If You Like…Susan Elizabeth Phillips

We are now in process of  periodically updating the If You Like lists at AAR.  Pollsters Lee Brewer and Cindy Smith have given me suggestions for updates to the lists as they appear now.  We also would like to hear what our readers have to say.  This week’s author writes contemporary romance in quite a different style than the historical author we profiled last.  It’s Susan Elizabeth Phillips.  Here are the authors we have as our recommendations for ones that you may enjoy if you like Susan Elizabeth Phillips:

Susan Andersen

Elizabeth Bevarly

Jennifer Crusie

Susan Donovan

Rachel Gibson

Jane Graves

Jennifer Greene

Christie Ridgway

Recommending new authors is a tricky process.  You might like an author because of the genre they write in, or the time period they set their books in, or because of their unique prose.  One reader may love SEP and hate, say, Jennifer Crusie, while another reader would agree that these two are a good match for like stories.  I’d like to open this for discussion from our well read readers.

  • Do you think the above authors are good matches for Susan Elizabeth Phillips?
  • What about Susan Elizabeth Phillips’s writing do you find unique or specifically enjoyable?  For Phillips’s fans – what makes you search out her books?
  • Is anyone missing from the above list?

After our readers have weighed in, I will update our existing page an link it to this discussion so that others may profit from the experience of AAR’s readership.  I hope to update or add to our pages in this way so that they are more useful and dynamic.

If you have trouble explaining exactly what it is that you love about Susan Elizabeth Phillips, might I suggest you start here?

Please comment – we await your romance reading wisdom!  Thank you.

- Rachel Potter

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68 Responses to “If You Like…Susan Elizabeth Phillips”

  1. Dabney says:

    I believe it’s Susan Andersen if one is looking for reviews on your site.

  2. Azucena says:

    See, that’s the problem I have. I started reading romance because of SEP. Now that I’ve read all her books, I try to find similar authors and I just can’t find any. I tried Jennifer Crusie but I didn’t like her style of writing. Rachel Gibson is all right, but I just didn’t get the satisfaction that I got from reading a SEP book.

    I feel like there is a big gap when it comes to SEP’s way of writing and everyone else I’ve tried. I don’t know, maybe it’s because SEP was my first, lol! But I am open to new authors and recommendations, I’m just not sure if I will get the same reaction as I did with SEP’s first books.

    How can I describe what I like about her? That’s hard. I’m not really good at explaining. I just really enjoy the way she does in depth to describe everything. I love her characters, the situations they get into and I can’t forget the humor. The humor added into the mix makes for unforgettable scenes. Who can forget the softball game from THOM? That has to be my all-time favorite scene from all her books. And when you really, really hate the hero and can’t wait for him to figure out what a big jerk he was, then you forgive him…then you know you not only have a great book, but a great author.

    SEP makes me laugh, makes me angry, makes me cry, and makes me smile at the end of her books. Not all the authors I’ve read can make me do that.

    Well, those were my 2 cents on this matter. :)

  3. Pop Tart says:

    I would probably add Lisa Kleypas’ contemporaries to this list and I think Marsha Moyes’ Lucy Hatch books would also work. Additionally I would include Deborah Smith.

  4. Wendy says:

    I agree with Pop Tart. An important author not included in your list is Deborah Smith.

  5. Kim says:

    I like Lisa Kleypas, but her books don’t share the humor that is SEP’s signature. I would say a new author to consider is Julie James.

  6. Pamela M says:

    I have to agree with Kim. SEP’s signature humor is why I enjoy her books. For me, her style of writing humorous dialogue and the situations her characters find themselves in (sometimes you laugh and cry in the same situational event) always has me looking for her next book.

  7. lilith says:

    All of Linda Howard’s older books. She has that same smart, witty banter in her books that I look for in SEP’s books.

  8. Leigh says:

    I would agree with Kim about Julie James. . I also like Robin Kaye.

    I don’t see the comparison between Kleypas, and Smith.

    I do think that Andersen, Gibson & Graves are similar. .

  9. Patti says:

    This may seem like an odd choice, but I think Julia Quinn’s stories and writing are similar. I know hers are historical in setting, but I think the humour, angst and relationships are very similar to SEP. I love both of these authors, even tho the genres are different.

