10 Slow-Burn Romance Novels featuring Women-Loving Women – Selected by Jae

Probably my favorite trope or subcategory among WLW & lesbian romance novels are slow-burn romances, which means the characters don’t fall in love at first sight or jump into bed in the second chapter. They take their time getting to know each other, establishing trust, and building their relationship. All the while, the sexual tension between them is growing to a delicious sizzle…

So I put together a list of my personal favorite slow-burn romances featuring women who love women.

1. Wrong Number, Right Woman by Jae

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Wrong Number, Right Woman is a light-hearted, slow-burn lesbian romance that embraces likeable characters without all the drama.

A single text message can change everything!

Flirting has never been Denny’s strong suit, but so what if she’s too shy to ask women out? She’s content with her simple life, working as a cashier and helping her sister raise her niece.

But then she gets a wrong-number text message from a stranger named Eliza, asking her of all people for dating advice!

Eliza is Denny’s total opposite: witty, outgoing—and straight. Despite their differences, the accidental text sparks an unlikely friendship. Soon, Eliza—self-proclaimed queen of disastrous first dates—would rather banter back and forth with Denny than to keep trying her luck at online dating.

When they meet in person, there’s an instant connection. But what Eliza is feeling can’t be attraction, right? It doesn’t mean a thing that she’s starting to wish the guys she dates would be more like Denny. Or does it?

Can the wrong number lead to the right woman after all?

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2. And Playing the Role of Herself by K. E. Lane

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Actress Caidence Harris is living her dreams after landing a leading role among the star-studded, veteran cast of 9th Precinct, a hot new police drama shot on location in glitzy LA.

Her sometimes-costar Robyn Ward is magnetic, glamorous, and devastatingly beautiful, the quintessential A-List celebrity on the fast-track to super-stardom.

When the two meet on the set of 9th Precinct, Caid is instantly infatuated but settles for friendship, positive that Robyn is both unavailable and uninterested. Soon Caid sees that all is not as it appears, but can she take a chance and risk her heart when the outcome is so uncertain?

The leading ladies and the supporting cast of this debut novel by newcomer K.E Lane will charm you, entertain you, and leave you with a smile on your face, eager for Ms. Lane’s next offering.

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3. Breaking Character by Lee Winter

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Life has become a farcical mess for icy British A-lister Elizabeth Thornton. America’s most-hated villain stars in a top-rated TV medical drama that she hates.

Now, she’s been romantically linked to her perky, new co-star, Summer, due to the young woman’s clumsiness. As a closeted actress, that’s the last thing Elizabeth needs. If she could just get her dream movie role, life would be so much better. The only problem is that the eccentric French film-maker offering it insists on meeting her “girlfriend”, Summer, first.

Summer Hayes is devastated when her co-star shuns her for accidentally sparking rumors they’re lovers. Now the so-called British Bitch has the audacity to ask Summer to pretend to be her girlfriend to get her a role? Elizabeth doesn’t even like Summer! Oh, how she’d love to tell her no. And Summer definitely would if it wasn’t for the fact she’s maybe a tiny bit in love with the impossible woman.

A lesbian celebrity romance about gaining love, losing masks, and trying to stick to the script.

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4. Ask, Tell by E.J. Noyes

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Where can you turn when you’re caught in a crossfire of war and passion?

Captain Sabine Fleischer is a skilled and dedicated U.S. Army surgeon deployed to a combat hospital in Afghanistan. She is also one of the thousands of troops who are forced to serve in silence because of the military’s anti-gay policy of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT).”

Usually driven and focused, Sabine finds that battles raging both inside and outside the perimeter walls are making it more and more difficult for her to deal with her emotions. Dealing with loss and mortality, lack of privacy, sleep deprivation, loneliness and the isolation forced on her by “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” are all taking their toll. Plus, her long-term relationship with a civilian back home is quickly becoming another casualty of war.

Colonel Rebecca Keane is an enigmatic career officer who runs the surgical unit like clockwork. Well liked and respected by those who work with and under her, she walks a fine line to preserve the military’s chain of command while connecting with those under her care and supervision.

Sabine knows the Colonel is way off-limits, but can’t help fantasizing about her. Especially when she starts picking up unspoken cues—a stolen glance, a secret smile, an “accidental” brush of hands. Or is it just wishful thinking? After all, Rebecca’s wedding ring shines almost as brightly as her deep blue eyes…

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5. Without A Front: The Producer’s Challenge (Chronicles of Alsea Book 2) by Fletcher DeLancey

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Alsea is fractured in the aftermath of war. So is its leader. Though devastated by a personal loss, Lancer Andira Tal must somehow stitch her world together and move it forward when all the rules have changed. Every decision is fraught with risk, and her enemies wait for her to stumble.

During a global debate over alien technology, Tal stuns the world when she accepts a challenge from her most vocal critic in the producer caste. By trading the staff of office for the tools of a field worker, she hopes to swing the producers to her side.

