This week’s Sapphic Reading Challenge features books with a bisexual main character or a pansexual main character.
A bisexual person is someone who’s attracted to two or more genders, while a pansexual person is someone who’s attracted to people regardless of gender.
Important note: A female character who is solely attracted to women is a lesbian, even if she slept with men in the past, before figuring out she’s a lesbian. Sexual orientation is defined by who you are attracted to, not by who you sleep with.
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.
Free anthology coming this weekend!
Before I share this week’s reading list, I have other news I wanted to share with you: I put together an anthology of “first kiss” scenes, with excerpts from 55 authors. I will send the free anthology to my newsletter tomorrow. If you want to get it sent to your in-box, feel free to subscribe.
15 books with a bisexual character or a pansexual character
I put together a list of 15 sapphic books featuring pansexual or bisexual characters. I hope you find at least one you’ll enjoy.
Chemistry Lessons by Jae
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?
Bend for Me by Jessica Yeh
Avery Bennett is a bit of a player. But not without cause. After falling in love and ending up with a broken heart, she vowed never to get attached again. Hardened, Avery is determined to protect herself, not bending and absolutely refusing to break for anyone.
When Avery’s best friend drags her to yoga class, she unwillingly finds herself developing feelings for the instructor, who doesn’t fall for her usual pick-up lines. In fact, despite how smooth Avery thought she was, Kadence Cooper is undeniably smoother. But Kadence carries secrets and sorrows of her own. Will they be able to heal and find love again? Or will inflexibility tear them apart?
Liquid Courage by Stephanie Shea
Alexandria Van Kirk has always been a slave to her romantic nature. When a night of liquid courage lands her in bed with one of her best friends, Alex is confronted by a host of feelings that terrify her. Feelings about her friend and, unexpectedly, a barista from her favorite café.
It’s a tug of war between heart and body. Desire against all her daydreams of someone to share silence, sunsets, and coffee with.
But Alex’s past is also about to catch up with her. Tortured memories and the girl they’re all about. It’s like fighting the pull of a whirlwind. A surefire losing battle. But embracing a newfound romance amid the return of an old flame is a precarious balance, one not even Alex herself is sure she can manage.
How the hell does she choose between the girl she loves and the one she could never confess loving to begin with?
Out on Good Behavior (Radleigh University, book 3) by Dahlia Adler
Frankie Bellisario knows she can get anyone she sets her sights on, but just because she can doesn’t mean she should—not when the person she’s eyeing is Samara Kazarian, the daughter of a southern Republican mayor. No matter how badly Frankie wants to test her powers of persuasion, even she recognizes some lines aren’t meant to be crossed.
But when Frankie learns she’s been on Samara’s mind too, the idea of hooking up with her grows too strong to resist. Only Sam’s not looking for a hookup; she wants—needs—the real thing, and she’s afraid she’ll never find it as long as Frankie’s in her head.
Forced to choose between her first relationship and losing the girl who’s been clawing her way under her skin, Frankie opts to try monogamy…under her own condition: 30 days of keeping things on the down low and remaining abstinent. If she fails as hard at girlfriending as she’s afraid she might, she doesn’t want to throw Samara’s life into upheaval for nothing. But when neither the month nor Frankie’s heart go according to plan, she may be the one stuck fighting for the happily ever after she never knew she wanted.
Miss Meteor by Tehlor Kay Mejia & Anna-Marie McLemore (pansexual MC)
There hasn’t been a winner of the Miss Meteor beauty pageant who looks like Lita Perez or Chicky Quintanilla in all its history.
But that’s not the only reason Lita wants to enter the contest, or her ex-best friend Chicky wants to help her. The road to becoming Miss Meteor isn’t about being perfect; it’s about sharing who you are with the world—and loving the parts of yourself no one else understands.
So to pull off the unlikeliest underdog story in pageant history, Lita and Chicky are going to have to forget the past and imagine a future where girls like them are more than enough—they are everything.
Strawberry Summer by Melissa Brayden
Margaret Beringer didn’t have an easy adolescence. She hated her name, was less than popular in school, and was always cast aside as a “farm kid.” However, with the arrival of Courtney Carrington, Margaret’s youth sparked into color. Courtney was smart, beautiful, and put together—everything Margaret wasn’t. Who would have imagined that they’d fit together so perfectly?
But first loves can scar.
Margaret hasn’t seen Courtney in years and that’s for the best. But when Courtney loses her father and returns to Tanner Peak to take control of the family store, Margaret comes face-to-face with her past and the woman she’s tried desperately to forget. The fact that Courtney has grown up more beautiful than ever certainly doesn’t help matters.
The Resolutions by Mia Garcia
From hiking trips to four-person birthday parties to never-ending group texts, Jess, Lee, Ryan, and Nora have always been inseparable. But now with senior year on the horizon, they’ve been growing apart. And so, as always, Jess makes a plan.
Reinstating their usual tradition of making resolutions together on New Year’s Eve, Jess adds a new twist: instead of making their own resolutions, the four friends assign them to one another—dares like kiss someone you know is wrong for you, find your calling outside your mom’s Puerto Rican restaurant, finally learn Spanish, and say yes to everything.
