Wholesomely Horny: 6 Romance Authors Like Talia Hibbert

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Isabelle Popp

Senior Contributor

Isabelle Popp has written all sorts of things, ranging from astrophysics research articles and math tests to crossword puzzles and poetry. These days she's writing romance. When she's not reading or writing, she's probably knitting or scouring used book stores for vintage gothic romance paperbacks. Originally from New York, she's as surprised as anyone that she lives in Bloomington, Indiana.

Nobody writes romance quite like Talia Hibbert. Few authors have planted their feet at the intersection of wholesome and horny, though I wish more would. If you’re only familiar with her Brown Sisters books like Act Your Age, Eve Brown, I suggest diving into her backlist. Her self-published books, including The Princess Trap and The Roommate Risk, are stellar. One of the beauties of reading is enjoying an author’s unmistakable voice and style. Talia Hibbert’s is certainly unique, but thankfully she’s not quite peerless. So if you’re looking for authors like Talia Hibbert, I have some suggestions.

When I think about books like Get a Life, Chloe Brown, there is a constellation of factors that makes them so great. Talia Hibbert balances humor with unabashed sexiness. She portrays characters with very realistic struggles, like invisible disabilities. Her characters are frequently neurodivergent and approach life and relationships in ways that can be affirming to readers who share those experiences. Likewise, plus-size women in her stories are desirable and desired.  Regardless of an individual’s characteristics, the chemistry that sparks between her protagonists is reliably electric. And under it all, her stories share a big beating heart, with characters who come from realistically complex, loving families. So I’ve aimed my telescope on the stars in this constellation to find more authors like Talia Hibbert.

cover of Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake by Alexis Hall: an illustration of a woman in an apron standing in front of a stove/oven range with her hands on her hips.

Alexis Hall

Alexis Hall made a huge splash with Boyfriend Material. It’s a hating-to-fake-dating-to-loving romance between human disaster Luc and buttoned-up Oliver that will make you laugh out loud. Last year, he added to the current boom of reality show romances with Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake. Hall also has a backlist that includes an urban fantasy series starring a sapphic paranormal investigator, a queer billionaire series with BDSM elements, and more. Hall’s signature wit shines through all of his writing, perfect for readers who appreciate Hibbert’s humor. Anglophiles who appreciate the allusions to British life in Talia Hibbert’s work will also enjoy the English settings in Alexis Hall’s work.

Katrina Jackson

One of the things I appreciate about Talia Hibbert is how she embraces the novella. A satisfying romance you can drink down in a single sitting? Yes, please. Katrina Jackson, too, is great at novella-length romances that don’t suffer from a lack of character development or sexiness. If you love the sweet and steamy prose Hibbert offers, Office Hours is the novella for you. In it, two professors with simmering crushes on each other finally explore that attraction. If you are looking forward to Hibbert’s forthcoming small town series called Skybriar, check out Katrina Jackson’s Welcome to Sea Port series, starting with From Scratch, for blisteringly sexy small town hijinks.

Olivia Dade

Talia Hibbert fans simply must read Olivia Dade’s work. While Hibbert often features plus-sized women finding love, characters’ body sizes are not typically central to their stories. Her portrayals are, however, refreshing in their straightforwardness. In Dade’s books, fat women are always winning the day. The reality of living in a fatphobic society comes more to the fore in Dade’s work, as evidenced by the public shaming April receives when a photo of her cosplaying goes viral in Spoiler Alert. Dade’s novels are nonetheless overwhelmingly joyous and loving in ways Hibbert fans will surely resonate with.

Helen Hoang

cover of The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

It takes a remarkable writer to take a romcom plot like “Pretty Woman, but with a male sex worker and female client” and infuse it with a genuine and thoughtful portrayal of a woman reckoning with her autism diagnosis. Since debuting with The Kiss Quotient, Hoang has made these high-concept plots sing with her lovable characters who navigate tough choices. Like Talia Hibbert, Hoang balances the emotional growth of a relationship with ratcheting sexual tension. Sex moves the plot in interesting ways in both of their books. And for readers looking for representations of characters with autism, these books provide welcome and essential perspectives.

Meka James

While it can be really fun to read romances between people who are filthy rich, mega famous, or supernaturally gifted, it’s often heartening to read about regular people with undeniable chemistry falling in love. Many of Talia Hibbert’s books take that tack, and so does Meka James. If you want characters you feel like you could know in real life, check the Love on Madison Island series. The first novel, Renovation of Love, is a second chance romance between a 40-year-old woman returning to her hometown and her ex. It’s low drama, high heat, with a home renovation plot line for the HGTV fans out there.

Jackie Lau

If you love the relationships between the Brown sisters, celebrate your holidays with the Wong siblings, starting with A Match Made for Thanksgiving. Jackie Lau’s books are short but sweet, with thoughtful examinations of identity, sexuality and family expectations. One top of that, readers can expect delicious food writing and no shortage of sex. Ice Cream Lover, a queer M/F romance, is my pick for fans of grumpy men like Jacob from Act Your Age, Eve Brown. Among authors like Talia Hibbert, Lau shines when she’s writing characters some may describe as “difficult” who nevertheless find the love they deserve.

I hope I’ve added to your romance TBR. Speaking of that TBR, If there’s something specific you love about Talia Hibbert’s work that I didn’t address, fear not. There are even more authors like Talia Hibbert out there. Trust one of the amazing bibliologists at Tailored Book Recommendations to find new-to-you authors that fulfill your every heart’s desire. Because finding that perfect book is its own timeless love story.

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