The Lesbian Review Podcast: 10 Best UK Based Lesbian Novels

June 9, 2017

10 Best Lesbian Novels Based In The UK

Welcome to The Lesbian Review Podcast. Today I am joined by avid reader and fan of all things lesfic, Beni Gee - moderator of lesbian audiobook group on facebook, and moderator of the yahoo group the virtual living room  

We are talking UK lesfic and books we really, really loved.

Criteria: Written by UK based author, main character is from the UK.


Sheena’s Picks

1 Fingersmith by Sarah Waters 

London in 1862 – Sue Trinder is an orphan who grows up among petty thieves (fingersmiths). 

Maud is born into a wealthy family. She works with her uncle on documenting his collection of books. 

One evening Gentleman enlists Sue’s help and proposes a scam to get hold of Maud’s money. Sue is to play Maud’s maid and help her realise that she is in love her painting teacher, Gentleman. 

Gentleman will then propose to Maude, they will marry and he will be rich. 

But, things are not as they seem. The novel is full of twists and turns that keep you guessing. 

This book crossed into mainstream and managed to keep excellent reviews

Full review here 


2 Courting The Countess by Jenny Frame 

The story is about Henrietta “Harry” Knight and Annie Brannigan. Harry loves her job as a professor of Archeology at Cambridge University and when her father dies and she becomes Countess of Axedale she is pulled away from her beloved career to fulfil a promise she made to her grandfather. The promise was that she would restore Axedale Hall to its former state of glory. 

Harry is in need of a housekeeper to help her manage the house while she is overseeing the renovations on the property. Enter Annie, housekeeper extraordinaire  and mother to Riley a sweet, curious, girl who is utterly fascinated by history. 

Harry doesn’t believe in true love. She saw her mother destroyed by her father’s cruelty and feels a deep sense of abandonment because her mother left when she was a little girl. 

Annie wants to find a forever home for her and Riley. She wants a place to call her own so that she doesn’t have to keep dragging her daughter from post to post. 

The question is, will Harry and Annie be able to put their own fears and histories aside to see what is really between them? 

Two reviewer favorite badges - Sheena and Tara and we did it as a book club read

Read full review here 


3 Lost In The Starlight by Kiki Archer 

This is the story of two women from very different backgrounds. On the one hand you have singing superstar, Honey Diamond and on the other hand you have the owner of a popular gossip website, Meg. 

Honey is a sweet, naive and over protected superstar. As a result she has lived an idealistic, yet sheltered life and has never really had to ask the tough questions or handle giving difficult answers even though she has been famous for most of her life and is no stranger to the spotlight. 

One day Honey opens a gossip website and sees that there is speculation on whether or not she is a lesbian. She has never had to formally come out because no one has ever actually asked her about her sexuality and she cannot understand why her mother is so against her publicly announcing that she is, in fact, a lesbian. 

Meg is smitten with Honey and feels it deeply that Honey hasn’t come out to the public. She has no idea the stir she causes when she writes a piece for her website about Honey being a lesbian and little does she know this will lead to a life changing event for both women. 

Lost In The Starlight is an absolutely charming, hilarious and gorgeous story or two women from different backgrounds learning that life is a little more complicated than they thought when it comes to love and secrets. 

This book was done as a book club read 

Read the full review here 


4 It Had To Be You by Clare Lydon 

Georgia and Milly are in a relationship and Milly wants Georgia to come home with her for Christmas. Georgia worries that their significant age gap will be a problem, she is old enough to be Milly’s mother and she is not convinced that she will have a lot to talk about with Milly’s family. 

Who’s to know that the simple act of meeting the family will turn lives upside down as the past comes to back to haunt them all. 

3 Reviewer favorite badges - Sheena, Tamara and Tara

Read the full review here 


5 No Good Reason by Cari Hunter 

This is the first novel in the Dark Peak series. It introduces Sanne Jensen and Meg Fielding. Sanne (a detective) and Meg (a doctor) have been best friends for a long time. Occasionally they are friends with benefits. They are both terrified of ruining their friendship by becoming a couple and so they keep things as they are. 

