100 books like Mr. Impossible

By Loretta Chase,

Here are 100 books that Mr. Impossible fans have personally recommended if you like Mr. Impossible. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Priest

Julia Whelan Author Of Thank You for Listening

From my list on gateway romance for literary readers and writers.

Why am I passionate about this?

Although I currently write romantic women’s fiction, because I came up in the Literary Fiction community, I frequently have writer friends ask me to recommend well-written Romance. Leaving aside the subjectivity of well-written and the snobbery inherent in the suggestion that Romance—a category they’ve admitted to never having read—isn’t generally well-written, I first have to explain that Romance has rules: While we often associate Romance with sex on the page, technically, it’s not a requirement. There are only two requirements, according to the Romance Writers of America: the love story has to be the central storyline of the book; and there has to be a happily ever after (HEA). 

Julia's book list on gateway romance for literary readers and writers

Julia Whelan Why did Julia love this book?

Look. I could tell you it’s a modern-day gothic. I could tell you it wields its heresy to illuminate the true meaning of God. I could tell you she writes with the clarity of an imprisoned martyr watching the pyre being assembled outside her window. But, really, I just want you to know that I read Sierra Simone with a goofy smile on my face, marveling at how she makes the bonkers believable. She’s a surreal realist. There’s an energy here that’s simply unmatched. The book vibrates. And if you make it through Priest, might I suggest her New Camelot trilogy, which tackles the only thing more sacred than the Catholic church: the American presidency.

By Sierra Simone,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

There are many rules a priest can't break. A priest cannot marry. A priest cannot abandon his flock. A priest cannot forsake his God.

I've always been good at following rules.

Until she came. Then I learned new rules.

My name is Tyler Anselm Bell. I'm twenty-nine years old. Six months ago, I broke my vow of celibacy on the altar of my own church, and God help me, I would do it again.

I am a priest and this is my confession.


Book cover of The Idea of You

Jessica Saunders Author Of Love, Me

From my list on books that feature a celebrity falling for a “normal” person.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a child, I loved singing and acting and fantasized about what it might be like to be a famous movie star. Though the practical side of my brain led me to become a lawyer instead, my fascination with Hollywood never waned. When I set out to write my first novel, I finally had the opportunity to explore celebrity culture. But I'm just a regular person, living a very normal life. The books I’m recommending lift the curtain on fame and explore the ultimate fantasy: what if a beloved, uber-famous actor or actress actually fell in love with you? 

Jessica's book list on books that feature a celebrity falling for a “normal” person

Jessica Saunders Why did Jessica love this book?

The very opposite of my last recommendation, this book was wildly spicy!

The main character is a mom who has a love affair with a famous and very young pop star, and rumor has it it’s based on the author’s crush on Harry Styles. It was really easy to lose myself in the fantasy; I, too, am a mom in her forties who finds pop stars attractive and certainly wouldn’t mind taking a little vacation from reality.

I got so sucked into this one that I stayed up for hours past my bedtime reading it multiple nights in a row!

By Robinne Lee,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Idea of You as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When Solene Marchand, the thirty-nine-year-old owner of a prestigious art gallery in Los Angeles, takes her daughter, Isabelle, to meet her favourite boy band, she doesP so reluctantly and at her ex-husband's request. The last thing she expects is to make a connection with one of the members of the world-famous August Moon. But Hayes Campbell is clever, winning, confident, and posh, and the attraction is immediate. That he is all of twenty years old further complicates things. What begins as a series of clandestine trysts quickly evolves into a passionate relationship. It is a journey that spans continents as…


Book cover of Beach Read

Elle Rivers Author Of Contractual Obligations

From my list on romance books with main characters that hook you from page one.

Why am I passionate about this?

My name is Elle Rivers, and I’ve been a romance reader and writer for over ten years. I started reading when I was in high school because I was a lonely kid who loved watching people fall in love. I love the romance genre because it always has a happy ending, and reading about characters overcoming their struggles reminds me that I can also face any hard moments in life. I try to write the same kinds of characters in my books. They’re all a piece of me, and I am so excited that others can read them, too. 

Elle's book list on romance books with main characters that hook you from page one

Elle Rivers Why did Elle love this book?

This book follows a writer named January, who goes to her father’s beach house that he shared with his mistress after his passing.

I love it when a character's backstory has a unique twist to it, and I could feel January’s pain and confusion as she navigated her father’s complicated past. We get to see January grow as a person and also have a romance with the writer next door.

