The best romantic love books

Who picked these books? Meet our 713 experts.

713 authors created a book list connected to romantic love, and here are their favorite romantic love books.
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What type of romantic love book?



By Madeline Sheehan,

Book cover of Undeniable

Victoria Jayne Author Of Jacob

From the list on motorcycle club romance.

Who am I?

Maybe it was because I fell in love with Sons of Anarchy and needed more when the series ended. Maybe it was because I’ve always loved alpha holes. Either way, motorcycle club romances just fit in my reader wheelhouse. There's something about the ultimate bad boys who will burn the world down for that one woman. I think what appeals to me most is that these couples, their relationships, are never perfect. The men don’t magically become the perfect boyfriends. They still screw up, but they love in their own gritty, possessive, dirty way with their whole hearts. When I devoured every audiobook I could find, I decided to try my hand at writing one. 

Victoria's book list on motorcycle club romance

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

Why did Victoria love this book?

Undeniable is the raw and dirty story of Eva and Deuce. As the children of leaders of outlaw motorcycle clubs, they have expectations placed on them. These pressures both drive them apart and together at the same time. It’s not a pretty tale. It’s complicated. Everything is in their way, but they persevere. They go through hell to be together. It’s not the typical love story, but it’s theirs.

By Madeline Sheehan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Warning: This is not a typical, sappy, love story. This is an all-consuming, soul-crushing, tear-your-heart-into-pieces story. It’s intense, gritty and raw, dark and disturbing, and it doesn’t happen overnight. This is an epic love story that knows no boundaries and has no time limits. It grows and develops—with hurt, sacrifice, and heartache—over the span of a lifetime.

Eva Fox is the princess of the Silver Demons Motorcycle Club. Growing up with bikers in the club lifestyle is all that she knows. When she’s a young girl, Eva meets the reason for her existence. Deuce West is the sexy, biker bad-ass…

The North Wind

By Alexandria Warwick,

Book cover of The North Wind

Avalon Griffin Author Of Unbound by Shadows

From the list on romance for empowering escapism.

Who am I?

I started reading romance because I wanted to drown myself in stories of women stepping into their power and getting everything they wanted. Romance is a genre often looked down upon because of the happy-ever-afters, but I think that’s part of why it can be so deliciously subversive. Most (but not all) romance novels are centered on women, their voices, their sexuality, their desires, and their victories. In a world that’s often cruel, escaping into a world where dreams and fantasies are possible can be liberating. I started writing romance because I wanted to be a part of these stories and craft a world for others to escape into.

Avalon's book list on romance for empowering escapism

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

Why did Avalon love this book?

For fans of slow-burn, enemies-to-lovers fantasy, this book is gold.

With Beauty and the Beast and Hades and Persephone vibes, this book tells the story of a human woman who is kidnapped and wed to the Frost King, a brooding immortal.

The writing is beautiful, and I appreciated how it took a long time for the heroine and hero to trust each other and break down their walls. Both characters are deeply flawed, yet you still root for their happiness.

The world-building is lovely and folkloric. Getting into the steamy parts takes a while, but it’s worth the wait!

By Alexandria Warwick,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Lush. Dark. Romantic. Introducing a newly reimagined tale written in the vein of Beauty and the Beast and Hades and Persephone.

Long before civilization, there were the gods. And before the gods, there was the earth, the celestial bodies, and air given flesh. They are the Anemoi-the Four Winds-and they have been banished to the four corners of the world.

Wren of Edgewood is no stranger to suffering. Her parents are gone. Survival is all she knows. For three hundred years, the land known as the Gray has been encased in ice, surrounded by a great barrier called the Shade,…

Book cover of Blue Flag, Vol. 1

Hannah Krieger Author Of All My Friends Are Ghosts

From the list on for kids who feel like outcasts.

Who am I?

