6 books like Sex and Vanity

By Kevin Kwan,

Here are 6 books that Sex and Vanity fans have personally recommended if you like Sex and Vanity. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Austenland

Jennie Bennett Author Of #fangirlproblems

From my list on immerse in the world of K-pop and fangirl romance.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ever since I watched my first K-drama, Heartstrings, on Netflix in 2011 I’ve become fascinated with Korean Pop Culture. I created one of the largest K-drama discussion groups on Facebook (KDA: Kdrama Anonymous) and published seven K-pop and K-drama-related Novellas. I traveled to Korea with my family in 2017 and was a panelist at Kcon in 2018. My passion for Korean Pop Culture has ventured into Webtoons and I often spend my time there catching up on all my favorite stories. I truly love Korean Culture and I’m happy to have participated in even a small part of it.

Jennie's book list on immerse in the world of K-pop and fangirl romance

Jennie Bennett Why did Jennie love this book?

It might not be Korean, but the same feeling is there. So many fangirls dream of visiting their favorite stories—and the main character Jane—in the book Austenland gets to do just that. When Jane’s grandmother buys her a trip to Austenland—the place where any girl’s Jane Austen dream can come true, she feels rude turning it down. Although, she’s enamored by men wearing smart coats and cravats, she’s also keenly aware of how fake everything is. It only takes a few days, however, to get swept up in the realness of the scene. A fangirl can hardly control her desire to be in her favorite book. This adorable and funny romance is exactly my cup of tea. 

By Shannon Hale,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Jane is a young New York woman who can never seem to find the right man-perhaps because of her secret obsession with Mr. Darcy, as played by Colin Firth in the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. When a wealthy relative bequeaths her a trip to an English resort catering to Austen-obsessed women, however, Jane's fantasies of meeting the perfect Regency-era gentleman suddenly become more real than she ever could have imagined. Is this total immersion in a fake Austenland enough to make Jane kick the Austen obsession for good, or could all her dreams actually culminate in a Mr.…


Book cover of The Secret History of the Pink Carnation

Marilyn Brant Author Of According to Jane

From my list on romance inspired by British classics.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born a bookworm. As a kid, I’d read daily—for hours and with wild abandon—across authors and genres. But I always had a special love of British classics: Shakespeare, Forster, the Brontës, tales featuring lords, ladies, and English heroes like the Scarlet Pimpernel. When I first encountered Jane Austen, I was a high-school freshman. Her writing forever changed my perspective and, thus, my life. I went on to devour all of her books, and later, to study her work for a summer at Oxford University. I visited her old haunts, too, like Bath and Chawton, and remain charmed by her stories and inspired by her when I write my novels.

Marilyn's book list on romance inspired by British classics

Marilyn Brant Why did Marilyn love this book?

I fell for Baroness Orczy’s dashing fictional hero—the Scarlet Pimpernel—after watching the 1982 film by the same name starring Anthony Andrews and Jane Seymour. I then went on to read the entire book series he was based on! It wasn’t until I came across Lauren Willig’s charming Pink Carnation series, which pays homage to clever and elusive British spies like the Scarlet Pimpernel, that I found a new historical spy hero to delight in. I loved the modern-day protagonist Eloise Kelly, who’s in present-day England working on her dissertation, as well as her historical counterpart Amy Balcourt, who leads the fascinating and romantic parallel story in this very enjoyable dual narrative novel.

By Lauren Willig,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Secret History of the Pink Carnation as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Nothing ever goes right for Eloise. The day she wears her new suede Jimmy Choos, it rains. When the Tube stops too quickly, she's the one thrown into some stranger's lap. And she's had her share of misfortune in the way of love. So, after deciding that romantic heroes must be a thing of the past, Eloise is ready for a fresh start but first she must finish her history dissertation on those most romantic of spies, the Scarlet Pimpernel and the Purple Gentian. While rummaging through a pile of old letters and diaries, Eloise discovers something amazing, something that…


Book cover of Mr. Rochester

Marilyn Brant Author Of According to Jane

From my list on romance inspired by British classics.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born a bookworm. As a kid, I’d read daily—for hours and with wild abandon—across authors and genres. But I always had a special love of British classics: Shakespeare, Forster, the Brontës, tales featuring lords, ladies, and English heroes like the Scarlet Pimpernel. When I first encountered Jane Austen, I was a high-school freshman. Her writing forever changed my perspective and, thus, my life. I went on to devour all of her books, and later, to study her work for a summer at Oxford University. I visited her old haunts, too, like Bath and Chawton, and remain charmed by her stories and inspired by her when I write my novels.

Marilyn's book list on romance inspired by British classics

Marilyn Brant Why did Marilyn love this book?

When I first came upon Sarah Shoemaker’s novel, I felt myself issuing a silent challenge: Can the author really inspire my sympathy for the gruff and tormented hero of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre? While I’d always loved the atmospheric moodiness of the novel and could empathize to a degree with Jane Eyre herself, Mr. Rochester’s dark, brooding, and secretive nature made me uneasy, and I wasn’t quick to find him as endearing as some other classic literary heroes. However, it was fascinating to be brought into the point of view of this particular Edward Fairfax Rochester! I appreciated experiencing the world of the novel as he might have perceived it and found the detailed background on his life to be an enjoyable addition.

