Are you looking for sexy love stories with relatable characters? Check our top picks of authors like Tessa Bailey to discover new books you’ll love.
Tessa Bailey first considered pursuing journalism after earning her degree at Pace University in New York. But fate pushed her to another career when she published her first book, Protecting What’s His, in 2013. It’s a story about two sisters who found a purse with $50,000 inside and decided to leave their town to start a new life far from what their mother’s bad decisions forced them to suffer. But here’s the catch: they are now outlaws.
Since then, Bailey has authored over 70 novels and became a New York Times bestseller. She offers humorous, steamy, and touching romantic stories with twists that ultimately lead to happy endings. For instance, her rom-com novel, Fix Her Up, is about a woman who meets a hot baseball rookie who changes the course of her life. Bailey’s other notable novels include It Happened One Summer and Hook, Line, and Sinker! If you’re a fan of romance, see our round-up authors like Alexa Riley for intriguing romantic suspense novels.
- Best Authors Like Tessa Bailey Ranked
- 1. Christina Lauren, 2009 –
- 2. Emily Henry, 1990 –
- 3. Ali Hazelwood
- 4. Walter Dean Myers, 1937 – 2014
- 5. Colleen Hoover, 1979 –
- 6. Elena Armas
- 7. Elle Kennedy, 1979 –
- 8. Helen Hoang, 1982 –
- 9. Jasmine Guillory, 1976 –
- 10. Talia Hibbert, 1995 –
- 11. Alessandra Torre
- 12. Piper Rayne, 2017 –
- 13. Carolyn Brown, 1948 –
- 14. Catherine Bybee
Best Authors Like Tessa Bailey Ranked
1. Christina Lauren, 2009 –
Christina Lauren is the pen name of best friends Christina Hobbs and Lauren Binnings, who started collaborating in 2009. Their partnership led to receiving 18 New York Times bestselling novels translated into 30 languages. The pair were also awarded the Amazon and Audible Romance of the Year, Seal of Excellence from RT Magazine, and nominated for numerous Goodreads Choice Awards.
A top pick from Christina and Lauren is The Unhoneymooners, which flooded romance fans’ mainstream and social pages. It’s an epic narrative of a man and a woman determined to avoid each other but have to start fake dating to earn a job. Another famous novel by Lauren is Love and Other Words, a story involving loss and betrayals that the main characters must overcome to open their hearts to loving again.
“You don’t get to choose the circumstances. That’s the point of luck: it happens when and where it happens.”Christina Lauren, The Unhoneymooners
2. Emily Henry, 1990 –
Henry became a technical writer for a phone and cable company after leaving Hope College, a Christian school in a small town in Michigan. In the middle of her career, she decided to write young adult novels, mainly sci-fi and dark stories. In 2020, she changed her genre into standard romance and released Beach Read, which first shocked her readers, but it paid off when it hit the New York Times bestselling list. Since then, she’s sold over 2.4 million copies of her books with a cumulative stay of 145 weeks on the New York Times bestsellers list.
Her other romance books Book Lovers and People We Meet on Vacation are both under review for film adaptation. The first relays a story of two bookworms who met each other coincidentally and figured their lives might be intertwined. The latter is a compilation of travel memories of best friends who always go for a summer vacation together until they screw up.
“…there are things in life so valuable that you must risk the pain of losing them for the joy of briefly having them.”Emily Henry, Book Lovers
3. Ali Hazelwood
Hazelwood is an Italian romantic novelist who recently moved to the United States for her Ph.D. in Neuroscience. She’s also a college professor who has published and reviewed articles about brain science, taking advantage of her profession to write stories about women’s relationships and how they can struggle when working in academia.
She became a New York Times bestselling author and an Amazon #1 bestseller in feel-good fiction when she released her debut novel, The Love Hypothesis. It’s a tale of a third-year doctoral candidate who doesn’t believe in romantic relationships, let alone happy endings, but meets a handsome man who agrees to try fake dating to save her career.
Her second book, Love on the Brain, was published in 2022, and her third, Love, Theoretically, is set this 2023. Hazelwood also writes novellas, and among her works are Stuck With You, Below Zero, and Under the Roof, which were later compiled and turned into a book, Loathe to Love You.
“The real villain is love: an unstable isotope, constantly undergoing spontaneous nuclear decay.”Ali Hazelwood, Love on the Brain
4. Walter Dean Myers, 1937 – 2014
Walter Dean Myers made his mark in young adult literature, with most of his works reflecting his tough childhood. Writing was his safe space, so his books successfully connected with his audience’s real-life struggles. His passion and talent led him to be the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature from 2012 to 2013. Myers was also a critically acclaimed New York Times bestselling author and the first Michael L. Printz Award recipient for his excellence in writing teen books.
