The best damsel in distress books

Who picked these books? Meet our 26 experts.

26 authors created a book list connected to damsels in distress, and here are their favorite damsel in distress books.
Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission

What type of damsel in distress book?



By Julie Garwood,

Book cover of Ransom

Jennifer Beckstrand Author Of His Amish Sweetheart

From the list on romance for people who hate romances.

Who am I?

I love happy endings and happily-ever-afters. I love reading and writing books that make people happy, give them hope, and bring romance into their lives. Shakespeare’s plays inspired me to explore the ways a writer can convey strong emotions with the written word. One of the first romances I ever read was Pride and Prejudice, and it changed my life. It made me laugh, but it also taught me to believe in the power of love and the power of storytelling. I have written thirty-two romance novels. I like to spread the love!

Jennifer's book list on romance for people who hate romances

Discover why each book is one of Jennifer's favorite books.

Why did Jennifer love this book?

I have never read a Julie Garwood book I didn’t adore, but I think this is my favorite. Ransom is a quintessential historical romance with a muscular hero and a damsel in distress, which is why you definitely need to read it. It will convert you to the romance genre. Ransom contains themes that might be considered old-fashioned in today’s throwaway world, but they still hold profound meaning for me: honor, brotherhood, loyalty, faithfulness, and sacrifice. Who doesn’t love a hero who is willing to give his life for the woman he loves? 

By Julie Garwood,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

As a child, Gillian lost her sister and saw her father killed by Baron Alford, a man driven by greed, determined to obtain a jewelled box belonging to King John. Years later, while searching for her sister, Gillian enlists the aid of Scottish Lairds Ramsey Sinclair and Brodick Buchanan, as well as a new friend, Brigid Kirk Connel. The four unite to face the terrifying and powerful baron who has stolen Gillian's home. But in the process of regaining her heritage, will Gillian lose her heart?

Woman of Ill Fame

By Erika Mailman,

Book cover of Woman of Ill Fame

Mary Volmer Author Of Reliance, Illinois

From the list on badass 19th century American women.

Who am I?

I don’t write about well-behaved women. I prefer rebels and outcasts, women who, by choice or circumstance, live outside of social norms. 19th-century American history is full of such women—if you know where to look. Hint: not in most public-school textbooks. They’re found, instead, in archives and libraries, in old newspapers and journals, in family letters and autobiographies. The characters in my most recent novel, Reliance, Illinois, were inspired by badass 19th-century women, such as Victoria Woodhull, Mary Livermore, and Olympia Brown. Each of the novels in the list below were inspired by or based on audacious women. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have!  

Mary's book list on badass 19th century American women

Discover why each book is one of Mary's favorite books.

Why did Mary love this book?

The forthright honesty and the audacity of Nora Simms, narrator of Erika Mailman’s Woman of Ill Fame, is stunning and nearly as compelling as the murder mystery at the center of the novel. Set in San Francisco during the Gold Rush, the novel takes us into the city’s bordellos, which, like the rest of the state, have been infected by a get rich quick at any cost ethos. The cost for many of Nora’s colleagues is high. Women of ill-fame are being killed, one by one, and only Nora is capable and willing to wade through layers of deception to discover the identity of the killer and to save her own life. 

Nora is not your typical damsel in distress and that might be why I love this book so much. She’s not a “good” woman, by society's standards, but she is one of the most surprising…

By Erika Mailman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Looking for a better life, prostitute Nora Simms arrives in Gold Rush San Francisco with a plan for success: to strike it rich by trading on her good looks. But when a string of murders claims several of her fellow women of ill fame, Nora grows uneasy with how closely linked all of the victims are to her. She must distinguish friend from foe in a race to discover the identity of the killer.

"I LOVED Woman of Ill Fame! Nora Simms is hilarious, heartbreaking, tough, perceptive...and one of the most engaging characters I've ever met between the pages of…

Water for Elephants

By Sara Gruen,

Book cover of Water for Elephants

Stella Grae Author Of Just Call Me Confidence

From the list on erotic romance to give you all the feels.

Who am I?