    • Tina says:

      Patti: This may seem like an odd choice, but I think Julia Quinn’s stories and writing are similar.I know hers are historical in setting, but I think the humour, angst and relationships are very similar to SEP.I love both of these authors, even tho the genres are different.

      I have got to agree with this.While they write in different time periods, both authors have a way of making their characters come alive. Out of all the romaces I read, both SEP and Julia Quinn write books I know I will enjoy if not love.

  10. Aubrey says:

    I absolutely love SEP. She is one of the few authors who literally write one good book after another. I have yet to read a book by SEP I haven’t absolutely loved.

    As for the authors listed above…..

    -i have not been able to finish any book by Jennifer Crusie. I have read many good things about her books but when I tried for myself, the experience was not enjoyable. I felt her books had a lot of distractions that took away the focus from the hero and heroine.

    -I love Rachel Gibson. She has written some great books but I haven’t enjoyed all of them. Also, I don’t think her style is similar to SEP. Although they both are very good at writing funny and witty stories, I think Rachel’s books are lighter at heart.

    -I like Susan Donovan and Christie Ridgeway. They have had some good books but I don’t think they’re similar to SEP.

    -I can’t comment on the rest because I haven’t read their books.

    I think its hard to compare any author but for me, I think I enjoy SEP’s books so much that it makes comparisons even harder.

  11. Nana says:

    Deborah Smith is a very good recommendation, Wendy. Especially SEP’s one “Southern” contemporary, “Ain’t She Sweet.” I definitely think Smith should be on there.

    Maybe Meg Cabot? Some of her adult works (particularly “She Went All The Way”) have a bit of the same screwball comedy vibe you can get from SEP.

  12. JBHunt says:

    Some possibilities:

    Victoria Dahl’s contemporaries (Talk Me Down, Start Me Up, Lead Me On)

    Jill Shalvis (Instant Attraction, Instant…)

  13. Peggy P says:

    I agree that SEP is one of a kind but I would highly recommend Julie James, Jill Shalvis and Victoria Dahl. I listened to all the SEP books with the amazing Anna Fields narrating and she gave such life to those books! Even if you’ve read these books I recommend listening to them for a new flavor with Anna … she was the best, God rest her soul. My second recommendation in the “listen” category would be Lisa Kleypas’ contemps – those were quite good too.

  14. Lucé says:

    I love SEP, but I don’t like any of the other ones. What I love about SEP:

    *She touches my feelings and moves me to laughter, to tears, and to anger.
    *Her characters are very human and three dimensional. They are intelligent, articulate, imperfect, and kind.
    *Her secondary characters are just as well developed as the hero and heroine.
    *Her heroes are yummy and her heroines are relatable without being place holders.

  15. carrie says:

    Wow. This is so individual. Maybe part of the problem is SEP writes differently in different books. Her sports romances like Heaven, Texas are pretty light, while Glitter Baby has more depth. I enjoy Jennifer Crusie, but don’t think she writes like SEP. For sports romances, I enjoy Deirdre Martin and Kate Angell, but don’t think they have quite the same feel as SEP’s sports romances.

    Elaine Fox is similar to Gibson, Andersen and Susan Donovan, who have all been compared to SEP. I don’t see Dahl being anything like SEP, nor Shalvis, although I really like many of Shalvis’s books.

    Robin Well’s Baby, Oh Baby reminded me of SEP more than any of the above authors, I think. I’ve only read one Ridgeway, and found it enjoyable but uneven in pacing, not generally a problem with SEP’s books.

  16. Magdalen says:

    I suspect it’s a compliment to every single author listed here to be recommended as “the next thing to try” after a reader loves SEP. But not because those authors are just like SEP (I haven’t read anyone even remotely like her); all of these authors would rather be loved on their own merits and for their own strengths. Jennifer Crusie, for example, has a very distinct style now; you might like it and SEP’s style, but not necessarily because they’re similar.

    At times, though, what I thought as I read through the list and the comments was “This could just be ‘If you like smart contemporary romances, try…’” SEP is among the very best at that sort of thing, and other authors — while very different in style, perhaps — are also very good.

