Welcome to the first Book Unicorn post of the Sapphic Reading Challenge.
What is the Book Unicorn?
A quick reminder: The Book Unicorn is a bonus level that you can pick either by itself or as an additional goal. The goal is to read 10 sapphic books from 10 of 12 harder-to-find genres and themes. That means you can skip two of the Unicorn categories. I’ll post book suggestions for one Book Unicorn category each month. You can download the PDF to fill in the books you read for the Book Unicorn challenge here.
Make the Sapphic Reading Challenge more interesting!
If you’d like to get more book suggestions, talk about the books you are reading, and chat with other readers participating in the Sapphic Reading Challenge, join either my Facebook group for readers or the Goodreads group for the Sapphic Reading Challenge.
The first Book Unicorn category: a book featuring a butch/butch couple
For the first Book Unicorn category, I’d like you to read a book about two butch women falling in love or being in an established relationship with each other.
For the unlikely case that you aren’t sure what being butch means: Stonewall defines it this way: “Traditionally, in lesbian culture, the word ‘butch’ refers to a woman whose gender expression and traits present as typically ‘masculine’.”
When I put together a list of books about a butch/butch couple, I was amazed about how few there are! I think this is pretty much the only category for which I didn’t manage to find 15 books. So if you know of any others, please leave a comment with the title and author, and I’ll add the book to the list.
10 books featuring a butch/butch couple
I put together a list of 10 books featuring a butch/butch couple. I hope you’ll enjoy them!
Life Rewired by Lynn Galli
Two years ago, Molly Sokol decided she wanted to get serious about finding that special someone. She could picture her perfectly—petite, feminine, excitable, adoring, and ultra-affectionate. When the opposite of all that comes along in the form of Falyn Shaw, Molly never thought they’d be anything more than friends. Being wrong has never felt so good.
Night Call by Radclyffe
All medevac helicopter pilot Jett McNally wants to do is fly and forget about the horror and heartbreak she left behind in the Middle East, but anesthesiologist Tristan Holmes has other plans.
When Jett comes home from the war and destruction in the Middle East, flying and the adrenaline rush of a crisis are the only things that make her happy, and she volunteers to fly night call where all the action is whenever she can. So maybe once in a while she takes a few chances. Hey, that’s life, right?
Dr. Tristan Holmes is an expert at two things—high-risk anesthesia and pleasing women. Tristan gave up expecting anything other than a good time from the women in her life long time ago, and casual relationships are the perfect prescription for stress release. She doesn’t do relationships, so she can’t quite understand why it bothers her when Jett makes it clear she doesn’t want one. High-stakes medical drama, life on the edge, and love in the fast lane—it’s all just routine for Night Call.
Complex Dimensions by Brenda Murphy
Sick of living in her parent’s basement and encountering her ex-girlfriend on a regular basis, former graduate student Veronica Fletcher signs on to manage the stable for Rowan House, Skye’s most exclusive resort for women. After arriving at Rowan house Veronica’s vow to remain celibate is tested when she meets Millie Reid.
Sexy, sweet, and funny, Millie is the woman of Veronica’s dreams. Or is she? When Millie’s past threatens their future together, Veronica is faced with a choice she doesn’t want to make. The butterfly effect has never been more personal.
Waking the Dreamer by K. Aten
By the end of the 21st century, the world had become a harsh place. After decades of natural and man-made catastrophes, nations fell, populations shifted, and seventy percent of the continents became uninhabitable without protective suits. Technological advancement strode forward faster than ever and it was the only thing that kept human society steady through it all. No one could have predicted the discovery of the Dream Walkers. They were people born with the ability to leave their bodies at will, unseen by the waking world. Having the potential to become ultimate spies meant the remaining government regimes wanted to study and control them. The North American government, under the leadership of General Rennet, demanded that all Dream Walkers join the military program. For any that refused to comply, they were hunted down and either brainwashed or killed.
