100 books like Xeni

By Rebekah Weatherspoon,

Here are 100 books that Xeni fans have personally recommended if you like Xeni. 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 Unbreakable

'Nathan Burgoine Author Of Faux Ho Ho

From my list on queer audiobooks to walk your dog by.

Why am I passionate about this?

As someone who’s never been allowed to drive, but gets motion-sick reading in a bus or car, I’ve been a lover of audiobooks since I had my Walkman and a backpack full of audiobook cassettes. As a queer man, I’m always looking for more immersive stories about people like me. Finding queer voices and queer narratives is so important to me as a way to offset how queer people don’t have an inherited continuance of our culture as most marginalized people do; books are a way to fill that gap. I do own a rescued husky, and there’s nothing like an engrossing audiobook to get me through those minus-forty Canadian winter walks with a dog.

'Nathan's book list on queer audiobooks to walk your dog by

'Nathan Burgoine Why did 'Nathan love this book?

Cari Hunter never fails to invoke Northern England with every sense, and Nicola Victoria Vincent’s performances continue to be among the absolute best experiences. This story starts off with an EMT, Grace, being taken hostage by a wounded woman at gunpoint, and then manages to twist and shift the entire time you’re listening. Hunter’s ability to weave in a secondary romantic plot while people are dodging bullets, outwitting villains, and desperately trying to stay alive is brilliant, and my dog always gets a longer walk while I’ve got a Hunter thriller to listen to. If you’re a fan of thrillers and audiobooks, and have yet to bump into Hunter or Vincent, thank me later, once you’ve enjoyed the whole backlist.

By Cari Hunter,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Dr. Grace Kendal never stands a chance. The injured woman comes out of nowhere, bleeding heavily and holding a gun. Compelled to help her, Grace is dragged into Elin Breckenridge’s nightmare. Their fight to survive will take them across the country and to the limits of their endurance. But who is Elin running from? As Grace struggles for answers, one thing becomes clear—Elin is somehow connected to a dead man, and Grace could be next.

For Detective Sergeant Safia Faris, the case should have been easy: one dead body, one suspect. But the deeper she digs, the more obvious it…


Book cover of Twice Shy

'Nathan Burgoine Author Of Faux Ho Ho

From my list on queer audiobooks to walk your dog by.

Why am I passionate about this?

As someone who’s never been allowed to drive, but gets motion-sick reading in a bus or car, I’ve been a lover of audiobooks since I had my Walkman and a backpack full of audiobook cassettes. As a queer man, I’m always looking for more immersive stories about people like me. Finding queer voices and queer narratives is so important to me as a way to offset how queer people don’t have an inherited continuance of our culture as most marginalized people do; books are a way to fill that gap. I do own a rescued husky, and there’s nothing like an engrossing audiobook to get me through those minus-forty Canadian winter walks with a dog.

'Nathan's book list on queer audiobooks to walk your dog by

'Nathan Burgoine Why did 'Nathan love this book?

The way Rey handles butch-femme relationships never fail to impress me, and I think so much of it comes down to how expertly she manages to make her butch characters so non-toxic in their masculinity. They support without taking over, lead without diminishing, and her characters are so often imperfectly doing their best that you root for them even when you know they’re about to do something they’ll regret. Twice Shy puts two women together who’ve both divorced their exes, and listening to Kiera Grace perform Quinn and Amanda tentatively finding their way to each other was as sweet as Amanda’s bakery’s cupcakes. Oh, I should warn you, though: any Rey book will make you hungry. Bring snacks.

By Aurora Rey,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Sometimes, you get a second chance at love. Sometimes, you hook up with your ex and remember why you broke up in the first place.

Amanda Russo knows better than to give her failed marriage another try, but the brief fling reminds her there’s more to life than work and parenting. When the architect she hires to remodel her bakery turns out to be as charming as she is talented, Amanda finds herself ready to take a chance on new love. The only problem? Her ex-wife didn’t get the memo.

For Quinn Sullivan, the sting of divorce is still fresh.…


Book cover of The Affair of the Porcelain Dog

'Nathan Burgoine Author Of Faux Ho Ho

From my list on queer audiobooks to walk your dog by.

Why am I passionate about this?

