In my last booklist I paired women, wine, and romance. This go ’round it’s all about that rich, full-bodied brew, coffee. And of course, romance. Most mornings before I head out to work, I brew up a pot of Yuban and pour it into my trusty Stanley thermos. It’s as much a part of my day as getting dressed. This beloved ritual and cherished sensory experience goes well with both solitude and company.
My idea of a perfect first date starts at a coffee shop. If nothing else goes right, at least there’s a steaming (or chilled or frozen) coffee concoction to enjoy. Want to make that outing even better? Combine it with a good book, of course! The characters in the stories below geek out on B-grade sci-fi flicks, grapple with long-distance, attempt to run a cafe while still attending high school, and much more. Just add coffee. If you have any stories in which coffee plays a role, please share them in the comments below!
Long Macchiatos and Monsters (Geek Out: A Collection of Trans and Genderqueer Romance) by Alison Evans
Published by Less Than Three Press
Available from Less Than Three Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble. Join the discussion on Goodreads!
“Jalen, lover of B-grade sci-fi movies, meets the far-too-handsome P in a cafe while deciding whether or not to skip uni again. When P invites them along to a double feature of Robot Monster and Cat Women of the Moon, Jalen can hardly believe that hot boys like bad sci-fi, too. But as their relationship progresses, Jalen realizes P leaves them wondering if they’re on the same page about what dating means, and if that’s what they’re doing.” – from Less Than Three Press
“Alice is finally happy with her body and her life—except for the part where revealing she’s trans winds up leaving her hurt and abandoned over and over again. She’s decided she’s done making herself miserable by looking for love.
Love finds her anyway, in the form of Hank, the new guy at her local coffee shop. He’s sweet, friendly, charming… and will probably turn out like all the rest. Determined not to shatter the fantasy and lose him before she has to, Alice holds fast to her secrets.
But if the truth doesn’t ruin everything, the lies will, and it seems no matter which choice she makes Alice is set for just one more heartache.” – from Less Than Three Press
Originally published as The Flywheel in Australia, 2015.
“Seventeen-year-old Delilah Green wouldn’t have chosen to do her last year of school this way, but she figures it’s working fine. While her dad goes on a trip to fix his broken heart after her mom left him for another man, Del manages the family cafe. Easy, she thinks. But what about homework? Or the nasty posse of mean girls making her life hell? Or her best friend who won’t stop guilt-tripping her? Or her other best friend who might go to jail for love if Del doesn’t do something? But really, who cares about any of that when all Del can think about is beautiful Rosa who dances every night across the street. . . . Until one day Rosa comes in the cafe door. And if Rosa starts thinking about Del, too, then how in the name of caramel milkshakes will Del get the rest of it together?” – from Chronicle Books
Something True (Out in Portland, #1) by Karelia Stetz-Waters
Published by Forever Yours, an imprint of Grand Central Publishing
Available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google Play Books, Kobo, and other retailers. Join the discussion on Goodreads!
“Tate Grafton has a tough exterior, but underneath she’s kind, caring, and fiercely loyal. That’s why she first started working at Out in Portland Coffee-it was her way of repaying the shop’s owner for taking her in as a homeless teenager. Nine years later, the coffee shop is floundering and Tate feels like she’s letting life pass her by . . . until she shares an unforgettable night with a beautiful stranger. When the mysterious woman disappears the next morning, Tate doesn’t even know her name.
Laura Enfield was supposed to be in Portland for only a few days-just long enough to oversee a simple business deal before joining her conservative father on his political campaign. But when the closeted Laura romances an employee of the coffee shop her company is shutting down, things get suddenly complicated. Now, the lies she’s told for years are beginning to unravel, and her biggest secret is about to be exposed. Laura can’t stop thinking about the barista with the soulful eyes, but after a lifetime of deception, can she finally embrace something true?” – from Karelia Stetz-Waters
“Drawing on the classics of lesbian pulp fiction, Don’t Bang the Barista! is set in the hipster-dyke triangle of East Vancouver, where friends Kate and Cass discuss the politics of hooking up with a hot barista crush. Is Cass warning Kate off over concern for her favourite coffee shop hangout, or does she have ulterior motives for keeping Hanna and Kate apart? What if Hanna actually has her sights set on someone else… someone already in a seemingly monogamous and hetero relationship? Navigating life in the queer East Van community certainly isn’t simple for Kate and her trusty canine, Jupiter, especially when Kate’s ex gets back into town looking more fabulous than ever. Can Kate finally figure out who she wants to be with before it’s too late?” – via Amazon.com
“Cori Tisdale was on top of the world. A basketball star at Harvard and a promising author with a lucrative book deal.
A few years later, Cori’s life is falling apart. Her beautiful girlfriend, Kat Finn, has a shopping addiction. To make ends meet, Cori takes a part-time job at a coffee shop.
Just when Cori thinks her life can’t get any worse, an old crush appears out of the blue. Cori’s friendship with Samantha Clarke pushes Cori further into a dangerous abyss when Sam reveals two secrets to Cori and asks her not to tell a soul, including Kat.
Will this be the end of Cori’s and Kat’s relationship?” from T.B. Markinson
A Caramel Macchiato with a Friend by Lila Bruce
Published by Sapphire Books|
Available from Sapphire Books, Amazon, and other retailers. Join the discussion on Goodreads!
(A short story from the A Heart Well Traveled: Tales of Long Distance Romance and Unlikely Outcomes)
“Discover the many facets of romantic relationships as authors in volume one of, A Heart Well Traveled, unravel the trials and tribulations of long distance love affairs.
Each author, with their own unique style of storytelling, will leave the reader begging for more. Go from wild rides to gentle love stories, exploring the twists and turns lovers go through as they work to be together despite the distance between them.
Explore bonds beyond friendship, chance meetings, family drama, gender complexity, longstanding love and unexpected passion as lovers seek their happily ever after.
A Heart Well Traveled is a collection of short stories where women who love woman share the joys and challenges of long distance relationships.
Can love really conquer all?” – from Sapphire Books