad it’s …” way. But then after burning through three of these books in just one weekend, I was forced to admit that I’d become legit hooked. Lesbian romance novels are my new pastry crack.
The Lesbian Romance Formula
Lesbian romance novels are typically will-they-or-won’t-they slow burners loosely based on the following premise: Girl A meets Girl B and thinks she’s cocky / reckless / mysterious / looking very Shane today. An often work-related situation forces the girls to spend every waking moment together, and Girl A realizes that there’s more to Girl B than nice arms and a smokin’ hot swagger.
However! Despite their sexual tension, Girl A keeps Girl B at arm’s length as she undergoes a brief but intense struggle to overcome her deep dark secret and/or crippling emotional baggage. The tide changes when a confusing figure from either girl’s past shows up and/or a tragic accident forces Girl A to consider life without Girl B in it. They say “I love you” and have “earth-shattering” sex. The End.
With their dark and mysterious protagonists and their “devil may care” grins, these stories have, for better or worse, replaced films starring Anne Hathaway and movies with dance-offs as my preferred method of escapism. So now, at the risk of damaging my street cred, let’s talk romance novels!
Top 10 Lesbian Romance Novels
(Currently on Crystal’s Kindle)
Fated Love by Radclyffe 
Twenty-eight-year-old Quinn Maguire is a “dashing young trauma surgeon” who transfers from a top tier New York hospital to Philadelphia Medical College, a hospital that only seems to hire homos. Her new boss, ER Chief Honor Blake, believes that Quinn is hiding a deep dark secret because apparently there could be no other reason for someone to want to work at this particular hospital.
The sexual tension between Quinn and Honor is sparkish from the get-go. However, there are numerous obstacles on the path to make-out town.
Tags: work-related circumstance, near-fatal illness, tragic accident, deceased lover, raunch
And Playing the Role of Herself by K. E. Lane 
Actress Caidence Harris plays a lead detective on 9th Precinct, a new police television drama that is reminiscent of Law & Order. Her co-star, Robyn Ward, is a tall, husky-voiced lady with an angular face and slightly cleft chin who is reminiscent of every actress who has ever starred in Law & Order. These are their stories. DUN DUN.
Caidence, a closeted lesbian who has not yet acted upon her sapphic impulses, is infatuated with Robyn but keeps it under lock out of respect for Robyn’s perceived-hetero relationship with tennis star Josh Riley. When the producers make Caid and Robyn’s characters hook up on screen, the shoot goes swell. Will Caid and Robyn confess their feelings before some sort of conflict or near death tragedy tears them apart forever?
*SPOILER ALERT* yes.
Tags: work-related circumstance, tragic accident, hot lady cop, confusing figure from the past
Above All, Honor (The Honor Series) by Radclyffe 
I thoroughly enjoy any story featuring a smokin’ hot lady protagonist who wears a tailored suit and holds a position of authority. Luckily, so does every writer in this particular genre.
Cameron Roberts is a Secret Service agent who is charged with leading the task force that is assigned to protect Blair Powell, the promiscuous and rebellious lesbian daughter of the President of the United States. Blair pursues Cameron like a tiger. However, Cam, who is carrying the unbearable weight of a deep personal tragedy, has no time for privileged brats who sneak off to gay bars to have meaningless sex with leather-clad butches, no matter how cute or misunderstood they may be. That is, until a series of life-threatening situations compel these ladies to admit that they want to tear each other’s clothes off.
Tags: work-related circumstance, lesbian power suits, tragic accident, raunch, hot lady cop, deceased lover
Thief of Always (Elite Operatives series) by Kim Baldwin and Xenia Alexiou 
Mishael Taylor, alias “Allegro,” is a race car driver by day and secret spy by night. Allegro is one of the Elite Operative Organization’s top agents, a danger-loving lady who chases thrills and women as a way of distracting herself from flashbacks and other psychological effects associated with being an assassin.
Allegro is tasked with stealing the Blue Star Diamond from a cute Dutch countess, Kristine Marie van der Jagt. Unfortunately Afghani terrorists and German Neo-Nazis are also on the hunt for this diamond, and so, in an effort to locate it first, Allegro takes a job at Kristine’s mansion as a live-in construction worker. Cue porn music.
There are several novels in the Elite Operatives series, each one focuses on a different operative with a really cute code name.
