Romance tropes in Sapphic books || A rec list

1 trope

One of the most common complaints I hear from the book community when it comes to Sapphic books is the lack of certain tropes in romance. While I understand that this is still a problem and that one or another book that fits a trope isn’t enough, I also believe that we should always read and support authors and books that already have these stories. The best way to make more books we like get published is to show authors and publishers that there are people interested on this.

Thinking of that, I’m bringing a few books with different tropes here! Some of them fit into more than one trope, but I wanted to bring more stories so I just used one for each.

Hate to Love

carolyn for christmas
Carolyn for Christmas by Lucy Carey

Christmas. It’s supposed to be a time for peace, love, and goodwill to all men. But not for two women when it comes to nabbing the solo spot in the big Christmas concert. To get that spot, they’ll do whatever it takes…

Carolyn Roche and Saoirse Barrett have known—and hated—each other for a long time. Their lives have been dedicated to one-upping each other. Carolyn has worked hard to shake off her poor roots, landing a top job at a major accountancy firm. Saoirse has worked just as hard to set up her own business in the vain hopes of impressing her tough father.

They’re equally matched in life—and in vocal talent. But neither is willing to let the other woman win.

That is, until they find themselves trapped in their old school, with just a bottle of vodka and their memories for company. There, they discover that the hatred they feel for each other might not be hatred after all…

 

Office Romance

bearly a lady
Bearly a Lady by Cassandra Khaw

Zelda McCartney (almost) has it all: a badass superhero name, an awesome vampire roommate, and her dream job at a glossy fashion magazine (plus the clothes to prove it). The only issue in Zelda’s almost-perfect life? The uncontrollable need to transform into a werebear once a month. Just when Zelda thinks things are finally turning around and she lands a hot date with Jake, her high school crush and alpha werewolf of Kensington, life gets complicated. Zelda receives an unusual work assignment from her fashionable boss: play bodyguard for devilishly charming fae nobleman Benedict (incidentally, her boss’s nephew) for two weeks. Will Zelda be able to resist his charms long enough to get together with Jake? And will she want to? Because true love might have been waiting around the corner the whole time in the form of Janine, Zelda’s long-time crush and colleague. What’s a werebear to do? 

 

Second Chance / Reunion

cheerleaders from planet x
Cheerleaders from Planet X by Lyssa Chiavari

Aliens are among us. And humanity’s only hope just happens to carry pom-poms.

Laura Clark thought she was just your average college freshman—until the day she saw a cheerleader on a skateboard get into a superhuman brawl with a lightning-wielding stranger in a trenchcoat. And the weirdest thing of all? Nobody else saw it happen. Nobody, that is, except the beautiful but standoffish Shailene, one of the mysterious (and possibly super-powered) cheerleaders from Laura’s rival school, Bayview University.

When girls start disappearing all over the City, Laura suddenly realizes that she may have seen more than she should. And if she wants to keep from disappearing herself, she needs to find some answers. But though Laura can’t shake the feeling that they’re somehow connected, Shailene is more than a little reluctant to share her secrets. With strange, bug-like creatures and a sinister man in a dark coat stalking her every step, Laura will have to uncover the truth fast if she wants to survive.

The fate of the planet just might hang in the balance.

 

Fake Dating

dating sarah cooper
Dating Sarah Cooper by Siera Maley

Katie Hammontree and Sarah Cooper have been best friends since the 2nd grade. Katie’s welcoming, tight-knit family is a convenient substitute for Sarah when her distant parents aren’t around, and Sarah’s abrasive, goal-oriented personality gels well with Katie’s more laid-back approach to life.
But when a misunderstanding leads to the two of them being mistaken for a couple and Sarah uses the situation to her advantage, Katie finds herself on a roller coaster ride of ambiguous sexuality and confusing feelings. How far will Sarah go to keep up the charade, and why does kissing her make Katie feel more alive than kissing her ex-boyfriend Austin ever did? And how will their new circle of gay friends react when the truth comes out?
 

