This week’s Sapphic Reading Challenge features sapphic books with a main character who works in STEM.
STEM is an acronym that stands for any job in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math. The character could be a software or web developer, statistician, chemist, physicist, biologist, astronomer, or healthcare professional, etc.
Send in your reading lists!
Just a reminder: Once you wrap up your reading for the year and complete your reading lists for the Sapphic Reading Challenge, please send me your list so I can enter you into the drawing for the giveaway on December 31!
15 sapphic books with a main character who works in STEM
I put together a list of 15 sapphic books featuring main characters who works in STEM. I hope you find a few new favorites!
Chemistry Lessons by Jae (chemistry teacher)
Kylie and Regan have been best friends since kindergarten, supporting each other through thick and thin.
While everyone thinks they would be perfect for each other, they insist there’s no chemistry between them—and Regan should know since she’s a chemistry teacher.
To prove it, they agree to a little chemistry experiment: they’ll go on three dates with each other.
So what if their gazes start to linger and accidental touches no longer feel platonic? They chalk it up to the romantic atmosphere—until a friendly good night kiss turns passionate.
Can their friendship go back to the way it was before? Do they even want it to? Or will they risk losing what they have for a chance at love?
Cure for Insomnia by Laina Villeneuve
According to her family, Karla Hernandez spends far too many hours working in the lab. A dedicated research scientist, she has contributed to a drug that could vastly improve the quality of life in diabetic patients. Her quality of life, however, could use some help.
She thought she would sleep better when she finished grad school or her post-doc, but launching a cutting-edge clinical trial isn’t helping. So when her eleven-year-old niece approaches her about participating in a school science project about insomnia, Karla agrees. Finding a girlfriend was not the conclusion she had anticipated, but Karla is not one to deviate from protocol—especially not when the judge at the science fair has some ideas about helping to cure her insomnia.
All research requires troubleshooting, but Karla isn’t prepared for the complications that threaten to shut down more than her love life. Does she need to find a new project or dig in deeper to her professional work? Or will putting faith in her niece’s research project be the key to her ever elusive sleep?
The Last Conception by Gabriel Constans
Passionate embryologist, Savarna, is in a complicated relationship, with two different women, when she is told that she MUST have a baby. Her conservative East Indian American parents are desperate for her to conceive, in spite of her “not being married”. They insist that she is the last in line of a great spiritual lineage.
In the process of choosing her lover and having doubts about her ability, or desire to conceive, Savarna begins to question the necessity of biology and lineage within her parents’ beliefs and becomes forever fascinated with the process of conception and the definition of family.
Remember me, Synthetica by K Aten
What happens when a woman loses her memory but gains a conscience?
Dr. Alexandra Turing is a roboticist whose intellect is unrivaled in the field of artificial intelligence. While science has always come easy, Alexandra struggles to understand emotional cues and responses. Driven by the legacy of her late great-uncle, she dedicates her life to the Synthetica project at her father’s company, Organic Advancement Solutions (OAS).
Her life is rebooted when she wakes from a coma, six months after being struck by a car. Traumatic brain injury altered Alex’s senses, her memory, and her personality. Despite the changes, she feels reborn as she navigates her way back into her old life. Part of her new journey includes dating the alluring Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Emily St. John.
Emily is enamored with the hyper-intelligent scientist, but there are things about Alex and OAS that don’t add up. With Emily’s prompting, Alex undergoes testing that leaves her with more questions than answers. What she discovers changes more than her life, it will change the world around her.
Callisto 2.0 by Susan English
Shambhala Space Station, 2097. Solitary physicist Callisto (physics, after all, is a jealous mistress) never accepted conventional wisdom. So when she’s recruited to work on faster-than-light technology by a beautiful and mysterious older woman, she eagerly accepts the career opportunity at the women-only research station orbiting Earth’s moon. But her enthusiasm suffers when her first discovery is unexpected heartbreak.
Throwing herself into work on a problematic warp drive prototype, Calli blossoms in the utopian female community that shows her love and acceptance for the first time in her life. But when a twisted conspiracy, a disingenuous affair, and a disastrous betrayal test her place in this unique environment, the brilliant scientist must dig deep to find her moment of truth.
Will Calli embrace her destiny in an unexplored cosmos?
Trade Secrets by Kathleen Knowles (clinical lab scientist)
Clinical lab scientist Tony Leung lands her dream job working for Global HemoSolutions, a Silicon Valley company headed by Erica Sanders, the most famous female CEO in America. Tony crosses paths with one of the company’s investors, venture capitalist Sheila Graham, and their chance meeting turns into a love affair.