As someone who struggled with connections growing up, I have a big heart for outcasts. When Shane-Michael Vidaurri and I collaborated on All My Friends are Ghosts, we wanted to reach out to kids who may be experiencing the same struggles with loneliness that we faced in our own childhoods. When it feels like the whole world is against you, it’s important to find those alcoves in your life where you feel safe and seen… and books can be exactly that! 

Hannah's book list on for kids who feel like outcasts

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

Why did Hannah love this book?

Blue Flag features an intense love rectangle between four unlikely friends and explores everything from cliques, crushes, self-hatred, projecting your insecurities onto others, and figuring out how to grow as a person. The relationships in Blue Flag are very complex, and almost uncomfortably real in their strengths and shortcomings. This is a series I wish I could have read as a teen; I would have loved it to be my companion in navigating the unnavigable maze of school social life.

By Kaito,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An unexpected love quadrangle with a dash of unrequited love as two classmates, a boy and a girl, begin to fall for each other when each of their best friends have already fallen for them.

Love is already hard enough, but it becomes an unnavigable maze for unassuming high school student Taichi Ichinose and his shy classmate Futaba Kuze when they begin to fall for each other after their same-sex best friends have already fallen for them.

For some reason, Taichi Ichinose just can't stand Futaba Kuze. But at the start of his third year in high school, he finds…


By Dawn Tripp,

Book cover of Georgia: A Novel of Georgia O'Keeffe

Katherine Sherbrooke Author Of Leaving Coy's Hill

From the list on the real lives of kick-ass women.

Who am I?

I was never much of a history student. Facts and figures rarely stick in my brain until I have a character—their feelings, hopes, fears, and dreams—to pair them with, so I rely a lot on historical fiction to understand different places and times. I’m also a believer that our culture too often serves up the impression that marginalized people have forever hopelessly struggled, held back by those in power. But there are so many true stories that reveal the opposite, in this case, women fighting for their dreams and winning! I aim to bring these stories to light in a way that keeps the pages turning. 

Katherine's book list on the real lives of kick-ass women

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

Why did Katherine love this book?

I’m fascinated by historical fiction that sticks to the “facts” of a person’s life but imagines and richly describes that person’s inner world—in this case Georgia O’Keefe’s. The novel focuses on the young painter’s love affair with Alfred Stieglitz, an established photographer and art dealer. Before the art world knows Georgia O’Keefe as a ground-breaking artist in her own right, she is introduced as the female nude in Stieglitz’s photographs. Does her art gain notice in part because of this scandalous introduction, or does it merely eroticize her and her work? And while she learns much from Stieglitz, what does this relationship cost her? This book is masterfully “painted” with O’Keefe-like brush strokes that assemble a tantalizing picture and still leave much to the imagination.

By Dawn Tripp,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • In a dazzling work of historical fiction in the vein of Nancy Horan’s Loving Frank, Dawn Tripp brings to life Georgia O’Keeffe, her love affair with photographer Alfred Stieglitz, and her quest to become an independent artist.

This is not a love story. If it were, we would have the same story. But he has his, and I have mine.

In 1916, Georgia O’Keeffe is a young, unknown art teacher when she travels to New York to meet Stieglitz, the famed photographer and art dealer, who has discovered O’Keeffe’s work and exhibits it in his gallery. Their…

The Kiss Quotient

By Helen Hoang,

Book cover of The Kiss Quotient

Stacy Travis Author Of Playing for You

From the list on romance with brilliant, brainy heroines.

Who am I?

After a long career in other forms of writing including but not limited to journalism, TV writing, nonfiction book authoring, I began writing contemporary romance novels two years ago and I haven’t gotten off the couch or closed my laptop since then. I write sweet, spicy books about quirky heroines and the men who can’t live without them. When I’m not writing, I’m perfecting the right ratio of coffee to milk, hustling my 2 rescue dogs around the neighborhood, or running up a hill in search of a view. 

Stacy's book list on romance with brilliant, brainy heroines

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

Why did Stacy love this book?

