Sapphic Slow-burn romances

Sapphic book with a trans or nonbinary character (Hidden Gems #4)

trans or nonbinary character

For this week’s Sapphic Book Bingo square, read a sapphic book that features a trans or nonbinary character. I would love it if we could support trans and nonbinary authors by reading books written by a writer who is trans or nonbinary. Of course, it’s not safe for everyone to be out, and some authors prefer to keep their identity private, so this isn’t a requirement for this category.

The book needs to feature a main character who is trans or nonbinary, though, not just a supporting character.


15 recommended sapphic books with trans or nonbinary character

Below, you’ll find a list of 15 sapphic books featuring a trans or nonbinary character:


Not Like Before by Lily Seabrooke and Jacqueline Ramsden

Lola never wanted to be on camera alongside an A-list star—but maybe Mackenzie is everything she needs.

History professor Lola Barnes never cared about celebrities, and filming alongside superstar actress Mackenzie Vale isn’t exactly on her bucket list. But there aren’t a lot of experts on Mackenzie’s hometown on the remote Celadon Isles, so when the studio filming a deep dive of Mackenzie’s backstory comes knocking, no isn’t really an option.

This exposé is the last thing Mackenzie wants to do. She’s had a good run as an actress without the ravenous press finding out she’s trans, but keeping it that way when the media is digging around in her childhood and with her gossipy family isn’t going to be easy. But it might be her last shot at her dream casting—and her agent doesn’t take no for an answer, anyway.

And it isn’t any easier when Mackenzie is immediately head-over-heels for the gorgeous professor they tapped to film with her. And it isn’t any easier when going back to the isles means confronting all the things Lola ran away from there over twenty years ago—and that the only thing comforting her is a bond with the last person she’d ever expect to fall for.

As a tight filming schedule, a nosy agent and a relentless director force Lola and Mackenzie to face the ghosts of their pasts, will they crumble in the face of everything they ran from once? Or can they find strength in one another and be more than they were before?

Available at:



Lessons in Lesbianism by Fern V. Bedek

When an all female theatre academy opens up to trans women for the first time, Olivia Bishop is happy to apply. Having grown up in a family that breathed theatre, and having transitioned in high school, she feels well prepared to get top marks. There’s a lesson of womanhood she has not learned yet, however. One that the tall and handsome Eliza Haliwell is proving more than happy to teach her.

That lesson being that trans girls can be lesbians too.

Available at:


Apple Books


Pack of Her Own by Elena Abbott

Natalie Donovan jumps at a friend’s offer to stay in the family cabin for a month—she desperately needs the chance to get away from, and get over, her messy breakup. She doesn’t count on the owner of the local diner making her heart pound and her body desperate to be touched.

Wren Carne is a lone wolf. As an Alpha shifter, she has no pack and maintains her territory without causing drama, just the way she likes it. When she checks on the girl staying in a local cabin, she’s not expecting her wolf to identify the human as her One True Mate.

As fallout from their pasts encroaches upon the sleepy town of Terabend, Wren must decide if she wants a pack of her own, while Natalie worries that her secret—she’s transgender—might be too much for Wren.

Available at:

Bold Strokes Books


Apple Books


Best Friends’ Promise by Issy Waldrom & Mackenzie Sutton

“What are best friends for, after all?”

“Getting us turned into vampires.”

Best Friends are forever, are they not? Time spent together, bonds formed, promises made. No matter how fantastical they might seem, how far-fetched. But friendships can change as time takes its toll, and people change.

Miyako might be a bit lost in life. She’s come out as trans, is studying in the hopes of doing something with her life, and perhaps wishing that things could be different. But Luna is still her best friend, and when she gets invited to go to a concert with her, to see Luna’s favourite band and crush, what she doesn’t expect is the offer to be turned into a vampire alongside Luna, because she wants her there with her. Of course, there is no way that she was ever going to refuse.

