It’s time for another Book Unicorn post of the Sapphic Reading Challenge. This one features sapphic time travel books.
What is the Book Unicorn?
A quick reminder: The Book Unicorn is a bonus level that you can pick either by itself or as an additional goal. The goal is to read at least 10 sapphic books from a list of 12 harder-to-find genres and themes. You can download a PDF with all 12 categories here.
The second Book Unicorn category: a time travel book
For the second Book Unicorn category, I’d like you to read a sapphic book that includes time travel. I don’t know about you, but I love books in which the protagonist travels into the past or the future, especially if you combine it with a romance to come up with a timeless love story!
Here are the 15 books I picked for the “time travel” category:
The Time Slip Girl by Elizabeth Andre
What if the woman you loved was more than a century away?
Dara, a computer programmer from Chicago, is visiting London when she opens a door in an Edwardian house and slips into Edwardian England. Agnes, a beautiful London shop girl, takes in the bewildered 21st century American lesbian, but, as Dara begins to accept that she is stuck in 1908, she also begins to accept that she has feelings for Agnes that go beyond gratitude. And the longer Dara stays, the harder Agnes finds it to hide her growing love for the accidental time traveller from the future.
Will they overcome grief and prejudice to acknowledge their true feelings for one another? Or will Dara be snatched back to the 21st century before they can express their love?
The Pages of Adeena by C.M. Castillo
It’s the summer of 1952, and Adeena “Addie” Kahlo loves her life in Chicago, where she helps run her close-knit family’s nightclub on the south side. But Addie has a dream that she is determined to make a reality; attending college in New York and becoming a published author.
Through a blind date, she meets Alan, who becomes her best friend and closest confidant. They share a secret that they can never divulge. Together, they discover a door that opens to a magical place that leads to other worlds and to times past and future; Cafe du Temp, a nightclub like no other. At Cafe du Temp they listen to soulful jazz, drink fancy cocktails, and slowly begin to understand that its opulent and stunning ambience means something unique and special to each person who enters its doors.
It’s here, in this strange and elegant place, where Addie meets and falls in love with the beautiful poet, Isabelle Androsko. Their chemistry is immediate and powerful. Despite this, they soon discover that their vastly different worlds pose near impossible obstacles to the life they want to build together. Addie believes that the mysterious Cafe du Temp, and its serendipitous existence in their lives, is the catalyst to their future, but can this belief transcend time and heartbreak to bring her to her ultimate destiny?
Neither Here Nor There by Nikki Harmon
Kim is your typical rebellious black gay nerd, biding her time in college until she can get to her dream job at NASA. Returning home from work-study in the biology lab one day, Kim experiences a strange kind of double vision. She can somehow see her “choices” before she makes them. Just as she begins to investigate her new skill, Kim is kidnapped. Held in a remote farmhouse, she discovers that her abilities are no accident but that she has been an unwitting subject of an experiment by the professor she is working for at the lab. Confused and overwhelmed, Kim is able to escape using her ability and jumps into a couple of versions of her life until she encounters a group of students with the same ability. They have been looking for her.
Duped and manipulated, the students have been used to re-shape the world for the financial and political gain of the mysterious benefactors who fund them. They convince Kim that she must help them put an end to these devious plans. She joins the group and sets off on a mission to save the world from those who seek to control it for themselves.
Kiss Me Every Day by Dena Blake
Wynn Jamison is turning thirty. Her career has made her rich, but her love life is sorely lacking. She’s okay with that until she spends her birthday dinner with the woman who could’ve changed it all. There’s only one problem. She’s married to Wynn’s sister.
Carly Evans is tired of her wife ignoring her needs to put her career first. Family has always been important to her, and Jordan just doesn’t seem to care.
A freak thunderstorm rages during the night, and Wynn finds herself catapulted back in time to the day she made the worst decision of her life—stepping aside to let her sister romance Carly. Reliving the day over and over again, Wynn must decide what is most important: success, loyalty, or love. Given a second chance at happiness, will she take the opportunity and change her destiny?
Reflected Passion by Erica Lawson
Dale Wincott is a 27-year-old woman born into Bostonian wealth and groomed to marry into the social hierarchy. Her mother is a hard-hearted society matriarch, but her father feels for his daughter and helps Dale find a life on her own as a furniture restorer.
Françoise Marie Aurélie de Villerey is a 28-year-old Countess, born into the French aristocracy and forced to marry a count much older than herself. For ten years, she was his trophy wife, forced to endure his perverted desires, until the day he finally died. He had broken her emotionally and she no longer cared for what life had to offer, slipping from one sexual partner to another as often as she changed her clothes.
Until… that one night when Françoise looked up during a sexual encounter and saw Dale watching her from the mirror. A veritable angel, full of innocence and curiosity, who touched her very soul.
