Sapphic Slow-burn romances

Jae’s favorite sapphic romance novels

favorite sapphic romances


Readers often ask me what my favorite sapphic romance novels written by other authors are.

I have a long list of favorites to which I’m constantly adding books, but if I try to narrow it down to my top 10 favorite sapphic romance novels, the list would currently look like this—in no particular order:


And Playing the Role of Herself by K.E. Lane

Actress Caidence Harris has finally made it in Hollywood, starring in a hot new police drama. She won’t let her attraction to costar Robyn Ward get in the way of her dreams, especially since Robyn seems straight and unattainable. But all is not as it seems.

One of the first lesbian romances I ever read, and it remained a favorite to this day. Sadly, it’s the only book K.E. Lane ever wrote.


Jericho by Ann McMan

When librarian Syd Murphy flees her failed marriage to the small town of Jericho in the Appalachian Mountains, she expects quiet, solitude and the chance to get her life together. Instead, she’s drawn into a warm community of friends and quirky locals, who soon make her feel right at home.  She also manages to become fast friends with Maddie Stevenson, the enigmatic physician who has returned to the backcountry community to take over her late father’s medical practice.

Jericho is a fun slow-burn romance with great characters and a lot of witty banter.


Ask, Tell & If I Don’t Ask by EJ Noyes

Captain Sabine Fleischer is a US Army surgeon deployed to a combat hospital in Afghanistan during the time of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. So when she meets Colonel Rebecca Keane, her superior officer, she knows nothing can happen between them. So why does it feel like it’s meant to be?

These two books really belong together. Ask, Tell tells us the story from Sabine’s point of view, while If I Don’t Ask provides Rebecca’s perspective, yet somehow, EJ manages to not make it feel repetitive at all.


Breaking Character by Lee Winter

Life becomes a farcical mess when icy British A-lister Elizabeth and bright LA star Summer try to persuade an eccentric director they’re in love to win Elizabeth her dream role—while convincing a gossiping Hollywood they’re not. Worse, they’re closeted lesbians who don’t even know the other is gay.

Most people name The Brutal Truth as their favorite Lee Winter novel, and while I enjoyed TBT too, my favorite is actually Breaking Character. The main character, Elizabeth, is an ice queen too, yet not a particularly frosty one.


Without a Front (The Producer’s Challenge & The Warrior’s Challenge) by Fletcher DeLancey.

Raised in the halls of power and holding the highest title in the land, Lancer Andira Tal is used to being prejudged because of her rank. When she meets a woman who sees beyond it, she finds her own lifelong assumptions brought into question — at a time when high-stakes political maneuvering jeopardizes everything she holds dear.

Without a Front is a sci-fi romance and part of Fletcher DeLancey’s Chronicles of Alsea series. Salomen is my favorite stubborn character.


Galveston 1900: Swept Away by Linda Crist

On September 7-8, 1900, the island of Galveston, Texas, was destroyed by a hurricane. The story follows Madeline “Mattie” Crocket and Rachel Travis, two women who lived in Galveston during the Great Storm.

This lesbian historical romance was one of the first sapphic books I ever read, and I loved the gentle, slow development of Mattie and Rachel’s relationship.


Coming Home by Lois Cloarec Hart

Jan has steadfastly cared for her husband Rob, a charismatic ex-fighter pilot with MS, for many years. Quite by accident one day, Terry, a young writer/postal carrier, enters their lives and turns it upside down.

Just from this description, I didn’t expect to enjoy the book so much because love triangles are not my thing. But this novel is complex and beautiful, so give it a try.


When You Least Expect It by Haley Cass

Divorce attorney Caroline is hired by Hannah, the soon-to-be ex-wife of her work rival. As months go by, they become friends, and Caroline’s growing feelings for Hannah become harder to hide.

This book is written in present tense, which I’m not usually a fan of, but I still enjoyed When You Least Expect It.


Glass Houses by Ciaran Llachlan Leavitt

When the director of the movie dies in the middle of filming, his assistant director, Jae, takes over. She has to stop her lead actress, homophobic ice queen Reed, from walking off the set.

Glass Houses (also known as Silent Legacy) was one of the first lesbian romances I ever read, and I picked my pen name after its main character. The novel is out of print, but the online version is still available. It has some editing issues, but the characters are wonderfully complex and the slow pacing of their relationship from antagonistic colleagues to friends and finally to lovers is wonderful.


Battle Scars by Meghan O’Brien

Veteran Ray McKenna returns from Iraq suffering from PTSD and relies on her therapy dog Jagger to help her through flashbacks. When Ray takes him to a veterinary clinic, she and veterinarian Dr. Carly Warner start a friendship that surprises them both.

Meghan O’Brien is better-known for her erotica and erotic romance, but Battle Scars is my personal favorite among her novels.


Meeting Millie by Clare Ashton

Millie and Charlotte went to Oxford together, studying to become lawyers, and became best friends, despite their different backgrounds and personalities. But after a falling-out, they haven’t talked for years. When Millie returns to Oxford, they try to become friends again, but Charlotte’s feelings for Millie might get in the way…

A very slow-burn friends-to-lovers romance full of beautifully described emotions and a great supporting cast.


Love Next Door by Rachael Sommers

This was the first novel I read by fellow Ylva author Rachael Sommers, and I wasn’t disappointed. Love Next Door hit a lot of my favorite tropes and executed them beautifully. It’s a wonderful slow-burn romance between straight single mom Kim who falls in love with her lesbian next-door neighbor Riley. There’s even a bit of a fake relationship subplot thrown in—and a cute dog!