It’s Sheila’s job to help make GHS’s newest invention a reality, but all is not as it seems, and millions of dollars, not to mention countless lives, could be at risk. Tony wants to go public with their discoveries, but Sheila wants proof. When they face the biggest test of their loyalty amid an excruciating moral dilemma, will their love be strong enough to keep them together?
Breakthrough by Terri Cutshall
As a genetics researcher, Alexandria Bennett is confident when it comes to decision making at work, searching for a breast cancer cure, but when it comes to decisions of the heart, not so much.
When Alex meets Madison Thornton, a Pharmacist Consultant, looking to settle down and have a family, all the safe and comfortable rules by which her internal compass is governed will be tested. The undeniable attraction between Alex and Madison is immediate and a budding romance is there for the taking, but only if both women are willing to let go of their fears and trust in it.
While Alex navigates her heart and desires, outside forces threaten breakthroughs in her research, creating an entirely different kind of fear in her world. Will Alex be able to protect the women she has dedicated her life to helping and be brave enough to let love in?
T-minus Two by KG Macgregor (NASA: engineer/biochemist)
It’s the boldest conquest of our time—the colonization of Mars.
Of the thousands who clamored for a one-way ticket to the Red Planet, only a fraction remain in the running. Now they’re converging on Hawaii’s Big Island for a nail-biting competition to be the first to launch.
Mila Todorov has prepared for this moment throughout her young life. With her revolutionary propulsion design already built into the Mars vessel, she likes her chances—especially if she can team with her all-time idol, Major Jancey Beaumont, a former NASA astronaut whose last space mission made her a worldwide hero.
Jancey is desperate for a return to space, but the margin for error is razor-thin. Can she afford to gamble her destiny on a woman so distracting as Mila?
Entanglement by Max Ellendale (physics professor)
Uranium isn’t something that Detective Billie Olsen often finds on bodies of homicide victims. The unusual situation connects her to physicist and college professor, Mira Lewis. Incited by the discovery of the weak radioactive element, the two join forces to unravel a cryptic cipher. It isn’t the investigation, however, that nudges their paths to continuously cross.
Billie finds herself enamored by the bold, crimson-lipped professor, and her desire to learn more about her leads the two of them into an unlikely friendship. With both women burdened by their fears and responsibilities, the evolution of their entanglement rocks their unstable cores. The only question remains is will they be able to embrace their changes or succumb to an untimely meltdown?
Rising Above by Genevieve Fortin (climate scientist)
As an engineering geologist, Anais (Ana) Bloom is thrilled when she arrives in Sainte-Luce-Sur-Mer to study the effects of climate changes and rising sea levels on the shoreline of the Saint-Laurent River. Soon after she settles in at the quaint White Sheep Inn, she develops a friendship with the innkeeper and her canine companion. The innkeeper’s granddaughter, however, is a whole other story. Melodie is attractive, perhaps, but she’s also impulsive, has a bad attitude, and doesn’t share an ounce of her grandmother’s hospitality.
Melodie Beaulieu has never planned to follow in her grandmother’s footsteps and become an innkeeper. The only thing she’s wanted all her life is to live by the sea, in her hometown. When Ana Bloom comes to the White Sheep Inn and threatens her entire way of living, she simply won’t have it. She despises the scientist and her big theories and chooses to ignore her good looks and that damn red, unruly hair of hers.
Ana and Melodie would gladly keep staying out of each other’s way, but Mother Nature has other plans. Trapped inside the inn when a strong storm surge hits the beach community, they’re forced to come together to face the terrifying event and its aftermath. Can they rise above their conflicting beliefs and let their attraction take the lead?
Love by the Numbers by Karin Kallmaker
As a behavioral scientist, Professor Nicole Hathaway’s work strips away the foolish mystique that surrounds the human mating dance. When her academic tome is treated as a viral “love manual” her ecstatic publisher books her to appear all over the U.S. and Europe. Worse yet, her quiet, managed life has been shattered by a series of incompetent assistants. And she’s certain this Lily Smith creature isn’t going to be any less a burden than the last assistant they sent her. Or the one before that. Or before that…
Lillian Linden-Smith needs this job. With a relentless TV lawyer and public mob still out for her blood for crimes committed by her “American royalty” parents, getting out of the country is her only hope for anonymity. If that means cleaning up and presenting an antisocial know-it-all Ph.D. for bookstores, clubs and lectures, fine. Dr. Hathaway may have succeeded in driving away all the others, but not this time.
From their first meeting the sparks fly, and each is thinking: She has no idea who she’s dealing with.