I’ve loved, I’ve lost, and everything in between! Just like my protagonist, Jenna, in Just Call Me Confidence, life imitated art and I took a page from her “book,” having to begin anew. I’ve been the friend who has entertained all sorts of stories—sex, love, and rock n’ roll (wink, wink)—all without judgment. That role in my life continues, and what I’ve discovered in my “research” is this: Sex is wonderful, but there’s no greater joy than loving someone, even if it’s only for a little while. Read more about my take on sex, love, and rock n’ roll on my blog “Bone Up.” 

Stella's book list on erotic romance to give you all the feels

Discover why each book is one of Stella's favorite books.

Why did Stella love this book?

I expected a love story. The intriguing plot and unique characters impressed me. What I didn’t expect was one of the sexiest love scenes I’ve ever read.

Alongside the sexy stuff is the dark story of a Machiavellian circus entrepreneur and those who are subservient to his violent whims. Marlena, the abused wife/damsel in distress with a badass backbone and the young, compassionate vet, Jacob—there’s no better way to set up a white hot coupling.

While nothing in this book is red-hot erotic, there is no erotic experience greater than tacit lust that has gone unaddressed for too long between two people who not only love each other, but are allies and co-destroyers of a dark, callous personality. 

By Sara Gruen,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Water for Elephants as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


'Great story, loads of fun; hard to put down.' STEPHEN KING

The Great Depression, 1929.
When Jacob Jankowski, recently orphaned and utterly adrift, jumps onto a passing train, he enters a world of freaks, grifters, and misfits in the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth: a second-rate travelling circus struggling to survive by making one-night stands in town after endless town. Jacob, a veterinary student now unable to finish his degree, is put in charge of caring for the circus menagerie. He…

Book cover of Tales of the Enchanted Wildwood: Tales 1-6

Rose Sinclair Author Of The 8th Rank

From the list on fantasy romance to fall in love with fairy tales.

Who am I?

I have a passion for fairy tale stories especially ones for adults because they are often the first stories we learned as kids. The ability to look back at how we interpreted them and how our understanding changes over time and culture makes for something that is truly timeless, and therefore like a beloved trope is never the exact same thing twice. Each time only builds on our enjoyment and the many possibilities we can imagine. Not only in worlds of magic, but our own.

Rose's book list on fantasy romance to fall in love with fairy tales

Discover why each book is one of Rose's favorite books.

Why did Rose love this book?

While my series tend to be on the shorter end, if you want something to really sink your teeth into try Angela J. Ford’s interracial romance collection full of action, adventure, and steam. Celtic Mythology is the theme for this six standalone novel collection that tops out at over 600 hundred pages! In a world like it is now, sometimes I just want to escape into a fantasy world a fantasy series is so perfect for that.

By Angela J. Ford,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Tales of the Enchanted Wildwood as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This collector's edition includes six stand-alone adult fairy tales blending fantasy action-adventure with steamy fantasy romance.Tales of the Enchanted Forest is a collection of six fantasy romance short stories. The series is inspired by fairy tales with a hint of Celtic Mythology and a nod to the TV show, Once. However, you won’t find your traditional damsels in distress. The women you’ll meet in these tales take the future into their own hands, regardless of the challenges. They also have magic. Some of it beautiful, like the magic of the healer, but others have dark magic which torments them as…


By Alyson Noël,

Book cover of Evermore

Denise O. Eaton Author Of Arigale: Spite in the Spirit

From the list on fantasy that anime lovers will enjoy.

Who am I?

Fantasy has always been a passion and an escape for me. It started with copious amounts of reading, then I found anime when I was only a child as Cardcaptors began to air on TV. I’ve watched hundreds of anime shows since then and continued my penchant for reading and writing almost exclusively in the fantasy genre. In college, I obtained a BA in English with an emphasis on Creative Writing, so I have a good grasp on literature analysis and many works. In addition, I studied Japanese for two years, lived in Japan for six months, and held a position at the anime club while I was in college.

Denise's book list on fantasy that anime lovers will enjoy

Discover why each book is one of Denise's favorite books.

Why did Denise love this book?

