25 Best Book Club Books That Will Become Your Group’s Next Favorite Read

Are you looking for the best book club books that will keep your group talking long into the night? Then you’re in the right place as I’ve got all the best book club books that are sure to become your group’s next favorite read in this epic book list.

The best book club books, in my opinion, should check at least one of these boxes:

  • Stimulates good book club discussion
  • Explores an interesting topic
  • Recognized as a bestseller to see if you agree with all the hype
  • Written by a popular author who has a track record of hits
  • Adapted into a movie or a TV series to compare differences

The book club books on this list all meet at least one or more of these criteria and also include books from my best of the year lists!

So if you’re looking to branch out from the “typical” book selections and go with some unique books for your book club then consider my recommendations below.

For each book, I’ll include the book summary to give you an idea of what it is about as well as my reasons why I think it would make a great book club book selection with potential topics to discuss.

Many of these books include a romantic storyline but if you need a reason to convince you why they would be the perfect book choices for your book club, then check out my post on the reasons why I read romance.

Not yet in a book club? Don’t miss my list of online book clubs to join this year or better yet, join my book club: The She Reads Romance Books Book Club!

Join the She Reads Romance Books Book Club!

Need some sample prompts to get your book club discussions going? Check out my Book Club Journal which provides sample discussion questions as well as pages to track your book club recommendations and review your latest selection so you’re prepared for your next meeting.

Grab the Book Club Journal from She Reads Romance Books.
Snag a copy of the Book Club Journal designed by book blogger, Leslie Murphy

Grab your copy of the Book Club Journal today or order it as a gift for your book club members!

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The Best Book Club Books for 2023

The Bromance Book Club is one of the best book club books for clubs looking to branch out from typical recommendations. See all the selections for books for book clubs from book blogger She Reads Romance Books.

The Bromance Book Club
by Lyssa Kay Adams

The first rule of book club: You don’t talk about book club.

Nashville Legends second baseman Gavin Scott’s marriage is in major league trouble. He’s recently discovered a humiliating secret: his wife Thea has always faked the Big O.

When he loses his cool at the revelation, it’s the final straw on their already strained relationship. Thea asks for a divorce, and Gavin realizes he’s let his pride and fear get the better of him. 

Welcome to the Bromance Book Club.

Distraught and desperate, Gavin finds help from an unlikely source: a secret romance book club made up of Nashville’s top alpha men.

With the help of their current read, a steamy Regency titled Courting the Countess, the guys coach Gavin on saving his marriage.

But it’ll take a lot more than flowery words and grand gestures for this hapless Romeo to find his inner hero and win back the trust of his wife.

Of course, a great book club book is a novel about a book club! I love Lyssa Kay Adams’ spin on this book, however, where the book club reads romance books and is made up of men.

It’s not your “typical” book club but that’s what makes this book such a unique choice for YOUR book club to read.

I also think the married couple on the verge of divorce, and the reason for their potential divorce would make a great topic for discussion at a book club meeting.

You can’t go wrong with this book club book selection or any of the books in the Bromance Book Club series.

Related: Best Book Clubs to Join

Yours Truly is one of the best book club books for clubs looking to branch out from typical recommendations. See all the selections for books for book clubs from book blogger She Reads Romance Books.

Yours Truly
by Abby Jimenez

Dr. Briana Ortiz’s life is seriously flatlining. Her divorce is just about finalized, her brother’s running out of time to find a kidney donor, and that promotion she wants?

Oh, that’s probably going to the new man-doctor who’s already registering eighty-friggin’-seven on Briana’s “pain in my ass” scale.

But just when all systems are set to hate, Dr. Jacob Maddox completely flips the game . . . by sending Briana a letter.

And it’s a really good letter. Like the kind that proves that Jacob isn’t actually Satan. Worse, he might be this fantastically funny and subversively likeable guy who’s terrible at first impressions.

Because suddenly he and Bri are exchanging letters, sharing lunch dates in her “sob closet,” and discussing the merits of freakishly tiny horses.

But when Jacob decides to give Briana the best gift imaginable—a kidney for her brother—she wonders just how she can resist this quietly hot new doctor . . . especially when he calls in a favor she can’t refuse.

Abby Jimenez books’ are such big hits with readers because they are just that good! They attract not only romance book readers but lovers of women’s fiction with great character development so any of her books would make the best book club books but Yours Truly is my top pick.

Both Briana and Jacob are at a tough crossroads in their relationship life, having been hurt by their previous partners and left with vulnerable hearts, and I felt it!

These characters and this storyline present a lot of great topics that would make really stimulating book club discussions such as divorce, social anxiety, patriarchy in the workplace, and organ donation.

I also think their letter-writing would be a really great topic to discuss because you just don’t see that kind of connection anymore in the age of online dating apps and the like.

Definitely consider this for your next book club book, or check out my book review for Yours Truly if you need more convincing.

Related: Best Fake Dating Books

Kiss the Girl is one of the best book club books for clubs looking to branch out from typical recommendations. See all the selections for books for book clubs from book blogger She Reads Romance Books.

