The best romance books I re-read when life gets a bit real and I want to hide

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an author of over seventy romance books and have been a romance reader all my life. I think the first book I wrote (at the age of eight) featured a kiss. Yes, I was precocious, but in my defense, I was spying on my much older sister and her boyfriend at the time. Reading and writing romance is my passion, and I love spending my days creating independent, intelligent, and feisty heroines and hot, smart, modern men. I’m lucky enough to spend my days doing what I love. I hope you love the books on my list, and that they bring you as much pleasure (and an escape from reality) as they did me.


I wrote...

Confessions of a Christmasholic

By Joss Wood,

Book cover of Confessions of a Christmasholic

What is my book about?

Hallmark Christmas movie vibes with gingerbread spice.

Sutton Alsop hates Christmas. So much so, when confronted with a house that looks like Santa himself vomited Christmas all over it, she accidentally (drunkenly) destroys every fairy light, fake reindeer, and candy cane in sight. Unfortunately for Sutton, this house belongs to none other than Gus Langston, single dad and owner of the village’s year-round Christmas shop – aka Mr. Christmas himself. But Mr. Christmas has a secret only Sutton knows… With the two of them forced together for the holidays, the sparks between them are hot enough to melt even the coldest of hearts!

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Pride and Prejudice

Joss Wood Why did I love this book?

Can you even call yourself a romance reader if you don’t like Jane Austen or haven’t read Pride and Prejudice?

Pride and Prejudice is widely regarded as the first romantic comedy published. Lizzy is a strong heroine, Darcy a strong, silent alpha male. They both have awesome character arcs and a happy ending. It’s a fantastic book, written by a groundbreaking author.

(PS: The BCC production of Pride and Prejudice from 1995 is also brilliant.) Sigh.  

By Jane Austen,

Why should I read it?

35 authors picked Pride and Prejudice as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of BBC's 100 Novels That Shaped Our World.

Jane Austen's best-loved novel is an unforgettable story about the inaccuracy of first impressions, the power of reason, and above all the strange dynamics of human relationships and emotions.

Part of the Macmillan Collector's Library; a series of stunning, clothbound, pocket sized classics with gold foiled edges and ribbon markers. These beautiful books make perfect gifts or a treat for any book lover. This edition is illustrated by Hugh Thomson and features an afterword by author and critic, Henry Hitchings.

A tour de force of wit and sparkling dialogue, Pride and…


Book cover of The Viscount Who Loved Me

Joss Wood Why did I love this book?

We’ve all watched The Bridgetons on Netflix, but the books are better!

This is Anthony’s story, and my favourite of Quinn’s Bridgerton series. It’s witty and wonderful, with a strong heroine and a swoony hero! Anthony had made up his mind to wed Kate’s sister, but Kate’s not having any of it!

In her opinion, reformed rakes are not good husband material! Kate and Anthony’s rocky road to love is brilliant, witty, and wonderful. 

By Julia Quinn,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Viscount Who Loved Me as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


# 1 New York Times Bestseller

The inspiration for season two of BRIDGERTON, a series created by Shondaland for Netflix, from #1 New York Times bestselling author Julia Quinn: the story of Anthony Bridgerton in the second of her beloved Regency-set novels featuring the charming, powerful Bridgerton family.

ANTHONY'S STORY

This time the gossip columnists have it wrong. London's most elusive bachelor Anthony Bridgerton hasn't just decided to marry-he's even chosen a wife! The only obstacle is his intended's older sister, Kate Sheffield-the most meddlesome woman ever to grace a London ballroom. The spirited schemer is driving Anthony mad with…


Book cover of Rage

Joss Wood Why did I love this book?

This is a contemporary book I have read and reread, I absolutely adore it. It’s also the winner of Daphne du Maurier Awards for Excellence in Mystery and Suspense.

When single mother Isobel moves the body of a murdered man from the beach outside her house, she lands herself in a world of trouble. She approaches ex-military man Callum for help, but Callum has issues of his own. This book is full of heart and humour, with a very sexy hero and a lovely heroine. I can’t recommend it highly enough. 

