If you’re chronically online like I am, you may have heard the term “that’s so meta” before. For those who aren’t familiar, the dictionary definition of “meta” means something of or relating to itself. When you’ve been a longtime reader, you may love it when an author goes meta and writes a book dealing with the industry, giving us a peek behind the curtain into what it’s like to be an author. The books on this list adhere to the old adage: write what you know. What does an author know better than what it’s like to be an author? These books highlight not only the secret lives of authors and their teams—from editors to agents and everyone in between—but also their love stories. After all, no one knows how to write a happy ending better than an author-protagonist.
Christina Lauren are one of my go-to authors, and suffice it to say it’s love at first sight with their latest release. Felicity “Fizzy” Chen has built a life as a successful romance novelist. But, after being asked to give a commencement speech, she realizes that she hasn’t been practicing what she preaches in her writing: she’s never been in love. When Connor Prince, a documentarian-turned-reality-TV-producer, meets Fizzy, she seems like the perfect star for his next project. To make this a success for them both, Connor just has to capture Fizzy falling in love for all to see. The problem is, Connor—along with everyone else—might just be falling in love with Fizzy.
In THE AMERICAN ROOMMATE EXPERIMENT, by Elena Armas, Rosie Graham has just quit her job to become a full-time writer. Her dream life with her dream job is off to a rocky start: she has horrible writer’s block and the ceiling of her apartment just caved in. She takes refuge in her best friend Lina’s apartment, but unfortunately, Lina’s cousin Lucas has also been given access to the apartment. A tiny one-bedroom apartment. Lucas and Rosie make a deal to share the space, and make one other deal together: Lucas will take Rosie on a series of dates in order to spark Rosie’s creativity.
From the author of the Goodreads Choice Award winner The Spanish Love Deception, the eagerly anticipated follow-up featuring Rosie Graham and Lucas Martín, who are forced to share a New York apartment.
Rosie Graham has a problem. A few, actually. She just quit her well paid job to focus on her secret career as a romance writer. She hasn’t told her family and now has terrible writer’s block. Then, the ceiling of her New York apartment literally crumbles on her. Luckily she has her best friend Lina’s spare key while she’s out of town. But Rosie doesn’t know that Lina has already lent her apartment to her cousin Lucas, who Rosie has been stalking—for lack of a better word—on Instagram for the last few months. Lucas seems intent on coming to her rescue like a Spanish knight in shining armor. Only this one strolls around the place in a towel, has a distracting grin, and an irresistible accent. Oh, and he cooks.
Lucas offers to let Rosie stay with him, at least until she can find some affordable temporary housing. And then he proposes an outrageous experiment to bring back her literary muse and meet her deadline: He’ll take her on a series of experimental dates meant to jump-start her romantic inspiration. Rosie has nothing to lose. Her silly, online crush is totally under control—but Lucas’s time in New York has an expiration date, and six weeks may not be enough, for either her or her deadline.
I started reading a library copy of THE DEAD ROMANTICS, by Ashley Poston, while on vacation. I loved it so much that I headed straight to a local bookstore—which is always a good stop on any vacation itinerary—to get a copy to keep forever. THE DEAD ROMANTICS is the perfect distraction for a vacation . . . or escaping from a bad day at work. Every employee can relate to having stress dreams about their boss. But when Florence Day starts seeing the ghost of her new editor, it’s neither a dream nor a nightmare. Florence can’t deal with the specter of her boss—even if he is far too attractive, even as a ghost. Not when she has returned home to bury her beloved father, and not when her career as a ghostwriter is on the line. But missed deadlines matter a lot less when your editor has his own unfinished business to deal with.
Emily Henry’s BEACH READ is one of my all-time-favorite books and earned itself a place on my keeper shelf with its poignant love story and sensitive portrayal of grief. January Andrews has inherited a cottage from her father. When she arrives, she’s not only processing the complicated feelings she has after his death but also tackling the big job of clearing out the beach house. What she doesn’t need next door is the infuriating distraction that is acclaimed literary fiction author Augustus Everett. Augustus’s and January’s literary tastes couldn’t be more different, but they are both facing a creative block and looming deadlines. They decide to shake things up, and for one summer, these two opposites decide to team up and trade (literary) places. Augustus will write something happy, and January will work on a literary classic. While this rivalry spurs on their creativity, it also lights the fire of their chemistry, and soon these two authors are penning their own happy ending.
Izzy Marlowe has become disillusioned about her career in publishing. Despite putting in the time, she is only rewarded with more work, no hope of promotion, and empty promises. At the start of BY THE BOOK, by Jasmine Guillory, Izzy sees a chance to prove her worth and finally get the recognition she deserves when her boss complains about a high-maintenance celebrity author in need of a pep talk. All Izzy has to do is show up at Beau Towers’s Santa Barbara mansion and get him to turn in his long-overdue memoir. Beau needs Izzy as much as Izzy needs Beau. As Beau’s book finally spills onto the page, there’s a happy ending in the making for the two of them together if they only have the courage to own their love story. There’s a Beauty and the Beast element to this book that had me falling for Izzy and Beau as soon as I was introduced to them, and other readers are sure to fall for this grumpy-sunshine pair.
Sometimes life doesn’t go as smoothly as a perfectly written book. In NOVEMBER 9, by Colleen Hoover, when Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, their timing couldn’t be worse. Fallon is about to move across the country. Their one perfect day together—and Fallon’s eventful life—prove to be an inspiration for Ben and his writing career. As the book progresses, we catch up with Fallon and Ben on the same day every year, facing a different set of obstacles each time they meet. No matter where life takes them in a year, they find they can’t help but be drawn back to each other. That is, until one day when Fallon begins to question whether their relationship is the love story of a lifetime or a plot twist in service to Ben’s literary goals.
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