79 books like Breathing Room

By Susan Elizabeth Phillips,

Here are 79 books that Breathing Room fans have personally recommended if you like Breathing Room. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Book cover of Gray Hair Don't Care

Adele Buck Author Of The Wedding Bait

From my list on people over 40 getting a happily ever after.

Who am I?

I wrote my first romance with >40 characters in my mid-forties. It wasn’t like I never saw people of my age in the genre, but I have to say they were (and are) still rare, especially in traditionally published books. I love to see how people navigate what partnership looks like when people are established and their conflicts and experiences have changed. Elder care, relationships with adult children, fighting age-related stereotypes and discrimination: these are just a few of the nuances that set these types of books apart. But you still get that delicious well of emotion and the satisfaction of a happy ending. 

Adele's book list on people over 40 getting a happily ever after

Adele Buck Why did Adele love this book?

This book is a celebration of many things: embracing your visible markers of age, seeking a new kind of relationship with an adult child, and the fabulous music of the 80’s and 90’s.

Any person from Generation X will absolutely see pieces of themselves and their friends in the characters in this book. Originally college friends, our couple finds themselves both back in New York and via a series of missteps and then some forced proximity (not only do they have to work together, they have to work for his daughter), they fall gloriously in love.

By Karen Booth,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Gray Hair Don't Care as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“Get ready to embrace the force that is Lela Bennett in this sassy, funny romance that will suck you in right from the first wedding crasher moment!” –Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author Avery Flynn

Everything went wrong. And then she went gray.

At 47, newly divorced makeup artist Lela Bennett is dreading her next steps. Dating. Meeting people. Not letting herself go. But then she runs into Donovan James and tries something different—sleeping with her sexy crush from college. Unfortunately, in a post-orgasm stupor, Lela confesses she was in love with Donovan all those years ago. He…


Book cover of The July Guy

Maggie Wells Author Of Love Game

From my list on sexy/steamy romance with characters in their prime.

Who am I?

Reading and writing romance about characters who are beyond the first blush of youth is important to me because these characters represent who I am and the people I know. We live in an unapologetically youth-centric culture. When I wrote my first book, I wrote about a 40-year-old heroine, not realizing that in traditional romance publishing, no one over 30, maybe 35, gets to fall in love. Well, I had news for them. I joined forces with some other like-minded readers and writers and we created a group on Facebook called Seasoned Romance, where we say you’re never too old to fall in love.  

Maggie's book list on sexy/steamy romance with characters in their prime

Maggie Wells Why did Maggie love this book?

This was the first book in Natasha’s Men of Lakeside series. Most people don’t realize that this book was one of the launch titles for an entire line of romances geared to readers who are looking for “older” characters. Personally, I loved The July Guy for the heroine. Anita is an independent, sexually-confident woman who makes no apologies for her life choices. In other words, she is like many of the women I know. And Noah is not your typical romance hero. He is a widower whose only experience had been with his wife. I love how skillfully Natasha flipped the near-virgin widow(er) trope.

By Natasha Moore,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Art professor Anita Delgado spends eleven months of the year working. July is her month to cut loose, paint, and pick a guy to make the summer memorable. But this year she isn’t in a tropical location with an exotic man like she'd planned. She’s stuck in small-town USA dealing with a lake house she doesn’t want, inherited from a grandmother she never knew. A summer fling might be the only thing to get her through the next few weeks.

Salvage specialist Noah Colburn is running for mayor. If he doesn’t, an absolute idiot is going to ruin his beloved…


Book cover of At Your Service

Maggie Wells Author Of Love Game

From my list on sexy/steamy romance with characters in their prime.

Who am I?

Reading and writing romance about characters who are beyond the first blush of youth is important to me because these characters represent who I am and the people I know. We live in an unapologetically youth-centric culture. When I wrote my first book, I wrote about a 40-year-old heroine, not realizing that in traditional romance publishing, no one over 30, maybe 35, gets to fall in love. Well, I had news for them. I joined forces with some other like-minded readers and writers and we created a group on Facebook called Seasoned Romance, where we say you’re never too old to fall in love.  

Maggie's book list on sexy/steamy romance with characters in their prime

Maggie Wells Why did Maggie love this book?

This books is a delightful mash-up of romantic suspense, a spy thriller, and a cozy mystery. While I was reading it, I couldn’t help thinking how much more interesting James Bond would have been if he’d been paired with women who challenged him. And it’s funny. If an author can make me laugh out loud while reading, they have me hooked. Sandra does a masterful job of infusing her characters with all the best things we learn are important to a romance as we grow older: equality, mutual respect, and a desire to form true partnerships. 

By Sandra Antonelli,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A butler. A spy. A toilet brush. A romantic suspense cosy spy-thriller-mystery with a dash of grittiness and humour. It's Charade meets Remains of the Day.

