Can you believe it’s time for the final post of the Sapphic Book Bingo 2023?
Drumroll, please! Let’s wrap up the reading challenge with something quirky and interesting: For this last category, your mission is to read a book with an unusual setting. Think places that make you go “Ooh! I’ve never read a book set there before” or even “Wait, what? I never thought anyone would ever set a story there!”
Below, you’ll find sapphic books set on a remote island, in Santa’s production factory…and even in Purgatory!
15 sapphic books with an unusual setting
Below, you’ll find 15 sapphic books with an unusual setting:
Backwards to Oregon by Jae
“Luke” Hamilton has always been sure that she’d never marry. She accepted that she would spend her life alone when she chose to live her life disguised as a man.
After working in a brothel for three years, Nora Macauley has lost all illusions about love. She no longer hopes for a man who will sweep her off her feet and take her away to begin a new, respectable life.
But now they find themselves married and on the way to Oregon in a covered wagon, with two thousand miles ahead of them.
Hell Bent by Calista Lynne
Jules Tolliver has a completely sensible reaction to the death of her favorite movie star: she summons a demon named Ash to accompany her on an epic road trip through the afterlife to save her celebrity crush. But when the dynamic duo takes a hard left into Purgatory, they encounter the cheeky Fates along with a nasty horde of demons and monsters dead set on derailing their mission.
And then, of course, Ash is kidnapped because, Hell.
One backroom deal later, and Jules kidnaps a beautiful girl as payback for freeing Ash—which is awkward because Jules comes to the unexpected realization that she likes girls, and not just in a friendly way. Complications ensue when Faith, the beautiful girl, is left behind and our reunited dynamic duo continues their quest to rescue the dead celebrity crush and return him to the mortal plane.
But things don’t always go as planned in Purgatory, especially when The Fates spring an unholy mission on you when you least expect it. And as Jules stands face-to-face at the convergence of morality, theology, and fan culture, the only question left for her to answer is whether or not she can find her Faith in the beautiful girl in the rearview mirror.
Hounded by E.J. Cochrane
Dog walker-turned murder investigator Matilda Smithwick is stressed out. Thankfully, her best friend Dottie has the perfect solution—a weekend getaway to a private island off the coast of Maine.
When one of the guests is found dead in the wine cellar, Dottie “volunteers” Maddie to hunt for the killer among them. No easy feat on a remote island with no internet or cell phone reception. Add in Dottie’s questionable assistance, an impending storm, a captive and unruly pool of suspects, a growing body count and Dottie’s insistence that the party must go on, and Maddie certainly has her hands full.
Can Maddie stay out of trouble long enough to catch a killer?
The Child Riddler by Angela Greenman
Despite the angry scars she carries from her childhood training, Zoe Lorel has reached a good place in her life. She has her dream job as an elite operative in an international spy agency and she’s found her one true love. Her world is mostly perfect—until she is sent to abduct a nine-year-old girl.
The girl is the only one who knows the riddle that holds the code to unleash the most lethal weapon on earth—the first ever “invisibility” nanoweapon, a cloaking spider bot. But Zoe’s agency isn’t the only one after the child. And when enemies reveal the invisibility weapon’s existence to underground arms dealers, every government and terrorist organization in the world want to find that little girl.
Zoe races to save not only the child she has grown to care about, but also herself. The agency prescribed pills—the ones that transform her into the icy killer she must become to survive—are beginning to threaten her engagement to the one person who brings her happiness. Can she protect the young girl and still protect the one thing she cares more about than anything else?
Finding Hekate by Kellie Doherty
Mia Foley is running away from the attack that changed her life. She’s captain of a new spaceship when the Acedians find her and try blasting her peaceful crew from the black. She must sever her bonds in order to run, again. But she’s grown fond of this crew, particularly Cassidy Gates. Staying with them will jeopardize their safety, and they have much closer fears than the Acedian hunters. Mia’s time is running out. She’s becoming one of them.
Lost in Paradise by Rachel Lacey
When a Manhattan businesswoman and a reclusive French artist are stranded together on a deserted island, opposites attract…and sparks fly. But with love on the horizon, will they survive to claim their happy ending?