Evermore has an anime-level mystical other world with copious drama and shenanigans afoot. There are strained friendships, romance, death-defying endeavors, and more. Who doesn’t love a good immortal chasing after his love through different lifetimes? I appreciate that the MC isn’t a damsel in distress even with the romance-heavy lean of the book. There’s plenty of mystery and action with the MC’s ability to see spirits and auras as she tries to discern the strange things happening around her. I have so much love for themes of life and death. I can see parallels between this book and the anime The Ancient Magus Bride. Both involve not-so-distant other worlds and a protagonist who has shut herself away for her gifts falling in love with an immortal.

By Alyson Noël,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Don't miss Evermore, the first book in Alyson Noël's #1 New York Times bestselling The Immortals series. Enter an enchanting new world where true love never dies. . .

After a horrible accident claimed the lives of her family, sixteen-year-old Ever Bloom can see people's auras, hear their thoughts, and know someone's entire life story by touching them. Going out of her way to avoid human contact and suppress her abilities, she has been branded a freak at her new high school—but everything changes when she meets Damen Auguste.

Damen is gorgeous, exotic and wealthy. He's the only one who…

Vow of Deception

By Rina Kent,

Book cover of Vow of Deception

N.J. Adel Author Of The Italian Marriage

From the list on arranged marriage mafia romance.

Who am I?

As a woman who comes from a culture that normalizes arranged/forced marriages, turning it into a more delicious fantasy in books rather than a bitter harsh reality has become an obsession of mine. Now, as I’ve written an entire series in the trope, I read and enjoy many by other awesome authors, too. I hope you enjoy the books on the list as much as I have.

N.J.'s book list on arranged marriage mafia romance

Discover why each book is one of N.J.'s favorite books.

Why did N.J. love this book?

Taboo or controversial romantic relationships have always held a special place in my heart because, let’s face it, it’s very hot. Add a sexy tormented antihero to the equation and you get a sizzling hot story to devour. Adrian Volkov is a part of the Russian mafia and the second most powerful person in the bratva. Winter is a damsel in distress that looked exactly like his dead wife. What’s going to happen when the two meet? F-i-r-e!

By Rina Kent,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

My husband. My Tormentor.

The most notorious man in the city offers me a job.
Act as his dead wife.
Adrian Volkov isn’t the type of person who takes no for an answer.
He commands with an iron fist and all his orders are met.
When he approaches me with the offer, I have two options.
Go to prison or put myself under his wrath.
I choose to have a roof over my head. What’s so hard about acting, right?
The moment I step into his wife’s shoes, everything spirals out of control.
My only way of survival is…

Natural Born Charmer

By Susan Elizabeth Phillips,

Book cover of Natural Born Charmer

Jeri Black Author Of The Dangers of Loving a Rogue

From the list on lively characters and witty banter.

Who am I?

I love to laugh. I don’t think there’s anything better than the sound of laughter. I’m originally from the Midwest and we tend to have a self-deprecating sense of humor—we like to laugh at ourselves. I’ve been in love with romance novels since I read my first Kathleen Woodiwiss book in my twenties. Although there are many sub-genres within romance, I prefer historical and contemporary (which I also write). My favorite stories have entertaining characters, witty banter, and lots of humor. For me, reading is like taking a vacation to the world within the pages of a book, and I want my vacation to be fun!

Jeri's book list on lively characters and witty banter

Discover why each book is one of Jeri's favorite books.

Why did Jeri love this book?

This contemporary romance opens with a headless beaver marching down the road. I mean, come on. How can you not be hooked? The hero of the piece, Dean Robillard, can’t resist pulling over to offer “the beav,” aka Blue Bailey, a ride. Given he’s a hot, rich, famous jock, and she tells him to beat it, you know it’s going to be a fun ride. Hands down, this is the best opening scene I’ve ever read. The banter is hysterical and the way Blue and Dean manipulate one another is priceless. But it’s not all fun and games. These characters have baggage and serious trust issues that drive the plot. The fabulous secondary characters add to the drama and humor. My all-time favorite S.E.P. book!

