Lesfic has evolved! From the obscenity trials and tribulations suffered by authors like Radclyffe Hall over The Well of Loneliness (written in 1928) and other works that followed it, through the years when lesfic books meant pulp novels written for a mostly male audience, through the dawning of the internet age and fan fiction to the present, it’s come a long way.
I recently wrote a guest post for lesfic author T. B. Markinson about that evolution. That got me to thinking about all the lesfic books I’ve read over the last twelve years since I first discovered lesbian fan fiction and graduated to reading every book I could get my hands on. There were tons! Lots of those books are classics of our fiction that could stand right alongside the best of mainstream fiction.
Like I did with the lesfic author list I compiled last year, I started listing all of my favorite lesfic books. The list quickly ballooned to over 100 novels and kept climbing. I decided I wanted to blog about them and share some of my favorites with everyone reading this. I picked a book from each author that was represented on the list when I finally stopped. Below are 40 of my favorites (in alphabetical order…sort of). Some, as I said, are classics. Some will be. All are excellent.
Check out my list, comment if you like below with your own favorites, and then read the rest of the post for a very special opportunity.
My Top 40 Lesfic Books:
- 96 Hours by Georgia Beers – (Romance) Erica Ryan is flying home from London after a disastrous business trip. Free spirit Abby Hayes is flying into New York City to visit her mother before jetting off again. Both end up in Gander, Canada, when their flight is diverted because of 9/11.
- A Deafening Whisper by Erik Schubach – (Romance) Mia has lived a life full of harassment, for an affliction not many understand. She thought college would be different, her escape, after all, people there are more mature right? She was wrong. A rebellious girl, Vee, saves her from a bad situation and teaches her that every single day is a gift.
- Above All, Honor by Radclyffe – (Romance) Above All, Honor introduces single-minded Secret Service Agent Cameron Roberts and the woman she is sworn to protect—Blair Powell, the daughter of the President of the United States.
- Also Known As Armchair Detective by Kelli Jae Baeli – (Mystery & Detective) Jobeth O’Brien awakens on the floor of her kitchen, her battered face and the memory of an angry visitor tells her that she is close to something important in her investigation.
- And Playing the Role of Herself by K.E. Lane – (Romance) Actress Caidence Harris is living her dreams after landing a leading role among the star-studded, veteran cast of 9th Precinct, a hot new police drama shot on location in glitzy LA. Her sometimes-costar Robyn Ward is magnetic, glamorous, and devastatingly beautiful, the quintessential A-List celebrity on the fast-track to superstardom.
- Ash by Malinda Lo – (Fairytales and Folklore) Cinderella retold – In the wake of her father’s death, Ash is left at the mercy of her cruel stepmother. Consumed with grief, her only joy comes by the light of the dying hearth fire, rereading the fairy tales her mother once told her.
- Conflict of Interest by Jae – (Mystery and Detective) Workaholic Detective Aiden Carlisle isn’t looking for love—and certainly not at the law enforcement seminar she reluctantly agreed to attend. But the first lecturer is not at all what she expected. Psychologist Dawn Kinsley has just found her place in life. After a failed relationship with a police officer, she has sworn never to get involved with another cop again.
- Desert of the Heart by Jane Rule – (Literary Fiction) Against the backdrop of Reno, Nevada, in the late 1950s, award-winning author Jane Rule chronicles a love affair between two women.
- Desire at Dawn by Fiona Zedde – (Romance) Recently turned from human to vampire, Kylie wants nothing to do with her new life or with the clan that claims her. She certainly wants nothing to do with her mother, Belle, who is completely infatuated with her vampire wife and clan leader. To escape her unwanted existence, Kylie befriends a human, Olivia, who has been abandoned by her family.
- Finding Home by Shelia Powell and Liz McMullen – (Teen/YA Paranormal) Firestarter Kayla Cruise has been kicked out of another foster home, her twelfth, and she’s back at the railroad tracks where she always finds solace. Surprisingly, a woman shows up there as an apparition, offering something Kayla had been longing for all her life, a forever home. Not just any home, Tia Keating runs a group home for teens with special gifts…gifts like the ones Kayla has spent years running from.
- First Course by J. A. Armstrong – (Short Stories – Romantic Comedy Series) Devon Brine has just left a successful career as a chef in New York City to open a restaurant with her childhood best friend, Bruce. Carrie Maynard works across town, the managing partner in a design firm that she owns with her best friend, Darlene (Dar) Willis. When Dar decides to promise a last minute decadent affair to a potential client, Carrie lands in the new restaurant Devon owns.