The story centres around Sanne who goes out running and discovers a woman who is barely alive after a fall off a cliff. Her hands are bound and she is not wearing much clothing. Sanne is part of the team to investigate the kidnapping while Meg tries to keep the woman alive at the hospital. 

When the woman wakes up and begins to speak what she says turns Sanne’s world on its head. Sanne realises that time could be running out for her to catch the kidnapper. 

High quality thriller with an incidental lesbian 

Read the full review here


Beni’s Picks

6 That Certain Something by Clare Ashton 

That Certain Something by Clare Ashton is a story about two women who are drawn together for a wonderful, once-in-a-lifetime night. 

They then part ways only to discover that they are drawn together again by a strange twist of fate. Only the one woman was hiding something from the other. 

I don’t want to give too much of the story away because it will ruin some of the fun. 

Read the full review here 


7 A Walk into Darkness by Jade Winters 

Twenty-five years after a young girl goes missing from her home in South-East England, most have given up hope of ever finding closure. But when a renowned psychic has visions of a murder the police reopen the case, placing the puzzle of the ‘woodlands killer’ in Ashley McCoy’s capable hands. 

Firmly set in the harsh reality of a world where the young and beautiful are not safe from dangerous hands, A Walk Into Darkness navigates the ups and downs of Ashley’s life; desperate to solve the cold case without letting the trials and intrigues of life get in the way. When the delectable Tasha comes onto the scene, both women struggle to find a balance between their responsibilities and the undeniable chemistry behind their growing friendship.  

A story of murder, intrigue and the twisting path of life and love. 


8 Nightingale by Andrea Bramhall 

When Charlie Porter meets Hazaar Alim her first year of university, she's instantly smitten. Hazaar has it all: beauty, talent, and brains. What she doesn't realize is that Hazaar's future has already been decided, and Charlie has no place in it. 

Hazaar desperately wants to break with her traditions and stay with Charlie, but when forced to choose, she chooses her family over love. When she realizes the choice she made is the worst one possible, it's too late. 

Years later, while working in Pakistan as a diplomat and negotiator, Charlie receives a phone call from a woman who says her British sister-in-law is to be killed for the family's honor and asks if someone can save her. 

Charlie and Hazaar are on a collision course with destiny. If they make it out alive, can they believe in their love once again? 


9 After the Night by Rachel Dax 

After The Night is a sweeping lesbian love story set in a British prison in 1960. When Nurse Leah Webster begins her first job at a prison hospital, little does she know that her world will be turned upside down by falling in love with Chief Officer Jean MacFarlane. But the course of lesbian love does not always run smoothly and together Leah and Jean have to fight homophobia both within and without the prison walls.


10 Christmas At Winterbourne by Jen Silver 

The Christmas festivities for the guests booked into Winterbourne House have all the goings-on of a traditional holiday. The only difference is that this guesthouse is run by lesbians, for lesbians. 

When the guests arrive, tensions are already simmering between the house's owner Wilma (Wil) and very pregnant partner, Gabriella. Wil has a lot on her plate...ensuring the smooth running of the events, looking after all the guests, including her in-laws and business partners. What she hasn't planned for is a ghost from Christmas past. 

Wil inherited Winterbourne from her adopted mother, Kim Russell, author of a series of successful lesbian novels. Most of the guests who stay, do so because they are fans of the author. 

One guest, Sally Hunter, is on a mission to write Kim's official biography. She meets with resistance from the people at the house she tries to interview, stirring up memories from those who knew the reclusive writer well. 

For a bit of extra spice to the festivities, add in an unexpected snowstorm, a disappearing guest, and an imminent birth. Join the guests and staff at Winterbourne for a Christmas you'll not soon forget. 


Honorable mentions 

Poppy Jenkins by Clare Ashton 

Poppy Jenkins is beloved by everyone who lives in Wells, a village in Wales. She is the girl next door and friend to all. Despite  being close to her loving family, gorgeous little sister, good friends and sense of community,  she is the only lesbian in town and she is lonely. 

Enter Rosalyn Thorn. 