As someone who’s never been allowed to drive, but gets motion-sick reading in a bus or car, I’ve been a lover of audiobooks since I had my Walkman and a backpack full of audiobook cassettes. As a queer man, I’m always looking for more immersive stories about people like me. Finding queer voices and queer narratives is so important to me as a way to offset how queer people don’t have an inherited continuance of our culture as most marginalized people do; books are a way to fill that gap. I do own a rescued husky, and there’s nothing like an engrossing audiobook to get me through those minus-forty Canadian winter walks with a dog.

'Nathan's book list on queer audiobooks to walk your dog by

'Nathan Burgoine Why did 'Nathan love this book?

Visiting London at its most coal-caked and financially stratified, The Affair of the Porcelain Dog was Holmes-like in its execution, and pulled me into its mystery from the opening so steeped in the time and place and culture, and then never let go. Ira Adler is so charming a character that even when he was being selfish or spoiled I was smitten. An orphan, street thief, pickpocket, and former rent boy now living in luxury at the beck and call of a crime lord, Ira ends up tasked to recover the titular “dog” statue, which contains a secret that could ruin everything, and bring Ira's comfortable new life to an end. Philip Battley’s narration was so completely immersive, and had me there with Ira, hoping he’d somehow pull it off.

By Jess Faraday,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

London 1889.

For Ira Adler, former rent-boy and present plaything of crime lord Cain Goddard, stealing back the statue from Goddard's blackmailer should have been a doddle. But inside the statue is evidence that could put Goddard away for a long time under the sodomy laws, and everyone's after it, including Ira's bitter ex, Dr. Timothy Lazarus. No sooner does Ira have the porcelain dog in his hot little hands, than he loses it to a nimble-fingered prostitute.

As Ira’s search for the dog drags him back to the mean East End streets where he grew up, he discovers secrets…


Book cover of That Could Be Enough

'Nathan Burgoine Author Of Faux Ho Ho

From my list on queer audiobooks to walk your dog by.

Why am I passionate about this?

As someone who’s never been allowed to drive, but gets motion-sick reading in a bus or car, I’ve been a lover of audiobooks since I had my Walkman and a backpack full of audiobook cassettes. As a queer man, I’m always looking for more immersive stories about people like me. Finding queer voices and queer narratives is so important to me as a way to offset how queer people don’t have an inherited continuance of our culture as most marginalized people do; books are a way to fill that gap. I do own a rescued husky, and there’s nothing like an engrossing audiobook to get me through those minus-forty Canadian winter walks with a dog.

'Nathan's book list on queer audiobooks to walk your dog by

'Nathan Burgoine Why did 'Nathan love this book?

You can actually get this novella as part of a four-pack of audio novellas by Cole, which I’d also recommend, but this sapphic historical novella is set against the backdrop of American History—any fans of Hamilton reading this should take note—and manages to be both hopeful and unblinking in the face of reality of what Black queer women face in the time and place in this perfect balance I cannot praise enough. These two women couldn’t be more different: one is a maid to Eliza Hamilton and devoted to as simple a life as possible, the other is a dressmaker who refuses to be anything but audacious, and the result is brilliant. Also, Karen Chilton’s performance is just fantastic.

By Alyssa Cole,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked That Could Be Enough as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Mercy Alston knows the best thing to do with pesky feelings like "love" and "hope": avoid them at all cost. Serving as a maid to Eliza Hamilton, and an assistant in the woman's stubborn desire to preserve her late husband's legacy, has driven that point home for Mercy—as have her own previous heartbreaks. When Andromeda Stiel shows up at Hamilton Grange for an interview in her grandfather's stead, Mercy's resolution to live a quiet, pain-free life is tested by the beautiful, flirtatious, and entirely overwhelming dressmaker.

Andromeda is a woman who knows what she wants and resolutely overcomes anything that…


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.

Why am I passionate about this?

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 In a Jam

E.F. Dodd Author Of A Higher Standard

From my list on homecoming (of sorts) romances.

Why am I passionate about this?

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 My Kind of Earl

Lorraine Heath Author Of The Return of the Duke

From my list on historical romances with adventurous women.

Why am I passionate about this?

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 Marry Me by Sundown

Scarlett Dunn Author Of Whispering Pines

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

Why am I passionate about this?

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…


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.

Why am I passionate about this?

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.

Why am I passionate about this?

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…


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