- Fun Home by Alison Bechdel – (Graphic Memoire) Distant and exacting, Bruce Bechdel was an English teacher and director of the town funeral home, which Alison and her family referred to as the “Fun Home.” It was not until college that Alison, who had recently come out as a lesbian, discovered that her father was also gay. A few weeks after this revelation, he was dead, leaving a legacy of mystery for his daughter to resolve.
- Heart to Heart by Saxon Bennett and Layce Gardner – (Romance) Amy’s fast paced New York City life is interrupted by her mother’s illness. She returns home to Fenton, Missouri after many years to find her childhood home on fire and her aging mother in need of long-term care. It’s more than she can handle, but with the help of her new found friends, she finds a life—and love— she wasn’t expecting.
- Hunter’s Way by Gerri Hill – (Suspense/Romance) Homicide detective Tori Hunter was used to doing things her way. But even after six different partners in seven years, she was not prepared for the hot-tempered Samantha Kennedy. Samantha, on the other hand, was trying to juggle a new job, a demanding boyfriend, and now finds herself with an even greater challenge — being partnered with the most difficult detective in the entire squad.
- Jericho by Ann McMan – (Romance) Librarian Syd Murphy flees the carnage of a failed marriage by accepting an eighteen-month position in Jericho–a small town in the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia. Her plans to hide out and heal her wounds fall by the wayside as she gets drawn into the daily lives of the quirky locals.
- Juliana by Vanda – (Literary Fiction / Romance) She went looking for fame, and found her true self, instead.
- Keeping Secrets by Penny Mickelbury – (Mystery / Suspense) Someone is murdering wealthy, married–and deeply closeted gay people in their own automobiles while parked in deserted parking lots in Washington, DC. Someone the victims allowed into their cars late at night. Someone who knows their most guarded and protected secret.
- Locked Inside by Annette Mori – (Romance) How much does the power of love matter to someone who has overcome obstacles greater than most people face in a lifetime?
- One Last Thing by Kim Baldwin and Xena Alexiou – (Thriller / Romance) Special Agent Switch needs to get close to Greek tycoon Konstantinos Lykourgos, the prime suspect in the theft of a priceless ancient icon from a monastery on Mount Athos. His accomplice is the EOO’s recurring nemesis: Theodora Rothschild, aka TQ, the Broker. Ariadne Lykourgos, heir to her father’s shipping empire, expects to have a much-needed holiday on the family yacht with her friends. But the arrival of a new crew member challenges her values and tests her loyalties.
- Oranges are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson – (Literary Fiction) Jeanette, cuts her teeth on the knowledge that she is one of God’s elect, but as this budding evangelical comes of age, and comes to terms with her preference for her own sex, the peculiar balance of her God-fearing household crumbles.
- Perfect Pairing by Rachel Spangler – (Romance) Hal Orion is an accomplished chef and food truck owner. She loves her life, her longtime sous chef and best friend, and the food she shares with the residents of her beloved city of Buffalo. Her life is exactly how she wants it: no strings, no commitments, and no roots—just great grilled cheese and a whole lot of freedom on the side.
- Poppy Jenkins by Clare Ashton – (Romance) Two old friends, one hot summer, a whole load of confusion.
- She Waits by Kate Sweeney – (Mystery) Kate Ryan is a middle-aged, accident prone, ex-private investigator. Emphasis on ‘ex’ as she and her partner gave up their profession after their last case nearly cost both of them, their lives. They wisely decided to limp away with whatever dignity and body parts they had left.
- Tarnished Gold by Ann Aptaker – (Mystery) New York City, 1950. Cantor Gold, art smuggler and dapper dyke-about-town, hunts for a missing masterpiece she’s risked her life to bring through the port of New York.
- Tell Me What You Like by Kate Allen – (Mystery, S/M) Alison Kaine, lesbian cop, enters the world of leather-dykes after a woman is brutally murdered at a Denver bar.
- The Art of Peeling an Orange by Victoria Avilan – (Literary Fiction/Psychological) When Carly Rosen is jilted on the eve of her wedding, she embarks on a startling journey of self-discovery. This gender-bending risqué retelling of the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, set in sizzling West Hollywood, echoes the ancient story of the lovers in the Underworld.
- The Awakening by Dawn Carter – (Horror/Occult) When you combine a powerful immortal witch with an immortal warrior of the Gods in holy matrimony, you develop an indestructible team.