Chain Reactions by Lynn Ames
Some of Diana Lindstrom’s fondest memories involve childhood experiments conducted under the watchful supervision of her Great-Aunt Nora, a celebrated physicist long ago shunned by the family for mysterious reasons.
Now in her adult years and a sought-after scientist herself, Diana learns that Nora is dying. She hires private-duty nurse Brooke Sheldon to care for Nora. Over the days and weeks spent in Nora’s company, Diana and Brooke are privy to Nora’s long-held secrets, along with her deep-seated regrets.
Trapped in a failing body, but with a keen mind, Nora Lindstrom watches as the spark of attraction between her great-niece and her caregiver grows into a flame. Determined to help the two younger women find the kind of deep love they so richly deserve, Nora makes a fateful decision that brings the past and the present directly onto a collision course. After all this time, it’s still about chain reactions.
Technically Faking by Robin Hale
Iris Spark knows exactly what she wants. It hasn’t made her many friends, but it has made her a fixture on all the best ‘Under 30’ lists in Silicon Valley and the CEO of SparkSignal, a company she built from nothing.
And now it’s about to make her unemployed.
The Board of Directors wants her out. They say she’s difficult. Abrasive. They’ve already set the date to vote in her replacement: someone charming and easily controlled.
Her assistant has a plan. One last-ditch effort to overhaul her image.
Amber Kowalczyk has lived the hustle so long she is the hustle. And she loves it. She loves her little social media empire and everything it takes to keep on top of it. What she doesn’t love is the rising cost of rent that makes staying in her corner of San Francisco look more and more impossible.
But when a cheeky caption on a photo of one of Silicon Valley’s prickliest entrepreneurs results in a clandestine meeting, Amber might have a way out of her mounting debt.
It’s simple: Iris Spark has money, Amber Kowalczyk has public opinion, and SparkSignal’s popularity goes up when people think the two of them are dating.
It’s only a few weeks. It’s only pretend.
What’s the worst that could happen?
Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers (PhD in astronomy)
With her newly completed PhD in astronomy in hand, twenty-eight-year-old Grace Porter goes on a girls’ trip to Vegas to celebrate. She’s a straight A, work-through-the-summer certified high achiever. She is not the kind of person who goes to Vegas and gets drunkenly married to a woman whose name she doesn’t know…until she does exactly that.
This one moment of departure from her stern ex-military father’s plans for her life has Grace wondering why she doesn’t feel more fulfilled from completing her degree. Staggering under the weight of her parent’s expectations, a struggling job market and feelings of burnout, Grace flees her home in Portland for a summer in New York with the wife she barely knows.
In New York, she’s able to ignore all the constant questions about her future plans and falls hard for her creative and beautiful wife, Yuki Yamamoto. But when reality comes crashing in, Grace must face what she’s been running from all along—the fears that make us human, the family scars that need to heal and the longing for connection, especially when navigating the messiness of adulthood.
Unlikely Match by Fiona Riley
Shelly White is a coding genius who has mastered the IT world but hasn’t quite mastered dating. While she searches for Ms. Right with the help of Samantha Monteiro’s matchmaking agency, Shelly embraces her inner nerd, and when one of her newest ideas turns into a creative goldmine, she hires PR exec Claire Moseley to help her professional dreams become reality. But is Claire the girl of her dreams in more ways than one?
Being raised by four brothers has made Claire tenacious. Her assignment to Shelly’s high-profile project focuses her desire to prove her worth, even though she secretly fears she’s out of her depth. And she absolutely, positively isn’t going to let her growing attraction to Shelly White derail her career.
When passions and ambitions overlap, Shelly and Claire must decide whether mixing business and pleasure can result in a perfect match.
The Circle Dance by Jen Silver
Jamie Steele has moved to another town trying to forget the heartbreak of losing her lover. She now has a low paying job as an IT technician, lives in a rented room, and is mostly failing at the forgetting part.
Ivana Spencer is introduced to Jamie over dinner at her friends’ house. She can see herself falling for Jamie, but Jamie hasn’t got over her ex, Sasha, and perhaps never will.
Sasha Fairfield, finds her thoughts taken up with her ex-lover of six years and thinks she wants Jamie back. But given the acrimonious nature of their breakup will Jamie want to even talk to her? After all, Jamie lost her home, her job, her car…and most importantly, the cat…all at the same time.
Leave a comment
Leave a comment and let us know which book you’ll be reading for the “character works in STEM” category!
The 2022 Reading Challenge: Sapphic Book Bingo
There will be a year-long reading challenge in 2022 too! I’m working on putting together a Sapphic Book Bingo. Make sure you subscribe to my blog to get the Sapphic Book Bingo posts sent to your in-box starting on January 1!