Tags: work-related circumstance, tragic accident, hot girl has swagger
High Risk by Jlee Meyer 
Kate Hoffman, a famous actress, takes some time out from her flashy Hollywood lifestyle to help her queer sister launch a new hotel in San Francisco that caters exclusively to womyn. Enter Dasher, an out A-list Hollywood agent who coincidentally is also taking time out to help with the launch of this hotel.
Kate and Dasher do not get along, mostly because Kate is a straight lady with queer fear who gets flustered at the sight of Dasher in a power suit. But team work is dream work, and they need to get along for the sake of the hotel. This novel has some sort of secret society sub-plot but I can’t tell you about it because curiosity got the best of me and I skipped ahead to all of the Kate/Dasher scenes.
If you want to know more about this womyn’s hotel then you should read Hotel Liaison. It’s not nearly as dull as the Amazon summary may lead you to believe.
Tags: work-related circumstance, lesbian power suits, confusing figure from the past
It Should be a Crime by Carson Taite 
When celebrity defense attorney Morgan Bradley’s long-term girlfriend strays, Morgan f*cks the pain away with the help of a smokin’ hot bartender whom she meets in an alley behind a queer club.
Weeks later, Morgan starts her new job as a guest lecturer at the local university and discovers that the hot bartender is Parker Casy, one of her law students. Awkward. Morgan and Parker are forced to work closely together in order to get an innocent man freed from prison, and while neither lady can forget about their hot one night stand, they try really hard for at least 50 pages.
Tags: work-related circumstance, lesbian power suits, tragic accident, confusing figure from the past, hot girl has swagger
Wasted Heart by Lynn Galli 
After spending years pining for her married best friend, Austy Nunziata decides that the best way to move on is to become the new Assistant US Attorney for Washington, which is 3,000 miles away. It’s there that Austy meets Elise Bridie, an attractive FBI agent with whom she partners on a case that just so happens to also involve the woman that Austy moved interstate to avoid. It’s complicated, okay?
Lynn Galli has written several novels focusing on a posse of Virginian lesbians and their love interests. If you like this you’ll also like Imagining Reality, Blessed Twice, Finally, and Uncommon Emotions.
Tags: work-related circumstance, lesbian power suits, hot lady cop, confusing figure from the past
Trauma Alert by Radclyffe 
Beau Cross is a cowboy firefighter who leaps into dangerous situations at every given chance. Dr. Ali Torveau is a widow with a strong appreciation for human life, so she rejects Beau’s advances. Beau is my brother’s name, and I feel weird using it in this context, so I’m just gonna cut-paste the synopsis.
“Firefighter Beau Cross shows up in Dr. Ali Torveau’s ER and sets her carefully ordered world aflame”.
Tags: work-related circumstance, near-fatal illness, tragic accident, raunch, hot girl has swagger
Death by the Riverside (Micky Night series) by J.M. Reddman 
Micky Knight is a private detective who enjoys casual sex and drinking bourbon until she blacks out. It’s the only way she can deal with the deep dark secret that haunts her from her childhood. Mickey is not a romantic or overly likable character; she’s a hot mess on a good day and a bit of an asshole to the people in her life including Cordelia, a pretty lady doctor who Micky meets on a case.
Death By The Riverside isn’t really a romance novel. It’s more crime fiction featuring lots of lesbian sex. While there’s a definite will-they-or-won’t-they question hanging over Micky and Cordelia, most of the suspense in this novel stems from the question of whether Micky will get her shit together.
Tags: work-related circumstance, tragic accident, hot lady cop, raunch, hot girl has swagger
Gun Shy (Gun series) by Lori L. Lake 
When police officer Dez Reilly saves Jaylynn and her housemate from a vicious home invasion, Jaylynn is inspired by Dez’ butch gallantry, and decides to take up a career with the St. Paul Police Academy. As fate would have it, Dez is assigned as Jay’s training officer. Jay wants Dez to train her in how to have hot lady sex. Dez refuses because she is noble and also because the Academy does not permit trainers to have steamy affairs with their protégés. Sad face.
Tags: work-related circumstance, hot lady cop, tragic accident.
Are you a fan of the lesbian romance genre? Do you know what book I should read next? Fess up in the comments below.
i didn’t even know this genre was a thing. hmm, i see some section added to my library.
also the thief of always cover looks like win.
The entire Elite Ops series is amazing
does one have to have a kindle to read these? i’m, uh, asking on behalf of a friend.
is your friend’s name smerrasmottatoes?
