100 books like The Player

By Claire Contreras,

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

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The Deal

By Elle Kennedy,

Book cover of The Deal

Eve M. Riley Author Of The Refusal

From the 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

Why did Eve love this book?

This is the first book in a great hockey romance series. Bad-boy college hockey player Garrett is in desperate need of tutoring. After relentlessly pestering classmate Hannah, she finally agrees to tutor him. But, despite his playboy reputation, Hannah seems immune to his charms. She’s crushing on another guy, and Garrett hatches a plan to help Hannah reel him in: He’ll date her to elevate her social status and make the guy jealous. Except Garrett is getting increasingly interested in Hannah himself.

I love books where one kiss changes everything, and this is a great slow-burn of a book, with lots of banter and an unlikely friendship leading to a beautiful relationship. It’s fun and sexy with just the right amount of seriousness.

By Elle Kennedy,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

New York Times bestseller and TikTok sensation Elle Kennedy brings you the first in the sexy Off-Campus series that everyone is talking about.

She's about to make a deal with the college bad boy...

Hannah Wells has finally found someone who turns her on. But while she might be confident in every other area of her life, she's carting around a full set of baggage when it comes to sex and seduction. If she wants to get her crush's attention, she'll have to step out of her comfort zone and make him take notice...even if it means tutoring the annoying,…

I Promise You

By Ilsa Madden-Mills,

Book cover of I Promise You

J. Sterling Author Of The Perfect Game

From the list on romance that will leave you breathless.

Who am I?

I was raised on the Los Angeles Dodgers and baseball is in my blood. I love reading sports romances. An athlete's mindset is something I'm intimately familiar with (my son is a professional baseball player), so I get a lot of enjoyment reading about the guys who chase their dreams and ultimately get to make them come true. I enjoy reading stories that are familiar to me and that I can relate to.  

J.'s book list on romance that will leave you breathless

Why did J. love this book?

No one writes college football romance like Ilsa! I fall in love with every football book she writes and this one was no different. From the banter, to the push and pull between the characters, to the legend of the bonfire kiss, this book has it all! You're going to love it!

By Ilsa Madden-Mills,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

#2 Book in the Amazon Store

From #1 Amazon Charts and WSJ Bestselling Author Ilsa Madden-Mills comes an all-new swoony romance between the football hottie and the mystery girl he kissed years before…

Dillon McQueen: Babe. I promise. You want me.
Serena Jensen: Um, who are you?

There’s a legend at Waylon University: the first girl you kiss freshman year at the bonfire party is the one you’ll never forget. She’ll crawl under your skin. She’ll spark a passion so fierce you’ll burn the world down to possess her.

You might even put a ring on it.

But...timing is everything.…

Long Shot

By Kennedy Ryan,

Book cover of Long Shot

Melissa McTernan Author Of Marked for Each Other: The Princess and The Barbarian

From the list on romance in which the heroine saves herself.

Who am I?

I’ve been a voracious reader my entire life, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that I discovered romance. How many times had I turned up my nose at those ridiculous books with half-naked men on the cover? Countless. Little did I know the absolute joy those books held inside. I love to read and write romance, especially stories with strong heroines and deliciously squishy-inside heroes. Not to mention all the amazing queer stories out there proving that love is love. These aren’t your grandmother’s bodice-rippers (I mean, they are a little bit, but only in the best ways). The genre is constantly growing, and I’m always eager to find new converts like me!

Melissa's book list on romance in which the heroine saves herself

Why did Melissa love this book?

If you like your romance with a side of drama and angst, then Long Shot is for you, my friend. This one is a contemporary sports romance but there is nothing light and fluffy about it. For most of this book, Iris is in and out of an abusive relationship (big content warnings for domestic violence and sexual assault). Our sweet, lovable hero, August supports Iris the best he can from afar but he is not the one to swoop in and save her. And let me tell you, I really wanted him to swoop! Kennedy Ryan puts the reader through the wringer with this one and by the end I was craving a white knight on a white horse kind of moment. But in the end, it’s Iris who saves the day, and it’s so damn satisfying. 

By Kennedy Ryan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Now a Top 30 Amazon Bestseller!A FORBIDDEN LOVE SET IN THE EXPLOSIVE WORLD OF THE NBA...Think you know what it's like being a baller's girl?You don't.My fairy tale is upside down.A happily never after.I kissed the prince and he turned into a fraud.I was a fool, and his love - fool's gold.Now there's a new player in the game, August West.One of the NBA's brightest stars.Fine. Forbidden.He wants me. I want him.But my past, my fraudulent prince, just won't let me go*Contains domestic/sexual abuse not involving the hero. Read reviews for guidance.