Kiss the Girl
by Zoraida Cordova

Ariel del Mar is one of the most famous singers in the world. She and her sisters―together, known as the band Siren Seven―have been a pop culture phenomenon since they were kids.

On stage, wearing her iconic red wig and sequined costumes, staring out at a sea of fans, is where she shines. Anyone would think she’s the girl who has everything. But lately, she wants more.

Siren Seven is wrapping up their farewell tour, and Ariel can’t wait to spend the summer just living a normal life―part of a world she’s only ever seen from the outside.

But her father, the head of Atlantica Records, has other plans: begin her breakout solo career immediately, starting with a splashy announcement on a morning talk show.

The night before, Ariel and her sisters sneak out of their Manhattan penthouse for a night of incognito fun at a rock concert in Brooklyn.

It’s there that Ariel crosses paths with Eric Reyes, dreamy lead singer of an up-and-coming band.

Unaware of her true identity, Eric spontaneously invites her on the road for the summer. And for the first time in her life, Ariel disobeys her father―and goes with him.

Caught between the world she longs for and the one she’s left behind, can Ariel follow her dreams, fall in love, and, somehow, find her own voice?

I love how Disney Publishing has launched a new series of books called Meant to Be which include contemporary reimaginings of classic Disney princess films.

Cordova’s book is a modern take on The Little Mermaid which is a great book club book if your group watched and enjoyed the incredible live-action film.

Just reading the amazing book blurb with all the hints and nods to the classic story will have your club members clamoring to read this book.

I love how Cordova made Ariel and Eric rock stars and cannot wait to see what else she has in store for this story and what role her “Ursala” character will play.

Add this to your book club book recommendation list if you have Disney fans or want to compare the book with the movie after reading it.

Related: Best Rock Star Romance Books

The Simple Wild is one of the best book club books for clubs looking to branch out from typical recommendations. See all the selections for books for book clubs from book blogger She Reads Romance Books.

The Simple Wild
by K.A. Tucker

Calla Fletcher was two when her mother took her and fled the Alaskan wild, unable to handle the isolation of the extreme, rural lifestyle, leaving behind Calla’s father, Wren Fletcher, in the process.

Calla never looked back, and at twenty-six, a busy life in Toronto is all she knows. But when her father reaches out to inform her that his days are numbered, Calla knows that it’s time to make the long trip back to the remote frontier town where she was born.

She braves the roaming wildlife, the odd daylight hours, the exorbitant prices, and even the occasional—dear God—outhouse, all for the chance to connect with her father: a man who, despite his many faults, she can’t help but care for.

While she struggles to adjust to this new subarctic environment, Jonah—the quiet, brooding, and proud Alaskan pilot who keeps her father’s charter plane company operational—can’t imagine calling anywhere else home.

And he’s clearly waiting with one hand on the throttle to fly this city girl back to where she belongs, convinced that she’s too pampered to handle the wild.

Jonah is probably right, but Calla is determined to prove him wrong. As time passes, she unexpectedly finds herself forming a bond with the burly pilot.

As his undercurrent of disapproval dwindles, it’s replaced by friendship—or perhaps something deeper?

But Calla is not in Alaska to stay and Jonah will never leave. It would be foolish of her to kindle a romance, to take the same path her parents tried—and failed at—years ago.

It’s a simple truth that turns out to be not so simple after all.

Slow burn romance books make really great book club books because the romance aspect isn’t thrown in your face and they are more often than not a bit less steamy than other romance books.

The Simple Wild is a great opposites attract story between wilderness man Jonah and city girl Calla that would make a great conversation starter about whether people who appear so different can really make it work.

Both characters are also faced with a pretty tough choice when it comes to their relationship which might polarize your club members depending on which side they choose.

This is also one of the best book club books because the prose makes you feel like you are in Alaska right along with them so a discussion about a book’s setting and its influence on the reader would be a great topic to discuss with this club pick.

Check out my book review of The Simple Wild.

Related: Best Romance Books That Inspire Travel

Dating-ish is one of the best book club books for clubs looking to branch out from typical recommendations. See all the selections for books for book clubs from book blogger She Reads Romance Books.

Dating-ish
by Penny Reid

After the most bizarre first date in the history of dating, Marie is looking for an alternative to men.

With the help of her friends, she quickly identifies a few possibilities: professional cuddler, life coach, even orgasm meditation!

Why does she need the hassle of a romantic partner when she can meet all her needs with paid services?

But then her irritating date resurfaces. And he’s not at all the person she thought he was. And he suggests a different—and crazier—solution to her dilemma.

Penny Reid declares herself a romance author of “smart romances” so that description may sway your book club members to pick one of her books because they always address timely topics that can spark interesting discussions.

Dating-ish gives readers an inside look at intimacy and this idea that you can find other ways to meet your intimacy needs without needing a partner.

It also explores the idea of artificial intelligence and how it could even help with intimacy.

If these topics would interest your book club members, I highly recommend this book for its thought-provoking topics, amazing characters, and beautiful story.