Stella is a beautifully smart character who approaches love the way she approaches econometrics, which means she has everything to learn from her fake date/escort who becomes very real in short order. Hoang’s book is sweet, steamy, and hilarious, as Stella opens her mind to everything she’s been missing. I love seeing the cautious scientist in Stella gradually open up to Michael, who aces the family dynamic and wins her fiercely-guarded heart.

By Helen Hoang,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Goodread's Romance Book of the Year, 2018

A Washington Post Book of the Year, 2018
An AmazonBook of the Year, 2018
Cosmopolitan's 33 Books to Get Excited About in 2018
Elle Best Summer Reads 2018


A heartwarming and refreshing debut novel that proves one thing: there's not enough data in the world to predict what will make your heart tick.

It's high time for Stella Lane to settle down and find a husband - or so her mother tells her. This is no easy task for a wealthy, successful woman like Stella, who also happens to have Asperger's. Analyzing…

His Amiable Bride

By Kasey Stockton,

Book cover of His Amiable Bride: A Featherbottom Chronicles Novella

Rebecca Lange Author Of Healing the Orphaned Heart

From the list on swoon-worthy Christian historical romance.

Who am I?

Ever since I can remember I had a special love for western romance books. My mom has written several books set in 1800s America and that probably stirred me in that direction as well since I love her books (they're in German, which is why I couldn’t recommend them). Regency has become my second historical fiction genre, which is probably why I write and read both time periods. I'm a German-born US-Indie author and total romance fanatic. I write Christian Romance set mostly in the above time periods. I'm a massive Harry Potter fan, have been married to my husband for nearly 18 years and we have two teenage sons. 

Rebecca's book list on swoon-worthy Christian historical romance

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

Why did Rebecca love this book?

This was a sweet regency novella. I enjoyed the characters and plot, even though it was a bit rushed at times and the ending a bit abrupt, but it was a delightful read and kept me hooked enough that I wanted to know what would happen next. I will definitely be reading more from this author.

By Kasey Stockton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Can something beautiful grow from a marriage born of spite?

When Cori Featherbottom accepts her neighbor’s shocking marriage proposal, she has no idea that he still loves her sister—until after the wedding. Guarding her heart, she determines to make the most of her loveless relationship and find a friend in her husband.

Adam Arnett does the only thing he knows for certain will remove a title-hungry flirt—he marries her sister. It doesn’t take long before he finds himself attracted to his new bride, but when her sister tries to throw a wrench in their budding relationship he must fight to…

Wicked and the Wallflower

By Sarah MacLean,

Book cover of Wicked and the Wallflower

Susan Corso Author Of Ascending Apparition

From the list on chosen family romances.

Who am I?

Wondering why I’m such a fan of chosen families? I have a family of origin, but when I think of true family, it’s not my siblings. It’s the people of my heart. My husband, my longtime editor, who I finally got smart enough to marry. A spiritual daughter in Boston; another in Kenya. A favorite ex-husband in Santa Fe. Another man who should've been my brother, and his beloved husband in Manhattan. For me, a real friend is someone who’d raze the State Department if I were stuck in a prison in Lima, Peru. Any one of these mentioned would. I always wanted a pseudonym so I write Boots & Boas under Vivienne Hartt Quinn.

Susan's book list on chosen family romances

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

Why did Susan love this book?

Sarah MacLean went to Smith. So did I. Besides, I am famous for saying about myself at parties, “I’m not just a wallflower—I’m the wallpaper.” How could I possibly give a miss to a Smithie and wallflowers? I couldn’t. Three half-siblings hold a dastardly secret amongst themselves about their inheritance and the person to whom it really belongs. Ruling royalty of the darker side of Covent Garden, two of them live by their own code of loyalty, along with their beloved sister. I totally loved the research and detail that had to go into these books. Covent Garden was never so lascivious, and wallflowers never so appealing. The women show their moral backbones right alongside the Bastards and the sparks are illuminating. Go, wallflowers!

