For this week’s Sapphic Book Bingo category, read a sapphic book in which the main character comes out as LGBTQIA+ during the course of the book.
Maybe the character has known for a while that they weren’t straight or weren’t cis but only now comes out to family, friends, and colleagues. Or it could be a book in which the main character discovers that they aren’t as straight or as cis as they had assumed, so the coming out is mostly to themselves first and foremost, perhaps followed by coming out to friends and family.
How to get started if you are new to Sapphic Book Bingo
If you have only just discovered the Sapphic Book Bingo, you can still join us! Read up on the rules, download your book bingo card, and take a look at my suggestions for the “coming-out story” square below.
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15 recommended sapphic books with a coming-out story
Here are my book recommendations for “coming-out story” square of the Sapphic Book Bingo:
Not the Marrying Kind by Jae
Can a closeted florist and a too-busy-for-a-relationship bakery owner mix up the perfect recipe for love in this lesbian small-town romance?
Small-town florist Ashley Gaines loves her little flower shop and putting together the perfect bouquets for weddings and other happy occasions. Her own love life, however, is far from blossoming. Ash has decided that staying in the closet is safer than risking her heart again.
Local bakery owner Sasha Peterson hasn’t had much luck mixing it up with romance either. Besides, she’s too busy whipping up delicious treats to have time for a relationship.
But when their town’s first lesbian wedding forces them to work together, Ashley and Sasha discover they have more in common than they imagined.
During food fights, cake tastings, and slow waltzes, they begin to see each other in a new light. Soon Ashley has to admit to herself that Sasha is tempting more than just her sweet tooth.
Camptown Ladies by Mari SanGiovanni
Just when you thought it was safe to pitch your tent, the Santora family shows up. Lisa’s taken over a rundown campground, baby sister Marie’s been dumped (again!) by the actress, and the Santoras don’t know the meaning of minding their own business. When the whole clan decides to fix things for their girls, it’s a hilarious recipe for havoc. Camptown Ladies is the sequel to Greetings From Jamaica, Wish You Were Queer.
Dreams Unspoken by RJ Layer
Getting it right before it’s too late…
Jo Marchal is home again, hoping to mend long-broken fences with her family before time erases that chance forever. She has other, deeply painful reasons for leaving behind her horse breeding and training business and starting over. Ohio’s pastures do look greener the moment she meets Maria West.
Love, marriage and children—Maria West has dreamed of those things, but her life is far from picture perfect picket fences. Developing a friendship with the ruggedly attractive cowgirl Jo is a surprising turn of events…and that’s only the first of many.
The Love Factor by Quinn Ivins
Molly Cook is almost thirty, with dismal career prospects, and has given up on saving the world. It might be the nineties, and everything’s shoulder pads, Doc Martens, and The X-Files, but people won’t budge on gay rights. Molly decides to give a PhD a whirl but finds herself more interested in campus politics…and her strict and sexy statistics professor.
Professor Carmen Vaughn is stuck in small-town Maryland with smarmy blowhards for colleagues and ungrateful students who can’t handle her high standards. She has no intention of coming out, least of all to Molly, a troublemaking grad student who can’t stop picking fights with the conservative faculty.
But when Molly discovers evidence implicating a homophobic colleague in a scandal, Carmen can’t ignore it—even if the subject hits too close to home. As the two women work together to make their case, they grow closer than Carmen ever imagined. But she absolutely refuses to get involved with a student.
The thing is, as the chemistry builds between them, Molly isn’t sure she wants to be a grad student anymore…if she ever did.
Style by Chelsea M. Cameron
Kyle Blake likes plans. So far, they’re pretty simple: Finish her senior year of high school, head off to a good college, find a cute boyfriend, graduate, get a good job, get married, the whole heterosexual shebang. Nothing is going to stand in the way of that plan. Not even Stella Lewis.
Stella Lewis also has a plan: Finish her senior year as cheer captain, go to college, finally let herself flirt with (and maybe even date) a girl for the first time and go from there.
Fate has other plans for Kyle and Stella when they’re paired up in their AP English class and something between them ignites. It’s confusing and overwhelming and neither of them know what to do about it. One thing they do know is that their connection can’t be ignored. The timing just isn’t right.