Paradise is one of the best book club books for clubs looking to branch out from typical recommendations. See all the selections for books for book clubs from book blogger She Reads Romance Books.

Paradise
by Judith McNaught

Ruthless corporate raider Matthew Farrell is poised to move in on the legendary department store empire owned by Chicago’s renowned Bancroft family.

In the glare of the media spotlight, it’s a stunning takeover that overshadows the sizzling chemistry between Matt, once a scruffy kid from steel town Indiana, and cool, sophisticated Meredith Bancroft.

Their brief, ill-fated marriage sparked with thrilling sensuality but ended with a bitter betrayal. Now, locked in a battle that should be all business, dangerous temptations and bittersweet memories are stirring their hearts.

Will they risk everything for a passion too bold to be denied?

I couldn’t leave one of my favorite romance books of all time and the first book that made me fall in love with the genre off the list of best book club books because I think it’s a perfect choice!

Judith McNaught is one of those authors whose work stands the test of time and this is hands down one of her best.

It’s an epic second chance romance but so much more. It’s got some heavy topics to spark discussion (no spoilers!) and an interesting look at corporate takeovers and women in business.

I’m also a sucker for a romance between a rich girl and boy from the opposite side of the tracks. I cannot recommend this book enough as one of the best book club books worth reading.

Related: Best Second Chance Romance Books

The Duke and I is one of the best book club books for clubs looking to branch out from typical recommendations. See all the selections for books for book clubs from book blogger She Reads Romance Books.

The Duke and I
by Julia Quinn

By all accounts, Simon Basset is on the verge of proposing to his best friend’s sister—the lovely and almost-on-the-shelf—Daphne Bridgerton.

But the two of them know the truth—it’s all an elaborate ruse to keep Simon free from marriage-minded society mothers and to help Daphne attract some worthy suitors.

Though as Daphne waltzes across ballroom after ballroom with Simon, it’s hard to remember that their courtship is a sham.

Somehow Daphne is falling for the dashing duke and now she must do the impossible and convince the handsome rogue that their clever little scheme deserves a slight alteration like falling in love.

The Bridgerton TV series captivated audiences when it debuted on Netflix and fans continue to countdown for each and every season.

If your book club members haven’t yet read the historical romance novel that kicks off this TV series then The Duke and I should be a contender for your next book club pick.

Not only will you want to host a viewing party after you read the book to binge-watch the entire first season of Bridgerton but you’ll love discussing the Ton, Simon’s hidden secret, and the love behind the entire Bridgerton family with matriarch Violet at the helm.

Related: Books Like Bridgerton to Read Next

One True Loves is one of the best book club books for clubs looking to branch out from typical recommendations. See all the selections for books for book clubs from book blogger She Reads Romance Books.

One True Loves
by Taylor Jenkins Reid

In her twenties, Emma Blair marries her high school sweetheart, Jesse. They build a life for themselves, far away from the expectations of their parents and the people of their hometown in Massachusetts.

They travel the world together, living life to the fullest and seizing every opportunity for adventure.

On their first wedding anniversary, Jesse is on a helicopter over the Pacific when it goes missing. Just like that, Jesse is gone forever.

Emma quits her job and moves home in an effort to put her life back together. Years later, now in her thirties, Emma runs into an old friend, Sam, and finds herself falling in love again.

When Emma and Sam get engaged, it feels like Emma’s second chance at happiness.

That is, until Jesse is found. He’s alive, and he’s been trying all these years to come home to her.

With a husband and a fiancé, Emma has to now figure out who she is and what she wants, while trying to protect the ones she loves.

Who is her one true love? What does it mean to love truly?

Emma knows she has to listen to her heart. She’s just not sure what it’s saying.

Books that pose dilemmas and “what would you do” moments present some of the best book club books in my opinion, and this Taylor Jenkins Reid book packs a punch!

I think your book club members would have a lively discussion about what they would do if they found themselves in Emma’s shoes.

Related: Taylor Jenkins Reid Books in Order

The Kingmaker is one of the best book club books for clubs looking to branch out from typical recommendations. See all the selections for books for book clubs from book blogger She Reads Romance Books.

The Kingmaker
by Kennedy Ryan

In a world of haves and have-nots, Maxim Cade’s family and their oil empire have it all…and he wants nothing to do with it.

At odds with his mogul father, he’s determined to build his own empire, even if it means traveling far from home, painted as the black sheep.

Lennix Hunter is the exception to every one of Maxim’s rules. At a protest for the oil pipeline that threatens to mar her ancestral land forever, they meet in a flurry of stars and sparks, and that one moment changes everything.

But Maxim’s family is the one stealing from hers, and his father is the man she hates most. He has to lie in order to have her once, and despite the truth, he’ll do anything to keep her.

Even though Lennix tries to hate Maxim, too, their hearts are pointed in the same direction. The inexorable pull between them, across miles and years, will not be denied.

And neither will Maxim.

Kennedy Ryan’s books not only have fantastic writing but they all focus on an important topic worthy of discussion.

