For this week’s Sapphic Book Bingo category, read a sapphic book with a butch main character.
In case you’re not sure what butch means: Butch has been used since the 1940s, primarily in the lesbian community, to refer to masculine-presenting women, but being butch is more than how you dress or wear your hair. It’s an identity that relates to masculinity without being male. Some genderqueer and nonbinary people also identify as butch, e.g., the two main characters in A Jade’s Diamond by Char Dafoe.
There are many ways to be butch, and I hope the books I recommend below reflect that.
15 sapphic books with a butch main character
Here are 15 recommended sapphic books with a main character who is butch.
Departure from the Script by Jae
Amanda isn’t looking for a relationship – and certainly not with Michelle. She has never been attracted to a butch woman before, and Michelle personifies the term butch. Having just landed a role on a TV show, Amanda is determined to focus on her career. But after a date that is not a date and some meddling from her grandmother, she wonders if it’s not time for a departure from her dating script.
Shattered by Lee Winter
Earth’s first Black, lesbian superhero has had enough of humanity and disappeared. A stubborn tracker is sent to bring her home…any way she can.
Shattergirl is a brilliant but aloof Black, alien superhero who can hurl and destroy large objects. The world reveres her and other guardians like her, yet she’s suddenly refusing to save people and has suddenly disappeared.
Lena Martin, the street-smart human tracker with a silver tongue and a disdain for the rogue guardians she chases, has only days to bring Shattergirl home.
As the pair clash heatedly, masks begin to crack, and brutal secrets are exposed that could shatter them both.
Between the Lines by KD Williamson
Psychiatrist Dr. Tonya Preston lives a life of cool detachment, often sacrificing her personal needs to appease her opinionated father. She often finds it easier to deal with patients than confront her family or her own issues. When her path dramatically crosses that of irrepressible rookie police officer Haley Jordan, she’s thrown out of her comfort zone.
Things have come easy for Haley, who has a drama-free life filled with love and friends that Tonya finds as alluring as the irreverent woman behind the badge. An attraction simmers between them, drawing them to each other. But will it be enough when work, family and a confronting police case starts to tear at their fledgling relationship?
Dark Horse by A.L. Brooks
When facing her demons in the hometown that once exiled her, cool, butch, biker Sadie meets the most perfect opposite—a pretty, loving, bisexual desk clerk who warms all the places in her heart she didn’t know she had.
Sometimes, going back is the only way forward. Punished for a crime she did not commit, Sadie is sent away to live with her grandmother in Sydney, Australia. Now, several years later, Sadie’s an aloof, lone wolf, café-manager who loves only her best friend, her gran, and her motorbike. Returning home to see her dying mother, she’s forced to face her past.
In the midst of family turmoil, she connects with the most unlikely of people. Holly, a beautiful hotel desk clerk, is Sadie’s polar opposite and a beacon of warmth and light amidst Sadie’s darkness.
It’s a lot to take in. Between Sadie’s growing love and old family lies, can she build a new, bright future with Holly?
Darkness Falls by KC Luck
If the lights go out forever, can love survive?
When four women from different walks of life are brought together by fate to witness the end of the world as they know it, each must find a way to survive against the odds as well as learn to rely on each other.
Jackie Scott wields incredible influence as a magazine executive in Seattle. As she plans a smashing party for her fortieth birthday, everything is precisely as she wants it. But when a solar storm lights up the night sky in a dazzling display, it not only ruins the party but destroys power around the planet and Jackie must turn for help from the one woman she has tried so hard not to want … Taylor.
Taylor Barnes is an Army veteran new to Seattle and wants nothing more than to find some peace and quiet working as a rent-a-cop in a corporate high-rise. When she is asked to attend the birthday party of the building’s powerful and sexy CEO, she can hardly say no. Little did she realize every skill she ever learned would be put to the test to save the woman she can’t seem to stop thinking about … Jackie.
Anna Patten is a nurse practitioner who has returned one last time to the town she ran away from to pack up the house where she grew up. Trying to avoid any drama, she cannot get away fast enough, or so she tells herself while her heart wonders about her high school crush. When fate lands them together in Seattle at a birthday party, suddenly Anna must lean on the woman she once left behind … Lexi.
Lexi Scott has built a simple life of writing novels and remodeling her farmhouse, but when she runs into a long-lost friend, her world is turned upside down. It’s not until she attends her sister Jackie’s birthday party that she is forced to not only face the apocalypse but now she must decide if she is willing to risk her heart again to save the only woman she ever loved … Anna.