After three years in the employ of a former British army officer turned Risk Assessment Specialist, widowed butler Mae Valentine is familiar with Major Kitt’s taste for scrambled eggs, bourbon, and brawling. Kitt knows of Mae’s fondness for order, her beloved dead husband, and the millions the man left her in trust. Their easy bond is tested the day Mae kills the man sent to murder her and the trust fund vanishes.

Soon, a…


Fourth and Long

By Britt Belle,

Book cover of Fourth and Long

Britt Belle Author Of The Earl Was Wrong

New book alert!

Who am I?

Author Romance reader Romance writer Sports lover

Britt's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Plus, Britt's 6-year-old's favorite books.

What is my book about?

Fourth and Long is a novel written in the first person with dual POVs.

Ellie: When I meet Slater, an infamous quarterback trying to salvage his career, I know better than to form expectations. Our relationship starts out casual, but I can’t help falling for him. The problem is, that he’s leaving as soon as he signs with a new team, and I have no choice but to let him go.

Slater: I can’t risk distractions, so when I hook up with Ellie, I tell myself she’s nothing but a pretty girl. We keep it casual because as soon as the ink is dry on my new contract, I’ll be hundreds of miles away. She follows my rules and lets me go without a fight, but even though football consumes me, I can’t forget her.

Fourth and Long

By Britt Belle,

What is this book about?

Ellie
My professional life is a failure—I’ve convinced more couples to divorce than to work on their marriages. My personal life is a mess—my mother wants my attention, but not my advice, my father is pushing me to bond with his second family, and my sister, who likes to meddle in my love life, thinks I need to get laid.

When I meet Slater, an infamous quarterback trying to salvage his career, I know better than to form expectations. Our relationship starts out casual, but as our lives become more intertwined, I can’t help falling for him. Problem is, he’s…


Book cover of Second Chance on Cypress Lane

Maggie Wells Author Of Love Game

From my list on sexy/steamy romance with characters in their prime.

Who am I?

Reading and writing romance about characters who are beyond the first blush of youth is important to me because these characters represent who I am and the people I know. We live in an unapologetically youth-centric culture. When I wrote my first book, I wrote about a 40-year-old heroine, not realizing that in traditional romance publishing, no one over 30, maybe 35, gets to fall in love. Well, I had news for them. I joined forces with some other like-minded readers and writers and we created a group on Facebook called Seasoned Romance, where we say you’re never too old to fall in love.  

Maggie's book list on sexy/steamy romance with characters in their prime

Maggie Wells Why did Maggie love this book?

Small town romance + coming home + second chance? This book was like catnip to me. Dakota and Dexter felt like real people I would know. I love any story that explores how our needs and ambitions change as we grow older, and this book delivered. Dexter made choices when they were young. Dakota made some career choices that have set her life in a tailspin. I also very much enjoyed the friendship between Dakota and her best friend, Sinclair (Sin). Enduring friendships are another facet of a character’s ability to love that I enjoy seeing in a good romance. 

By Reese Ryan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Second Chance on Cypress Lane as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this heartwarming second-chance romance, a woman returns home and discovers that, when it comes to finding love, there's no place like home.

Since leaving her North Carolina town and the boy who broke her heart, Dakota Jones has focused on making it big as a journalist. But when a mistake in her personal life gets splashed across the tabloids and causes her to lose her job, she has no choice but to return home until she can figure out what to do next.

Dexter Roberts never forgot Dakota, and he's always regretted the way things ended between them. Now…


Book cover of Beautiful Ruins

Barbara Josselsohn Author Of Secrets of the Italian Island

From my list on set on an intriguing island or coastline.

Who am I?

A native of New York’s Long Island, I’ve always been obsessed with the shoreline. My best early memories are of traveling with my family to the eastern edge of Long Island for our two-week summer vacation. My parents didn’t earn a lot of money, and we didn’t vacation often, so those two weeks in August were heavenly. As an adult, I gravitate to coastlines and islands. I’ve always been a fan of books with a strong sense of place, especially when that place is the shore. And I loved setting my current book on an island in the Mediterranean, delving into the qualities and characteristics that make a coastline so evocative and so appealing. 

Barbara's book list on set on an intriguing island or coastline

Barbara Josselsohn Why did Barbara love this book?

A friend of mine recommended this book before it became well-known—and the moment I saw the cover, I knew I had to own it!

Turquoise-blue water, a jagged Italian coastline, pastel-colored buildings set against a cliff, and oh—that typeface that screams late 1950s/early 1960s! Such enticing visuals! Of course, with such a setup, I might have been expecting too much—but the story didn’t disappoint me.

Its initial chapters are set in a small, down-on-its-luck hotel in a remote Italian village where a young starlet with a compelling secret comes to stay. Spanning time periods and continents, the novel has an epic feel.

