9 Sapphic Love Stories for February

Of Socialites and Prizefights

By Arden Powell

She needs a woman’s kiss to break her curse.

When Deepa Patel rejects the wrong man, he curses her: every night, she will transform into a wild animal until her curse is broken by true love’s kiss. The problem is twofold. One: Deepa needs her nights to seduce shallow men into spending money on her—money she desperately needs to buy herself and her mother a better life. Two: she doesn’t believe in love. She’s never met a man she wanted to keep longer than a week, never mind forever.

She never considered her true love might be a woman.

Roz is unlike any of Deepa’s past suitors. She’s working class, with a nose that’s been broken at least once, courtesy of an underground boxing club. And she makes Deepa feel lighter and softer than she ever thought possible. But Roz can’t afford to give Deepa the life of luxury she craves.

Meanwhile, Deepa is posing as a wealthy nobleman’s fiancée. There’s no love between them, but his lifestyle is everything she’s ever wanted. Caught between a real relationship and a loveless fake one, Deepa has to choose: give up on her dreams for a chance at true love, or make her dreams come true but stay cursed forever.

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A Game of Hearts and Heists

By Ruby Roe

Two enemies, one goal: steal each other’s hearts.

Scarlett Grey, disgraced assassin, is determined to get revenge.

Quinn Adams, medic turned-poisoner for hire, is her deadliest rival.

For years, they’ve stolen each other’s clients, sabotaged each other’s business, and occasionally… slept together.

When the Magician Queen offers an irresistible deal, Scarlett and Quinn are forced to work together. But this is not a simple job.

With an impossible heist ahead, they’re going to have to trust each other…

And that’s not easy when they both have secrets to hide.

Harder still when those secrets will betray the ones they love.

Now neither woman is sure if it’s a heist they want to win or a heart.

Two women, two deadly professions, and a romance that could be their downfall.

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By Matthew Zakharuk

Tresor Institute accepts only the worthy, and Ada Călinescu is anything but. Intractable, mannish, a child of convicted terrorists, she can at best hope to be overlooked. Yet somehow the Institute accepts her application for transfer. Her ticket to the polar town of Heilung, home of the Institute, arrives free of charge.

Her only chance to forge a brighter future.

Except Heilung welcomes Ada with news of a brutal murder. Militiamen stalk the town, keen to fill their arrest quotas—and Ada knows she could make an easy scapegoat. At every turn the bloody conspiracy follows her, from the halls of Tresor to the arms of a stranger she yearns to make hers. What starts as a dalliance risks putting Ada at odds with the Bureau itself.

And then expulsion will be the least of her concerns.

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The Orc and her Bride

By Lila Gwynn

RUGA KARRSDAUGHTER, dutiful orc princess with a heart of gold, has spent the years since her sister was elected queen serving the orc country of Torden. Her duties now include marrying an elf princess for a much-needed alliance against an outside threat.

ELKETH CERIDWEN, rakish elf princess with a penchant for chaos, has never lifted a finger in her life. Now that an engagement is sprung upon her by the stern elvish king, she has to fulfill a fifty-day betrothal period in Torden surrounded by strangers…unless she can wreak enough havoc to get sent back home.

These poor orcs don’t know what they’re in for.

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This Gilded Abyss

By Rebecca Thorne

Sergeant Nix Marr is a damn good soldier. She’s also desperate to leave her haunted past deep in the bioluminescent ocean, buried alongside her best friend, Quian. So, when Subarch Kessandra, Valkesh’s favorite royal–and Nix’s loathed ex–requests Nix’s help investigating a massacre in the abyssal city of Fall, Nix refuses. Vehemently.

She should have known Kessandra would fight back.

Consigned as Kessandra’s bodyguard, Nix grudgingly boards the Luminosity, a luxurious submersible that offers the only transportation to Fall. But Kessandra wasn’t truthful–surprise, surprise–and her “investigation” isn’t about the massacre, but rather what caused it: an illness that incites its victims into a violent craze.

When another royal is brutally murdered, Nix and Kess realize the disease has spread–and no one on the Luminosity is safe. If they’re going to survive until Fall, they’ll have to trust each other… but considering Kessandra is responsible for Quian’s death, that won’t be easy.