 

No Strings Attached

heat wave

Heat Wave by Elyse Springer

Sara Walker’s life is going nowhere fast: she has a job she enjoys but doesn’t love, friends who are too busy to hang out with her, and no boyfriend in sight. Then a phone call on a lonely Friday night changes everything, and suddenly she’s spending her weekends with Laura. Newly single and openly bisexual, Laura makes Sara think decidedly not-straight thoughts.

Laura Murphy, with her red hair, freckles, and killer curves, is any guy’s wet dream. But Laura’s done with guys for now, and it’s Sara who can’t stop dreaming about her. When Sara finally gives in to the curiosity, Laura blows her mind and pushes her further than she’s ever gone before.

But Laura makes it very clear that this is only a rebound fling, and she’s still planning to move to California. She’s more than happy to tie Sara up, but she’s not ready to be tied down. If Sara wants to keep her, she’s going to have to work hard to convince Laura that New York is worth staying for . . . and so is she.

 

Roommates

complementary and acute
Complementary and Acute by Ella Lyons

It’s Anabelle Horton’s senior year at Dearington Boarding School, and everything is exactly as she wants it. She’s captain of the Number Ninjas, her schedule is perfect, and her best friend Jacqueline Flores is going to be right by her side for all of it. But on the first day back at Dearington, Jac throws a wrench in Anabelle’s tidy plans. Not only has she rearranged her classes and dropped Number Ninjas, she’s joined the Girls who Like Girls Program, leaving Anabelle’s entire schedule in upheaval. 

Jac is never around anymore, and when she is, she’s got new friends (who Anabelle hates) or she’s running off to a lecture on alternative footwear. Anabelle is left to deal with the changes on her own, and suddenly, Jac’s inability to keep their dorm room tidy is the very least of Anabelle’s problems.

Celebrity

crush
Crush by S.R. Silcox

Summertime in Chesterfield means two very different things for teenagers Tess Copeland and Maddie Lambert. For Tess, spending time with family and anticipating the annual Crush Festival goes hand-in-hand with the country air and the sweet smell of a cane fire. For Maddie, Chesterfield offers an escape from the demands of a reality that she’s just unable to run from.
This summer, however, there is one lit fire that’s even harder to contain than the massive bonfires that characterise the town’s summer spectacle, as young love and awakened passions smoulder in the shadows.
Amidst the turmoil of growing up and the pressures of youth and fame, can these two young women navigate the precipices of adulthood unscathed? Will Maddie and Tess be able to overcome the secrets of a small town and save the beloved festival before it’s too late?

 

Royalty

the second mango
The Second Mango by Shira Glassman

Queen Shulamit never expected to inherit the throne of the tropical land of Perach so young. At twenty, grief-stricken and fatherless, she’s also coping with being the only lesbian she knows after her sweetheart ran off for an unknown reason. Not to mention, she’s the victim of severe digestive problems that everybody thinks she’s faking. When she meets Rivka, an athletic and assertive warrior from the north who wears a mask and pretends to be a man, she finds the source of strength she needs so desperately.

Unfortunately for her, Rivka is straight, but that’s okay — Shulamit needs a surrogate big sister just as much as she needs a girlfriend. Especially if the warrior’s willing to take her around the kingdom on the back of her dragon in search of other women who might be open to same-sex romance. The real world outside the palace is full of adventure, however, and the search for a royal girlfriend quickly turns into a rescue mission when they discover a temple full of women turned to stone by an evil sorcerer. 

 

Slow Burn

when women were warriors
When Women Were Warriors trilogy by Catherine M. Wilson

In Book I of the trilogy, Tamras arrives in Merin’s house to begin her apprenticeship as a warrior, but her small stature causes many, including Tamras herself, to doubt that she will ever become a competent swordswoman. To make matters worse, the Lady Merin assigns her the position of companion, little more than a personal servant, to a woman who came to Merin’s house, seemingly out of nowhere, the previous winter, and this stranger wants nothing to do with Tamras. 

 

Marriage of Convenience

far from home
Far From Home by Lorelie Brown

My name is Rachel. I’m straight . . . I think. I also have a mountain of student loans and a smart mouth. I wasn’t serious when I told Pari Sadashiv I’d marry her. It was only party banter! Except Pari needs a green card, and she’s willing to give me a breather from drowning in debt.

