100 books like Virgin River

By Robyn Carr,

Here are 100 books that Virgin River fans have personally recommended if you like Virgin River. 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 The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek

JuliAnne Sisung Author Of Curse of the Damselfly

From my list on unconventional, courageous women.

Who am I?

When I was a child, my mother and I shared and discussed Zane Grey books. I loved his portrayal of the past and read every one. My obsession with historical fiction grew, and I wrote my first draft of Elephant in the Room at age sixteen. I’m stuck in the period between 1875 and 1940 because of the simplicity driving life as well as the complexity of larger events changing the world. Wilder, Steinbeck, Twain, all picked me off my feet and set me down in their shoes. I’m not able to remove them. I write about courageous women because we are, whether it’s expressed or is in waiting.  

JuliAnne's book list on unconventional, courageous women

JuliAnne Sisung Why did JuliAnne love this book?

Set in the Appalachian Mountains in the 1930s, Cussy embodies strength and fearlessness in the face of prejudice and hardship. Her skin is a light shade of blue, and she lives in a community of people who blame a Blue for every misery they encounter. She fights to earn a packhorse librarian’s position and, in snow and rain, travels the dangerous mountain trails to bring books to the hill people who despise her.  The Kentucky Pack Horse Library Project causes dissension on the mountain, and her skin color causes even more, but her indomitable spirit endures, and her belief in the power of books changes lives. Cussy survives against all odds and remains above the prejudice dogging the mountain society.  

I was drawn to Cussy through her lyrical language and magical but earthy view of life. I cried, smiled, and flexed my fortitude muscles.

By Kim Michele Richardson,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
A USA TODAY BESTSELLER
A LOS ANGELES TIMES BESTSELLER
AN OKRA PICK
The bestselling historical fiction from Kim Michele Richardson, this is a novel following Cussy Mary, a packhorse librarian and her quest to bring books to the Appalachian community she loves, perfect for readers of Lee Smith and Lisa Wingate. The perfect addition to your next book club!
The hardscrabble folks of Troublesome Creek have to scrap for everything-everything except books, that is. Thanks to Roosevelt's Kentucky Pack Horse Library Project, Troublesome's got its very own traveling librarian, Cussy Mary Carter.
Cussy's not only…


Book cover of Where the Crawdads Sing

Rosemary Kubli Author Of Gullible

From my list on crime novels about good people who do bad things.

Who am I?

Mystery and crime novels have always been my favorite genre. I love the suspense and intrigue, the intricate storylines, and the clever plot twists. In middle school, while my friends were reading more age-appropriate books, I was reading The Godfather and The Spy Who Came In from the Cold. Is it any wonder then that Siena Ricci, the main character of my debut novel Gullible, is a shrewd and cunning female con artist? I had so much fun developing Siena’s story arc and creating the criminal world she inhabits that I decided to continue her narrative in a sequel, with plans for a third novel to round out the trilogy. 

Rosemary's book list on crime novels about good people who do bad things

Rosemary Kubli Why did Rosemary love this book?

At first, the story of an impoverished young girl growing up in the North Carolina marshes did not appeal to me, regardless of how much my friends raved about the author’s captivating style of writing. I shelved the book at the bottom of my TBR list and moved on. What a mistake!

Two years later, when I finally cracked this book open, I discovered a story told with such incomparable eloquence and compassion that I immediately began touting it as one of the best books I’ve ever read. And the best part is that this beautifully told story revolves around a murder mystery. Now we’re talking! 

I love this novel for its mesmerizing narrative, its memorable characters, and the jaw-dropping twist in the final pages.

By Delia Owens,

Why should I read it?

41 authors picked Where the Crawdads Sing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

OVER 12 MILLION COPIES SOLD WORLDWIDE
NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE
A NUMBER ONE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

For years, rumours of the 'Marsh Girl' have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be…


Book cover of Jamaica Inn

Marie Jones Author Of Those We Trust

From my list on leave you breathless with love, danger, and suspense.

Who am I?