By Susan Elizabeth Phillips,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Natural Born Charmer as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When millionaire Dean Robillard meets Blue Bailey, she couldn't be more down on her luck; her ex has stolen all her money and she's got no place to go. A football hero, Dean is taking a holiday while recovering from a career-threatening injury. He'd planned a solo road trip to get his head together. The last thing he needs is a damsel in distress tagging along for the ride.

However, despite Dean's misgivings the two find themselves thrown together and soon Blue has moved into his home and is merrily turning his world upside down. Their attraction is mutual but…

Lady's Pursuit

By Hilari Bell,

Book cover of Lady's Pursuit

Rachanee Lumayno Author Of Heir of Amber and Fire

From the list on awesome fantasy you may not have heard of.

Who am I?

Fantasy is my favorite genre, and honestly, I’m pretty deep in it. Not only do I read a lot of fantasy, I also write fantasy novels. I’ve been an active TTRPG player for the last few years, even creating and running a few campaigns. In addition, I wrote a one-shot campaign set in the world of my fantasy series, the Gifted Lands, which people can get for free when they sign up for my newsletter on my website. So it’s safe to say, I like fantasy. :) If you check out any of these books, let me know what you think of them! 

Rachanee's book list on awesome fantasy you may not have heard of

Discover why each book is one of Rachanee's favorite books.

Why did Rachanee love this book?

Hilari Bell’s Knight and Rogue series is about Michael, a nobleman turned knight-errant, and his reluctant squire Fisk.

In Lady’s Pursuit, they work together one last time to save a damsel in distress, but it’s the relationship between the two men, with their different backgrounds and worldviews, that really make the book stand out.

Lady’s Pursuit is a satisfying conclusion to a fun and thoughtful series, and can be read alone (although I do recommend the whole series if you want more backstory).

Hilari Bell is my go-to author for mid-story twists—bad guys aren’t necessarily bad, they have strong reasons for their actions. Makes for a satisfying, thought-provoking read. 

By Hilari Bell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Lady's Pursuit as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Rescuing a damsel in distress should be the perfect job for a knight errant... Unfortunately this damsel is the liege heir’s mistress, and figuring out what happened to her will bring Michael into close contact with the court—the last thing an unredeemed man, who is dead to the law, needs. Not to mention that news of his ex-squire Fisk’s engagement might get back to Kathy’s father—which might be worse than a brush with the law! But the heir’s mistress is Kathy’s best friend, and it looks like she really has been kidnapped. Pursuing an abducted damsel across the realm, with…

His Prairie Princess

By Kit Morgan,

Book cover of His Prairie Princess

Regina Scott Author Of Never Doubt a Duke

From the list on historical romances sure to make your smile.

Who am I?

As the author of more than 50 works of warm, witty historical romance, I love seeking out stories that will make me smile. I’m a firm believer in happy endings, in the books I write, and the books I read. I’m also a bit obsessed with history, having driven a carriage four-in-hand, learned to fence, and sailed on a tall ship, all in the name of research.

Regina's book list on historical romances sure to make your smile

Discover why each book is one of Regina's favorite books.

Why did Regina love this book?

Kit Morgan describes the town of Clear Creek, the setting for her Prairie Brides series, as the wackiest town in the West. But it’s her inspired pairing of hunky, honorable British cowboys (yes, you read that right) and the independent, clever women who humble them that makes this book and its sequels so worth the read.

By Kit Morgan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A Sweet, Western Romance Novella.His Prairie Princess (Prairie Brides, Book One) is the first in a new series about the town of Clear Creek, Oregon. One of the wackiest little towns in the old west! Enjoy this introduction to the townspeople of Clear Creek and come sit a spell!Also Available! Her Prairie Knight (Prairie Brides, Book Two) His Prairie Duchess (Prairie Brides, Book Three)When Sadie Jones, the daughter of cattle baron Horatio Jones, set out on her own in search of her dying birth mother, she got more than she bargained for. She never dreamed the stage would be robbed…


By Ulysse Malassagne,

Book cover of Kairos

Tim Probert Author Of The Girl & the Galdurian

From the list on vivid and compelling worlds to get lost in.