By Janet Elizabeth Henderson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

He's lost his purpose...

Callum McKay was an SAS officer when a car bomb took his legs. After his recovery, he became partner in the international security firm that dealt with the things governments weren't able to deal with. As far as Callum was concerned, he was still the same able, competent and commanding guy he was before his accident. And then, he was proven wrong. After a screwed up mission in South America, Callum realized he wasn't an asset to his team. He was a liability. With his purpose and faith in his abilities shattered, Callum turned his back…


Book cover of Birthright

Joss Wood Why did I love this book?

Another romantic suspense, this is a fabulously nuanced ex’s-reunite book.

Callie Dunbrook is an archaeologist on a dig on land that is said to be cursed. She has to unravel the history, and the mystery, while dealing with her irritating ex-husband Jake. The book has several sub-plots, with interesting characters. It deals with some tough subjects cleverly, and I think it’s Ms. Roberts's best book. 

By Nora Roberts,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Birthright as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When five-thousand-year-old human bones are found at a construction site in the small town of Woodsboro, the news draws archaeologist Callie Dunbrook out of her sabbatical and into a whirlwind of adventure, danger and romance.

To begin with she must try to make sense of the cloud of death and misfortune that hangs over the dig - fuelling rumours that the site is cursed. She must also cope with the presence of her irritating - but still irresistible - ex-husband, Hake. But when a stranger appears, claiming to know a secret about her childhood, Callie is forced to also question…


Book cover of Bet Me

Joss Wood Why did I love this book?

This is a seriously funny book full of great dialogue. It’s also a great premise…the hero who makes a bet with his friend to sleep with said friend’s very cranky ex-girlfriend.

Min has just been recently dumped by a man she didn’t love, but she’s not in the mood to deal with any man’s ****. Cal is stupidly handsome, successful, and charming, but he needs to be brought down a peg or ten. This is opposites attract romance with lots of heart!

By Jennifer Crusie,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Bet Me as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The beloved New York Times bestselling novel, now with an exclusive letter from Jennifer Crusie in celebration of its tenth anniversary

This is New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Crusie's novel about long shots, risk management, true love, and great shoes. . . .

Minerva Dobbs knows how to work the odds.
Calvin Morrisey always plays to win.

But when they face off, neither one is prepared.
Because when real life meets true love, all bets are off. . . .

Minerva Dobbs knows that happily-ever-after is a fairy tale, especially with a man who asked her…


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The Last Whaler

By Cynthia Reeves,

Book cover of The Last Whaler

Cynthia Reeves Author Of The Last Whaler

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Arctic adventurer Eternal optimist Unrealistic realist Foodie Teacher

Cynthia's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

This book is an elegiac meditation on the will to survive. Tor, a beluga whaler, and his wife, Astrid, a botanist specializing in Arctic flora, are stranded during the dark season of 1937-38 at his remote whaling station in the Svalbard archipelago when they misjudge ice conditions and fail to rendezvous with the ship meant to carry them back to their home in southern Norway. 

Beyond enduring the Arctic winter’s twenty-four-hour night, the couple must cope with the dangers of polar bears, violent storms, and bitter cold, as well as Astrid’s unexpected pregnancy.

The Last Whaler concerns the impact of…

The Last Whaler

By Cynthia Reeves,

What is this book about?

The Last Whaler is an elegiac meditation on the will to survive under extreme conditions. Tor, a beluga whaler, and his wife, Astrid, a botanist specializing in Arctic flora, are stranded during the dark season of 1937-38 at his remote whaling station when they misjudge ice conditions and fail to rendezvous with the ship meant to carry them back to their home in southern Norway. Beyond enduring the Arctic winter's twenty-four-hour night, the couple must cope with the dangers of polar bears, violent storms, and bitter cold as well as Astrid's unexpected pregnancy. The Last Whaler concerns the impact of…


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