100 books like The Heiress Effect

By Courtney Milan,

Here are 100 books that The Heiress Effect fans have personally recommended if you like The Heiress Effect. Shepherd is a community of 9,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Circe

S.G. Slade Author Of Touch of a Witch

From my list on spellbinding novels with threads of magic woven in their core.

Who am I?

I’m a British writer with a passion for the stories of history, both real and imagined. I have always been fascinated by tales and relics of the past, old ruins, ancient buildings, mythology, and the uncanny power of the natural world. All these things connect us to the ghosts of the past. So, I write historical fantasy novels based in the England I explored growing up, but brushed with the shadow of the supernatural, magic, witchcraft, and seductive illusion. I also write straight historical fiction under the name Samantha Grosser.

S.G.'s book list on spellbinding novels with threads of magic woven in their core

S.G. Slade Why did S.G. love this book?

I read this book when I was in hospital having surgery a few years ago, and it utterly transported me away from pain and anxiety to another world.

I’ve always loved Greek myth, and I love a book that makes you question things you thought you knew, bringing another side of the story to the fore. For thousands of years, we’ve taken Odysseus’s side on his long journey home from Troy. But who was the witch Circe, and how did she come to be alone on her island in the first place?

Questions of power and justice, love and betrayal, are woven through the text, and these are the themes that never fail to stir me. Written in beautiful prose, I’ve read it twice and recommended it to everyone I know.

By Madeline Miller,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The international Number One bestseller from the author of The Song of Achilles, shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction

Woman. Witch. Myth. Mortal. Outcast. Lover. Destroyer. Survivor. CIRCE.

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. Circe is a strange child - not powerful and terrible, like her father, nor gorgeous and mercenary like her mother. Scorned and rejected, Circe grows up in the shadows, at home in neither the world of gods or mortals. But Circe has a dark power of her own: witchcraft. When her gift threatens…


Book cover of Confessions of the Fox

Morgan Thomas Author Of Manywhere

From my list on folks seeking genderqueer ancestry.

Who am I?

I came to genderqueer histories searching for a reflection of myself that I couldn’t find in my immediate environment (the rural American South). Early on, I thought I’d found it—historical figures, both real and fictional, who shared my gender identity. But as I’ve continued to research, I’ve realized that the reflections of history are less a mirror image, more a reflection in water—fluid and distorting. Genderqueer people throughout history use different language for their identities, navigate different social and family systems, and express their gender in different ways. In the space created by this difference, I’ve begun to understand my gender as a thing that changes, too, across space and time.

Morgan's book list on folks seeking genderqueer ancestry

Morgan Thomas Why did Morgan love this book?

I read this book early in my exploration of genderqueer identity, and I found Professor Voth’s defiant joy in uncovering and sharing the historical story of Jack Sheppard, and in his own trans identity, permission-giving. This playful book dramatizes the search for trans histories and ancestries, ultimately transforming this search into a celebration of chosen family.

By Jordy Rosenberg,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Confessions of the Fox as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Finalist for the Lambda Literary Award, 2019
Finalist for the Publishing Triangle Award, 2019

A New Yorker Book of the Year, 2018
A Huffington Post Book of the Year, 2018
A Buzzfeed Book of the Year, 2018

'Quite simply extraordinary... Imagine if Maggie Nelson, Daphne du Maurier and Daniel Defoe collaborated.' Sarah Perry, author of The Essex Serpent

Jack Sheppard - a transgender carpenter's apprentice - has fled his master's house to become a notorious prison break artist, and Bess Khan has escaped the draining of the fenlands to become a revolutionary mastermind. Together, they find themselves at the center…


Book cover of A Tip for the Hangman

Katie Crabb Author Of Sailing by Orion's Star

From my list on historical books that aren’t about kings or queens.

Who am I?

I am a librarian and a writer with a passion for history and challenging the narrative, because sometimes, the things the history books tell us aren’t the whole story. After all, history belongs to the victor, doesn’t it? Finding and writing stories that explore historical lives beyond royals and the wealthy is what I love, and I’m always looking for more books that do this. I started reading historical fiction as a child, delving into things like the Dear America and American Girl series, that told the stories of everyday people in these grand moments of history, and reading those books inspired me to write my own.

Katie's book list on historical books that aren’t about kings or queens

Katie Crabb Why did Katie love this book?

