The best books for a bad day - guaranteed laughs, swoony heroes, and sweet happy-ever-afters

Why am I passionate about this?

I started writing sweet romance during the COVID pandemic. At the time, it was the perfect antidote to all of the heaviness, grief, and sadness that everyone was experiencing around the world. When I began publishing my stories, and eventually moved into the sweet romcom genre, I was beyond happy to learn that my books were bringing smiles to peoples’ faces during these challenging times. I’ve always loved romcom movies, and discovering romcom books–not to mention beginning to write these stories myself–opened an entirely new world of possibilities. I pretty much only read romcoms now, and I hope you enjoy the books I’ve recommended here as much as I have!


I wrote...

Book cover of The Next Worst Thing: A Sweet, Small Town Romantic Comedy

What is my book about?

I didn’t ask to organize this wedding. And I certainly didn’t ask for the world’s worst best man as an assistant. But my brother is marrying the love of his life, and I’ll stop at nothing to give him a perfect wedding day. Which means playing nice with James Weston. My brother’s best friend and I have been feuding for as long as I can remember. But is it possible that James isn’t the monster I’ve always thought him to be? And why does he keep showing up to save me right when I need it? 

Falling for James is not on my carefully color-coordinated agenda. Too bad nothing seems to go according to plan when James Weston is around…

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of So That Happened: A Romantic Comedy

Sara Jane Woodley Why did I love this book?

This book sucked me in from the start, as do all of Katie Bailey’s books.

Liam and Annie are such an opposites attract couple, with the perfect amount of grumpy/sunshine chemistry… not to mention the exciting boss/employee trope. This story actually inspired the second book in my own romcom series, which ended up featuring the grumpy/sunshine trope.

Katie does an amazing job weaving heavier subjects with humor, and it put such a positive spin on my day whenever I picked it up. I love reading low spice romcom or chick lit stories with a heart, and this checked all those boxes for me!

By Katie Bailey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked So That Happened as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

I spent the night with a hot, grumpy stranger in an airport hotel.

No, not like that. Get your mind out of the gutter. It was just sleeping. And… maybe a little cuddling.

Long story short, I embarrassed the heck out of myself. But at least I never have to see him again.

Except the universe is clearly out to get me, because Monday morning, I arrive at my new job and who’s the first person I see?

Hot stranger himself: Liam Donovan.

AKA my new boss.

AKA Annie, you are so freaking screwed.

While the HR rulebook doesn’t explicitly…


Book cover of My Own Best Enemy

Sara Jane Woodley Why did I love this book?

Where to start with this one. This is one of the first romcoms I read, and is one of the reasons I decided to move into writing romcoms.

The Apple Valley love stories are all such a joy to read, but I am a sucker for Emy and Nash’s story. To be fair, I do love a good enemies-to-lovers romance, and this one totally delivered.

From the super relatable female character, to the funny mishaps with her “nemesis” that had me laughing out loud, to the sweet ending, this light-hearted read is sure to put a smile on your face. I also loved how the wedding between Emy and Nash’s friends kind of drove the story, and this actually inspired the wedding in the first book in my series.

By Julie Christianson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked My Own Best Enemy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Book cover of Compared

Sara Jane Woodley Why did I love this book?

I’m always excited when a new Kortney Keisel book comes out.

Compared is the first in her closed-door romcom series, and it’s a brilliant debut. This book follows Meg and Tyler in a single dad, teacher/parent romance that is completely swoon-worthy and hilarious.

Kortney does a fantastic job dealing with some harder subjects while keeping the material light-hearted and fun. I always turn back to this book if I want to read something deep and meaningful, but woven with funny scenes and banter.

I also love this book for the close connection between Meg’s siblings and dad. They’re exactly what a family should be.

By Kortney Keisel,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Compared as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Book cover of Maid of Dishonor

Sara Jane Woodley Why did I love this book?

I adore a good best friends to lovers story, and this one totally delivered.

Samantha and Carter’s sweet love story drew me in from the start, and I saw so much of myself in the female character, especially. Not to mention I literally laughed out loud more than a few times.

The quirky side characters, the sweet-but-sizzling chemistry and tension, and the deeper, more loaded moments gives this story so much complexity while still keeping things light. The perfect escape I would recommend to anyone!

By Gracie Ruth Mitchell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Maid of Dishonor as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Book cover of Eloise and the Grump Next Door

Sara Jane Woodley Why did I love this book?

I love both of these authors so much, and so I was thrilled when I discovered that they’re co-writing a romcom series together.

This was such a fun, light-hearted read with a grumpy/sunshine twist that was full of laughs and tension. The small-town island setting is also so perfect for the story; I only wish I could visit!

I’ve always loved small-town love stories for the hilarious side characters, the meaningful sense of community, and the whole “everyone knows everything about everyone” that can be such a drive to the story. 

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Book cover of This Animal Body

Meredith Walters

New book alert!

What is my book about?

Neuroscience PhD student Frankie Conner has finally gotten her life together—she’s determined to discover the cause of her depression and find a cure for herself and everyone like her. But the first day of her program, she meets a group of talking animals who have an urgent message they refuse to share. And while the animals may not have Frankie’s exalted human brain, they know things she doesn’t, like what happened before she was adopted.

To prove she’s sane, Frankie investigates her forgotten past and conducts clandestine experiments. But just when she uncovers the truth, she has to make an impossible choice: betray the animals she’s fallen in love with—or give up her last chance at success and everything she thought she knew.

By Meredith Walters,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked This Animal Body as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Frankie Conner, first-year graduate student at UC Berkeley, is finally getting her life together. After multiple failures and several false starts, she's found her calling: become a neuroscientist, discover the cause of her depression and anxiety, and hopefully find a cure for herself and everyone like her.

But her first day of the program, Frankie meets a mysterious group of talking animals who claim to have an urgent message for her. The problem is, they're not willing to share it. Not yet. Not until she's ready.

While Frankie's new friends may not have her highly evolved, state-of-the-art, exalted human brain,…


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