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by Donna Huber For the A to Z Challenge, I'm discussing different book genres/categories. Each day, I will give a few details about the...

May 29, 2021

9 of the Best Books of Women's Fiction

by Susan Roberts

2021 has already had a lot of great women's fiction published. Here are 9 more titles that you will want to read.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. Free books were provided for honest reviews.

Fatal Intent by Tammy Euliano

Fatal Intent
March 2021; Oceanview Publishing; 978-1608094165
audio, ebook, print (320 pages); medical thriller
Kate Downey is an anesthesiologist at a large teaching hospital in Florida.  Her life is anything but smooth - her husband has been in a coma since an IED explosion and she is on probation - one more issue and she'll be fired.  She becomes aware that several of her elderly patients have died after routine surgery.  It isn't normal and she decides to investigate despite the warnings that she has been given.  The surgeon who performed the surgeries isn't worried about it because according to him - old people die and it's no big deal.  Her investigation into these deaths jeopardizes not only her career but her life and the lives of those she loves.  When she is put on leave by the hospital, she works even harder to solve the mystery of the deaths and to clear her name.

This is a fast-paced medical drama with an end that I didn't see coming.  It puts the spotlight on end-of-life care and who should be making the decisions to let someone die.  Once I started it, I couldn't put it down.   Kate Downey was a well-written and very likable character who wanted to protect everyone in her care as well as her friends and family.  I hope the author writes more books about her in the future.

Buy Fatal Intent at Amazon

About the Author: Tammy Euliano, MD, is a practicing anesthesiologist and tenured professor at the University of Florida. In addition to a prolific list of academic publications, YouTube teaching videos, and numerous teaching awards, she has also written award-winning short fiction. Fatal Intent is her debut novel.

Love at First by Kate Clayborn

Love at First
February 2021; Kensington; 978-1496725196
audio, ebook, print (320 pages); women's fiction
"She thought it looked like a sunrise, this smile, for all that it was still dark around them."

A sparkling and tender novel from the acclaimed author of Love Lettering, full of bickering neighbors, surprise reunions, and the mysterious power of love

Love at First is a sweet romance with lots of quirky characters and, of course, a happily ever after ending.  It's the story of family - both the people you are related to by blood and, most importantly, the people that become your family because of the love and care that you feel for each other.

Nora has recently moved into her deceased grandmother's apartment in Chicago.  She stayed there in the summers growing up and all of the other residents of the building feel like family to her.  They are close-knit and take care of each other and are really a quirky bunch of older people.  Will was surprised when his uncle left him an apartment in his will.  They had no relationship at all and Will wanted to sell the apartment as soon as possible but the will stated that he had to own it for one year before he sold it.  Much to the other resident's dismay, he decides to fix the apartment up and rent it to short-term renters until the year is up and he can sell.  The other residents try to discourage him on his plan especially Nora who feels that the disruption of her apartment family will be terrible.  But when Will and Nora meet, there is an instant connection that neither of them can deny.  Will their attraction become something larger or will Nora protecting the people in the apartment building drive them apart?

I have read previous books by this author and she tells a good romance story with a few laughs, a few tears, and a happy ending.  This was a great book to cuddle up with on a cold winter day!

Buy Love at First at Amazon

Not My Boy by Kelly Simmons

Not My Boy
Jan 2021; Sourcebooks Landmark; 978-1728217666
audio, ebook, print (272 pages); women's fiction
This was a very interesting book about a missing girl in a very upscale neighborhood and how the neighbors reacted, especially two sisters with family members who were being heavily investigated by the police.

Hannah and her son Miles, moved next door to her sister, Hillary, after Hannah's divorce.  The sisters have been very close and supportive of each other all their lives - their father was an alcoholic and their mother was pretty uninvolved in their lives.  Right after Hannah moves into the neighborhood, a young girl goes missing and is later found dead.  Due to past problems in his old neighborhood, Miles is one of the main suspects along with Hillary's husband.  Instead of supporting each other, the sisters are really nasty to each other, both trying to protect their family members at any cost.  When the sisters, with the help of their mother Eva, start to work together, they begin to find clues to solve the murder.

I enjoy books about families with problems and especially if there are sisters as part of the story.  This book had families in crisis, sisters, kids, and mystery.  It should have been a fantastic book but it was a little less than - 
  • The ending was not believable - there hadn't been any clues pointing in this direction until near the end.
  • Parts of it were pretty unbelievable.  For example, when the sisters started working together and went to a men's poker game to find out more.
  • There were lots of secrets between the sisters who were supposed to be very close.
That said, this is still a really good mystery with some interesting though flawed characters.
Buy Not My Boy at Amazon

Facing the Dawn by Cynthia Ruchti

Facing the Dawn
March 2021; Revell; 978-0800739690
audio, ebook, print (322 pages); Christian fiction
Christian fiction is a genre that I don't normally read but I won a copy and thought that I'd give it a try.  I found it a bit too religious for me but the story was fantastic. In fact, parts of it really got to me and there were a lot of tears.

