Discover the top authors like Colleen Hoover for the best modern romance novels, many of which are similarly emotionally gripping, and all of which you won’t be able to put down.
#1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover is a force of nature at this point. She’s currently the bestselling author on this blog too, and millions of readers worldwide can’t stop reading and talking about her books.
(She always holds a special place in my own heart because I was reading It Ends With Us on the beach when I got engaged.)
This ultimately leads to the question of what writers like Colleen Hoover to read next.
These romance authors similar to Colleen Hoover will remind you of all your (and my) favorite Colleen Hoover books, like It Ends With Us and It Starts with Us, Verity, Ugly Love, Reminders Of Him, and November 9.
In curating these writers similar to Colleen Hoover, I focused on authors I have read that explore the following common themes:
- popular contemporary romance / adult fiction love story
- emotionally gripping (where possible — Hoover’s tend to be especially emotional)
- and fast pace.
Below are the best authors similar to Colleen Hoover, the unofficial “Queen” of modern romance, followed by details of their top adult romance novels that I recommend.
Top 3 Authors Like Colleen Hoover
Christina Lauren: arguably the two other “Queens” of popular modern romance, beloved by readers (they’re two writers with a pen name)
Full List of Authors Like Colleen Hoover
If you like Colleen Hoover’s modern romance novels, check out the books of these authors, many of which are similarly emotionally gripping, and all of which you won’t be able to put down:
Taylor Jenkins Reid
Similarities: popular modern romances; characters sometimes coping with tragedy
Top Pick: The Friend Zone
When Kristen meets and begins to fall for the best man at her best friend’s wedding, Josh, there are two problems — first, her relationship status is complicated, and second, she’s secretly about to undergo surgery that will leave her unable to have children.
Since Josh wants a large family, she keeps him at an arms-length distance with an agreement to remain “friends with benefits,” similar to Ugly Love. But, this becomes harder and harder the deeper she, and even her dog, fall for him, while he acts as the ideal boyfriend to her.
When tragedy strikes, they must cope with how they really feel given their new reality. It’s an emotional one, for sure!
Similarities: popular, steamy, contemporary modern romance novels
Top Pick: The Love Hypothesis
Ali Hazelwood similarly writes popular contemporary modern romance novels; however, hers are unique from Colleen Hoover’s in that they involve women in STEM.
This book is a bout a Ph.D. candidate, who doesn’t believe in love. When challenged, she panics and kisses the first man she sees, who happens to be a handsome young professor. This leads to a “fake boyfriend” scenario that challenges her career.
Similarities: spicy modern romances with characters you love; sometimes emotional
Top Pick: Love and Other Words
This book comes from the popular romance author duo whose books are quite similar overall to Colleen Hoover’s. They’re generally spicy, modern, and memorable! And this one especially felt like a Colleen Hoover book to me, with all of the steaminess and emotions you readers crave.
Macy is a pediatrics resident planning her wedding to an older, financially secure man, when she runs into her first love, Elliott.
Previously, Elliot was her best friend, then he became a support system for her after the loss of her mother. But, then he broke her heart the same night on which he declared his love.
Now, they must work to overcome the past if there’s any chance of a future, and it’s one emotional journey.
Similarities: popular modern romance novels; characters often held back in love by something
Top Pick: Beach Read
This was the first massively successful novel by the popular modern romance author, Emily Henry. It’s the story of two different writers: January, a bestselling romance writer who has stopped believing in love, and Augustus, an acclaimed literary fiction author.
As they spend three Summer months at neighboring beach houses, they challenge each other to beat their writer’s block by writing something different. Augustus will write something upbeat, and January will write a great American novel.
Meanwhile, they both also must cope with painful pasts and the fact that they are falling for each other. In these ways, it reminded me of Ugly Love.
After a few years since reading it, these characters and the storyline remain memorable to me, which is a mark of a good love story.
Similarities: steamy contemporary romance novels; complex characters (Hoang’s cope with autism)
Top Pick: The Kiss Quotient
Colleen Hoover’s romance characters are often coping with personal issues, as are Hoang’s, but hers cope with autism specifically, and they are more often diverse. Hoang’s books are also similarly popular with modern readers.
This one is about a math whiz who struggles with dating, so she hires an escort. Before long, with each steamy encounter, she starts feeling things like never before.
Similarities: some emotional modern romance novels
Top Pick: Me Before You
Not all of Jojo Moyes’ books are like Colleen Hoover’s. But, this book (and series) is. In fact, it’s one of Colleen Hoover’s favorite books, and it’s the most heartbreaking kind of love story. A small-town girl, Louisa, takes a job for a larger-than-life man who is wheelchair-bound after a tragic accident.
