Women's Fiction

B+
The Summer of Sunshine & Margot

Susan Mallery’s The Summer of Sunshine and Margot is the story of two sisters who are complete opposites struggling with old baggage and new lives. No matter how difficult things get, the Baxter girls are always there for one another.  Having been abandoned by their mother at birth, they were ...

B+
Searching for Sylvie Lee

Searching for Sylvie Lee, the beautiful, mesmerizing new novel by Jean Kwok, has been named a ‘Most Anticipated’ book  by  Marie Claire, Good Housekeeping,  and a host of other publications.  I’ve been anticipating it since I finished her excellent Mambo in Chinatown in 2014. While this st ...

C
The Printed Letter Bookshop

The Printed Letter Bookshop is a pleasant enough story that trips over its own execution and runs afoul of its narrative choices but manages to avoid total failure by anchoring itself in the warmth of its main characters - three women from different worlds who come together to manage a bookstore aft ...

C+
The One Who's Not the One

The One Who’s Not the One is a simple book with a simple premise; light as air, it falls into a comfortable pocket between women’s fiction and contemporary romance.  It’s fairly funny and pretty cute, but it doesn’t distinguish itself enough to be worth more than a quick beach read. Lond ...

B-
The Friend Zone

Kristen Peterson runs a dog products business from her home, partly because she likes it, partly to spite the mother who wanted her to be a lawyer, and partly because her crippling uterine fibroids have made office schedules a challenge. Josh Copeland, new firefighter in town, keeps getting thrown t ...

F
The Summer Cottage

Though Viola Shipman’s The Summer Cottage tries to wrap its ideas in sunshine, warmth and big grins, I was wholly resistant to its charm. I like family happiness and togetherness as much as the next person, but Shipman’s almost cult-like subscription to family love and tradition above all else - ...

C
The Southern Side of Paradise

Some books work best when read in the context of a series. Kristy Woodson Harvey’s The Southern Side of Paradise pretty much follows this rule to the letter, because – while the antics of the characters amuse and we’re given a handy recap to start the proceedings – it ends up feeling incompl ...

A
The Scent Keeper

The Scent Keeper is a marvelous piece of work.  Like the bottled smells its characters covet and loathe, it carries an odor all its own.  Top notes of other tales about children living on isolated islands float over the piece, but do not define it. You can smell flashes of Nim’s Island, sunbaked ...

B-
The Key to Happily Ever After

The Key to Happily Ever After is the story of adversarial sisters and their romantic interests. Tif Marcelo has a keen understanding of the relationship space of sisters, how birth order affects that space, and how personal and professional emotions overlap when you have to work with your relatives. ...

A-
Pride, Prejudice and Other Flavors

Neurosurgeon Trisha Raje descends from Indian royalty.  Her father – now a surgeon himself – was once a prince, and he gave up his royal lineage in an attempt at assimilating when he married their one-time child star mother. Due to their hard-to-please dad’s influence, the Raje children all c ...