Omgosh. Mind blown. I had been pronouncing your name “terracot tatoes” in my head.
Don’t worry, I pronounced it like that for six months and was always confused why someone would want to eat potatoes made of clay.
Oh gosh, me too. This is a great revelation.
total potatoes confusion, your name needs a hyphen or something to sort this out! :P
and this is why spaces were invented and latin is a dead language. (latin is written without spaces between words)
also, now your picture makes SO MUCH MORE SENSE.
oh man, my whole life makes more sense now.
you guys are all fucking crazy but i love you.
OMG. I love that there was a whole convo about this.
For some reason, I say “terra cottages” in my head when I see it. :)
I pronounced it in my head as ‘terracotta tomatoes’…
i need to keep a list of all the people my screenname has duped/induced hunger in.
I have a Kindle but also downloaded the Kindle app from Amazon to my PC so I can read whilst pretending to work. I imagine you could also do the same thing without actually owning a Kindle. You can also get Kindle app for your smartphone etc. :D
omg I use kindle on my phone, and read it work while pretending to be texting. Some how texting doesn’t seem as blatantly disobedient as reading a book, but the computer thing sounds WAY smoother.
Did you guys know that you can apparently loan each other books via Kindle? I read that somewhere. There should be an ASS group for that.
Yeah, I think you can but only once and for like two weeks. There’s a website called Lendle where you can post what ebooks you want and what you can lend and then exchange with people who have/need them. The lending thing only works in the US though which is why I haven’t tried it – I’m in the UK.
I think the titles published by Bold Strokes Books (a lot of these) can be downloaded from their website as PDFs so you can read them on screen without a kindle.
No, but it costs more to buy the real versions.
OMG THESE BOOK COVERS!
“you know i really like what you’re doing here with the blue cold snowy evening theme, but if we really want to convey a sense of genuine suspense for the reader, this cover will need a gigantic semi-opaque police badge.”
“i know you can barely see the “a” in ‘it should have been a crime’ but the font is just really too amazing to pass up.”
the one for ‘trauma alert’ just reminded me of dinah shore.
they remind me of any computer game from the early-mid 90’s.
omg yes, thats exactly what I was thinking!
holy mother of christ, THE COVER ART.
although above all, honour sounds like chasing liberty with lesbians, and therefore fucking ace.
This post is a-ma-zing. I didn’t know these books existed, but I’m gonna download about six of them right this second. Crystal, write book reviews forever.
WTF?????? Holy crap Heather, you’ve never heard of RADCLYFFE????
the cover art mos def looks freakishly like something I would have done on microsoft publisher when I was a senior in high school.
You my friend have a back up career just waiting for you!
This is relevant to my interest for the following reasons:
1. I got a kindle for my bday too (thanks to my awesome coworkers/friends :))
2. Im on a vacation and i need to make full use of my kindle
3. Lesbian romance = guilty pleasure and i’m all for that.
I really wish the people who designed these covers would take some time to make them NOT look like Romance novels so I could buy them in a bookstore without wearing sunglasses and a headscarf…
Written On The Body. Check it out.
written on the body made me suicidal
Isn’t the Powerbook more situationally appropriate.
It didn’t have quite that effect on me. But I could see how it might.
Written on the Body is one of my favorite books of all time. Phew.
These covers make the part of my brain with the blatantly smug sense of superiority die a bit inside and the part of my brain that’s a randy opportunist say “I’m so drunk right now, wanna make out?”
Yeah, that does make perfect sense.
Ahhhh, romance novels. I have an extensive love/hate/judgement relationship with them.
You all need to check out Nightshade by Shea Godfrey! I read it last year and loved it. The author is currently working on the sequel.
In a land where two countries have been torn by war for generations, Princess Jessa is sent as a peace offering to the country of Arravan, understanding all too well that she is being sacrificed upon the altar of her father’s ambitions—and condemned to an uncertain and possibly short-lived future, if the machinations of her own family are any indication.
But what she finds at Blackstone Keep is most certainly not what she expects, and for a daughter of royal blood who has known little of freedom and even less of love, the members of the Durand family are proving to be a very pleasant riddle to be solved—the youngest daughter, Darrius Durand, is the most surprising of all. A captain in the King’s elite guard and filled with humor and good nature, Darry’s considerable charms pull Jessa rather happily into an unexpected friendship that quickly becomes something more, promising passion and the fulfillment of her deepest desires.
