<— Drive!!!!! This book turned us inside out, and there were teams going on which hero/love interest we loved more. I know my pick, and I still stand by it, but that said, I LOVE how this book turned out from start, to finish. It brought back all my “old-school” indie feels that made me fall in love so hard with this genre in the first place. This is one of those!
P.S. In case you missed it, here’s my book review of Drive!!
And here’s the thing. We’re all looking for more LIKE it. In fact, this has become my most frequent “reader question”. Here’s just a few:
Virginia: I have a big problem. I just finished Drive and it’s wrecked me and I have a major book hangover. MAJOR. I can’t read anything else. Anything you can suggest to read next to get me through
marina: I just finished Drive and absolutely, loved, loved this book. You were right Maryse, soooooo intense, so much angst. Ugh, I am so sad that it’s over. How do you recover from this book? Really, truly I feel like starting another book right now would be betraying it. And could never live up? Such good writing too. I need to look into the author’s other books. I’m not sure if this has been brought up, I’m sure it has… the angst reminded me of Thoughtless but so much of it too reminded me of the feels from How to Kill a Rockstar. So many feels. Ugh, how to move on???
Nay: Maryse–did you ever figure out which list Drive will go on? I’m jonesing for other books like it!!
Lola: Example of a book you would compare Drive to. I loved Thoughtless, Emi Lost and Found..
Tessa: I wonder when she wrote Drive if Kate Stewart had any idea it would connect with people so much. (I still like the guy who lost more!) Also, talk about a reason to finally read Room 212.
It’s time we make the list. We?
Well yes, because while I have a solid 4 or 5 (ummm… 17) books to recommend that I KNOW will give you those intense “feels” of angst, and incredible butterflies in your stomach. Some of these are “old-school” indie from back in our original indie days… the catalysts, if you will. Many of you have already devoured these and consider these the best of the best, too.
But there are SO many new readers that have joined us that still haven’t read these yet, and I INSIST!!! They make the lists, time and time again, because THESE ARE SOME OF THE VERY BEST.
But, I too, am dying to know which ones YOU recommend (new and not-so-new alike).
So I’ll start:
(BTW: Not all of these are rock star books, but they are ALL high-angst love stories that are tumultuous as heck. They will make you fall in love HARD, make you feel sick to your stomach, make you feel faint and giddy with tummy-butterflies, make your blood run cold, probably make you cry, stress you out, and you’ll want to put your e-reader in the freezer. You will probably want to cuss me out, you’ll side on a hero-team, you’ll likely hate a character (while simultaneously, possibly loving them, too), or at least “getting” them.
This is THAT list. 😀
Oh it’s gonna be fun!
Right off the bat I’d say How to Kill a Rock Star by Tiffanie Debartolo is the CLOSEST to this level of angst and indecision and heartache. It’s got that full-on love triangle with the guy that’s so BAD for you, and the guy that’s so perfect for you and the heart that wants both. Oh yes. The angst is strong in this one. 😉 Don’t say I didn’t warn ya. P.S. Here’s my Book Review of How to Kill a Rock Star
MichelleS: Just finished How to Kill a Rock Star…. un-put-down-able….. I had goosebumps and more than once I think all the blood in my extremities rushed to my head and heart at once because I got instantly cold from the “oh no”s that kept happening. Okay Okay, I admit it… it was worth squirreling over….
Heather: I just read How to Kill a Rock Star based on your review and loved it. I did not cry…but was stunned into disbelief. I re-read the ending. Loved it.
R: I’m at 15% of Drive and now I’m bumping up HTKARS on the TBR! It actually has a God-Shaped Whole vibe writing/character wise so I can totally see that! Loving it so far.
Reanell: I LOVE How To Kill a Rock Star! Her writing is brilliant! I have yet to read Drive, but it’s in my list!!
YEP!!!! R!! You are SO RIGHT!!! God-Shaped Hole: A Novel (also by Tiffanie Debartolo – essentially the FIRST book in this “duet”) definitely fits this list. Struggling/up-and-coming musician… all that angsty, indie artisty arrogance. That HUGE love story, and all of the insecurities. It’s all there.
Mind you, BOTH books can be read as standalones, but there’s a little “character crossover/cameo” moment that runs into “How to Kill a Rock Star” from this one. 😉 Again, don’t say I didn’t warn ya. P.S. Here’s my Book Review of God-Shaped Hole by Tiffanie DeBartolo
And wait!!!! How can we possibly forget the very FIRST book that hooked me on Kate Stewart‘s version of love story angst, Room 212. THIS IS ANGST and tummy-aches to the nth degree, my friends!!!!
P.S. Here’s my Book Review of Room 212 In fact, when the author sent me “Drive”, she warned me HARD about just what level of anxiety I could find myself in, when she compared it to this one saying: “It’s very Room 212 in feels. Fair warning!”
Amy: Room 212 would be my suggestion for your next read from this author, but Maryse has read and reviewed a few others (as well as the beloved Room 212) from her.
