Jae

Sapphic Slow-burn romances

Sapphic books without a third-act breakup (Sapphic Book Bingo #11)

Sapphic books without a third-act breakup

This week’s Sapphic Book Bingo features sapphic books without a third-act breakup.

When romance writers learn the writing craft, they are often taught that a “third-act breakup” is a crucial part of any romance novel.

The third-act breakup is the moment near the end of the story (often around the 75-80% mark of the book) where the main couple faces a big conflict or misunderstanding that causes them to separate. It’s a dramatic twist that makes readers wonder whether they’ll ever get back together. Some readers love third-act breakups; some readers hate them.

Personally, for me, it depends on the book. Third-act breakups can work really well if they stem from the characters’ personality or their past, but when it relies on a big misunderstanding that could have been cleared up with a five-minute conversation, I’m not a fan of them.

I also believe that not every romance necessarily needs a third-act breakup, so I put together a list of sapphic books without a third-act breakup.

 

15 sapphic books without a third-act breakup

Below, you’ll find 15 recommended sapphic books without a third-act breakup:

 

Say Cheese by T.B. Markinson & Miranda MacLeod

In a small town teetering on the brink of collapse, will one woman’s arrival seal a factory’s fate or open the floodgate for love and redemption?

Elle Robinson’s world is literally swept away when a raging flood sends her car careening toward certain doom, only to be rescued by Angela Lane – a spirited, self-reliant, and unexpected savior who pulls Elle back from the edge of calamity.

In the aftermath of their brush with mortality, passions ignite between the two women, mirroring the uncontrollable rise of the floodwaters. However, fate has a wicked sense of humor.

As the storm of their one-night stand recedes, a startling revelation emerges. Angie learns that Elle is the ambitious young business consultant whose arrival could signal the demise of Angie’s cherished family cheesemaking business. Will this city girl bring more destruction than the flood? Or could she evolve into the improbable business partner Angie has been waiting for?

Available at:

Amazon & KU

Audible

 

Departure from the Script by Jae

Aspiring actress Amanda Clark and photographer Michelle Osinski are two women burned by love and not looking to test the fire again. And even if they were, it certainly wouldn’t be with each other. Amanda has never been attracted to a butch woman before, and Michelle personifies the term butch.

Having just landed a role on a hot new TV show, she’s determined to focus on her career and doesn’t need any complications in her life. After a turbulent breakup with her starlet ex, Michelle swore she would never get involved with an actress again. Another high-maintenance woman is the last thing she wants, and her first encounter with Amanda certainly makes her appear the type.

But after a date that is not a date and some meddling from Amanda’s grandmother, they both begin to wonder if it’s not time for a departure from their usual dating scripts.

Available at:

Amazon & KU

Audible

 

Meeting Millie by Clare Ashton

Oxford – celebrated city of dreaming spires and class warfare – is an ambition come true for lesbian, geeky, upper-middle-class Charlotte and straight, charismatic, working-class Millie.

Against the odds, theirs is an instant, best friendship. Forever.

Exuberant Millie is a breath of fresh air for polite Charlotte and a force of nature within the university’s hallowed walls. And they are going to be the best lawyers of their year and change the world.

But their world changes instead when things go queerly sideways, and they haven’t seen each other since.

Ten years on and Charlotte returns to where it all began. She has a new job at a prestigious law firm and Oxford is as beautiful as ever. She’s a safe distance from her overbearing barrister mother Nicola and three office floors from her snappy college mentor, Olivia.

Then Millie bounds around the corner wanting to be friends again and it’s as if the last decade never happened. Will it be different the second time around? Can they be friends again? Or will love and attraction change things?

Available at:

Amazon

Audible

 

Murder in Castaway Island by Alicia Gael

On a cloudless summer day, ghostwriter Phyl Long and educator Virgie Campbell meet as they wait for a private boat to Castaway Island. The attraction between the two is immediate, as is the excitement of a relaxing weekend getting to know each other. But once they arrive on the island, Phyl and Virgie discover things aren’t what they should be. After meeting the other guests, they realize the staff are confused, there’s no Wi-Fi, and the phone coverage is spotty. And there’s no way to leave the island.