Myers published Bad Boy: A Memoir, a powerful autobiography about how he found comfort in books despite hopelessness. Over his career, he authored more than 100 books of different genres, including romances like Street Love and What They Found: Love on 145th Street. Both romance books feature a character who witnesses how love thrives in the most unexpected places.
“Love makes me brave and without love I’m made nothing.”Walter Dean Myers, Street Love
5. Colleen Hoover, 1979 –
In 2022, Colleen Hoover managed to take half of the top 10 USA Today bestselling books in one year. Moreover, three of her 24 novels (Reminders of Him, Verity, and It Ends With Us) landed the top spot the same year. Hoover also founded The Bookworm Box, a book signing event and charity bookstore which features 200 authors each year for book auctioning to raise funds for the underprivileged.
Her Confess, and It Ends With Us both won the Goodreads Choice for Best Romance in 2015 and 2016. Confess, with its fitting title, is about a relationship that can only be saved when a past secret is confessed. It Ends With Us is a tale of a man with a “No Dating” rule until he meets a girl with a pure and honest heart.
“Question everything. Your love, your religion, your passion. If you don’t have questions, you’ll never find answers.”Colleen Hoover, Slammed
6. Elena Armas
Social media is a powerful tool for advertising a product. Still, Armas never thought her debut novel, The Spanish Love Deception, would go viral on TikTok when she self-published it on Amazon in 2021. It’s a classic story of the main character’s desperate need of a date to attend her sister’s wedding, but she surprisingly ends up with a coworker she hates. The book became a New York Times bestseller and received movie adaptation deals.
Armas recently released her second book, The American Roommate Experiment. It also became a hot topic online following its successful footing on The New York Times, USA, Sunday Times, and Globe & Mail bestseller list. It’s about two young adults who stayed at their friend’s apartment while she was on her honeymoon and fell in love. The novel is to be published in 23 languages. Another recommendation from Armas is The Long Game, a love story of redemption and legacy in the sports world.
“Because it was all you were willing to give me. And I’d rather have you hating me than not have you at all.”Elena Armas, The Spanish Love Deception
7. Elle Kennedy, 1979 –
Kennedy is an award-winning bestseller of 40 contemporary romances and romantic suspense novels. Several of her works were nominated for the RITA Award, the most prominent recognition for English romance novels. Her books also entered the USA Today, New York Times, and Wall Street Journal bestselling lists, proving her skills in crafting love stories.
One of her internationally bestselling series is Off-Campus, with nine standalone novels. The first book, The Deal, was a Goodreads Choice Award nominee for Best Romance in 2015. It’s a college story of a girl who made a deal with a bad boy and whose life was threatened over sex and seduction.
Other notable works from Kennedy are Bad Girl Reputation, Campus Diaries, and Bad Apple. All these novels have plotlines involving second chances, where no matter how the characters withdraw from their feelings, love always finds the perfect timing to help them fall in love again. Check out these authors like Elle Kennedy and authors like QB Tyler.
“First and foremost – be confident. Second – be spontaneous. Third – the only opinion that matters is your own.”Elle Kennedy, The Mistake
8. Helen Hoang, 1982 –
Hoang first ventured into the gothic suspense genre. She told stories about paranormal activities and fantasy thrillers for a decade before publishing romance novels. In 2018, the Berkley publication released The Kiss Quotient, which became popular and sold almost 100,000 copies in its first run. It’s about a 30-year-old woman who’s been too busy with her career and ends up hiring an escort to experience what it’s like to be intimate with someone. Lionsgate plans to turn it into a movie and has already purchased the rights to the book.
Hoang decided to release a second installment of her first romance novel, and in 2019, The Bride Test came. It features an autistic man who avoided relationships for years but was convinced by his mother to enter into an arranged marriage with a Vietnamese woman. These two books best represent Hoang’s writing style and penchant for telling stories about people’s persistence in finding their other halves despite consequences.
“When you love someone, you fight for them in every way you know how.”Helen Hoang, The Kiss Quotient
9. Jasmine Guillory, 1976 –
Guillory is an African American woman who began her writing career in 2015 when she participated in National Novel Writing Month, an annual writing project to support amateur authors. In that event, she drafted her first novel, The Wedding Date, but waited until 2018 before it was officially published. It depicts a multicultural and naughty wedding setup of two highly-paid professionals who can’t resist thinking about each other after the fake wedding. The book received praise and fame from major magazines and publications, successfully imprinting Guillory’s name in the romance genre.