Who am I?

I am an illustrator and author and fantasy stories are some of my favorites. I love getting lost in a book. It might be a cliche, but the ability of a book to take you to a place you’ve never been, or might not even exist, is an amazing power. These are the types of stories I love to create and these books have been a great influence on my own work. 

Tim's book list on vivid and compelling worlds to get lost in

Discover why each book is one of Tim's favorite books.

Why did Tim love this book?

Another book of beautiful drawings (noticing a theme?), the dynamic lifework pulls you into a parallel dimension along with the characters. The protagonist crosses dangerous lines to find his partner and you are along for the ride in a new world. Also, check out Malassange’s work with Studio La Cachette, the animation studio he co-founded – it’s great!

By Ulysse Malassagne,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Nills and Anaelle were looking forward to the first night in their rustic cabin in the woods. But the couple's idyllic vacation is suddenly thrown into turmoil when a strange flash of light bursts from the fireplace. A portal appears and out of it spill dragon-like creatures that are armed to the teeth. They grab Anaelle and flee back through the portal, leaving a distraught Nills with a sudden decision: stay behind or leap through after her?

He leaps. And that's when things get really weird.

In Kairos, French graphic novelist Ulysse Malassage turns the typical damsel-in-distress narrative on its…

Book cover of The Slaughtered Lamb Bookstore and Bar

Everlyn C Thompson Author Of Grave-Reaping Hermit

From the list on urban fantasy with unapologetic, flawed heroines.

Who am I?

I was born and raised on the beautiful Canadian prairies and prefer to spend my time outdoors with my family, kayaking, skating, fishing, and hunting. I love to read and write about vampires, witches, fae, and zombies that get to find their own version of happily ever after.

Everlyn's book list on urban fantasy with unapologetic, flawed heroines

Discover why each book is one of Everlyn's favorite books.

Why did Everlyn love this book?

 I love books that are told from a first-person point of view by a main character that is flawed yet lovable. Sam is easy to relate to. Throw in a sexy vampire love interest, and it was impossible to stop reading. Just the right ratio of mystery, suspense and romance. This is easily my favorite book to date.

By Seana Kelly,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A “master class in storytelling and survival.” —Publisher’s Weekly (starred review)

Welcome to The Slaughtered Lamb Bookstore and Bar. I’m Sam Quinn, the werewolf book nerd in charge. I run my business by one simple rule: Everyone needs a good book and a stiff drink, be they vampire, wicche, demon, or fae. No wolves, though. Ever. I have my reasons.

I serve the supernatural community of San Francisco. We’ve been having some problems lately. Okay, I’m the one with the problems. The broken body of a female werewolf washed up on my doorstep. What makes sweat pool at the base…

Book cover of Struggling With the Current

Paul L. Arvidson Author Of Dark

From the list on character driven science fiction you can't put down.

Who am I?

I’ve always read Sci-Fi and Fantasy. It’s my comfort place and haven’t we all needed that in the roaring '20s? It took a long while to clock that the books that stuck with me longest were all in that odd space where fantasy and sci-fi collide, (like Helliconia or Fire Upon the Deep or Dune) When I started writing, the ideas just poured out of me but after I realised I’d written a book like those I loved to read.

Paul's book list on character driven science fiction you can't put down

Discover why each book is one of Paul's favorite books.

Why did Paul love this book?

This book is straight-up Fantasy, so it’s notable in my list because I read so little trad fantasy these days. But don’t be fooled, this book is not what you expect. Every trope of fantasy gets turned on its head, kicked over, rearranged, and then the characters just straight up do something other than what you expected. There are no hunky but boring heroes. There are no damsels in distress. Even the Gods in this world are… well that would be spoilers. Super well told gripping fantasy trilogy that you won’t regret picking up. Except you won’t be able to put it down.

By A.R.K. Horton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Struggling With the Current as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Ancient Relics. Vengeful Gods. Shipwrecks. Strange Creatures. Secret Libraries and Kingdoms At Odds.