The very first Dream Walker discovered was a five year old girl named Julia. And when the soldiers came for her at the age of twenty, she was already hidden away. A decade later found Julia living a new life under the government’s radar. As a secure tech courier in the capital city of Chicago, she does her job and the rest of her time avoids other people as much as she is able. The moment she agrees to help another fugitive Walker is when everything changes. Now the government wants them both and they’ll stop at nothing to get what they want.
Desperate Times by Hildred Billings
Is it possible to be so much alike that you’re completely incompatible?
Tess and Sidney have both committed the greatest online dating faux pas possible: uploading old pictures. When the two tough butches meet at a small town bar, they think they’re getting the femmes of their dreams.
So begins the awkward – yet sordid – acquaintance of the only two lesbians in town. Local rancher Tess doesn’t have time for women who aren’t her type, and new-girl-in-town Sidney isn’t interested in someone who only sees her as a piece of fresh meat.
Yet they keep bumping into each other… is it fate, or just small town karma?
A bad date turns into a one-night stand. A one-night stand turns into a casual relationship. A casual relationship becomes Sidney’s greatest amusement, and Tess’s biggest nightmare as she’s slowly forced out of the closet in conservative River Rock.
Desperate times are afoot in the sleepy, gossipy hamlet of rural America. It’s going to take more than nerves of steel to survive the isolationism and people with nothing better to do than ruin their neighbors’ lives.
It’s going to take a whole lotta introspection – and love.
The Weight of the Stars by K. Ancrum
A vivid, evocative YA lesbian romance about how the universe is full of second chances
Ryann Bird dreams of traveling across the stars. But a career in space isn’t an option for a girl who lives in a trailer park on the “wrong” side of town. So Ryann becomes her circumstances and settles for acting out and skipping school to hang out with her delinquent friends.
One day she meets Alexandria: a furious loner who spurns Ryann’s offer of friendship. After a horrific accident leaves Alexandria with a broken arm, the girls are brought together despite themselves—and Ryann learns her secret: Alexandria’s mother is an astronaut who volunteered for a one-way trip to the edge of the solar system.
Every night without fail, Alexandria waits to catch radio signals from her mother. And now it’s up to Ryann to lift her onto the roof day after day until the silence between them grows into friendship, and eventually something more.
The Swashbuckler by Lee Lynch
Frenchy Tonneau leaves her closeted home in the Bronx for the bars of New York City, the freedom of Provincetown, and the liberation of Greenwich Village in the 1960s and 1970s. Her hangouts, her women, her small yet universal world tell the stories of the times – and the stories of lesbians today. A timeless journey and a riveting read, The Swashbuckler is heart-wrenching, heartwarming, and unforgettable.
Beyond the Checkpoint by Addison M. Conley
Beyond the Checkpoint is a combination of military action, suspense, and romance.
In 2008, Intelligence officer Ali Clairmont joined her agency’s deployment program. She’s openly gay because it’s not a punishment in the federal workforce. Air Force Major and NSA SIGINT officer Lynn Stewart is deep in the closet because DADT is still in effect.
Over ten years, they cross paths three times – twice in Afghanistan and finally at home. In 2008, they attempted to keep everything professional, but add a little coffee and close quarters and the attraction ignites. In 2010, a spy is selling secrets. Lynn is brought into the investigation, but once again, mission above all else takes a toll.
As the years go by, neither can forget the other. Ali isn’t happy when Lynn walks into her life again as her new civilian supervisor in 2017. Then Ali’s cousin arranges for a part-time handywoman to help with home renovations. When Lynn shows up, the fireworks go off. Eventually, the ice begins to melt. But is it too late for love? Is a cordial friendship all they can hope for?
Five Moons Rising by Lise MacTague
Unknown to regular citizens, nightmarish creatures lurk in the dark underbelly of human civilization. The presence of these supranormals (“supras”)—werewolves, vampires, demons—is a closely guarded government secret, as is the existence of a cadre of specially engineered Hunters charged with exterminating them.