Her other books are The Proposal, The Wedding Party, While We Were Dating, and By the Book. These novels reveal Guillory’s favorite storyline, where the protagonists’ reluctance to accept affection usually leads to a happy ending. Despite being in the romance genre, Guillory’s works often depict main characters of color and address pressing issues about race and society.
“Just because their standards are low does not mean that we should lower ours.”Jasmine Guillory, The Wedding Date
10. Talia Hibbert, 1995 –
Hibbert is a British author of paranormal and contemporary romance. When she turned 23, she had already authored almost a dozen books, mainly about high school drama and teen love stories, like her debut romance novel Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute. It’s a classic adventure of a teenage content creator and an athlete who teamed up for a survival course in the woods.
Hibbert also deeply understands that people with marginalized identities must have a fair and honest representation. So she wrote witty and heartwarming books with diverse protagonists, such as Get A Life, Chloe Brown, The Princess Trap, and A Girl Like Her.
A Girl Like Her is part of her popular Ravenswood series, which has three novels and one novella. Her works continue to pay off as she constantly enters the bestseller book lists of prominent publications.
“Love is certainly never safe, but it’s absolutely worth it.”Talia Hibbert, Get a Life, Chloe Brown
11. Alessandra Torre
Alessandra Torre authored over 23 novels with multiple bestsellers in New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today. Her debut novel, Blindfolded Innocence, instantly hit the ebook charts on Amazon and helped her land a print deal with Harlequin HQN. This modern romance book focuses on a playboy and a divorce attorney who fought hard to seduce an innocent intern. The following year, Torre signed another deal with Redhook for her Deanna Madden series, an erotica suspense trilogy.
PassionFlix also adapted her work on Hollywood Dirt into a film. It’s a contemporary romance novel featuring a small-town girl who meets a divorced and now sought-after Hollywood bachelor. If Blindfolded Innocence and Hollywood Dirt expose men’s dirty games to pick a woman, Torre’s Black Lies highlights a fierce and reckless lady stuck between two men.
“That is how life is, it gives us burdens to carry and doesn’t give a damn about the weight. We shoulder it or we break.”Alessandra Torre, The Ghost Writer
12. Piper Rayne, 2017 –
Piper Rayne is an American author duo of over 70 novels in contemporary, comedy, fiction, and romance novels. They have successfully written 15 trilogies and series, including the most popular Single Dads Club, consisting of three novels, all published in 2017. The storyline involves a group of single fathers who seek counsel for their children. Eventually, the main character has to choose between membership and a new relationship.
Other notable book recommendations from Piper Rayne are Lessons from a One-Night Stand, Charmed by the Bartender, and Flirting with Fire. All these romance stories have humor and protagonists with unique and strong personalities.
“It doesn’t mean everything will always be perfect, but it does mean that when things are imperfect you can trust the other person to get you through.”Piper Rayne, Charmed by The Bartender
13. Carolyn Brown, 1948 –
Carolyn Brown has authored over 60 novels of the Western and historical romance genre, of which numerous have entered The New York Times bestselling list, 14 books published in large print, and 13 translated into foreign languages. Over her career, she earned two National Reader’s Choice Awards and a Diamond Award, recognizing her works in the literary world. Her famous novel, The Ladies Room, is a RITA finalist and a Wall Street Journal bestseller, showcasing the destructive effects of exposing secrets in anyone’s right to privacy and pursuit of romantic encounters.
Another exciting work from Brown is Love Drunk Cowboy, a bestseller and a seductive story of a woman wanting to return to her corporate job and a cowboy who wants to buy her inherited farm.
“The heart doesn’t know age, race, creed, or colors. It just knows happiness or pain.”Carolyn Brown, The Magnolia Inn
14. Catherine Bybee
Reading romance books became Catherine Bybee’s way of coping with life’s struggles and escaping reality when she was growing up. Her hobby became a career as she published her first novels, Soul Mate and Binding Vows, in 2009. Soul Mate transcends from an ordinary narrative of two people falling in love, as it involves a werewolf woman who’s been saving lives in secret but drew attention to an FBI agent.
Since then, she’s authored 39 books and sold over 10 million copies worldwide, which have been translated into almost 30 languages. Among her critically acclaimed works are Not Quite Dating, Beginning of Forever, and Wife by Wednesday, receiving high praises and commendations from the writers and editors of major publications. You might also be interested in our list authors like TL Swan.
“It’s when that fear goes away that you know you’ve found the right person to risk everything for.”Catherine Bybee, Not Quite Mine
Looking for more? Check out our round-up of the best Italian authors!
Join over 15,000 writers today
Get a FREE book of writing prompts and learn how to make more money from your writing.