When I'm sick, sad, frustrated, or tired and want an emotional hug, I always pick up my "comfort books." Whether I vent about it to a friend or not, my mood isn't fixed until I read a good comforting book.

Sometimes, I read the entire book. Sometimes, I read a part of it. Sometimes, I skim all of it. Sometimes, I read just a chapter or two. I may read more than one book. I do whatever I'm in the mood for and it always makes me feel better.

I'm still figuring out why these books provide me with so much comfort that they're enough to fix a shitty day. It's like reading a story that indirectly tells me, "It's okay, tomorrow will be better."

Usually, the books contain some form of care or comfort provided to a character. But just the existence of that kind of scene or trope doesn't make a book comforting enough to be added to this list. There's something special about the slow-burn bonding, comfort, love, and support in these books. They might not be perfect but they give me hope.

It's not a surprise that most of these books are romance books. It might be because romance was my favourite genre for a long time. But, I've also found that nothing else gives quick comfort like romance books. Sure, many other books have comforting aspects but they're not quick pick-me-ups.

Now that I have a good number of comfort books that I've curated over the years, I thought I'd make a post to share them so that you can try them whenever you need a comforting read.

1. Tis the Season for Revenge by Morgan Elizabeth

tis the season for revenge book cover

I cannot tell you the number of times I've read this. Since reading it for the first time, I had it borrowed from Kindle Unlimited for MONTHS. It was always ready on my phone or Kindle in case of a bad day. And trust me, I had many. One time, I read this book twice continuously because I wanted more of it. This is on my best romance novels list for a reason.

What is Tis the Season for Revenge about?

Abbie was dumped by her long-time boyfriend on the day that she thought he was going to propose. It felt like rose-tinted glasses were removed because she finally realized what an emotionally manipulative and abusive person he was. In a drunken vengeful mood, she decides to hook up with her ex's boss as revenge when she matches with the boss on a dating app. Only, the boss is not the devil that she's heard aboutβ€”he's incredibly sweet and helps her undo the damage that her ex caused.

Quick selling points:

  • Sunshine and grumpy romance.
  • Christmas romance.
  • A woman who loves pink and sparkles and a man who is obsessed with her.
  • They both aren't looking for long-term but find comfort and healing with each other.
  • She learns to love herself through him <3
  • Their love, affection, and chemistry are off the charts.
  • No third-act breakup.

Trigger warnings: Emotional abuse.

2. Rock Solid by Carly Phillips and Erika Wilde

rock solid book cover

I first read this back in 2018 and it has remained a comfort book since then. Rock Solid is not exceptional in any wayβ€”it doesn't have unique elements or extraordinary characters. However, there's a charm and comfort in the mundane that this book brings out.

What is Rock Solid about?

Connor and Katie had a one-night stand when they were both stranded in a different city during a storm. Years later, when Connor is featured in a magazine, he gets a call from Katie and finds out that he has a daughter. As Connor bonds with their kid, Katie and Connor's feelings grow and tear down their walls.

Quick selling points:

  • Surprise baby/child trope.
  • A very cute kid.
  • A woman who is afraid to open her heart and a man who will patiently wait for her.
  • Slow relationship growth.

3. Yours Truly by Abby Jimenez

yours truly book cover

This is a recent favourite that has also made its way into this list. Abby Jimenez genuinely blew it out of the park with this book. I still cannot get over it and I reread it so much. I've not read another book that even comes close to this yet.

What is Yours Truly about?

Briana and Jacob get off on the wrong foot at work. When he writes her a letter to clear the air, she can't help but reply. Through letters and notes, they bond and become friends, and then fall in love. When Jake needs a fake girlfriend, she volunteers and it brings them closer. However, for their relationship to really work, both of them have to work through their traumas.

Quick selling points:

  • Will make you laugh out loud.
  • They bond through letters!
  • A man who writes journals and has a plant room in his house!
  • A dramatic woman who will fight for her loved ones.
  • They are complete SIMPS for each other.
  • Fake dating trope.