Sheltered and groomed for a future as a noble’s wife, Princess Eya envies the limitless opportunities men have—until they leave to defend their country and never return.

This damsel won’t sit around waiting for a knight in shining armor. Instead, she rescues herself by sailing away from the only life she’s ever known. When her escape plan shipwrecks on enemy shores, she must hide her identity and temper her impulses. This proves difficult as she discovers new powers she cannot control and winds up hopping from one…

You Had Me at Hello

By Mhairi McFarlane,

Book cover of You Had Me at Hello

Michelle Angelle Author Of Dear Pink: A Romantic Comedy

From the list on best stage-stealing sidekicks.

Who are we?

A sidekick is someone who knows you better than you know yourself. Someone who will travel 750 miles on your wedding day, and then help you escape out of a window before you make a huge mistake. A sidekick is someone who will have your back, even when you’re making some of the most ridiculous decisions of your life. We're best friends, writing partners, and each other’s sidekicks. We write books that reward every struggle with a happy ending because life is not always kind. We create characters who inspire us to keep laughing and encourage readers to laugh with us. Here’s hoping everyone has a humorous sidekick in his or her life.

Michelle's book list on best stage-stealing sidekicks

Discover why each book is one of Michelle's favorite books.

Why did Michelle love this book?

We are total suckers for British humor. Give us a smashing bloke or a cheeky heroine, and we are all in. Mhairi McFarlane weaves together a friends-to-lovers trope with a second-chance love story. In this novel, readers explore the fantasy of the one who got away along with the complex problems that happen in real life, such as failing marriages and self-doubt. You’ll fall in love with the main character, Rachel, but it is through her friend relationships and inner monologues that you see her development. She isn’t a damsel in distress. No, she is a strong female character with a tight group of friends who you quickly fancy. It doesn’t hurt that there is a leading man sure to make you swoon. 

By Mhairi McFarlane,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked You Had Me at Hello as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What happens when the one that got away comes back? Find out in this sparkling comedy from #1 bestseller Mhairi McFarlane

'Think of the great duos of history. We're just like them.'

'You mean like Kylie and Jason? Torvill and Dean? Sonny and Cher?'

'I think you've missed the point, Rachel.'

Rachel and Ben. Ben and Rachel. It was them against the world. Until it all fell apart. It's been a decade since they last spoke, but when Rachel bumps into Ben one rainy day, the years melt away.

They'd been partners in crime and the best of friends. But…


By Orson Scott Card,

Book cover of Enchantment: A Classic Fantasy with a Modern Twist

D.P. Davidson Author Of Push

From the list on books overshadowed by the author's better known work.

Who am I?

Because I love to see how an author progresses in their storytelling abilities. Whether they continue with the same characters or move on to new worlds and new storylines, the art of writing changes as the author becomes more comfortable with their craft. I love knowing that the mind that created Dorian Grey and recorded his story also created Lord Saville. Even though they came from the same mind, they are their own entities, and the author was willing to give life to both. I love when an author is committed to the art of storytelling and not just of genre.  

D.P.'s book list on books overshadowed by the author's better known work

Discover why each book is one of D.P.'s favorite books.

Why did D.P. love this book?

This book is an interesting spin on a well-known fairy tale. I really enjoyed this one because the "princess" isn't a damsel in distress and the "charming" isn't always charming. They are written as multi-dimensional characters with character flaws and imperfections. They don't instantly fall in love. They bicker and disagree, but then learn how to work together to free her family from the curse that put her in the middle of the forest. I like the reality of having to learn how to work with someone else and the growth that comes from that learning.

By Orson Scott Card,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In Enchantment, Orson Scott Card works his magic as never before, transforming the timeless story of Sleeping Beauty into an original fantasy brimming with romance and adventure.

The moment Ivan stumbled upon a clearing in the dense Carpathian forest, his life was forever changed. Atop a pedestal encircled by fallen leaves, the beautiful princess Katerina lay still as death. But beneath the foliage a malevolent presence stirred and sent the ten-year-old Ivan scrambling for the safety of Cousin Marek's farm.

