One secret is deadly. The other will heal the world. But which is which?

If you love dystopian dilemmas, a clash of complex female characters, and dark, sapphic romance, read Watch Over Me now.

Dark f/f Dynamic

With a dark, sapphic, slow burn, age gap, and morally grey power imbalance subplot, this 'ship touches on similar psychological tones seen between Eve & Villanelle (Killing Eve), and Nancy & Diana Leatherby (Tipping The Velvet).

Near Future What Ifs

Think Black Mirror with advancing tech and could-be-coming dystopian solutions for social dilemmas. This story is for adult fans of The Hunger Games, Divergent, and The Handmaid's Tale.

Thriller Twists

Racing plot twists, moral dilemmas, high stakes, crimes a-plenty, dark themes, a dash of near-death and almost-kisses, and you've got the measure...

Here's the blurb... After stealing medication for her secret sister, Yara is forced into RePay – a terrifying TV game show that will determine her fate.

Her only hope for freedom lies in surviving a risky biotechnology trial within the sterile walls of Watch Over Me, where ruthlessly passionate head engineer, Ms Wilding, reveals an unnerving agenda.

When Wilding’s controlling obsessions turn curiously personal, Yara must summon every ounce of willpower to outwit her captor and resist the pull of forbidden attraction in their dangerous game of cat-and-mouse. Failure means forfeiting her only chance to save her sister in an off-record bargain with Wilding’s celebrity arch-enemy.

But what Yara uncovers during her incarceration at Watch Over Me, proves she’s not the only one closely guarding a life-changing secret that will challenge alliances, and alter the course of freedom.

But whose secrets should stay hidden, and whose should be revealed to the world?

Only 30 days to decide.

Book 2 Coming 2024

Sign up for an ARC!

With no way to know who’s telling the truth, you'll be questioning who the real enemy is.

By night, I write.

Well, this is awkward because I'm a debut author, and so far, I can only tell you about my day job...

Kate is an advocate for multi-hyphenate living. Never one for the 9-5, she defines herself as career creative with a patchwork of passions.

Kate Hennessy is an award-winning, internationally published photographer and videographer, with features including VOGUE Italia. With a prior background in performing arts and a degree in education, Kate now helps people to craft stand-out images and video content to take their business branding and marketing to the next level. She has photographed best-selling authors, award-winning performers, and British royalty, but especially loves working with anyone who loves using their imagination.

Kate formerly co-presented a radio show for 92.2FM producing features on business and mindset. She also enjoys composing music, creating AI art, and not-so-secretly wishes she was either a princess or a musical theatre star. Kate lives in rural south-east England with her older partner, Amanda, where life never stands still and sleep is rarely all night on account of their two young daughters.

One day, Kate hopes to add best-selling novelist to this bio. Can you help?

Sapphics, secrets & survival.

In a nutshell. Or a microchip.

After stealing meds for her illegal sister, Yara is forced into RePay–a TV show which determines her sentence. She bargains for her freedom, but must survive a biotech trial & its dangerously passionate head engineer, Ms Wilding, who harbours a secret of her own.

  • New Adult/Adult

  • First in series: Book 2 – Tempest – coming late 2024

  • Dystopian tropes: near future | biotechnology advances | oppressive government | resistance movement | surveillance | ambitious career women in STEM | secrets

  • Sapphic romance tropes (subplot): slow-burn | forbidden love | age gap | CEO | power imbalance | rich/poor | researcher/subject

  • Spice level: 🌶️ slow-burn sexual tension | kissing | light touching | no sex

  • Why you need to know: This novel touches upon some dark, psychological themes including obsessive ambition, possessive behaviour, ownership, control, and aspects of Stockholm Syndrome. This is a novel about an unethical f/f relationship whereby morally grey romantic feelings arise between two adult women with a significant power imbalance (researcher and her enforced research subject), which drive positive change within both characters. It is not a traditional romance novel and these themes raise questions about compassion, empathy, consent, and love.


Tech + Humans

I have forever been fascinated with how the world will look with technology beyond our time – not so far off it feels implausible, but close enough to feel it coming. With AI changing the shape of human existence on a daily basis, I'm glued to the raging debate. But my question remains, which is more dangerous – the tech or the humans?

In Watch Over Me, I explore whether we can use AI biotechnology to eradicate crime.

'Have no doubt, my flower, my software will iron out all our human failings.' - Ada Wilding

Love These | Love This

If you love...

Ambitious women with a dash of dark, slow-burn, sapphic power dynamics. The arc will conclude in the book 2 in 2024.

If you love...

A racing plot with multiple twists to keep you guessing, near future tech, moral dilemmas, high stakes, secrets and lies, in the vein of Blake Crouch.

If you love...

Dystopian sci-fi that doesn't feel too far off. You'd love a flavour of The Hunger Games or Divergent, but with lesbian leads, and adult themes.

Lesbian age gap relationship trope in sapphic fiction

5 Reasons to Love the Age Gap Sapphic Romance Trope

December 09, 16874 min read

5 Reasons to Love the Age Gap Sapphic Romance Trope

The age gap trope is popular in sapphic fiction, with readers enjoying the unique dynamic between characters of different ages. But why do we love this trope and what exactly makes it so appealing?

