100 books like The Ex Talk

By Rachel Lynn Solomon,

Here are 100 books that The Ex Talk fans have personally recommended if you like The Ex Talk. 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 Shipped

Carla Luna Author Of Field Rules

From my list on romance that will have you packing your suitcase.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a romance author with a perpetual case of wanderlust. Though I’m always up for a good road trip, my true passion is visiting other countries. Among my odd travel quirks are collecting hotel soaps (I have over 200 different ones!) and memorizing airline codes. Years ago, I worked as an archaeologist, and was lucky enough to travel through the Mediterranean and the Middle East. These days, I’m more of an armchair traveler, which is why I love writing (and reading!) romances that transport me to a new location. 

Carla's book list on romance that will have you packing your suitcase

Carla Luna Why did Carla love this book?

I’ve never been to the Galápagos Islands, but after reading Shipped, I wish I could afford to go! In this enemies-to-lovers romance, Henley and Graeme are office rivals who work for the same adventure travel company but have never met in person. When the opportunity for a promotion arises, their boss sends them both on a company cruise to the Galápagos archipelago, where they’ll have to come up with the best marketing pitch for the area. This book has so much going for it: hilarious travel hijinks, sizzling sexual tension, and detailed descriptions that bring the islands to life. By the end of the book, I was convinced I needed to add this destination to my travel bucket list!

By Angie Hockman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Named a Best Romance Book of 2021 by Entertainment Weekly * Goodreads * PopSugar * Marie Claire * Real Simple * Insider * Vulture * CNN * Bookreporter * BookBub * and more!​

The Unhoneymooners meets The Hating Game in this witty, clever, and swoonworthy novel following a workaholic marketing manager who is forced to go on a cruise with her arch-nemesis when they’re up for the same promotion.

Between taking night classes for her MBA and her demanding day job at a cruise line, marketing manager Henley Evans barely has time for herself, let alone family, friends, or dating.…


Book cover of By Any Other Name

Tracie Banister Author Of Straight from the Hart

From my list on heroines who make a love connection on the job.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an author, I run my own business and have a hand in all aspects of my product, from creation to promotion. My work is my passion, so I love to write (and read!) books about women who have that same dedication to their careers. I enjoy seeing these ladies strive for success and how they handle challenges along the way. And, of course, since RomComs are my genre, those challenges often involve a man because where else is a workaholic going to find her soulmate? The witty banter, sizzling sexual tension, snort-laugh moments, and surprising plot twists on the pages of all these books, including mine, are guaranteed to entertain you.

Tracie's book list on heroines who make a love connection on the job

Tracie Banister Why did Tracie love this book?

This charming, deeply romantic tale about an editor whose big promotion is contingent on her helping a popular author overcome a terrible case of writer’s block reminded me of all the reasons I adore reading and writing love stories.

Working with this author leads Lanie to question her long-cherished beliefs about what she wants (and needs) in a romantic partner. She opens her heart to new ideas and experiences as well as to love, and her journey, both personally and professionally, culminates in such an epically swoon-inducing way that you will be hard-pressed not to shed happy tears (I did!).

Like the book’s heroine, Lauren Kate clearly reveres the written word, and this story is a beautifully composed valentine to all bibliophiles.

By Lauren Kate,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From # 1 New York Times bestselling author Lauren Kate comes an enemies-to-lovers romance about an editor, her bestselling author, and one life-changing secret.

What she doesn't know about love could fill a book.
 
With a successful career as a romance editor, and an engagement to a man who checks off all ninety-nine boxes on her carefully curated list, Lanie's more than good. She's killing it. Then she’s given the opportunity of a lifetime: to work with world-renowned author and her biggest inspiration in love and life—the Noa Callaway. All Lanie has to do is cure Noa's writer's block and…


Book cover of The Marriage Code

Tracie Banister Author Of Straight from the Hart

From my list on heroines who make a love connection on the job.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an author, I run my own business and have a hand in all aspects of my product, from creation to promotion. My work is my passion, so I love to write (and read!) books about women who have that same dedication to their careers. I enjoy seeing these ladies strive for success and how they handle challenges along the way. And, of course, since RomComs are my genre, those challenges often involve a man because where else is a workaholic going to find her soulmate? The witty banter, sizzling sexual tension, snort-laugh moments, and surprising plot twists on the pages of all these books, including mine, are guaranteed to entertain you.