But it’s that romantic setting that has stayed with me forever and fueled my ongoing love of the Italian coast! 

By Jess Walter,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Beautiful Ruins as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The #1 New York Times bestseller—Jess Walter’s “absolute masterpiece” (Richard Russo, Pulitzer Prize-winning author): the story of an almost-love affair that begins on the Italian coast in 1962 and resurfaces fifty years later in contemporary Hollywood.

The acclaimed, award-winning author of the national bestseller The Financial Lives of the Poets returns with his funniest, most romantic, and most purely enjoyable novel yet. Hailed by critics and loved by readers of literary and historical fiction, Beautiful Ruins is the story of an almost-love affair that begins on the Italian coast in 1962...and is rekindled in Hollywood fifty years later. 


Book cover of Welcome to Temptation

Eve M. Riley Author Of The Refusal

From my list on the best sex scenes of all time.

Who am I?

What makes a good sex scene for you? Long and drawn out, fast and furious or an unusual location? Perhaps the interesting use of accessories is your jam. And that’s before we get to angry sex, makeup sex, unexpected sex, or sex with the fear of discovery. I’ve loved steamy romance novels for as long as I can remember, and when I look for books with sex scenes, I have high expectations. I’m a fan of something unusual. Not tacky or totally unrealistic, just something surprising and interesting. But have all the best ideas been written? No way. I’m a firm believer that the best is yet to come.

Eve's book list on the best sex scenes of all time

Eve M. Riley Why did Eve love this book?

This is an older book, but Jennifer’s sizzle is unsurpassed. A movie assignment brings Sophie Dempsey to Temptation, Ohio. From the moment she drives into town, she has a bad feeling: Everything is a little too right. And when she has a run-in with the town's unnervingly sexy mayor, Phineas Tucker, making her little movie morphs into something downright dangerous.

Choosing the hottest scene out of several scorchers in this book was hard. There’s the sex scene on the table in the kitchen, but the scene where Phin decides that Sophie is turned on by discovery fantasies—so when her friend arrives at her house he makes increasingly louder noises until they are discovered—mmm hmm, that’s a masterpiece.

By Jennifer Crusie,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Sophie came to Temptation, a small town in Ohio, to help her sister make a movie. Now she's making trouble for the town council, love with the mayor and lemonade for a murderer. Welcome to Temptation - population 2158. And falling. This is a humorous tale of scandal, gossip and murder.


Book cover of Just the Sexiest Man Alive

Kathy L Wheeler Author Of Captivated By His Countess

From my list on romance to keep you turning when you want to sleep.

Who am I?

I began my own writing journey in 2007. I skipped many HS classes just to stay home and read. I want to know the ending of a story. I want happy ending. Life is hard, but when I have the ability to write the stories I write with the ending that so many are deprived of, at least I know I can find it in a book of my own choosing. That is my love of romance.

Kathy's book list on romance to keep you turning when you want to sleep

Kathy L Wheeler Why did Kathy love this book?

The opening, hook, if you will, of this book is exactly why I loved it. She is an attorney.

He is a huge over-the-top movie star whose next role is in a courtroom. When he is late, she blows him off and he can’t believe it. I love love love how she stands up to him and basically, puts him in his place. But when he sees her in action, he’s stunned. And, that is what I love!

It’s convincing and I know that in the end things will work out. That’s the joy of Romance. The journey to the ending you know you’ll love.

By Julie James,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Just the Sexiest Man Alive as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

New York Times bestselling author Julie James's debut novel-a dazzling romance about one of Hollywood's biggest movie stars and the woman who refuses to let him capture her heart...

Nothing fazes Taylor Donovan. In the courtroom, she never lets the opposition see her sweat. In her personal life, she never lets any man rattle her-not even her cheating ex-fiance. So when she's assigned to coach People's "Sexiest Man Alive" for his next big legal drama, she refuses to fall for the Hollywood heartthrob's charms.

Jason Andrews is used to having women fall at his feet. When Taylor Donovan gives him…


Book cover of The Garden on Sunset

Lisa Hall Author Of The Mysterious Double Death of Honey Black

From my list on for fans of Old Hollywood.

Who am I?

I’ve always loved stories, whether on the page or on the screen, and after reading Gone with the Wind I immediately watched the movie, feeling the pull of Old Hollywood drawing me in. My grandfather was a big movie fan, and I spent many an afternoon watching old movies with him – Hobson’s Choice was a favourite. As I got older, Gaslight, Ocean’s Eleven, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane… they all had me gripped. Factor in my self-confessed obsession with celebrity gossip and that was me done for – Old Hollywood is rife with scandal and gossip!

Lisa's book list on for fans of Old Hollywood

Lisa Hall Why did Lisa love this book?

Martin Turnbull is somewhat of an expert on Old Hollywood and I found his incredible website in my research for Honey Black.

