These books with lesbian romance show why we love a good romance.
As a wonderful trend for diversity expands, everyone gets more representation. That includes literature where the leading couple is female. The quantity of books with non-straight leads grows. And an inexperienced reader might get confused. There are so many good stories, but how to know which one is good? Are there any must-reads, and if yes, what are they? Don’t worry. We’ve done some research, and now present you just the list you need. It’s hard to pick only ten best lesbian romance books, so we’ve picked 14.
In at the Deep End – Kate Davies
This is a spicy, ironic story you will not soon forget. Julia is utterly disappointed in the romantic part of her life. It seems like she’s just unlucky, haven’t had good sex for several years. Her last sexual encounter with a man ended up in a blame game (rather embarrassing one, really).
Everything changes when a woman appears in Julia’s life. Exploring the city, she meets Sam and embarks on a love journey. There she falls in love with herself and the world. The woman unexpectedly discovers her lesbian sexuality and identity. The plot abounds by weird and/or uncomfortable situations Julia finds herself in. One man tells her that he has broken his penis during the sex. Then Julia getting familiar with BDSM culture. But, first of all, it is a story of coming out to oneself and embracing every bit of one’s before unexplored identity.
Annie on My Mind – Nancy Garden
Annie and Lizzien instantly feel attracted to each other. They start to spend more time together, and soon their friendship turns into love. But in the eyes of the society they are living in, their affection is not welcomed. Is their love strong enough to withstand all the obstacles on its way?
This book is a wonderful example of how clichés can be used to create good literature. It is a meet-cute, a case of two different people falling for each other (‘opposites attract’). It is another reimagination of the ‘friends to lovers’ trope. At the same time, it is a heartwarming story of two women. Nancy Garden shows what a lesbian love can be, earning her place in the list of lesbian romance classics.
Riverfinger Women – Elana Dykewomon
First published in 1974, this one is one of the pioneers in lesbian romance novels. But it’s not just about women accepting and exploring themselves. It’s also a story of them struggling to manage life – as everyone does at some point. The book got everything you need to fall in love with it. A coming of age story of three lesbian girls moving to New York. We follow them as they change the comfort of their young lives for the vibrancy. They are uncertain of the adult lives. The fact that makes it all more intimate is the fact that the author was 24 years old herself when she wrote the book.
The Ladies – Doris Grumbach
The story like this is rare, but it’s only a reason to appreciate it. It’s based on real events that happened in the eighteenth-century UK. The plot follows two women who defied society’s expectations and rules. They settled in a small hamlet in Wales, away from everything and everyone. However, many people (mostly famous writers), found their ways to ‘Ladies of Llangollen’. This book is an escape from often scary reality to the warmth of mutual love between two women.
Loonglow – Helen Eisenbach
A witty insight into the publishing industry, this book is also an exploration of love in all its ways. The plot evolves rapidly keeping up with Louey, an editor, her former girlfriend Mia and Clay Lee. Louey is trying to reconcile with her ex and discovers unexpected truths along the way. Clay is new in town, and he’s trying to get rid of the ghosts of the past. He meets new people, experiences new things. What is common for Louey and Clay is the exploration of love. What does it mean for them, how to handle it – it’s all there.
Dusty Answer – Rosamond Lehmann
If what you’re looking for is a lesbian romance in the wake 20th century, you’ve got it. If on, top of that, you’re a lover of England, we promise you’ll be positively stunned reading “Dusty Answer’. It follows a story of Judith, a loner from a rich family. She falls in love with a woman at a bad time. At that time a hint of public expression of homosexuality was strictly condemned. The book was a revolutionary novelty when it was first published (1927). Today it wouldn’t have caused such a reaction from society, but it will surely find a place in your heart.
Dive – Stacey Donovan
‘Dive’ is one more story of sexuality and love crashing with reality. Virginia’s life is not to be envied: her friends and family have let her down. The only joy of her life, a dog, has recently got into an accident. She can’t stop dwelling on how things are wrong. As the story unfolds Virginia learns to let go the worst and to let in new people into her life. It is an inspiring novel that’ll motivate you to live the best life you possibly can.
Loving Her – Ann Allen Shockley
Themes mixed in this book, like race and sexuality, will elicit an emotional response from you. It is a story of a woman running away from the reality that is her life. A love story that sweeps you off your feet and takes you to the journey that’s hard to forget.
Odd Girl Out – Ann Bannon
Despite the mid-20th century trend for lesbian romance to be awful, this book has found its place. A lot of people had it on their bookshelves. And on our too. A woman fighting the odds, but accepting herself? Give us two, please, and thank you.
The Price of Salt – Patricia Highsmith
Fun fact about this is that Highsmith was inspired to write it after seeing a beautiful woman. The author reflected on the reason for herself being captivated by the stranger. Highsmith said that she couldn’t pinpoint what exactly did catch her eye. It may have been the mink coat, or her light hair, of the fact that the woman was alone.
Here are some reasons to read this book. First, it is a story about lesbian love with a happy ending. Second, it has a movie adaptation with Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett as leads.