Code-named Malice, Hunter Mary Alice Nolan was genetically modified and rigorously trained to use her great strength, heightened senses, and killer instincts to track and eliminate supras who prey on the innocent. A loner by choice, her only real link to the human world is her close connection to her mother and sister—until the unthinkable happens…
Ruri Samson has been a werewolf for more than a century and is comfortably situated as the Beta of her peaceful pack. Until she is betrayed by the woman she loves and an evil outsider massacres her Alpha and his most loyal followers. Barely escaping with her life, Ruri is forced to tread the perilous path of a lone wolf while vowing vengeance against the usurper and his minions.
Although these two powerful women should rightfully despise each other, fate will soon compel them to join forces on a dangerous quest to avenge their loved ones—and will ignite a forbidden passion that neither of them ever imagined.
Take a Chance by D. Jackson Leigh
Veterinarian Trip Beaumont likes being a big fish in a small pond. There’s hardly an animal she can’t heal or a woman she can’t charm within fifty miles of Pine Cone, Georgia—except for the irritating and elusive new cop who keeps leaving parking tickets on her truck.
Officer Jamie Grant has never liked rule breakers, but she’s especially incensed when she discovers Trip owns the truck that is constantly parked illegally. She’s searched carefully for a quiet, eclectic community to settle down with her drug-sniffing—albeit gastric-challenged—canine partner, Petunia. Instead, she finds herself on a collision course with the woman who stole her college girlfriend and broke her heart after an ill-conceived threesome.
A Jade’s Diamond by Char Dafoe
After five long years as a slave to the hard, cold streets, Nayvee LaCroix was done selling their soul. Desperately at the end of their rope, Nayvee knew something had to change before they made the grave decision to end it all, permanently. The night Nayvee had given up hope they met a fellow lonely soul who also had been yearning for more in life.
Trystan Diamond, successful entrepreneur with more money than anyone could dream of, was instantly attracted to Nayvee and their chivalrous charm and boy-ish good looks before gaining any knowledge of what Nayvee really was. Switching on their charm, Nayvee scored the biggest payload of their life that could help get them off the streets, but what Nayvee wasn’t expecting was for the charming and handsome millionaire to fall in love with them. Living life by the rules of the ruthless streets, Nayvee’s defenses were always up, creating a hardened wall for anyone to break past their offense, including Trystan.
Little by little, Nayvee’s less than desirable lifestyle mixed and mingled with Trystan’s refined, sophisticated life, slowly chipping away at that wall, letting an astronomical and blinding bright light of love to penetrate Nayvee’s heart. Just when Nayvee and Trystan slowly find their footing on the shaky ground of their budding romantic relationship, in stepped Rian, a ghost from Nayvee’s past, and partner on the streets, stirring up old emotions in Nayvee and new ones in Trystan.
Shattered by Lee Winter
Shattergirl, Earth’s first lesbian guardian, is refusing to save people and has gone off the grid. Lena Martin, the street-smart tracker with a silver tongue and a disdain for the rogue guardians she chases, has only days to bring her home. As the pair clash heatedly, masks begin to crack and brutal secrets are exposed that could shatter them both.
Cold as Hell by Neen Cohen (to be published May 31, 2021)
The town of OpenFields is cold as hell…
Magic exists in OpenFields, and everyone but Adie plays their part. So what happens when murder and strangers visit the secret town?
Adie’s normal isn’t “normal.” Cameras watch her sleep, the eyes of the townsfolk narrow at her sight, and when she discovers her bosses’ office in disarray, and a stranger who makes her heart thunder, her world changes forever.
Upcoming books with a butch/butch pairing
If you’ll be reading a book for the butch/butch couple category later this year, keep an eye out for two butch/butch books that will be published in spring 2021:
- Prize Money by Celeste Castro (to be published in May 2021)
Leave a comment
Leave a comment and let us know whether you are trying for a Book Unicorn badge or sit this one out. If you do want to become a Book Unicorn, which book will you be reading for the “butch/butch pairing” category?
Subscribe to this blog to get future Sapphic Reading Challenge posts
If you’d like to get all future Sapphic Reading Challenge posts sent to your in-box, subscribe to my blog.
30 thoughts on “Book with a butch/butch pairing (Book Unicorn post #1)”
Great suggestions! Thank you so much.
I had tentatively thought about Cheryl Head, Bury me or Lee Winter’s Shattered.