A charged accusation. A death. Another death, and then another…and another… As their fellow island occupants are murdered one by one, Phyl and Virgie realize their only hope of escaping is to work together to unmask the killer. But how does each know that the other isn’t using their budding romance as cover for a very twisted plan?

Available at:

Bella Books

Amazon

 

The Misadventures of Callie Compton by Alyson Root

It’s not every day you find out that your sweet, sweater knitting, church going grandma is the UK’s most prolific crime boss. For Callie Compton, that day became a reality on her eighteenth birthday. Not being criminally inclined, Callie did the only thing she could. She bided her time, stole her grandma’s little black book of scumbag employees, and ran for her life.

Six years later Callie finds herself in a small café in Sweden, her Spidey sense is tingling. Someone is watching her. How did they catch her trail? And what is she going to do next?

Daisy Simpson knew from the age of sixteen that Callie’s grandma was a bad person, just like her own dad. How she regrets not telling Callie before leaving for university all those years ago. Maybe then Callie wouldn’t have disappeared without telling her. Not only was Callie her best friend, and first unrequited love, she was also Daisy’s biggest supporter. Being born deaf into a family like hers wasn’t easy.

Using skills she’s not at liberty to discuss, Daisy tracks Callie to Sweden. After a few days of playing hide and seek, Callie and Daisy are finally reunited. The duo set out to bring Betty, aka Queen B, to her knees. Easy, right? Wrong!

Callie and Daisy must navigate their growing feelings toward each other, deal with several less than happy women, overcome flooded caves and one raging bull. This is no adventure. It’s quite the opposite.

Available at:

Amazon

Audible

 

Reality In Check by Emily Banting

Sculptor Arte Tremaine is thrown into the hospitality industry when her beloved late grandmother bequeaths her and her sister a charming yet rundown country hotel with zero guests. Arte is determined to make a success of the business, despite her sister snapping at her heels to sell it and painful memories confronting her inside.

Charlotte Beaufort, heiress to a hotel empire, television celebrity, and self-confessed city woman, hits the countryside to film an episode of her reality television show, Hotel SOS, where she immediately clashes with the overwhelmed Arte and her inquisitive Labrador, Rodin.

Arte doesn’t take kindly to Charlotte’s attitude and frank opinions about her hotel, but when they are thrown together, she begins to realise not everything is as it seems with her attractive nemesis. As Arte begins to chip away at Charlotte’s icy exterior, both women begin to realise dreams and reality rarely entwine and that, sometimes, our dreams are not even our own.

Can the artsy dreamer and ambitious heiress face the reality of their situations and discover their true paths? And if so, can those paths lead them toward true love?

Available at:

Amazon

Audible

 

Wolf Healer by Huckleberry Rahr

Jade Stone cherishes her family. With loving parents and a supportive community, the fifteen-year-old queer soon-to-be-werewolf can’t wait to take her place in the pack as a healer. But when she’s invited to vacation in Florida, she discovers the shocking existence of werepanthers… after one bites her.

Returning to her native Wisconsin with feline blood coursing through her, Jade is confused and disappointed when former packmates shun her. As she navigates a brand of bigotry she never knew existed, Jade fears she may be exiled from the home and family she loves.

Ostracized and alone, will Jade find a place she belongs?

Available at:

Amazon

Audible

 

The Planck Paradox by Taryn J Dallas

Cole Maclean is a philosophy teacher who also fosters service dogs through puppyhood. While she trains cute little Paradox to help a paraplegic friend, she can’t help but notice the pretty new professor with whom she finds herself sharing a supply closet.

Kenzie Philips teaches physics and likes her world to be grounded in the hard sciences. She also fears dogs, so she has no reason to be thinking about the sexy-as-hell teacher who asks head-scratching questions and takes a dog everywhere she goes.

But a shared interest in She-Ra, and a Deaf student needing help with his education, practically guarantee that they can’t ignore the magnetic attraction between them.