Love stories with complex character growth are my bread and butter, and this was the novel that started it all for me. 

By Emily Henry,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Beach Read as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

FROM THE #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF PEOPLE WE MEET ON VACATION AND BOOK LOVERS!

A romance writer who no longer believes in love and a literary writer stuck in a rut engage in a summer-long challenge that may just upend everything they believe about happily ever afters.

Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast.

They’re polar opposites.

In fact, the only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they're living in neighboring…


The Sailor Without a Sweetheart

By Katherine Grant,

Book cover of The Sailor Without a Sweetheart

Katherine Grant Author Of The Viscount Without Virtue

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Novelist History nerd Amateur dancer Reader New Yorker

Katherine's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

Enjoy this Persuasion-inspired historical romance!

Six years ago, Amy decided *not* to elope with Captain Nate Preston. Now, he is back in the neighborhood, and he is shocked to discover that Amy is unmarried. Even more surprising, she is clearly battling some unnamed illness. Thrown together by circumstances outside their control, Nate and Amy try to be friends. Soon, it becomes clear that their feelings for each other never died. Has anything changed, or are they destined for heartbreak once more?

The Sailor Without a Sweetheart

By Katherine Grant,

What is this book about?

Is love worth giving a second chance?

Six years ago, Amy Lamplugh decided not to elope with Nate Preston. Ever since, she has been working hard to convince herself she was right to choose her family over Nate.

Now, Nate is back. After an illustrious career as a naval captain, he faces a court martial for disobeying orders while fighting the slave trade. He accepts an invitation to await the trial at a country estate outside of Portsmouth - and discovers he is suddenly neighbors with Amy.

Nate is shocked to find that Amy didn’t end up marrying someone rich…


Book cover of The Luckiest Lady in London

Julia Whelan Author Of Thank You for Listening

From my list on gateway romance for literary readers and writers.

Why am I passionate about this?

Although I currently write romantic women’s fiction, because I came up in the Literary Fiction community, I frequently have writer friends ask me to recommend well-written Romance. Leaving aside the subjectivity of well-written and the snobbery inherent in the suggestion that Romance—a category they’ve admitted to never having read—isn’t generally well-written, I first have to explain that Romance has rules: While we often associate Romance with sex on the page, technically, it’s not a requirement. There are only two requirements, according to the Romance Writers of America: the love story has to be the central storyline of the book; and there has to be a happily ever after (HEA). 

Julia's book list on gateway romance for literary readers and writers

Julia Whelan Why did Julia love this book?

You like your small, introspective, architecture-of-a-marriage stories? Well, here’s the Romance version. Nothing really happens, plot-wise. It is simply a masterclass of two characters matched in every way that matters, ready to destroy everything they could potentially have because they’re scared of getting hurt. Humorous. Hot. Nerdy. Incisive. Affecting. This will introduce you to the basic foundation of Historical Romance—essentially, “the marriage plot”—in the quiet way you’re looking for.

By Sherry Thomas,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the superbly gifted Sherry Thomas comes this beautifully written romance about a marriage of convenience that turns inconveniently passionate...  

Felix Rivendale, the Marquess of Wrenworth, is The Ideal Gentleman, a man all men want to be and all women want to possess. Even Felix himself almost believes this golden image. But underneath is a damaged soul soothed only by public adulation.

Louisa Cantwell needs to marry well to support her sisters. She does not, however, want Lord Wrenworth—though he seems inexplicably interested in her. She mistrusts his outward perfection, and the praise he garners everywhere he goes. Still, when…


Book cover of The Innocent

Stephen Holgate Author Of Tangier

From my list on spies and intrigue.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've always loved spy stories. The best offer complex characters, exotic locales, suspense, and stakes higher than any detective story. I got to know quite a few CIA types during my foreign service career. Some became good friends. I never asked them about their work, but once or twice passed a tidbit their way. Once, the local KGB got the notion I was with the CIA or was somehow prone to persuasion. They were all over me for weeks, making me extremely uncomfortable. The station chief held my hand throughout. So, while I can’t claim a lot of personal knowledge, I’ve had a touch. Here’s my list of favorite spy stories.

Stephen's book list on spies and intrigue

Stephen Holgate Why did Stephen love this book?