This book, set during the Elizabethan period, tells the intrigue-filled story of Christopher (or Kit) Marlowe as he agrees to be a spy for the Queen of England in order to make the money he needs to become a playwright. I know what you’re thinking. This does involve a monarch, but it’s very much about what happens when a desperate man makes a deal with powerful people to achieve his dreams, and ends up in trouble. If you know what happened to the famous playwright who was Shakespeare’s peer before his death (or what likely happened to him), you know what I mean. This book is a thriller, but is at its heart a love story about a man in love with his art and his best friend, and his struggle to choose between them. 

By Allison Epstein,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked A Tip for the Hangman as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An Elizabethan espionage thriller in which playwright Christopher Marlowe spies on Mary, Queen of Scots while navigating the perils of politics, theater, romance—and murder.

England, 1585. In Kit Marlowe's last year at Cambridge, he is approached by Queen Elizabeth's spymaster offering an unorthodox career opportunity: going undercover to intercept a Catholic plot to put Mary, Queen of Scots on Elizabeth's throne. Spying on Queen Mary turns out to be more than Kit bargained for, but his salary allows him to mount his first play, and over the following years he becomes the toast of London's raucous theater scene. But when…


Book cover of Island Queen

Deborah Fletcher Mello Author Of Playing with Danger

From my list on the dark and stormy side of the human spirit.

Who am I?

I am an award-winning, national best-selling author who loves reading as much as I love writing. Combine that with a good, smooth bourbon and it’s a win-win. Like my literary journey, my love for bourbon has been filled with surprises and challenges. Romance writing found me. I didn’t go looking for it. The journey introduced me to great writers and amazing stories and taught me to write better. Distilleries could extol the health benefits of bourbon, but I discovered it can be subtle, soul-searing, and pairs beautifully with a good meal and an even better book. Like my writing, bourbon leaves you feeling like you’ve had a great meal and threw in dessert!

Deborah's book list on the dark and stormy side of the human spirit

Deborah Fletcher Mello Why did Deborah love this book?

Discovering my affinity for Historical Fiction, and then discovering the writings of Vanessa Riley was a dream come true.

Island Queen hit all the right buttons for my writing spirit. It was lyrical, poetic, engaging, and one of the most beautifully written books in my personal library. It was storytelling at its very best and I’d recommend this book for that reason alone. But it also has great personal significance for me.

My 85-year-old mother who only learned to read late in life was an avid reader. These past few years her reading has slowed, the process becoming difficult for her to do. I recommended audiobooks for her, and Island Queen was her first. Watching her become completely lost in the story, tears sometimes streaming down her face, or the lilt of a giggle rolling off her lips was everything.

This is a story that tugs at your heartstrings and…

By Vanessa Riley,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?


"Riveting and transformative, evocative and immersive...by turns vibrant and bold and wise, discovering Dorothy's story is a singular pleasure."--The New York Times

A remarkable, sweeping historical novel based on the incredible true life story of Dorothy Kirwan Thomas, a free Black woman who rose from slavery to become one of the wealthiest and most powerful landowners in the colonial West Indies.

Born into slavery on the tiny Caribbean island of Montserrat, Doll bought her freedom-and that of her sister and her mother-from her Irish planter father and built a legacy of wealth and power as an entrepreneur, merchant, hotelier, and…


Book cover of My Kind of Earl

Lorraine Heath Author Of The Return of the Duke

From my list on historical romances with adventurous women.

Who am I?

I am the bestselling author of more than 46 romance novels. I love history, enjoy research, and am always looking for little-known facts to make my stories more authentic. Some of those facts have revealed that women in the 19th century often took on occupations, hobbies, or causes that challenged them and sometimes placed them in danger. Although seldom acknowledged as such, women in the 19th century were a force to be reckoned with, although their contributions were often overlooked. But through reading personal accounts, letters of the time, biographies, and nonfiction accounts about various women’s roles, I have gained a greater appreciation for how daring women have been throughout history.

Lorraine's book list on historical romances with adventurous women

Lorraine Heath Why did Lorraine love this book?

I find such fun in an innocent miss wanting to explore a brothel. Curiosity and inquisitiveness are attitudes that I believe drive adventurous women. But they don’t always start a brawl in a brothel nor do they have the scientific mind to develop a small bomb that will allow them to escape. I always enjoy a heroine with a sharp mind who isn’t afraid to use it. Vivienne Lorret brings humor to her stories, making her characters incredibly relatable. I smiled throughout the story and loved the heroine’s little quirks.