Available at:

Amazon

 

Family is Forever by Rita Potter

Thanksgiving is Jaycee Ward’s favorite holiday, at least it was, until her soon-to-be ex-wife turns her away from Thanksgiving dinner. After the humiliating scene outside her in-laws’ home, Jaycee doesn’t want to return to her enormous, empty house.

Single parent Piper Marsden’s plate is full, running a homeless shelter, attending college, and raising two young children. When she’s left to singlehandedly prepare the holiday meal for two hundred fifty hungry shelter patrons, her plate overflows. How is she going to pull it off?

When Jaycee stops by the shelter, she’s whisked into the kitchen. A connection develops between the women as they frantically rush to save Thanksgiving. But will they ever see each other again? And if they do, are they ready to drop their shields?

Spend the holidays with Jaycee and Piper in this heartwarming lesbian romance, where Jaycee discovers the true meaning of family in the unlikeliest of places—a homeless shelter.

Available at:

Sapphire Books

Amazon

Audible

 

Who We Could Be by Chelsea M. Cameron

Tessa O’Connell has everything she could possibly want. She’s engaged, she has her dream job working at a bookstore, and she’s going to be the maid of honor in her best friend’s wedding next month.

Montgomery “Monty” Ford has everything she could possibly want. She’s getting married in June, she worked hard to achieve her dream job as a librarian, and she’s helping her best friend plan her wedding for next year.

Unfortunately, plans go seriously awry when Monty’s fiancé ends up being a cheating loser and Tessa’s engagement falls apart. The plans they made so carefully are in complete shambles, and they’re both at a loss for how to move forward. Tessa and Monty turn to one another to try and pick up the pieces, and what starts as an attempt to use each other for dating practice turns into something they never saw coming that will change everything they know about themselves and each other. What happens when it turns out the one you really want has been standing in front of you the whole time?

Available at:

Amazon

Apple Books

Audible

 

Reaping the Benefits by E. J. Noyes

Morgan Ashworth isn’t having a good day. The award for Minion of the Year is slipping out of reach, and she has to administer an afterlife package to one of her human employees. An employee she’s attracted to. An employee who’ll soon know Morgan isn’t quite what she seems.

Jane Smith was having a great day. Until her hot boss dropped a bombshell. It’s time for Jane to complete the questionnaire to decide where she’ll spend her afterlife. Oh, and her boss is immortal and also Death’s Head Minion. Yes, Death, as in the Grim Reaper.

Jane decides to bargain—if Morgan needs her to sign the afterlife document, she can use her unlimited resources to help Jane with her bucket list. Seems straightforward. Except for the matter of their mutual attraction, and the fact one of the items on Jane’s list is “Sleep with my boss.”

The more time Morgan and Jane spend together, the more they realize mutual attraction barely scratches the surface. But can Jane heal the broken heart Morgan has nursed for centuries? And will Morgan risk loving, then losing, another mortal woman when she knows it means an eternity of heartbreak?

Available at:

Bella Books

Amazon

Apple Books

Audible

 

For Love and Liberty by Eden Hopewell

Amidst the bustling city of Philadelphia in 1804, two women from vastly different worlds find themselves drawn to each other in a love that defies societal norms. Abigail Caldwell, an heiress with a strong determination to break free from the expectations of her privileged upbringing, clashes with Sarah, a resilient mill worker fighting for justice in a world that constantly seeks to oppress her. As their forbidden love grows, it not only challenges the constraints placed upon them but also sparks a fire of change that could reshape the city and their lives forever.

For Abigail, the weight of her inheritance is both a privilege and a burden that she refuses to carry without question. While taking over her family’s textile mill, she confronts not only the mechanical gears but also the societal gears that have long confined women to narrow roles. In the midst of the clanging machinery, she seeks to carve her own path and redefine the meaning of legacy. But it is her unexpected connection with Sarah, a mill worker who has seen the likes of privileged women before, that will ignite a flame of change she never could have imagined.

Sarah, a witness to the harsh reality of exploitation in the mill, carries the burden of society’s cruelty on her shoulders. As she fights for justice to protect her family from the same fate, she is faced with the arrival of Abigail, a symbol of inherited privilege. Their collision sparks both tension and attraction, leading to a forbidden love that challenges their very notions of justice and equality.