I love romance, a true romantic from the day I was born. I also love crime/thriller/twists and turns that keep you on the edge of your seat and wanting to turn the page. As a writer, it was the most natural choice to combine all of these to bring to you as a reader love, passion, danger, shady criminal underworld, and jaw-dropping cliffhangers mixed in with twists you never saw coming. A love story that has you hopelessly entwined with them. A beautiful backdrop of the highlands of Scotland that creates its own unique story –mystical, mighty, and carrying its own hidden dangers.

Marie's book list on leave you breathless with love, danger, and suspense

Marie Jones Why did Marie love this book?

Set in a time when women had little say over their lives, Mary strives to make the best out of a bad situation. 

The scenes are tense, always edged in danger (something I love to bring into my own books) and it is a masterpiece in drawing you into the murky dealings on these cornish moors. Then of course there is the slow-burning love story between Jem and Mary…

By Daphne du Maurier,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

After the death of her mother, Mary Yellan crosses the windswept Cornish moors to Jamaica Inn, the home of her Aunt Patience. There she finds Patience a changed woman, downtrodden by her domineering, vicious husband Joss Merlyn. The inn is a front for a lawless gang of criminals, and Mary is unwillingly dragged into their dangerous world of smuggling and murder. Before long she will be forced to cross her own moral line to save herself.


Book cover of Outlander

Lena Gibson Author Of Switching Tracks: Out of the Trash

From my list on books that combine love, action, and speculative elements.

Who am I?

I’ve always been an avid reader and loved different genres from the beginning. I started out reading historical fiction as a child, including the Little House books, Anne of Green Gables, and Where the Red Fern Grows. I soon discovered that science fiction and fantasy did the same thing, transporting me to different words and places instead of times. Many of my favorite books have elements of these as well as action, tension, thrills, and romance. These things transcend genre, and by reading books that combine genres, I find some of the most interesting and original stories. 

Lena's book list on books that combine love, action, and speculative elements

Lena Gibson Why did Lena love this book?

This amazing story is one that belongs in multiple sections of any bookstore. Where would you shelve a historical fiction, action-adventure, time-travel, romance? Anywhere you want. This is the quintessential genre combination series, perhaps the best of all time.

I discovered Outlander in 1998 when the fourth book in the series was published. I bought it on a whim, liking the sound of historical fiction/time travel. The book immediately transported me along with Claire into the 1700s, where I rooted for her to fall in love with Jamie Fraser and stay with him.

There is so much love, lust, heartbreak, and action in this story I have to read it again every few years. 

By Diana Gabaldon,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The first book in Diana Gabaldon’s acclaimed Outlander saga, the basis for the Starz original series.

One of the top ten best-loved novels in America, as seen on PBS’s The Great American Read!
 
Unrivaled storytelling. Unforgettable characters. Rich historical detail. These are the hallmarks of Diana Gabaldon’s work. Her New York Times bestselling Outlander novels have earned the praise of critics and captured the hearts of millions of fans. Here is the story that started it all, introducing two remarkable characters, Claire Beauchamp Randall and Jamie Fraser, in a spellbinding novel of passion and…


Book cover of The Mountain Between Us

Elizabeth Bromke Author Of Home to Brambleberry Creek

From my list on women’s fiction with gorgeous heartland settings.

Who am I?

I love drawing gorgeous, interesting settings. Ever since my parents drove my brother and me across America to visit our cousins in Michigan, I have found myself enchanted by everything from sweet small-towns to pit stops with lots of potential for drama. I have always felt that setting can be its own character. With its bright, sunny suburbs and its dark, shadowy back-alleys, the setting is the centerpiece of any great story.

Sarah's book list on women’s fiction with gorgeous heartland settings

Elizabeth Bromke Why did Sarah love this book?

This book was a surprise hit for me. I’d never read Martin before, but my husband knew I appreciated adventure stories. What I got instead, was a little bit of everything. Adventure, romance, excitement, and more—The Mountain Between Us was unputdownable for me. I think, though, that its dangerous, snowy setting was the one thing that upped the stakes the most. When reading this book, I felt trapped in the snowy mountains, myself. I felt cold and hungry, thirsty, and…totally swept away. 

By Charles Martin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Now a major motion picture starring Kate Winslet and Idris Elba. An atmospheric, suspenseful and gripping story of two people finding love while fighting to survive.
 