Nicole Morella boards a private Mediterranean cruise with one goal: to reclaim herself after her divorce. When she sits next to a beautiful blonde in the ship’s lounge, she’s knocked off balance by the immediate attraction between them, and it’s not just because Nicole hasn’t found her sea legs yet. Fiona stirs things in Nicole that haven’t been stirred in a long time, but a fiery kiss turns dangerous when the ship is hijacked. The women launch a daring escape, leaving them adrift in an empty lifeboat.
Fiona Boone has been adrift most of her life, but never in such a literal sense. She’s a survivor, though, so when they land on a deserted island, Fiona’s ready to do whatever it takes to stay alive until they’re rescued. In the meantime, she can’t get enough of the feisty woman she’s stranded with, despite her usual fiercely independent nature. Although they’re lost, Fiona finds something unexpected in the comfort of Nicole’s touch. But when an injury puts her life in jeopardy, they begin to worry help won’t arrive in time. If she survives their ordeal, Fiona might just face her biggest challenge yet: falling in love.
A Touch of Truth by Nita Round
In a world of steam and science, the magic of the gifted is barely tolerated.
Lucinda sees the truth in everything she touches, and sometimes wishes she didn’t.
She knows one thing when it comes to her visions. If there is blood, there is trouble, especially if the body is missing. Or in this case, bodies.
Something not quite human is roaming the streets. No one knows that it exists, never mind what it might be.
Lucinda must see for herself the monster of her vision. Uniting with an airship captain and crew, they set out on a perilous journey. One from which they may not return.
Can she stop the loss of innocent lives, or will her nightmares be the end of her?
Lost in Love (The Nunswick Abbey Series Book One) by Emily Banting
Historical tour guide Anna Walker is determined to make a good impression on her new bosses, but juggling a full-time job with caring for her ailing father is putting her own health – and potentially his – at risk.
When she meets Dr Katherine Atkinson, a charming yet intimidating new arrival to the village, Anna is infuriated by the doctor’s attempts to convince her that her father needs professional, full-time care. She’s even more frustrated by her growing attraction to the classy, wealthy doctor.
Anna’s determination to prove she can cope forces Katherine to divulge a painful event from her past that still haunts her, hopeful it will make Anna see sense before it’s too late.
With Katherine’s heart lost to the past and Anna’s overwhelmed in the present, can the two women help each other overcome their struggles and move forward? Will a curtain-twitching busy body curtail any blossoming attraction before it even has a chance to bloom?
Who Stole Santa’s Squeakers by Elle Armstrong
Hedera, who works at Santa’s production factory, can’t stand the noise made by the squeakers that they put inside the Christmas Toys. That she is greatly annoyed by them is no secret, so when the latest batch goes missing, everything points to her as the most likely suspect.
Hedera fears she will be forced to move away from the North Pole, putting an end to her chance of ever telling her crush, Ilexa, how she feels.
But Ilexa, who is harbouring a secret crush of her own, is on Hedera’s side and makes it her mission to clear Hedera’s name and find the real culprit.
Will Ilexa solve the mystery of who stole Santa’s squeakers in time to stop Hedera leaving? Or has she already gone?
Carmilla & Laura by S D Simper
In the late 19th century, Laura lives a lonely life in a schloss by the forest, Styria, with only her doting father and two governesses for company. A chance accident brings a new companion, however – the eccentric and beautiful Carmilla.
With charm unparalleled and habits as mysterious as her history, Carmilla’s allure is undeniable, drawing Laura closer with every affectionate touch and word. Attraction blossoms into a temptation Laura fears to name, a tantalizing passion burning brighter than the fires of hell. But when a mysterious plague begins stealing the lives of young women in her home and the village beyond, Laura wrestles to reconcile the truth – that the gentle, fragile woman she loves may be a monster cast out of heaven.
Catalyst by L. A. Rae
Sometimes chasing your dreams doesn’t go quite the way you expect.
Lykos is challenged in all new ways when she sets off to find the link between her vivid dreams and a magical tug she’s felt all her life. When the unknown ‘what’ becomes a ‘who,’ Lykos’ world is flipped upside down. Now she must figure out which is the real her, the version from previous lives or her present self? The answer will mean the difference between life and death–otherwise, the Mad King will take her soul.
It only takes one Catalyst to change the course of the world, but will it be for better or worse?