Renegade by Cheyne Curry
What would you do if one minute you were in the 21st century and the next you were in the 19th? One day you’re driving a Mustang and the next day you’re riding one?
Dirty cop Trace Sheridan faces this dilemma as she moves from a present day mob war to a range war over a hundred years in the past. The year is 1879, when cattle barons, crooked lawmen, saloons, painted ladies, cowboys and Indians ruled the Wild West, and laws were only as strong as the gunman who upheld them.
In Sagebrush, the town and the sheriff belong to the Cranes, who take what they want or bad things happen. Trace finds this out firsthand when she ends up on the land of Rachel Young, a struggling ranch woman who won’t give in to the merciless cattle baron and his obsessed son.
For some unexplainable reason, Rachel trusts the enigmatic Trace who uses 21st century sensibilities to battle 19th century turmoil, while Trace is forced to keep the secret of her origin from the attractive and vulnerable Rachel. Renegade is a story of redemption in its purest form as Trace discovers what truly matters in life and how past really is prologue.
A Captive in Time by Sarah Dreher
In the Fourth Stoner McTavish Mystery by Sarah Dreher, Stoner gets lost in time… finding herself inexplicably transported to a town in Colorado Territory, circa 1871. There she encounters Dot, the saloon keeper, Blue Mary, a local witch/healer, and an enigmatic teenage runaway named Billy.
As Stoner tries to return home, her life is threatened and she starts to fall in love, out of time…
Third by Q. Kelly
Helen Franklin is horrified when her dying father leaves her a most unusual inheritance: a woman. The woman, Anne, is a time traveler with a tragic past. Helen tells herself she does not have time for Anne. Yalia, Helen’s wife, has been distancing herself from Helen for three years, and Helen needs to decide if she wants to save their marriage.
Then the unexpected happens. A romantic relationship develops among Yalia, Anne and Helen. Can the three of them figure out their lives together, especially when time might be running out for Anne?
Erased by Robbi McCoy
One moment San Francisco police officer Dani Barsetti is chasing a suspect through an apartment building. The next moment she wakes up in a completely different place and time. It’s the twenty-third century–at least that’s what she’s being told by a group of scientists who aren’t at all happy to see her. Their agent, a man sent back in time to kill a dangerous terrorist, has been killed by the terrorist instead. So now the scientists are proposing to send Dani back in time to finish the job.
It sounds great to Dani, who only wants to get home. Except for one thing–her trip into the future has totally erased her from the past. Her wife Gemma doesn’t know her. Her parents and siblings have never met her. And the police force has no record of her.
Could she start over? Could Gemma fall in love with her all over again? Dani has only two weeks to find out before she must return to the future. But is two weeks long enough to fall in love? Or is it only long enough to say goodbye…
Rip van Dyke by Kate McLachlan
When Van is suddenly transported twenty years into the future, she is dumfounded-and furious. Jill’s silly time-travel experiment wasn’t supposed to actually work. But it did, and now Van is stuck in the future. 2008, that is. A future in which Van’s friends and lover have all aged twenty years, but Van has not. Jill, an old woman now, promises to recreate her time-travel machine and send Van back, but Van is skeptical and decides instead to try to make a life for herself in 2008.
It isn’t easy. Patsy, her lover, never recovered from Van’s sudden disappearance in 1988 and is now a deeply troubled old woman, in no condition to offer Van any help. Van has no home, no job, no money, not even a driver’s license. But help and hope arrive in the form of Bennie, the steamy young woman whose intriguing overtures were off limits in the past. Van wrestles with herself. Does she remain faithful to Patsy despite the sudden chasm between their ages, or does she let herself accept the life, love and laughter that Bennie offers?
But when secret agents learn of Van’ s leap through time, Van faces an even tougher decision. This time one of life or death.
The Sea Within by Missouri Vaun
Scientists have sounded alarms about the demise of Earth’s oceans for decades, and now the extinction event is here. As the world braces for disaster, paleobotanist Dr. Elle Graham finds a possible cure. Unfortunately, it’s been extinct for over one hundred thousand years.
Captain Jackson Drake lives in the past because she can’t stand to face the present after the woman she loved sacrificed herself to save others, a casualty of a world ravaged by superbugs.
The last person Jackson wants to travel back in time with is another woman trying to save the world at the cost of her own life. When things go sideways on primeval Earth, Jackson and Elle must put aside conflicts and work together to save the mission. Faith in each other just might give them the strength to save the world and rescue a broken heart in the process. But can Elle convince Jackson that the future is worth saving?
The Spanish Pearl by Catherine Friend
When Kate Vincent and her partner travel to Spain, Kate is accidentally transported back in time…way back in time…to 1085. What does a woman like Kate do in a world of no antibiotics, no feminism, no Diet Coke? She denies it as long as possible, then sets her mind to getting home. Tricky with her now useless twenty-first century skills.