Mara is at home with her three children while her husband is on a four-year assignment to Uganda to help build wells for the villages with no water.  She encouraged him to take the job and assured him that she could handle the home front.  Now he's been gone for several years and she finds herself very resentful of his life while hers is falling apart.  She isn't honest with him or with herself because she refuses to ask for help from anyone.  When a tragedy happens and he is killed and then his death is followed by even more disaster in her life, she is broken and needs help.  Her best forever friend, Ashley, moves to town and is her motivator to get her life back in order and to remind her that God has control of the situation and is always there to help her.  The friendship is what really helps lead her back to her Christian life.

I really enjoyed this book - seeing the growth and changes in Mara and her children, as well as the fantastic friendship with Ashley, made it a very emotional book for me.

Buy Facing the Dawn at Amazon

A Barefoot Tide by Grace Greene

A Barefoot Tide
Feb 2021; Kersey Creek Books; 978-1732878587
audio, ebook, print (299 pages); southern fiction 
"Some people were so good with words that they were careless with them.  Careless of their effect on the hearts and hopes of others who didn't know that it was just their manner.  And meant nothing."
(p 185)

I missed my frequent trips to the beach during the pandemic so it was wonderful to read a book about one of the beaches that I have vacationed at.  Not only did this novel have beautiful beach scenery but it was a wonderful story about a woman discovering herself at the age of 40!

Lilliane Moore lives in the same house in the mountains that she'd grown up in.  She's just lost her job and isn't sure what to do next when she is offered a two-week job at Emerald Isle NC to be a companion to an over 90-year-old man.  The money is good and she knows that it will help her repair her roof and maybe even put in air conditioning -- plus she's never seen the ocean so she excitedly accepts the job.  When she gets to the beach, she finds that the man she is going to help is a cankerous grouchy person but since she's a happy-go-lucky person who always looks on the bright side of life, she decides to be herself and see how he responds to her.

I loved the main character and seeing her grow and begin to approach things in her past that had held her back.  I really enjoyed her excitement at seeing the ocean for the first time.  I was well into my 20s when I first saw the ocean and understood her awe at the beauty and strength of the Atlantic.  This was an emotionally powerful book that celebrated the changes that people can make no matter what age they are.

Buy A Barefoot Tide at Amazon
(The ebook is a free read for Kind Unlimted subscribers - sign up there)

The Sunday Potluck Club by Melissa Storm

The Sunday Potluck Club
March 2020; Kensington; 978-1496726643
audio, ebook, print (272); women's fiction
"Wasn't the pain supposed to be gone by now?
Or would it be with her forever, like Peter Pan's shadow?  An evil sentient creature that became a life force all its own.  She shuddered at the thought and wiped fresh tears from her eyes." (p 5)

New friends can be found in unexpected places.  The four women in the novel met in the hospital cafeteria while their parents were being treated for cancer.  Bridget, Amy, and Hazel all lost their parent and Nichole's father went into remission.  The four new friends decided to meet every Sunday and have a potluck dinner to help work through their grief.  Their one rule was to remember that everyone grieves in their own way and they should respect that in each other and try not to change their friends.  The four friends have vastly different lives - Amy is a 2nd-grade teacher, Bridget works as a vet tech, Hazel is a decorator and Nichole is a psychologist.  It's interesting to see the way that their professions affect the way that they handle their friendship and life in general.  This book is a look at how grief manifests itself after a parent's death and how strong female friendship can help with the process.  Along the way, it has a little bit of romance and a lot of rescue dogs to help brighten these friends' lives.  I am looking forward to the next two books in the series to learn more about these four women and their friendship. 

This is the first book in the Sunday Potluck series and now is a great time to start the series. Book 3 Manic Monday, Inc comes out in October.

Rewrite the Stars by Christina Consolino

Rewrite the Stars
March 2021; Black Rose Writing; 978-1684336500
ebook, print (245 pages); women's fiction
"On the morning my life began to unravel like the hem of my worn out sweater, I found an old letter from my almost ex-husband in the bottom drawer of my home office desk...Times had changed.  And yet, they hadn't."
  (p 1)

Rewrite the Stars is a book about love and marriage.  It's a look at a couple who felt their love would last forever but when their life involves three children and the husband has PTSD, their youthful dreams of a 'happily ever after" life begin to crumble.

