Tipping the Velvet

by Sarah Waters

This delicious, steamy debut novel chronicles the adventures of Nan King, who begins life as an oyster girl in the provincial seaside town of Whitstable and whose fortunes are forever changed when she falls in love with a cross-dressing music-hall singer named Miss Kitty Butler.

When Kitty is called up to London for an engagement on “Grease Paint Avenue,” Nan follows as her dresser and secret lover, and, soon after, dons trousers herself and joins the act. In time, Kitty breaks her heart, and Nan assumes the guise of butch roue to commence her own thrilling and varied sexual education – a sort of Moll Flanders in drag – finally finding friendship and true love in the most unexpected places.

Drawing comparison to the work of Jeanette Winterson, Sarah Waters’ novel is a feast for the senses – an erotic, lushly detailed historical novel that bursts with life and dazzlingly casts the turn of the century in a different light.

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The Scorpion Rules (Prisoners of Peace #1)

by Erin Bow

(Note: The summary implies a heterosexual main romance. However, it is lying.)

The world is at peace, said the Utterances. And really, if the odd princess has a hard day, is that too much to ask?

Greta is a duchess and crown princess—and a hostage to peace. This is how the game is played: if you want to rule, you must give one of your children as a hostage. Go to war and your hostage dies.

Greta will be free if she can survive until her eighteenth birthday. Until then she lives in the Precepture school with the daughters and sons of the world’s leaders. Like them, she is taught to obey the machines that control their lives. Like them, she is prepared to die with dignity, if she must. But everything changes when a new hostage arrives. Elián is a boy who refuses to play by the rules, a boy who defies everything Greta has ever been taught. And he opens Greta’s eyes to the brutality of the system they live under—and to her own power.

As Greta and Elián watch their nations tip closer to war, Greta becomes a target in a new kind of game. A game that will end up killing them both—unless she can find a way to break all the rules.

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Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel

by Sara Farizan

High-school junior Leila has made it most of the way through Armstead Academy without having a crush on anyone, which is something of a relief. Her Persian heritage already makes her different from her classmates; if word got out that she liked girls, life would be twice as hard. But when a sophisticated, beautiful new girl, Saskia, shows up, Leila starts to take risks she never thought she would, especially when it looks as if the attraction between them is mutual. Struggling to sort out her growing feelings and Saskia’s confusing signals, Leila confides in her old friend, Lisa, and grows closer to her fellow drama tech-crew members, especially Tomas, whose comments about his own sexuality are frank, funny, wise, and sometimes painful. Gradually, Leila begins to see that almost all her classmates are more complicated than they first appear to be, and many are keeping fascinating secrets of their own.

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The Lyremouth Chronicles

by Jane Fletcher

The Exile And the Sorcerer

The quest for the stolen chalice is a sham – her family’s excuse to get rid of Tevi. Exiled in a dangerous and confusing world filled with monsters, bandits, and sorcerers, Tevi battles demons within and without as she searches for her place in the strange new world.

Jemeryl has her future planned out – a future that will involve minimal contact with ordinary folk who do not understand sorcerers. Her ambition is to lead a solitary life within the Coven and to devote herself to the study of magic. It is all very straightforward – until she meets Tevi.

Two unlikely allies join forces to defeat an insidious evil and on the journey find one another.

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The Traitor And the Chalice

Tevi has made a new life in the Protectorate – a life that includes Jemeryl – something she could never have expected when she was exiled from her home. Even more surprising is that she finds herself seriously engaged in the search for the chalice. The fake quest has suddenly become very real.

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The Empress And the Acolyte

After three years of studying with the Empress Bykoda, Jemeryl has learned all that the elderly sorcerer can teach her and is ready to return to Lyremouth. However, before she leaves, Bykoda reveals a grim secret, an oracle of death, and askes her to perform one final assignment.

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The High Priest and the Idol

Jemeryl and Tevi’s relationship is put to the test when the guardian sends Jemeryl on a mission that lands her not only in harm’s way, but also back into the sites of a previous lover.

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The Celaeno Series

by Jane Fletcher

The Temple at Landfall

Lynn feels more like a prisoner than the chosen one of the Goddess. Her transfer to another temple provides her with a chance to taste a little freedom, but all does not go according to plan and her dull life is shattered by the dangers and choices that await her.