Cheryl: Amy, it’s been a while since a book has consumed my thoughts; and yes the “feels” and angst like room 212. I put it down to go to sleep, but my mind kept thinking about it. At work, I’m thinking what does *this* mean in the prologue, who is it she’s talking about?? I HAVE to finish it tonight, even though I know I’ll be crying at some point. *grabs a glass of wine and Manny and goes into blankie fort*
R: I’m reading Room 212 because I loved Drive so much!
marina: I too want to read Room 212 because I loved Drive so much.
Fabi: Room 212 was fantastic.
Then The Mighty Storm (The Storm series Book 1) by Samantha Towle. Rock star love triangle with some seriously infuriating, jealousy-inducing moments, and a few OH NO HE DIDN’T parts, and an OMG NOOOOOOOO NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! GASP!!!! Oh yes. This is one of those, and fits on this list. 🙂 P.S. Here’s my Book Review of The Mighty Storm
bev: The Mighty Storm would usually be a no for me, but it worked for me. Well, except for one scene, the club scene if I remember correctly.
Linda: Finished reading The Mighty Storm earlier today and 59% into Wethering the Storm right now. Absolutely amazing. Jake is right up at the top of my book boyfriend list thus far. TRU ly LUV him. Giggle…xoxo
Barb: one of my all time favorites, The Mighty Storm by Samantha Towle. Jake Wethers and Tru Bennett, totally in love with book
OH!!! And no angsty love story list (especially with rock stars) can be without R.K. Lilley’s “Tristan and Danika” trilogy. Rock stars and all the angst, and turmoil, and deep, painful love that goes with that. There were some scenes that had my jaw DROPPING, and my heart pounding, and my FACE FUMING RED!!!!! SO. FREAKING. AWESOME!!!!!
Also the Love Me With Lies trilogy by Tarryn Fisher <— NO rock stars in this series, but the soundtrack made me cry the whole way through, and THIS is the tumultuous love triangle on ALL sides.
HOLY MOLY selfish, yet relatable characters that are just so in love and a complete disaster together. And apart. And together… and apart. 😉 You get the picture. But the “villain” kind of changes in this trilogy (all the while, staying the same). This is a must read and it will keep you guessing, and on the edge of your seat the whole way through. And your heart will ACHE SO GOOOOOOOOD. DO IT.
Ela: IT’S THE OPPORTUNIST AND IT ROCKS – I AND MARYSE SAY SO! …Sigh! I would love to be just reading the Opportunist/Love me with lies series! One of my all time favorite series where EACH book was awesome and not some filler follow up crap!
Lisa A: OMG – Thief was the best of the series is you are referring to the Opportunist/Dirty Red/Thief series. My favorite by far!
Nay: LOVED The Opportunist series! Major angst and mindf$#kery!!
Lisa: I loved The Opportunist series…they were the first T Fishers I’d read. I love that her books have a barb in their tail and make me feel uncomfortable. I LOOOVED reading Leahs book and watching her unravel.
The Man I Love Trilogy (actually, its official series name is “The Fish Tales”) by Suanne Laqueur<— ANOTHER SUPER-ANGSTY trilogy that plays out perfectly, gives you every single moment of love building, and then being torn apart. The scars are deep in this one, but we’re slowly rebuilt again. Stronger. Wiser, and well… I’ll let you figure out the rest. IT IS SO REAL. Will it hurt? HECK YES. Will you have a side, and wish the other would just go to hell? Yep!! 😀 DO IT!
Robyn: The Man I Love…..one of those books I wish I never read so I can read it again fresh and new! So many feeling and emotions in that whole series.
Kandace: The Man I Love was amazing! Make sure you read the rest of the Fish Tale series. Each book was so good.
Anna: I just finished The Man I Love. Wow. I’m at a loss for words. I need chocolate.
R: The Man I Love was my favorite book I read this year, and my favorite book ever. I found a coffee mug in Marshals yesterday that says “I love us” and there were public gaspy tears. Not as bad as when I saw a box of Swedish Fish next to a box of Lancaster caramels in Cracker Barrel, but not good either.
Thoughtless by S.C. Stephens <— THERE CANNOT BE an angstier, more forbidden love/risque and just PURE TROUBLE love story trilogy than The Thoughtless series. Plus… one of the love interests is a HOT rock star. *sigh* Kellan. Nobody is better and more yummy than Kellan. Well, I mean in the rock star book-world. 😉 Still, to this day, nobody beats my Travis (below). 😀 But if you haven’t read this series yet, and you love heartache and OH NOOOOOOO moments, then you MUST read this.
Sharon: Thoughtless – one of my favorites. I would cougar Kellan any time! I can read that book over and over and over.
Traci: I’m not sure if it’s because it was one of the first indie books I’ve read, but I would have to say Thoughtless is still my favorite. And Kellen Kyle is still my favorite book boyfriend
Leslie: Thoughtless is best triangle ever!!!
Arsen. A broken love story by Mia Asher (but Arsen goes above and beyond the heartachey, forbidden parts) but HOLY. MOLY. ARSEN. *blink blink* TOTAL DRAMA. TOTAL TRAUMA. You just may need a heart and stomach of steel for this one. P.S. Here’s my Book Review of Arsen
Grey: Arsen…. Oh God, I still get pretzel tummy when I hear that title.