My off-the-cuff idea might not be so terrible. We get along as friends. She’s really romantically cautious, which I find heartbreaking. She deserves someone to laugh with. She’s kind. And calm. And gorgeous. A couple of years with her actually sounds pretty good. If some of Pari’s kindness and calmness rubs off on me, that’d be a bonus, because I’m a mess — anorexia is not a pretty word — and my little ways of keeping control of myself, of the world, aren’t working anymore.

And, if I slip up, Pari will see my cracks. Then I’ll crack. Which means I gotta get out, quick, before I fall in love with my wife.

 

Friends to Lovers

labyrint lost
Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova

Nothing says Happy Birthday like summoning the spirits of your dead relatives.

Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation…and she hates magic. At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo boy she can’t trust. A boy whose intentions are as dark as the strange marks on his skin.

The only way to get her family back is to travel with Nova to Los Lagos, a land in-between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland… 

 

Unrequited Love

not your sidekick
Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee

Welcome to Andover… where superpowers are common, but internships are complicated. Just ask high school nobody, Jessica Tran. Despite her heroic lineage, Jess is resigned to a life without superpowers and is merely looking to beef-up her college applications when she stumbles upon the perfect (paid!) internship—only it turns out to be for the town’s most heinous supervillain. On the upside, she gets to work with her longtime secret crush, Abby, who Jess thinks may have a secret of her own. Then there’s the budding attraction to her fellow intern, the mysterious “M,” who never seems to be in the same place as Abby. But what starts as a fun way to spite her superhero parents takes a sudden and dangerous turn when she uncovers a plot larger than heroes and villains altogether. 

 

Military

trigger
Trigger by Jessica L. Webb

Dr. Kate Morrison doesn’t know how or why someone would create human bombs that are triggered by touch. But when Sergeant Andy Wyles blocks Kate from touching the patient who collapses in her Vancouver ER, Kate joins the investigation to demand answers, regardless of the danger.

As the two women work together to find those responsible for creating an army of human weapons, Kate finds it increasingly difficult to ignore her feelings for the fiercely protective and unrelentingly perceptive cop.

The investigation escalates, and Kate gradually begins to trust Andy, not only with her safety but also with the difficult details of her past. With lives at risk and her heart on the line, Kate must search for a way to defuse the bombs and save her patients, even as she questions the intensifying connection between herself and Andy. 

 

May/December (age gap)

dont tell my mother
Don’t Tell my Mother by Brigitte Bautista

With an overly zealous mother as her guide, 19-year-old Sam has never had problems navigating through Christian suburbia before. But, all that changes when she befriends and becomes intrigued with Clara, her widowed neighbor and the village’s social outcast. When their friendship grows into the “unnatural”, Sam is forced to examine her upbringing and come to terms with who she really is. 

 

Forbidden Romance

of fire and stars
Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst

Betrothed since childhood to the prince of Mynaria, Princess Dennaleia has always known what her future holds. Her marriage will seal the alliance between Mynaria and her homeland, protecting her people from other hostile lands. But Denna has a secret. She possesses an Affinity for fire—a dangerous gift for the future queen of a kingdom where magic is forbidden.

Now, Denna must learn the ways of her new home while trying to hide her growing magic. To make matters worse, she must learn to ride Mynaria’s formidable warhorses—and her teacher is the person who intimidates her most, the prickly and unconventional Princess Amaranthine—called Mare—the sister of her betrothed.

When a shocking assassination leaves the kingdom reeling, Mare and Denna reluctantly join forces to search for the culprit. As the two become closer, Mare is surprised by Denna’s intelligence and bravery, while Denna is drawn to Mare’s independent streak. And soon their friendship is threatening to blossom into something more.

But with dangerous conflict brewing that makes the alliance more important than ever, acting on their feelings could be deadly. Forced to choose between their duty and their hearts, Mare and Denna must find a way to save their kingdoms—and each other. 

