Looking back on Bella’s 2019 releases

It’s been a wonderful year of new releases here at Bella, so here’s another look at what came out in 2019.

January

Brace for Impact by Becky Harmon

Former Army pilot Dex Alexander has made the transition to flying commercial airlines, but she’s still using the same old excuses for avoiding romantic entanglements. US Air Marshall Lucy Donovan has spent the last fifteen years traveling the world with her job but she’s finally ready to settle down. When the two women meet, their connection is undeniable. Can Dex and Lucy get past their own issues to create something meaningful together before Lucy takes off again?

Rising Above by Genevieve Fortin

Engineering geologist, Anais (Ana) Bloom heads to Sainte-Luce-Sur-Mer to study climate change on the shoreline of the Saint-Laurent River. While there, she meets Melodie, the granddaughter of the innkeeper of the White Sheep. Melodie is impulsive with a less-than-pleasant attitude and sees Ana’s presence as a threat to her future for her way of life. When a strong storm hits the community, the two women are forced to take refuge in the inn and each other.

Careful What You Wish For by Jackie Calhoun

Chelsea Danforth Browning left everything behind to start a new life with a woman two states away. When she discovers that her partner has been cheating on her, she’s devasted. In the wake of her heartbreak, Chelsea works to mend her relationships with her adult daughters, find a job editing lesbian books, and forge a new life for herself. Along the way she makes new friends and welcomes love into her life once again.

February

Screen Kiss by Ann Roberts 

Addy Tornado loves movies more than just about anything else in the world, and she yearns to find a romance like the ones in her favorite films. Mazie Midnight just wants to finish her master’s degree in music performance, but debilitating stage fright has threatened to steal the thing she loves. She moves across the country and tries to reinvent herself, hoping that it will help with overcoming her fears. When she takes a job at the Bijou Theater, she runs into the very particular Addy and the two clash right away. That’s until Addy hears Mazie sing, and vows to help the newcomer with her stage fright.

Kaleidoscope by Venus Reising

After failing out of college in NYC, Fernanda Beaumont is forced to return to her small Louisiana childhood town and move back in with her grandmother. Fernanda doesn’t think she can make it through the summer, but when her childhood best friend Shae Williams pops back into her life, Fernanda feels a spark of hope…and maybe something else. The two women also team up to investigate the dreams Shae has been having about the disappearance of a little girl from the neighboring town.

The Blood Runs Cold by Catherine Maiorisi

NYPD Detectives Chiara Corelli and P.J. Parker are back! This time they are dealing with the murder of a gay man, who is found surrounded by religious iconography. Kate Burke, the lesbian Speaker of the City Council, takes a special interest in the case, and as more bodies are discovered, Chiara sees a group photo with Kate and all of the murder victims. Is a serial killer on the loose, trying to take down all the people in the photo? Chiara Corelli aims to find out.

March

Moonlight Avenue by Gerri Hill

Ex-cop turned private eye, Finley Knight, can’t stop thinking about the past. Detective Dee Woodard transferred precincts to get away from her ex, and a new case has her seeking out help from Finley Knight. Rylee Moore is hoping to start a new life and finds herself employed as the receptionist and sole employee of Finley’s agency. A series of murders brings the three women together, and in the process, love also finds a way to rise to the surface. But can they survive long enough to see what comes next?

Savor the Moment by Dana Piccoli

Natalia Chambers is a successful singer/songwriter whose band is on the rise, but she has two major problems: she’s still nursing a broken heart from her ex, and she’s got a serious case of writer’s block. A chance meeting with a talented and beautiful pastry chef, Maddy LaDuke, sends Nat tumbling head over heels. Could their blossoming romance be the key to Nat’s writer’s block? Just when Nat thinks she’s ready to take the next step with Maddy, an old flame arrives and tries to burn it all down.

Gallows Humor by Carolyn Elizabeth

Corey Curtis thinks she has it all. A sweet job as a medical examiner at Jackson City Memorial Hospital, great friends, and occasional relationships with smart, beautiful women. Dr. Thayer Reynolds, who is about to start her Emergency Department fellowship at JCMH, is intrigued by talk of the attractive young woman who works in the morgue. Sparks fly when the two women meet, and Corey throws herself into her latest exam, a construction worker whose death seems more than accidental. Corey takes it upon herself to start digging into the case and brings Thayer along for the ride, endangering them both. Can Corey follow her instincts and her heart?

