Here are my top ten romances.
They all have romance in them, although, some are not strictly romance novels.
They all have women loving women.
1-Wild Things by Karin Kallmaker
2-Curious Wine by Katherine V Forrest
3-Endless Love by Lisa Shapiro
4-Saving Grace by Jennifer Fulton
5-Landing by Emma Donoghue
6-Watermark by Karin Kallmaker
7-Paperback Romance by Karin Kallmaker
8-Love in the Balance by Marianne K Martin
9-Beebo Brinker by Ann Bannon
10-Treasured Past by Linda Hill
The first lesbian romance I ever purchased was Saving Grace by Jennifer Fulton.
I had read lesbian erotica—- well actually, I had read male fantasy masquerading as lesbian erotica.
I feel confident I’m not the first dyke to have read Penthouse’s Forum with it’s adolescent horny male idea of what two girls do when they “get it on”. They did seem to get the mechanics right but, as far as feelings were concerned they were on another planet.
So, I decided to visit what was then our “local” gay, lesbian and feminist bookstore (L’Androgyne on St-Laurent) and see what they had to offer. It was a tiny place but, they had lots of Naiad books. Magazines like The Advocate had mentioned the pioneer work that Naiad had done and was still doing —they contributed immensely to giving lesbians a voice.
I bought Saving Grace, it had a nice purple cover and the back made it sound interesting. A flawed heroine, an innocent “straight” girl looking to hide from her life after a career altering accident makes her question what her life is about.
I remember thinking the dyke will sweep her off her feet(yeh, it’s romance, fantasy, right!)
I brought that book home and read it in a couple of hours and then I read it again–I ended up going to sleep around 3 am. I was mesmerised. I haven’t read it in years (I lent it to someone and haven’t gotten it back) and yet —
I still remember the scene where Grace kisses Dawn and they fall to the ground in a passionate embrace and she reaches inside Dawn’s panties and says to her “Mm you’re so slippery”. I thought that was really hot.
Another scene on the beach, Dawn can’t walk because she is too noxious from the sun and the pain meds
( She overdid the nude sun bathing)
under protest she let’s Grace carry her and Grace says ” I see you’re a natural blond”.
This book has real erotic power(sure some of it is a little bit sentimental—and what’s wrong with that– a little sugar never hurt anyone). This book is about the redemptive power of love. The love of a good woman. That meant everything to me —-the love of a good woman.
It’s sexy and the setting is a beautiful tropical island –and bonus there is an evil capitalist sub-plot.
I’m sorry if I gave away too much of the plot but, I needed to illustrate what a balm this was to my young butch soul.
Curious Wine by Katherine V Forrest made me want to read poetry and maybe even—-ski, OK maybe not (I’m no athlete). The characters quoted Emily Dickinson and made bone melting love for hours. They were smart and sweet and intense. I was hooked.
I was off on a quest for romance novels extraordinaire. Some were OK, some were bad, many were forgettable and then I read Paperback Romance by Karin Kallmaker. I had found the lesbian romance novelist who spoke to me.
In the next post I will discuss what her work has meant to me.