Image of a heart with rainbows

Cindy Rizzo’s TOP 5 Sapphic Books of 2023

Top 5 Reads of 2023 Graphic
Get ready to add books to your TBR pile!

As the end of the year draws near, we have one question we want to ask book lovers the world over. What were your top 5 sapphic reads of 2023?

Luckily our readers like to share! We look forward to passing along these recommendations to you daily into the new year.

It’s not too late to submit your own top reads and get in on the fun. Click here for the form. Our only rules are that authors may not submit their own books and your list needs to be new-to-you books that were read (not necessarily published) in 2023.

Here are author Cindy Rizzo’s top sapphic reads of 2023:

1. A Life Worth Living by Monica McCallan

What could have been an easy trope-filled book (#onebed, #forced proximity) turned out instead to be a well drawn, detailed character study of Nora and Gray, each dealing with their own traumatic pasts. I usually feel like books as long as this one (344 pgs) could be shorter, but in this case, I think the author needed the time to unravel and deal with so much about these two, and it was worth it.

2. Future Wife by Nicole Pyland

This book grabbed me from the very beginning. I’ll admit I’m a big fan of time travel books, when done well, and there aren’t many in the Sapphic book world. This one is a standout. The connection between Carter and Ry is strong and believable. The plotting is well done and kept me engaged. As I read, I kept wondering what would the author do next.

3. A Whisper of Solace by Milena McKay

The book is about Neve and her journey to self-acceptance and self-love. The therapy scenes interspersed throughout are well crafted and insightful as Neve begins to wrestle with the effects of her hidden, traumatic childhood. This book was incredibly engaging and it was not a chore to spend 388 pages reading about Neve. I couldn’t put the book down.

4. The Senator’s Wife by Jen Lyon

I know I have to give a book 5 stars when all I can think about is when I’m going to have a chance to pick it up again. There’s something so highly engaging about this book, and I have to say, I think that something is Catharine, a wealthy, successful businesswoman who’s made some difficult choices to live a limited life. That is, until Alex. Alex herself is well drawn. She’s written as shy and self-effacing, except on the pitch. I thought they made a good couple; at least I was willing to go along for the ride.

The book ends in a “happy for now” situation because there’s a second book in the series (and a promised third). The second book is also highly recommended and I can’t wait for book 3.

5. Heroine of Her Own Life by Constance Emmett

This is actually a family saga with a romance story within. The settings and characters, especially Meg, are highly engaging. The conflict between Irish Catholics and Protestants is presented in all its complexity and without shying away from violence. I was completely focused on reading this book whenever I could, so much so, that I immediately bought and started reading the sequel. Highly recommended.

More about the books:


Meet Cindy Rizzo

I’m a published author, member of the GCLS board, avid Sapphic fiction reader, Jewish lesbian NYC resident, happily married.

Find Cindy here.

share on: