Authors Like Mariana Zapata (20 Book Recommendations)

Mariana Zapata is a widely acclaimed author who has been writing romance and contemporary fiction since 2014.

Her work is characterized by strong female characters, authentic dialogue, and emotional storylines that draw readers in. 

Authors Like Mariana Zapata (20 Book Recommendations)

She has published numerous critically acclaimed novels, including the Kulti series, and The Wall of Winnipeg and Me series.

With an ever-growing fan base, Mariana Zapata has become a must-read author for lovers of contemporary and romance fiction.

If you are a fan of Mariana Zapata’s work, then there are plenty of other authors out there who could be just as enjoyable to read.

Here are six authors that readers like Mariana Zapata might want to check out.

Books By Mariana Zapata

Wait For It

Wait For It

Diana Casillas in Wait For It knows firsthand how hard life can be as an adult.

Despite all the struggles that she goes through, she has managed to make it through two years without killing anybody and for that, she deserves a medal. 

This single parent is fighting an uphill battle with a new house and two little boys who came into her world in one of the most heartbreaking ways possible. 

She also has a giant dog, a job she usually loves, and more than enough family and friends — but still, something feels off.

It would have been much easier if someone had told her beforehand that it’s not all sunshine and rainbows once you become an adult. 

Under Locke

Under Locke

Mariana Zapata’s Under Locke, published in 2014, is a great book and audiobook purchase for anyone looking for something powerful and captivating. 

The story follows Iris Taylor as she moves from her home to Austin and quickly finds employment with one of the members of a motorcycle club similar to that of her estranged father. 

Despite the anxiety-inducing situation, Iris experiences a strong allure toward her new boss.

She fights these feelings, knowing that if things become too awkward between them, she can easily leave the situation. 

However, this internal battle serves to make the novel suspenseful and enjoyable; will she succumb or resist?

Authors Like Mariana Zapata

Christina Lauren

The True Love Experiment

Christina Lauren is a writing duo specializing in contemporary stories like The True Love Experiment featuring unique characters, unpredictable plots, and plenty of offbeat humor. 

The best-selling authors have become quite well known for their ‘friends to lovers’ trope and the mixing of lighthearted humor with more serious romantic elements.

Their work covers many genres from romance to new adult to erotica with plenty of office settings.

The most popular works from Christina Lauren are novels that follow young adults dealing with various life transitions, often brought about by heartaches or love interests, such as Love and Other Words

Christina Lauren always quenches readers’ desires through captivating stories, fast becoming some of the literary world’s favorites, such as Something Wilder.


  • Captivating stories that readers love time and time again.
  • The friends-to-lovers trope is quite popular, and she delivers this to her readers every time.
  • Each novel has witty dialogue and enticing characters.


  • Not the most popular stories among men, for obvious reasons.

R.S Grey

Forbidden French

R.S. Grey is a beloved contemporary New Adult author known for her humorous novels that feature strong alpha males and the journey from hate to love and from friends to lovers. 

Her stories such as Forbidden French captivate readers with their unforgettable, relatable characters and brutally honest dialogue.

Whether it’s an awkward hookup between two misunderstood besties or a former-flame affair that leaves sparks flying, R.S. Grey genuinely expresses all the awkwardness, vulnerability, and humor of romantic situations. 

Her characters are imperfect, like in My Professor – many of them make mistakes in assumptions or judgments throughout the story – but they all come out better in the end because of it.

If you’re looking for a contemporary read full of wit and soul-searching questions about love, then pick up any novel by R.S Grey! I love Scoring Wilder.


  • We adore how in-depth the author goes into the realistic portrayals of life.
  • An enticing plot with exciting and lovable characters.
  • The storyline has good connections throughout that link back to the beginning.


  • Not all readers like her themes.

Josie Silver

One Night on the Island: A Novel

Josie Silver is a contemporary and new adult novelist who has quickly built up a loyal fanbase.

Her debut novel One Night on the Island, released in 2019, tells the story of Carlie and Jack, who are given a second chance at love. 

It captured the hearts of readers across the globe with its heartwarming tale of new love and relationships.

Following the success of One Night on the Island, Josie released follow-up novels like The Two Lives of Lydia Bird and One Day in December.