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The Timeless Legion

By J.C. Rycroft

A dragon stolen.
A love betrayed.
A legion lost to time…

Des is a mess.

The sellsword has been betrayed yet again by her ex-lover, and separated from her bonded dragon, Squid. And now she’s been turfed out of her last sanctuary. Lost without her dragon, her only comfort lies at the bottom of a glass of ale. Or nine.

But as much as she might long for it, her death would only give the Emperor what he wants: the opportunity to bond with her dragon and use its power to become immortal. To mount a rescue, Des must cross a militarised border. When her oldest friend appears carrying permission to travel to Ascelin, she knows she’ll do whatever it takes to get her dragon back – even play the man she couldn’t marry.

In Ascelin, though, she finds everything she’s ever held dear is at risk. The Emperor’s avarice will no longer be satisfied with using the dragons’ mastery of time only to avoid death, and he’s turning to conquest. Des must save Squid, confront old mistakes and unravel the threads of time to find the secret at the heart of the world before the Emperor uses the force of history to wreak his will.

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Ghost Flower

By Jessica Conwell

Come and see.

Elodie Morne lives two lives.

In one, she’s an eighteen-year-old high school student about to graduate, secretly in love with her best friend, Ezri, and unusual only by the standards of a banal world. In the other, she is the scion of the Outer Darkness, born of Cennend, the sentient nothingness from which all reality sprung. Determined to live as nothing more than an ordinary human, Elodie has done everything in her power to keep the two worlds apart.

But forces from both conspire against her. When she discovers a secret society of elites attempting to break the bonds that have kept her “parent” imprisoned for millennia, Elodie is forced to commit an unspeakable act to save all of creation from the wrath of the darkness that birthed her.

Now the consequences of her actions have ignited the dark heart of her town, turning the sleepy tourist community of Rook Lake into a war zone. Pursued by adversaries both mortal and immortal, Elodie and Ezri risk everything to save reality itself from being unmade. But their enemies are ruthless and desperate, and the coming battle may cost Elodie her ordinary life, her greatest love, and even her own humanity.

Part supernatural fantasy, part coming of age romance, Ghost Flower is a journey through the darkness and the light, a tale of love, loss, and what it means to be who you truly are.

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By Stephanie Burgis

Take one ambitious politician and one determined magician with wildly different aims for their next meeting.

Add a secret betrothal, a family scandal, and a heaping of dangerous fey magic in an enchanted wood…and watch the sparks fly!

For just one moonlit, memorable night, Thornfell College of Magic has flung open its doors, inviting guests from around the nation to an outdoor ball intended to introduce the first-ever class of women magicians to society…but one magician and one invited guest have far more pressing goals of their own for the night.

Quietly brilliant Juliana Banks is determined to win back the affections of her secret fiancée, rising politician Caroline Fennell, who has become inexplicably distant. If Juliana needs to use magic to get her stubborn fiancée to pay her attention…well, then, as the top student in her class, she is more than ready to take on that challenge!

Unbeknownst to Juliana, though, Caroline plans to nobly sacrifice their betrothal for Juliana’s own sake – and no one has ever accused iron-willed Caroline Fennell of being easy to deter from any goal.

Their path to mutual happiness may seem tangled beyond repair…but when they enter the fey-ruled woods that border Thornfell College, these two determined women will find all of their plans upended in a night of unexpected and magical possibilities.

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The Phoenix and the Sword

By J.C. Snow

Cursed with immortality and destroying fire, Aili Fallon will cross life and death to find the truth.

Aili is desperate.

Determined to escape her past, the young woman refuses to let anything impede her training as a combat nurse. But when the woman she loves binds her with blood and disappears, Aili is transformed into a magical killer, a blood-bound healer, an immortal being.

Gambling with her own existence, she crosses through phoenix gates into a new world. But when she is reunited with her lost love, she learns they have been pawns in an ancient game of immortals, the keystone in a demon’s curse.

Will Aili’s newfound power and the secrets of her past destroy her, or can she and her lost phoenix unravel the binding of life and death?

The Phoenix and the Sword is the first book in the Crane Moon Cycle, a queer epic fantasy novel set in a world of spiritual powers, past lives, and beings of myth and legend. Unexpected, multilayered, and beautiful, The Phoenix and the Sword begins a tale of love and adventure that crosses centuries and worlds.

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