By Sarah MacLean,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When Wicked Comes Calling . . .

When a mysterious stranger finds his way into her bedchamber and offers his help in landing a duke, Lady Felicity Faircloth agrees-on one condition. She's seen enough of the world to believe in passion, and won't accept a marriage without it.

The Wallflower Makes a Dangerous Bargain . . .

Bastard son of a duke and king of London's dark streets, Devil has spent a lifetime wielding power and seizing opportunity, and the spinster wallflower is everything he needs to exact a revenge years in the making. All he must do is turn…

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

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

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…

The Tourist Trail

By John Yunker,

Book cover of The Tourist Trail

Midge Raymond Author Of My Last Continent

From the list on saving animals.

Who am I?

When I first visited Antarctica, I not only fell in love with penguins but saw firsthand how high the stakes are regarding climate change—not only for humans but especially for animals, who are suffering horribly due to our actions. Being in Antarctica, the most rapidly warming place on earth, highlighted how important it is to tackle climate change, which includes protecting animals. When we lose one species, the entire ecosystem changes. I’ve embraced protecting domestic animals as well, from companion animals to farmed animals, having learned just how much human and non-human animals have in common—so much more than you’d think! And I love reading and writing about the ways in which we’re all connected.

Midge's book list on saving animals

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

Why did Midge love this book?

The Tourist Trail is an eco-thriller featuring an unlikely but thoroughly entertaining cast of characters—among them a whale rescuer, a penguin researcher, an FBI agent, a computer tech, and an animal-rights activist—whose lives come together in the wild and dangerous waters of the Southern Ocean. All of these characters have secrets that are slowly revealed, and the alternating points of view pull readers toward a cinematic ending. The Tourist Trail is about endangered species and oceans at risk, but most of all, it’s about animals and the human heroes who devote their lives toward saving them—it’s not only an unputdownable mystery but a compassionate and heartfelt ode to our oceanic animals who need saving.

By John Yunker,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A literary thriller about endangered species in the world's most remote areas, and those who put their lives on the line to protect them.

Biologist Angela Haynes is accustomed to dark, lonely nights as one of the few humans at a penguin research station in Patagonia. She has grown used to the cries of penguins before dawn, to meager supplies and housing, to spending most of her days in one of the most remote regions on earth. What she isn't used to is strange men washing ashore, which happens one day on her watch.

The man won't tell her his…

Steel King

By Devney Perry,

Book cover of Steel King

Lena Hendrix Author Of The Badge

From the list on small town romances that bring the heat.

Who am I?

I am an author who writes hot-as-sin small-town romance. As an avid romance reader, when I found my love of all small-town things combined with high heat of steamy romance, I was hooked! With steamy, small-town romance you get feel-good, heartfelt romances with steamy, open-door scenes. If it can make you blush and warm your heart, I’m all in! In my list, I’ve included a variety of small-town romance authors that will tug at your heartstrings in one scene and have you fanning yourself in the next. 

Lena's book list on small town romances that bring the heat

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

Why did Lena love this book?

This book has less heat than my other recommendations (but still brings the feels!) but it also combines small-town romance with a dash of Motorcycle Club (MC). It’s definitely not a dark romance, as my MC romances are, but it has mystery, suspense, and action! This is the first book in the series (you do have to read them in order) and focuses on a spunky reporter and former MC members as they try to solve a murder mystery.

By Devney Perry,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From USA Today Bestselling Author Devney Perry comes a small town, enemies to lovers romance.

The former Clifton Forge, Montana motorcycle club has everyone in town convinced they’ve locked their clubhouse doors and ripped off their patches. Everyone but Bryce Ryan. There’s more happening at the club’s garage than muscle car restorations and Harley rebuilds. Her instincts are screaming there’s a story—one she’s going to tell.