Jessa and Darry’s relationship threatens the fragile peace, and the future of two countries might very well hang in the balance. When family secrets and hidden agendas begin to surface, as well as an ancient majik that Jessa has been preparing to use since the day she was born, a prophecy is set in motion that will thrust both lands into a bloody war of revenge and retribution—a war that love alone will not be able to stop.
Ok, so when are you gonna write one of these, Crystal?
Would you believe that I’ve already started?
I EAGERLY await its bad cover art and work related circumstance!
So… any books that DON’T feature a work-related circumstance?
Unemployed lesbians are out of luck.
How about pirates? “The Sublime and Spirited Journey of Original Sin” by Colette Moody won the Lambda Award for Lesbian Romance in 2010.
The Beebo Brinker Series! Lesbian Pulp Fiction is where it’s at.
I love /hate that series.Too depressing for me and I started hating the characters so much that I had to go eat some fried donuts.
When I got my kindle, I was looking through them too, and I was like… uh…I guess I’ll just get a Bret Easton Ellis book, and so I did.
But alright, you broke me.
Seriously just finished Above All, Honor & the second book, Honor Bound for the first time. Apparently, there are about 5 books in that series.
I’ve also read Love’s Melody Lost & Love’s Tender Warriors by Radclyffe. Seems like she follows the pattern you’ve outlined in everything so far, but it’s hot, and reading is fundamental, so yeah…
Agree. In the past 6 months i’ve read every book Radcyffe has written except the supernatural ones about werewolves or whatever because I just can’t.
*gasp* Werewolves? Oh man, I was trying to hold out because I have more “important” things to do with my spare time but now that I know there are werewolves… Must read.
This is for you:
I also know she has a second book in that series call blood Hunt.I ordered it because I love vamp’s..:)
Just finished reading the last book of the honor series.. Read the whole series in 4 days.I’ve grown to like the characters and story so much tht it hurts a little to put it down
The Honor Series is good but the Justice Series is really where it’s :-D
A couple of these books sound pretty good… but I could have made a lot of these covers on Microsoft Paint.
I judge books by their covers. Harshly.
Lesbian romance novels are one of my vices. When Crystal outlined the formula, she wasn’t kidding: you generally read romances for the characters and sex / romance, not the intricate plots.
Even though they feature lesbian characters, these are still romance novels with most of the flaws inherent to the genre. If you can get past that, the good ones are engaging, most if not all of the major characters are lesbian / bi, and if a character is experiencing angsty self-loathing it’s not about being queer for a change.
Try out Several Devils by K. Simpson. It’s hilarious.
Tags: work-related circumstance, not so tragic accident, demons.
Ooh! My interest, it is piqued.
If anyone likes fantasy I’d recommend Sarah Diemer’s books.
She just released a full length called “The Dark Wife” which is a lesbian twist on the story of Hades and Persephone. And also she’s doing a series of novellas, the first of which is released on Amazon called “Sugar Moon”.
Very very very much agree.
If you want to try a lesbian romance novel, Lynn Galli’s “Wasted Heart” from Crystal’s list is $5.99 for the Kindle version. (This is a discount – confirm before you buy.)
Since bad romance novels are really awful – and not in a funny way – here’s an Amazon link to lesbian romance novels rated 4-star and up sorted by bestselling.
Crystal, if you haven’t read “The Lonely Hearts Club” by Radclyffe, I liked it. It’s about three friends as much as the budding romance at the center of the book. The other two friends play significant roles and have their own lives and romances.
Tags: lesbian power suits, sperm, softball, deceased lover, double life, hot girl has swagger, raunch
I have read ‘The Lonely Hearts Club’, I recall it being rather enjoyable. I should have put it on this so that ‘softball’ could have been a tag.
Who else recognized half of those stories from the Uber section of “The Royal Academy of Bards” website? Although, I guess if you’re not into Xena or fanfiction or fanfiction for Xena you’ve probably never heard of the site before…
Anyway, “And Play the Role of Herself” was one of my favorites. I’m going to go buy that now.
I wanted to add something witty here to finish this off, but I have nothing.
YES! I remember being up until four in the morning reading through “And Playing the Role of Herself” on Royal Academy of Bards. I never watched Xena, but damn, did I love that uber fiction.
buahaha YES. I almost feel ashamed to admit. ALMOST.
I have read every single non-xena (never seen it and because I just can’t) thing that Kim Pritekel has written on that site…I think Lessons was the first romance story I had ever read online and my god was that a big deal for my closeted baby dyke self.