But is there ever a good time for falling in love?
The Headmistress by Milena McKay
A chance encounter. An unforgettable night.
And back home, trouble is brewing on the remote island of Three Dragons, where nothing feels like it used to. Alone and lonely, Sam Threadneedle wishes upon a star, hoping for change. But when said change comes, it’s with a roar and not a whimper.
Torn between loyalty and lust, Sam is forced to re-evaluate everything.
Can she and the Home of Dragons withstand the storm that is Magdalene Nox, or will any and all crumble?
Not everything is as it seems, and as she slowly unravels the mysteries behind the centuries-old walls, Sam realizes that home is much more than oak and stone.
Not-So-Straight Sue by Cheyenne Blue
Lawyer Sue is totally, completely straight. Then she meets cute doctor Moni. Things get awkward. And kind of gay. And awkward again. A coming-out romance about small towns and big dreams.
“Sorry, I’m straight.” Those words, along with a smile, are how Sue Brent turns down women. The Australian lawyer, living in London, has the line down pat, but the truth is buried deep. So deep that sometimes Sue even manages to convince herself she’s not a lesbian. The only person in London who has ever seen through her façade is Moni, an American tourist.
After a date goes disastrously wrong, Sue has to confront the truth about herself. Leaving London, she returns home to Australia and buries herself in running an outback law practice in Queensland.
When Moni arrives in town to work as a doctor, Sue starts to see a path to happiness for the first time. But can their exciting new relationship survive the arrival of an unexpected visitor? Sue’s teenage, first love, Denise, has tracked Sue down to Mungabilly Creek to ask a favour. Okay, definitely not awkward at all…
For All Time by Lyn Denison
It’s the 1960s. Life was different then. But Tyneholme, the magnificent, historic home of one of Brisbane’s pioneering families, the well-known Chaseleys, endures. Dickie Chaseley, grandson of the first Chaseley to arrive in Australia, is a respected businessman, and his vivacious wife, Vivienne, is a much loved patron of a large number of charities.
Circumstances have drastically changed young Laura Dawson’s comfortable and sheltered life and she gratefully accepts what she sees as a lifeline, a job working with Viv Chaseley. Laura moves into Tyneholme and into the unbelievably amazing world of the Chaseleys. Working with Viv gives Laura the confidence she knows she lacks, and it brings new meaning to her previously uninspiring life.
She meets Dickie and Viv’s elder son, Richard, and his lovely wife, Sara, and their younger son, the dark and slightly dangerous, Nicholas. Then the Chaseleys’ only daughter arrives home from the UK. Viv had said she was sure her daughter and Laura would become great friends, but nothing could have prepared Laura for her meeting with the poised, worldly, so very attractive Rosemary Chaseley.
Playing Catch-Up by Zoey Lennox
Twenty-three-year-old Alexis Lenz’s life is a mess: she hates her job, has lost touch with most of her friends, and her love life is non-existent.
When she meets LGBTQ youth counsellor Ramie Ramirez at a dinner party, sparks fly. But Ramie is still putting herself back together after an acrimonious split from her long-term girlfriend and is only looking for something casual. If living with the repercussions of her ex’s lies has taught her one thing, it’s to keep her heart locked up tight.
As the two women begin to date, Alexis finds herself in a predicament. She’s never dated a woman before and is afraid Ramie will dump her sorry arse once she finds out.
What’s a girl to do? A little white lie can’t hurt, can it? It’s not like they’re going to do something stupid like fall in love…
Puppy Love by Sage Donnell
Who knew that adopting a rescue puppy would be so challenging? When Greta can’t leave the house without Chloe freaking out, she realizes she needs support. She’s new in town, but she does have a friend who might be willing to help out. Livy is fun to talk to, helpful, and cute, but also straight. Greta decides she needs to push her social circle even wider to avoid crushing on her friend. Chloe, again, is just the ticket to broaden her horizons. When she meets the intriguing Ril at the dog park, it’s on.