When a blizzard strands them in Salt Lake City, two strangers agree to charter a plane together, hoping to return home; Ben Payne is a gifted surgeon returning from a conference, and Ashley Knox, a magazine writer, is en route to her wedding. But when unthinkable tragedy strikes, the pair find themselves stranded in Utah’s most remote wilderness in the dead of winter, badly injured and miles from civilization. Without food or shelter, and…


Book cover of The Lucky One

Elizabeth Bromke Author Of Home to Brambleberry Creek

From my list on women’s fiction with gorgeous heartland settings.

Who am I?

I love drawing gorgeous, interesting settings. Ever since my parents drove my brother and me across America to visit our cousins in Michigan, I have found myself enchanted by everything from sweet small-towns to pit stops with lots of potential for drama. I have always felt that setting can be its own character. With its bright, sunny suburbs and its dark, shadowy back-alleys, the setting is the centerpiece of any great story.

Sarah's book list on women’s fiction with gorgeous heartland settings

Elizabeth Bromke Why did Sarah love this book?

You might not think about Sparks as a go-to for sweeping countryside settings… and yet his treatment of the North Carolina lends itself so sweetly to this romance, that I bet the story wouldn’t be the same without it. There is something so sexy about a handsome man in blue jeans ambling down a country lane.

By Nicholas Sparks,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A U.S. Marine's brush with death leads him to the love of his life in this New York Times bestseller of destiny, luck, and the redemptive power of romance.
After U.S. Marine Logan Thibault finds a photograph of a smiling young woman buried in the dirt during his tour of duty in Iraq, he experiences a sudden streak of luck -- winning poker games and even surviving deadly combat. Only his best friend, Victor, seems to have an explanation for his good fortune: the photograph -- his lucky charm.

Back home in Colorado, Thibault can't seem to get the woman…


Book cover of Whiskey Beach

Marie Jones Author Of Those We Trust

From my list on leave you breathless with love, danger, and suspense.

Who am I?

I love romance, a true romantic from the day I was born. I also love crime/thriller/twists and turns that keep you on the edge of your seat and wanting to turn the page. As a writer, it was the most natural choice to combine all of these to bring to you as a reader love, passion, danger, shady criminal underworld, and jaw-dropping cliffhangers mixed in with twists you never saw coming. A love story that has you hopelessly entwined with them. A beautiful backdrop of the highlands of Scotland that creates its own unique story –mystical, mighty, and carrying its own hidden dangers.

Marie's book list on leave you breathless with love, danger, and suspense

Marie Jones Why did Marie love this book?

Eli is a broken man, running from his own demons and past and looking for a safe haven at Whiskey Beach (just like the character from my book, Sophia). 

He believes he has nothing to give, certainly not as a writer... until Abra comes into his life. Yet dangers are lurking near and they are both being watched. Love, danger, and a beautiful setting. 

By Nora Roberts,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Eli Landon seems to have the perfect life. A beautiful wife, a wonderful house, a dazzling legal career. But when his wife is brutally murdered after confessing to an affair, Eli is named prime suspect. After a year-long ordeal the case is dropped for lack of evidence, but Eli's world is in tatters.

Abandoned by his friends, hounded by the media and a detective with a grudge, Eli retreats to the small-town sanctuary of Whiskey Beach. Camping out in his grandmother's atmospheric house by the sea he meets Abra Walsh - compassionate, courageous and hiding secrets of her own.

But…


Book cover of Secrets Hidden in the Glass

Marie Jones Author Of Those We Trust

From my list on leave you breathless with love, danger, and suspense.

Who am I?

I love romance, a true romantic from the day I was born. I also love crime/thriller/twists and turns that keep you on the edge of your seat and wanting to turn the page. As a writer, it was the most natural choice to combine all of these to bring to you as a reader love, passion, danger, shady criminal underworld, and jaw-dropping cliffhangers mixed in with twists you never saw coming. A love story that has you hopelessly entwined with them. A beautiful backdrop of the highlands of Scotland that creates its own unique story –mystical, mighty, and carrying its own hidden dangers.

Marie's book list on leave you breathless with love, danger, and suspense

Marie Jones Why did Marie love this book?

This one gets you by the gut from the get-go with a four-year-old Callie left all alone in a roadside café. 