I haven’t read a lesbian romance novel in 15 years. Dang. The only one I remember the title of is “Paperback Romance.” It’s a little Victor/Victoria only in this case Victor/Victoria is a lesbian.
Buying queer books at a major bookstore was a thing I did when I was a teenager just to prove I could do it. It’s a good exercise in becoming comfortable in your own skin. The experience was probably worth more than the books.
I need to read more of this Radclyffe person
i loved everything about this. can’t wait to read some of them for the summer book club extravapaloosion !!!
thank you crystal!
ok wow, they all have TERRIBLE book covers. why yes, i do judge a book by its goddamn cover!
Book covers can be misleading. I find its good to read the short they put on the back maybe even read a couple pages before saying thats a crappy book. For instance the Honour Series by Radclyffe is Great! The cover sucks but all in all a great series.
I remembering reading another book called the witches familiar that didnt have an appealing cover. However a good book. I just wish there was a second. Radclyffes Justice Series is pretty good to, but I understand that its not for everyone.
It’s been a long-standing dream of mine to pen a (straight) Mills & Boon novel, but thankfully congenital laziness has always prevented me from doing it.
However, these amazing reviews are re-igniting the proverbial loins of my dyketrash-writing passion, if only I could get over characters with such preposterous names.
Totally loved the deadpanness of this, and very much hope that WORK-RELATED CIRCUMSTANCE becomes a thing.
Work related circumstances are hot.
Cover art = terrible and yet so awesome. Even better: the characters names!
“Austy Nunziata” – how can you improve on something like that?!
i published a story in a book radclyffe edited, same publishing company, the cover art was hilarious, i think it won a lambda literary award for best erotica anthology
What book? I wanna read.
This book was on The Lesbian Question. It’s lesbian with romance, but not necessarily a lesbian romance. Southland Auto Acres:
Anything on this list by Radclyffe started out as Xena fanfiction, and there is A Pile of this cached in odd corners of the internet.
Hilarious Facts: It’s totally possible to read an entire library of lesbian romance novels on an iPod Nano G2. In linked text files. On the bus. Maybe that’s why I need glasses.
the best part about this new era of touchscreen phones is definitely 24/7 discreet access to fanfic
my ex gf and i have a huge collection of these
add, anything by blaine (blayne? idr) cooper.
and i downloaded a book on my kindle called as you were and kinda liked it a lot.
Uhm, Catherynne Valente’s Palimpsest has got lots of queer people in it? No kiddin’ tho, basically one of my favorite books.
Between life and death, dreaming and waking, at the train stop beyond the end of the world is the city of Palimpsest. To get there is a miracle, a mystery, a gift, and a curse — a voyage permitted only to those who’ve always believed there’s another world than the one that meets the eye. Those fated to make the passage are marked forever by a map of that wondrous city tattooed on their flesh after a single orgasmic night. To this kingdom of ghost trains, lion-priests, living kanji, and cream-filled canals come four travelers: Oleg, a New York locksmith; the beekeeper November; Ludovico, a binder of rare books; and a young Japanese woman named Sei. They’ve each lost something important — a wife, a lover, a sister, a direction in life—and what they will find in Palimpsest is more than they could ever imagine.
Shit, y’all, it is so good.
Catherynne Valente is magic. TRUFAX!
Have you read any Georgia Beers? I haven’t, but according to my Kindle, she writes a lot of lesbian romance.
These covers. Wat.
I have read a few of her books. They’re okay, I enjoyed them but not as much as the others on here.
I’m reading “Starting from Scratch” right now (firmly believe this genre is the best light reading for the summer, particularly the beach). It’s pretty good/I have a total book-crush on the narrator’s object of affection.
Bless you. I love Radclyffe and am always looking for books in the same genre. It’s great to have a list of these pre-read and pre-approved.
Lesbian romances are my dirty little secret because usually I wouldn’t be caught dead reading a romance… and then I discovered one one day and it was like wow! I have several by Karin Kallmaker, She was the first author I discovered in the genre I guess so I pretty much stuck to her. Hers can be hit or misses but she has a couple that are actually really good…. Now I have this desire to go look up a couple of these other authors and books to check them out!!
So I need a Kindle now?
GIRL PICTURED IN THE PHOTO OF THIS ARTICLE FROM THE FRONT PAGE <
PLEASE SEND ME A MESSAGE
I AM IN LOVE WITH YOU
This list is kind of funny: by Radcliffe, by Radcliffe, by (another name), by Radcliffe, by (another name), by Radclife. Lord, is this woman propping up the whole industry?