As the new owner of the small town’s newspaper, Bryce is hungry for more than birth announcements and obituaries. When a woman is brutally killed and all signs point to the club, Bryce is…


By Curtis Sittenfeld,

Book cover of Eligible

Lauren Edmondson Author Of Wedding of the Season

From the list on wild family weddings.

Who am I?

Weddings are stressful for even the most functional of families. I should know—it took me nearly two years to plan my own! The process of manufacturing the big day, and attending to all the trappings of the wedding industrial complex, really brings out our best and our worst. In my most recent novel, I found that a big, splashy wedding provided such a fun and fascinating way to explore the tensions and enduring love within families, friends, and couples. If done right, plots involving weddings can smash tired “bridezilla” and “monster-in-law” tropes. As we enter the summer wedding season, I hope this list of books keeps you laughing and loving! 

Lauren's book list on wild family weddings

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

Why did Lauren love this book?

I’ll read anything by Curtis Sittenfeld, and this modern retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice I started the day it came out.

Sittenfeld brilliantly updates Austen to make the classic story more relevant than ever. The Bennet sisters curse! Jane Bennet is almost 40! Mr. Bingley was on a reality dating show!

As someone who has also written an Austen retelling (my first novel, Ladies of the House, is inspired by Sense and Sensibility), I admire Sittenfeld’s care with the plot points we all love from the original—you’ll laugh out loud when our modern Darcy and Liz Bennet meet for the first time. 

By Curtis Sittenfeld,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Wonderfully tender and hilariously funny, Eligible tackles gender, class, courtship, and family as Curtis Sittenfeld reaffirms herself as one of the most dazzling authors writing today.


This version of the Bennet family—and Mr. Darcy—is one that you have and haven’t met before: Liz is a magazine writer in her late thirties who, like her yoga instructor older sister, Jane, lives in New York City. When their father has a health scare, they return to their childhood home in Cincinnati to…

Pursuit of the Truth

By K.D. Richards,

Book cover of Pursuit of the Truth

Delia C. Pitts Author Of Murder Take Two

From the list on featuring Black private eyes.

Who am I?

I’m a nerd by temperament (raised by a psychologist and a librarian, what else could I be?) and by profession (decades working as a U.S. diplomat and an academic administrator honed my people-watching faculties to a fine edge). So, of course, I’ve always been drawn to my opposite: that cynical loner whose pursuit of justice requires hard fists and a bent moral compass. Private eye mysteries are my perfect place. In them, I can exercise my passion for intellectual puzzles and my love for thrilling action. I enjoy the combination of social commentary and sheer entertainment I find when I dive into reading (or writing) a private eye mystery.

Delia's book list on featuring Black private eyes

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

Why did Delia love this book?

This first-in-series thriller revved my engine with its fun combination of action and romance. New Yorker Ryan West is an expert in personal protection who runs his own security firm. But he wasn’t prepared for the personal fall-out from falling for the tough-minded hotel boss he’s hired to guard. She’s brainy and resourceful, the kind of modern-day princess who can save herself but doesn’t mind engaging with a dashing prince of a private eye.

By K.D. Richards,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Her secrets could get them killed...

After hotel CEO Nadia Shelton barely escapes an attack, security expert Ryan West realises someone will kill to find the brother Nadia thought was dead. And the only way Ryan can protect her as they uncover the truth, is to stay strictly professional. But the sparks igniting between them refuse to be ignored...


By Laura Griffin,

Book cover of Flight

Savannah Kade Author Of Crash & Burn

From the list on steamy romantic suspense for savvy readers.

Who am I?

I'm a contemporary romance writer who does some series in paranormal romance and some in romantic suspense. I know lots of romance is about the fantasy and I write to that, but I want each of my romances to have you walking away believing in real-life love, too. I want heroes and heroines who could walk right off the page! I want to acknowledge smart women finding men who love a snappy comeback and a sharp brain. My favorite stories come together when our heroine is the only one who could solve this crime or mystery. I was first invited to write RS in the Dark Falls series and I shockingly won a Maggie for my first book. I loved the genre so much that I went on to build a whole series of my own!