The end of the world is only the beginning.
Two Knights Tango by Tagan Shepard
I’ll see you in Chicago.
Those words echoed in Marisol Soltero’s mind as she sprinted across Bogota. Back in Chicago, she waited outside Governor Sabrina Sloane’s luxury condo, needing to see the woman she loved return to safety. But Sabrina didn’t return. Not to Chicago and not to Marisol.
That was six months ago. Now a series of disappearances in Humboldt Park provide the distraction Marisol needs. Her people are going missing. Snatched off the street right under her nose. Clues are sparse, but Marisol’s gut tells her the culprit is her old enemy.
Governor Sabrina Sloane has become a shadow of herself. She haunts the halls of the Governor’s Mansion, both her work and personal life flooded with nightmares. She knows Marisol is in danger, perhaps even more now that she’s back in Chicago, and Sloane will do anything it takes to keep the woman she loves safe. Even if it means confronting the man at the center of her nightmares.
But when two chess pieces are directed at the same enemy, they can get in each other’s way. If Marisol and Sabrina get the moves right, they could tango back into each other’s arms. If not, all of Chicago could pay the price.
The Makings of You by Ava Freeman
After living recklessly for years, Giselle Turner knows the negative feelings her family has towards her. She’s determined to prove herself once and for all but that’s easier said than done. When she decides to move in with a relative for a fresh start, the last person she expects to run into again is Aaliyah, the woman who awakened her sexuality. As she fights to get her life in order, she discovers that there may be something sweet on the other side of sobriety.
Aaliyah Spencer has a good life. Great friends, a job she enjoys, and loving parents. What she doesn’t have is someone to share it all with. Fear of letting anyone in has rendered her unable to truly connect romantically leading to one failed relationship after another. Giselle is a breath of fresh air and her arrival challenges what Aaliyah thinks she knows about love.
Despite an undeniable attraction, their respective journeys couldn’t be more different. Yet each may have just what the other needs to become whole.
A Call To Justice by S.W. Andersen
Gunslinger Sarah Sawyer has overcome her demons, vengeance-seeking relatives, and a loner streak as wide as the horizon to settle down out west with her partner, Jo.
But peace seems too much to ask for with the influx of new settlers, illness, and brazen thefts stirring tensions.
When a spate of white killings puts Native Americans in the crosshairs as the culprits, Sarah has a whole lot of questions and few answers she’s willing to swallow.
Driven by her desire to protect her town and root out injustice, Sarah reluctantly picks up the badge and seeks to reveal the truth.
Cash Braddock by Ashley Bartlett
Cash Braddock is a drug dealer. But the classy kind. Pills. She really doesn’t get why people are so uptight about that sort of thing. She has a decent operation, a little business to launder money through, and only a few Mommy issues.
Laurel Collins is the perfect girl for Cash. She wears vintage ties and is totally chill. She doesn’t mind the dealing or Cash’s cat. It’s almost like she’s Cash’s dream girl. Sometimes she’s a little closed off about, you know, life. But who isn’t?
Sadly, the drug game doesn’t always run smoothly. There are dealers who don’t respect boundaries and unreliable customers. And, of course, dealers don’t fly under the cops’ radar forever. Even when they work with dirty cops. Which is a damn shame. It’s not like they’re hurting anybody, right?
Clichéd Love by Lynn Galli
Vega, a journalist by trade and a cynic for life, came up with a brilliant pitch for a series of articles. Recount the tales of lesbian and gay couples to assure the heterosexual population that the institution of marriage isn’t at risk now that gay marriage is legal. Her editor loved the idea. Vega loved the notion of a long-term assignment that paid regularly. What she didn’t realize until too late was that she’d have to sit through every one of these often banal, regularly nauseating love stories without wanting to hurl herself off the nearest cliff. So much for her brilliant idea.
By the time she arrives in Seattle, she’s already had enough of interviewing couples, but she’s determined to see it through. After all, if the readers of a national newspaper can recognize a love story as a love story, regardless of sexuality, she might change a few minds out there. Helping to temper the discontent is new friend, Iris, who seems to know everyone’s story and, more importantly, shares Vega’s take on them. As the interviews continue and her friendship with Iris grows, Vega wonders if her lifelong cynical attitude toward love might be softening a bit.