While age gap romances in any context have their share of controversy, the trope presents a compelling and thought-provoking narrative device that adds depth and complexity to LGBTQ+ storytelling. By breaking boundaries, exploring complex character development, and providing learning opportunities, these stories challenge expectations, both for the characters and the reader. They shed light on the strength of queer women, their ability to overcome barriers, and their journey towards self-discovery and personal growth. Moreover, these narratives contribute to the representation and visibility of LGBTQ+ relationships, fostering diversity and championing the notion that love is ageless.

Here are 5 Reasons to Love the Age Gap Sapphic Romance Trope:

1. It offers multi-layered opportunities for complex character development.

The age gap trope offers a rich landscape for exploring complex character development. The differing life experiences, perspectives, and stages of personal growth within the relationship create a fascinating dynamic. This not only shapes the romance itself, but also provides a multi-layered platform to explore individual growth, self-discovery, and personal transformation.

2. It challenges misconceptions.

Representation of age gap couples in sapphic fiction can demonstrate how symbiotic this dynamic can actually be. Whilst for some, the appeal of this trope revolves around the power dynamic, whereby the older partner can serve as a mentor, sapphic fiction provides a platform to challenge and subvert traditional misconceptions often associated with age gaps. Crucially, many sapphic stories show the shifting power of both the older and younger partner in different aspects of their relationship, with both partners able to learn from each other. It challenges societal norms that often dictate who we should be attracted to. This trope showcases the way love can transcend age, appearance, and upbringing.

These stories can contribute to dismantling harmful stereotypes and highlighting the importance of open communication, respect, and consent in any romantic partnership. They encourage critical thinking about power dynamics and challenge the notion that age automatically equates to authority or control. Age is also not necessarily a challenge.

3. It explores desire and attraction.

The sapphic age gap trope delves into the complicated nature of desire and attraction. By featuring characters who are drawn to each other despite an age difference, these stories encourage readers to question their own feelings about love and desire. It opens up discussions about the diverse ways in which people experience and express their attraction, emphasising that there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to relationships. It offers a fresh perspective on intimacy and companionship by focusing on the power of a connection that transcends age. It reminds us that love and companionship can be found in unexpected places and that age should not be a barrier to forming meaningful and fulfilling relationships. A focus on unexpected connection is often a starting point for attraction in these relationships.

4. It explores sexual awakening and exploration.

The sapphic age gap trope often lends itself to narratives that involve sexual awakening and exploration. Either partner may be experiencing their first same-sex relationship or discovering their own sexual identity, whilst the other can serve as a guide and mentor on this journey of self-discovery. These stories provide an opportunity to explore themes of sexual exploration, curiosity, and self-acceptance. They showcase the transformative power of intimate relationships in helping individuals embrace and explore their desires, leading to personal growth and a deeper understanding of their own sexuality.

By delving into power dynamics and dominance/submission dynamics, as well as exploring sexual awakening and exploration, the sapphic age gap trope offers narratives that delve into the psychosexual aspects of relationships. These stories provide a space for readers to explore and reflect on their own desires, boundaries, and identities, fostering a greater understanding and acceptance of diverse expressions of sexuality.

4. It's fictional escapism.

Let's be real. It can be intensely flattering to receive attention from someone younger or older than yourself. By it's very nature, romance novels allow us to be whisked away into an exciting story we might never experience (or even want to) in real life. To be able to step inside a character's shows for 80,000 words lends us a different life for a little while. An age gap relationship between consenting adults is just one of the many tropes to which readers flock for a good story.


Every relationship is unique and should be evaluated on its own merits. Age, in itself, does not dictate the success or failure of a romantic connection. Instead, what matters most is the presence of consent, mutual respect, and open communication between the individuals involved. By focusing on these crucial elements, age gap romance stories allow for deep exploration of character development, challenge misconceptions, explore desire and attraction, offer fresh perspectives on intimacy and companionship, and spark important conversations about power dynamics and consent. These stories provide an opportunity for readers to broaden their understanding of love, relationships, and personal growth, while celebrating the diverse ways in which people connect and find happiness.

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Kate Hennessy is a sapphic author, writing in the speculative space.

Kate Hennessy

Kate Hennessy is a sapphic author, writing in the speculative space.

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Click Here If You'd Like Content Warnings

This is a speculative dystopian novel with some challenging themes and potentially upsetting content, including:

Elements of F/F dark romance due to a morally grey power imbalance between a researcher and research subject (no sexual content beyond kissing, no non-con content), with an obsessive/possessive infatuation and controlling behaviour - this will suit psychological dark romance readers (without spice) but isn't suitable for those who do not enjoy power imbalances.

Enforced participation in gamified life-threatening physical challenges including near-drowning and electrocution (no gore or excessive violence).

Needles (brief mention)

Fight/assault (non-sexual on-page, suggested sexual off-page)

Death (non-graphic)

Very mild bad language and blasphemy

Separation from family


Terrorist incident (bomb)

Child illness (non-life threatening) and isolation

Trauma (suggested, off-page)

Blood (non-violent)

Bring back dystopian fiction. It offers safe exploration of oppression. It fosters critical thinking, promotes empathy, inspires change, and cultivates social awareness. The real world needs solutions that might begin with a writer and their reader. It reminds us of our power for change.



Sapphics, secrets & survival.

Here's the companion guide to Watch Over Me, with supplementary material to enhance or extend your reading pleasure.


Headline that hooks people in, gets them excited and makes them want to sign up.

© Copyright Kate Hennessy