The Kingmaker is a great book club book because it can spark discussions not only about familial expectations but also about the oil industry, protesting, and Native American culture. 

Be forewarned that this book is part of a duet so you might want to dedicate two book club meetings to this one and read the second book in the series, The Rebel King as well.

Fourth Wing is one of the best book club books for clubs looking to branch out from typical recommendations. See all the selections for books for book clubs from book blogger She Reads Romance Books.

Fourth Wing
by Rebecca Yarros

Twenty-year-old Violet Sorrengail was supposed to enter the Scribe Quadrant, living a quiet life among books and history.

Now, the commanding general―also known as her tough-as-talons mother―has ordered Violet to join the hundreds of candidates striving to become the elite of Navarre: dragon riders.

But when you’re smaller than everyone else and your body is brittle, the end of your life is only a heartbeat away…because dragons don’t bond to “fragile” humans. They incinerate them.

With fewer dragons willing to bond than cadets, most would take out Violet to better their own chances of success.

The rest would end her just for being her mother’s daughter―like Xaden Riorson, the most powerful and ruthless wingleader in the Riders Quadrant.

She’ll need every edge her wits can give her just to see the next sunrise.

Yet, with every day that passes, the battle outside grows more dangerous, the kingdom’s protective wards are failing, and the ledger of those lost continues to rise.

Even worse, Violet begins to suspect leadership is hiding a terrible secret.

Fourth Wing has captured a spot on the bestseller lists for weeks ever since its debut so your book club should see what the hubbub is all about!

This book has everything I love about fantasy romance – great writing, amazing characters, intriguing world-building, and a storyline that will keep you on the edge of your seat. And did I mention that it has dragons?!

Fourth Wing definitely earned its spot on my list of best romance novels of 2023 and is sure to be a hit as your next book club book.

Plus, if your book club likes to devour entire series, you’ll have five books to add to your TBR list to complete the entire Fourth Wing series.

Check out my book review of Fourth Wing.

Related: Books Like Fourth Wing You Can’t Miss

People We Meet on Vacation is one of the best book club books for clubs looking to branch out from typical recommendations. See all the selections for books for book clubs from book blogger She Reads Romance Books.

People We Meet on Vacation
by Emily Henry

Two best friends. Ten summer trips. One last chance to fall in love.

Poppy and Alex. Alex and Poppy. They have nothing in common. She’s a wild child; he wears khakis. She has insatiable wanderlust; he prefers to stay home with a book.

And somehow, ever since a fateful car share home from college many years ago, they are the very best of friends.

For most of the year they live far apart—she’s in New York City, and he’s in their small hometown—but every summer, for a decade, they have taken one glorious week of vacation together.
 
Until two years ago, when they ruined everything. They haven’t spoken since.
 
Poppy has everything she should want, but she’s stuck in a rut. When someone asks when she was last truly happy, she knows, without a doubt, it was on that ill-fated, final trip with Alex.

And so, she decides to convince her best friend to take one more vacation together—lay everything on the table, make it all right. Miraculously, he agrees.
 
Now she has a week to fix everything. If only she can get around the one big truth that has always stood quietly in the middle of their seemingly perfect relationship. What could possibly go wrong?

Emily Henry’s books shoot right to the bestseller list each and every time so it’s a no-brainer that one of her titles would make a perfect book club book selection.

My favorite Emily Henry romance is People We Meet on Vacation which won the 2021 Goodreads Choice Awards for Best Romance.

I think it makes the best book club book because it would be a lot of fun to talk about the trips that they take and to discuss which trips you’d love to take with a friend or as a group!

The unknown reason for Poppy and Alex’s two-year silence is such a great hook for this book that will have everyone racing to the end to find out what happened.

This is one of my favorite romance books that made me a fan of Emily Henry for life so it’s worth trying out this New York Times bestselling author for at least one book club selection.

Related: Best Friends to Lovers Books

The True Love Experiment is one of the best book club books for clubs looking to branch out from typical recommendations. See all the selections for books for book clubs from book blogger She Reads Romance Books.

The True Love Experiment
by Christina Lauren

Felicity “Fizzy” Chen is lost. Sure, she’s got an incredible career as a beloved romance novelist with a slew of bestsellers under her belt, but when she’s asked to give a commencement address, it hits her: she hasn’t been practicing what she’s preached.

Fizzy hasn’t ever really been in love. Lust? Definitely. But that swoon-worthy, can’t-stop-thinking-about-him, all-encompassing feeling? Nope. Nothing.

What happens when the optimism she’s spent her career encouraging in readers starts to feel like a lie?

Connor Prince, documentary filmmaker and single father, loves his work in large part because it allows him to live near his daughter.

But when his profit-minded boss orders him to create a reality TV show, putting his job on the line, Connor is out of his element.

Desperate to find his romantic lead, a chance run-in with an exasperated Fizzy offers Connor the perfect solution.

What if he could show the queen of romance herself falling head-over-heels for all the world to see? Fizzy gives him a hard pass—unless he agrees to cast the contestants according to a list of romance archetypes.