Available at:

Amazon

 

Lucky Number by Jo Cox

After months of illness, Abi’s desperate to get back to normal. The trouble is, normal doesn’t exist anymore—her clients have all deserted her, she’s back living with her parents, and someone’s even had the audacity to clean the football club toilets.

That’s why when The Blues’ star striker and resident business mogul offers to be her wingwoman, she tentatively agrees. Jenna is bubbly, successful, and irrepressible—exactly what Abi needs. But as the pair grow closer, will they be able to look past everything that has and could go wrong, and take a gamble on all that might go right?

Available at:

Amazon

 

At First Glance by Melissa Tereze

Faye Holmes’s life is the polar opposite from her racy, bestselling romances. It’s quiet, routine, and, at the moment, plagued with writer’s block. If only just a little of the passion burning up the pages of her books would warm her lonely bed. But to be honest, one-night stands aren’t her thing.

When her best friend buys her a lap dance to celebrate her latest bestseller, Faye is more than shocked. She’s intrigued by the stunningly beautiful dancer whose gentle eyes seem vaguely familiar.

Talia isn’t surprised that her favorite coffee shop customer doesn’t recognise her. Few would connect Talia, mild-mannered barista, with Adria, pole dancer and star of Liverpool’s hottest new strip club. And that’s how Talia wants it. It’s safer this way.

In the glaring spotlight though, no truth can hide for long. For two women from different worlds, falling in love can be a delicious dance—and a dangerous game. Not only for their careers, but for their hearts.

Available at:

Amazon

Audible

 

Kiss Shot by Carolyn Elizabeth

Hot-headed and soft-hearted Street Crimes Detective, Lucy “Lucky” Sorin, can’t seem to stay out of trouble. She even manages to get kicked off the task force working to bring down the Rat Lords, an outlaw motorcycle club in town.

Instead of taking a demotion she turns in her badge, grabs her stick and goes looking for a level table with fast cloth—at the Rat Lords’ clubhouse. While all eyes are on the ex-cop turned pool hustler, Lucky only has eyes for Mira Allen, the club president’s lover.

With her smooth stroke and smart mouth, it doesn’t take long for Lucky to find trouble again. Tempers soon flare and nothing is quite what it seems. Everyone has a secret someone else is willing to kill for—and Lucky is dangerously behind the eight-ball.

Available at:

Bella Books

Amazon

Apple Books

Audible

 

Starting Over by Nance Sparks

Sam Phillips is going through the motions. She was happily married for thirty-four years when a car accident stole her wife and destroyed her perfectly planned future. Now, it’s all she can do to exist day by day. The one thing that keeps her going is her IT administration job at Walsh Software Design. All seems lost when software stability issues threaten her career, until a hotshot programmer struts into her world and makes Sam want to feel again.

Jennifer Delgado doesn’t do cold and snow, but when a fluke February wildfire in the Southwest means evacuating for the third time in two years, it’s time for a change and she accepts a contract job in Minnesota. The weather is nothing compared to the unexpected feelings she develops for Sam. Jennifer has no idea if she can mend Sam’s broken soul, but it’s never too late for starting over.

Available at:

Bold Strokes Books

Amazon

Apple Books

 

Leave a comment

What book will you be reading for the “sapphic books without a third-act breakup” category? Are there other books that are a good fit for this category? Let us know in the comments!

The Romance Bet by Jae

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5 thoughts on “Sapphic books without a third-act breakup (Sapphic Book Bingo #11)”

  1. Thanks Jae! I resonate with your thoughts here. A third act break up based on a simple and easily remedied miscommunication drives me crazy. I am always yelling at the characters to just talk to each other, just ask her, etc lol

    Reply
  2. hard to say, until I’ve read them. I tend to plow my way through the books of one Author before moving on in that genre. though I do break up the pace with an occasional book of photography, history, science or railroading. currently in reading Jae, next on my list is Jennifer Dugan.

    Reply
  3. Thank you for the list. It’s hard to figure out which books apply to the category just from the synopsis. Lots of work on your part Jae. Since I already have your book Departure from the Script, that is the one I will use. Thanks again

    Reply

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