Cowgirl by Nance Sparks
Aren Jacobs trusts no one. Reeling from a devastating altercation with her foster family that left her scarred inside and out, she’s suddenly unemployed and all too happy to isolate herself from the world. But when a severe storm threatens her small community, Aren goes out to help and ends up saving Carol Matthews’s life.
Carol doesn’t know who to turn to after the storm leaves her homeless and grief stricken. Taking refuge with the woman who saved her is only one of her bad options, but there’s something about Aren that makes her feel safe despite all the rumors flying around town about what really happened the night Aren returned to visit her foster family.
The last thing Aren expects is to fall for Carol. Sharing her home is one thing, but sharing her heart means sharing the demons in her past and risking everything to keep Carol safe.
Dead Woman’s Pond by Elle E. Ire
No matter how Flynn Dalton tries to avoid it, the supernatural finds her.
At first it’s not so bad. Flynn’s girlfriend, Genesis, is a nationally known psychic, which makes Flynn uncomfortable for both paranormal and financial reasons, but she can handle it. As long as no one makes her talk about it.
Then, on her way home from her construction job, Flynn almost ends up the latest casualty of Festivity’s infamous Dead Man’s Pond. And when her ex-lover’s ghost appears to warn her away, things get a whole lot weirder.
Flynn might not like it, but the pond has fixated on her to be its next victim. If she wants to survive, she’ll have to swallow her pride, accept Gen’s help, and get much closer to the psychic realm—and her own latent psychic abilities—than she ever wanted.
Love Is Enough by Cindy Rizzo
Angie Antonelli has the life she’s always wanted—a promising political career, a supportive family, and great friends. The one thing missing is what she hoped she’d have by now, a committed relationship with the woman of her dreams.
Jan Clifford has been taking a break from dating while she figures out how to create a life that is more fulfilling than the country club society of her parents and her job in the family’s investment firm.
When Angie and Jan are set up on a blind date to go sailing, the chemistry is immediate and the attraction undeniable, but each wonders if she can really fit into the other’s world. Can the politician who fights for the little guy make things work with the financier who was born with a silver spoon in her mouth?
Before it has time to get very far, this new relationship is put to the test. First, Angie must decide how she really feels when the woman who broke her heart many years ago suddenly comes back into her life. And then the worlds of politics and finance collide when Jan refuses to walk away from a business deal that threatens Angie’s re-election to a second term in Congress.
Can the intense connection they feel keep Angie and Jan together? Only hopeless romantics believe that love is enough. Or is it?
Mailboat by Cade Haddock Strong
Wen Apollo dreams of seeing the world beyond the small riverside town where she grew up. But operating the local mailboat keeps her tethered to Coopersville. Islands dot the river, and their residents rely on her to deliver everything from food and medicine to pet food and plumbing supplies.
On a raw spring day, Wen goes to Owl Island—the summer home of the illustrious Gage family—to deliver a package. It’s addressed to the family’s oldest daughter, Estelle, a woman Wen has long admired from afar.
Estelle Gage fled to the islands seeking solitude and an escape. With the deadline for her latest novel fast approaching, her sole focus is to write. But when the handsome mailboat captain shows up on her doorstep, writing is no longer the only thing on her mind.
A steady stream of packages continues to bring Wen back to Owl Island—and to Estelle. But as summer looms, so does the impending arrival of Estelle’s family. The return of the Gages will most certainly spell the end to Estelle and Wen’s idyllic time cloistered together on the island. What will that mean for their budding relationship?
Me and My Boi by Sacchi Green (editor)
Me and My Boi throbs with the currency of lesbian love and lust today, when the love dares speak it’s name using new words, terms and letters. Me and My Boi celebrates lesbian bois, butches, and screw-the-binary free spirits; cool bois, hot bois, swaggering bois, shy bois, leather bois, flannel bois, butch daddies, and the girls (and other bois) who wouldn’t have them any other way. The stories range from Sinclair Sexsmith’s raw “Five Blow Jobs” through Victoria Oldham’s searing “Resurrection” and old-school lesbian bar tale “Hot Pants” by Jen Cross to the aching tenderness of “Her Gardener’s Boy” by D. Orchid. Twenty authors, among them Sommer Marsden, Annabeth Leong, Tamsin Flowers and Kathleen Tudor, heat up settings all the way from a Regency drawing room to modern Paris to a Brooklyn bike shop. Whatever turns you on, or cuts deep, or sparks your wildest fantasies, if these writers don’t push the buttons you already have, they’ll hook you up with some new ones. Gender has no boundaries, and neither does lust.
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