By Vivienne Lorret,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

USA Today bestselling author Vivienne Lorret continues her charming new trilogy with a bluestocking whose search for information on the mating habits of scoundrels has her stumbling upon the missing heir to an earldom... in the London underworld.

Jane Pickerington never intended to start a brawl in a brothel. She only wanted to research her book. Yet when her simple study of scoundrels goes awry, she finds herself coming to the rescue of a dark, enigmatic stranger... who turns out to be far more than an average rake out for a night of pleasure. He's positively wild!

Only the most…


Book cover of In a Jam

E.F. Dodd Author Of A Higher Standard

From my list on homecoming (of sorts) romances.

Who am I?

I’m a girl who loves books, bulldogs, and that first hint of summer. I started reading when I was very young – three years old, according to my mother – but even as an alleged child prodigy all I can confirm is that I don’t remember there ever being a time I didn’t love to read. Nancy Drew was my favorite, which probably helps explain why I write books with redheaded heroines in them. 

E.F.'s book list on homecoming (of sorts) romances

E.F. Dodd Why did E.F. love this book?

Who knew hot farmers with a dirty mouth were my kind of thing? Not me... at least not until I read this delight of a book and met Noah Barden, that is.

Whoo boy... The gist of the story is that Shay Zucconi’s step-grandmother ran a tulip farm in the place she always viewed as her hometown. It’s where she went to high school... and where she became good friends with Noah Barden. Fast forward by a decade or so and Shay gets left at the altar by her truly subhuman fiancée.

While drowning her sorrows on a friend’s couch, she learns her step-grandmother has passed away and left her the tulip farm. With a catch – she’s got to live there for a year and get married in that same year. Guess who’s only too willing to help her out with that pesky little clause?

I love this book…

By Kate Canterbary,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When Shay Zucconi's step-grandmother died, she left Shay a tulip farm-under two conditions.


First, Shay has to move home to the small town of Friendship, Rhode Island. Second-and most problematic since her fiancé just called off the wedding-Shay must be married within one year. 


Marriage is the last thing in the world Shay wants but she'll do anything to save the only real home she's ever known.


Noah Barden loved Shay Zucconi back in high school. Not that he ever told her. He was too shy, too awkward, too painfully uncool to ask out the beautiful, popular girl. 


A lifetime…


Book cover of Reason and Romance: A Contemporary Retelling of Sense and Sensibility

Carolyn Miller Author Of The Breakup Project

From my list on for romance-loving Christians.

Who am I?

I’m a long-time lover of Christian romance, and now with over a dozen Christian historical romance books published, and a similar amount of Christian contemporary romances published or soon to be, I think I’m someone who has a true appreciation for romance that is soul-stirringly Christian, not just clean or sweet, but which contains truths that will inspire and encourage as well as entertain with swoon-worthy romance.

Carolyn's book list on for romance-loving Christians

Carolyn Miller Why did Carolyn love this book?

As a longtime fan of Jane Austen, this modern retelling of Sense and Sensibility is the epitome of romance for me, containing all the feels. There is a beautiful sense of longing, as Elaina attempts to be the voice of reason in her highly emotion-driven family while struggling between her natural caution and a yearning attraction for Ted Farris. It’s the sense of emotional constraint that makes this romance so powerful to me, as Elaina’s qualities of reticence seem rare these days. If you want an inspiring, sweet romance with a hint of Jane Austen, then this is a great book to check out.

By Debra White Smith,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Smith shows her expertise with Jane Austen's work. . . . A fun and well-crafted romance through and through."--RT Book Reviews on Reason and Romance

Reason and Romance: A Contemporary Retelling of Sense and Sensibility

Sisters Elaina and Anna Woods find themselves caught up in whirlwind romances. But when both are confronted with heartbreaking revelations, can their bond withstand the strain as they hold out for happily-ever-after?


Book cover of If for Any Reason

Jennifer Deibel Author Of The Lady of Galway Manor

From my list on to scratch your travel itch.

Who am I?

After living in Europe for nearly 10 years, I’ve spent more time in planes, trains, and cars than I could ever count. I was able to travel more in that time than I ever dreamed possible, making trips ranging from Gibraltar to Romania to the Isle of Skye. Most of my time was spent all around Ireland where I took tour groups around to help them get beyond Blarney and experience the real Ireland.

Jennifer's book list on to scratch your travel itch

Jennifer Deibel Why did Jennifer love this book?