Now, years later, Ivan is an American graduate student, engaged to be married. Yet he cannot forget that long-ago day…

Llana of Gathol

By Edgar Rice Burroughs,

Book cover of Llana of Gathol

Charles Carfagno Jr. Author Of A Demon's Quest: The Beginning of the End

From the list on fantasy filled with action and mayhem.

Who am I?

I am an international award-winning fantasy author, who’s been writing since 2003. My love of Dungeon and Dragons and Martial Arts have influenced my writing and created a world full of wonder. I have an extensive background in both Western (Sword fighting) and Eastern Martial Arts, and I use that knowledge to create so many memorable fight scenes throughout the series.

Charles' book list on fantasy filled with action and mayhem

Discover why each book is one of Charles' favorite books.

Why did Charles love this book?

Llana of Gathol is book 10 of the John Cater series and in my opinion, the best. Published in 1948, the story is about an earthling named, John Carter. The reason why I liked this book is because John Carter can transform his mind into another body on Mars. That in itself is a pretty cool concept and the reason why I was drawn to it in the first place. The action is fast-paced as Carter gets captured by the inhabitants of Horz, one of the supposedly “dead” cities of Mars. He is sentenced to death along with his captor Pan Dan Chee for bringing Carter into Horz. They are sent down to the pits under the city where they discover the remnants of a maritime race which had existed hundreds of thousands of years ago, suspended in animation unaware of the changes that happened to the world. 

Arthur Rex

By Thomas Berger,

Book cover of Arthur Rex: A Legendary Novel

Cory O'Brien Author Of Zeus Grants Stupid Wishes: A No-Bullshit Guide to World Mythology

From the list on King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.

Who am I?

Cory O’Brien, author of such books as Zeus Grants Stupid Wishes: a No-Bullshit Guide to World Mythology, grew up reading myths and legends of all sorts, and turned that passion into a career with the advent of his extremely serious mythology website. He has always had a fondness for the Arthurian Legend in particular, ever since his father read him Howard Pyle’s King Arthur books as a child, and he realized he could use them as a moral justification for hitting other kids with big sticks.

Cory's book list on King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table

Discover why each book is one of Cory's favorite books.

Why did Cory love this book?

Arthur Rex tells the same story as Le Morte D’Arthur, but in a radically different way. Where Mallory idolizes the knights and nobles of Arthur’s court, Thomas Berger paints them in the most unflattering light possible. Everyone is a cretin, a sex maniac, or both, and their backwards morals are used as clever mirrors of our own modern moral failings. Arthur Rex is probably the funniest version of the Arthurian Legend that I’ve read. It’s got its tongue firmly lodged in its cheek. Even so, the ending managed to make me cry, so props to Berger for capturing the full range of emotions with this one.

By Thomas Berger,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Reinterpreting and expanding upon the Arthurian legend, the author begins to inject his own personality into the narrative, which constitutes a salute to the Age of Chivalry

Shielding Sierra

By Susan Stoker,

Book cover of Shielding Sierra

Mignon Mykel Author Of Butterfly Save

From the list on to get lost in a romance series binge.

Who am I?

I hate saying goodbye. Picking up a book and being introduced to an entire group of people—family, friends, teammates—and knowing you get to continue to watch these relationships bloom over a course of books is part of the reason I pick up a book in the first place. I want to see these characters pop in twenty books down the road. I absolutely love cameos of old characters! Because of this, I write in a singular world as well. My Prescotts may be the base of the world at the moment, but it’s also their friends at O’Gallaghers and their teammates with the Enforcers hockey team that keep the world growing—and it’s not ending anytime soon.

Mignon's book list on to get lost in a romance series binge

Discover why each book is one of Mignon's favorite books.

Why did Mignon love this book?

Stoker is the queen of military/former-military “families.” You pick up a book and instantly fall in love with that team of men. Shielding Sierra is her latest (as of January 2022) and it happens to be at the end of a series. Stoker writes in a single universe, so while we know this team, we also see previous teams she’s written, and the family unit that they all build with one another really shines in Sierra, when one of their own purposely becomes a POW in order to save the heroine.