Tracie's book list on heroines who make a love connection on the job

Tracie Banister Why did Tracie love this book?

An office rivalry between software developer Emma and app developer Rishi takes an interesting turn when they’re sent to Bangalore to work on a project together.

Back in his home country, Rishi’s family pressures him to get married to a woman of the right caste/religion. Emma offers to create an algorithm to help Rishi find the perfect wife who might be a lot closer than he thinks!

This book does a wonderful job of delving into the challenges of an American woman dating an Indian man as well as the dynamics and relationships within an Indian family. Brooke Burroughs brings India to vibrant life on the page, and I felt as though I was falling in love with the country (and Rishi!) along with Emma.

By Brooke Burroughs,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In Brooke Burroughs's endearing debut novel set in vibrant India, enemies turned allies encounter obstacles in an unexpected multicultural romance only to discover that in the end, love is love.

Emma has always lived her life according to a plan. But after turning down her boyfriend's proposal, everything starts to crumble. In an effort to save the one thing she cares about-her job-she must recruit her colleague, Rishi, to be on her development team...only she may or may not have received the position he was promised. (She did.)

Rishi cannot believe that he got passed over for promotion. To make…


Book cover of Whisked Away

Tracie Banister Author Of Straight from the Hart

From my list on heroines who make a love connection on the job.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an author, I run my own business and have a hand in all aspects of my product, from creation to promotion. My work is my passion, so I love to write (and read!) books about women who have that same dedication to their careers. I enjoy seeing these ladies strive for success and how they handle challenges along the way. And, of course, since RomComs are my genre, those challenges often involve a man because where else is a workaholic going to find her soulmate? The witty banter, sizzling sexual tension, snort-laugh moments, and surprising plot twists on the pages of all these books, including mine, are guaranteed to entertain you.

Tracie's book list on heroines who make a love connection on the job

Tracie Banister Why did Tracie love this book?

I can always count on Melanie Summers to make me laugh, and she did that repeatedly with this delightful story about a newly minted chef who gets stuck cooking for an author on a private Caribbean island.

There’s friction between Emma and Pierce from the get-go as he’s on a deadline and doesn’t appreciate her high-end cuisine. When he has a comical accident that renders his typing hand unusable, Emma steps in to help Pierce complete the final installment of his fantasy series (an affectionate spoof of Game of Thrones with expert world-building!).

I thoroughly enjoyed the organic development of Emma and Pierce’s relationship and was on the edge of my seat waiting to see how they’d overcome the obstacles in their path and achieve their happily ever after!

By Melanie Summers,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

***All books in the Paradise Bay Series are Stand-alone novels.***

From best-selling author Melanie Summers comes an irresistibly romantic, delightfully funny tale of love, passion, books, and food…

I’m Emma Banks and I have big plans. I just graduated from the prestigious Culinary Institute of America, and I’m ready to take my place as head chef at one of my family’s resort restaurants.

But upon arrival at Paradise Bay, I’m immediately shuffled off to the resort’s new private island getaway, where I’ll be stuck catering to the rich and shameless. My first soul-sucking assignment is to serve Pierce Davenport, an…


Book cover of The Motion of the Ocean: 1 Small Boat, 2 Average Lovers, and a Woman's Search for the Meaning of Wife

Liesbet Collaert Author Of Plunge: One Woman's Pursuit of a Life Less Ordinary

From my list on sailing memoirs written by women.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always enjoyed reading memoirs that pull me in, take me on a unique journey, and entertain me with real-life drama. Nonfiction can be better than fiction, when the experiences and a compelling voice are present. I have been a writer and a nomad since 2003 and, during my thirties, sailed throughout the Caribbean and South Pacific for eight years with a partner and two dogs. When publishing my own account of this journey, I merged the present tense with enticing elements of fiction writing, like flashbacks, foreshadowing, and cliffhangers. Using correct grammar and eliminating typos are important to me as well, which is why I am a picky reader.