His situation has made him all sorts of unappealing, but Louisa grows to care for him, and when she comes to learn of a secret he holds, she intends to show him that life is still worth living.
You’re practically guaranteed to cry.
Similarities: immersive modern romance books; sometimes emotional
Top Pick: My Oxford Year
Whelan is a popular audiobook narrator who has successfully transitioned into writing modern romance novels of her own.
And this is a heartbreaking love story, well told. For many years, it was one of my top book recommendations because everyone seems to love it.
American Ella Durran has dreamed of studying at Oxford and, at age 24, she has finally achieved her dream with a Rhodes Scholarship. The catch is that she was also offered a coveted position on an American presidential campaign, which she will work on remotely, then return to America at the end of her Oxford year to work in person.
When Ella learns that her English literature course will be taught by a snarky local, Jamie Davenport, she expects the worst. But they have a connection that begins as a casual fling and develops more after Ella learns that Jamie has a life-changing secret.
Ella must face an impossible decision: either to follow her political dreams after her Oxford year or to remain by Jamie’s side turn her back on the man she’s falling in love with to follow her political dreams or be there for him during life’s trials and tribulations. These are exactly the types of major life questions Colleen Hoover presents in her books too.
Similarities: steamy modern romances; characters with complicated lives
This is about a woman named Naomi who ran away from her wedding and to her estranged twin in small-town Virginia, a place that’s rough and tough in an old-fashioned way.
Unfortunately, there, she’s left alone without anything but a niece to take care of. The local barber, Knox, prefers solitude but decides to help her out — in more ways than one.
This TikTok favorite is super spicy and has a very raw and real feel to it. Admittedly, it was a bit much for me personally, and I decided not to finish it, but because so many thousands upon thousands of readers love this steamy relationship, it earns its place here for those looking for just that.
Similarities: steamy modern romances and often traumatic circumstances/character histories
Top Pick: Archer’s Voice
After Bree’s father tragically dies, she heads to a small town in Maine to forget her traumatic past. There, she meets Archer, an isolated man to whom she feels deeply connected, in part because of his similarities to her father.
Bree’s about as sweet and kind as a protagonist can get, but the town is filled with secrets and betrayals, and Archer, as well as his extremely painful past, is at the center of it. It’s only through him, and their love, that healing can occur.
It’s both steamy and a super emotional love story that tugs at your heart along the journey, just like a Colleen Hoover novel.
Similarities: emotional and often tragic modern romances that are fast-paced
Top Pick: In Five Years
This starts on a very monumental day in Dannie’s life, but when she has a dream/premonition about her life five years in the future, it’s surprisingly different than her “five-year plan.” She’s in a different apartment, with a different ring on her finger, and next to a very different man.
It’s a really emotionally gripping, yet also fast-paced story of love and so much more for fans of Colleen Hoover.
Similarities: popular modern romance novels
Top Pick: The Hating Game
Sally Thorne’s modern romances are quite popular, but not as triggering and deeply emotional, as Colleen Hoover’s can be. That being said, if contemporary love stories are your jam, you’ll probably still like both.
This is quite simply a workplace “enemies to lovers” book set at a publishing company. Tensions run especially high when the ambitious main characters vie for the same position while falling for each other. It’s executed really well and is a satisfying contemporary rom-com.
Taylor Jenkins Reid
Similarities: some contemporary romance books; always immersive and memorable
Top Pick: One True Loves
Taylor Jenkins Reid doesn’t always write gripping romances, but either way, she’s still one of the best authors like Colleen Hoover because readers love to get swept away in her immersive plots with memorable characters. Many modern readers (including me) love both authors.
This is a romance novel that presents a really unique relationship circumstance: What happens if the loving husband you thought was dead returns, and you are engaged to someone else?
Emma married her high school sweetheart, Jessie, and her newlywed life was blissful until their first anniversary when he went missing at sea and was presumed dead.
As she grieves the loss, she returns home and starts over, eventually getting a second chance at true love by falling for an old friend, Sam.
Then, Jessie returns and she must confront both her past and present all at once.
It’s a quick and engaging read that romance book lovers will eat up, especially given its unique plotline and the monumental question Emma faces.
Those are all the top authors like Colleen Hoover for popular modern romance novels that are sometimes as emotional, but always as immersive and memorable. To recap and help you decide which one to try first, my top picks are Christina Lauren (especially Love and Other Words), Rebecca Serle (especially In Five Years), and Abby Jimenez (especially The Friend Zone).
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