When he says yes, and production on The True Love Experiment begins, Connor wonders if that perfect match will ever be in the cue cards for him, too.

Christina Lauren is another best-selling author duo that should make an appearance on your book club book list. These women have wowed me with so many of their romance novels but this is truly one of their best.

If anyone in your book club is a fan of reality TV or “The Bachelorette,” then this book will be a hit. It’s such a fun look at reality TV where a romance author must choose between men representing different romance book hero types.

More importantly, I think the heroine, Fizzy, represents a struggle that a lot of women may understand and want to discuss in your book club in wondering whether she will ever find that epic love that she writes about in her books.

It would also be fun to have each book club member create their own list of “romance trope hero types” that they would want to be cast if they were a contestant on The True Love Experiment.

Check out my book review of The True Love Experiment.

This Bird Has Flown is one of the best book club books for clubs looking to branch out from typical recommendations. See all the selections for books for book clubs from book blogger She Reads Romance Books.

This Bird Has Flown
by Susanna Hoffs

Jane Start is thirty-three, broke, and recently single. Ten years prior, she had a hit song—written by world-famous superstar Jonesy—but Jane hasn’t had a breakout since. 

Now she’s living out of four garbage bags at her parents’ house, reduced to performing to Karaoke tracks in Las Vegas. Rock bottom.

But when her longtime manager Pippa sends Jane to London to regroup, she’s seated next to an intriguing stranger on the flight—the other Tom Hardy, an elegantly handsome Oxford professor of literature.

Jane is instantly smitten by Tom, and soon, truly inspired. But it’s not Jane’s past alone that haunts her second chance at stardom, and at love.

Is Tom all that he seems? And can Jane emerge from the shadow of Jonesy’s earlier hit, and into the light of her own?

If anyone in your book club is a fan of the music group, The Bangles, then this would be the perfect book club book for you because it’s written by lead singer Susanna Hoffs!

I admit that she is the main reason that I picked up this book and I have to say that I was pretty impressed with her debut novel that offers a glimpse inside the music business from someone who knows it best.

The song shoutouts were fantastic and may make you nostalgic. If you read this, I think an ‘80s-themed book club meeting is in order!

It Ends With Us is one of the best book club books for clubs looking to branch out from typical recommendations. See all the selections for books for book clubs from book blogger She Reads Romance Books.

It Ends With Us
by Colleen Hoover

When Lily feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.
  
Ryle is assertive, stubborn, and maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily, but Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing.
  
As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan – her first love and a link to the past she left behind.

He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

Why not pick a book club book that dominated the best-selling charts for months on end by an author that outsold the likes of John Grisham and James Patterson?

This is the most popular of Colleen Hoover’s books and she based her all-time best-seller on her mother’s life while ripping my out my heart in the process.

This book covers the sensitive topic of domestic violence and spousal abuse which doesn’t get talked about in public as often as it probably should.

I was impressed with the sensitivity that Hoover brought to this novel and how she depicted why so many women don’t leave their abusers.

Select this as your next book club book not only to see what all the hype is about for this novel that is soon to grace the big screen as the It Ends With Us movie, but because it could stimulate a really important discussion among your members.

Related: Colleen Hoover Books in Order: The Ultimate Guide

The Empress is one of the best book club books for clubs looking to branch out from typical recommendations. See all the selections for books for book clubs from book blogger She Reads Romance Books.

The Empress
by Gigi Griffis

The year is 1853, and Princess Elisabeth “Sisi” of Bavaria has been very clear: She will wait for the head-over-heels love the poets speak of, or she will have no love at all.

Just because her older sister, Helene, is eagerly heeding their mother’s advice and preparing to marry Emperor Franz of Austria does not mean Sisi must also subject herself to such a dutiful existence.

Sisi knows there is more to life than luncheons and corsets—if only someone would let her experience it all firsthand.

Meanwhile, in Austria, the emperor is recovering from an attempt on this life that left him wounded and scared.

In a bid to keep the peace, Franz has recommitted himself to his imperial duties—and promised to romance the pliant Helene of Bavaria at his upcoming birthday celebration. How better to unite the empire than with the announcement of a new empress?

But when Sisi and Franz meet unexpectedly in the palace gardens, away from the prying eyes and relentless critique of the court, their connection cannot be denied.

And as their illicit conversations turn into something more, they must soon choose between the expectations of their families and standing up for what they truly believe in.

This book is the perfect book club book pick if your members love history! It’s a fictionalized tale of the love story between Sisi and Franz, the Emperor of Austria.

Filled with history, intrigue, family drama, a strong heroine, and a dashing hero, this will be a fast and entertaining read that your book club can watch on Netflix after discussing it!

Check out my book review of The Empress.

Related: Best Historical Romance Novels

The Plight Before Christmas is one of the best book club books for clubs looking to branch out from typical recommendations. See all the selections for books for book clubs from book blogger She Reads Romance Books.

The Plight Before Christmas
by Kate Stewart

Since the last three weeks of my life have been riddled with humbug—another breakup, a broken toe, an office promotion I deserved and didn’t get—I’m not at all in the mood to celebrate nor have the happ, happ, happiest Christmas EVER.