Both books have been highly praised for their compelling characters and thoughtful storylines. 


  • She captures the readers’ attention so well in her novels.
  • She writes realistic characters with genuine storylines.


  • Not the most popular novels among men.

Julie James

Something About You (FBI/US Attorney Book 1)

Julie James is a powerful female author who writes captivating novels involving alpha males, career professionals, and plenty of sass. 

Her contemporary fiction like Something About You often includes relatable characters and focuses on everyday issues that most people face in their life, such as facing difficult decisions or knowing when to rely on someone you know. 

She also injects humor into her stories, which can help lighten the suspenseful atmosphere that her books create.

Among her fans are those looking for a strong heroine, preferably with some level of career success, who proves to be brave and independent.

Julie James manages to balance these attributes with allure and charm in each leading lady she creates, such as in Stitches


  • She writes strong and independent leads that bring the story together.
  • Each book wraps up at the end with an enticing conclusion.
  • She writes about everyday issues as well as fiction layouts.


  • The themes are generic, however, most readers enjoy her novels for what they are.

Tarryn Fisher

Never Never: A Romantic Suspense Novel of Love and Fate

Tarryn Fisher is one of the most popular names in contemporary new adult fiction.

She creates enthralling stories featuring a diverse range of characters and unanticipated plot twists that keep readers hooked until the very last page. 

Her novels such as Never Never: A twisty, angsty romance tell emotional, angst-filled tales full of complex love triangles, iffy on-again off-again relationships, questionable choices, forbidden romance, and suspense-driven storylines. 

Themes of betrayal, redemption, and understanding are common through her works and the reader often faces moral dilemmas while reading Tarryn’s work.

Tarryny has gained worldwide recognition for such books as The Opportunist and Mud Vein – both of which explore issues such as cheating, heartache, and life mistakes that lead to shocking consequences. 


  • She has gained worldwide recognition for her storytelling talents.
  • She writes heartache and shocking themes well together.


  • Not everyone enjoys her themes within this genre, but you can’t please every reader out there.

Rosie Danan

The Roommate

Rosie Danan is a rising star in the genre of New Adult fiction.

She draws readers in with her witty and humorous stories like The Roommate, which feature modern characters dealing with the hilarious problems that come with moving out of your parent’s house into an adult world full of new experiences.

In these stories, Rosie Danan explores the unique dynamics found in friend-to-lovers relationships, often playing up their comedic chemistry and situations while simultaneously providing an uplifting romance between two delightfully different characters. 

Her heroines like in The Intimacy Experiment are cheerfully spunky, while her heroes are beta males who use emotion rather than physical strength to conquer their relationship problems.

Whether young adults or mid-lifers, Rosie Danan’s relatable characters make for truly entertaining stories about love and life.


  • She writes fun characters that are relatable to most readers’ personal lives.
  • She knows how to connect a reader with her novels and storylines.
  • Well-written novels overall that are captivating every time.


  • Some themes aren’t the most popular, however, her novels are known for being something different.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for authors similar to Mariana Zapata, then Julie James, Tarryn Fisher, Rosie Danan, and Sally Thorne are great options. 

Each of these authors has a unique take on contemporary romance that will delight readers with its plot twists and complex characters. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Do Readers Love R.S Grey’s Novels So Much?

R. S. Grey’s novels feature fiercely independent and down-to-earth heroines who make the stories adorable and relatable.

The light but heartfelt themes in her books often center around strong female friendships, second chances, and finding love despite all odds. 

What Works Well About Mariana Zapata’s Novels?

When it comes to reading slow-burn romance books, the main thing is focusing on the romantic build-up between characters.

Instead, a gradual connection that forms between them over time is her focus.

This gives the reader time to get acquainted with both characters and how their relationship has grown. 

What Is Mariana Zapata’s Writing Style?

In her novels, the main characters always have their story told through their own perspective, so the writing style reflects that of a 20-something woman – typically one whose life may not be economically privileged. 

The text is quite engaging and will truly draw in any reader eager to get lost in its pages.

With lengths up to 500 pages or more, these books offer another layer of depth that truly cannot be found elsewhere.

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Anna Davis