- The Beast that Never Was by Caren J. Werlinger – (Mythology/Fairy Tales) What if Beauty was the Beast?
- The Beverly Malibu by Katherine V. Forrest – (Mystery) On Thanksgiving Day, LAPD homicide detective Kate Delafield and her partner, Ed Taylor, are called to an apartment building on the edge of Beverly Hills to investigate a premeditated and pitiless murder. No one appears particularly grieved by the shocking end to old-time Hollywood director Owen Sinclair.
- The Caphenon by Fletcher DeLancey – (Science Fiction) On a summer night like any other, an emergency call sounds in the quarters of Andira Tal, Lancer of Alsea. The news is shocking: not only is there other intelligent life in the universe, but it’s landing on the planet right now. Tal leads the first responding team and ends up rescuing aliens who have a frightening story to tell. They protected Alsea from a terrible fate—but the reprieve is only temporary.
- The Devil Inside by Ali Vali – (Romance) Brains, guts, and ruthless ambition should be enough to come out on top in any fight. Except when the battle is over love, all bets are off.
- The Gilda Stories by Jewelle Gomez – (Science Fiction/African American) Before Buffy, before Twilight, before Octavia Butler’s Fledgling, there was The Gilda Stories, Jewelle Gomez’s sexy vampire novel.
- The Gravity Between Us by Kristen Zimmer – (NA/Contemporary Romance) Where does friendship stop and love begin?
- The Lost Women of Lost Lake by Ellen Hart – (Mystery) Restaurateur and part-time P.I. Jane Lawless is taking some much-needed time off at her family’s lodge when her best friend, Cordelia, arrives with news that Tess, one of their good friends, has taken a nasty fall and needs their help with rehearsals for a play that is set to open in a week. When Tess isn’t on crutches, she helps run the Thunderhook Lodge, the premier resort on Lost Lake. And while she clearly needs Jane and Cordelia’s assistance, she isn’t exactly acting all that grateful.
- The News in Small Towns by Iza Moreau – (Mystery/Cozy) Sue-Ann McKeown returns to her home town of Pine Oak after a crushing six months of war reporting in Iraq. Her mother has died in a tragic riding accident and her father has sold most of the family’s possessions and run off to Italy. Sue-Ann herself has broken up with her long-time photographer boyfriend. And, oh, yeah, she is also suffering from a mysterious disease that makes it difficult for her to focus on her new job as reporter for The Pine Oak Courier. And it doesn’t help that the office manager for the small newspaper is Sue-Ann’s old high school rival.
- The Wombat Strategy by Claire McNab – (Mystery) Running a pub in the tiny Australian outback town of Wollegudgerie doesn’t offer much fun or future to knockabout Aussie dyke Kylie Kendall. So when the father she never knew leaves her 51 percent of his Los Angeles-based detective agency, it’s bright lights, big city for Kylie. Not so happy about her arrival is her partner in the business, the beautiful, enigmatic Arianna Creeling, who wants to buy out Kylie and gives her a decidedly chilly reception in sunny California.
- Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters – (Historical Romance) A marvelously lush, erotic and bawdy first novel set int he glory days of seedy music halls.
- Touchwood by Karin Kallmaker – (Romance) Twenty-nine-year-old Rayann Germaine, betrayed by her lover, flees in grief and rage. She meets book store owner Louisa Thatcher, a woman many years her senior, who offers shelter and work… and soon, passion, and a loving place in her life.
- Waiting in the Wings by Melissa Brayden – (Romance) If you don’t get lost, there’s a chance you may never be found. Jenna McGovern has spent her whole life training for the stage. She’s taken dance classes, voice lessons, and even earned her performance degree from one of the most prestigious musical theater programs in the nation. At graduation, she’s stunned when a chance audition lands her a prime supporting role in the hottest Broadway touring production in the country. In more exciting news, Jenna discovers acclaimed television star Adrienne Kenyon is headlining the production.
- When Women Were Warriors: Book 1 The Warriors Path by Catherine M. Wilson – (Literary/Epic) 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.
There you have it; some of my favorite lesfic books!
Those are the 40…but wait? Wasn’t this post supposed to be about 42 books? Actually, it is.
In late July, I’ll be giving away, to one lucky winner, a Kindle eBook copy of every single one of the books listed above (and pictured below) PLUS two of my own books, the mystery, Hannah’s Hope and the romance, Broken Women.
That’s a value of over $340.00 U.S.!
Do you want a chance to win them all? It’s simple. Just go to Bookfetti to sign up for the contest. Take me to Bookfetti!