Romance novels about writers are fantastic. Watching protagonists’ satisfaction with their personal and professional lives coincide is tantalizing. Not to mention, professional writing requires creativity, adaptability, and dedication — traits akin to what anyone would seek out in a romantic partner. Be forewarned: within these stories, the HEA isn’t complete without a good dose of professional competency.
Now, literature has always had a small obsession with the act of writing. Medieval poets like Marie de France, early modern playwrights like Shakespeare, and Victorian novelists like George Gissing — all write writers. Impossibly balancing writing as an art form and as a vocation is an apparent struggle in their work. Further, all three confront the pitfalls of popularity and commercialization by creating characters who are writers.
Unsurprisingly, exploring musings on professional writing in books appears in every time period or genre. In time, the tradition naturally carries into romance novels about writers of all kinds.
Writing about writers exists across the ages. So, I thought I’d include a mix of historical and contemporary novels. As many writers work from home, these romances utilize the act of writing in the same space to build intimacy. Further, the inherently personal nature of writing often reveals a character’s goals, personalities, and backstory.
I argue writing is the perfect profession for passion. Scriptwriters, novelists, academic writers, and columnists make up the group of swoon-worthy literary professionals in these romance novels about writers.
Two Rogues Make a Right by Cat Sebastian
Content Warnings: Chronic Illness, Explicit Depiction of Mental Illness, Child Abuse, Sexual Abuse, Attempted Suicide, Torture, Addiction
After years of written correspondence, Will knows something is truly wrong when his oldest friend stops replying. Of course, when Will finds Martin sick in an attic he naturally kidnaps him to the country to save his health. Martin wakes up to find the love of his life nursing him back to health in the countryside. Living in a cabin, Will can write his play scripts and live with his closest friend without the temptation of opium around every corner. Martin and Will build a life together and demonstrate the ultimate depiction of care.
If the Boot Fits by Rebekah Weatherspoon
Content Warnings: Fat Shaming, Abusive Employer
As the assistant to a demanding young actress, Amanda barely has room in her life for her friends, screenwriting, and a full night’s sleep. She definitely does not have time to start a relationship. That is, before her one-night stand with Sam, an award-winning actor, turns into much more when they reunite at her best friend’s wedding. On his family ranch, she finds a place she can recharge and rediscover her dreams for the future. But can she resist the charming actor who welcomes her into his home?
Something to Talk About by Meryl Wilsner
Content Warnings: Homophobia, Racism, Sexual Harassment, Emotional Abuse
If you want to start a scandal, flirting with your clever assistant on the red carpet might just do the trick. Jo refuses to comment on her relationship because she never has before, but the press continues to intrude on all aspects of their professional and personal lives. After years of working on the sidelines, Emma’s chance to advance her career might just be waylaid by the press. It’s not true. But as Jo begins to spend more time with Emma she must confront a growing attachment to her assistant.
The Rakess by Scarlett Peckham
Content Warnings: Miscarriage, Death, Alcoholism, Addiction, Animal Death, Sexual Harassment, Misogyny, Kidnapping
When a notorious rakess and a respectable widower find themselves meeting on a remote cliffside, they never expected to find a partner. Adam is a Scottish businessman with children to raise and projects to design. Seraphina only returns home to write about her ruination to raise money for a women’s college. Neither has time for a relationship, but Seraphina is brash, sensual, and unexpectedly kind to Adam’s children. In short, even though it may cost him his professional reputation, Adam might risk it all to share a life with her.
Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren
Content Warnings: Parental Abandonment, Emotional Abuse, Racism
Tate and Sam experienced a whirlwind teen romance when they met during a two-week vacation in London. She trusted him with everything, even her secret star-studded parentage. But when Sam breaks her trust, Tate never expects to see him again. Especially not on the set of her next major film. He became an author, and his book became a script, and his first love was cast as the leading lady. The chemistry remains between them, but can Tate reconcile her current attraction with the betrayal she felt in the past?
Beach Read by Emily Henry
Content Warnings: Parent Death, Cancer, Alcoholism, Child Abuse, Abuse, Suicide
Gus and January knew each other in college as contentious critique partners and are now living in neighboring beach houses. When two rival authors reunite with cases of writer’s block, they decide to swap writing in their preferred genres, romance and literary fiction. Will Gus be able to write a HEA? Will January be able to write a bleak and hopeless ending? Most of all, will these two rivals be able to write and research together while maintaining their distance? All these questions and more are tackled in a novel that finds hope in the darkest situations.
Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert
Content Warnings: Parental and Sibling Death, Anxiety, Explicit Depiction of Mental Illness, Sexism, Racism
Danika is a PhD student and Zafir is a quiet building security guard. One fire drill turns their steady friendship into a viral internet-ship. Zafir could use the publicity from their great love to raise money for the children enrolled in his sports charity. Dani does not have time for romance with her thesis writing, but she figures, how hard can it be to fake a relationship for the children? When your fake boyfriend is a secret romantic, it is quite impossible.
A Duke by Default by Alyssa Cole
Content Warnings: Emotional Abuse, Racism
When Portia accepted an apprenticeship with Scottish Armory, she thought she finally found her path. A way of applying her art history degree in a place where she could gain hands-on experience with traditional Scottish blacksmithing. Unfortunately, her new boss Tavish didn’t want an apprentice at all. Given little to do, Portia is determined to make herself useful by redesigning the website, researching the Armory, running the social media, and bringing a spotlight to the historical importance of the shop. Portia’s unwavering competence may be enough to break down her gruff boss and Tavish might let her forge a new path for his shop and his life.
The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics by Olivia Waite
Content Warnings: Misogyny, Emotional Abuse, Physical Abuse
If you were to watch your ex-lover marry a man she doesn’t love right as your academic future was crumbling before your very eyes, you too would move to London at a chance to translate a French astronomy text. In 1816, not many patrons would hire Lucy to translate astronomy for fear women would not understand the scientific principles underlying the work, but Lucy’s commitment intrigues Catherine, and she cannot say no. As a new widow, Catherine finds herself ready to make her opinions known whether it be asserting her right to hire a translator, publishing her embroidery, or romantically pursuing her new astronomer.
A Rogue of One’s Own by Evie Dunmore
Content Warnings: Parental Abuse, Emotional Abuse, Misogyny
She has a plan. Step 1: raise funds; step 2: buy a publishing house; and step 3: publish a scathing account of marital abuse across England. However, step 2 is complicated by a childhood friend who has bought enough shares to be a co-owner of the paper. And of course, the complication makes it difficult to publish step 3, a move that would surely destroy the reputation of the business and any hope at financial success. Lady Lucie does not expect her co-owner Tristan, an exuberant rake, to be a secret poet. As a resolute suffragette, she will do anything to accomplish her goals, even if it means seducing an insurable rake.
A Sweet Mess by Jayci Lee
Content Warnings: Parental Abuse, Emotional Abuse, Physical Abuse, Misogyny, Sexual Harassment
Aubrey, a small-town baker, has an unexpected one-night stand with the man who wrote a scathing review of her bakery. The critic, Landon was accidentally sold a child’s birthday cake not fit for adult consumption. But he has a policy to never give second chances to the food he reviews, no exception. To save her bakery from bankruptcy, Landon invites Aubrey to participate in a friend’s cooking show in wine country. In a battle between professionals, passion is set to bake at the baker and her reviewer’s shared villa — wait and see what comes out of the oven.
A Summer for Scandal by Lydia San Andres
Content Warnings: Alcoholism, Parent Death, Misogyny, Sexual Harassment, Blackmail
Rumor has it that this Pride and Prejudice reimagining contains salacious serial romances, controversial gossip rags, and intra-feminist disputes regarding sexuality. Emilia is a writer on a fictional Spanish Caribbean island in 1911 who wants to shed her pen name without ruining her sister’s chance at a respectable match. Meanwhile, Ruben believes unveiling the identity of the serial romance writer will generate enough money to keep his paper open for good. Emilia and Ruben disagree on almost everything but as they continue to meet, they begin to form an attraction that even the strongest rumors will struggle to break.
Writing is difficult work. It is lovely to see the vast profession explored in the romance genre. Accepting public critique of personal perspectives and opinions is hard. Complications of pen names, profitability, and popularity to challenge relationships. But, who can resist a romance book about writers? I for one will be reading many more books where writers find love as romance authors continue publishing them. Until then, I hope a dozen of romance novels about writers do the trick.