Author Spotlight: Emily Henry

Smiling woman with long, wavy blonde hair, wearing a pink top, standing against a pink background.

Here at Once Upon a Book Club, we love romance, and when it comes to romance novels, Emily Henry stands out. Not only has she sold over 2.4 million copies of her books, but she is also a New York Times bestselling author. She has been the recipient of the Goodreads Choice Awards for Best Romance three years in a row: People We Meet on Vacation (2021), Book Lovers (2022), and Happy Place (2023).

Her novels are a must-read for anyone who loves smart, contemporary romance with relatable heroines, charming love interests, and just the right amount of spice. Her books are perfect for escaping into a world of sizzling chemistry, great banter, and characters you can't help but fall in love with.

Emily’s Bookish Beginnings

Emily’s journey from a high school student in Cincinnati, Ohio, to a full-time writer is inspiring. Her creativity and passion for writing led her to earn a creative writing scholarship at Hope College. Initially, she had planned to study dance, but her true calling was writing (and we are so glad it was!)

She further refined her skills during a writing residency at the former New York Center for Art & Media Studies, part of Bethel University. Today, she dedicates herself full-time to writing and proofreading, splitting her time between Cincinnati and the picturesque Northern Ohio River region in Kentucky.

Emily’s Literary Career

Emily's writing career kicked off with her debut young adult novel, The Love That Split the World, published in January 2016. After several successful young adult novels, Emily ventured into adult romance with her novel Beach Read in 2020, which became an instant hit. She followed that with People We Meet on Vacation in 2021 which was equally as popular.

In 2022, Book Lovers hit the shelves, and it didn't take long for this charming story to also catch the eye of the film industry, with Tango announcing its film adaptation in March 2023. There was no stopping her, and she then released Happy Place in 2023, which topped bestseller lists and became another firm favorite amongst her fans. We featured this book in our BBF Pact adult box, which quickly sold out! If you are a fan of contemporary romances you may want to check out these incredible boxes - The Cupcake Connection, Write Your Own Story, and Limited Edition - Up All Night 2021.

Her latest novel, Funny Story, was published in April of this year and is definitely worth a read! Let’s look at her collection of adult romances, the ideal summer vacation companion!

Cover of 'Funny Story' by Emily Henry, featuring an illustration of a woman and a man sitting at a bar, with a blue background and yellow border.

Funny Story

In her latest release, Funny Story, Emily tells the tale of Daphne, who finds herself stranded in Waning Bay, Michigan, after her fiancé falls for his childhood best friend. Teaming up with Miles, her ex-fiancé’s new fiancée’s ex, Daphne navigates her new reality in this delightfully chaotic and heartwarming story.

Collection of items from 'Happy Place' by Emily Henry, including the book, themed pouches, bookmarks, and postcards, arranged on a white surface.

Happy Place

Happy Place explores not just romantic love but also the love found in lasting friendships. As Harriet and Wyn pretend to be together for one last summer at a beloved cottage, Emily masterfully delves into the complexities of relationships and the power of second chances.

Cover of 'Book Lovers' by Emily Henry, featuring an illustration of a woman and a man sitting back-to-back reading books, with a blue background and yellow border.

Book Lovers

In Book Lovers, literary agent Nora Stephens takes a summer trip to Sunshine Falls, North Carolina, where she unexpectedly reconnects with her work nemesis, book editor Charlie Lastra. Their "meet cute" leads to surprising discoveries about each other and themselves.

Cover of 'People We Meet on Vacation' by Emily Henry, featuring an illustration of a man and woman lounging on chairs with palm leaves, displayed on a tablet against a backdrop of palm trees.

People We Meet on Vacation

People We Meet on Vacation follows best friends Poppy and Alex as they attempt to mend their strained friendship with one last vacation. This heartwarming tale reminds us of the magic in rekindling old connections and discovering new depths in relationships.

Cover of 'Beach Read' by Emily Henry, featuring an illustration of a woman and a man reading on beach towels, placed on a wooden surface with small red, yellow, and blue stars scattered around.

Beach Read

The novel that started it all, Beach Read, features two authors with neighboring lake houses who strike a deal to help each other overcome their writer's block. This enemies-to-lovers story is filled with delightful banter and unexpected romance.

Smiling woman with blonde hair, resting her chin on her hand, wearing a colorful striped shirt, sitting against a pink background.


Emily Henry's novels are a treasure trove for romance lovers. Her ability to blend humor, emotion, and deep character connections makes her a standout author in contemporary fiction. Whether you're a long-time fan or new to her work, Emily’s stories promise to deliver joy, laughter, and a whole lot of heart.

In a recent interview with Elle, we loved how she phrased the following—“Romance can get a bad rap because of the acknowledgement of tropes. But we are not the only genre with tropes. It always kind of cracks me up when someone is reviewing a romance novel, and they’re like, “I had a great time, but it was predictable [because] of the Happily Ever After.” I don’t see people reviewing mysteries and being like, “This was so predictable. At the end we found out who the murderer was!”” Personally, that’s why we love romances; it’s the Happily Ever After!”

If you are a romantic at heart, we think you will love our blog on planning the ultimate bookish date night!

Images of Emily Henry were sourced from her Instagram @emilyhenrywrites

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