Set in Nantucket in the summer, this book has as much swoon-worthy scenery and food as it does romance and drama. Having grown up in the desert, I soaked up every word of Walsh’s masterful description of this whimsical island. The setting weaves seamlessly into the story, and you feel like you’re right on the beach eating ice cream cones along with Emily, Hollis, and the rest of the gang. Throw in local small-town theatre and a broody teen, and this story has all the makings of a great beach read.

By Courtney Walsh,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked If for Any Reason as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Emily Ackerman has traveled the world, her constant compass and companion a book of letters her mother left for her when she died. With no father in the picture, her mom’s advice has been her only true north. But when professional failure leads Emily back to Nantucket to renovate and sell the family cottage she inherited, she wonders if her mom left advice to cover this . . . especially when her grandmother arrives to “supervise.” And especially when her heart becomes entangled with Hollis McGuire, the boy next door–turned–baseball star who’s back on the island after a career-ending injury.…


Book cover of Simply Irresistible

Gracie Cooper Author Of Loving Whiskey

From my list on sigh, giggle, blush and swoon.

Who am I?

I read my first romance novel at fourteen. I know, I know, too young to probably read any of these novels. As I grew older, my library expanded beyond Regency Romance and I entered the Contemporary genre. I found my happy place among the modern world. I related more. Who wouldn’t? And yet, my personal life was nothing like the romance novels I read. It was a tragedy. A complete train wreck. Being the single friend among the group was awkward and sometimes lonely. Between my fanciful love of romance novels and the dreaded dating era I experienced, I came up with the concept of The Martini Girl Bar and wrote my first novel. 

Gracie's book list on sigh, giggle, blush and swoon

Gracie Cooper Why did Gracie love this book?

This was the first rom-com book I read and it made me giggle, sigh, and swoon. I was hooked on the series afterward and I could not consume the books fast enough. Jill Shalvis has a way of creating relatable characters which you end up cheering for at the end. In fact, the MC, Maddie, from the first chapter tugs at your heartstrings and you can’t help but hope she finishes her bag of potato chips before anything else happens. Well unless it happens to be Jax. Their meet-cute is comically on point. Not to mention the nosy busy bee elder, who loves to post everything on “the” Facebook. You can’t help but chuckle at every page turn and hope Maddie finds the courage within her and go after what she wants. 

By Jill Shalvis,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The first enchanting novel in the Lucky Harbor series from New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis, laced with her trademark gift for humour, warmth and romance. Fans of Susan Andersen, Bella Andre, Rachel Gibson, Carly Phillips, and Susan Mallery will fall head over heels for the Lucky Harbor series.

Maddie Moore's whole life needs a makeover. In one fell swoop, Maddie loses her boyfriend (her decision) and her job (so not her decision). But rather than drowning her sorrows in bags of potato chips, Maddie leaves L.A. to claim the inheritance left by her free-spirited mother - a ramshackle…


Book cover of Marry Me by Sundown

Scarlett Dunn Author Of Whispering Pines

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

Who am I?

I’ve always had a passion for history and the American West in particular. From a young age, my reading reflected my passion, with a few mysteries in the mix. I didn’t read many romance novels until one day I was flying to another city and I forgot to pack a book. My assistant drove me to the airport and she pulled a historical romance novel from her handbag. It was her favorite and she was an expert on romance novels. Before my plane landed, I was hooked—and I’m still hooked. That started my career as a historical romance novelist.

Scarlett's book list on to fall in love with the historical romance genre

Scarlett Dunn Why did Scarlett love this book?

Of course, I must include a novel set in the American West. How could I not? And oh, so many to choose from—a difficult task. This is another recommendation based on strong, intriguing characters. The heroine is determined to save her family from financial ruin and she faces the hardships of the West. Lindsey has written two very passionate, headstrong individuals, and you will have some laughs and some tears reading this one.

By Johanna Lindsey,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An enticing new historical romance from No. 1 New York Times bestselling author Johanna Lindsey. Marry Me By Sundown takes you on a captivating adventure in 1880s Montana where passions and gold fever run high as an American heiress turns to a rugged mountain man to help her locate her father's fortune. Perfect for fans of Julia Quinn's Bridgerton.

Summoned back to Philadelphia from the social whirl in London, Violet Mitchell never expected to find her brothers living on the edge of financial ruin while their father seeks new wealth in Montana's gold fields. With the family's home and social…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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