Trigger warnings: cheating, miscarriage, panic attacks.

Read my full review of Yours Truly.

4. The Reaper by RuNyx

the reaper runyx book cover

Dark Verse by RuNyx is one of my favourite series ever. There's a reason TWO of its books are on this list. RuNyx knows how to write brilliant stories with flawed characters that will burrow into your heart. And it's available on KU! If you know how to find them, there are great romance books on Kindle Unlimited.

What is The Reaper about?

This is actually the second book in the series of mafia romances. While Tristan and Morana's romance begins in book one, I love their growth in book 2. Even though they have feelings for each other, it takes time for them to truly open up to each other and give their trust. All of that happens in book 2, amidst the mafia plot.

Quick selling points:

  • Grumpy and sunshine trope.
  • A man of few words who will burn the world for her.
  • A genius hacker who will support him and patiently wait for him to open up to her.
  • He kills everyone who tries to kill her because he wants to kill her himself but then he falls in love with her.
  • Slow bonding and slow-burn love.
  • There's danger all around them and they have to work as a team to win.
  • They make a great team <3

Trigger warnings: murder, violence, stalking, kidnapping, trauma, abuse, etc. Click here to see the entire list.

5. The Annihilator by RuNyx

the annihilator runyx book cover

The Reaper is on this list because of how comforting the slow bonding is. The Annihilator is on this list because of how healing the romance in this is.

What is The Annihilator about?

It is the 5th book in the Dark Verse series and follows the romance of Dainn and Lyla. Lyla grew up in the crime ring and has never been free. Unlike the usual romance where a white knight saves the damsel-in-distress, here, a devil removes anyone who tries to touch her. Every time Lyla gets auctioned off to a man, the devil kills him. After years, he finally gets her out and gives her a home and space to heal and learn who she is.

Quick selling points:

  • A man who doesn't feel emotions and is fascinated by her.
  • A woman who has never known safety and is finally given the time, space, and support to heal.
  • He is obsessed with her and his only goal is to keep her safe and hurt anyone who hurts her.
  • Most of the story is about her slowly recovering after a life of trauma with his support.
  • Watching her heal despite everything she's been through gives hope and comfort like nothing else.

Trigger warnings: human trafficking, sexual abuse, forced prostitution, murder, violence, attempted suicide etc. Click here to see the entire list.

6. Keeping 13 by Chloe Walsh

keeping 13 book cover

Keeping 13 is an interesting comfort read of mine because I never reread the entire book and I don't find comfort from the romance which is the story. I find comfort in the chapters where the boy bonds with the girl's younger brothers and later saves them from a situation. I love the last few chapters because his bond with the youngest brother is so cute. I have those chapters bookmarked for easy access and read them often.

What is Keeping 13 about?

This is the second book in the Binding 13 series. The first two books follow the romance of two high school kids Johnny and Shannon. When Shannon, who lives with an abusive father, transfers to Johnny's school, he immediately takes a liking to her. They slowly bond over time and find comfort and support in each other while being typical teenagers. Johnny is also a great rugby player so his journey with the sport is also shown.

Quick selling points:

  • Funny high school romance that has a few deep chapters due to Shannon's home life and trauma.
  • It's cute and comforting to see her be a regular teenager and become confident by his side.
  • I love how she bonds with his family and how he and his family bond with her siblings.
  • I have a soft spot for all of Shannon's brothers <3
  • Johnny has a nice friend group with a great best friend and they envelop Shannon into their circle easily. Their interactions are really funny.
  • My bookmarked chapters: 53, 64, 77

Trigger warning: physical and emotional abuse from a parent, bullying, arson.