By Sarah Shoemaker,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"A CRACKING-GOOD READ!"-- People, Best New Books
A deft and irresistible retelling of Charlotte Bronte´s beloved classic Jane Eyre--from the point of view of the dashing, mysterious Mr. Rochester himself.
For 170 years, Edward Fairfax Rochester has stood as one of literature's most complex and captivating romantic heroes. Sometimes cruel, sometimes tender, Jane Eyre's mercurial master at Thornfield Hall has mesmerized, beguiled, and, yes, baffled fans of Charlotte Brontv´'s masterpiece for generations. But his own story has never been told.
We first meet this brilliant, tormented hero as a motherless boy roaming Thornfield's lonely corridors. On the morning of Edward's…


Book cover of Julie and Romeo: A Novel

Marilyn Brant Author Of According to Jane

From my list on romance inspired by British classics.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born a bookworm. As a kid, I’d read daily—for hours and with wild abandon—across authors and genres. But I always had a special love of British classics: Shakespeare, Forster, the Brontës, tales featuring lords, ladies, and English heroes like the Scarlet Pimpernel. When I first encountered Jane Austen, I was a high-school freshman. Her writing forever changed my perspective and, thus, my life. I went on to devour all of her books, and later, to study her work for a summer at Oxford University. I visited her old haunts, too, like Bath and Chawton, and remain charmed by her stories and inspired by her when I write my novels.

Marilyn's book list on romance inspired by British classics

Marilyn Brant Why did Marilyn love this book?

There simply aren’t enough romances that focus on older main characters, so I particularly loved that this funny, Shakespeare-inspired love story had a 60-year-old divorced heroine and an equally mature widower hero. The protagonists are rival florists in Boston, and their families have been embroiled in a feud that has spanned several generations. Watching the way this novel played out—especially with so many meddling family members!—was great fun. And if, like me, you always wished the original Romeo and Juliet could have, maybe, been transformed into a comedy with a happier ending, Jeanne Ray’s light, modern romance just might be for you.

By Jeanne Ray,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Romeo Cacciamani and Julie Roseman are rival florists whose families have hated each other for as long as anyone can remember, yet no one can remember why. When the two meet at a small business owners' seminar, an intense and unwavering attraction blooms between them. Unsure of what fate has in store, but deeply in love, Julie and Romeo are not about to let something as silly as a generations-long feud stand in their way. That is, until Romeo's octogenarian mother, Julie's meddling ex-husband, and a cast of grown Cacciamani and Roseman children begin to intervene with a passionate hatred…


Book cover of On the City Wall

Patrick Holland Author Of The Darkest Little Room

From my list on prostitution and prostitutes.

Why am I passionate about this?

Prostitution is a thing one has to go looking for to get even a glimpse of in Australia. Since I first travelled, I realised how aberrant this is, and I became fascinated with the implications of making what for many of us is sacred into something transactional. Prostitution, certainly in Asia, where its relationship with ‘normal’ society is more complex than in the West, and where great economic disparity can mean it is a thing that may be both enslaving and freeing, is a fascinating subject for fiction, and one my work has often taken up.

Patrick's book list on prostitution and prostitutes

Patrick Holland Why did Patrick love this book?

I’m cheating a little here, as technically Kipling’s On the City Wall is a long story rather than a book itself, though I notice it’s recently been published as a standalone, and can be found in both Kipling’s Collected Stories and the original collection it appeared in, Soldiers Three. The story concerns a beautiful Punjabi courtesan called Lalun who welcomes ‘guests’ from all strata of society to her house on the ancient city wall of Lahore. Unlike the commonly depicted ‘fallen woman’, Lalun is a woman of significant wealth, great influence, and, especially, power over men. The story is full of wonderful comic ironies, lavish descriptions of a historical city, and the relationship at the heart of it, between Lalun and a fawning British official, is an enthralling study of matters romantic, spiritual and political.

By Rudyard Kipling,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked On the City Wall as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

On the City Wall is a short story by Rudyard Kipling. Joseph Rudyard Kipling (30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936 was an English short-story writer, poet, and novelist. He wrote tales and poems of British soldiers in India and stories for children. He was born in Bombay, in the Bombay Presidency of British India, and was taken by his family to England when he was five years old. Kipling's works of fiction include The Jungle Book (a collection of stories which includes "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi"), the Just So Stories (1902), Kim (1901), and many short stories, including "The Man Who Would…


Book cover of I Love Capri

Kim Nash Author Of Hopeful Hearts at the Cornish Cove

From my list on inspiring you to change your life.

Why am I passionate about this?

Women’s fiction was my go-to genre after discovering Danielle Steele many years ago. I progressed from epic emotional family dramas to chick lit/romcoms, wanting to read books that made me laugh and gave that feel-good feeling. I love a happy ever after, and don’t mind knowing that the main characters will end up together because for me it’s all about the journey. I’ve been so lucky since being an author, to have received lots of emails and social media messages, telling me how much my books have either helped someone, inspired someone, made them laugh, given them hope, and generally left them with a warm feeling in their heart.  

Kim's book list on inspiring you to change your life

Kim Nash Why did Kim love this book?

Belinda Jones is truly skilled at writing books that pick you up on a grey, damp, miserable day and transports you to the destination of another country where you truly get to experience their culture too. 

This was one of the first books that made me realise how you truly can travel the world through books. I always felt like I’d had a great holiday after reading these books and would recommend them to anyone who can’t physically get away. 

Books really are portable magic. This also made me want to write in a similar way where my readers want to go to my locations. 

By Belinda Jones,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Let much loved author Belinda Jones sweep you away to the magical island of Capri in this unmissable rom-com. Fans of Jo Thomas, Lindsey Kelk, Sophie Kinsella and Paige Toon will not be disappointed!

'I LOVE CAPRI is as essential as your SPF 15' - New Woman
'Fast-paced, enthusiastic, good-hearted...a wise and witty read about the secret desires deep within us' - Marie Claire
'A deliciously entertaining beach read' - HEAT
'A lovely escape' -- ***** Reader review
'I've read this multiple times and feel no guilt for going back to it. It's an easy read and an enjoyable one.'…


3 book lists we think you will like!

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