 

Athlete

break point
Break Point by Yolanda Wallace

Germany’s Meike von Bismarck is rich, famous, and the top-ranked amateur female tennis player in the world. She seems to have it all, but the Nazis want more. Can Meike deliver the victories Adolf Hitler requires on court while keeping her soul intact off it?
Brash American Helen Wheeler has reached the upper echelons of women’s tennis, but her fiery temper and headline-grabbing social life have prevented her from being accepted by the genteel sport’s fans. When a shadowy government agent presents Helen with compromising photographs of her with Meike von Bismarck, her one-time doubles partner and former lover, will Helen allow her career to be derailed by an inevitable morals charge or will she agree to spy on the woman she once loved?

 

Law Enforcement

blurred lines
Blurred Lines by KD Williamson

Kelli McCabe is a no-nonsense detective with a tough exterior. Only a select few know her as a loyal, loving friend. To a fault, she is committed to her family, friends and her job.
As a surgeon, Nora Whitmore is used to being in control. The hospital is her life. There is little else. Respected by her colleagues but ridiculed by the residents, Nora takes what she needs and keeps everyone else at arm’s length, creating unexpected enemies.
Tragedy brings them together in a clash of personalities. As the chaos around them continues, they find the lines between them blurring. A friendship forms, understanding grows, and attraction soon follows. Together, they may conquer their own misgivings, but will the outside forces keep them apart?

 

Matchmaker

making love

Making Love by Aidan Wayne

Carla the cupid is an excellent shot, but her chemistry is so bad that most of her matches don’t last. Her dream is to shoot a True Love pair, but until her scores improve, she’s relegated to the Puppy Love division of Aphrodite Agency.

Leeta, a succubus, is looking for a True Love match. Which is highly unusual, as most succubi are aromantic. But Aphrodite Agency—her only hope—turns her away because the receptionist can’t believe she’s not just looking for an easy meal.

Carla agrees to take Leeta’s case on freelance. She figures it’s a win-win: Carla gets to put a succubus’s True Love match on her résumé, and Leeta gets to find her True Love! Except as Carla tries to find a match for Leeta, she finds herself maybe . . . relieved when the matches don’t end well. And Leeta seems to be getting pickier and pickier. Things will never work out until Carla learns enough about chemistry to figure out who’s truly best for Leeta, and until Leeta can admit what—or who—she truly wants.

 

 

Opposites Attract

style

Style by Chelsea M. Cameron

Kyle Blake likes plans. So far, they’re pretty simple: Finish her senior year of high school, head off to a good college, find a cute boyfriend, graduate, get a good job, get married, the whole heterosexual shebang. Nothing is going to stand in the way of that plan. Not even Stella Lewis. 

Stella Lewis also has a plan: Finish her senior year as cheer captain, go to college, finally let herself flirt with (and maybe even date) a girl for the first time and go from there. 

Fate has other plans for Kyle and Stella when they’re paired up in their AP English class and something between them ignites. It’s confusing and overwhelming and neither of them know what to do about it. One thing they do know is that their connection can’t be ignored. The timing just isn’t right. 

But is there ever a good time for falling in love?

 

One-Night Stand

graphite and gliter

Graphite & Glitter by Shae Connor

All that glitters might just be gold.

Adrienne Michaels’ best friend is getting married, and Adrienne’s not feeling it on the night of the bachelorette party. Then she meets Tessa Smith, bass player for an all-female glam rock tribute band. After a one-night stand worthy of the hottest rock star fantasies, Tessa surprises Adrienne by asking her on a real date, and Adrienne soon finds Tessa’s side gig pales in comparison to the down-to-earth music geek beneath the glitter. Tessa even helps Adrienne through a family loss, but when Tessa gets a sweet job offer in another city, Adrienne has to make a choice: let her go, follow her halfway across the country—or become part of the reason for her to stay.

 

What are your favorite romance tropes? Do you have any more recs besides the ones in this post? Leave a comment below!

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2 comentários sobre “Romance tropes in Sapphic books || A rec list

  1. Adan Ramie 4 de outubro de 2017 / 16:18

    I actually wrote a trilogy of lesbian detective novels if you’re looking for more in law enforcement. They’re Maladaptation, Cluster B, and Eager Observer. 🙂

    Curtir

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