Liesbet's book list on sailing memoirs written by women

Liesbet Collaert Why did Liesbet love this book?

The Motion of the Ocean has been a longtime favorite sailing memoir of mine, not in the least because I read it during my own sailing years and felt connected to the author.

I appreciate her humorous, honest, conversational, and compelling writing style and love the title of the book, which inspired me to keep adventuring by sailboat and even to write my own memoir.

The narrative focuses on Janna and her husband’s relationship on a small boat in a remote area of the world. It’s a story not unlike mine in regards to relationship idiosyncrasies, the Pacific territory, the couple’s ages, and some of their experiences.

Janna was a teacher in a previous life as well and shares my love for travel and writing. This is an entertaining, well-written book.

By Janna Cawrse Esarey,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The humorous true story of a woman who abandons her tidy life to honeymoon across the Pacific on a leaky, old boat—only to find that sailing 17,000 miles is easier than keeping her relationship off the rocks.

“Somewhere fifty miles off the coast of oregon i realize the skipper of this very small ship is an asshole. he also happens to be my husband.”

While most thirty-somethings are climbing the corporate ladder or popping out babies, Janna Cawrse and her boyfriend Graeme take a different tack: they quit their jobs, tie the knot, and embark on a most unusual honeymoon…


Book cover of Hands Down

Amy Oliveira Author Of Love Me, Maddie Mendoza

From my list on friends-to-lovers romance.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a complete bookworm and romance addict. I love to see the old tropes being written with a fresh feel, and I’m a true believer that romance is so hard to write because everyone knows the end, but it’s up to the writer to bring you on a worthy journey. After reading countless friends-to-lovers novels, I can say with certainty I have the list with the best books written by the contemporary romance rock stars. Let’s get to it!

Amy's book list on friends-to-lovers romance

Amy Oliveira Why did Amy love this book?

I’d talk about Mariana Zapata for days without coming out for air. The queen of slow-burn will leave you squirming in your seat shouting “Just kiss already!” on the top of your lungs. It’s a sweet blooming romance between childhood friends who spent years apart. If you read The Wall of Winnipeg and Me, you were probably waiting for Zack’s story. Bonus? Zack is the sweetest and the pure definition of a cinnamon roll hero.

By Mariana Zapata,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Before he was “Big Texas,” he was “Zac the Snack Pack.”Bianca Brannen knows time—mostly—heals all wounds. Including those your once loved ones might have unintentionally given you. (Those just take longer.)She thinks she’s ready when a call has her walking back into her old friend’s life. Or at least as prepared as possible to see the starting quarterback in the National Football Organization. Before the lights, the fans, and the millions, he’d been a skinny kid with a heart of gold. Waltzing out of Zac Travis’s life should be easy. Just as easy as he walked out of hers.


Book cover of To Kill a Kingdom

K.J. Cloutier Author Of Beyond The Horizon

From my list on young adult fantasy with pirates and magic.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always loved magic and pirates. As I kid, I made up games incorporating the two. As a teenager, I wanted to read about them. But at the time, I couldn’t find anything that had both pirates and magic, so I decided to write one myself. As the years blurred past and the young adult book scene exploded, more and more books with pirates and magic have been published and of course, I try to read them all! I read them not only to study books similar to my own, but because I love them and I can’t get enough. 

K.J.'s book list on young adult fantasy with pirates and magic

K.J. Cloutier Why did K.J. love this book?

Imagine The Little Mermaid but the mermaid is actually a killer siren and the prince is actually a siren hunter/pirate, and you’ve got To Kill A Kingdom.