    I do have one specific recommendation: Linda Howard’s To Die For, and its (less good) sequel, Drop Dead Gorgeous. Clearly, Howard’s books include (*gasp*) dead bodies, which never show up in SEP’s books. But the two Blair Mallory books are so funny and astute about women, etc., that I personally consider them to be right up there with SEP. But then I *like* Linda Howard, and so my recommendation may be as subjective as anyone else’s.

  17. A.M.K. says:

    I’m also firmly in the “SEP is one of a kind” camp… I guess that’s why so many people love her. I totally agree with those of you who wrote that her books move you to tears, laughter, anger. Usually after I’ve read one of her books, other romance novels feel flat for a while.

    But if someone likes her older books, like Hot Shot or Honey Moon, I second the Kleypas recommendation – that was actually my thought after reading Sugar Daddy, that it reminds me of SEP’s old style stuff.

    Out of Crusie’s books, I think Faking It felt pretty SEPpy to me, and maybe some of her older books, but generally, yeah, they’re not much alike.

  18. Juliet says:

    I will also add Deirdre Martin and Kate Angell that have some great sport romances with humor. And Julie Ortolon, mostly her older romances which are more humorous and have secondary romances too.

  19. Gel says:

    Have to agree with lilith – some of the older Linda Howard books have the humour

  20. EeeJay says:

    Hi!

    Well. I have been searching and searching and searching for any author like SEP but there just isn’t anyone who compares to her. But authors who do write humor into the stories include

    1-Meg Cabot (Just try “How to be popular”….even though its about teenagers, the humor is soo universal and the lesson is pretty authentic….just try it – I Dare you! :P)

    2-Jennifer Crusie – The mistake I made was to read Welcome to temptation first and the problem is – it has a lot of movie quotes and I was not into movies at ALL when I first read it – plus her tone sounded detached (she herself admits it) – so for someone who wants to try a book by her – read “Anyone but you” or ‘Cindrella Deal” (And Jenny says it herself: Cindrella Deal has the most ‘heart’…. Both are so full of humor and love that I wish I was in the book……

    3 – Janet Evanovich – Love her books Manhunt and the Stephanie Plum Series….you have to try it…!

    I probably know many more authors but I can’t think of them right now…..maybe later..

  21. EeeJay says:

    Hi!

    Well. I have been searching and searching and searching for any author like SEP but there just isn’t anyone who compares to her. But authors who do write humor into the stories include

    1-Meg Cabot (Just try “How to be popular”….even though its about teenagers, the humor is soo universal and the lesson is pretty authentic….just try it – I Dare you! :P)

    2-Jennifer Crusie – The mistake I made was to read Welcome to temptation first and the problem is – it has a lot of movie quotes and I was not into movies at ALL when I first read it – plus her tone sounded detached (she herself admits it) – so for someone who wants to try a book by her – read “Anyone but you” or ‘Cindrella Deal” (And Jenny says it herself: Cindrella Deal has the most ‘heart’…. Both are so full of humor and love that I wish I was in the book……

    3 – Janet Evanovich – Love her books Manhunt and the Stephanie Plum Series….you have to try it…!

    I probably know many more authors but I can’t think of them right now…..maybe later..

    P.S: If you just like humor period then try Harlan Coben……

  22. Alexis Roark says:

    The problem is…the IS NO ONE like SEP. I LOVE Jennifer Crusie, but it’s a different style of writing.

    It’s been said that she is a “writer’s writer,” and I couldn’t agree more. Any of the above are good reads, although if you must read one Jenny Crusie, I would say “Bet Me.”

  23. The problem is…the IS NO ONE like SEP. I LOVE Jennifer Crusie, but it’s a different style of writing.

    It’s been said that she is a “writer’s writer,” and I couldn’t agree more. Not sure where I read that, but anyway other authors like to read HER stuff. What does THAT tell you?

    Any of the above are good reads, although if you must read one Jenny Crusie, I would say “Bet Me.”

  24. Jean Cameron says:

    I love SEP but the other writer i absolutely love is Judith McNaught.
    I recommend all of her books she has written both contempory and historical books. Her books have more heart than anything i have ever read.

