Books Like You’ve Got Mail

You’ve Got Mail is perhaps my very favorite 90s rom-com (but it’s so hard to chooseβ€”90s rom-coms were the best!), which is probably why it inspired my own debut novel, The Library of Second Chances. I’m far from the only writer inspired by You’ve Got Mail, or it’s original inspiration, The Shop Around the Corner.

There have been so many takes on this storyline that it’s basically a trope of its own now. I read every one I can get my hands on, so I thought I’d round them up for fellow lovers of this trope!

The Library of Second Chances cover with a blonde woman in a pink dress walking up to a Little Free Library with the beach in the background

The Library of Second Chances by Savannah Carlisle

In the tranquil village of Heron Isle, bookstore owner Lucy Sullivan cherishes her slow-paced life, filled with beachside walks and heartfelt conversations with her best friend. When the town library closes, Lucy maintains the Little Free Library, delighted by the book recommendations and anonymous notes left within.

However, her peaceful existence is disrupted when Logan Lancaster arrives to address the town’s budget deficit, proposing waterfront development that threatens Heron Isle’s charm. As Lucy and Logan clash over their opposing views in public forums, they remain unaware that they’ve been exchanging anonymous notes in the Little Free Library. As their connection deepens, Lucy wonders if their budding romance will jeopardize the idyllic life she has worked so hard to preserve in Heron Isle.

Buy The Library of Second Chances

Cover of To Sir With Love

To Sir, With Love by Lauren Layne

Gracie Cooper, an eternally optimistic young woman, takes over her late father’s champagne shop in Midtown Manhattan, setting aside her own artistic aspirations. However, she soon faces financial difficulties and a buyout offer from a large corporation led by the handsome but arrogant Sebastian Andrews. Determined to preserve her father’s legacy, Gracie grapples with the challenges of running the business.

Seeking solace and advice, Gracie turns to an anonymous online connection known only as “Sir” through a blind dating app. As she develops feelings for her faceless confidant, she remains unaware that she has already met him in real life – and that they share a mutual dislike for each other.

Buy To Sir, With Love

Cover of Meet Me in the Margins

Meet Me in the Margins by Melissa Ferguson

Savannah Cade, an editor at a highbrow publishing company, secretly writes romance novels on the side. When her manuscript catches the attention of a prestigious romance publisher, Savannah accidentally drops it during a staff meeting, forcing her to hide it in a secret room to avoid exposure. Upon retrieving it, she discovers critical notes from an unknown editor.

Faced with a tight deadline to revise her manuscript, Savannah reluctantly seeks help from this mysterious editor. As they exchange notes and ideas, she finds herself not only improving her work but also developing feelings for her anonymous collaborator. Savannah’s professional and personal worlds collide as she races to meet her deadline while trying to uncover the identity of the man she’s falling for.

Buy Meet Me in the Margins

Cover of Flirty Little Secret

Flirty Little Secret by Jessica Lepe

School counselor Lucy Galindo leads a double life. At work and with loved ones, she’s a timid, anxious person constantly on the verge of falling apart. Online, however, she’s the confident and popular @TheMissGuidedCounselor, offering anonymous advice to her many followers. Meanwhile, history teacher Aldrich Fletcher, hoping to escape family drama, finds himself caught between his ex-girlfriend and a crush on his new coworker – Lucy.

As Fletcher turns to @TheMissGuidedCounselor for advice, he discovers Lucy’s secret identity. Now both harboring secrets, Lucy and Fletcher must navigate their growing attraction. Can they overcome their fears, step out from behind their online personas, and find the courage to be honest with each other and themselves?

Buy Flirty Little Secret

Cover of Dear Santa by Nancy Naigle

Dear Santa by Nancy Naigle

Angela Carson, determined to keep her family’s holiday store afloat in Pleasant Sands, North Carolina, faces fierce competition from a national chain. Desperate, she turns to a Dear Santa app for help, unaware that her heartfelt messages are being answered by Geoff Paisley, the very man running the rival store.

As Angela and Geoff correspond anonymously, they develop a connection that contrasts sharply with their real-life animosity. When Geoff’s true identity is revealed, the stage is set for a holiday season filled with conflict, romance, and the possibility of reconciliation. Will Angela be able to overcome her resentment and embrace the Christmas spirit, potentially finding love in the most unexpected place?

Buy Dear Santa


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