Though not thought of as an espionage writer, McEwan uncorks a fine, suspenseful novel based on two true stories of Cold War intrigue. Set in mid-1950s Berlin, it speaks, as the title implies, of a loss of innocence, both professionally and personally, of a British engineer caught up in a dangerous web of uncertain loyalties and unexpected violence. (Why are the best espionage novels set in WWII or the Cold War? Most spying is done now through satellites and electronic eavesdropping. It’s hard to write a good book with a satellite as the main character.)

By Ian McEwan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The setting is Berlin. Into this divided city, wrenched between East and West, between past and present; comes twenty-five-year-old Leonard Marnham, assigned to a British-American surveillance team. Though only a pawn in an international plot that is never fully revealed to him, Leonard uses his secret work to escape the bonds of his ordinary life -- and to lose his unwanted innocence. The promise of his new life begins to be fulfilled as Leonard becomes a crucial part of the surveillance team, while simultaneously being initiated into a new world of love and sex by Maria, a beautiful young German…


Book cover of The Foreign Student

Don Lee Author Of The Partition

From my list on by now-established Korean American authors.

Why am I passionate about this?

A Korean American author myself, I published my first book in 2001, and in the ensuing years I’ve been heartened by the number of Korean Americans who have made a splash with their debut novels, as these five writers did. All five have ventured outside of what I’ve called the ethnic literature box, going far beyond the traditional stories expected from Asian Americans. They established a trend that is happily growing. 

Don's book list on by now-established Korean American authors

Don Lee Why did Don love this book?

In 1950s Sewanee, Chang and Katherine slowly fall in love and find that the Souths of Korea and Tennessee are not that different after all, both subject to lingering issues of class, family, race, and civil war. I love the poetic language in this novel, as well as its ambitious story and the complexity invested in every relation.

By Susan Choi,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"This wonderful hybrid of a novel--a love story, a war story, a novel of manners--introduces a writer of enchanting gifts, a beautiful heart wedded to a beautiful imagination. How else does Susan Choi so fully inhabit characters from disparate backgrounds, with such brilliant wit and insight? The Foreign Student stirs up great and lovely emotions."  — Francisco Goldman, author of The Ordinary Seaman

The Foreign Student is the story of a young Korean man, scarred by war, and the deeply troubled daughter of a wealthy Southern American family. In 1955, a new student arrives at a small college in the…


Book cover of Bellewether

Dana Chamblee Carpenter Author Of Bohemian Gospel

From my list on historical fiction with touches of love and magic.

Why am I passionate about this?

Even as an overachieving student, I struggled with true/false tests, always writing short essays explaining why the answer wasn’t quite clear cut. Some teachers loved my need to blur the lines. Others not so much. But this aversion to boundaries—the idea that something (or someone) must be this or that—it’s part of my blood. I read everything in the library, nonfiction, fiction, all genres. I like books that cross from real to fantasy, history to fiction. I love characters who refuse to be told who and what they can (or can’t) be. I want love to break boundaries, too. That’s what this list is all about.

Dana's book list on historical fiction with touches of love and magic

Dana Chamblee Carpenter Why did Dana love this book?

I love a good story told well—where the plot has me eager to flip the page, but the writing is so gorgeous I want to linger. Bellewether entwines the story of present-day Charley with Lydia, a woman living in the midst of war between the British and French American colonies in 1759. It’s a story of ghosts, figurative and real, of love, forbidden and lost, and it’s about discovering the truths that matter the most. 

By Susanna Kearsley,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"I've loved every one of Susanna's books! She has bedrock research and a butterfly's delicate touch with characters-a sure recipe for historical fiction that sucks you in and won't let go!"-DIANA GABALDON, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Outlander
From New York Times & USA Today bestselling author Susanna Kearsley-A magical novel that blends history, forbidden romance and the paranormal
Secrets aren't such easy things to keep: It's late summer in 1759, war is raging, and families are torn apart by divided loyalties and deadly secrets. In this complex and dangerous time, a young French-Canadian lieutenant is captured and…


Book cover of Almost a Lady

S.M. Harlow Author Of The Lover of The Opera

From my list on to fall in love with historical romance.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been in love with HR novels ever since my parents took me to a bookstore when I was fifteen, where for the first time, I stepped into an aisle filled with romance. It was love at first sight, as I searched for that one book that called to me. After finishing that book, my world had changed. Now, seventeen years later, as a published author for both New Age and Historical Romance, I still feverishly read romance books to continue feeding that internal flame of love and passion I still have for Historical Romance. I hope you enjoy the books on this list as much as I have.