But as the year unfolds, Jess, Lee, Ryan, and Nora each test the bonds that hold them together. And amid first loves, heartbreaks, and life-changing decisions, beginning again is never as simple as it seems.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?
Summoned to Evelyn’s luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the ‘80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship and a great forbidden love.
Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn’s story nears its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.
Dreams by Serena J. Bishop
Aurora’s life is perfectly mundane. She has a job she hates, an ex that ran her out of her hometown, and the highlight of her week is Monday breakfast with her best friend. That changes when Aurora starts dreaming of a woman who can’t remember her own name. A woman who Aurora falls head over heels for. She knows the romance that develops between them isn’t real, but the dreams make life so much better that she hurries to bed every night…until she discovers that her dream woman isn’t imaginary. Her name is Leela and she is in a coma.
Aurora must risk everything—her job, apartment, friends, and her sanity—to save Leela, a woman she’s only ever met in her mind. But in order to help, Aurora must convince Leela’s neurologist and parents that she and Leela have a bond that transcends the physical plane.
Can Aurora fight through a progressively nightmarish landscape to wake Leela? And if Leela wakes, will she recognize Aurora as the one who saved her? As the one Leela said she loved? Their dream-relationship might not be real, but if there is any possibility of making her dreams come true, Aurora has to try.
Give Me Grace by Bethany A. Perry
It’s been six weeks since Halloween. Six weeks since Grace stumbled into the ER, almost dead and begging for help. Six weeks since she lost every single memory, including her own name.
Taken in by the mysterious Sisters of the Order of Saint Raphael the Healer, Grace’s wounds are dressed and she is assured her memories will return—in time. But does Grace want her memories back? Maybe she’s chosen to forget them, maybe there’s a reason. The sisters hide things from her. They whisper things about her.
When a demon forces its way into the convent, it declares that Grace is a demon too. Grace demands answers. Answers that may reveal not only who she is, but that the sisters might not be who they say they are, either.
The Pet Boutique by Suzie Carr
From the moment Lexie Tanner meets Taylor Henshaw in the dilapidated space that will one day become her aunt’s pet boutique, she knows she’s got her work cut out for her. Taylor self-identifies as a complicated woman, and there’s nothing Lexie enjoys more than a good fixer upper.
But Taylor’s complications run deep, and way into her past. Surrounded by an eccentric and spirited group of family and friends, including a spunky and lovable dog named Cashmere, the two women navigate a series of obstacles that have them questioning their choices.
As their journey unfolds, neither women is prepared for what happens when they start to break down the old and discover the new.
Not Otherwise Specified by Hannah Moskowitz
Etta is tired of dealing with all of the labels and categories that seem so important to everyone else in her small Nebraska hometown.
Everywhere she turns, someone feels she’s too fringe for the fringe. Not gay enough for the Dykes, her ex-clique, thanks to a recent relationship with a boy; not tiny and white enough for ballet, her first passion; not sick enough to look anorexic (partially thanks to recovery). Etta doesn’t fit anywhere—until she meets Bianca, the straight, white, Christian, and seriously sick girl in Etta’s therapy group. Both girls are auditioning for Brentwood, a prestigious New York theater academy that is so not Nebraska. Bianca might be Etta’s salvation…but can Etta be saved by a girl who needs saving herself?
Full of Promise by Kate Gavin
Cameron Leoni is about to start her senior year of high school. Between helping her mother take care of her two younger brothers and working at the library to save money for college, there’s just barely enough time for anything but soccer.
Riley Baker is the new girl in town. Though she’s been out to her parents and friends back home, she’s reluctant to share that information with her new classmates.
When Cam meets Riley on the first day of soccer tryouts, Cam is unsure why she feels so drawn to the other girl. They become fast friends and soon Cameron can’t help the butterflies she feels every time the two touch.
Riley wants to be honest and come out to Cam but she doesn’t want to lose her as a friend. She won’t allow herself to dream of the possibility of anything more between them.
Cam and Riley will have to navigate the emotional halls of high school, friends and family as they realize there might be more than just friendship growing between them.
Just Juliet by Charlotte Reagan
Lena Newman is 17 years old. She is not necessarily popular but she is a skilled artist with a good looking footballer for a boyfriend. She is pretty satisfied with her life. Until her world is turned upside down.
Juliet James is the new girl at school and just so happens to send Lena’s heart wild. Juliet shows Lena a world she never knew existed and Lena is taken on an emotional journey where loyalty, friendships and family relationships are tested. Juliet represents the road less traveled. Will Lena take it?
Electric Love by Shannon O’Connor
Five years ago, Alexandria and Eden were thriving in the moment, falling fast and loving deeply. But when Eden broke Alexandria’s heart, she had to figure out how to carry on alone. She created a life and family for herself.
Alexandria never expected to see Eden again, but then they run into each other—literally—and sparks fly. Alexandria thought it would be nothing, until she couldn’t forget the way it felt to be near her again.
With Alexandria’s new life and Eden’s fiancée waiting for her they shouldn’t be thinking about each other, but when they keep running into each other they can’t ignore the signs any longer. So many things have changed in the last five years, but have their feelings?
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