Savannah's book list on steamy romantic suspense for savvy readers

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

Why did Savannah love this book?

This is the second book in the Texas Murder Files series and Griffin is the author who brought us the Tracers books (another great series. Go read it!) In Flight, Miranda is desperately trying to take a break and recoup from a far too stressful job. We can all relate. But when she stumbles upon a murder, her skills as a forensic photographer mean her break is over. Local Detective Joel is just the hero we need and the tension builds slowly and wonderfully. This is great romantic suspense!

By Laura Griffin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Laura Griffin is one of those skilled writers who hook me with the first sentence' reader review

'Wow, this is an absolutely brilliant and hot crime read. I loved the characters and how real it all feels' reader review

If you love Karen Rose, Melinda Leigh and Lisa Gardner, you'll be gripped by Laura Griffin!
With her signature breathless pacing and suspenseful twists and turns, 'Laura Griffin never fails to put me on the edge of my seat' (USA TODAY).

'I love smart, sophisticated, fast-moving romantic thrillers and Laura Griffin writes them brilliantly' JAYNE ANN KRENTZ

'A pulse-pounding romantic thriller'…

Heard It in a Love Song

By Tracey Garvis Graves,

Book cover of Heard It in a Love Song

Jill Santopolo Author Of Everything After

From the list on love and music.

Who am I?

I’m Jill Santopolo, a novelist, editor, and mom who was born in New York and currently lives in Washington, DC. I’ve written Everything After, More Than Words, and The Light We Lost, which was the Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick in February 2018. My books have been named to The New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Apple, and Indiebound bestseller lists, and have been translated into more than 35 languages. I love Instagram and rarely ever use Twitter (but you can find me there, too)--and music makes my heart sing. When I was growing up I learned to play the piano, flute, and piccolo, and I loved singing and dancing.

Jill's book list on love and music

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

Why did Jill love this book?

Tracey Garvis Graves’s novel about second chances and starting over is filled with so much warmth, it’s impossible not to cheer for her characters and to feel true empathy for their situations. Newly-divorced Layla discovers she had to make peace with her past to find love in her present—and music is the key to it all. 

By Tracey Garvis Graves,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Heard It in a Love Song as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From Tracey Garvis Graves, the bestselling author of The Girl He Used to Know comes a love song of a story about starting over and second chances in Heard It in a Love Song.

Love doesn’t always wait until you’re ready.

Layla Hilding is thirty-five and recently divorced. Struggling to break free from the past―her glory days as the lead singer in a band and a ten-year marriage to a man who never put her first―Layla’s newly found independence feels a lot like loneliness.

Then there's Josh, the single dad whose daughter attends the elementary school where Layla teaches music.…

Book cover of The Luckiest Lady in London

Julia Whelan Author Of Thank You for Listening

From the list on gateway romance for literary readers and writers.

Who am I?

Although I currently write romantic women’s fiction, because I came up in the Literary Fiction community, I frequently have writer friends ask me to recommend well-written Romance. Leaving aside the subjectivity of well-written and the snobbery inherent in the suggestion that Romance—a category they’ve admitted to never having read—isn’t generally well-written, I first have to explain that Romance has rules: While we often associate Romance with sex on the page, technically, it’s not a requirement. There are only two requirements, according to the Romance Writers of America: the love story has to be the central storyline of the book; and there has to be a happily ever after (HEA). 

Julia's book list on gateway romance for literary readers and writers

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

Why did Julia love this book?

You like your small, introspective, architecture-of-a-marriage stories? Well, here’s the Romance version. Nothing really happens, plot-wise. It is simply a masterclass of two characters matched in every way that matters, ready to destroy everything they could potentially have because they’re scared of getting hurt. Humorous. Hot. Nerdy. Incisive. Affecting. This will introduce you to the basic foundation of Historical Romance—essentially, “the marriage plot”—in the quiet way you’re looking for.

