This week’s Sapphic Reading Challenge features age gap romance novels–meaning there’s a significant age gap between the two main characters. People’s definitions of what constitutes a “significant age gap” vary, but for the purpose of this reading challenge, one main character needs to be at least 8 years older than the other.
Read up on the rules of the Sapphic Reading Challenge
If you are only discovering the Sapphic Reading Challenge now, the good news is you can still join! It’s a year-long challenge, so it runs until December 31, 2021. Read up on the rules of the Sapphic Reading Challenge and download your PDF so you can keep track of the books you read this year.
15 sapphic age gap romance novels
I put together a list of 15 sapphic age gap romance novels. I hope you find at least one you’ll enjoy.
Just a Touch Away by Jae
An enemies-to-lovers lesbian romance with an ice queen whose frosty facade is melted by the power of touch.
Hannah Martin has an unusual job: she’s a professional cuddler. While she has a big heart for her clients, she hasn’t found someone special to snuggle up to in her personal life.
Winter Sullivan isn’t looking for love. She’s an aloof workaholic who’s built walls of ice around herself. She would rather drive toothpicks under her fingernails than cuddle, and she certainly doesn’t want to share her space with anyone.
When Winter’s estranged father dies, he leaves her one last surprise: she and Hannah, a perfect stranger, will inherit a building together. But there’s a catch: first, they have to live together for ninety-two days.
Winter is determined to dislike her rival, but soon finds Hannah isn’t what she expected at all. Thanks to a hilarious doormat war, a cuddle dare from Winter’s half sister, and a kiss in the most unusual of places, the frosty fortress around her heart begins to melt.
Will she be able to accept that love might be just a touch away?
Worthy of Love by Quinn Ivins
Nadine Bayani was at the top of her game. The brilliant, ruthless lawyer was in line to be White House chief of staff—until she confessed to campaign finance crimes that cost her party the election.
Now Nadine’s out of prison, broke, hated by millions, and stuck doing a menial retail job in rural Virginia where she barely earns enough to survive.
Bella Clarke has worked at Overstock Oasis since she flunked college. She wants to go back to school, but secretly doubts she’s smart enough. At least she’s not as clueless as her boss, who just accidentally hired the woman responsible for a national scandal.
However, Nadine seems to be nothing like the crook portrayed in the media, and Bella is drawn to her troubled, standoffish co-worker. As they grow closer, Nadine introduces Bella to the delights of Filipino food and opens Bella’s eyes to her own possibilities.
Before long, about the only thing harder to make sense of than Nadine’s past is their powerful chemistry together. Is Bella really falling for a woman who caused so much harm? And even if she is, how can two such different people ever be a match?
If You Kiss Me Like That by Harper Bliss
Ashley ‘Ash’ Cooper is still reeling after her recent divorce, throwing all her energy into her job in The City. When she’s seated next to one of her mother’s friends at a family party, falling in love is the last thing on her mind.
After losing her husband many years ago, Gloria Young rebuilt herself as a single parent. Now that her daughters are both at university, she’s perfectly content with her quiet life in the village of Murraywood.
An unexpectedly enjoyable evening with a friend’s daughter pushes Gloria into exploring a new side of herself.
Will she overcome her fear of what people think and allow herself a new chance at happiness?
And can Ash let go of the past and open herself up to love again?
The Brutal Truth by Lee Winter
Aussie crime reporter Maddie Grey is out of her depth in New York and secretly drawn to her twice-married, powerful media mogul boss, Elena Bartell, who eats failing newspapers for breakfast. As work takes them to Australia, Maddie is goaded into a brief bet—that they will say only the truth to each other. It backfires catastrophically. A lesbian romance about the lies we tell ourselves
Coming Home by KJ
What would happen if your regular, ordinary, safe, everyday existence suddenly became…not any of those things? When Samantha Markson, Ordinary Person, is thrust into the life of Abigail Taylor, Not At All Ordinary Person, it proves to be an experience like she’s never had before.
World famous actress, Abigail Taylor, is in Melbourne filming her new movie, and is accompanied by her nine year old daughter, Grace, because Abigail wants her to experience an Australian education for three months. Sam Markson is a teacher at one of the best schools in Melbourne, and is perfectly happy doing that, thank you very much, when she’s suddenly redirected from the classroom into the job as Grace’s teacher; a move so fast that even blinking would feel like slow motion.
Sam has never met anyone like Abigail Taylor, and she starts to realise that her ordinary life might actually be missing something extraordinary.