Great idea for summer, though.
I don’t know about propping the industry up, but she’s far and away the most popular writer in the genre.
Thanks for the shout out. Glad you enjoyed It Should be a Crime.
Some of these novels need to be adapted on screen! If only i could get my hands on it from our local bookstore, but that aint happening
I WANT THOSE BLUE SHOES! Ahem. The books look interesting too. I think. (BUT I REALLY WANT THOSE BLUE SHOES!).
great article & oh so true.It’s my guilty public secret. Hell I came out late & I just dont give a damn.
My fave writer is Nene Adams who writes historicals, “Flowers of Edo” is a fantastic ghost story set in Japan with a female samurai.The research is first rate.
Bosomfriends is my go-to place for leshistfic reviews.
I so totally have a new guilty pleasure. Thank you for sharing your dark secret with us!
Oh, woah. Your new cut is totally amazing/hot/adorable.
i read an article in the L.A. Weekly years ago about the authors of gay (male) literature like this, and some slightly more erotic stories, and how most of them are women.
They’re very successful and pretty much have the market cornered on that shit but have to hide the fact that they’re women in order to succeed. It was a mildly interesting article. Sometimes they picked pseudonyms that are obviously fake. Some of these names reminded me of those and given all the fake lesbians we’ve uncovered lately……i’m just very paranoid now.
Go to http://www.academyofbards.com or http://xenafiction.net/styles/athenaeum_deepblue/index2.cfm and check out the stories written by Geonn Cannon, LJ Fox, Ernie Whiting, DJ Belt and Norsebard. All of them entertaining lesbian fiction written by (GASP) MEN!!!!!!
I’ve read a few books on this list and they’re not bad, but my favorite isn’t here at all! Seriously, check out “Homecoming” by Nell Stark. It’s ridiculously sweet and yes, there’s sex. Not as hardcore as Radclyffe, but it’s still good. But the main thing is that if you read it, you really will be faced with an attack of the Warm And Fuzzies.
I must admit I redesign really bad covers for my iBook application. I just can’t stand to look at the bad ones.
Jessica; go over to Bold Strokes & you can see pics of the authors, plus Nene the rest have facebook pages. Lesbian writers are a small community, I can tell you who the male ones are: Geonn Cannon, so no worries.
go out get your paperback crack and enjoy;-)
It so happens that I’m trying to write a thing featuring a smokin’ hot lady with a tailored suit and a position of authority.
Guess I’m not as original as I thought. Apparently I’m just an average homogay. Maybe I should make it into a romance novel then.
Career change, y/y?
make the cover sexy
I haven’t checked out all the book-associated groups, but anyone out there with a nook interested in the possibility of sharing ‘lend me’ books?
After reading this article I had to go read something, I just finished And Playing the Role of Herself and I think it was a very lovely book.
AH this is my favorite genre for summer reading! And I’m totally not ashamed to admit that.
Love Lynn Galli. Also: Gerri Hill (fav. is _One Summer Night_ #softball), Kate Christie (_Solstice_ #soccer).
Meghan O’Brien has a sex-packed book called _Thirteen Hours_ and it’s difficult to not love both of the main characters. And I do mean sex-packed.
KG MacGregor is ok too, but I always feel like she’d appeal to a slightly older gay-lady audience (I’m 30, so, you know, I’m youngishkinda).
I’ve read one of Ali Vali’s (_Second Season_) and remember liking it, mostly.
Um, basically, I’m just really happy I’m not the only person who indulges in this genre.
Makes me really wish my nook worked in Japan :(
Laugh out loud funny–esp. enjoyed the tags.
The Devil Inside by Ali Vali
Spanish Pearl by Catherine Friend
Branded Ann by Merry Shannon
Of Drag Kings and the Wheel of Fate by Susan Smith
Witch Wolf by Winter Pennington
These are a few of my favorites and deserve a read
I don’t think I’ll ever be able to appropriately handle the words “work-related circumstance” again.
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Lookit all the queers already reading romance in these comments! This is awesome! Let’s stop being ashamed of romance novels. Romance novels are the shit. Corny, silly, tragic, erotic, filled with heaving bosoms and work-related strife, I heart romance novels and I am not ashamed to be seen reading them.