7. A Redo by C. M. Owens

A Redo by C. M. Owens book cover

This is another old comfort romance book. I first read this in 2019 and liked it but wasn't very impressed by it. However, later when I was looking for a reread, I picked this up and it grew on me. This is honestly not even close to the best books that I've read but is comforting for some reason that I cannot pinpoint.

What is A Redo about?

Wren lied about his name on a drunken night and had a one-night-stand with Allie which he completely forgets about. Years later, she meets him again and learns his real name. She becomes angry but lets him know about the child that she had from their hookup. Wren works hard to win her trust and prove himself and they slowly bond and fall in love.

Quick selling points:

  • Second-chance romance where she makes him grovel.
  • A sweet-as-heck man who does his best for his people.
  • A great friend group that has become like family.
  • A rich man who spoils her and their daughter.
  • A veeery adorable kid who doesn't hesitate to call her dad out on things.
  • Light-hearted romance.

8. One Percent of You by Michelle Gross

one percent of you by michelle gross

This is probably the book with the funniest beginning to a romance that I've ever read. Right off the bat, it hooked me in. The book surprised me. I did not expect it to be so good and I did not expect that it would keep pulling me back.

What is One Percent of You about?

The story starts with Elijah fighting with a five-year-old girl for the last chips packet in the store. Later, when he realizes that he was rude, he tries to make it up to the girl and her pregnant mom. They all get off on the wrong foot but while he tries to smooth things over by bringing the kid chips, they all bond. Elijah and Hadley's story is slow, surprising and comforting.

Quick selling points:

  • A grumpy and rude tattoo artist who is actually a teddy bear at heart.
  • A woman who tries to do her best for her kids while also studying and working.
  • A bossy kid who doesn't hesitate to order Elijah around.
  • Slow-burn relationship borne out of consistent effort put in by everyone.
  • You wouldn't think the characters would fit with each other but they do!

9. The King's Men by Nora Sakavic

the king's men book cover

This is the only book in this list that is not a romance book. The Foxhole Court series was nothing like I expected and has made itself a part of my heart so deeply that I don't think I will ever truly move on from these characters.

What is The King's Men about?

The series follows a teen with a fake identity who gets drafted for a university sports team made up of misfits and traumatized members. They are all flawed characters and have different secrets and baggage. However, they play really well and are a force on the court together. This is the third book in the series and is the culmination of the story that was built up in the first two books. All the plot lines that slowly, slowly built up come together to create the most comforting book EVER.

Quick selling points:

  • The BEST found family EVER. I've never seen the trope executed this well and I don't think I ever will.
  • Surprising friendships and turn of things.
  • Mafia and dangerous plotlines that require the characters to work together.
  • A very surprising but amazing romance that comes out of nowhere!!!!!!!!!!
  • The most precious characters who deserve all the love <3
  • Chapter 14 is bookmarked for easy access and I usually start rereading from there because everything from that point on is PEAK comfort.
  • (Yes, I can't be chill about this book. It took a lot of effort to not type in all caps.)

Trigger warnings: death of a parent, abuse, torture, kidnapping, blackmailing, etc. Click here for the full list.

10. Ashes of You by Catherine Cowles

ashes of you by catherine cowles book review

This is a recent read that has made its way into my comfort reads. I didn't like a previous book by this author but this book changed my mind about the author's works.

What is Ashes of You about?

After being held captive for over a month, Hallie escaped and was found by Lawson in the dead of winter. Years later, she shows up to interview as a nanny for his three boys and he hires her. She finds safety and comfort in the Hartley home with Lawson and the boys and fits into their lives easily. As Lawson and Hallie fall in love, they also deal with the return of her abductor who is targeting her.

Quick selling points:

  • A brave woman slowly recovering from her trauma with the support of the Hartley family.
  • A man burning himself out trying to do his best as a father and the chief of police.
  • Single-parent romance book.
  • Three super charming boys who take to Hallie in different ways and become protective of her.
  • Lots of adorable family moments where they cook together, play games, and more.
  • The most comforting part of the book is how Hallie blooms with the Hartley family and bonds with them.