Choosing Grace by Regina Jamison
As a young African American woman from Durham, North Carolina, Sky Valentine is tired of being boxed in by small minds and Southern expectations. To escape the restraints of her Southern upbringing, Sky flees to Rhode Island to attend college. Once there, Sky doesn’t just work on her degree, she also works on shedding many of the things that peg her as a Southerner.
Sky also falls head over heels with the sexy and vibrant Zenobia, solidifying what she had felt in her heart all along—that she loves women. But their affair is brief and interrupted by Zenobia’s sudden departure from school.
With college completed, Sky returns home to find that her domineering mother has promised her hand in marriage to a rich and arrogant man. But it’s 1986, and Sky is determined to live her own life. So she gathers her courage and flees to New York City, where she lands a teaching job and an apartment.
In time Sky meets Grace Webster and it’s love at first sight. But then Zenobia comes back into Sky’s life and Sky is faced with an impossible choice—finish what she started with Zenobia years ago, or fight for the relationship she is building with Grace. What will she choose?
The Brutal Truth by Lee Winter
Australian crime reporter Maddie Grey is working the night shift, out of her depth in New York, miserable, and secretly crushing on her twice-married, media-mogul employer.
Elena Bartell is a brilliant, fierce, ice queen boss who eats failing newspapers for breakfast and believes to her core that everything would be much simpler if people told each other the whole, unvarnished truth.
As work takes them to Australia, Maddie is goaded into a brief, seemingly harmless bet with her enigmatic boss—where they can’t lie to each other. The bet backfires spectacularly as Elena realizes that the brutal truth might not be what she wanted after all.
A beautiful lesbian workplace romance about the lies we tell ourselves.
Dare to Love by A. L. Brooks
Investment banker Ash Taylor left her cut-throat world to set up a cool, cutting-edge tattoo studio. Her love life’s been a lot bumpier, though. Ever since a heart-breaking affair with a straight colleague, she’s vowed to steer clear of women unsure of their sexuality.
Talent-agency executive Carmen Lyttleton is straight, career focused, and not prone to distraction from her occasional casual relationships. When her best friend gets a tattoo at Ash’s studio, Carmen finds herself unexpectedly impressed by Ash and her business.
When they accidentally meet again, Carmen is shocked by the sparks between them and the realization that she feels a lot more than just admiration for Ash’s work ethic. It can’t possibly mean what it seems…can it?
The pull between the women is powerful but so are their fears, old baggage, and stubbornness. Can they dare to love?
And the Truth Is… by Jamey Moody
When the love you’ve been searching for magically appears in the most unexpected person.
Lauren Nichols’ longtime marriage was over. She’d done what was expected, married her high school sweetheart, raised two great kids and now what? There had to be more to life than work. She wanted to share the passion she knew lived deep in her heart.
When she meets the bigger-than-life award-winning actress Tara Holloway something kindles deep inside her.
Can passion pull Tara all the way from Hollywood to a small Texas lake town? Is this the true love they have both been seeking? And can love overcome distance, fame, and family objections? Or is this love so hot they both get burned?
Let’s go back to Lovers Landing for another romance on the lake with Krista and friends. Can Lovers Landing cast it’s magical spell on Tara and Lauren? The truth is …
Mrs Middleton by Melissa Tereze
Their love could heal their hearts…but destroy the relationships they both hold dear.
Emma Bradley is trembling. And not because of the climate difference between England and Africa, where she’s just ended an 18-month stint teaching sports to kids. She’s about to see Vanessa again.
Golden hair, luminous blue eyes, a smile to light up a room. The woman Emma loves. The woman she spilled her heart out to, then ran away to another continent to avoid a humiliating scene—because Vanessa is her best friend’s mum. If Emma is lucky, maybe Vanessa chalked it up to too much wine. Or better yet, forgot all about it.
Vanessa Middleton is fighting a serious case of uncertainty. Emma’s confession is crystal clear in her memory, and now that Vanessa is divorced from her cheating husband, the strongest barrier between them is gone. But there are others no less challenging.
Because if Vanessa couldn’t keep her husband’s attention, what could bright, beautiful, much younger Emma possibly see in her? Worse, if the two of them act on their attraction, their affair could jeopardise the relationship they both hold dear: Vanessa’s daughter—Emma’s closest friend.
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