    Also if you a looking for humour in book try Patti Berg.

  25. Contessa says:

    There’s nothing like SEP…She has blended all the important ingredients of a great book in her stories that no reader could ever say its boring or without emotions. The characters have depthness and strength. Whatever situations they are in, a reader can be reduced to tears and soar to laughter.
    Its tough to read other books when there’s always a SEP book to compare with.
    Judith Mcnaught is also one that i enjoy reading if i cannot find any SEP books. Although she has moved to suspense thriller genre which im not into reading.
    I have yet to read any Lisa Kleypas contemporary for her historical romances also have humour.

  26. Patterson1219 says:

    Honestly, I would have to agree that I have yet to find an author that surpasses the talent of SEP. My favorite books happen to be Kiss an Angel and This Heart of Mine – literally will read them more than four times a year. Some relatively unheard of authors that I personally compare to SEP in specific aspects:

    *Lorraine Heath – Like SEP, I simply fall in love with the characters. It’s almost like I am immersed in the book – when they dance with joy, my feet are kicking, when they cry in pain, I grab the tissues.

    *Kristan Higgins – A new author for me, as I have only read one book currently, but she is nearly equal to SEP when it comes to humor (in my opinion). Lost count of the number of the “laugh out loud” moments!

    *Robyn Carr – The ongoing Virgin River series has a cast of wonderful characters that I just can not get enough of. An adorable little town setting with sexy ex-marines and everyday problems.

    I will also second Lisa Kleypas and Victoria Dahl! =)

  27. vivi says:

    So glad to have found this discussion. I am another huge fan of SEP and as i have read all her books up to date have been desperately trying to find similar authors (or just authors that I can enjoy as much) I recommend the following authors that I enjoy:
    Julie James, Jill Shalvis, Christie Craig, Susan Donovan, Rachel Gibson, Susan Andersen, Victoria Dahl. For a harlequinn blaze the only author I always rely on is Sarah Mayberry)
    Other Authors I like but can be a bit “hit & miss” are Linda Howard and Sandra Brown.
    Like others have said no-one compares to SEP but the authors I have listed are my favorite authors to read whilst I wait for the next SEP book but none are necessarily similar.

  28. sand says:

    i find that certain lisa kleypas ( contemporaries ) are somewhat similar but SEP’s books are unique and one of a kind , hence it is hard to find books similar . the contemporaries from kat martin give me the same satisfaction i get reading SEP’s books though the content and writing styles are world’s apart. i have only read one book from jennifer cruise so far and had not really enjoyed … ( this is just my opinion , you may find it interesting ) . rachel gibsons’ books are enjoyable but i don’t think hey provide the same satisfaction that SEP’s books provide .

  29. Contessa says:

    Ive just discovered one author recently who is more or less has the same uniqueness of SEP style of writing, she is Julie Ortolon. Her book Too Perfect is a must read. Its the 3rd book in a series of Perfect Trilogy.

  30. discount balmain shoes says:

    I am also agree with them,I also think should add Lisa Kleypas’ contemporaries to this list.Deborah Smith is also very good.

  31. I LOVEEEEE SEP!! I like her great sense of humor, also her taste of romance.. Since i read her book for the first time, i tell myself, i have to read all of them.
    I Also like Lisa Kleypas (especially her contemporary), Linda Howard, Judith McNaught, Rachel Gibson (who since i first read her book reminded me instantly of SEP style of writing, but of course still easy to see the differences)..

  32. Dalia says:

    I would like to add to the list Sandra Hill, because she has a great sense of humor, it always makes me laugh until tears begin to spill. Of course SEP and Sandra Hill differs in some ways, but both of them grips your attention from the first page and don`t let go til the last one.

  33. Siobhan says:

    Julie James for sure! Not as much sexy detail, but “Practice Makes Perfect” is loaded with sexual tension and humor. “Something About You” is romantic suspense, but as wonderfully satisfying as most SEP books are….
    Lisa Kleypas is a must. “Smooth Talking Stranger” can easily be compared to SEP…..sexy and funny Hero!
    SEP is a treasure, but these two authors are similar to SEP in the sense that they just don’t disappoint! Give them a try…..

