Paranormal Romance: The 20 Best Books Like Layla (by Colleen Hoover)

It’s nearly impossible to be a reader today and not be familiar with Colleen Hoover. Whether you’ve read one of her novels or all 24, or even just heard about them, the author is one of the biggest names in romance books. Novels like It Ends With Us and Hopeless have made it to the top spot on the coveted New York Times Bestseller’s list, and she has sold over 20 million books in total. 

Paranormal Romance: The 20 Best Books Like Layla (by Colleen Hoover)

Fans of Hoover appreciate the romantic and sweeping stories she writes, and there is a Colleen Hoover book for almost every reader. While the stories center on characters falling in love, various books include elements of suspense, paranormal aspects, and even thriller-like themes. 

One book that ventures into the paranormal is Layla, a 2020 novel that follows a couple dealing with tragedy. The titular character, Layla, and her boyfriend Leeds are living there happily ever after, until she is brutally attacked, leaving her fighting for her life in the hospital. As she recovers, Leeds begins to worry that Layla’s trauma has left her a different person than he fell in love with. In an attempt to recapture their romance, Layla and Leeds go to a bed and breakfast, but soon strange things start happening to them. Trying to find answers, Leeds befriends another guest, and he soon has to make a choice that could have disastrous consequences. 

For fans of Layla, many Colleen Hoover books will do – Verity, for example, is quite similar – but there are many authors who capture the genre well. Below are 20 books that Layla fans may enjoy. 

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn 

Gone Girl

One of the most popular psychological thrillers there is, Gone Girl has been made into a major motion picture and continues to be picked up by new readers today. The book is about a wife that goes missing on her 5th wedding anniversary, leaving her husband the prime suspect in her disappearance. While this seems like more of a crime novel, the story unfolds in unexpected ways that will make readers gasp like they do throughout Layla. 

Gone Girl is less romantic than a typical Colleen Hoover book, but captures the thriller and suspense elements just as successfully as a book like Layla. 

The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine 

The Last Mrs. Parrish: A Reese's Book Club Pick

If the unreliable narrator is one of Layla’s appeals, this is the novel for you. In The Last Mrs. Parrish, we follow Amber, who has one goal: to become the next Mrs. Parrish, taking over for Daphne Parish and living her wealthy and extravagant lifestyle. Once Amber and Daphne become friends, her plan seems to be going well, as she travels the world with their family and becomes close to Daphne’s husband. But part of Amber’s past may come back to haunt her, leaving readers guessing until the very end.

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold 

The Lovely Bones

Like Layla, this modern classic features a mix of psychological thriller, a contemporary setting, the afterlife, and reckoning with trauma. The Lovely Bones follows 14-year-old Susie Salmon, who was raped and murdered – and while no one living knows who committed this horrific act, Susie does. Her soul is stuck in limbo, and readers follow Susie as she watches her family. She also watches Mr. Harvey, her murderer. Susie narrates the story as she tries to bring Mr. Harvey to justice and allow herself the peace to move on to the next plane. 

What You Never Knew by Jessica Hamilton

What You Never Knew: A Novel


Layla is set in a remote bed and breakfast, and What You Never Know is similarly displaced from the everyday monotony of life, finding us in a cottage on a private forested island. This island is a place full of secrets, especially those held by June’s father, who left when she was 12 and never returned. 30 years later, June returns to the island to find answers about her past.

The more that June learns about Avril Island, the more danger she is in – a tale that is narrated by both June and May, her recently deceased sister. 

The Life I Left Behind by Colette McBeth

The Life I Left Behind


Two parallel lives converge in this contemporary mystery that follows the victims of a murderer – Melody, who survived and cannot remember the attack, and Eve, who is found dead. In her hands is the same calling card that Melody escaped holding. Eve’s spirit knows who committed the crime and leaves a trail, hoping for justice. But for Melody, this trail could lead the murderer back to her. With alternating narration, life and the afterlife are woven together in The Life I Left Behind.