Kiss My Putt

By Tara Sivec,

Book cover of Kiss My Putt

Susan Renee Author Of Smooch

From the list on romance that make you laugh.

Who am I?

I like a good steamy emotional romance just like any other romance reader, but there’s nothing I love more than reading a romance that can make me laugh so hard I cry and then turn around and have a storyline with an unexpected twist that stomps on my heart a little before putting it all back together. Romantic comedies can be crazy and convoluted but I appreciate the fun release a good rom-com can deliver. That’s what I strive to provide through my rom coms as well. Relatable characters experiencing crazy life moments while finding their happily-ever-afters. 

Susan's book list on romance that make you laugh

Why did Susan love this book?

Tara Sivec, in my mind, is like that crazy aunt who has an unfiltered mind and says what she wants and it’s funny every time! Her words make me cackle and this story is filled with crazy fun, witty banter, and a really hot rainstorm scene! Kiss My Putt is a friends-to-lovers mixed with enemies-to-lovers mixed with second chance romance. The story revolves around a cool, calm, and collected pro-golfer who is forced to take some time off after throwing a royal tantrum on television during a tournament.  He goes home, to Summersweet Island, where everybody knows everybody and there’s no place to hide. Especially when he runs into his best friend, Birdie Bennett. This book is a must-read!

By Tara Sivec,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“Palmer ‘Pal’ Campbell has epic breakdown on the 18th hole of the Bermuda Open! Video at 11.”

After spending my entire pro golfing career being known as the quiet, controlled, no-nonsense golfer on the tour, there’s nothing more humiliating than throwing all of that down the drain—or into a water hazard—on national television. Needing some place to hide, to lick my wounds and figure out what I even want to do with my life once this blows over, I can only think of one place I need to be. Summersweet Island, where everyone treats me like one of their own,…

The Hook Up

By Kristen Callihan,

Book cover of The Hook Up

Amiee Smith Author Of Love Sounds

From the list on steamy romance to make you stay up all night.

Who am I?

I love the art of writing romance fiction. I’m a character-driven author. My stories are contemporary romance with steam, humor, and diversity. I run my business from my living room. When I'm not writing and telling people about my books, I run another online business. Read lots. Watch tons of series. Drink coffee and wine. Listen to music. Cook comforting vegetarian meals. Say prayers, meditate, and light candles. Text with my girlfriends. And try to squeeze in a walk and a shower. My sexy little stories are my attempt at keeping someone up all night. May you always feel loved, seen, and heard. The Smart Girl Mafia Series books 1-4 are currently available. 

Amiee's book list on steamy romance to make you stay up all night

Why did Amiee love this book?

This college romance is full of steam and humor. A star football player has a chance encounter with an edgy nerd at a party. My first novel is based on a hook up at a party, so I am in mad love with this story. A true relationship unfolds between these two that goes deeper than witty bits and coed antics. You will definitely stay up all night to finish this book. 

By Kristen Callihan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

USA TODAY BEST-SELLING BOOK The rules: no kissing on the mouth, no staying the night, no telling anyone, and above all... No falling in love Anna Jones just wants to finish college and figure out her life. Falling for star quarterback Drew Baylor is certainly not on her to do list. Confident and charming, he lives in the limelight and is way too gorgeous for his own good. If only she could ignore his heated stares and stop thinking about doing hot and dirty things with him. Easy right? Too bad he's committed to making her break every rule... Football…

The Sea of Tranquility

By Katja Millay,

Book cover of The Sea of Tranquility

Iris St. Clair Author Of Louder Than Words

From the list on girl power I wish I’d read as a teenager.

Who am I?

I wrote my book and selected the five other books listed because I am passionate about women’s agency and how women may be empowered to achieve such. I started my career in a male-dominated profession and have many memories of differential treatment from my male peers. There are a few #metoo tales in there as well. I also grew up shy and studious, too timid to seek out empowerment or speak truth to power. If I could go back in time armed with these wonderful stories of girls and young women overcoming adversity, prejudice, assault, and other gender-based barriers, I think I would take that trip. 

Iris' book list on girl power I wish I’d read as a teenager

Why did Iris love this book?

Semi-spoiler alert: this book has the best ending line ever so don’t flip to the end or you’ll rob yourself of something very precious. I adore a nice ending twist and although not so much an O’Henry plot twist (love his stories) as an “aha” shift in perspective, it has stuck with me more than any other element of the story.