April

Smile Number Seven by Melissa Price

In this age-gap romance, four-time Oscar winning actress Katarina Verralta finds herself stuck in a terrible rainstorm in the middle of nowhere, and pulls off the intestate to seek refuge. Julia Dearling, owner of the Starlight Diner, welcomes Katarina in for a meal and some conversation, and since there are no hotels in the tiny town of Desert Bluff, she also offers her a place to stay. That offer kicks off a passionate romance, but Katarina must face the the dual factors of their age difference and how this new love will change everything for the closeted actress.

Painted Over by Sofi Keren

Once upon a time, Paige and Ria were the best friends, but a shocking event ended their friendship senior year of college. The women grew to be successes in their fields, Paige became an artist and Ria a star soccer player, and a chance meeting years later has them cautiously considering a reconciliation. However, things promise to get complicated with the arrival of Ria’s ex, and a glamorous gallery owner, who definitely wants more than just Paige’s artwork.

Reinventing Lindsey by Maggie Brown

Daisy Parker is an anthropologist-turned-matchmaker, but nothing has prepared her for her newest client, reclusive scientist Lindsey Jamieson-Ford. More comfortable with robots than humans, Lindsey poses a real challenge for Daisy. Naturally the bubbly Daisy and the difficult Lindsey struggle to find common ground, but soon enough, both women find themselves drawn to each other even as Daisy tries to find Lindsey a match.

May

Alone by E.J. Noyes

Celeste Thorne will be rewarded half a million dollars if she can stay in total isolation for four years. Always a loner, Celeste isn’t stressed about the solitary psychological experiment, and is looking forward to a sweet payday. However, three years in, when she finds Olivia Soldano, an injured hiker in the woods, her world is thrown into disarray. With only the voices in her head as company for three years, Celeste doesn’t know what to believe anymore.

Girl Squad by Kim Hoover 

In a small Texas town in the 1970s, a lazy hot summer becomes something else entirely when Cal Long’s mother goes missing. Teenage Cal, her best friend Rachel, and beautiful newcomer Jane try to get to the bottom of the mystery themselves. As the trio travels across Texas following clues, Cal is drawn to Jane in a way she’s never experienced before. It’s a story of story of friendship, of betrayal, of passion, and awakening.

In the Silences by Rachel Gold

Fourteen-year-old Kaz Adams is a genderqueer teen who loves comic books and hanging out with fellow student and secret crush, Aisha Warren. Through Aisha, Kaz gets a glimpse at the racism that pervades their town. Kaz makes it their mission to stand with Aisha and try to change the culture of discrimination that has become the status quo.

June

Across the Dark Horizon by Tagan Shepard

Major Charlene “Charlie” Hawk is sent to deal with a dangerous prison riot on the moon and rescue the staff, including the kind-hearted warden Gail Moore. If Charlie and Gail can survive the siege it will be a miracle. And if they can do so without falling in love, well, that’s another story.

Cause and Affection by Sheryl Wright

Kara Wexler has just a few days to decide if she wants to accept the position of CEO of her father’s company, a decision that would leave her under her father’s control. Her supportive siblings hatch a plan to get their sis back on track. That’s where down-on-her-luck actress Madeleine Jessepp comes in. She reluctantly accepts the siblings’ offer of the “Love at First Sight Role” and spends a week on a fantasy date with Kara. But when real feelings happen, how will Kara react when she learns she’s been deceived by everyone?

Full of Promise by Kate Gavin

A Bella debut novel! High school senior Cameron Leoni doesn’t have much time in her busy life for socializing. She’s helping raise her siblings, working to save for college, and what time is left is dedicated to her big love: soccer. Cameron meets new girl Riley Baker on the first day of try-outs and the girls are immediately drawn to one another. Soon enough, feelings of friendship change into those of love, but Riley is scared to lose her best friend by confessing her true feelings.

6th Sense by Kate Calloway

You can now get this Naiad classic in ebook version! The sixth book in the Cassidy James Mystery Series follows PI Cassidy James as she gets a desperate call for help from her ex, psychologist Maggie Carradine. Maggie has been the witness to two murders, both of which are connected to clients of Maggie’s. Can Cassidy help get to the bottom of these crimes before the killer strikes again?

July

Because I Said So by Karin Kallmaker

Kesa Sapiro learned to grow up fast when her parents passed and she was put in charge of raising her younger sister, Josie. When Josie announces she’s getting married to a young man she’s only known for a few weeks, Kesa forbids it. Also shocked by this news is Shannon Dealan, who’s chosen family son, Paz, is the other half of this young couple. Josie and Paz set up a meeting between their loved ones, hoping it can thaw the ice about their nuptials, and as life often has it, nothing goes according to plan.