In the peaceful fields of Hol-Opah, Tal finds both a shocking secret and a lost dream. It is here that she will take her greatest risk—and give her enemies their greatest weapon.

This sequel to The Caphenon moves into a deeper exploration of Alsean culture, while stirring up a mixture of romance, humor, and political intrigue.

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6. Irregular Heartbeat by Chris Zett

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After nearly a decade as a professional drummer, Diana Petrell leaves her rock-star life behind to continue her residency in emergency medicine. She’s determined not to let anything stop her—not even falling in love with her aloof mentor, Dr. Emily Barnes.

Emily has only ever focused on her career as a senior attending in the emergency department, and she isn’t happy about having to babysit a resident with a ten-year gap in her résumé, no matter how intriguing she is.
But every time they work together, it’s not just their patients’ heartbeat that gets a little irregular. Soon, the once-clear lines between work and personal life begin to blur.

When Diana’s unorthodox secret past is revealed, putting her job in jeopardy, Emily has to choose between her career and her relationship. A lesbian romance that asks how much we’d risk for love.

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7. Without Warning (Shaken Series Book 1) by KG MacGregor

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On a day that begins like any other, a violent earthquake strikes Los Angeles, plunging the region into chaos. Two strangers, trapped in a collapsed shopping mall, find each other amid the rubble and join forces to escape. Hampered by injury and darkness, they dig and claw their way through one crumbled store after another, emerging long after most have given up hope for survivors.

The ordeal leaves both women shaken, but their shared triumph sets them on a life-changing course together, igniting a connection like neither has ever known.

Anna Kaklis–whose perfectly planned life never included falling in love with another woman–is thrown for a loop, but she doesn’t doubt her heart.

Lily Stewart–abandoned too many times by people she trusted–won’t let herself believe that Anna’s love will endure.

Without Warning is the story of their courageous journey through adversity, and their promise of steadfast love.

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8. The Love Factor by Quinn Ivins

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A smart, opposites-attract, student-professor romance filled with nostalgia, edgy politics, and the forbidden thrills of lesbian love in the nineties.

Molly Cook is almost thirty, with dismal career prospects, and has given up on saving the world. It might be the nineties, and everything’s shoulder pads, Doc Martens, and The X-Files, but people won’t budge on gay rights. Molly decides to give a PhD a whirl but finds herself more interested in campus politics…and her strict and sexy statistics professor.

Professor Carmen Vaughn is stuck in small-town Maryland with smarmy blowhards for colleagues and ungrateful students who can’t handle her high standards. She has no intention of coming out, least of all to Molly, a troublemaking grad student who can’t stop picking fights with the conservative faculty.

But when Molly discovers evidence implicating a homophobic colleague in a scandal, Carmen can’t ignore it—even if the subject hits too close to home. As the two women work together to make their case, they grow closer than Carmen ever imagined. But she absolutely refuses to get involved with a student.

The thing is, as the chemistry builds between them, Molly isn’t sure she wants to be a grad student anymore…if she ever did.

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9. Hunter’s Way by Gerri Hill

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Homicide detective Tori Hunter was used to doing things her way. But even after six different partners in seven years, she was not prepared for the hot-tempered Samantha Kennedy.

Samantha, on the other hand, was trying to juggle a new job, a demanding boyfriend, and now finds herself with an even greater challenge — being partnered with the most difficult detective in the entire squad.

After a brief terrorist scare disrupts their serial killer investigation, the two women find themselves growing closer. Sam begins to question the relationship with her longtime boyfriend, and Tori, never one to allow anyone to get too close, begins to feel her defenses slipping in Sam’s presence.

A serial killer and drug deals gone bad; the two detectives struggle with their feelings, trying to maintain their professional relationship while keeping their nearly flammable physical relationship in check.

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10. Battle Scars by Meghan O’Brien

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Returning Iraq war veteran Ray McKenna struggles with battle scars that can only be healed by love.

Ray McKenna returns from the war in Iraq to find that she has attained unwanted celebrity status back home.

As the only surviving American soldier of a well-publicized hostage crisis, she is the center of attention at a time when all she wants is solitude.

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About Jae

Jae is the author of twenty-one award-winning romances between women.
She lives in the sunniest city in Germany, near the French and Swiss borders.

She used to work as a psychologist but gave up her day job in 2013 to become a full-time writer and a part-time editor. As far as she’s concerned, it’s the best job in the world.

When she’s not writing, she is an avid reader, indulges her ice cream and stationery addictions, and watches way too many crime shows.

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Did you enjoy this list? If you did, here are a few other book lists I think you’ll love!


Niamh Murphy is the best-selling author of 'Escape to Pirate Island' and other adventure books with lesbian main characters. Read more here.

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3 years ago

Well, darn it, Jae. I was hoping to find a multitude of titles which I haven’t read. LOL! There are only three, including your new one which is on my TBR pile. I agree with your picks; outstanding slow-burn reads.

1 year ago

I have some of the same authors and books in my favorites – not surprising as I like your writing as well!

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