The Salbine Sisters by Sarah Ettritch
She gave up everything to become a Salbine Sister, member of a religious order of powerful female mages. But when Maddy nearly dies while trying to draw forth elemental fire, she learns that Salbine has withdrawn from her the gifts every sister works to master. Feeling trapped in an order to which she no longer has any right to belong and believing herself unworthy of the love of Lillian, one of the most powerful mages in the sisterhood, Maddy begs the abbess to let her travel to another monastery to research her condition. On her journey, Maddy’s faith in herself and Salbine are tested to their limits. When she attempts to draw fire and fails horribly, frightened townsfolk throw Maddy into prison. The only bright spot in Maddy’s existence is Emmey, the pickpocket with whom she shares a cell.
Aurora’s Angel by Emily Noon
Joined in a battle for survival, a broken-winged angel and a shapeshifter huntress with a bloody past form a bond that may change their world. Alone since her father’s murder, Aurora has spent years hunting his killers. Battle-weary she’s ready to start over where no one knows who or what she is – she just has one last mission. Everything is going to plan until she discovers the beautiful winged girl caged underground. Her decision to rescue Evie and to help her get home safely, despite avians being infamous for selling out shifters like Aurora to cutters and black-market flesh dealers, will put her on a perilous path.
As the women travel together their attraction grows but Aurora is guarding her lonely heart almost as much as her dangerous secrets and Evie is struggling to accept how important Aurora has become to her.
With their enemies conspiring to kill them, they may be each other’s only hope. Aurora is powerful but she’s also emotionally scarred. It will be up to Evie to save her from herself and to fight for them, or innocent people will die along with the guilty ones and Aurora will disappear from Evie’s life forever.
For the Love of Life by Sue Graham
Danielle Van Rijk has the life of which she has always dreamed. Using her hi-tech skills to study wildlife in a private game reserve, she is drawn into the war against poaching. Obsessed and driven, she is on the brink of achieving success when a deadly escalation in poaching and heart-wrenching losses bring about a crisis in confidence. Danny has no idea how her hi-tech protective system development is about to jeopardize her life.
Carmen Franks is at a loss, standing at a crossroads in her life. Until recently, she was a highly successful businesswoman at the helm of the business she built from nothing. Having lost her passion and purpose, Carmen seeks a retreat to give herself time to gather her energy and find a path forward.
Africa seems about as far away from her aimless life as Carmen can get, and Botshelo Lodge attracts her with the promise of providing what she needs to set a new course for herself. She finds more than she bargains for in this fascinating yet contradictory place. As she becomes embroiled in the danger that lurks beneath the idyllic surface, she’s falling in love, but is it with the glorious beauty of the African bush or with the elusive, enigmatic woman at the centre of a vicious conflict?
The African bush, a tapestry of life so bountiful and rich, is disappearing before our eyes. As the threat begins to spiral out of control, the protection of this vestige of Eden falls to these two brave women as they fight for life and learn to love.
Thundering Pines by Rita Potter
Returning to her hometown was the last thing Brianna Goodwin wanted to do. She and her mom had left Flower Hills under a cloud of secrecy and shame when she was ten years old. Her life is different now. She has a high-powered career, a beautiful girlfriend, and a trendy life in Chicago.
Upon her estranged father’s death, she reluctantly agrees to attend the reading of his will. It should be simple—settle his estate and return to her life in the city—but nothing has ever been simple when it comes to Donald Goodwin.
Dani Thorton, the down-to-earth manager of Thundering Pines, is confused when she’s asked to attend the reading of the will of her longtime employer. She fears that her simple, although secluded life will be interrupted by the stylish daughter who breezes into town.
When a bombshell is revealed at the meeting, two women seemingly so different are thrust together. Maybe they’ll discover they have more in common than they think.
Send in your bingo card(s)
If you have completed one or more bingo cards–or even just a line of your bingo card–make sure you send it to me so I can add you to the big giveaway on December 31. You can send me the PDF or a screenshot or just the list of books you read for each category in an email. You can find my email address on the contact page of this website.
Join the 2024 Sapphic Book Bingo
I hope you enjoyed this year’s reading challenge and will join the 2024 Sapphic Book Bingo too! It starts on January 1, when I’ll announce the brand-new categories and you can download the bingo cards. Make sure you subscribe to my blog so you don’t miss it!