S.M.'s book list on to fall in love with historical romance

S.M. Harlow Why did S.M. love this book?

Almost A Lady is filled with love, passion, and adventure for the restless soul. It has a fiery heroine who isn’t afraid to fight for her life, and the most ideal roguish pirate scoundrel one longs for in a Historical Romance. The perfect enemies-to-lovers tale that will have you staying up late for more. I loved this book because it revealed far more than what a traditional HR setting could be. It gave me love and peril and a hot slow-burn of fervor and intensity one needs in a great Historical Romance.

By Jane Feather,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this exhilarating new novel of romance and intrigue, New York Times bestselling author Jane Feather tells the tale of an adventurous young woman and the hardened spy who is unexpectedly–and most inconveniently–captivated by her....

Independent and inquisitive, Meg Barratt wants nothing to do with any stifling society marriage. Meg yearns for the kind of passion that exists only in books–until a violent storm lands her on the high seas with the most dangerous and seductive man she’s ever encountered…or imagined.

For Cosimo, women are objects, to be manipulated for business or pleasure…sometimes both. But when the seafaring assassin accidentally…


Book cover of Killing Me Softly

Roz Morris Author Of Ever Rest

From my list on high-altitude mountaineering.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was 10, my father quoted to me the line by Henry David Thoreau, that "the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation." This scared me deeply. It became an enduring question. What makes us feel truly alive? I love stories that take us to these edges. I like to explore what we chase - love, adventure, ambition, art - and where it goes wrong. I’ve long been drawn to stories about people who climb the world’s most dangerous mountains, putting themselves through unthinkable ordeals in places that don’t care if we live or die. And what of their friends, families and partners?

Roz's book list on high-altitude mountaineering

Roz Morris Why did Roz love this book?

We’re in fiction now. This is the story of Alice, a young professional woman with a settled life and reliable boyfriend, who jettisons it all when she meets Adam, a mountaineer. Adam is very broken, with PTSD after a tragedy in the mountains. I know climbers who would say the plot is sensationalist, but I’ve also met climbers who seem to have left their most vivid selves in that white otherworld. And this is the essential territory of Nicci French novels - people with dangerous edges and missing pieces, and how charismatic they are. 

By Nicci French,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

***Special anniversay edition, with a new introduction by Peter Robinson***

You're in passionate love. And grave danger . . .

Alice Loudon couldn't resist abandoning her old, safe life for a wild affair. And in Adam Tallis, a rugged mountaineer with a murky past, Alice finds a man who can teach her things about herself that she never even suspected.

But sexual obsession has its dark side - and so does Adam.

Soon, both are threatening all that Alice has left. First her sanity. Then her life.

'The pacing is spot on, and the tension keeps creeping up and up…


Book cover of Given

Elana A. Mugdan Author Of Dragon Speaker

From my list on for people who love dragons as central characters.

Why am I passionate about this?

Dragons are my passion, I've lovingly been referred to as The World's Foremost Dragon Authority, and I've made it my mission to consume as much dragon media as I can. As someone who also loves science, I'm especially drawn to media that addresses draconic physiology, evolution, and culture. I can name every taxonomic family, genus, and species in the order Draconidae, and there's nothing I love more than sharing my dragon knowledge and stories with others!

Elana's book list on for people who love dragons as central characters

Elana A. Mugdan Why did Elana love this book?

Given is a fantasy romance, centering on the relationship between Yenni and Weysh. Yenni is a princess of the Yirba who ventures to a distant land to seek a magical cure for her ailing father; Weysh is a charming and troublesome dragon shapeshifter who believes Yenni is his Given, or destined mate.

In addition to offering a unique spin on dragons, Given has wonderful world building. We learn about the intertwined history of three cultures: the Yirba, the Creshens, and the once-mighty dragons. While the draconic aspect is what drew me to this book, I also loved learning about the magic system, and how each culture approaches magic use. The romance is sweet and understated, and is well balanced with Yenni and Weysh's personal goals.

By Nandi Taylor,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

As a princess of the Moonrise Isles and one of its fiercest warriors, Yenni has always put duty before her own desires. When her father falls gravely ill, she knows she must find the cure and sets out on an arduous journey that takes her to a magical academy in the far reaches of the Empire of Cresh.

There is no room for failure, but Yenni struggles to learn the strange magic of Cresh as a cure continues to evade her. And complicating matters is Weysh, a dragon shifter who says Yenni is his Given―his one true partner ordained by…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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