Top Twenty Contemporary Lesbian Romances from 2013
by Elaine Lynch writing as E.B. Mulligan, 6/4/2014
2013 was a banner year for LGBT literature: Amazon.com lists over 55,000 titles with 27,000 e-books. A search for “Lesbian Romance 2013” came up with 1,400 titles. Selecting just 20 was rather daunting, but recommendations from other readers helped me in the process. Fans of this genre are certainly familiar with such favorites as Karin Kallmaker and Radclyffe, so I included debut authors instead of titles from these icons. Enjoy!
- All That Lies Within, Lynn Ames (Phoenix Rising): Movie star Dara Thomas is the sexiest woman alive, and she writes best sellers under the pseudonym of Constance Darrow. When Rebecca Minton, a professor of American literature, starts a correspondence with Constance, she discovers Dara’s secret.
- Amor and More: Love Everafter, edited by Radclyffe and Stacia Seaman (Bold Strokes Books): These 17short stories feature characters from the publisher’s novels. My personal favorite is”Dawn Knew,” Lee Lynch’s sequel to her 2009 novel Beggar of Love.
- And A Time to Dance, Chris Paynter (Blue Feather Books): Two years after Corey Banner’s partner, Judy, dies in a car accident, Corey moves from Michigan to Colorado to try to put her life back on track. When Erin Flannery and her aunt hire Corey to do maintenance work at their Rocky Mountains lodge, Erin tries to get over her partnerâ€™s past betrayal. Their summer is a time of building trust.
- Andi Unwrapped, Riley Adair Garrett (Sapphire Books Publishing): Leaving an abusive husband and starting over again at age 40 as a single mom ($100,000), going back to college ($10,000), and crushing on your 50-year-old professor (priceless!).
- Awaiting My Assignment, AJ Adaire (Desert Palm Press): Book 2 of the Friends Series introduces new characters to those from Sunset Island as Amanda tries to recover from lovers’ betrayals and death.
- Cut to the Chase, Lisa Girolami (Bold Strokes Books): Hollywood novelist Paige Cornish meets Avalon Randolph, a sexy and wild actress, in this red-hot, red-carpet romance from a LA insider.
- Exception to the Rule, Cindy Rizzo (CreateSpace): Robin Greene, a freshman at Adams University near Boston, lives to get back to her homeless LGBT friends in New York City whose easy sex and friendship inspire her writing, while Tracy Patterson has left a string of older female lovers, including her mother’s best friend, back in North Carolina. Neither has any interest in making the other an exception to their rules of new relationships.
- The First Robin of Spring, Natalie London (Bella): An inheritance allows Julie Burke to start a music career, and she moves into a large Queen Anne-style home in Green River, Wisconsin. There, she meets college professors Elisabeth de Gramont and her ex-lover Vickie Read. The debut author uses sweetness and humor to follow the story of Elisabeth watching Vickie pursue Julie.
- The Ghost of a Chance, Natalie Vivien (Rose and Star Press): In a Colorado cabin deep in winter, beautiful Nurse Alis Baker cares for Darcy Morrow, devastated by her beloved partner’s accidental death. A first-person narration uses melodrama and angst to show Alis’s gentleness and compassion while Darcy comes back to life.
- Hoosier Daddy, Ann McMan and Salem West (Bedazzled): Jill “Friday” Fryman, a line supervisor at an auto plant, has not made the best choices in romance. El sweeps into town to organize the workers for the UAW and sweeps Jill off her feet. Romantic and funny, Hoosier Daddy gets its name from a local bar.
- Infinity’s Song, Penelope Grey (CreateSpace): Set in Seattle and on Whidbey Island, this first in the Siren’s Song Series features successful professionals who have been together for 18 years. Both of them are hiding secrets from the other, causing a rift in their marriage.
- Just Jorie; The Lure of White Oak Lake; The Summer of Our Discontent; Scaredy Cat, Robin Alexander (Intaglio): These books aren’t a series, but each is a gem with laugh-aloud humor.
- Laughing Down the Moon, Eva Inigo (Bella): Allura Satou, a freelance writer dumped by her lover, is a pagan who owns Dwight, a red-tailed black cockatoo. Her blind date with Shiloh might help her out of her funk, but there could be blocks. This debut author wrote the most original romance I read last year.
- Lee’s Awakening, Rebecca Montague (Cape Winds Press): Socialite Lee Compton, 30, leaves her controlling husband and meets Ray Elliot at a birthday party in a lesbian bar. It’s a case of uptown girl questioning a relationship with a downtown boi.
- Like Jazz, Heather Blackmore (Bold Strokes Books): Cassidy “Cazz” Warner, 18, is the new girl in high school who becomes BFF with popular Sarah Perkins before Cazz has to move. Ten years forward, Cass is investigating fraud at Sarah’s charitable foundation, and there’s still chemistry still exists.
- Love over Moon Street, Saxon Bennett (Bella): Victoria Seaborn is having a no-good, terrible, really-bad time with her poetry, job, and girlfriend at various stages of failure. New neighbor Sparky could be just what Victoria needs, if only Sparky thought the same thing. This author has always put a smile on my face, and Moon Street is no exception.
- Nurture; Osmosis, Susan X. Meagher (Brisk Press): The planned 26-volume series, I Found My Heart in San Francisco, featuring UC Berkley college students, blue blood Jamie, firefighter’s daughter Ryan, and their extended family is up to Volumes 14 and 15. As expected, passion and true love everlasting.
- Sweet Carolina Girls, RE Bradshaw (CreateSpace): Harper Lee Lynch, 23, moves to North Carolina with her Golden Retriever, Jasper, and meets a diverse group of women lesbian and straight at the Tarr Bar. Great romance and hilarity for those who love the movie Steel Magnolias.
- The Tropic of Hunter, Cheyne Curry (Blue Feather Books): Sixteen years after Hunter Roberge’s mother disowned her and kicked her out of the house when she was 18, she returns for her mother’s funeral. Hunter’s surprising inheritance of the family home leaves her two brothers are confused and angered while Hunter develops a romance with a childhood friend.
- The Wish List, Riley LaShea (Amazon Digital Services): Because Kelsie is the last unmarried member of her social circle, her friends send a letter to Santa asking for a girlfriend for Kelsie. Randa, a new acquaintance has all the qualifications in the letter, but another woman also enters Kelsie’s life. I am a sucker for a feel good Christmas romance and this hits the mark.