Netflix just released all 10 episodes of this small-town romance series that has me hooked! I’m not finished yet but there’s enough drama to last you a lifetime. There are a few departures from the book, but I think all the new additions and changes translated to a better TV series. If you haven’t checked it out, you should! I love all the side characters that make this small town funky (even though Hope sometimes gets on my nerves). The two main characters have an instant bond and chemistry on the show that really translated well from the books. Of course, not all is ok in the world of Virgin River as we navigate secret communities and small-town gossip, I found myself rooting for happy ever after’s for all.
If you can’t get enough of the series, these books have a similar vibe to the Virgin River series and can help with some of the pain when you’re doing binge-watching.
Fool’s Gold Series by Susan Mallery
Welcome to Fool’s Gold, California, a charming community in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. There’s lots to do and plenty of people to meet, especially women. Because there’s just one tiny problem in Fool’s Gold: the men don’t seem to stick around. Maybe it’s the lure of big-city life, or maybe it’s plain old bad luck, but regardless of the reason, the problem has to be fixed, fast. And Charity Jones may be just the city planner to do it.
Charity’s nomadic childhood has left her itching to settle down, and she immediately falls in love with all the storybook town has to offer — everything, that is, except its sexiest and most famous resident, former world-class cyclist Josh Golden. With her long list of romantic disasters, she’s not about to take a chance on another bad boy, even if everyone else thinks he’s perfect just the way he is. But maybe that’s just what he needs — someone who knows the value of his flaws. Someone who knows that he’s just chasing perfect
This series has the same feel of the Virgin River formula, a small town, plenty of family drama and heartfelt moments. This series also carries a lot of the requisite romance genre troupes like my favorite, secret baby, second chance romances to name a few.
Silver Springs by Brenda Novak
The Silver Springs series is an open-ended contemporary romance series. These books are set in a picturesque small town (fictional) in Southern California which has been modeled very loosely on Ojai—a place where even the hardest hearts can learn to love again. These books can be read as stand alone novels, but for maximum enjoyment, it’s always better to read them in order.
This series has a writing style that is very similar to Virgin River. What I like about the characters is that they all have a hard fought HEA. Some of them have served prison time, some have bad marriages, not everyone is created equal and the author manages to make you empathize with even the hardest characters.
Hopeless Romantics by Nina Bocci
On the Corner of Love and Hate
What’s a campaign manager’s worst nightmare? A smooth-talking charmer who’s never met a scandal that he didn’t like.
When Emmanuelle Peroni’s father—and mayor of her town—asks her to help rehab Cooper Endicott’s image, she’s horrified. Cooper drives her crazy in every way possible. But he’s also her father’s protégé, and she can’t say no to him without him finding out the reason why: Cooper and her have a messy past. So Emmanuelle reluctantly launches her father’s grand plan to get this Casanova someone to settle down with and help him lose his lothario reputation.
Cooper Endicott wanted to run for Mayor, but he never wanted the drama that went with it. Now that he’s on the political hamster wheel, the other candidates are digging up everything from his past. Even though he’s doing all the right things, his colorful love life is the sticking point for many of the conservative voters. He wants to win, badly, and he knows that if he wants any chance of getting a vote from the female population, he needs to change his image. The only problem? He might just be falling in love with the one person he promised not to pursue: the Mayor’s off-limits daughter.
This series is set in a small town on the east coast of the US that gives me all the Stars Hollow feels. There’s only two books in the series thus far with more to come. What brings the books alive is the vivid description of the town and it’s legendary inhabitants, particularly the senior squad. Each of these characters are zany and makes you fall in love.
Blue Moon Series by Lucy Score
Carter Pierce is a man who believes in signs. He just doesn’t know what to do with this one.
In the small town of Blue Moon Bend, where everybody is a matchmaker, Carter wants to be left alone to tend the family farm. After returning from Afghanistan with scars, his only goal is recovery. He doesn’t need any distractions, and definitely not one with silver-blonde hair and lips that beg to be kissed.
Summer Lentz is a journalist from the city sent to interview Carter and his family. She’s out of place in the small town, with her designer wardrobe and workaholic lifestyle. She asks too many questions and doesn’t take no for an answer, threatening to destroy the peace and balance that Carter has been working towards. She thwarts every attempt Carter makes to retreat back inside himself, somehow bringing him closer to being whole again.
Summer has secrets of her own, but she never planned to open up to anyone – let alone the scowling, secretive farm owner whose story she’s after. But as she gets drawn into the community, she starts to realize that she can’t stay closed off forever.
And what’s more, she doesn’t want to.
As Carter and Summer grow closer, will they be able to push past the secrets that are holding both of them back?
This series makes me LOL from beginning to end. This small town is unlike any other. Filled with a mix of people from New Age to political types, they cover it all. There are plenty of singles in this town and it’s the goal of the Beautification Committee to make sure they find their perfect partners. This leads to some hilarious moments with planets crossing, a goat that hates one man in particular and a bunch of pre-schoolers that give the adults a run for their money.
Bridgerton Series by Julia Quinn
The Duke and I
Can there be any greater challenge to London’s Ambitious Mamas than an unmarried duke?
—Lady Whistledown’s Society Papers, April 1813
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 plan to keep Simon free from marriage-minded society mothers. And as for Daphne, surely she will attract some worthy suitors now that it seems a duke has declared her desirable.
But as Daphne waltzes across ballroom after ballroom with Simon, it’s hard to remember that their courtship is a complete sham. Maybe it’s his devilish smile, certainly it’s the way his eyes seem to burn every time he looks at her… but somehow Daphne is falling for the dashing duke… for real! And now she must do the impossible and convince the handsome rogue that their clever little scheme deserves a slight alteration, and that nothing makes quite as much sense as falling in love
The Bridgerton’s are included on this list because they’re the next big romance novel that Netflix is adapting with Shonda Rhimes at the helm! I love this series; it also has a family feel similar to Virgin River. This is a regency novel that has dukes and balls and family antics. The Bridgerton’s are turning the ton upside down. More importantly, this TV series is bringing much needed diversity to the characters.
Have you watched Virgin River? What reads are you diving into next?