By Sherry Thomas,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Luckiest Lady in London as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the superbly gifted Sherry Thomas comes this beautifully written romance about a marriage of convenience that turns inconveniently passionate...  

Felix Rivendale, the Marquess of Wrenworth, is The Ideal Gentleman, a man all men want to be and all women want to possess. Even Felix himself almost believes this golden image. But underneath is a damaged soul soothed only by public adulation.

Louisa Cantwell needs to marry well to support her sisters. She does not, however, want Lord Wrenworth—though he seems inexplicably interested in her. She mistrusts his outward perfection, and the praise he garners everywhere he goes. Still, when…

Book cover of The Bird and the Sword

KC Klein Author Of Mi Familia

From the list on heroines that won’t get nominated for sainthood.

Who am I?

I’ve been reading romance since before dirt was old—(okay, I’m not actually that old, but some days I feel like it)—and I have a deep belief that romances can be our shining light in a sometimes very dark world. Which is why when I wrote my own stories, my very first editorial letter started out with, “Wow, you really like to torture your characters.” I wanted to create genuine characters that make mistakes, mess up, and sometimes are their own worst enemy but you still want to root for them. My list of books on Heroines That Won’t Get Nominated For Sainthood will take you on a journey far more interesting than sainthood—the human experience.

KC's book list on heroines that won’t get nominated for sainthood

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

Why did KC love this book?

True confession, I love just about everything Amy Harmon writes, but this book blew my socks off. Not only did it stand out as unique among the typical fantasies, but it was exquisitely well written. Ms. Harmon has a way with the English language that made me fall in love with reading in a way I hadn’t in a long, long time. While it is true that the heroine was a pretty morally upright character, Ms. Harmon never comes across as preachy, and the character’s choices were well thought out.

By Amy Harmon,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Swallow, daughter, pull them in, those words that sit upon your lips. Lock them deep inside your soul, hide them ‘til they’ve time to grow. Close your mouth upon the power, curse not, cure not, ‘til the hour. You won’t speak and you won’t tell, you won’t call on heaven or hell. You will learn and you will thrive. Silence, daughter. Stay alive. The day my mother was killed, she told my father I wouldn’t speak again, and she told him if I died, he would die too. Then she predicted the king would sell his soul and lose his…

The Crows of Beara

By Julie Christine Johnson,

Book cover of The Crows of Beara

Céline Keating Author Of The Stark Beauty of Last Things

From the list on immersing yourself in nature.

Who am I?

I’ve loved nature and being outdoors since childhood, when I would escape our apartment complex by berry-picking in a park or sneaking onto the lush grounds of a local mental hospital. I grew up in Queens, New York, at a time of rapid development, and mourned as trees were felled for housing. I became an avid hiker, canoeist, and gardener as an adult, and serve on the board of an environmental organization in Montauk, Long Island. What we lose when we lose our connection to nature, saving our last wild places, and leaving a sustainable world to the next generation are key themes in my forthcoming novel--and personal motivation.

Céline's book list on immersing yourself in nature

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

Why did Céline love this book?

This marvelous novel allowed me to travel to the remote southwest coast of Ireland, on the Beara peninsula.

The landscape is so evocatively and vividly described that I felt as if I were hiking along with the appealing protagonist, Annie Crowe. Like me, Annie turns to walking and nature when she is depressed or needs thinking time, and boy does Annie have demons to battle! She’s a great character - both tough and fragile, a recovering alcoholic. 

On a job assignment as a public relations expert in support of a copper mine, she finds herself thrust into controversy with the local community. It opposes the mine because it would despoil this wild landscape and also endanger the nesting Red-billed Chough. I loved every detail of the walks and the cliffs and the ocean that Johnson describes.