When Mom insisted that we all gather at my Grandparent’s ancient cabin for an old school family Christmas, I fully intended to get into the holiday spirit with the help of the three wise men, Johnnie Walker, Jack Daniels, and Jim Beam.

But those boys did absolutely nothing to offset the shock or temper the sting of seeing my ex on our doorstep the first day of our holiday soiree.

Stuck for a week with the man who obliterated my heart nearly two decades ago, I did the only thing I could do and put on my game face, thankful for the home advantage.

I foolishly thought a family Christmas filled with nostalgia was going to turn my inner Scrooge around, but this year’s festivities went up in flames.

Leave it to the ghost of my Christmas past to be the one to light the match. Fa la la la la, la FML.

Sometimes it’s hard to find the best book club book to read for the holidays but look no further. For anyone who loves holiday shenanigans ala Clark Griswold style, then get ready to meet the Collins family!

Your club will have fun sharing their own family’s Christmas traditions and comparing their holiday memories to the Collins after reading this Christmas second chance romance.

Check out my book review of The Plight Before Christmas.

Related: Best Christmas Romance Books to Read This Season

How to Fake it in Hollywood is one of the best book club books for clubs looking to branch out from typical recommendations. See all the selections for books for book clubs from book blogger She Reads Romance Books.

How to Fake It in Hollywood
by Ava Wilder

Grey Brooks is on a mission to keep her career afloat now that the end of her long-running teen TV show has her (unsuccessfully) pounding the pavement again.

With a life-changing role on the line, she’s finally desperate enough to agree to her publicist’s scheme: fake a love affair with a disgraced Hollywood heartthrob who needs the publicity.

Ethan Atkins just wants to be left alone.

Between his high-profile divorce, struggles with drinking, and grief over the loss of his longtime creative partner and best friend, Ethan has slowly let himself fade into the background.

But to produce the last movie he and his partner wrote together, Ethan agrees to a gossip-inducing affair with a gorgeous actress, even if it’s the last thing he wants to do.

Though their juicy public relationship is less than perfect behind the scenes, it doesn’t take long before Grey and Ethan’s sizzling chemistry starts to feel like more than just an act.

This is one of the best slow burn romances that pulls you in and yet has this gravitas that gives you a lot to think about.

I picked this as one of the best book club books because of the heaviness (trigger warnings re alcoholism and depression) that accompanies a fun, fake relationship romance in Hollywood which has some good fodder for discussion.

Check out my book review of How to Fake It in Hollywood.

Related: Best Romance Novels of 2022

Pestilence is one of the best book club books for clubs looking to branch out from typical recommendations. See all the selections for books for book clubs from book blogger She Reads Romance Books.

Pestilence
by Laura Thalassa

They came to earth, the four horsemen riding their screaming steeds, racing to the corners of the world.

When Pestilence comes for Sara Burn’s town, she’s determined to be the one to end him. Too bad no one told her Pestilence lives forever.

Now the horseman has taken her prisoner, and he’s eager to make her suffer. Only, the longer she’s with him, the more uncertain she is about his true feelings towards her and hers towards him.

And now, Sara might still be able to save the world, but in order to do so, she’ll have to sacrifice her heart in the process.

One type of book that can make a great book club selection is one that explores the different and unusual.

This post-apocalypse story about one of the four horsemen could spark some very interesting questions about the end of days and what you would do in Sara’s shoes.

Sara and Pestilence have some very interesting discussions about the human race and whether it is redeemable which would be fascinating to continue in a book club discussion to see whose side everyone agrees with.

Definitely consider this book club book if you’re looking for a change-up from your “typical” fictional picks.

Related: Best Paranormal Romance Books

Dance Away With Me is one of the best book club books for clubs looking to branch out from typical recommendations. See all the selections for books for book clubs from book blogger She Reads Romance Books.

Dance Away With Me
by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

When life throws her one setback too many, midwife and young widow Tess Hartsong takes off for Runaway Mountain.

In this small town high in the Tennessee mountains, surrounded by nature, she hopes to outrun her heartbreak and find the solace she needs to heal. 

But instead of peace and quiet, she encounters an enigmatic artist with a craving for solitude, a fairy-tale sprite with too many secrets, a helpless infant, a passel of curious teens, and a town suspicious of outsiders, especially one as headstrong as Tess.

Just as headstrong is Ian North, a difficult, gifted man with a tortured soul—a man who makes Tess question everything. 

In running away to this new life, Tess wonders— Has she lost herself . . . or has she found her future? 

Susan Elizabeth Phillips is known for her sassy, fun romcoms but this book reads more like women’s fiction with a strong heroine, an interesting small town, and a moving story with lots to talk about which is why I see this as a great book club book recommendation.

Tess, Ian, and all the members of the small town are such interesting characters that will have your book club members talking the entire meeting!

Check out my book review of Dance Away With Me.

What the Wind Knows is one of the best book club books for clubs looking to branch out from typical recommendations. See all the selections for books for book clubs from book blogger She Reads Romance Books.