In My Heart by Bette Hawkins

It’s 1958 and Alice Johnson’s one big love is music, even though she feels the pressure in her small Southern town to settle down and marry. Everything changes when one night she sees up-and-coming singer Dorothy Long, and becomes even more determined to follow her dreams, now with a muse to inspire her. Before she knows it, Alice actually meets her idol and joins her on the road…and her hotel room. Will this unexpected desire consume Alice, or could Dorothy share on those feelings?

The Secret Chord by Virginia Hale

When music teacher Kate York accepts a position at her old alma mater and boarding school, St. Joan of Arc, the last thing she expected was to come face to face with her former roommate Tilly, who was brought on as a substitute. When they last saw each other as teenagers, and despite their feelings for each other, Tilly was determined to join the sisterhood of nuns that raised her as an orphan. With Tilly refusing to talk about their past, Kate wonders if they can rekindle their friendship. However, there’s much more brewing beneath the surface for both women. 

August

All the Reasons I Need by Jaime Clevenger

Kate Owens has been in love with her best friend Mo Calloway for years, but after hiding her feelings for so long, she’s worried that Mo might be starting to see through her. When a reservation mixup on their Mexico vacation forces the two to share a bed for five nights, the two women come face to face with their feelings.

Counting on Love by RL Burgess

Zoe Cavendish is a rising star in her corporate finance agency, but there’s just one little problem: she has a huge crush on her boss, Reyna Azoulay. Not only is inter-office romance not on CEO Reyna’s mind, but she’s also just taken in her sister’s child. When Zoe and Reyna are both chosen to speak at an international conference, Reyna can’t help but see the connection between them as well. That’s if a charismatic keynote speaker doesn’t woo Zoe away first. 

Summer Desires by Emily King

Amy Bergen is finally pursuing her dream of being a lifeguard, but she has her hands full with her new position and still managing a luxury auto-dealership. Amy figures there’s no room in her hectic life for romance, but that’s before she meets middle school teacher Sarah Wagner. Sarah has her eye on Amy too, but the lifeguard is attracting lots of attention from other women as well. Can these two get over their tense first meeting to explore something more? 

September

After the Summer Rain by Gerri Hill

Workaholic Erin Ryder is on a one woman collision course with disaster until a family intervention, where afterwards she finds herself on the remote Eagle Bluff ranch in New Mexico to detox for three months. Melanie West, who runs the ranch, is used to the peaceful life, and when the younger Erin comes to stay and regroup, the anger and resentment that Erin carried with her begins to fall away and the two women bond. As time passes and her three months come to end, Erin realizes leaving the ranch to go back to her life, means leaving something very special behind.

Blood and Roses by MB Panichi

In the year 2543, lead guitarist Ari Walker and her thrasher band Shattered Crystal Enigma are on an interstellar tour. Wherever they go however, a dangerous stalker calling themselves Celestian follows, determined to capture Ari’s attention, or else. Ari’s always been a love-em and leave-em type, but that’s until new drummer Rhynn Knight joins the band and the two women connect in ways Ari never expected. As their relationship grows and becomes public, Celestian’s wrath becomes more and more dangerous.

Every Time We Say Goodbye by Jay Maiman

This Robin Miller Mystery Book is now available in ebook format! NYC Private Eye Robin Miller has a lot on her shoulders. From a cold case that haunts her, to her girlfriend K.T. Bellflower’s family showing up unexpectedly, to an ex-lover who pops up, and most dire, K.T.’s niece who has gone missing in Times Square. That’s a lot for any one person to handle! 

October

The Lucky Ones by KG MacGregor

It’s been ages since Brittany Iverson left her home in Leland, Kentucky, stinging from her mother’s betrayal and in search of a lesbian community in California. When the chance to return home and resurrect her father’s business for a big profit presents itself, Brittany can’t refuse. High school teacher and softball player Ninah Faust loves her life in the cozy town of Leland, so when Brittany arrives in town to make money and take off, Ninah knows she ought to stay away. Easier said than done when the two women meet.

Hunter’s Descent by Lise MacTague

In this sequel to Five Moons Rising, Malice and Ruri become trapped in netherworld while investigating the mysterious deaths of multiple boot-camp students. Supranormal hunter Malice and werewolf Ruri are an unlikely pair, considering they are sworn enemies. However they fell in love anyway, and now Ruri may have to put her life on the line to save Malice from malevolent forces. 

