Worthy of Love

Worthy of Love

“I wish this book was a movie also. Now that I know how satisfyingly everything works out, I’d love to see it dramatized–and structurally, it hits dramatic “beats” like a movie.”

Shira Glassman reviewing for The Lesbrary

You’re never too broken to be worthy of love.

Nadine Bayani was at the top of her game. The brilliant, ruthless lawyer was in line to be White House chief of staff—until she confessed to campaign finance crimes that cost her party the election.

Now Nadine’s out of prison, broke, hated by millions, and stuck doing a menial retail job in rural Virginia where she barely earns enough to survive.

Bella Clarke has worked at Overstock Oasis since she flunked college. She wants to go back to school, but secretly doubts she’s smart enough. At least she’s not as clueless as her boss, who just accidentally hired the woman responsible for a national scandal.

However, Nadine seems to be nothing like the crook portrayed in the media, and Bella is drawn to her troubled, standoffish co-worker. As they grow closer, Nadine introduces Bella to the delights of Filipino food and opens Bella’s eyes to her own possibilities.

Before long, about the only thing harder to make sense of than Nadine’s past is their powerful chemistry together. Is Bella really falling for a woman who caused so much harm? And even if she is, how can two such different people ever be a match?

Sapphic novels by Filipino authors

My wife inspired me to write about a character who came to the US as a child. I hope readers all over the world will learn some of the Filipino words that my wife taught me. For #ownvoices representation, I would love for you to check out these Sapphic books by Filipino authors.

If you know of any books that are not included here, please contact me, and I will add them.

You, Me, U.S.
Brigitte Bautista

Best friends Jo and Liza are as opposite as night and day. Sex worker Jo swears by the worry-free, one-day-at-a-time dance through life. Salesclerk Liza has big plans for her family’s future, and there is nothing bigger than a one-way trip to the U.S. But an almost-kiss, a sex dare, and news of Liza’s engagement to her American boyfriend unveil feelings Jo and Liza never thought they had. Deciding between staying together and drifting apart puts Liza’s best-laid plans and Jo’s laidback life in jeopardy. 

When love clashes with lifelong ambitions and family expectations, someone has to give in. Question is: who?

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Don’t Tell My Mother
Brigitte Bautista

With an overly zealous mother as her guide, 19-year-old Sam has never had problems navigating through Christian suburbia before. But, all that changes when she befriends and becomes intrigued with Clara, her widowed neighbor and the village’s social outcast. When their friendship grows into the “unnatural”, Sam is forced to examine her upbringing and come to terms with who she really is.

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No Two Ways
Chi Yu Rodriguez

AJ Felipe makes the most of being the head information security engineer for a local law firm with the help of her loyal team of nerds. Their job isn’t really the most fun, but things take a turn when one of her junior security engineers decides to nominate her for a makeover show.

Enter Jackie Niño, the one-night stand AJ didn’t expect to meet again—who also happens to be the makeup artist who’s going to get her all dolled up on national television.

After the episode is aired, another ghost from her past comes back to haunt her: Axel Herrera, the ex-boyfriend who still thinks she left him because she’s a lesbian.

Spoiler alert: She isn’t.

Being bisexual is hard enough. How will AJ navigate new feelings while finding closure for old heartaches?

(Disclaimer: On-page F/F and M/F only)

***CW for a mention of transphobia, mentions of biphobia, and depictions of inappropriate workplace behavior.***

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America is Not the Heart
Elaine Castillo

How many lives fit in a lifetime?

When Hero De Vera arrives in America–haunted by the political upheaval in the Philippines and disowned by her parents–she’s already on her third. Her uncle gives her a fresh start in the Bay Area, and he doesn’t ask about her past. His younger wife knows enough about the might and secrecy of the De Vera family to keep her head down. But their daughter–the first American-born daughter in the family–can’t resist asking Hero about her damaged hands.

An increasingly relevant story told with startling lucidity, humor, and an uncanny ear for the intimacies and shorthand of family ritual, America Is Not the Heart is a sprawling, soulful debut about three generations of women in one family struggling to balance the promise of the American dream and the unshakeable grip of history. With exuberance, grit, and sly tenderness, here is a family saga; an origin story; a romance; a narrative of two nations and the people who leave one home to grasp at another.

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The Never Tilting World
Rin Chupeco

A world split between day and night. Two sisters who must unite it. The author of The Bone Witch kicks off an epic YA fantasy duology perfect for fans of Furyborn.

Generations of twin goddesses have long ruled Aeon―until one sister’s betrayal split their world in two. A Great Abyss now divides two realms: one cloaked in eternal night, the other scorched beneath an ever-burning sun.

While one sister rules the frozen fortress of Aranth, her twin rules the sand-locked Golden City―each with a daughter by their side. Now those young goddesses must set out on separate, equally dangerous journeys in hopes of healing their broken world. No matter the sacrifice it demands.

Told from four interweaving perspectives, this sweeping epic fantasy packs elemental magic, star-crossed romance, and incredible landscapes into a spectacular adventure with the fierce sisterhood of Frozen and the breakneck action of Mad Max: Fury Road.

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Wicked As You Wish
Rin Chupeco

When a hidden prince, a girl with secrets, a ragtag group of unlikely heroes, and a legendary firebird come together…something wicked is going down. From the highly acclaimed author of The Bone Witch trilogy comes this enchanting new YA fairytale.

Many years ago, the magical Kingdom of Avalon was left encased in ice when the Snow Queen waged war. Its former citizens are now refugees in a world mostly devoid of magic. Which is why the crown prince and his protectors are stuck in…Arizona.

Prince Alexei, the sole survivor of the Avalon royal family, is hiding in a town so boring, magic doesn’t even work there. Few know his secret identity, but his friend Tala is one of them.

A new hope for their abandoned homeland reignites when a famous creature of legend, the Firebird, appears for the first time in decades. Alex and Tala must unite with a ragtag group of new friends to journey back to Avalon for a showdown that will change the world as they know it.

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Women on Fire: Stories
Jhoanna Lynn B. Cruz

Women on Fire is a collection of short stories, all but one of which focus on the lives, struggles, and loves of Filipino lesbians. Thoughtful and beautifully written, they are stories of women in transit, searching for something they want to have or think they have lost and, in the process, finding a surprise that sets them on fire: the love of other women. Will she choose the unknown over the safe confines of a heterosexual marriage? Will she keep fighting to be chosen? Will she finally understand?

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Women Loving: Stories and a Play
Jhoanna Lynn B. Cruz

Women coveting women, women pleasuring other women- this must be the subject of more and more stories, subject to opening up. Thankfully, the vicarious rewards are shared quite amply if quietly, pleasurably, in this victorius collection that goes beyond a Victoria’s Secrets-type of emancipation. These stories are as strong as the stronger sex, or astounding sex, since like the characters they “will keep paying the price for loving…” and “saying that it is worth it.” – Alfred A. Yuson

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