10 Best Authors Like Penny Reid To Steam Up Your Book Club’s Reading List

If you love witty romance with feisty heroines, you’ll be obsessed with these authors like Penny Reid. Check out our guide to find your next favorite author!

USA TodayWall Street Journal, and New York Times bestselling romance author Penny Reid is known for writing whip-smart female protagonists who readers can’t help but root for. Her wildly popular Knitting in the City series comprises ten books that can be read in order or as standalone novels. Reid got her start putting pen to paper as a federal grant writer. She successfully made a career change that paid off in dividends.

In addition to the Kitting series, readers are also obsessed with Reid’s Three Kings series, Winston Brothers series, and her Hypothesis series. If you can’t get enough of heroines with all the quirks and awkwardness of true-to-life humans and love stories that are all too relatable, you’ll love our guide to authors like Penny Reid.

Best Authors Like Penny Reid Ranked

1. Katie Ashley

Book cover of The Proposition by Katie Ashley
Book cover of The Proposition by Katie Ashley

Katie Ashley is known for her New York Times bestselling romance novels, often written in series format. Readers love The Proposition series, the Runaway Train series, and the Vicious Cycle series. Many of Ashley’s novels follow unlikely pairs, such as Hell’s Raiders motorcycle club member Deacon and kindergarten teacher Alexandra in her 2015 book Vicious Cycle.

The book follows the two as they fight against their attraction to one another but seem to keep meeting repeatedly. Readers also love her 2013 novel Don’t Hate the Player, which follows a pair of best friends through unthinkable grief and love. Looking for more romance novels to read? Check out our round-up of the best books by Barbara Cartland!

“It’s the love that goes through the hardest trials and survives that’s worth having.”

Katie Ashley, The Proposal
The Proposal (The Proposition Book 2)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Ashley, Katie (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 322 Pages - 01/10/2013 (Publication Date) - Katie Ashley Productions (Publisher)

2. Daisy Prescott

Book cover of We Were Here by Daisy Prescott
Book cover of We Were Here by Daisy Prescott

Daisy Prescott writes contemporary fiction series, including the WingmenPark RangerLove with Altitude, and Modern Love Story series. Prescott’s characters are flawed and honest, and readers love watching how they grow and change throughout the multiple-book series. Fans of Prescott also love the escapism offered by her books, as readers are transported to tropical locales as her heroines roam the globe in search of true love. Looking for a romance novel written from a male character’s perspective? You’ll love Prescott’s 2015 novel Confessions of a Reformed Tom Cat, which shows how well Prescott understands the male psyche.

“I think you know I love you. Not past tense, not friendly love. Love. Love that lassoes the moon and lays it at your feet.”

Daisy Prescott, Geoducks Are for Lovers
Happy Trail: A Trapped Together Forced Proximity Romance (Park Ranger Book 1)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Romance, Smartypants (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 282 Pages - 10/22/2019 (Publication Date) - Smartypants Romance (Publisher)

3. Krista & Becca Ritchie

Book cover of Addicted To You by Krista & Becca Ritchie
Book cover of Addicted To You by Krista & Becca Ritchie

Becca and Krista Ritchie are identical twin sisters who have become New York Times and USA Today’s bestselling authors. While the twins are opposites in many ways, they’ve always bonded over their shared love of storytelling. The Ritchie sisters work to create flawed but lovable characters who are searching for their soulmates. Becca and Krista write many books in series format, but all their novels can be read in standalone format. Readers love the Like Us series, the Addicted series, and the Calloway Sisters series and how they cover several popular romance tropes, including rivals to lovers and forbidden romance.

“You’re not a pit stop. You’re my finish line. There’s no one after you.”

Krista Ritchie, Kiss the Sky
Kiss the Sky (Addicted Series)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Ritchie, Krista (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 443 Pages - 01/22/2014 (Publication Date) - K.B. Ritchie (Publisher)

4. April White

Book cover of Marking Time by April White
Book cover of Marking Time by April White

April White’s books take readers on journeys worldwide and through time. White writes fantasy novels that take readers on journeys that include mysticism, magic, and romance – pushing the envelope to figure out what’s realistic and what’s a part of a fantasy world. Like many of our authors on this list, White is known for writing smart female characters who readers can’t help but root for.

The author’s books cross several genres, falling into romance, fantasy, mystery, and horror. They keep readers on the edge as they see whether love conquers all. White’s 2012 novel, Marking Time, was praised for its Katniss-Everdeen-esque heroine, Saira Elian, who prioritizes friendship while she also works to find love. 

“Believing in something is easy enough – it is anonymous, and can be done from a distance. But change requires more – it needs voices and faces, people to say the words and do the deeds.”

April White, Death’s Door
Death's Door: An Edgar Allan Poe Time Travel Adventure (The Immortal Descendants: Baltimore Mysteries Book 1)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • White, April (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 156 Pages - 05/29/2020 (Publication Date) - Corazon Entertainment (Publisher)

5. Susannah Nix

 Book cover of Remedial Rocket Science by Susannah Nix
Book cover of Remedial Rocket Science by Susannah Nix

RITA award-winning contemporary romance author Susannah Nix got her career start in advertising. She started toying with writing as a career after her child left for college. Nix is known for writing intelligent heroines; one of her most popular series is her Chemistry Lessons series, which takes readers along for the romantic journeys of women who work in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

Her 2019 novel, Advanced Physical Chemistry, won the year’s RITA award for mid-length contemporary romance. While some of Nix’s books follow the standard formula of following billionaires and movie stars through the ups and downs of romance, she still works to make her characters relatable, with flaws that help readers see them as real. 

