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5 books that will both shatter and stitch your heart

I’m an avid reader. Like most authors, it’s only natural to want to consume words, stories, plots, and characters written by others. Reading books (quite obviously) helps me learn and teaches me ways to better write my own stories. As an author of contemporary romance, I gravitate toward the genre. And when I find something I like, all I want to do is consume more.  

If you’re like me, let me introduce you to, because this digital tool is a goldmine of book recommendations that’ll match your mood—or help you find a book that aligns with a theme or topic you desire.

Just this month, I created my own list: The best romance books that will both shatter and stitch your heart. I’m a sucker for the emotional reads and love investing my time and energy into someone else’s drama. That’s why when I was asked to participate and build my own list, I immediately knew the recommendations I’d have for readers with similar desires.

Here are my top five romance reads that will shatter your heart (but still guarantee a HEA!):

Mr. Wrong Number by Lynn Painter

“Mr. Wrong Number is simply charming!

From the first page, Olivia and Colin had me in a fit of giggles, fully enamored with their witty banter and incredible push-pull chemistry. If you’re looking for a light-hearted read with a relatable, sloppy heroine and a powerful, smitten hero, you need Lynn Painter’s Mr. Wrong Number in your hands.

It’s a swoon-worthy romance that promises all the feels!”

The Art of Murder by Claire Ripley

“I’m usually one for a light and easy romance, but The Art of Murder really had me second-guessing my preferences!

Fast-paced, heart-stopping, and fabulous, Claire Ripley gives you everything you want in a romantic suspense novel. The author knows how to artfully weave together external conflict with a roller coaster of emotions. The characters are well-written, and the plot really kept me turning pages. This is a quick, fun read that’ll leave you guessing and cheering for a (spoiler alert!) happily-ever-after.”

9 Days and 9 Nights by Katie Cotugno

“I was a huge fan of 99 Days by Katie Cotugno, so I knew I had to pick up this sequel.

Main character Molly is flawed, to the point where I wanted to throw the book across the room. But there’s no denying her pull toward the forbidden love interest, Gabe. What I admired most about this story is how author Katie Cotugno brought a series of unlikely events into the realm of plausibility. If you’re into forbidden love, romance abroad, and a story you can’t put down, grab this one now!”

Blame it on Paris by Laura Florand

“I’m a sucker for Paris.

Having studied abroad in the city of love, I’m drawn to the romance behind the Parisian way of life. So, when I picked up a copy of Blame It on Paris, I knew from page one that I’d be a fan of main character Laura and her carefree travels abroad. Enter Sebastien – and the story deepens beyond a romantic fling.

I couldn’t put this story down and have returned for many rereads since I first bought the book on a whim in a Paris bookshop in 2007!”

It Happened One Summer by Tess Bailey

“Sometimes you just need an unsuspecting steamy read!

It Happened One Summer was one of the hottest books on #BookTok in 2022 and let me tell you… the hype is worth it! Main character Piper is as flawed as they come, but that leaves room for one of the most beautiful characters arcs I’ve ever read.

And honestly, just take my money because any character Tessa Bailey writes is one I want to read. Brendan is book-boyfriend-worthy!”

Each list on is custom created by an author. I built my list using my debut romance novel, I Loved You Yesterday, as inspiration. I promise, the first book in the Trading Heartbeats trilogy will drag your heart through the mud! (***insert evil laughter here), only to leave the reader emotionally satisfied by the final page. Or… does it? After all, it’s only the first book in the trilogy!

Jokes aside, whether you’re an author looking to market your book (and share recommendations) or a reader seeking easy ways to find what you love, you simply must check out!

I’m sure glad I did.

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