Sadie has three children and is a working mother so she spends her time taking care of everyone else.  She also shares a house with Theo, her kind of ex-husband who is suffering from PTSD after a tour in Afghanistan.  They are planning to divorce but for now, they are living in different parts of the house and are more friends than lovers.  When Sadie meets another man who interests her, she is torn - where does her allegiance lie - to her almost ex-husband, to her children, or to herself when she finally sees a way to achieve happiness.

Sadie was a well-written character and most women would understand her dilemma.  We go inside her head to better understand her thoughts and her wish to become who she used to be and to find love and contentment again.  This novel is a beautiful look at love and loss and a beautiful story about finding your happiness within yourself and learning to love yourself again.  This book will be enjoyed by anyone who enjoys deeply emotional women's fiction

Buy Rewrite the Stars at Amazon
(The ebook is a free read for Kindle Unlimited subscribers - sign up now!)

Moments Like This by Anna Gomez & Kristoffer Polaha

Moments Like This
March 2021; Rosewind Books; 978-1645480457
ebook, print (314 pages); women's fiction
This is a well-written novel with several interesting main characters and a setting in the beautiful islands of Hawaii.  The authors describe Hawaii so well that it is an integral part of the story.  Along with the beautiful setting, there is friendship and romance and a story that will keep you interested until the end.

Andie has given up her life for her job.  She works long hours and never has time or energy to spend with her friends. Even her boyfriend leaves her once he realizes that her job is the most important part of her life.  But Andie has an end goal in sight - after all of her hard work, she knows that she will be made a partner in the firm.  She is devastated when she finds out that the job she had been working towards for so long was being given to the man that she had been mentoring and who had fewer skills but better connections.  While Andie is trying to figure out what to do with her life, her best friend asks her to come to Hawaii from her home in Chicago to manage her coffee shop while her friend is in Europe.  She jumps at the chance, takes a leave from her job, throws a few things in her suitcase, and flies to Hawaii.  When she gets to the coffee shop, she realizes that it needs a complete makeover to be successful and she starts to work toward that goal.  On Christmas Eve, she meets Warren and there is an immediate attraction.  They both are keeping secrets from each other and decide that they will spend time together without asking questions.  Warren takes her to beautiful places on the Islands to learn more about the history as well as places off the tourist path.   Their attraction to each other is very strong but when Andie finds out what Warren has been hiding - it severely threatens their relationship.  What will she decide to do with the rest of her life?

Moments Like This is Book 1 in a new series set in Hawaii.  I enjoyed this book - especially the lovely descriptions of various areas in Hawaii and am looking forward to the next book in the series.

Note:  This is a debut novel from a new writing team.  Anna Gomez has been writing books under the pseudonym of Christine Brae.  Under her pseudonym, she has published six books in the women's fiction genre.

Buy Moments Like This at Amazon

You Let Me Go by Eliza Graham 

You Let Me Go
March 2021; Lake Union; 978-1542017107
audio, ebook, print (319 pages); women's fiction
At first glance, this is yet another dual timeline story set in modern-day and in France during World War II.  What the reader gets is so much more than that.  This is a book about love, respect, family, and betrayal in both time periods.  It has strong loving families, a bit of mystery, and a bit of romance - what more can you ask for in a good book.

Present time:  Morane and her sister, Gwen.  both adored their grandmother, Rozenn.  She was always there for the sisters, took them on vacations to Paris and her home in Cornwell was their favorite place to visit.  She was a strong but isolated woman who refused to talk about her past.  When she died, she left her beautiful home in Cornwell to Gwen and only left a gold compass to Morane.  Morane was devastated at the turn of events but decided to make the best of it and help her sister redecorate the house.  She finds some pictures and a partial letter that she's never seen before and decides to find out more about her grandmother's past in France during the war.  What she finds is painful and she must learn to live with the truth.

1941.  Rosenn and her family move from Paris to a small town in Brittany to save her brother from being put back into the German army or into a camp.  As the family tries to keep her brother hidden, they are surrounded by German troops and nosy neighbors who want to learn more about the doctor's family that has moved from Paris.  Rosenn's brother means the world to her and she starts working with some shady characters to get her brother out of France and safely to England. The deeper she gets into her plans, the more dangerous it becomes for her family.  When she makes a split-second decision, it changes the course of her entire life and that of her family.

This was an interesting look at a grandmother and her granddaughter and how they approached their lives and losses.  I preferred the modern-day story to the WWII story because I didn't particularly like Rosenn but I understood how the regrets of the past affected the person that she became.  The two storylines are both well written and give us more of an understanding of both women and their connections in different times.

My only problem with his book is that the first 20% is very slow.  I almost gave up reading it but am very glad that I kept on and was rewarded with a great story.

Buy You Let Me Go at Amazon
(The ebook is a free read for Kindle Unlimited subscribers - sign up!)

Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour

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  1. Thanks for including Fatal Intent! I'm eager to hear what your followers think!