Nicholas Sparks' The Longest Ride has spent the last month on the best sellers' list and has been very popular locally. If you like Sparks and want to read something similar while waiting for his next title, you might try one of the ones listed below.
Nicholas Sparks is a master of poignant love stories. In his novels there is no great love without some loss and his characters frequently are faced with a difficult challenge before proving they are worthy of true love. Sparks' characters are honorable and loyal, and they place a lot of importance on family and sometimes religious faith. The pace of his stories is leisurely, quickening for rapid action and dialogue.
Kristin Hannah also has sympathetic characters that she guides to romance. True Colors has a man coming in between two sisters and might be a good place to start.
Nicholas Evans' concentrates on the bittersweet and sometimes even the best intentions end badly but all also offer hope and redemption. His first and most popular title was The Horse Whisperer about a girl and a horse who have both suffered a horrible accident.
Richard Paul Evans also writes gentle love stories. Evans usually writes with a more spiritual emphasis than Sparks does, but many of his books match the storyline and tone of a Sparks novel. Try starting with Promise Me, in which a woman named Beth struggles with the aftermath of a bad marriage and the mysterious illness that plagues her daughter.
J. Lynne Hinton is another author Spark lovers might enjoy.Hinton's novels are full of folksy spirituality and funny tender moments. A good introduction is Friendship Cake, the first in a series. In this title, women come together to gather recipes for a church cookbook and learn each other's weaknesses.
Lastly, there is Luanne Rice. Not all of her characters find happily ever after but all do find inner strength and emotional growth. The prolific Rice has many novels that will appeal to Sparks' fans; perhaps start by meeting the three McCarthy sisters in The Silver Boat. When they reunite at Martha’s Vineyard, the discovery of some old letters sheds light on their current troubled relationships.