Trigger warnings: kidnapping, murder, threats.

Read my full review of Ashes of You.

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Do you have any comfort books? Books that you reach for whenever you need a pick-me-up? What makes a book comforting to you? Recommend your comfort books to me in the comments!

photo of Sumedha

Sumedha spends her days reading books, bingeing Kdramas, drawing illustrations, and blogging while listening to Lo-Fi music. Read more βž”

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18 comments

  • Abi @ Scribbles & Stories says:

    I love learning about other people's comfort reads! The only book we have in common from your list is The King's Men, I have all my favourite chapters bookmarked for easy rereading access! My comfort reads tend to be focused on found family rather than romance, but most have romance as a secondary plot. On a bad day I'll always reach for the first books from any of my favourite series - I find something about beginnings so comforting. It's probably the chance to start a story again, knowing how much growth there is to come. πŸ₯°

    I've bookmarked Tis the Season for Revenge to read when I start feeling festive this year, and you've convinced me I need to give the Dark Verse series a try next time I renew my Kindle Unlimited! πŸ˜„

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    • sumedha @ the wordy habitat says:

      Have you read The Sunshine Court yet?! It's sooo good too and might be another comfort book of mine. It's true, most books with found family do have romance as well. I hadn't thought of that. I feel like there are a few I've read without romance but I can't remember them...
      I hope you enjoy my recs!

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  • abookowlscorner says:

    Unsurprisingly, the only book on your list that I've read is the one non-romance book πŸ˜‚ But, OMG, I couldn't agree more on The King's Men (and the entire All for the Game series, really)! Like, I know we've already discussed them at length, but I'm still surprised how a book that is centered around so much horrific brutality can be so wholesome??! πŸ₯°πŸ₯°

    Also, even if we differ in comfort genre, our comfort reading process is EXACTLY the same. Like, I'm not even kidding. When you mentioned sometimes reading the whole book, just a chapter, just some scenes, or the whole series - I FELT that. That's exactly what I do, too, and it never fails to make me feel better.

    However, like I already mentioned, I don't usually reach for romance. Instead, my comfort books tend to be childhood favorites that really hit the nostalgia button. Harry Potter is first on my list, but I also love revisiting books like Bitterblue, The Penderwicks, The Hunger Games, any Enid Blyton mystery or school story,... If I loved something as a child, chances are I'll reach for it when I'm feeling down. Which is also why "newer" books have an incredibly hard time breaking into my favorites - with all the rereading I do, my bond with my old favorites has intensified to the point that it's near impossible to beat πŸ˜‚

    Still, the fact that you value these books so highly definitely has me intrigued! So next time I'm craving romance, who knows? I might have to give one of them a try!

    Reply βž”
  • honeycomblibrary says:

    It's so interesting to me that you reach out to romances, when the first thing I reach out to is something gritty and grungy, defintely taking some of these books and series with as recommendations ❀️

    The books I've reread most is honestly the Gideon the Ninth series, they just feel like a big hug

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  • Kristina says:

    Oh yes 100% romances are good for comfort!
    Ithink mine would be Eliza& her monsters (francesca zappia) aswell as reasons to stay alive (Matt haig)

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  • Sophie @ Me & Ink says:

    Comfort books are the best! I love reaching for them when you just need an escape from life ~~ I feel so grateful for books in those moments! I loved seeing your list, even if I have only read The King's Men, the found family is excellent (although I just saw there is a fourth book out for this series following a different character, but I was so shocked to hear this news)! ✨

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  • Louise @ Monstrumology says:

    I don't think I have any comfort reads that I go back to when I'm feeling down, but I do like to go for something light and fluffy as a pick-me-up πŸ™‚

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  • Yesha says:

    These sound amazing. As I also enjoy romance I’m going to bookmark this and read them as I get them.

    Reply βž”