Things don’t go well. Kate is captured by a band of mercenary soldiers and becomes an unwitting pawn in the violent conflict between the Catholic kings and the Islamic Moors. In her struggle to stay alive and return to the future, Kate must flee exotic harems, filthy dungeons, and treacherous Moorish courts. But when a sword-brandishing woman with an astonishing secret sweeps into Kate’s life, Kate is suddenly torn between two women, and between two centuries.
My Heart’s in the Highlands by Amy Hoff
The year is 1888. Brilliant and beautiful, Lady Jane Crichton has fought the constraints of her Victorian Edinburgh upbringing to become one of the first women to attend university for medicine. Denied a degree because of her gender, she decides to marry a closeted gay man, providing him with political and social cover and herself with the time and money to pursue her scientific interests—one of which is a time machine. Jane’s machine works…but not exactly as she expected, and soon she has crash-landed in the 13th-century Scottish Highlands.
There she is rescued by a wild, red-haired warrior woman, Ainslie nic Dòmhnaill, next in line to the chiefship of the great Clan Donald, the rulers of the Sea Kingdom of the Isles. Despite the constant threat of attacks from enemy clans, harsh winters and a touch of homesickness, Jane finds herself bewitched by this land, this time and this magnificent woman. The rough and warlike Ainslie also feels the magic and revels in a passion and love neither she nor Jane had ever imagined.
But Jane is hiding a dangerous secret—one that threatens to tragically transform their Highland fairy tale.
This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone
Among the ashes of a dying world, an agent of the Commandment finds a letter. It reads: Burn before reading.
Thus begins an unlikely correspondence between two rival agents hellbent on securing the best possible future for their warring factions. Now, what began as a taunt, a battlefield boast, becomes something more. Something epic. Something romantic. Something that could change the past and the future.
Except the discovery of their bond would mean the death of each of them. There’s still a war going on, after all. And someone has to win. That’s how war works, right?
One Day You’ll Leave Me by Debra Flores
Karen Stephens is an ordinary woman living an ordinary life in the year 2010. Until the day she hears an unfamiliar song that moves her in a way she cannot understand or explain.
Judy Paige was also an ordinary young woman, who lived an ordinary life, up until the day she sang her song One Day You’ll Leave Me at a show in the year 1964.
When Karen’s curiosity about the song turns into an obsession about the woman who sang it, she’s drawn to the town of Leyfant, Texas. The town in which Judy Paige was born and raised. It’s there that Karen is approached by a man who calls himself Mr. Smith. A man who asks Karen a simple question. “Would you like to meet her?”
The question is simple, but the answer is not.
Because Judy Paige has been dead for almost twenty years.
What would you be willing to give up for the person you love? Your life? Your memories? Everybody and everything you’ve ever known?
Leave a comment
Leave a comment and let us know which book you’ll be reading for the “time travel” category?
Special sale: Get Perfect Rhythm for 99 cents for a few days only!
While it doesn’t fit the “time travel” category, I didn’t want you to miss this sale because it’s a rare opportunity to get one of my novels at such a steep discount! My contemporary romance novel Perfect Rhythm is on sale for only 99 cents, but only for a few days (until February 21, 2021), so if you haven’t already read it, make sure you get it before the price goes back up. The discounted book is available at:
14 thoughts on “Sapphic Time Travel Books (Book Unicorn post #2)”
Thanks for the great choices.
I enjoyed Sarah Ettrich, Threaded through Time (part 1 and 2) as well.
Another really good time-travel book is This Time by SW Andersen.
Oh, and don’t miss Timeless by Rachel Spangler!
I can honestly any of Rachel’s books I have read so far!
The Tea Machine by Gill McKnight absolutly faboulous
I agree 100%. Fabulous book, as are the others Gill has written.
I’d also recommend Stein Willard’s Thicker Than Blood: A Vampire Anthology. One of the stories called The Darkling is a time travel story :-).
Two more good ones are “Paradox Gwen” by Louise Laureen and “Gift of Time” by Robin Alexander.
I think I will re-read “Paradox Gwen”
Here’s another one with a lesbian main character that has been pointed out to me on Twitter: The Last Beginning by Lauren James: https://www.amazon.com/Last-Beginning-Next-Together-Book-ebook/dp/B01KFTMDWI/
Violet by Lily Hammond is a great read. 21st century bookstore owner falls, hits her head & finds herself transported back to the early 20th century.
Thanks for the recommendation! I hadn’t heard of “Violet.”
Thanks for alle the comments and suggestions of more brilliant books. I love it!
The Sum of Love by Olivia Lark is another time travel romance well worth reading!
Thanks for letting us know!