What the Wind Knows
by Amy Harmon

Anne Gallagher grew up enchanted by her grandfather’s stories of Ireland. Heartbroken at his passing, she travels to his childhood home to spread his ashes.

There, overcome with memories of the man she adored and consumed by a history she never knew, she is pulled into another time.

The Ireland of 1921, teetering on the edge of war, is a dangerous place in which to awaken. But there Anne finds herself, hurt, disoriented, and under the care of Dr. Thomas Smith, guardian to a young boy who is oddly familiar.

Mistaken for the boy’s long-missing mother, Anne adopts her identity, convinced the woman’s disappearance is connected to her own.

As tensions rise, Thomas joins the struggle for Ireland’s independence and Anne is drawn into the conflict beside him.

Caught between history and her heart, she must decide whether she’s willing to let go of the life she knew for a love she never thought she’d find. But in the end, is the choice actually hers to make?

It was honestly a toss-up as to which Amy Harmon book to recommend as the best book club book because so many of her titles would make great picks!

She writes such engaging stories with interesting characters, with several teaching you about a piece of history so your book club could honestly just become the Amy Harmon book club if you choose to read her entire catalog.

I choose this novel as the best pick because the time travel aspect is such a unique hook as well as the historical aspect about Ireland and the IRA. You’ll love it and so will your book club.

Related: Best Time Travel Romance Books

Seven Days in June is one of the best book club books for clubs looking to branch out from typical recommendations. See all the selections for books for book clubs from book blogger She Reads Romance Books.

Seven Days in June
by Tia Williams

Eva Mercy is a single mom and bestselling erotica writer who is feeling pressed from all sides. Shane Hall is a reclusive, enigmatic, award-winning novelist, who, to everyone’s surprise, shows up in New York.

When Shane and Eva meet unexpectedly at a literary event, sparks fly, raising not only their buried traumas, but the eyebrows of the Black literati.

What no one knows is that fifteen years earlier, teenage Eva and Shane spent one crazy, torrid week madly in love.

While they may be pretending not to know each other, they can’t deny their chemistry—or the fact that they’ve been secretly writing to each other in their books through the years.

Over the next seven days, amidst a steamy Brooklyn summer, Eva and Shane reconnect—but Eva’s wary of the man who broke her heart, and wants him out of the city so her life can return to normal.

Before Shane disappears though, she needs a few questions answered.

Reese Witherspoon was onto something when she selected this book for her book club! This is one of those book club books that is just an all-around great story with characters that you’ll continue thinking about after reaching the end.

It was a fantastic second chance love story that used flashbacks to the past which added to the overall story but kept the present storyline flowing.

Williams also doesn’t shy away from the mental and physical health struggles of both characters but it wasn’t too heavy that it detracted from what was their story back to each other.

I also enjoyed the mother-daughter aspect of the story, giving yet another discussion angle to pursue with your book club after reading this book!

Stay tuned for this book making it to the big screen.

To Sir With Love is one of the best book club books for clubs looking to branch out from typical recommendations. See all the selections for books for book clubs from book blogger She Reads Romance Books.

To Sir With Love
by Lauren Layne

Perpetually cheerful and eager to please, Gracie Cooper strives to make the best out of every situation.

So when her father passes away just months after a lung cancer diagnosis, she sets aside her dreams of pursuing her passion for art to take over his Midtown Manhattan champagne shop.

She soon finds out that the store’s profit margins are being squeezed perilously tight, and complicating matters further, a giant corporation headed by the impossibly handsome, but irritatingly arrogant Sebastian Andrews is proposing a buyout. But Gracie can’t bear the thought of throwing away her father’s dream like she did her own.

Overwhelmed and not wanting to admit to her friends or family that she’s having second thoughts about the shop, Gracie seeks advice and solace from someone she’s never met—the faceless “Sir”, with whom she connected on a blind dating app where matches get to know each other through messages and common interests before exchanging real names or photos.

But although Gracie finds herself slowly falling for Sir online, she has no idea she’s already met him in real life…and they can’t stand each other.

Consider this book club book selection if you’re looking for a light romcom based on the popular movie, “You’ve Got Mail.”

Layne uses and anonymous dating app to bring these two apparent enemies together in a fun way that will have your club wanting to watch “You’ve Got Mail” to search for similarities.

It’s also a pretty clean, light on steam romance so if that’s ever concerned you about selecting a romance book for your book club, don’t let that stop you with this title.

Check out my book review of To Sir With Love.

Related: If You Loved This Romance Movie, Read This Book

The Flatshare is one of the best book club books for clubs looking to branch out from typical recommendations. See all the selections for books for book clubs from book blogger She Reads Romance Books.

The Flatshare
by Beth O’Leary

Tiffy and Leon share an apartment. Tiffy and Leon have never met.

After a bad breakup, Tiffy Moore needs a place to live. Fast. And cheap. But the apartments in her budget have her wondering if astonishingly colored mold on the walls counts as art.