Roselyn and Poppy were inseparable as youngsters. Roselyn was the town outsider, she spoke her mind and was not a pushover. As a result she was labelled as trouble and the only reason anyone put up with her was because of her connection to Poppy. 

Then they turned 16 and overnight, something happened that caused Roselyn to push Poppy away breaking her heart.  Eventually Roselyn left town and Poppy was left with a big question mark as to why she had lost her best friend. 

15 years later Roselyn walks back into Poppy’s life and turns her calm, quiet world upside down. Hurt feelings erupt and secrets are revealed. But can they ever find friendship again, let alone anything more? 

Three reviewer favorite badges - Tamara, Sheena and Tara 

Read the full review here 


Secret Lies by Amy Dunne 

Secret Lies by Amy Dunne is about two teenage girls. The main character is Nicola Jackson who is the outsider at school. She is abused by her stepfather and is desperate to escape from him. She runs away from home and in her haste she bumps into the popular girl from school, Jenny. 

Jenny is fighting her own demons and ends up inviting Nicola to stay the night. The two strike up a friendship that evolves into more. 

The novel is about what happens when families, friends and authorities find out about their budding lesbian relationship. 

See our review here 


Curves Welcome: The Best Thing In The World To Happen

June 8, 2017

Curves Welcome 

Best Thing in the World to Happen 

Novelist and Motivational Blogger Suzie Carr shares her thoughts on a quote from Walt Disney that centers around adversity and why it is good. 

A Note to Listeners: 

Is there a topic you’d like to hear me cover? Please email me at to let me know. I have a special treat for you if you do. Please mention Podcast Idea in your subject line. 


More info 


Badass Women Save Themselves: The Women Of Into The Woods

June 7, 2017

Badass Women Save Themselves 

The Women Of Into The Woods 


In this episode authors Jove Belle and Blythe Rippon chat abou the women of Into The Woods. 

Jove was raised to be charming, not sincere. Blythe just wants to go to the festival. One of us makes a promise not to sing during this episode and then totally breaks it. Join us while we analyze five female characters from the musical, the tropes they represent, and the ways they break down some stereotypes. 


About Jove And Blythe 

Both are published authors and all round badass women in their own right. 

Jove is also on the Women And Words podcast where she and Andi do a roundup of the week’s happenings on their website. 


You can find more info here 


Jove Belle’s website 


Blythe Rippon’s on Facebook


The Badass Women Save Themselves website


The Lesbian Talk Show website



Harper Bliss And Her Mrs: How To Sell Your Books

June 6, 2017

Harper Bliss And Her Mrs 

How To Sell Your Books - Bliss Interview Highlights 

In this episode Sheena takes over from Harper Bliss and Her Mrs (Caroline) to bring you highlights from her 2016 Interview with Harper Bliss.  

There are a few key points that can help you sell more books. Enjoy.

If you have questions please feel free to email them to and they will either answer them on the show or on their blog.


You can also find Harper Bliss on her website or on the Ladylit website check out her books on |



Les Talk About It: The Breast Cast

June 5, 2017

Les Talk About It 

The Breast Cast  

In this episode of Les Talk About it Sheena and Tamara are discussing breasts. They talk about some common myths and misconceptions about lesbians and breasts.  

This is bound to be a titillating episode. 


Sheena is the founder of The Lesbian Talk Show podcast channel and The Lesbian Review. Tamara is super smart and loves researching and together this married couple are known to get slightly off topic and laugh a lot. 

Send your questions and comments to or visit for more info about this and our other podcasts.


Women And Words: The World Is Melting

June 4, 2017

Women and Words 

Overview 28 May-June 2, 2017 

You guys, Jove makes really good tomatoes. Srsly. Plus, the world is melting. And Andi is completely enamored with the Wonder Woman film and is going to go see it several more times. Do yourselves a favor and see it. 

28 May: Author Elyse Springer did a Q&A with us about her work. She writes both M/M and F/F, travels the world, and once moved to the South Pole. 

Women and Words link HERE 

Elyse Springer’s website 

29 May: Author and Women and Wordster Yvonne Heidt joined us with a personal story about her late daughter Dezi. And she provides a recipe for Dezi’s favorite meal, which was chicken enchiladas. Thanks, Yvonne. We will eat these in honor of Dezi. 

