The best books where love overcomes all obstacles

Marlayne Giron Author Of The Victor: A Tale of Betrayal, Love and Sacrifice
By Marlayne Giron

Who am I?

I have always loved fairytales, especially by Hans Christian Anderson. I love stories about underdogs and unlikely heroes triumphing over evil. Stories that tear at your heart in the best possible way. They communicate eternal truths about right and wrong, good and evil, through good story-telling because it sucks you in on an emotional level and brings your defenses down. 


I wrote...

The Victor: A Tale of Betrayal, Love and Sacrifice

By Marlayne Giron,

Book cover of The Victor: A Tale of Betrayal, Love and Sacrifice

What is my book about?

A benevolent king, his sword of power. A ruthless traitor bent on revenge and the faithful son who stands in his way with the woman destined to share his throne. Who shall emerge the victor in this epic battle between good and evil to rule the lives of hapless men?

The books I picked & why

Shepherd is reader supported. We may earn an affiliate commission when you buy through links on our website. This is how we fund this project for readers and authors (learn more).

The Lord of the Rings

By J.R.R. Tolkien,

Book cover of The Lord of the Rings

Why this book?

LOTR is the “gold standard” for high fantasy. Not only is the story epic but the world created by Tolkien is both rich and multilayered. I read the entire trilogy as well as The Hobbit when I was 14 in a single weekend. I have read it almost every year since then. I laughed, wept, and rejoiced with the characters as they follow the quest. I never wanted the book to end.

It taught me the value of friendship and loyalty, especially when times are hard and that even the smallest “nobody” can have an eternal impact on the course of history if they remain true.


The Paradise War: Book One in The Song of Albion Trilogy

By Stephen R Lawhead,

Book cover of The Paradise War: Book One in The Song of Albion Trilogy

Why this book?

These books remind me of a lot of J.R.R. Tolkien’s LOTR. They are majestic in their telling, and the story is again of an ordinary person becoming a hero in a magical realm. I could hardly put them down. I totally got caught up in the story and characters and never wanted it to end. I have read them at least five times.


A Knight in Shining Armor

By Jude Deveraux,

Book cover of A Knight in Shining Armor

Why this book?

A time-travel romance featuring a present-day heroine and a dashing hero from the sixteenth century! This is one of the most romantic novels I’ve ever read. It has humor and, of course, toe-curling passion, and at the end of the book I was just in emotional agony because of the bittersweet ending. The story is the epitome of every woman’s fantasy.


Memoirs of a Geisha

By Arthur Golden,

Book cover of Memoirs of a Geisha

Why this book?

The book transported me to a completely foreign world where women are trained to beguile the most powerful men; and where love is scorned as an illusion and leaves you hanging until the last chapter to find out if the main character will ever realize her aspirations for love from the one man she has ever loved. It reminded me a lot of Cinderella. An ordinary girl who is mistreated and comes from nothing to become the most sought-after woman in all of Japan. It is a unique and triumphant work of fiction—at once romantic, erotic, suspenseful—and completely unforgettable. I read it at least once a year.


The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure

By William Goldman,

Book cover of The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure

Why this book?

I found this book to be the most unusual fairytale I’ve ever read. It was romantic, funny, and easily one of the most quotable books (and movies) ever. “I am Inigo Montoya, you killed my father! Prepare to die!” It didn’t take itself too seriously and was a fun read from beginning to end. It is also my daughter’s favorite book. No wonder it’s become a cult classic!


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in knights, Pirates, and Japan?

5,887 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about knights, Pirates, and Japan.

Knights Explore 39 books about knights
Pirates Explore 54 books about Pirates
Japan Explore 318 books about Japan

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Into the Wild, Norse Mythology, and The Viking Way if you like this list.