An Army of Lovers (Women’s Music of the 70s and 80s) by Jamie Anderson

This history of lesbian and women’s music is not to be missed! From performers like Alix Dobkin and Cris Williamson to the small independent labels and behind the scenes passion that helped put this music on the map, you’ll learn about how women’s music on the 70s and 80s changed the world and paved the way for lesbian, bi and queer women’s music of today.

Painted Moon (25th Anniversary Edition) by Karin Kallmaker

We’re celebrating 25 years of Karin Kallmaker’s beloved novel, Painted Moon, with a new edition which includes a new foreword, and additional chapters for Jackie and Leah with a previously unpublished story. 

Jackie Frakes is stranded on a snowy mountain road on Thanksgiving when she is rescued by the equally frosty former artist, Leah Beck. The two women spend a weekend together stranded in Leah’s cabin and the passion between them is enough to melt through Leah’s frozen heart. When both go back to their lives, Leah discovers a reignited love for her art and Jackie is finally ready to take control of her destiny. Will the two women be able to find a way to make a life together? 

November

If the Shoe Fits by E.J. Noyes

Jana Fleischer has it good. She’s surrounded by friends and family, plus a good job, so what does it matter if she’s not interested in a relationship with one of the many men she’s dated? She’s picky, she tells herself. When Jana has a chance meeting with Brooke Donnelly, and forms a fast friendship, she starts to question why things feel so different with Brooke. Like, life-changingly so. Will Jana be brave enough to follow how she feels? And will Brooke be brave enough to embrace her feelings as well?

Fare Game by Cade Haddock Strong

Newly appointed vice president at Logan Airlines, Kay Corbett stumbles onto a massive plot aimed at cheating passengers. Horrified at the unethical and illegal behavior, Kay decides to investigate on her own and work to bring down the ringleader. When Riley Bauer from finance starts working with Kay to expose the crime, the two women fall hard. This is high stakes, and both Kay and Riley need to decide how much they are willing to risk to bring the crimes to light.

Floodtide by Heather Rose Jones

Roz, a young laundress who was dismissed for “indecent acts” knows what fate awaits a young woman on the streets of 19th century Rotenek. As luck would have it, Roz gets a second chance working as an apprentice for seamstress Dominique the Dressmaker. What Roz didn’t anticipate was that her apprenticeship would involve learning magic from Dominique’s daughter, Celeste. As Roz’s powers grow, a terrible flood sweeps through the lower parts of the city. Together with Celeste, the two women could bring magical help and healing, but only if Roz can obtain the help of some unlikely allies. 

December

Thursday Afternoons by Tracey Richardson

For Amy Spencer and Ellis Hall, Thursday afternoons are filled with no-strings attached passion, which has helped heal old wounds for each woman. But when their real-life worlds collide outside of a steamy hotel room, what will becomes of their Thursday afternoons? Will they stop, or become something much more?

Ready for Love by Catherine Maiorisi

After two decades of unrequited love, Renee Rousseau vows to get over her newly married friend in ten weeks before meeting up with the couple in Paris. In the meantime, gh6Renee reconnects with Lady Constance Martindale, a woman she was in a casual relationship with sixteen years ago, and was dumped by when feelings started getting too real. Can Renee sort out her feelings for both women in order to open herself up to real love?

The Taking by Celeste Castro

Peachy is on a mission to steal a priceless amulet when she finds herself close to death and ends up bizarre world where she’s looked after by a woman who can speak to Peachy with only her mind. By stealing the amulet, Peachy has enacted a powerful chain of events, including a crazed being who will stop at nothing to retrieve the treasured heirloom. Peachy is aided by Noomi, a powerful Fae, against forces who want to kill them both.

The Bartender’s Secret: A Cruise of Deception by Jody Valley

In book three of the Kera Van Brocklin Series, Kera’s twin Deidre decides to take a job with a small adventure cruise company in Alaska with hopes it will clear her head. When Deidre is nearly killed after falling from a steep cliff, Kera rushes to her side. While the cruise company tries to claim Deidre’s fall was accidental or a suicide attempt, Kera doesn’t believe it. Her sister was scared of heights and not suicidal. She launches her own investigation by joining the ship with her partner Mandy to get to the bottom of things. They learn much more than they ever anticipated, something that will put them all at risk. 

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