Desperation makes her open minded, so she answers an ad for a flatshare. Leon, a night shift worker, will take the apartment during the day, and Tiffy can have it nights and weekends. He’ll only ever be there when she’s at the office. In fact, they’ll never even have to meet.

Tiffy and Leon start writing each other notes – first about what day is garbage day, and politely establishing what leftovers are up for grabs, and the evergreen question of whether the toilet seat should stay up or down.

Even though they are opposites, they soon become friends. And then maybe more.

But falling in love with your roommate is probably a terrible idea…especially if you’ve never met.

I absolutely adored this book which has been adapted into a TV series that you can now watch!

This book is one of the best book club books in my opinion because of the topics of discussion it poses. Would you be as bold as Tiffy to move into a flat that you’ll be sharing with someone and never meet the person?

What do you think of the notes that they leave for one another and how did you see those notes change over time?

Tiffy is reeling from an abusive relationship and Leon is struggling with worry about his brother. What does your club members think of their storylines and history?

O’Leary’s debut novel was a stunner and one I cannot recommend enough for you or your book club.

Check out my book review of The Flatshare.

Breathe is one of the best book club books for clubs looking to branch out from typical recommendations. See all the selections for books for book clubs from book blogger She Reads Romance Books.

Breathe
by Kristin Ashley

In Carnal, Colorado, Faye Goodknight is the town’s quiet, shy librarian. She may also be Carnal’s last remaining virgin.

For years, Faye has had a crush on Chace Keaton, but the gorgeous cop has always been unattainable.

She’s resigned to live contentedly with only her books for company-until Faye suddenly meets Chace alone in the woods.

Chace doesn’t think he’s the good guy everyone believes him to be. He’s made a lot of choices he regrets, including denying his feelings for Faye.

Through his choices, he’s come to believe the pretty librarian is too good for him, but after their time in the woods, Chace realizes that she may be his last chance for redemption.

Soon, their long simmering desires grow to a burning passion. Yet always casting a shadow over their happiness is Chace’s dark past.

Kristin Ashley is another one of those authors whose entire catalog would make the best book club books for your group.

Her stories are so full for lack of a better description as they have these sweeping storylines, characters that really make you think and so many secondary characters that really flesh out the story as this epic read.

I chose Breathe for this book list because I have such a soft spot for Faye. She’s this quiet librarian who’s actually quite fierce when she needs to be.

Her crush on Chace is a great storyline but it’s her protection of a young boy that stole the show.

If your book club is looking for a small-town romance with a story that has so many engaging parts to discuss, consider Breathe!

Red, White & Royal Blue is one of the best book club books for clubs looking to branch out from typical recommendations. See all the selections for books for book clubs from book blogger She Reads Romance Books.

Red, White & Royal Blue
by Casey McQuiston

When his mother became President, Alex Claremont-Diaz was promptly cast as the American equivalent of a young royal. Handsome, charismatic, genius—his image is pure millennial-marketing gold for the White House.

There’s only one problem: Alex has a beef with the actual prince, Henry, across the pond. And when the tabloids get hold of a photo involving an Alex-Henry altercation, U.S./British relations take a turn for the worse.

Heads of family, state, and other handlers devise a plan for damage control: staging a truce between the two rivals.

What at first begins as a fake, Instragramable friendship grows deeper, and more dangerous, than either Alex or Henry could have imagined.

Soon Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret romance with a surprisingly unstuffy Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations and begs the question: Can love save the world after all?

Where do we find the courage, and the power, to be the people we are meant to be? And how can we learn to let our true colors shine through?

I’ll take any excuse to recommend Red, White & Royal Blue to readers as it is one of my favorite romance books of all time.

I adored how McQuiston used the 2016 US presidential election as the inspiration to her story that weaves together frenemies who slowly become lovers, a frank look at American politics and a presidential race, deep, heartwarming friendships, and the personal struggles of figuring out who you really are, owning who you really are despite fear or hardship and adjusting life dreams along the way.

The Red, White & Royal Blue movie also helped to put this book on the map of many readers, even those who’ve never read MM romance before. So, if you haven’t yet read it, consider this a pick for your book club!

Check out my book review of Red, White & Royal Blue.

Related: Books Like Red, White & Royal Blue

Did you find the perfect book club book for your group on this list? If so, share it in the comments below, and let me know what your club thought of it!

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Check out all of the book club books recommended by book blogger Leslie Murphy at She Reads Romance Books to help your club branch out from "typical" book club books.

Leslie Murphy is the owner and writer of She Reads Romance Books.

Why Trust She Reads Romance Books?

Leslie is the founder, writer, and producer of She Reads Romance Books (and the She Reads Romance Books Podcast), an online book community focused on romance books and the readers who love them because life is better with a love story.

Leslie reads 150 romance books a year and has been called a "book expert" by CNN. Reading romance is her passion and she cultivates her book lists with the best books worth reading in the genre. Leslie graduated magna cum laude from Davidson College where she honed her writing skills and also holds two Master's degrees. Join her community in the She Reads Romance Books Reader Lounge.

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