Defs gonna take part in this challenge. Looking forward to get my hands on whichever one is less expensive after conversion. lol
I hope you enjoy the challenge, then!
The BSB panels over the weekend listed Shadowland by Radclyffe and unnamed books by Ash Bartlett in this category.
Oh, right! Shadowland would definitely be a good fit too!
I’ve read A Jade’s Diamond by Char Dafoe and it definitely fits the category. When I asked this question on FB a couple weeks ago these are other recommendations I haven’t read yet so I’m not 100% sure they fit.
The Road to Wings by Julie Tizard
The Summer of Our Discontent by Robin Alexander
Always Forward Never Straight by Vikki Cox
Thank you for the additional suggestions!
I think my first book, “The Road To Wings,” would fit this butch/butch category. Thanks for your list!
Great! Thanks for letting us know, Julie. It’s such a rare type of book.
My book ‘Losing Touch’ is a butch/butch pairing and should be out this August!
Remind me when it’s out and I’ll add it to the post!
As soon as I read what the challenge was going to be I thought of Lynn Galli’s ‘Life Rewired’ and then found it was first on your list! Love Lynn Galli generally so a good choice! Vic x
It was the first book with a butch/butch couple I could think of too!
I am participating in both reading challenges. For the Unicorn challenge category, I am going to read Beyond the Checkpoint.
Thanks so much for putting these challenges together.
My pleasure! It’s great that you are going for a Unicorn too!
I am totally stoked. I read Take my hand by Missouri Vaun a while ago and just loved the characters. Later I found Take your time by VK Powell and thought it was fluke. BTW equally loved this book. And today you listed Take a chance by D Jackson Leigh. This must have been a collaboration between the 3 writers. Thank you so much Jae.
I am going for the whole challenge. Lots of time. Thanks for the suggestions. Read Take a Chance last year. Many new genre to explore and new authors to discover. Terrific journey to embark on. Sally
First Unicorn bit done! I have read Shattered and Night Call.
Brenda Murphy’s Complex Dimensions is a great read–always diverse and relevant; it was nice to see a variety of other books listed as well. Wasn’t planning on doing this, but well, here it is :-); thanks for the bit of fun
I hope you enjoy it!
Loving the challenge. Just finished Paper Love. Fantastic book. Thank you Jae. And then picked up this email to find my next book. Funnily I had just finished Life Rewired before Heart Trouble earlier in January. I’ll try the Radclyffe option and Hildred Billings who I also very much enjoy. Thank you again. This is fabulous. Reading is indeed Bibliotherapy. 😎😉
It is heartbreaking to see that Stonewall is still being considered a leading authority on LGB topics after their steadfast refusal to acknowledge the existence of detrans/desisters.
I think it’s important to acknowledge the validity of trans identities as well as people who later realized transitioning wasn’t the right thing for them personally. I didn’t look up Stonewall’s stance on trans issues because this post is about butch/butch couples, and that’s all I’m quoting. If there’s a better definition from a trusted source, I’d be happy to use it.
Wasn’t the right thing for them personally? They were never given a choice. Conversion therapy is not a choice. http://limesodafilms.com/from-the-soda-machine/documentary/dysphoric/
I was talking about people who made the choice to transition. The trans men and women I know felt it was the right choice for them in order to live a more authentic life. Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s the right choice for everybody–or even a choice for everybody. And that, of course, should NEVER happen. Girls and women should never be made to feel as if they are worth less than men and boys.
But discussions like this often come dangerously close to invalidating the existence of trans people, and I hope that’s not what you mean.
Just finished Beyond the Checkpoint. Great book.
Will try the Unicorn because most of the categories are not my usual genres. And I’ve just read a #9, ! Goliger, Gabriella. ‘A Girl Unwrapped.” Read Radclyffe. ‘Nightcall’. Well, looking at aspects of oneself is always a challenge!
I love that you are reading outside of your usual reading comfort zone! I hope you discover many new favorites!
Yes definitely trying for the Unicorn. I think I’m going to try my first Radclyffe 😬
Great! I think she has other books that pair two (soft) butch women too.