“Her feelings for Jeremy were like Schrödinger’s Crush. As long as she didn’t open the box, their relationship existed in a state of quantum superposition: both possible and impossible at the same time.”

Susannah Nix, Remedial Rocket Science
Kilt to Order: An Athlete/Nerd Friends to Lovers Romance
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Nix, Susannah (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 357 Pages - 07/25/2023 (Publication Date) - Haver Street Press (Publisher)

6. Dylan Allen

Book cover of Release by Dylan Allen
Book cover of Release by Dylan Allen

Dylan Allen is known for contemporary romance novels, but she wasn’t always spending her days typing away at her laptop. Initially, Allen worked as a lawyer and realized she needed to be fulfilled by following another path. The year before she turned 40, she decided to fulfill a lifelong dream of writing a book, which was an instant hit. Her debut novel, Then Came You, was so well-received by audiences that Allen decided to leave her day job and focus on writing full-time. While Allen’s books can be read as standalone novels, readers love following characters through her series, including the Rivers Wilde and Symbols of Love series.

“You see, Graham, when you cast aside a gift, someone else will pick it up.”

Dylan Allen, Envy
The Legacy (Rivers Wilde - The Rivals Collection Book 1)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Allen, Dylan (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 380 Pages - 10/26/2018 (Publication Date)

7. L.B. Dunbar

Book cover of Scrooge-ish by L.B. Dunbar
Book cover of Scrooge-ish by L.B. Dunbar

L.B. Dunbar is known for writing silver fox romances that let readers live vicariously through her female leads. Dunbar offers several series, including Sexy Silver FoxesThe Winters Sisters, the Heart Collection, and the Lakeside Cottage series. Readers love how Dunbar heats things with relatable characters, making her books more realistic than romance novels about two a model and a CEO chasing each other around romantic hot spots. 

“I plan to spend lots of time with you, Guinie, when we return home. I don’t think I can handle not sleeping with you each night.”

L.B. Dunbar, The Legend of Arturo King
Parentmoon
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Dunbar, L.B. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 263 Pages - 04/13/2023 (Publication Date) - L.B. Dunbar Writes, Ltd. (Publisher)

8. Helen Hoang, 1982-

Book cover of The Bride Test by Helen Hoang
Book cover of The Bride Test by Helen Hoang

Helen Hoang’s modern romance novels take readers on journeys that follow smart protagonists through the trials of day-to-day life, including dealing with social media, burnout, complex family systems, and balancing work and life. Her three-book Kiss Quotient series takes readers through the lives of three women working on learning to love themselves.

Fans of Hoang love the balance her characters strike between hot and sweet. The author’s ability to put real human emotion into words leaves readers sitting with the ideas she discusses, from caring for a terminally ill family member to striving for external validation long after they finish the final chapter. You might be interested in exploring other romance books, check out our list of the best Danielle Steel books.

“I don’t want just a night or a week or a month with you. I want you all the time. I like you better than calculus, and math is the only thing that unites the universe.”

Helen Hoang, The Kiss Quotient
The Kiss Quotient
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Hoang, Helen (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 333 Pages - 06/05/2018 (Publication Date) - Berkley (Publisher)

9. Amy Harmon

Book cover of The Unknown Beloved by Amy Harmon
Book cover of The Unknown Beloved by Amy Harmon

Amy Harmon is a USA TodayWashington Post, Amazon, and New York Times bestselling author. Her historical romance novels are known for efficiently transporting readers to another time and place, such as Ireland in the 1920s in her 2019 NYT bestseller What the Wind Knows. The novel takes readers on the journey of Anne Gallagher as she travels through time and falls in love. Readers herald Harmon’s commitment to historical accuracy. Harmon makes a point to describe historical events in a way that educates readers without pulling them out of the storyline, leading to an immersive reading experience.

“I will spend the rest of my life trying to make you happy, and when you get tired of looking at me, I promise I’ll sing.”

Amy Harmon, Making Faces
A Girl Called Samson: A Novel
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Harmon, Amy (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 405 Pages - 04/01/2023 (Publication Date) - Lake Union Publishing (Publisher)

10. Julianne Donaldson

Book cover of Lost In Scotland by Julianne Donaldson
Book cover of Lost In Scotland by Julianne Donaldson

Julianne Donaldson grew up in a military family, and her love for history grew as she traveled throughout Europe. Donaldson turned her passion for times long ago with her love for writing and has since become a critically acclaimed historical romance author. Readers compare Donaldson’s style to Jane Austen’s and say her storylines are just as captivating as Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series. Edenbrooke, Donaldson’s debut novel, was celebrated for its approach to clean romance. It is conservative enough for readers who err on the side of proper and fun enough for readers who love reading charged banter between characters.

“I reread my grandmother’s letter and realized with a deep sense of contentment that I had not had to change at all in order to have every hope for happiness in life. I had not had to learn to sing for company or to behave like Cecily or to stop twirling. I could be myself and be loved deeply. I was, in fact, a lot like Meg, who had always been a racehorse, I just hadn’t known it.”

Julianne Donaldson, Edenbrooke
Edenbrooke: A Proper Romance
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Donaldson, Julianne (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 202 Pages - 03/26/2012 (Publication Date) - Shadow Mountain (Publisher)

Looking for more? Check out our roundup of the top romance author bestsellers!

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