And running throughout is a spicy thread of ancient mythology and Gaelic mysticism, which…

By Julie Christine Johnson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Along the windswept coast of Ireland, a woman discovers the landscape of her own heart

When Annie Crowe travels from Seattle to a small Irish village to promote a new copper mine, her public relations career is hanging in the balance. Struggling to overcome her troubled past and a failing marriage, Annie is eager for a chance to rebuild her life.

Yet when she arrives on the remote Beara Peninsula, Annie learns that the mine would encroach on the nesting ground of an endangered bird, the Red-billed Chough, and many in the community are fiercely protective of this wild place.…

Tell Me How the Wind Sounds

By Leslie Davis Guccione,

Book cover of Tell Me How the Wind Sounds

Emily Kinney Author Of The Island of Lote

From the list on peculiar romance.

Who am I?

I love weird situations. I have been writing since I was four years old, and have been patiently waiting for the man who appreciates my wide range of vocal inflections. Books have always been companions for me. It helped me develop empathy for others at a young age. Reading about situations that involve people who are nothing like you helps you think beyond yourself. I think that is partly why I’ve always gravitated towards books with unique plots and characters. There’s something invigorating about a story that breaks the mold and offers something new, even if it’s a little strange. The books I’ve recommended all have heavily influenced me and my writing throughout the years. 

Emily's book list on peculiar romance

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

Why did Emily love this book?

This is another one that I read years ago that has stayed lodged in my brain. I enjoy a young romance that is handled complexly, instead of following typical trope guidelines. In this case, two teens meet on an island in New England, one is deaf and one is not. It is very rare to find disabilities represented in Young Adult Literature, despite the genre usually striving for diversity. And this is a very cute story. I love the idea that the girl, Amanda, has to break out of her comfort zone and learn how to connect with someone vastly different from herself. And we get to see the patience from the guy, Jake, who teaches her sign language and overall how to be more down to earth. Really lovely read. 

By Leslie Davis Guccione,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Tell Me How the Wind Sounds as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An ordinary summer at the beach becomes a life lesson in love and understanding when fifteen-year-old Amanda meets Jake, a seventeen-year-old deaf boy. Reprint.

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

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

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.

Finding Christmas

By Karen Schaler,

Book cover of Finding Christmas

Sylvie Kurtz Author Of Christmas by Candlelight

From the list on Christmas stories with a romance.

Who am I?

When I was a kid, I used to get to stay up to watch Hallmark movie specials with my Mom. Over the years, I forgot how much I enjoyed them. Then the pandemic hit and I needed something fun to watch, so I got hooked not only on Hallmark movies, but on Christmas books. With all the tension around the world, I found I couldn't write suspense anymore; it brought too much anxiety. Then I got the idea for a couple of Christmas stories. I hope you enjoy reading these Christmas-themed books as much as I did. I suggest snuggling into your favorite reading spot with a comfy blanket, some tea and cookies.

Sylvie's book list on Christmas stories with a romance

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

Why did Sylvie love this book?

I have to admit, the dog on the cover sucked me into buying the book. I love books with dogs. I also enjoyed the Christmas scavenger hunt gone awry—where the wrong guy follows the clues. Her fiance keeps disappointing Emmie, but the wrong guy gives her a Christmas she won't forget. This book has Christmas tropes on steroids, but it was a fun romp—a Hallmark movie in book form.

By Karen Schaler,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the writer of Netflix sensation, A Christmas Prince, comes a heart-warming new holiday story showing that sometimes the detour in your journey is the path to true love...

This year, Emmie can't wait to share her favourite Christmas traditions with her boyfriend, Grant. So when his hectic work schedule has him more 'bah humbug' than 'ho, ho, ho,' Emmie creates a holiday-themed scavenger hunt to help him find his festive spirit.

But Emmie's plan for a romantic mountaintop rendezvous backfires when a mix-up has the wrong guy showing up at Christmas Point. Sam, a bestselling mystery writer, thinks Emmie's…