For Readers

Women’s lit books to read this summer

By: Hidden Gems on May 31, 2022

Hidden Gems Books ARC service.

By: Hidden Gems on May 31, 2022


Women’s lit (or Women’s Fiction/Literature) are terms used for women centered books that focus on women’s life experience, and are targeted towards female readers. With summer just around the corner, if you’re looking for some great new women focused books to spend your time on reading in the sun, here are a few titles that our ARC readers loved.


Glory Unbound

Glory Unbound by Deborah L. King

Glory Unbound is a sequel to Glory Bishop; our reviewers recommend reading the first book before diving in, but promise it’s worth the read. Thrust into a gilded world of wealth, society, and privilege, Glory struggles to overcome the guilt of loving her new life. With this new reality comes unexpected complications and temptations. Follow Glory Bishop in her search for freedom and independence as she strives to be her own savior.

Glory Unbound is loved by readers, with Deborah D sharing in her five star Amazon review, “I was engaged and enthralled from the beginning to the end of this book. The multiple revelations toward the end of this book kept me on the edge of my seat.”

Readers aren’t the only ones paying attention to Glory Unbound. Chicago Writers Association Windy City reviews writes, “Deborah L. King has crafted a multi-layered story which weaves together an authentic cast of characters along with the city of Chicago. As the characters navigate their own stories, readers are given the ability to navigate Chicago neighborhoods. This well-written story will engage readers and have them rooting for the protagonist. There is a richness and complexity that makes it an engaging read. It unfolds in a way that allows the reader to understand the decisions Glory makes, whether or not they agree, and root for her happiness.”

Shadow of the Taj

Shadow of the Taj by Lara Bernhart

In Shadow of the Taj, readers are taken on a whirlwind ride as they follow Leslie Matthews to India. During a trip to the zoo, she meets Raveena, an orphan desperate for someone to save her from a harrowing fate. Reader beware, as Leslie tumbles into a terrifying underworld of systemic abuse she knows nothing about. But she won’t stop until Raveena is safe, regardless of the cost.

KimoKailua explains in their five star review, “This book speaks to truth in an emotionally wrenching way that will take me some time to absorb. I found the first half to be almost too difficult to read because the events mirror the actual reality of the sex trade and human trafficking that occurs everyday in too many parts of the world. The author, who has spent time in India and has done extensive research of sex trafficking and sexual slavery, brings the Indian subculture of abuse and police corruption to life in an unforgettable way…Is this an easy read? No. Is it a worthwhile read? Absolutely. Highly recommended.”

Vicki R concurs in her five star Amazon review, “…this book was an eye-opener…Ms Bernhardt magically weaves an intriguing, yet horrifying tale…If you get a chance to read one more book this year, make sure it’s this one! Shadow Of The Taj will stay with you long after you finish reading it. This is an absolutely brilliant, heart-wrenching must-read novel, by Lara Bernhardt.”

Moonlight in Magnolia Bloom

Moonlight in Magnolia Bloom: A Magnolia Bloom Novel by Paula Adler

Moonlight in Magnolia Bloom is the story of Lexi Stewart, whose lineage extends to the founders of Castle MacInnes. A year has passed since she was widowed much too young, so she accepts an invitation to escape her beloved Scotland for a needed respite. Surely a visit with her Texas relatives and a stay at Castle MacInnes will put her back to rights. There’s just one problem: Logan Jameson. The handsome personal trainer is getting everyone in Magnolia Bloom on a fitness kick, and he’s determined to make her believe she’s not too old or too heavy to find love again.

Readers and authors love this saga. Merline Lovelace, bestselling author, explains, “Paula Adler gifts us with a multi-generational family saga that combines romance, heartbreak, an honest-to-goodness Texas castle, travels to exotic locales and a cast of characters who’ll grab your heart and not let go. The love gluing the MacInnes family together shines through on every page, even when they’re dealing with the pain all families experience. So pour a cup or a glass, snuggle into your favorite chair and prepare to become an instant member of the clan!”

In her five star review, busymomof2 raves, “A story filled with family relationships, friendships and so much more. You’re swept up in the story line and won’t want to put it down. It’s well written, enjoyable and you can’t help but love the characters you meet within the pages.”

The Scent of Gardenias

The Scent of Gardenias by Lorraine Haas

She had big dreams. But will war, tragedy, and naïveté ruin her aspirations? Poignant and heartfelt, The Scent of Gardenias chronicles the struggle of a Twentieth-Century woman carving a place in a society stacked against her odds for success. Inspired by her mother’s true story, Lorraine Haas lays bare a brave and challenging journey of grit and self-discovery you won’t soon forget.

The Scent of Gardenias is a beautifully crafted women’s fiction novel. If you like raw emotional battles, family drama, and gut-wrenching dilemmas, then you’ll love Lorraine Haas’s tale of courage and tenacity. James shares his five star Amazon review, …“I loved the character, and Haas keeps her front and center, even in the tragedies experienced by others. Through quiet imagery and dialog matching reality from the 40s, the book comes alive with smart perceptions, subtle hints, and worrisome memories. I may not have lived then, but I can see and feel easily the pain Margaret pushed through day after day…Highly recommended.”

Dahnielle concurs in her five star Amazon review, “…beautifully written and offers a perspective we don’t often hear from WWII survivors…A woman’s perspective. Throughout the trials, tribulations, pain, sorrow, anxiety, grief and even a little joy Margret continues through it all to be strong and grow! The emotional roller coaster in this novel requires many tissues. Definitely worth a read.”

A Spell of Rowans

A Spell of Rowans by Byrd Nash

A Spell of Rowans is a tale of murder, magic, and family drama. It’s categorized as magical realism. For those of us unfamiliar with this subgenre, Linda does an excellent job explaining in her five star Amazon review, “A Spell of Rowans does not have a fair young maiden in distress, no fairies, no wands, no knight in shining armor, nary a werewolf or vampire. It’s just a great story with a bit of magic for those of us who are older, but still believe in magic.”

She continues in her review, “Nash has created a story that will have you immersed from the beginning to the very last sentence. She is meticulous in the development of each character and the story flows with flair and humor in all of the right places. She’s aced all three elements that I look for in a book; character growth, world building, and story flow with an edge of your seat ending.”

Some reviewers warn that these topics may not be suitable for all readers. Kimberley concurs in her five star Amazon review, “A Spell of Rowans is different from most books that I read. I thought it was a tightly written mystery with magic and family dysfunction thrown in. Vic, the main character, has a distinct voice that allows us to see her, warts and all. There is content that may be hard for some people to read, but I thought it was handled well, served the story, and was not gratuitous.”

Hidden Gems readers got to read these novels first, so if you want more stories to spend your weekend with, sign up today! Subscribers to Hidden Gems receive invitations to read books like these – plus other titles from any of up to 15 other genres – for free. Authors send these out in the hopes that the readers will write an honest review on Amazon once they’re done.

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  • Thankyou for this article. Ive always been eager to learn more about Jewish history and their religion. As of the oldest religions in this world they have a rich histioy but most of the books are boring and a snooze. I found Andy Lazris’s books very interesting on topiocs that are mostly serious but he makes them interesting and redable.