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The Walls of Westernfort

All Natasha Ionadis wants is to serve the Goddess as a Temple Guard, and she volunteers eagerly for a dangerous mission to infiltrate a band of renegade warriors and imprinters. But, once away from the temple, the issues are no longer so simple and she must revaluate her beliefs, especially in light of her growing attraction for one of the outlaws. Is it too late to work out what she really wants from life?

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Rangers at Roadsend

After nine years in the rangers, dealing with thugs and wild predators, Sergeant ‘Chip’ Coppelli has learned to spot trouble coming. That is just what she sees in the unexplained discrepancies surrounding the new recruit, Katryn Nagata, but even so, Chip was not expecting murder.

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Dynasty of Rogues

A new lesbian action adventure story that proves when you’re short on friends and long on enemies, things can’t get much worse. Until they do.

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Shadow of the Knife

Militia rookie Ellen Mittal is well aware that the world cannot be reduced to simple questions of black and white, but she has no idea of just how complex and dangerous her life is about to become. The most vicious gang in the Homelands, led by the infamous Butcher, is extending its operations to Roadsend. By her oath as a member of the Militia, Ellen is sworn to uphold the rule of law, no matter what the cost to herself. But as the body count starts to rise, Ellen finds her task made all the harder by a wall of silence from ordinary citizens, a commanding officer with her head in the sand, and the attentions of an attractive young farmer who is probably not who she claims to be.

Ellen must work out who to trust, because if she gets it wrong she might easily lose her heart, or her life.

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Everything Leads to You

by Nina LaCour

A wunderkind young set designer, Emi has already started to find her way in the competitive Hollywood film world.

Emi is a film buff and a true romantic, but her real-life relationships are a mess. She has desperately gone back to the same girl too many times to mention. But then a mysterious letter from a silver screen legend leads Emi to Ava. Ava is unlike anyone Emi has ever met. She has a tumultuous, not-so-glamorous past, and lives an unconventional life. She’s enigmatic…. She’s beautiful. And she is about to expand Emi’s understanding of family, acceptance, and true romance.

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One Foot Onto the Ice

by Kiki Archer

Do you ever wonder how your old classmates remember you? Especially those who weren’t in your circle?

Susan Quinn, a teacher at St Wilfred’s All-Girls School, and Jenna James, a Club Ski instructor in the French Alps, are about to find out.

As an invisible bond draws the two women closer, will they appreciate each other for who they are now, not who they once were?

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The Dark Wife

by Sarah Diemer

Three thousand years ago, a god told a lie. Now, only a goddess can tell the truth. Persephone has everything a daughter of Zeus could want–except for freedom. She lives on the green earth with her mother, Demeter, growing up beneath the ever-watchful eyes of the gods and goddesses on Mount Olympus. But when Persephone meets the enigmatic Hades, she experiences something new: choice. Zeus calls Hades “lord” of the dead as a joke. In truth, Hades is the goddess of the underworld, and no friend of Zeus. She offers Persephone sanctuary in her land of the dead, so the young goddess may escape her Olympian destiny. But Persephone finds more than freedom in the underworld. She finds love, and herself.

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The Circle (Engelsfors Book #1)

by Sara Bergmark Elfgren and Mats Strandberg

On a night after the apparent suicide of high school student Elias Malmgren, a blood-red moon fills the night sky.

Minoo wakes up outside her house, still in her pajamas, and is drawn by an invisible force to an abandoned theme park on the outskirts of town. Soon five of her classmates―Vanessa, Linnéa, Anna-Karin, Rebecka, and Ida―arrive, compelled by the same force. A mystical being takes over Ida’s body and tells them they are fated to fight an ancient evil that is hunting them. As the weeks pass, each girl discovers she has a unique magical ability. They begin exploring their powers. The six are wildly different and definitely not friends . . . but they are the Chosen Ones.

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The Miseducation of Cameron Post

by Emily M. Danforth

Set in rural Montana in the early 1990s, emily m. danforth’s The Miseducation of Cameron Post is a powerful and widely acclaimed YA coming-of-age novel in the tradition of the classic Annie on My Mind.

Cameron Post feels a mix of guilt and relief when her parents die in a car accident. Their deaths mean they will never learn the truth she eventually comes to—that she’s gay. Orphaned, Cameron comes to live with her old-fashioned grandmother and ultraconservative aunt Ruth. There she falls in love with her best friend, a beautiful cowgirl. When she’s eventually outed, her aunt sends her to God’s Promise, a religious conversion camp that is supposed to “cure” her homosexuality. At the camp, Cameron comes face to face with the cost of denying her true identity.

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