By Susan Stoker,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

As a civilian contractor, Sierra Clarkson thought she’d found the perfect way to serve her country, short of joining the military…until she was kidnapped from a base in Afghanistan. Turns out terrorists don’t care if you’re a soldier or not; everyone bleeds the same. Even worse, no one knows she’s been taken. Her missing belongings point to desertion—which means no one is looking for her, either

But someone is.

Fred “Grover” Groves never forgot the redheaded spitfire working the chow line on a base in the Afghani desert. He’d felt an instant attraction to the petite woman, a connection deep…


By Annabel Allan,

Book cover of Edgeplay

Estelle Pettersen Author Of Lessons on Seduction

From the list on bad boy romance with a happy ending.

Who am I?

I’ve been fascinated by bad-boy heroes since I started reading romance books in my teenage years. Throw me a story about a rebel, player, a guy who likes living on the edge with a wild streak, and you’ve got me sold. There are a few rules when it comes to what I don’t want in a bad boy – abuse, pedophiles, violent men, and lack of consent. I love happy endings and believe that every bad boy and his lover (or lovers if it’s a consensual polyamorous relationship) deserve their happily ever after endings. I’m an ex-journalist who has published romance stories from erotic to sweet.

Estelle's book list on bad boy romance with a happy ending

Discover why each book is one of Estelle's favorite books.

Why did Estelle love this book?

I personally recommend Edgeplay by Annabel Allan to readers who enjoy high-quality erotic and BDSM romance readers. The chemistry between Ava Goode and her hunky lover, Gabriel Burton, is a passionate one that sizzles, not fizzles. Gabriel is a high-powered CEO who dares to try new kinky things in the bedroom with Ava. He knows when to be bad, and he knows when to be good. Ava personifies empowerment – she’s a real hero with a strong voice, and she's no damsel in distress. This is great, as I’m not a fan of weak voices. Edgeplay accurately portrays BDSM—the author has done her research into the lifestyle and knows what she's writing about.

By Annabel Allan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

By day, Ava Goode is in the insurance game, getting her work done and being a model employee. But by night, she retreats to her secret world where she Dominates those that seek to submit to her.This private world gets turned upside down the moment she meets Gabriel Burton; a man who is not only successful, but works for her father—and dating men in her father’s office is a big no-no. But, it’s hard to resist your deepest desires, especially when they kneel before you and kiss your feet, like a good boy.

Book cover of Texas Women on the Cattle Trails

Tracey Hanshew Author Of Oklahoma Rodeo Women

From the list on cowgirls and ranching women.

Who am I?

I grew up around ranch and rodeo life, having always been fascinated by it, attended several rodeos each year. Watching Jonnie Jonckowski ride bulls and Martha Josey break records wining barrel races—they were an inspiration. When an opportunity arose for me to build a career around researching and writing about cowgirls, rodeo, and cattlewomen, it was a dream come true.  Hope you enjoy the books about them that I’ve recommended.

Tracey's book list on cowgirls and ranching women

Discover why each book is one of Tracey's favorite books.

Why did Tracey love this book?

Cattle drives although a relatively brief episode in history largely contribute to tales of the cowboy that helped writers and Hollywood to later make him an American icon. Texas Women on the Cattle Trails provides a history of sixteen of the women who contributed to and participated in cattle drives originating from Texas. This edited collection offers individual stories of these women and based on their own accounts which give us an inside glimpse into how this era shaped their lives. Meet real cattlewomen who built ranching empires, who showed courage and spunk, and enjoyed a closeness with nature while viewing buffalo and gazing at the stars along their journeys.

By Sara R. Massey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Texas Women on the Cattle Trails as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Texas Women on the Cattle Trails tells the stories of sixteen women who drove cattle up the trail from Texas during the last half of the nineteenth century. Some were young; some were old (over thirty). Some took to the trails by choice; others, out of necessity. Some went along to look at the stars; others, to work the cattle. Some made money and built ranching empires, but others went broke and lived hard, even desperate lives. The courage of Margaret Borland and the spunk of Willie Matthews, the pure delight of Cornelia Adair viewing the buffalo, and the joy…