I knew this had to be a thing. I mean, in english. I read a lot of similiar sort of comics from Japan that have been fan translated. Only, 90% of those are about school girls in pretty uniforms.
There’s downloads of all these in epub (for nook users) through Bella Distribution: http://www.bellabooks.com And it’s all lesbian fiction all the time. No need to wade through potential mistagged stuff on Amazon.
This is more “bisexual superhero comedy” than lesbian romance, but it does have dealing with a broken-up lesbian relationship as a subplot – Heroine Addiction by Jennifer Matarese:
Having bought “and playing the role of herself” I can say that it is a-may-zing.
Thank you you for the list :)
you can find the Honor series and a bunch of other lesbian romance, including bunches of stuff by Radclyffe FREE. Yes, completely and totally FREE. Plus, no need for a Kindle. Double Win!
The Honor series is in the H section =D
Oh, the only downside is that some of it is suspiciously close to Xena/Gabrielle fanfic. Which is actually kinda fun the first couple times, but it gets a bit repetitive when all the characters start looking the same…
I’ve never read any Xena/Gabrielle fanfic. MAYBE I SHOULD.
I love everything by Radclyffe. Kim Prietkel is also great http://officialaspfilms.com/kp/ebooks/
Some of the stories are quite entertaining but throw in the old cliche of the “femmish” and the “butchish” and it ruins it for me. Fickle as it sounds to some member of the community, I’d rather read about a love story between two beautiful women than one about a beautiful and a handsome (yawn) one.
This is to all the ones bitching about the covers. If you think you can do better, invest in a high-end graphics program, hire yourself out as a book cover designer and STFU!!!!
Loved “and playing the role of herself”
Loved it too. Unfortunately, never found anything else under the same pen name.
Just ordered “it should be a crime” after reading “and playing the role of herself”–Hope its as good…Maybe someday lane will write another!!!!!
I’ve read it. It’s nice. :)
Uncommon Emotions by Lynn Galli Great book
I loved every one of Lynn Galli’s books.
Hostage Moon by AJ Quinn is a trilling romance. A first novel by this author.
I really want to read it but it’s not available on kindle yet. i can’t afford paperbacks.
Crystal you must read “Sword of the Guardian” by merry shannon.
p.s. this entire post is hilarious.
Anything by Paisley Smith. She writes historicals to smoking hot FF kink. http://paisley-smith.com
“spelling Mississippi” my fav book ever and im kinda looking for something with th same kinda style if anyone can recommend sumthin? tryna find books that have th whole build up thing going, that dont jus drop th lesbianism on ur face (giggles)
Tropical Storm by Melissa Good. It’s Xena uber, but omg. Delicious. Fits the bill or every story here, too…right down to the goofy cover art. ;)
I’m aware this is late but THANK YOU SO MUCH for your introduction to this genre. My kindle is so much happier now it has some lady love on it.
I just want to say that the first novel on here, I’ve read and loved…and I cracked the hell up when you wrote that PMC only hired homos hahaha. But Radclyffe worked there in real life and seeing as how shes the author and a fellow lesbian…it kinda sorta makes sense :P
Like the author of this list, I to was given a kindle and it freed me up to reading lesfic. I’ll be checking out some of the titles on the list but I’m supprised there’s no R E Bradshaw or any Kate Sweeney and as for Ann McMan’s Jericho well you can’t go wrong with that one !!
I read/loved Jericho and wrote about it here.
People keep bringing up RE Bradshaw’s name – can you recommend a specific title?
I’m honored to find my book on this list with all these other great titles by lesbian authors whose work I know and love. Thank you!
Hi Lori!!! Can’t wait for “Jump the Gun” :-D
I don’t usually read the straight up romance novels but the thing about any lesbian fiction is that it always has some level of romance. How gritty and detailed you want it is up to you which is awesome. I stumbled upon the wonderful world of lesbian fiction while closeted away in the military. It was theraputic in a way. I’ve gathered a few names to share but I’m a geek so the genres tend to be more sci-fi, fantasy, western and historical. Also, if you’re low on cash most of these authors started out with fanfics or have unpublished works on the interwebs.
D. Jordan Redhawk, Sarah Champion, C. Tyler Storm, Shea Godfrey, L-J Baker, Merry Shannon, Verda Foster, Vada Foster, BL Miller, Jean Stewart, Jane Flettcher, Kim Pretekel, Nene Adams, and LJ Maas are just a few. Also, 2 pretty big sites are The Athenaeum at xenafiction.net (more than just Xena stories) and the Academy of Bards at academyof bards.org
Try author JD Glass – Punk Like Me, Punk and Zen, and American Goth.
