The best books to take your heart on an emotional rollercoaster you’ll want to ride again and again

Who am I?

At age five, I was reading under the blankets with a flashlight far past my bedtime. It’s an often told story of how I believed I was getting away with something while my makeshift tent, held up by my head, was lit up like a snowglobe. By age eleven, when I picked up my aunt’s book, I discovered romance novels. I was hooked. I’ve read thousands of romance novels in the almost four decades that have since passed, and I’ve learned that each person who reads a book takes something different from it, and I hope these five books that gave so much to me, might do the same for you.


I wrote...

Live Again: A Bridgewater Novel

By Devin Sloane,

Book cover of Live Again: A Bridgewater Novel

What is my book about?

Bex: Coming back to the land of the living still sounds like a hard sell, but I can’t hang out in this limbo any longer. It’s been seven years. I miss him. I’ll always miss him. But I miss getting excited about things, having plans, getting dressed up, going out on the town. I miss sex. Is it okay to miss sex?

Rhys: I didn’t usually make time for these small jobs. It was a favor to a friend, that and deep-seated compassion for a fellow member of the Dead Spouse Society. Until I saw her. I haven’t wanted something this bad for so long, I’m ready to fight for it. Is she?

The books I picked & why

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Our Way

By T.L. Swan,

Book cover of Our Way

Why this book?

This story elicited every emotion: joy, excitement, yearning, jealousy, rage, hope, betrayal, relief, shock, bewilderment… it took my poor heart on a wild ride. However, there were two pieces that stand out in stark relief in my mind. First, the betrayal of the friendship in hopes of saving it. What a position to be in. Second, Nathan’s pain and confusion as he worked his way past his own assumptions. It’s never an easy journey to know oneself. Witnessing Nathan’s journey, because of the collateral damage to his most treasured relationship, stung. Compassion for both of them broke my heart. And isn’t that the whole point of a good story? To walk in someone else’s shoes and come away with more compassion, more wisdom, and a deeper capacity to love?

Our Way

By T.L. Swan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Nathan Mercer, the only man in my life.
Loving him was never an option.

We met ten years ago, when we started at the same company on the same day.
Both new in town and with nobody else to rely on, we quickly became friends.
And while Nathan went on to rule San Francisco, I’m still doing the same job with the same people.
We finish each other’s sentences, we spend Christmas together and he sleeps at my house more than his.
He’s beautiful.... beyond belief.
In another life, he’s probably my soul mate.

However, lately things have changed.
He’s…


Someone You Love

By Kristen Granata,

Book cover of Someone You Love

Why this book?

Bryce suffered a spinal cord injury that caused him to completely reconstruct his life and rebuild his dreams. Can you imagine what that must be like? Reading this book enabled me to do just that. There are three reasons this book stuck out for me. One, it made me cry. Two, as an author of books depicting mental illness, representation is hugely important to me. Last, this couple! They are imperfect, but perfect for each other—even when it’s difficult, even when life doesn’t live up to their expectations, and even when they can’t come through for each other or themselves the way they wish they could. This story lives in my heart.

Someone You Love

By Kristen Granata,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From bestselling author Kristen Granata comes a touching forced proximity grumpy sunshine romance about healing and taking chances...

Charly Johnson created a bucket list when cancer left her mother with less than a year to live. They didn’t make it all the way through the list before she died, but she made Charly promise to finish it and live her life to the fullest.

Spending the summer in a coastal mountain city in Maine is next on her list. The scenic town is perfect for finding adventure, and the quirky inn owner makes her feel right at home in the…


My Perfect Remix

By Swati M.H.,

Book cover of My Perfect Remix

Why this book?

The boundaryless love we give in childhood no longer exists once our heart picks up some mileage. But what if, years later, you met up once again with your childhood best friend and fell in love? In love with the one from whom your heart built no boundaries? The fear, the joy, the euphoria…imagine the agony of abandonment when adult problems and life’s complications intervene. This book hurt because it reminded me of the fragility of love and the necessity of regaining that boundaryless faith and trust when it’s time to rebuild. 

My Perfect Remix

By Swati M.H.,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

He was my best friend.

The fiercely protective boy who always caught me when I fell.

Until I moved away.

Now, ten years later, Logan Miller is a gorgeous, Grammy-winning DJ and a dedicated single dad—and hotter than any hit on the Billboards!

When our paths cross again, fantasies of him turn into reality.

I moved back to Austin to build a life outside the safety net of my wonderful, albeit overbearing, Indian family. Preferring the company of my old dog, my online games, and reruns of Marvel movies, I’m nowhere close to the type of woman who can handle…


The Other Brother

By Dyan Layne,

Book cover of The Other Brother

Why this book?

I loved the entire series for which this book is the fourth, but this book ensured that I can never go back and read the series again; it hurt that much. Still. I loved it. The characters in this series are family in the deepest, most loving and loyal sense of the word, and it is that sense of family that drives the storyline of this book. This series is sexy and taboo, and yet the biggest thing I took from it was the love and trust that pulsed between them. I wondered, often, if there could not have been a different way, if the author could not have chosen a different storyline, but it is in the difficulties that we sometimes find the stunning. And this story was stunningly beautiful.

The Other Brother

By Dyan Layne,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Things happen as they’re meant to.

There’s no avoiding your destiny…

Dillon Byrne always believed in fate.

He would meet someone. Fall in love. Be a family.

All in that order.

Sometimes fate has other plans…

Life changes in an instant. Love is lost.

But how do you let go of the life you once had?

To appreciate the magic of a brand new beginning, you have to make peace with the ending first.

Endings are never easy, but a beautiful beginning is destined to follow, isn’t it?

And just maybe out of sorrow, joy can grow…

The Other Brother,…


The Experiment

By Amy Alves,

Book cover of The Experiment

Why this book?

This story treated my heart like a yo-yo. Jess is hot, Emma is a hot mess. It’s laugh-out-loud funny, and more than once I struggled to read with tears streaming down my face. It’s a story about love and loyalty and what happens when it battles fear and betrayal. Though I did empathize with Jess’s situation, it was Emma who slayed me. Her social awkwardness and lack of filter pinned her heart firmly on the outside of her chest. There it sat, vulnerable and unprotected, alongside mine as I hopped on for the ride. It was her innocence, and the moment that was lost, that killed me. When the jolt hit Emma’s heart, it sent shockwaves through my own. But, by the final chapter, I fell in love with both of them, and what better way for a story to end?

The Experiment

By Amy Alves,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

I'm an idiot. Everyone knows that in a fake relationship, you keep it platonic. I knew it too, but I kissed her anyway.

From the first moment I met Emma Caldwell, I knew she was going to be trouble. Hot, adorable, complicated trouble.

So when she propositioned me—and not the sexy kind of proposition—I refused. Because the painfully awkward woman next door wanted lessons in love.
I don’t do relationships, and I sure as hell don’t do love—the whole town knows that. But after what happened with my ex-fiancée, they’ve been eager to see me happily settled down.

And that's…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in San Francisco, California, and emotions?

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And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

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