The book’s blurb very aptly describes The Sea of Tranquility as “... a rich, intense, and brilliantly imagined story about a lonely boy, an emotionally fragile girl, and the miracle of second chances.” I’m a sucker for second chance stories, especially following an injustice. The beauty of this story lies not in the how the protagonist, Nastya, recovers her power by confronting and righting the injustice but in how she subtly and simultaneously learns to look forward instead of backward.

By Katja Millay,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

I live in a world without magic or miracles. A place where there are no clairvoyants or shapeshifters, no angels or superhuman boys to save you. A place where people die and music disintegrates and things suck. I am pressed so hard against the earth by the weight of reality that some days I wonder how I am still able to lift my feet to walk.

Former piano prodigy Nastya Kashnikov wants two things: to get through high school without anyone learning about her past and to make the boy who took everything from her-her identity, her spirit, her will…

The Foreign Student

By Susan Choi,

Book cover of The Foreign Student

Don Lee Author Of The Partition

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

Who am I?

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

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…

The Heiress Effect

By Courtney Milan,

Book cover of The Heiress Effect

Edie Cay Author Of A Lady's Finder

From the list on misfits that should totally be your best friend.

Who am I?

I’m a writer of relatable misfits, and a misfit myself. My outsides and insides have never matched, and my accent has always been wrong. I’ve lived all over the United States, and no matter what, I’m always from somewhere else, no matter how long I’ve lived there. I usually end up good friends with other interesting folx who are the same as me: a little different, a little crafty, and a hell of a lot of fun. 

Edie's book list on misfits that should totally be your best friend

Why did Edie love this book?

This is the book that made me want to write a historical romance. The protagonist, Miss Jane Fairfield, is outlandishly rich. But she can’t get married and leave her younger sister, who has epilepsy, to the well-meaning but cruel treatments recommended by their uncle, who is also their guardian. Since her money makes her an appealing target for many an impoverished rake, Jane has to work extra to become unappealing while still seeming like she’s trying to attract a man. She wears obnoxiously bright clothing, insults people with the kindest tone, and—in one desperate attempt to make a man be mean to her—takes the food right off his plate. This is a book about people trying to put you in your place and keep you small. And let me give you a hint: it’s a romance, so there’s definitely a Happily Ever After, and that includes small-minded people getting their…

By Courtney Milan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Miss Jane Fairfield has made a career of social disaster. She wears outrageous gowns and says even more outrageous things. The only reason she's invited anywhere is because of her immense dowry--which is all part of her plan to avoid marriage and keep the fortune-hunters at bay. Mr. Oliver Marshall is the illegitimate son of a duke. His acceptance in society is tenuous as it is. If he wants any kind of career at all, he must do everything right. He doesn't need to come to the rescue of the wrong woman. He certainly doesn't need to fall in love…

To Kill a Kingdom

By Alexandra Christo,

Book cover of To Kill a Kingdom

K.J. Cloutier Author Of Beyond The Horizon

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

Who am I?

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

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.

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…


By Nam-Nyong Paek, Immanuel Kim (translator),

Book cover of Friend: A Novel from North Korea

Clifford Garstang Author Of The Shaman of Turtle Valley

From the list on contemporary Korean society.

Who am I?

Fresh from college, I arrived in South Korea in 1976 to teach English as a Peace Corps Volunteer, and despite my naivete, or maybe because of it, I fell in love with the country—the people, the food, the culture, the history. I have since lived and worked in many other countries, but Korea will always be my first love and I have returned many times for both work and pleasure. When I became a fiction writer, I was keen to read the work of Korean novelists who, naturally, had an even better understanding of their culture than I did, and I love staying connected to the country in this way.

Clifford's book list on contemporary Korean society

Why did Clifford love this book?

This one is set in North Korea and is by a sanctioned North Korean writer. As a result, there is no criticism directed at the North’s restrictive society and on the surface it isn’t at all political. Instead, it shows the mundane existence of a judge and his wife, ordinary people who work hard to contribute to the development of the nation. It seems to be about traditional values, and the rising prevalence of divorce is seen as a problem. Those of us who follow Korea rarely get this kind of insight into what life in the North is really like, and while these characters may be relatively privileged, their existence is tellingly monochromatic.

By Nam-Nyong Paek, Immanuel Kim (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Paek Nam-nyong's Friend is a tale of marital intrigue, abuse, and divorce in North Korea. A woman in her thirties comes to a courthouse petitioning for a divorce. As the judge who hears her statement begins to investigate the case, the story unfolds into a broader consideration of love and marriage. The novel delves into its protagonists' past, describing how the couple first fell in love and then how their marriage deteriorated over the years. It chronicles the toll their acrimony takes on their son and their careers alongside the story of the judge's own marital troubles.

A best-seller in…

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