  34. JustMe says:

    Wow its really refreshing to see so many die-hard fans of SEP!! Its one of those books u never forget…I’m a bookworm and i can honestly say i havent read a book even remotely similar. What i lover about SEP’s books is its so unpredictable and the matches are so so unexpected! Fanatstic highly recommended <3

  35. angeLove says:

    Christie ridgway, gibson, susan donovan, susan andersen and patti berg are great reads, SEP is amazing <3
    also does anyone know an online site do download these kind of books from for free?

  36. Rochelle says:

    I think there is one author no one else has yet mentioned that is in SEP’s league in Romance – Tami Hoag. I have only read 2 of her romance books, Lucky’s Lady and Keeping Company but the writing, humor, characters, careful interwoven plots, and other features are on as high a level. Just browse through the first chapters of Keeping Company with the broken car in the rain scene and you will be ROTFLOL. Tami Hoag usually writes thrillers but she is in SEP’s league with these 2 books, especially the recent Keeping Company!

  37. Maria says:

    I am a huge fan of Susan, I read all of her books and I am yet to find an author that is as good as she. But I reccomend a book I read yesterday, The unchosen life by a new author, Danka V. The book made me feel the same things as Susan’s does.

  38. Joy says:

    I have read and fallen in love with SEP. I’ve read basically all the authors mentioned about, but none of them truly match up to SEP :( I feel like I hit a reader’s block, nothing seems good enough these days (at least romance-wise). Like Alexis said, I also recommend “Bet Me” by Cruise :D

  39. Nikki says:

    Shannon Stacey has a great set of books about the Kowalski family that is worth the reading!

  40. diane says:

    SEP ruins me for a lot of other romance novels. It is so hard now to find a good romance novel that will bring you all of the emotion, the joy that you have after finishing a SEP book. I read all of her books more than twice. And not to repeat all of you, but she is unique and other writers are also unique in their style and their characters’ universe. The most important is the emotion which makes you forget everything else than the story when you are reading romance novels.

    Bet me by Jennifer Crusie is a good candidate for that kind of feeling different than what SEP brings.

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  42. angeLove says:

    if anyone comes across more books like hers please post it here, i’ve read every SEP, rachel gibson, crusie, christie ridgeway, robin kaye, julie james, patti berg, susan andersen, susan donovan and they’re brilliant but i haven’t come across another good author in ages…..i personally didn’t like lisa kleypas or deborah smith that much….please help? and thanx this blog is greatt :) <3

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  44. viv says:

    in response to angelove. You are having exactly same problem as me and seem to read same authors as me. I am also up to date on all my favorite authors and find it so frustrating wasting money on books by authors i dont like. I have read two Lisa Kleypas books that I liked which were Sugar Daddy and Blue Eyed Devil. Both were very good although only shown from the female perspective which I dont normally like. My new favorite author is Victoria Dahl and favorite book by her is “bad boys do” this is part of a series and all books were good plus her other contemporaries. Also try Christie Craig and Shannon Stacey. If you have not read anything by Sarah Mayberry please try her, she writes for Harlequinn Blaze & Superromance which I dont normally read but she is just fantastic and my favorite author after SEP. Another you did not mention is Jill Shalvis – some I have loved and some were just okay. Any suggestions for me would be appreciated too.

  45. angeLove says:

    thanks a lot viv, i haven’t read victoria dahl so i sure will :) i recently read a book by shannon stacey which was very good, but jill shalvis i’ve not liked the ones i read, another good author is candy halliday, some of her books are really good especially ‘your bed or mine?’ i loved it :) olivia goldsmith and lori foster also have a few good books :)

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  47. viv says:

    thanks angellove i tried the Candy Halliday book and loved it. Would like to read more of her books but cant find any that I can download as Ebook or kindle. Do you know where I can find them. I have just found a new author who I really enjoy and I might even say as much as SEP. Kristen Ashley – try sweet dreams, lady luck and rock chick series. Her books are very contemporary with lots of humour and I would say quite unique. BEWARE if you dont like swearing!!! I am now trying to find authors similar to KRISTEN ASHLEY if anyone has suggestions.

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