Decisions, made on impulse or not, have their consequences. Especially when it means that she’s thrown herself into a hidden aspect of society. Sure, she might have the body she’d only been able to dream about, but now she’s involved with a wider group of people, has to prove herself to her family, and there is darkness at the edges. And why does she have to have feelings for that one hot vampire who was an absolute bitch to her. Even if she is exactly her type, and perhaps there might be more to it all.

Available at:



Plain English by Rachel Spangler

When Claire Bailey left London to open her own art gallery in the tiny village of Amberwick, she’d hoped the slower pace and lower cost of living might allow her to focus on her own painting, away from all the drama and distractions that had plagued her in the city.  She fully intended to make an honest go at simple living right up until the moment a shockingly attractive aristocrat rocketed off the road and knocked her world off its axis.

Pip has learned to play the part of a ne’er-do-well upper elite: charismatic, enigmatic, and a little bit erratic. Luckily, women tend to like those characteristics. After leading such a charmed existence, where even motorcycles wrecks come with the added bonus of meeting beautiful women, Pip finds that Claire’s complete lack of interest in money or status sparks both curiosity and attraction.

Surrendering to both boredom and sheer chemistry, the two agree to an unconventional, no-strings, romantic adventure designed to provide them both a bit of freedom and entertainment. However, once released from the pressure to project perfect images of themselves, the walls they depended on for protection begin to crumble. Worlds blend and identities blur as their whirlwind romance quickly becomes more than they bargained for. Will their almost elemental attraction be enough to overcome the complexities rushing in from all sides?  Or will the pressures they’ve both sought to escape force them to forge a new path neither of them had dared to dream of?

Available at:

Bywater Books


Apple Books


Double Exposure by Rien Gray

Love always shows your true face.

Jillian Rhodes lies to everyone she meets. As one of the world’s best art thieves, a life of infiltration and con artistry has left her flying solo, which is exactly the way she likes it. When Jillian is hired to steal a collection of photos belonging to the late—and deeply controversial—Russell Key from the Art Institute of Chicago, everything should be business as usual.

Except she has two problems: first, fellow master thief Sloane Caffrey also has their eye on the photos. Second, Sloane is her smoking hot ex.

Three years have passed since a messy breakup, but Jillian and Sloane have been getting vengeance on each other ever since. When the Key theft becomes their latest competition, love and loathing ride a fine, shaking line.

Trying to destroy each other should be simple. But confronting past mistakes is hard, especially when the entire job is starting to look like a setup to put Jillian and Sloane behind bars…

Available at:



The Last Girl Scout by Natalie Ironside

The past lies like a nightmare over the world.

Two hundred years after the War when atomic fire rained from the skies and burned the world to cinders, human civilization has had time to rebuild within the burned-out husk of Old America. But the old terrors of the past still persist, and while some work to build a better world, others still dream of reclaiming the glory of the Old World.

In southern Appalachia, political commissar Magnolia Blackadder is sent on a mission into the irradiated Exclusion Zone of Old DC, where an evil that humanity thought it had vanquished centuries ago is waking up and rebuilding its strength. Along the way, she meets a strange woman with terrible secrets and an unspeakable past, and as they forge a bond and brave the terrors of the wasteland together, she learns that some demons are not so easily exorcised, and that some stones are better left unturned.

Available at:



The Ex Emergency by J. R. Hart

Taylor just wanted to spend a Valentine’s Day alone.

Last year, Taylor spent Valentine’s Day with her ex, and that ended… explosively, to say the least. This year, she has everything planned out: wine, chocolate, and a good movie on TV.

There’s only one issue.

When Beck lands in the emergency room after a skateboarding mishap, they’re expecting to take it easy for the evening, but a concussion leaves them unable to drive and in need of an emergency caregiver. The hospital resorts to their emergency contact—their ex, Taylor, who they forgot to remove from their medical records.