Reservations of the Heart by TB Markinson
41-year-old doctor Stella Gilbert used to have it all. Her career was on fire, and she had a picture-perfect family–until she was blindsided by her wife doing the unthinkable. Three years after her divorce, Stella’s loved ones worry about her non-existent personal life and her stubborn belief that focusing on her career and raising her daughter are all she needs to be fulfilled.
Reeling from the revelation of a long-held family secret, 29-year-old Aurora Shirley is just over it all. If her parents could lie to Aurora all her life, won’t everyone else? Women are the last thing on her mind as she starts a temporary job at a local medical school. Unfortunately for Aurora, she needs to find a date for her best friend’s wedding or be deemed the worst maid of honor in history.
When Stella and Aurora unexpectedly come together, sparks fly. Neither is looking for a relationship, but what they discover in one another is so much more than a physical connection. Can two wounded women who believe love is the last thing they want overcome their fears to find healing?
New Lease of Love by Arizona Tape
It only takes the right person to turn everything around.
An evil stepmother drives Quinn away from home and desperate for money, she ends up working in Rainbow Central, a bar on the verge of going bankrupt. The only saving grace? The beautiful owner and divorcée, Olivia White.
Despite their age difference, the two women work well together trying to breathe a new lease of life into the bar. But what about a new lease of love?
Hungry for It by Fiona Zedde
Rémi’s had a crush on her best friend’s mother since she knew what lust was. Claudia is everything she wants in a lover but doesn’t think she deserves – sophisticated, brilliant, and a woman of substance. But Rémi has resigned herself to only lusting from afar.
Instead of reaching out for what she really wants, Rémi takes the easy pleasure offered by the many women she meets around Miami and at her exclusive jazz club, burying her desire for Claudia in their willing bodies and shutting down the part of herself that craves more. It works for a while.
But when a dangerous business rival starts making trouble for Rémi, she finds herself unexpectedly turning to Claudia for comfort. The heat that flares between the two women quickly becomes too explosive for either of them to ignore. Soon, their nights are devoted to pleasure – sex, food, and the sweetness of discovering each other in new ways. But Rémi knows very well they are loving on borrowed time. Because once her best friend finds out what she’s been doing, and who, it will put more than just their friendship at stake.
The X Ingredient by Roslyn Sinclair
Laurie Holcombe is out of a job, out of luck, and out of time. When a prestigious law firm hires her as an assistant to one of its senior partners, it feels like she might finally get back on her feet. All she has to do is put up with the whims of her infuriatingly icy boss, Diana. How hard could that be?
Diana Parker is Atlanta’s top lawyer and isn’t afraid to let everyone know it. She’s driven, ruthless, demanding, and stuck in a failing marriage. Too bad she can’t run her personal life as well as she runs her ordered office.
When a young assistant shows up with bright blue eyes, a cute Southern accent, and a streak of pink hair, Diana’s sure she’s all wrong for the job. And yet something seems to be pulling her and Laurie Holcombe together, drawing them into a secret, thrilling dance that’s far too dangerous for a boss and employee.
Can they make rules for this powerful attraction, a way to keep each other at arm’s length? But how do you resist the irresistible?
Tomorrow’s Promise by Radclyffe
Adrienne Pierce, buffeted by fate and abandoned by love, seeks refuge from her past as well as her uncertain future on Whitley Point, a secluded island off the coast of Maine.
Tanner Whitley—young, wild, restless—and heir to a dynasty, desperately tries to escape both her destiny and the memories of a tragic loss with casual sex and wild nights, a dangerous course that may ultimately destroy her.
One timeless summer, these two very different women discover the power of passion to heal–and the promise of hero that only love can bestow.
Bold Strokes Books
The Sex Therapist Next Door by Meghan O’Brien
Diana Kelley is a couples sex therapist with a problem: it’s her job to convince her clients of the importance of sexual and emotional intimacy, but after surviving a toxic relationship with an abusive ex, she’s sworn off love and can’t fathom ever making herself vulnerable again. When her best friend Ava is injured the night she is scheduled to assist with a hands-on sexual education workshop, Diana is forced to find a short-term replacement. The last thing she wants is a new lover, even a paid one.
After a year of living in the apartment next door, all Jude Monaco knows about her neighbor Diana is that she’s a gorgeous older woman and the inspiration for more dirty fantasies than she cares to admit. So when Diana knocks on her door with a shockingly delicious favor to ask, Jude seizes the opportunity to learn more.
Their professional relationship is supposed to be a clinical erotic arrangement between a sex therapist and her assistant, but at the intersection of sex and intimacy, anything is possible. Even love.