Come With Me by Ronald Malfi 

Come With Me

Come With Me is a mystery that has just as much heart and romance as Layla. After five years of marriage, Aaron Decker is devastated to lose his wife to a mass shooting. He’s even more rocked when he finds her private hope chest, filled with information about the unsolved murders of women. Unsure how his wife is connected to these crimes, he begins to follow the trail she left behind. What he learns sheds light on his wife’s life, and possibly also her death, as we see Aaron wade through grief with a raw narration style. 

The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins

Wife Upstairs


While this novel is a retelling of the classic Jane Eyre, you can expect much more intrigue and romance in this version of the story. The Wife Upstairs follows Jane, who is a dog walker for wealthy families but makes her real money by stealing from them. When she meets a young, rich widow, she sets her sights on marrying him and succeeds. But she begins to learn more about Eddie’s late wife, Bea, and the accident that caused her death. A twisted love triangle, beyond-the-grave communication, and endless twists will make this a great book for any Layla fan.

One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid

One True Loves: A Novel


Another engrossing story about tragedy and healing, One True Loves finds a woman unexpectedly forced to make a choice. Emma married her high school sweetheart and built an ideal life with him, traveling the world and embracing adventure. But this adventure leads to Jesse’s untimely death on their first anniversary ride, when his helicopter goes missing. 

Years later, Emma has finally put her life back together and found love again with an old friend, Sam. For the first time in a long time, she’s happy. And then Jesse is found alive, and he’s been trying to get to her the whole time. Emma has to grapple with what true love means, and who she will end up with. 

Edge of Dusk by Colleen Coble 

Edge of Dusk (An Annie Pederson Novel)

Like Hoover, Colleen Coble is known for writing books that join romance and suspense seamlessly, and Edge of Dusk is no different. The book tells the story of Annie Pederson, who has faced unimaginable tragedy twice in her life, and then adds to it when she finds a dead body floating in the water. She begins to work with the sheriff to track down the truth about the body, at the same time her first love returns to town after being linked to a cold case. When Annie realizes she is now being targeted by someone, she must work closely with Jon to save herself and her daughter. 

Never Lie by Freida McFadden

Never Lie: An addictive psychological thriller


Trapped in a remote manner that once belonged to a psychiatrist, newlyweds Tricia and Ethan find themselves bored. That is until they find a room that houses audio transcripts of every former patient Dr. Hale saw in his practice. Tricia plays the tapes, and with each one comes new information about his mysterious disappearance, and the doctor’s web of lies. 

Another mystery in a remote location, Never Lie keeps readers on the edge of their seats as they follow Tricia and Ethan to the mind-blowing conclusion. 

Archer’s Voice by Mia Sheridan

Archer's Voice


When Bree Prescott moves to Maine, she is hopeful that it is the place she’ll finally find peace and be free of the memories of a traumatic event. There, she meets Archer Hale – a man who exists, but no one else can see. Similar to Layla, readers of Archer’s Voice follow a couple who are struggling to move past their own suffering and how their unique connection transforms them.

Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney

Rock Paper Scissors

Like Layla and Leeds, Adam and Amelia Wright are in need of a weekend away to heal their marriage. Each year for their anniversary, Amelia writes a letter to Adam that she never lets him see – until this trip. But what is supposed to be a make-or-break trip has a sinister plot behind it. One of the Wrights is lying, and other forces are preventing them from moving forward, with all revealed by the end of Rock Paper Scissors.

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

The Silent Patient


After the famous painter Alicia Berenson murders her husband, she becomes completely mute. The psychotherapist assigned to her case, Theo Faber, is determined to unpack the mystery of this murder, which turns out to be more sinister than imagined. With one of the most talked about twists in a modern thriller, The Silent Patient follows an unresponsive main character like Layla, and is just as engrossing.

Lock Every Door by Riley Sager 

Lock Every Door: A Novel

Another mix of unreliable narrators and new locations, Lock Every Door starts with what seems like a dream: Julie Larsen has been hired as an apartment sitter for the rich and famous in Manhattan. But Bartholomew Apartments have odd rules: no visitors, no leaving at night, and no talking to other residents. 

Julie doesn’t question this, but fellow apartment sitter Ingrid thinks something sinister is going on. When Ingrid disappears, it’s up to Julie to save her and uncover the truth. 

Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica

Local Woman Missing: A Novel of Domestic Suspense


When three women go missing in the same town, the crimes seem connected, especially since they lived near each other. With no evidence left behind, the case goes cold, and the community slowly forgets the fear they were plagued by – that is, until one of the women shows up eleven years later. As Local Woman Missing continues, the truth finally begins to be revealed, with twists and disturbing truths that are worthy of a Colleen Hoover fan.

The Haunting of Chatham Hollow by Mae Clair and Staci Troilo 

The Haunting of Chatham Hollow

Since Ward Chatham died in 1793, no one has found his infamous hidden treasure, perhaps because seeking it is said to come with a curse. A charlatan in 1888 learned this the hard way, when a seance leads to Chatham’s ghost being unleashed on the town. 

Over a century later, paranormal researchers arrive to film a special at Chatham Manor, where they will reenact this seance. The skeptical reporter assigned to the story soon becomes a believer as he must investigate the town’s sordid history and supernatural ties. The Haunting of Chatham Hollow is atmospheric with a paranormal twist.  

Curse of Wolf Falls by Brenda Whiteside

Curse of Wolf Falls (The MacKenzie Chronicles)

Elidor MacKenzie is an empath, and she has spent her life trying to avoid this power. But when her best friend dies, Elidor finds herself with the key to an archaeological discovery and the potential to destroy a culture. She returns home, only to find herself followed – and to run into a lost love. Like Layla, Curse of Wolf Falls has both paranormal and romantic elements, as well as a mystery to keep readers guessing. 

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

We Were Liars


In this young adult novel, Cadence finds herself where she does every summer: on her family’s private island with her childhood friends. But the summer when she is 15 is different, and a traumatic event leaves her hazy and unsure of her own memory. Throughout We Were Liars, Cadence must grapple with the truth, her relationships, and maybe even the afterlife. 

The Wife Before by Shanora Williams 

The Wife Before: A Spellbinding Psychological Thriller with a Shocking Twist

For those who love the mystery and slow unraveling of the truth in Layla, The Wife Before is a natural choice. Samira Wilder is down on her luck until she meets the wealthy, handsome professional golfer Roland Graham. Soon, she is relocating to his Colorado mansion and happier than she has ever been. But when she finds Roland’s late wife’s journals, she begins to learn he may not be as perfect as she thinks. 

The Guest List by Lucy Foley

The Guest List: A Reese's Book Club Pick


Another option for those who like a remote location like Layla’s bed and breakfast, The Guest List takes place on an island off the coast of Ireland. A variety of guests have gathered there for an extravagant celebrity wedding, with no way off. Each person has their own secrets, and tensions rise until someone ends up dead.  


What genre is Layla by Colleen Hoover?

Layla is considered a paranormal romance, as well as a thriller. The book includes elements of all three genres.

Are all Colleen Hoover books like Layla?

Like all Colleen Hoover books, Layla is a romance novel. Some Colleen Hoover books, like Verity, also have the thriller and mystery elements of Layla. Most of her books do not include a paranormal aspect.

What authors are like Colleen Hoover?

Depending on what elements of Hoover’s work you like, you may find different answers. Riley Sager and Lucy Foley are popular in the contemporary thriller and mystery genre, while fans of Hoover’s romances may prefer authors like Elin Hilderbrand and Christina Lauren.

Is Layla by Colleen Hoover part of a series?

Colleen Hoover often writes series, or companion novels that are loosely connected. However, Layla is a standalone novel.

Which books did Colleen Hoover write?

1. Slammed (2012)
2. Point of Retreat (2012)
3. Hopeless (2012)
4. This Girl (2013)
5. Losing Hope (2013)
6. Finding Cinderella (2013)
7. Maybe Someday (2014)
8. Ugly Love (2014)
9. Confess (2015)
10. November 9 (2015)
11. It Ends With Us (2016)
12. Without Merit (2017)
13. All Your Perfects (2018)
14. Too Late (2018)
15. Verity (2019)
16. Regretting You (2020)

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Sarah Zoloth