Anyone know of any romance novels that say swords, armor, and magic?
If you’re into more gothic stuff, Mephisto Waltz, by Bridgett Kay, is pretty scary. http://goo.gl/yLLXd
I’m definitely gonna read some. It’s bubblegum, I know. Mills & Boons for lesbians, but you know what? Bubblegum is sweet and I like it ;)
Love lesbian fiction!!! Check out this blog
Your sumaeries are amazing (ly cheesey). But hey, romance novels are cheesey; that’s what makes them fun!
I’m just gonna leave this here… http://www.gerrihill.com/fiction.html
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The author Penny Hayes has some good books, my favorites are Montana Feathers, Yellowthroat and Kathleen O’Donald. The Grass Widow by Nanci Little is also an excellent read. Pembroke Park by Michelle Martin is a good choice. Not so much a “romance” as the above article or these titles an super author is Mellissa Good who did the Dar and Kerry Series that starts with Tropical Storm. My final suggestion would have to be Madam President by Blayne Cooper and T. Novan. I adore reading lesbian romances, have read hundreds. I hope these titles are found to be just as enjoyable by new readers.
I have a special weakness for lesbian romance. I also love comedies and wish I could find some lesbian romantic comedies. Anybody know of any?
As for recommendations, Karin Kallmaker (look on Bella Books) is probably my all-time favorite lesbian romance author. She’s written lots of them. Bella Books is a great place to look; as someone mentioned above, it’s all lesbian all the time. If you buy the ebooks as epub format you can read them on your smartphone or tablet computer or laptop using the free fbreader ebook reader program. There are other good, free ebook reader programs, but fbreader is my favorite.
If you want free ebooks and short stories you are welcome to read my fiction, some of which are lesbian romance science fiction. I draw all my own covers too. They’re freely downloadable from:
I really like the way you write, Crystal. When are you going to write a book?
I enjoyed Twice Lucky…Doctor/FireFighter-Sarah and Mac seem to have tragic incidents follow them around. Some poor editing, but you can make it through. I really liked it as a first time reader. Thanks for the suggestions.
Never heard of these before. So much for my bragging rights.
And seems like a lot of people are into lesbian stories… I just could never get into it. Just don’t see the appeal. I mean when you can have a male protagonist that just gets it done, I just don’t get it personally…
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I have all the books (physical books) of Radclyffe that your kindle list has. And the JM Redmann too. And in reality, most of the former’s books, the detective series books of the latter, and books of Karin Kallmaker, Georgia Beers, Kim Baldwin, Geri Hill, and loads of others. I know, I know, I went through a phase and cost me a bloody bomb. Lol.
I haven’t bought one in more than a few years now…can’t bring myself to read them now.
The protagonists are all Surgeons, Doctors, Directors, Senators, Detectives, PI’s, Attorneys, Architects, Fire Fighters, Elite Operatives etc., etc. You know, the same as the men in the hetero-sexual romance/TV shows??
Thanks for the article though, fun reading it and the comments.
Hahaha you crack me uppp. But if you are serious about lesbian romance you must check out Gerri Hill. I like the FBI/hiking plots in many of her novels. Also notable, Aurora Rey, Georgia Beers… Let’s see, what else is on my Kindle… D Jordan Redhawk, G Benson, Kelly Quindlen, Pene Benson, Melissa Brayden, Cari Hunter… I could not, at first, believe how many of these books exist. Some are definitely better than others! And I would argue, not all “so bad it’s…” Happy escapism!!!
I too loved And Playing the Role of Herself. The character Caidence really cracked me up, so did Liz.
Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden
A sweet story about two girls, Annie and Liza, and their friendship-turned-romance, as they navigate the difficulties of life and love during their last year of high school. The story has many of the hallmarks of both the lesbian romance and YA genres. I really liked the two protagonists, whom I found to be both lovable and believable. I also enjoyerd the way the story is presented within an epistolary framework.
At Seventeen by Gerri Hill
A good read that draws you in and delivers humor, sweetness, sadness, and raunch in well balanced proportions… and hey, the two women, Madison Lansford and Shannon Fletcher definately do not work together.
Would it be possible to do an update of this article? I think we are all interested in learning about some adult LGBT stories, it feels like everything that is being released is YA ( which hey is great, but not really my speed)