Stuck taking care of Beck for the night, Taylor has to see if she’s ready to reconnect, or if they’re both destined for a repeat of the disastrous date from the year before.

Available at:



Quill & Still by Aaron Sofaer

Sophie Nadash once yearned to understand life and chemistry. Now a disillusioned scientist approaching middle age, she yearns to set aside pipettes and polymerase forever.

A chance encounter with the Goddess Artemis sets her on the path to becoming the Alchemist for the rural Shemmai village of Kibosh, where the rat race gives way to peace and the quiet life. Freed from the hustle of Earth, she can relax, make friends, and rediscover her love for chemistry through its mystical precursor… and come to grips with the Jewish faith she left behind as a child.

Available at:



Puppy Love by Alex Silver

Impulse control is not my darling puppy’s strong suit. Most of the time, I find that endearing. It certainly helps us find willing partners to join us for a scene or two. As long as it doesn’t put Quent in a position to get hurt, I’m on board. But when their spontaneity combined with their huge heart results in them offering to be their brother’s surrogate, let’s just say, I have my doubts.

Quent refuses to be deterred from their path despite the risks. As their mommy, my number one job is to take care of them, no matter my misgivings. That includes arranging the details and supporting them through the pregnancy and beyond. If we’re both lucky, I might just get to give them every kinky desire of their heart along the way.

Quent and I have learned over the years that we can resolve most of our problems with clear communication. I just hope that includes the bumps along the way to helping my brothers-in-law grow their family.

Available at:



Once Bitten by C H Clepitt

Sink your teeth into a book with bite!

Having survived a series of terrifying attacks with the help of the beautiful and mysterious Morgan, Meg resolves to fight back. With the help of a small group of vampires and humans they endeavour to stand up and take back control!

Follow a journey of self discovery across centuries, as Meg, Morgan, Nadia and Zoe reclaim the narrative in their stories, and call time’s up on Wentworth and his bloody reign of terror!

Available at:



The All-Consuming World by Cassandra Khaw

In space, everything hungers.

Maya has died and been resurrected into countless cyborg bodies during her dangerous career with the Dirty Dozen, the most storied crew of criminals in the galaxy before their untimely and gruesome demise. Decades later, she and her team of broken, diminished outlaws must get back together to solve the mystery of their last, disastrous mission and to rescue a missing and much-changed comrade . . . but they’re not the only ones in pursuit of the secret at the heart of the planet Dimmuborgir.

The highly evolved AI of the galaxy will do whatever it takes to keep humanity from regaining control. As Maya and her comrades spiral closer to uncovering the AIs’ vast conspiracy, this band of violent women—half-clone and half-machine—must battle both sapient ageships and their own traumas, in order to settle their affairs once and for all.

Available at:


Apple Books



Sugar and Ice by Eule Grey

Sugar, ice, and bumps in the night…

After a thrilling year of ghost-whispering, monster-chasing, and blogging for the Echo, Mave Kitten is keen to abandon her witchy hat for a well-earned break. Snowflakes are drifting in; the office is stuffed with fruit cake. How to win the pub karaoke without cheating (too much) is all that’s left to worry about.

Aside from fiddling the office’s debts and choosing a suitable karaoke costume, Lisa Blonde is also ready for the party season, not forgetting a crate of beer. As long as Mave’s happy, Lisa’s happy.

But best-laid plans can come unstuck for witches and their leather-clad familiars. The ghost of Jacky Frost blows in with the snow, demanding a playmate. How can Mave and Lisa say no to the dancing queen of ice? Even ghosts deserve a Christmas.

The playful ice queen goes viral, and the Echo unexpectedly gains hundreds of readers. Only a few gremlins remain: What of the Echo’s overdraft? Who’ll win the karaoke? Where’s Lisa’s motorcycle?

Kitten and Blonde: Holiday Baking Hijinks Mostly Paranormal. Sometimes alien. Always gentle.