If you’re not sold by that alone (because I certainly was) well, this standalone fantasy also has seafaring action, a variety of vibrant kingdoms, strong character arcs, morally grey characters, dashing pirates, siren magic, and of course, a slow burn enemies to lovers romance (you may have noticed I’m a sucker for those.)

I only wish this was a series and not a standalone.

By Alexandra Christo,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked To Kill a Kingdom as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 13, 14, 15, and 16.

What is this book about?

A TIKTOK sensation!

An unforgettable dark romantic YA fantasy about the siren with a taste for royal blood and the prince who has sworn to destroy her.

"Stellar world building and nonstop action will keep readers hooked on this twisted reimagining of 'The Little Mermaid'." Booklist Online

Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing…


Book cover of The Winner's Curse

Kathy MacMillan Author Of Dagger and Coin

From my list on females who don't care if you like them or not.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an author, American Sign Language interpreter, librarian, and signing storyteller. I write picture books, children’s nonfiction, middle grade, and young adult fantasy, and resource books for educators, librarians, and parents. In my books, I highlight strong female characters, both fictional and from real-life. Here I am sharing 5 of my favorite fantasy and sci-fi books with female characters who – by the end of their journeys - absolutely do not care what you think of them.

Kathy's book list on females who don't care if you like them or not

Kathy MacMillan Why did Kathy love this book?

Kestrel’s father is the fierce general who won the Herran War and enslaved its people. When she buys a Herrani house slave named Arin at the market, Kestrel gets more than she bargained for – a challenge to her privileged, sheltered life, an epic love, and a part in the revolution. This is the first in the trilogy, and it is a genuine pleasure to watch Kestrel, from the beginning a character with an independent streak, navigate impossible choices as she grows into the person she wants to be. A lush and detailed world full of intrigue, politics, and gripping romance. 

By Marie Rutkoski,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Winner's Curse as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

THE FIRST BOOK IN THE HEART-STOPPING WINNER'S TRILOGY: an irresistible story of forbidden romance and class warfare 'Every line in The Winner's Curse is beautifully written. The story is masterfully plotted. The characters' dilemmas fascinated me and tore at my heart... I loved it. I want more.' Kristin Cashore, author of the Graceling Realm books Winning what you want may cost you everything you love. As a general's daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. Kestrel has other ideas. One day,…


Book cover of G.

Tobsha Learner Author Of Quiver

From my list on for when familiarity sets in.

Why am I passionate about this?

My first book was Quiver, a collection of erotic short stories. I wrote it to immortalize the hedonism of Sydney in the 1990s, wanting to show a nonjudgmental, joyful side. The fact that it touched a lot of people compelled me to write two more collections Tremble and Yearn – each exploring different themes: Tremble is an erotic re-imagining of various root myths, whilst Yearn has more historical and fantastical elements. I interweave all the characters in the stories throughout the whole collections. Humor is also important to me when it comes to the ironies and emotions around sex, the other aspect is gender power play and all the sublime reversals that can encapsulate. 

Tobsha's book list on for when familiarity sets in

Tobsha Learner Why did Tobsha love this book?

John Berger was a fantastic cultural observer and art critic, this book is erotic both in its observation of culture and context but also of human fallibility, and psychic and psychological transportation of love itself. It had a big influence on me as an art student and for the brief years when I was a sculptor. What I love about it is its empathy for both the female and male inner erotic life, although it is set in England and Europe at the end of the 19th century, Berger’s razor-sharp, succinct blending of the internal and external world is both moving and sensual. 

By John Berger,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this luminous novel about a modern Don Juan, John Berger relates the story of G., a young man forging an energetic sexual career in Europe during the early years of the last century as Europe teeters on the brink of war.

With profound compassion, Berger explores the hearts and minds of both men and women, and what happens during sex, to reveal the conditions of the libertine's success: his essential loneliness, the quiet cumulation in each of his sexual experiences of all of those that precede it, the tenderness that infuses even the briefest of his encounters, and the…


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…


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