His website is full of original photos of LA throughout the decades and these were invaluable for me when I was writing certain scenes. I then discovered he had written a series of books based in Hollywood, following three friends who come together to navigate their way through the movie business, starting with The Garden of Allah set in the late 1920s. It’s a fascinating look at the seedier side of Old Hollywood. 

By Martin Turnbull,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Have you ever wanted to climb into a time machine and visit Hollywood during its heyday?

Right before talking pictures slug Tinsel Town in the jaw, a luminous silent screen star converts her private estate into the Garden of Allah Hotel. The lush grounds soon become a haven for Hollywood hopefuls to meet, drink, and revel through the night. George Cukor is in the pool, Tallulah Bankhead is at the bar, and Scott Fitzgerald is sneaking off to a bungalow with Sheilah Graham while Madame Alla Nazimova keeps watch behind her lace curtains.

But the real story of the Garden…


Book cover of Harpo Speaks!

Adam Wallace Author Of How to Catch a Leprechaun

From my list on kids living a great life.

Who am I?

I am obsessed with personal development, having attended seminars to walk across hot coals and jump from crazy heights to test my limits, and I have read hundreds of books and watched hundreds of videos on self-improvement. But sometimes the best lessons come in fiction, and kid’s books do this so wonderfully. And they are a lot quicker to read and absorb! They also teach with humour, rhythm, and joy, and can change a child’s life simply by letting them escape into a world of laughter and joy, expanding their imaginations, and letting them absorb the lessons, sometimes without even realising it.

Adam's book list on kids living a great life

Adam Wallace Why did Adam love this book?

Okay, I am totally cheating here. Harpo Speaks! is not specifically a kid’s book at all (although it would be wonderful to read with and to upper primary and older), but it is my favourite book of all time, and I couldn’t not include it here. Harpo Speaks! is the autobiography of Harpo Marx. I have read it at least ten times, and every time I learn something new. 

The Marx Brothers show how life can and should be fun, but that the fun comes after and while you are working incredibly hard towards a dream. And of all of them, Harpo’s attitude to and joy of life is a lesson to us all. I can’t recommend this highly enough.

By Harpo Marx, Rowland Barber,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Facsimile of 1961 Edition.  “Adolph Marx [Harpo] squashed his formal education at the age of eight when he was dumped out of the 2nd grade window at P.S. 86 for the last time by two Irish classmates. He never went back. But his informal education blossomed on the streets of New York's Upper East Side; as a piano player in the Happy Times Tavern, on the vaudeville circuit of the early 1900's, at all-night poker games in the Algonquin Hotel. This is a racy autobiography by the mute Marx Brother with the rolling eyes, oversized pants and red wig who…


Book cover of All the Stars in the Heavens

Margaret Porter Author Of The Limits of Limelight

From my list on set in golden age Hollywood.

Who am I?

My interest in Golden Age Hollywood dates to my childhood of watching classic movies on television. It definitely inspired my career as an actress, which began when I was only ten and later expanded into tv and film. After the publication of twelve historical novels, I decided to write biographical fiction about actresses—famous and obscure—of the 1930s and 1940s. I regularly seek out Hollywood fiction for entertainment, and for research I rely on nonfiction (biographies, histories, sociological studies). I also collect ephemera, so at my author events I can share physical artifacts as well as Hollywood legend and lore!

Margaret's book list on set in golden age Hollywood

Margaret Porter Why did Margaret love this book?

This novel is a blend of fact and fiction and informed speculation, centered on the relationship between two mammoth film stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age: Loretta Young and Clark Gable. While the deeper truths of their relationship during the filming of Call of the Wild might be disputed, what is certain is that they produced a daughter whose identity was kept secret—even from her father. Loretta is sympathetically portrayed, often from the perspective of an Italian nun (the author’s creation). A whole galaxy of film celebrities passes through the pages of this book, which for fans of 20th century cinema, is a plus. One touching and poignant aspect of the story, for me, is the danger Loretta’s beloved child poses to her reputation and career.

By Adriana Trigiani,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked All the Stars in the Heavens as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Clark Gable, Loretta Young, Spencer Tracy, David Niven, Carole Lombard lead a magnificent cast of characters, real and imagined, in Adriana Trigiani's new novel set in the rich landscape of 1930s' Los Angeles. In this spectacular saga as radiant, thrilling and beguiling as Hollywood itself, Trigiani takes us back to the golden age of movie-making and into the complex and glamorous world of a young actress hungry for fame, success - and love. With meticulous, beautiful detail, she paints a rich landscape, where European and American artisans flocked to pursue the ultimate dream: to tell stories on the silver screen.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in movie stars, Tuscany, and psychologist?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about movie stars, Tuscany, and psychologist.

Movie Stars Explore 41 books about movie stars
Tuscany Explore 22 books about Tuscany
Psychologist Explore 47 books about psychologist