Available at:

NineStar Press


Apple Books


Blackpoint by Kate Hershberger

Joseph McNiff has lived a life unlike any other.

Being half Irish and half Blackfoot is not easy for a young man in the old west. He has a place in both the white man’s world and the native tribe, but he’s never really fit into either. It’s even more complicated as he is really a woman and trying to keep the town safe as it’s sheriff. The last thing Joe needs is to make his life any harder than it already is.

When a beautiful woman with a mysterious past comes into his life, Joe finds himself opening his home and quite possibly his heart to the newcomer. But he also has to tread carefully, making sure that he doesn’t reveal too much and risk putting himself in danger.

Cassandra Gibson has lived a very sheltered life.

Growing up with her abusive father, she was sure the only way she would ever get out of his house would be if she married or when he died. After a really bad morning, Cassie finds herself running away from the only life she’s ever known hoping to find a town where she can start fresh. She remembers a town her father once spoke about, to the north. A town with no church and no sense, according to him.

It sounds perfect.

Blackpoint is a town full of people just trying to live their lives in the best way possible. Many people have settled there and succeeded in finding peace. Hopefully, Joe and Cassie will be able to as well.

Available at:



The Rebel Foxes by Noah Hawthorne

Welcome to the Dome, a special kind of hell where flora and fauna are legends brought to life by shifters, a mutant race that the malevolent and overtly wealthy Citadel hunts down endlessly in fear of what they what do if given a foothold in society.

The Rebel Foxes are a powerful gang led by Rajni, a fox shifter hellbent on bringing down the oppressive system impoverishing and endangering humans and shifters alike. They take in those who need shelter, and give away their wealth to the poor. Her pack is thriving and for the first time in years, they have a counter attack planned for The Hunt, a night of crime sanctioned by the Citadel. A night dedicated to flushing shifters out so anyone can murder them without the worry of standard daily limits and hunting tags.

But, all good things must come to an end, and Rajni’s past catches up with her on the night of the Hunt. The human with amber eyes that once saved her life demands her help. Or else.

Fight with Rajni and her foxes.

Drystan, the peaceful panther and nanny.

Jaromir, the wise polar bear who loves to bake.

Balderik, the golden canine with healing hands.

Hotaru, the black fox who likes chemistry too much.

Xylia and Takara, the foxes who share Rajni’s bed, and her dreams.

Available at:


Apple Books


Hummingbird by T C Parker

There’s a storm brewing in Gallow: angry parents, protests at the school, a new priest up at the church with some very clear ideas on sin… and an unfamiliar face in the cottage on the edges of the village, carving sculptures out of skin and bone.

It’s a powder keg. Even before the protestors start disappearing…

Jodie doesn’t want trouble – just to be left alone to raise her son in peace.

Tanya wants more God and less wickedness in her own son’s studies.

Tara wants to leave her complicated past behind her, if only it would let her go.

And all Jonas wants is to get some work done – and if he can make peace with his father while he’s at it, then so much the better.

But the woman in the cottage and the priest up at the church – they have very different goals in mind. And Jodie and Tanya, Tara and Jonas… they’re about to get caught in the crossfire.

Available at:



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8 thoughts on “Sapphic book with a trans or nonbinary character (Hidden Gems #4)”

  1. If anyone wants a graphic novel, I put Stone Fruit by Lee Lai in this category on my card. Also fits AAPI and interracial couple.

  2. There is Raquel De Leon – Knowing her (trans lesbian)

    Stone Butch Blues

    Non-fiction: Just Add Hormones – Matt Kailey

    Jennifer Finney Boylan – forget the book name but know her

    Les Feinberg – d
    Drag King something … (fiction)

    Whipping Girl
    – Julia Serano

    Orange isn’t the only Fruit

    Gender Outlaw – Kate Bornstein

    And more!!!!!!!

    Becoming Jazz

    My Gender Workbook – Kate Bornstein


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