Women and Words link HERE 

Yvonne Heidt’s website 

31 May: Author Lee Winter joined us to talk about the reasons she’s worried about seeing the movie Wonder Woman, which is hitting theaters 1-3 June around the world. [Andi’s note: she doesn’t need to worry! It’s not another letdown for women!] 

Women and Words link HERE 

Lee Winter’s website 

1 June: Author and Women and Wordster R.G. Emanuelle is showing off her mad retro TV skills with a blog about M*A*S*H, the American TV show masquerading as a comedy set at a MASH unit during the Korean War that was actually a commentary on the Vietnam War era. Regardless, R.G.’s got some awesome trivia for you about it. 

Women and Words link HERE 

R.G. Emanuelle’s website 

2 June: Author and Women and Wordster Andi Marquette pre-fangirls about the forthcoming Wonder Woman film. And then she saw it later that day and it blew her mind. 

Women and Words link HERE 

Andi Marquette’s website 

Andi fangirls on Twitter and Tumblr 

GCLS is fast approaching (next month!). Details here. And the Bold Strokes Books UK festival is under way! We’re hoping to get Victoria Villaseñor to blog it for us. Woo! 


The Lesbian Historic Motif Project: Episode 10 Sappho Of Lesbos

June 3, 2017

The Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast 

Episode 10 - Sappho of Lesbos - The Woman and the Legend 

As a special Pride Month celebration, I’m recording a pair of episodes talking about the poet Sappho: what we know about her life and context, the legends that sprang up about her, what people of various ages thought of her, and most especially what they knew of her poetry, how they interpreted and even imitated it. 

In this episode we talk about 

  • The known facts of Sappho’s life 
  • What classical Greek and Roman writers said about her 
  • Possible explanations for some of the contradictory stories about her 
  • The social context for Sappho’s expressions of love and desire for women, and what sort of relationships were most likely involved 

More info 

The Lesbian Historic Motif Project lives here 

This topic is discussed in one or more entries of the Lesbian Historic Motif Project here 

If you have questions or comments about the LHMP or these podcasts, send them to me via email 


Les Do Books: Kallmaker Talks Gateway Lesfic

June 2, 2017

Les Do Books 

Karin Kallmaker Talks Gateway Lesfic 

In this episode, Karin Kallmaker joins Tara to talk about books that are gateways to authors, eras, or genres. Authors are readers too, so Tara was excited to hear about why Karin thinks everyone should check out these books. 

Check out the books discussed here: 


A Grave Talent by Laurie R. King - Get it on | |



Stoner Mctavish by Sarah Dreher - Get it on | | 


The Swashbuckler by Lee Lynch - Get it on | | 


On Strike Against God by Joanna Russ - Get it on | | 


The Persistent Desire by Joan Nestle - Get it on | |



Learn more about Karin Kallmaker



More info

Come talk to us about these books and any other lesfic you’ve been reading lately at our Facebook group, The Lesbian Review Book Club


You can see all of our reviews, top 10 lists and author profiles on and don’t forget to send your emails, questions and more to



Book Clips: Love In The Stacks by Cara Malone

June 1, 2017

Book Clips 

Love In The Stacks by Cara Malone 


Mira Lockhart is married to her work. One of the youngest library directors in the state, she has been climbing ladders for so long she’s forgotten what life is like outside the library. Not that she has time for love and all that mushy stuff - Westbrook Public Library is the most challenging place she’s ever worked, and every day there’s a new crisis to avert. 

Her new library page, for one. 

Chelle Tate is young, wild, and free, with fiery red hair and a confidence that instantly draws Mira in – perhaps too close, as Mira finds herself crossing professional boundaries against her better judgment. 

As tensions mount between the two women, so do the bizarre occurrences at the library – boycotts and vandalism and sex in the stacks all conspire to threaten Mira’s job and keep her from finding balance and happiness with Chelle. 

Mira finds love in the stacks, but will she have the courage to pursue it? 

You can find this novel on | on | on 


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