Bold Strokes Books
Something to Talk About by Meryl Wilsner
Hollywood powerhouse Jo is photographed making her assistant Emma laugh on the red carpet, and just like that, the tabloids declare them a couple. The so-called scandal couldn’t come at a worse time – threatening Emma’s promotion and Jo’s new movie.
As the gossip spreads, it starts to affect all areas of their lives. Paparazzi are following them outside the office, coworkers are treating them differently, and a ‘source’ is feeding information to the media. But their only comment is ‘no comment’.
With the launch of Jo’s film project fast approaching, the two women begin to spend even more time together, getting along famously. Emma seems to have a sixth sense for knowing what Jo needs. And Jo, known for being aloof and outwardly cold, opens up to Emma in a way neither of them expects. They begin to realise the rumour might not be so off base after all . . . but is acting on the spark between them worth fanning the gossip flames?
Arbor Vitae by Susan X. Meagher
Even when you’re not expecting it, love can find you. The flames of passion can ignite so quickly that all of the impediments to love can seem immaterial. They’re not. Overcoming differences in age, sexual orientation, social status and familial expectations is daunting, but if it’s right, love will find a way.
Abby Graham is uncommonly lovely, happy and content with her life, but when she finds herself a widow just a week before her 40th birthday, the secure world that she thought was permanent is suddenly on very shaky ground. Struggling to work through her grief, she always puts her children’s needs first, leaving little time for herself.
Five years later her youngest child leaves for college and Abby decides to kick start a new lease on life by returning to the dating scene, as well as transforming the backyard of her home into an oasis of beauty and tranquility.
She hires Clancy O’Connor, a high-spirited young landscape architect who is trying to build a business and hopes to get recommendations from Abby’s upper-class social circle. Clancy develops a serious crush on the beautiful widow before their first meeting is finished. It’s a recipe for heartache; even though Abby seems remarkably comfortable with Clancy’s lesbianism, Clancy is unable to imagine that Abby would be willing to take the leap given the differences in their age, class, wealth and lifestyles.
As Abby reveals more of herself to Clancy during their many hours of consultation, the connection between them begins to spark. After an evening of small intimacies and shared dreams, the women can no longer fight their mutual desire. Although Abby has her doubts about the future, she and Clancy embark on a torrid love affair…but all too soon a threat develops that could destroy the tentative bond that holds them together.
Sidebar by Carsen Taite
Judge Camille Avery, newly appointed to the federal court, is finally back on her dream career path. She’s determined not to let any mistakes, past or future, get in her way, but a complex murder case and undeniable attraction to her rebellious law clerk threaten Camille’s carefully planned future at every turn.
Attorney West Fallon is a social justice crusader, reluctant to put her career plans on hold to clerk for a federal judge, even if the judge is the man who saved her life. When he’s suddenly forced to retire, West is stuck clerking for Judge Camille Avery, an infuriatingly stubborn—okay, brilliant, intense, and sexy—law-and-order jurist who seems just as unhappy to be saddled with her.
As Camille and West explore their growing desire and challenge the boundaries of their work and personal relationships, a big case threatens to destroy both their careers. Can their love survive?
Bold Strokes Books
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Leave a comment and let us know which book you’ll be reading for the “age gap romance” category!
9 thoughts on “Age gap romance (Sapphic Reading Challenge #21)”
I’ve just finished Harper Bliss’ “In the Distance There Is Light”, this certainly fits this category and such a beautiful book.
Great call. “In the Distance…” is one of my all-time favorites. A truly heart wrenching but lovely age gap love story. I read it at least once a year. ❤️❤️❤️
I would add A.L. Brooks “The Long Shot” – 18+ year gap. And one of my favorites!!
I just finished a love to stay for by Amy Demerrit. And have read coming home by KJ twice because it was so good.
After Mrs. Hamilton by Clare Ashton, was really well written and a great story with many unexpected twists and turns. Love her work. Waiting for her next book.
I was reading the list looking for what you would choose from Gun Brooke, b/c this is pretty much her brand! ;) More recent one I really enjoyed – The Blush Factor. Older one with a soft space in my heart – Coffee Sonata. I put Pirate’s Fortune in this category for the challenge b/c I *finally* read her Supreme Constellations series. Also really enjoyed the age gap romance in Arrival, a book in her Exodus series.
Jae, it must be *so hard* narrowing down to a list of 15!
It really is hard! We are lucky to live in a time where there are so many sapphic books that we can’t include them all. But you are totally right: Many of Gun’s books fit the age gap theme too!
I have never read a Gun Brooke book, and I love age-gaps, so thank you. I now have another author to enjoy.
My Romantic Comedy “Serendipity” is still available for free at my website. The main characters are 12 years apart. It was written 20 years ago but I think it still holds up. :)