Great Women’s Literature For Summer Beach Reading
Summer beach reading is almost as essential as sunscreen and a swimsuit – so we’ve scoured some of the recent women’s literature books shared with Hidden Gems subscribers to find you five top-ranked summer recommendations. And, remember – you’ll get the opportunity to download FREE books just like this when you sign up to the program, plus titles from 15 other genres.
On the Road to Love by Melissa Baldwin
Bestselling romance author Melissa Baldwin spread her wings with the Love in the City series, which blends the romantic elements she’s so famous for with satire and literary flair. The result is romcom-meets Sex in the City, with tales of firm friends navigating love, loss, family, and career in the Big Apple. On the Road to Love is the first in this series, and a natural introduction to Melissa’s writing. The book sees Manhattan accountant Stacy facing the breakup of her marriage; and her friends whisking her on an impromptu road trip to her old hometown to rediscover the person she once was.
In her 5-star review, Crystal-Rain Love writes: “This was a wonderful story about friendship and finding new love after having your heart stomped on (Stacey’s ex is a real piece of work and those new friends… ugh. I kept wanting to see someone get a pie thrown in their face. Any one of them. I wasn’t picky.) and once the road trip started I couldn’t put this down. I stayed up til well past 1 a.m. to find out how everything worked out for Stacey. She was a very likable character and easy to relate to. I just wish she’d thrown a pie in someone’s face, BUT she handled her situation with class the whole journey to her happily ever after.”
“A charming and heartwarming romance,” writes Pamela R Mitchell in her 5-star review. “I loved this delightfully charming read with unforgettable characters and a beautifully written story about three school girlfriends who reconnect on a road trip back home to Florida. I really loved Stacy Brown, successful Manhattan accountant and her dynamic, chemistry and sweet romance with Gavin Kingsley, son of Stacy’s old piano teacher. This is a perfect beach or poolside read.”
Forgetting Ophelia by Julie C. Gardner
What if your happy-ever-after is the man who broke your heart? That’s the compelling concept behind bestselling author Julie C. Gardner‘s emotional novel about Lia, who vows to win back her husband when he walks out on her; but tragedy and circumstance conspire to give Lia an ending and a new beginning she never saw coming.
Laura Furuta wrote a 5-star review, telling us: “This is a book that I got so caught up in that I was surprised when I found myself at the end. It hooked me in from the very beginning and I didn’t want to put it down until I had read the final page. It tells a story about heartbreak and betrayal however it also has parts where there is hope.”
“Seamless writing, gripping story – I loved it,” writes Jennie Goutet in her 5-star review. “I read Forgetting Ophelia over the course of a busy week, and my favorite time of day was when I was able to get back to it. I loved the characters and the way the story unfolded. I even loved the characters I hated because I could see them so clearly, could understand them, and could even sympathize with them. There was real growth and change happening in the novel — not just in the main character, but also in the lives she touched. That’s what made this story so special. If someone as ‘forgettable’ as Lia Lark could shift the universe by her mere presence, there is hope for us all.”
Better Off Divorced by Marianne Hansen
Family drama, conflicted heroines, and the magic and mystery of female intuition serve as cornerstone ingredients to a good women’s literature novel, and Montana-based author Marianne Hansen‘s second novel certainly fits that bill! It’s the tale of teacher Grace, who is poised to walk down the aisle with her loving second husband… when the man who broke her heart, and the father to her kids, returns asking for a second chance.
“Did she make the right choice all those years ago?” momofsporefan asks in her 5-star review. “This was my first time reading something by Marianne Hansen but it won’t be my last. This story pulled me in from the beginning. Grace is a dynamic character making the best of difficult situations. There were moments that had me laughing and moments that really pulled on my heartstrings. While some of the scenarios were a bit crazy, overall they weren’t unrealistic and could really make you think. Her style of writing is very easy to read and brings the story to life in all its funny and sometimes painful glory. Grace is a wonderful character and a great example for her kids and those around her. Looking forward to reading more by this author.”
“Terrific story,” says Teresa Pogue in her 5-star review. “I loved this story. The characters are all easy to know and picture. Some you love some you hate. Grace is one you will love. Grace is a divorced mother of three who is newly engaged. She is trying to work, be a mother, fiance, and a good friend. She thinks she not very good at any of those but in reality she’s terrific at all. This book hooked me from page one. It’s a heart warming story that will make you laugh, feel anxious for Grace and want to throat punch a certain someone. Best of all, the title makes perfect sense by the end of the story.”
Meet Me on the Mountain by Amy Waeschle
With the first in her Cassidy Kincaid series reaching the #1 spot on Amazon, bestselling author Amy Waeschle gave Hidden Gems subscribers a treat when she shared a free copy of her prequel story, Meet Me on the Mountain. A real tearjerker, this book will cut you from the heartstrings down; but is beautifully written and deeply moving, and the perfect beach read.
“Waeschle did it again!” writes reviewer susan moscrip in her 5-star review. “For anyone who has both loved deeply and suffered profound loss, Meet Me on the Mountain, will satisfy both longings. Waeschle paints her characters with such fine strokes, you meet them and know them and miss them when they’re gone. You will feel love, passion and pain when you read it. You will think about your own loves and losses, while turning each page, with Kleenex in hand. Such beautiful writing!”
“A sweet and tearful story,” writes reviewer Perkins Family. “Meet Me on the Mountain is a sweet and tearful novel that reminds me of A Walk to Remember. The book follows the love story of Cassidy and Pete. Thematically, the novel is about finding love and grieving through phenomenal loss. Perhaps, the most successful thing the author does is her foreshadowing of events. The main character’s paranoia and fear of something happening to Pete is a great technique and well achieved.”
Ana’s Way by Manuela Draganova
Fluent in three languages and with master’s degrees in both Engineering and Marketing & Management, it’s perhaps no surprise that author Manuela Draganova‘s debut novel is beautifully executed. Based on true events, it tells the tale of Ana – abandoned by her husband in Eastern Europe, and struggling to look after her young daughter. Ana’s bravery, ingenuity and spirit is incredibly inspiring; and proves that a mother’s love is perhaps the most powerful force in the world.
“An excellent and well-written book,” writes review Katherine B. Rodman in her 5-star review. “Ana’s Way is beautifully written with excellent metaphors and delightful humor. It is a story about triumph in dealing with a difficult reality. Ana is a devoted mom, a gracious charmer and a hard working woman who experiences the fruit of her labor. This book not only entertains but inspires women to be all that we can be. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for an entertaining read.”
“This is a book you can read in one breath, willing more and more!” In their 5-star review, Anely writes: “This is a book you can read in one breath, willing more and more stories… Based on real facts, this is a stunning story of a beautiful woman, challenging the world of the strongest and most powerful men. The novel is like a guide to the eastern European mentality, navigation how to explore and survive in the post-communist countries. So inspiring – this was my though after closing the last page of “Ana’s way”, hoping that the story of beautiful Ana will continue in a new book soon!”