Aug 28 2017 8:30am

4 Women’s Fiction Best Bets for August 2017

There are no makeovers in my books. The ugly duckling does not become a beautiful swan. She becomes a confident duck able to take charge of her own life and problems. 

—Maeve Binchy

Authors imaginatively write about any difficult situations in their books. Hopefully, we will experience very few of them. But it's not the tribulations that draw us to a book, but it is the heroine's ability to overcome these obstacles that gives us immense satisfaction. Readers read women's fiction because we love being along on the journey as the ugly duckling becomes a confident duck.

And at the end of this month's selection, you'll find plenty of confident ducks. Here are some great books to put on your reading list:

How to Change a Life by Stacey Ballis

How to Change a Life by Stacey Ballis

(Amazon | B&N | Kobo)

A dare between friends leads to startling revelations and simmering tensions in the latest novel from the author of Wedding Girl.

Eloise is happy with her life as a successful private chef. She has her clients, her corgi, and a recipe for the world’s most perfect chocolate cream pie. What more could she need? But when her long-lost trio of high school friends reunites, Eloise realizes how lonely she really is. 

Eloise, Lynne, and Teresa revamp their senior-class assignment and dare one another to create a list of things to accomplish by the time they each turn forty in a few months. Control freak Lynne has to get a dog, Teresa has to spice up her marriage, and Eloise has to start dating again. 

Enter Shawn, a hunky ex-athlete and the first man Eloise could see herself falling for. Suddenly forty doesn’t seem so lonely—until a chance encounter threatens the budding romance and reveals the true colors of her friends. Will the bucket listers make it to forty still speaking to one another? Or do some friendships come with an expiration date?

Strengths: Interracial dating; luscious food descriptions, friendship conflicts; HEA
Measure of Love: Teaspoon
Mood: Poignant and lighthearted
Why You Should Read this: This book is definitely about the characters becoming more confident and moving pass roadblocks. While the interracial dating seems idealistic –more like it should be then is—there is intriguing exploration of the difficulties and rewards of renewing old friendships. Read on a full stomach or you’ll go crazy reading about the wonderful food.

A Mother Like Mine by Kate Hewitt

A Mother Like Mine by Kate Hewitt

(Amazon | B&N | Kobo)

Welcome to England’s beautiful Lake District, where a reluctant reunion forges a new bond between a daughter and her wayward mother....

Abby Rhodes is just starting to get her life on track. After her fiancé’s unexpected death, she returned with her young son to the small village where she grew up and threw herself into helping her ailing grandmother run the town's beach café. Then one evening, her mother, Laura, shows up in Hartley-by-the-Sea and announces her plan to stay. After twenty years away, she now wants to focus on the future—and has no intention, it seems, of revisiting the painful past.

Laura Rhodes has made a lot of mistakes, and many of them concern her daughter. But as Abby gets little glimpses into her mother's life, she begins to realize there are depths to Laura she never knew. Slowly, Abby and Laura start making tentative steps toward each other, only to have life become even more complicated when an unexpected tragedy arises. Together, the two women will discover truths both sad and surprising that draw them closer to a new understanding of what it means to truly forgive someone you love.

Strengths: Multi-faceted characters; Complex mother-daughter relationship; Staycation appeal; HEA
Measure of Love: Teaspoon
Mood: Poignant and lighthearted
Why You Should Read this: Marvelous exploration of the fragility and strength of the mother-daughter bond. Rewarding theme of forgiveness and insightful understanding. Hewitt has fast become one of my auto buy authors.

The Chesapeake Bride by Maria Stewart

The Chesapeake Bride by Mariah Stewart

(Amazon | B&N | Kobo)

Architect Cassidy Logan has sworn off good-looking adventurers. Newly divorced, she’s focused on building ecologically friendly, historically accurate homes on the Chesapeake Bay for her father’s construction company. Traveling to Cannonball Island—where there has been no new construction in nearly one hundred years—Cass is sensitive to the heritage of the island, and has come up with plans so perfect she’s determined to buy a home for herself. Even the fact that Owen Parker—a local who she dismisses as a lightweight and a player—seems to be everywhere isn’t enough to deter her from building her dream house.

Owen Parker is and always has been sinfully handsome and wickedly clever, a magnet for mischief as well as girls. He’s a rolling stone, going and doing whatever appeals to him, from flying a mail plane in Alaska, to working on a cattle ranch in Australia, a shrimp boat in Louisiana, and surfing and diving in Costa Rica. When an old friend offers him a job salvaging a sunken ship on the Chesapeake Bay, Owen gladly accepts. Something’s been telling him it was time to head home to Cannonball Island, and a job is as good an excuse as any. And he’s totally smitten by the pretty architect on the scene, but it seems he’s finally met a woman who’s immune to his charms. Sooner or later, Owen will have to face the reason why he always runs, because this time, leaving just might be harder than staying.

Strengths: Noteworthy historical content; Engaging characters; Strong Romance; HEA
Measure of Love: Teaspoon
Mood: Poignant and lighthearted
Why You Should Read this: Definitely will appeal to readers wanting a strong romance. And the genealogy and historical aspects are a perfect addition to a pleasing story!


 A Vintage Wedding by Katie Fforde

A Vintage Wedding by Katie Fforde


A chance meeting one evening results in an instant friendship between the three women. And they decide to pool their talents and set up their dream business together.

Soon they are having the time of their lives organising stylish and affordable vintage weddings. The summer becomes busier than they could ever have imagined as they sew bunting, bake cakes and add extra sparkle to the special days they create.

But what none of them realise is that their own romances lie waiting, just around the corner...

A Vintage Wedding is a gorgeous, uplifting romance novel about the magic of love, friendship and second chances. The perfect read for fans of Susan Mallery, Mary Kay Andrews and Debbie Macomber.

Strengths: Staycation appeal; Wedding theme; Multi-romances; HEA
Measure of Love: Teaspoon
Mood: Lighthearted
Why You Should Read this: Definitely a warm-hearted, feel-good story. 

H&H Editor Picks:

You’ve Got Mail is a Problematic Fave—But Not for the Reason You’d Think

Romantic Comedy Needs Flawed Characters…

August 2017 Romance Novel New Releases Shopping List


Scarlettleigh, blogger.

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Maggie Boyd
1. maggieboyd66
I haven't read Mariah Stewart in a while but should definitely give her another go. I always liked her writing; though I miss her romantic suspense books I imagine her WF books are just as good.

I love Katie Fforde's lighthearted romances! I look forward to reading the one listed here.
Lee Brewer
2. LeeB.
Thanks for the recommendations. Off to the library catalog to reserve some books. :)
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