Amy: Arsen ruined me for all other similar books. I think it’s been long enough since I read Arsen though that I can give other books a fair shot.
Jennifer: OMF*ingG!!! I cannot believe I have had this book on the back burner for months. WHAT WAS I THINKING!? I saved to my “future reading list” and never got around to it till last night. I just finished the last page and I’m not even sure where to begin… I think you put this book in the right category, it definitely is a 5 star read. I felt so many emotions and that hardly happens. I laughed, I cried BIG FAT WOPPING tears, I felt each punch in the gut, I felt angry and had so much hatred towards characters, I swooned big time and I fell in love.
I’m trying not to spoil anything but dannggg, the ending… Please Please tell me Mia Asher has something in the works for Arsen. I ended up hating him at that “certain argument” but I fell so in love with him at the end, I just hope we haven’t heard the last of him. So without trying to give anything away…
LADIES, please if you have not read Arsen by Mia Asher, PA-LEASE do me a favor, NO, do yourself a favor and one-click, borrow or whatever and read this book.
and Beautiful Disaster: A Novel by Jamie McGuire <— Because Travis. HE ALWAYS MAKES MY PURE TROUBLE/ANGSTY/BAD-ASS/I-AM-STILL-SO-IN-LOVE-WITH-HIM HERO LISTS!!!! I fell in love the hardest EVER in this book, and while it wasn’t necessarily a “love triangle” there were moments when it was, and OMG IT WAS the ultimate Beautiful disaster. You won’t understand until you read this.
THE BEST of the best for me when it comes to an angsty love story, and a hero that is the hottest thing ever, and a total mess. HOT MESS. 😉 P.S. Here’s my Book Review of Beautiful Disaster
Ela: Awwwwwww! Beautiful Disaster! Makes me want to re read it!
Nikee: still after all these years, Beautiful Disaster remains my most epic read ever
Anne: Speaking of Beautiful Disaster I think a re-read is in order. I read it when it first came out and haven’t read it again since. Love me some Travis!
P.P.S. Okay MANY of my lists… this book could totally be on. So play in these. It’s possible you’ve already looked these over, but I’d definitely give them another look (many of the books I mention above are on these lists) but I definitely need to properly update them with more:
- What To Read After Thoughtless
- What to Read After Beautiful Disaster
- The Ultimate “Marmy” Book List – The best jaw-dropping, ugly-cry, super-angsty awesome reads!
- What to Read After Arsen… A “Cheating in Romance Books” List
- Behind the Books – An interview with author Kate Stewart
- Author Confession – Kate Stewart confesses a few of her author “quirks”
Ready for more?
HERE ARE THE READER RECOMMENDATIONS:
Leslie M: *grabs megaphone and shouts into it* EVERYONE WHO LOVE’S ANGSTY LOVE TRIANGLES MUST READ ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE!!! Seriously guys….this is a must read. Ask Jean, she recently read it and loved it.
Ela: ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE NOOOOOOOWWWWWW! ARSEN IS IN A LIST OF ALL ITS OWN IF IM NOT CORRECT, IT SHOULD BE!
Jessica: Forever Right Now by Emma Scott
Kandace: True Love Story by Willow Aster
Denise: Yes. What a great book
Maryse: ABSOLUTELY!!! YES!!! PERFECT recommendation for this list. Wholeheartedly agree, and it had me in knots too. EEEEEP!!! Here’s my Book Review of True Love Story
Jean: I need to read True Love Story…..I’ve had it downloaded forever! Great list!
Lola: Example of a book you would compare Drive to. I loved Thoughtless, Emi Lost and Found.
Cristina: Just an Illusion series by D. Kelly. It is a series vs. a stand alone, but when I read Drive, it made me think of this immediately. So many of the same feels.
Lisa: Book Boyfriend Series Collector’s Edition Boxed Set by Erin Noelle. Oh sooo good!
Viki: I just finished Ten Thousand Points of Light by Michelle Warren.
Krista: i would love to add the crash series by nicole williams to your book list… of all the books that I have read after drive this one got me in the field it is a three-book series crash is the first book followed by Clash and then Crush. Everyone who loves Drive should definitely read them
Nay: Eeeek! I just found this! I have to add all 3 books in the Something in the Way series by Jessica Hawkins and also A Love Letter to Whiskey: A Friends-to-Lovers Romance by Kandi Steiner. Both books are about missed opportunities spanning the years with lots of yummy angst!! Now I’m off to mark all these books!
R: The best IMO, and the only one I’ve read where I couldn’t pick, nor did I have a clue who the h would pick, is One True Loves: A Novel.
- Black Swan Affair
- Torn Between Two: A Rockstar Romance (The Torn Duet Book 1)
- The Ground Rules trilogy
- Author Anonymous
- It Ends with Us: A Novel
- Rock star book with feels?? Forget & Blur by N.A. Alcorn
➔➔➔ Looking for more of our favorite recommendations? Browse our “Ultimate Favorites Lists” here. Are you in the mood for a certain kind of story? Browse our favorite “genre/trope categories” here and our reader favorites lists too.
➔➔➔ Love this author? Browse more Kate Stewart features and reviews on my blog. 😀