Nobody knows why she is there or where her mother is. Fast forward to present day and Callie arrives in a small town, trying to escape the media of her childhood. Here she meets the rather dashing police officer Nate who soon finds himself falling helplessly in love with her. 

Yet her past can’t be forgotten and together they start researching what happened to her mother. But is Callie truly ready for what really happened and is she in danger herself?

By Cate Beauman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Secrets Hidden in the Glass as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

*READERS' FAVORITE INTERNATIONAL BOOK AWARD SILVER MEDAL WINNER.

Three Siblings. One Year. Everything Changes.

Stained glass artist Callie Davis is in desperate need of a vacation. Burnt out and on the edge of a nervous breakdown, she’s taking refuge on Massachusetts’ tiny Carter Island. Callie yearns for long, lazy days and pretty walks on the beach—blessed solitude and an escape from the pressures of her career and complications of her life. Then she bumps into gorgeous Nate Carter, and everything changes.

Sheriff Nathan Carter couldn’t be happier now that the height of the summer season has finally come and gone.…


Book cover of When the Stars Go Dark

N.L. Blandford Author Of The Perilous Road To Her

From my list on thrillers you won't want to put down.

Who am I?

I devour dark, gripping, thrillers which take readers on a journey alongside the characters. People who battle their own demons on whatever road they travel. It’s with this passion that I write stories which do the same. I bring readers into the story to the point where they are cheering for both the hero and the villain. Throw in a few twists and cliffhangers and voila – readers don’t sleep, or do their chores ;) The books on this list fuel my need to be thrilled. I hope you grip the pages like I did…and forget those chores!

N.L.'s book list on thrillers you won't want to put down

N.L. Blandford Why did N.L. love this book?

An intriguing, layered, story that kept me wanting to know what happened to the missing girls.

A little slow to start, but it didn’t take me long to become gripped to the page. Paula digs deep into the social issue of missing girls and women through fiction, which intrigued me as I try to do the same with my writing. 

Compelling characters and lyrically beautiful scenes made me feel the heartbreak and frantic desire to solve the case. What I found so intriguing about this novel was all the psychological elements of the characters and how a person’s past invariably affects the present. 

Forget mowing the lawn. Turn the blades of suspense in your mind with this thriller!

By Paula McLain,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked When the Stars Go Dark as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • GOOD MORNING AMERICA BUZZ PICK • “A total departure for the author of The Paris Wife, McLain’s emotionally intense and exceptionally well-written thriller entwines its fictional crime with real cases.”—People (Book of the Week)

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY MARIE CLAIRE • “The kind of heart-pounding conclusion that thriller fans crave . . . In the end, a book full of darkness lands with a message of hope.”—The New York Times Book Review

“This mystery will keep you guessing, and stay with you long after you finish. Dive in.”—Daily Skimm…


Book cover of Firestorm

Alice Henderson Author Of A Solitude of Wolverines

From my list on gripping books set in the wild.

Who am I?

In addition to being a writer, I’m also a wildlife researcher and therefore spend a lot of time in wild, remote areas. Using a variety of methods including bioacoustic studies, I undertake wildlife surveys to determine what species are present on lands that have been set aside for conservation. I ensure there are no signs of poaching and devise of ways to improve habitat. I have surveyed for the presence of grizzlies, wolves, spotted owls, wolverines, jaguars, endangered bats, and more. These remote settings inspired me to write my current thriller series about a wildlife biologist who encounters dangerous situations while working to protect endangered species.

Alice's book list on gripping books set in the wild

Alice Henderson Why did Alice love this book?

I tore through this gripping mystery, set in the world of wildlands firefighting, in one sitting. I felt like I was on the fire line with the characters, could feel the heat of the blaze. With the terrible fires that have been raging lately in the west, if readers want to get a feel for the obstacles, sheer bravery, and fear firefighters face battling a wildlands blaze, this book is a must-read. The mystery plot, clever and twisting, kept me guessing, while the main character, national park ranger Anna Pigeon, is a stalwart, strong character I could truly get behind.

By Nevada Barr,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the author of TRACK OF THE CAT, A SUPERIOR DEATH and MOUNTAIN OF BONES, a fourth environmental thriller featuring the sleuthing park ranger Anna Pigeon who investigates the murder of a firefighter during a firestorm.


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