The best novels for women about a second chance at love and romance

Who am I?

I’ve always been a huge believer of love and romance and happily ever after. I also know that real life and happily ever after aren’t always easy. It took me 45 years to find my Prince Charming (after kissing a lot of frogs). I love reading stories of hope, courage, and promise and strong women who pursue their dreams. They inspire me to keep going and to keep writing. Whether I’m creating women’s fiction, historical novels, fantasy, or romance, my books explore relationships and why people do what they do, and every story focuses on love (what we always strive for) and forgiveness (what we always need). 


I wrote...

Bella Toscana

By Nanette Littlestone,

Book cover of Bella Toscana

What is my book about?

Fifty-year-old Toscana Blake has a “nice” husband and a “comfortable” marriage. There’s no magic. When she travels to Italy for Rome’s chocolate festival, she’s startled by visions at the Temple of Vesta and an unexpected meeting with a young history professor, Flynn Harris, who feels strangely familiar. As Flynn helps her unravel the mystery of her visions, Toscana starts to fall for her new friend. And when a psychic tells her she’s been searching for love for many years and is only half-alive, she fears there’s no way back to the world she understood. 

From Atlanta to Rome to Tuscany, Toscana’s emotional journey tests the bonds of love and friendship. Will her sensible side prevent her from accepting her happily ever after?

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of These Tangled Vines

Nanette Littlestone Why did I love this book?

"I love everything—the food and the wine and the olive groves and the grapevines..." That line from the book was the feeling that enveloped me as I read this story. There is warmth and tenderness, comfort and satisfaction, a place where people work hard and reap the rewards of their efforts.

The universal search for love is prominent in These Tangled Vines. Love of husband and wife, married lovers, mother and daughter, father and daughter, sibling to sibling. Everyone wants love. But how many of us find the perfect match?

I loved exploring the lushness of Tuscany and the delicious food, wine, and passion. Reading this story made me want to be there once again.

By Julianne MacLean,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked These Tangled Vines as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the USA Today bestselling author of A Curve in the Road comes a sweeping and captivating tale of one woman's journey to the lush vineyards of Tuscany-and into the mysteries of a tragic family secret.

If Fiona has learned anything in life, it's how to keep a secret-even from the father who raised her. She is the only person who knows about her late mother's affair in Tuscany thirty years earlier, and she intends to keep it that way...until a lawyer calls with shocking news: her biological father has died and left her an incredible inheritance-along with two half…


Book cover of Our Italian Summer

Nanette Littlestone Why did I love this book?

The story focuses on three women—Francesca, Allegra, and Sophia, three generations of the Ferrari family. They hope that a trip to Italy, to their roots, will restore their connections. But the ties of family run deep, especially troubled ones. Throughout the story, we see the ugly mistakes and misunderstandings of each of the characters—their dirty underwear on display—and how those mistaken beliefs and patterns have torn the fabric that holds the family together.

The characters are complex, human, flawed, and wonderful. You’ll pray for them, cheer for them, hope for them as they flounder, find their footing, and flounder some more. All in beautiful Italy. The descriptions, the locations, the food—everything is mouthwatering.

I dare you not to fall in love.

By Jennifer Probst,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Our Italian Summer as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Three generations of women in the Ferrari family must heal the broken pieces of their lives on a trip of a lifetime through picturesque Italy from New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Probst
 
Workaholic, career-obsessed Francesca is fiercely independent and successful in all areas of her life except one: family. She struggles to make time for her relationship with her teenage daughter, Allegra, and the two have become practically strangers to each other. When Allegra hangs out with a new crowd and is arrested for drug possession, Francesca gives in to her mother's wish that they take one epic summer…


Book cover of The Lost Girls of Devon

Nanette Littlestone Why did I love this book?

A small village in Devon, England serves as the backdrop for the four generations of Fairchild women—Isabel (teenage daughter), Zoe (mother), Poppy (grandmother), and Lillian (great-grandmother). The story centers around their hopes and fears, their deep wounds and tattered emotions, their desires for peace and healing even as they fumble with how to mend themselves and each other. While the characters are physically beautiful, they’re also deeply flawed and engage in the fascinating pursuits of photography, painting, Tarot card reading, and writing novels. Each character offers a unique view of the countryside, her relationship to the others, and a key to healing the whole of the family. Find a cozy chair, brew a pot of tea, and get lost in this story.

By Barbara O'Neal,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Lost Girls of Devon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of Travel + Leisure's most anticipated books of summer 2020.

From the Washington Post and Amazon Charts bestselling author of When We Believed in Mermaids comes a story of four generations of women grappling with family betrayals and long-buried secrets.

It's been years since Zoe Fairchild has been to the small Devon village of her birth, but the wounds she suffered there still ache. When she learns that her old friend and grandmother's caretaker has gone missing, Zoe and her fifteen-year-old daughter return to England to help.

Zoe dreads seeing her estranged mother, who left when Zoe was seven…


Book cover of In Five Years

Nanette Littlestone Why did I love this book?

When Dannie (the heroine) has a vision where she's five years in the future in a different apartment with a different ring on her finger and a different man, her life shifts in ways you won't imagine. I was surprised and awed as the story unfolded, totally immersed and engaged. I felt for the characters, cheered for them, fought for them, and snapped at them when they did stupid things. I was enthralled with the story, in awe of the author's creativity and imagination, admiring and appreciative of certain words and phrases. Her writing style is concise and efficient, not overly flowery, yet the words (when she needs them to) pack a powerful punch. This is a story you can’t put down.

By Rebecca Serle,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked In Five Years as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'SMART, EMOTIONAL, INTRIGUING AND COMPELLING - I LOVED IT!' JILL MANSELL

'Full of twists and turns, this is a heart-breaking yet uplifting story about love and friendship, and is one of this year's must-reads' Heat magazine *****

Dannie Kohan has held true to her meticulously crafted 5-year plan since she understood the concept. On the day that she nails the most important interview of her career and gets engaged to the perfect man, she's well on her way to fulfilling her life goals.

But that night Dannie falls asleep and dreams of a night five years in the future where…


Book cover of A Promise of Fireflies

Nanette Littlestone Why did I love this book?

A Promise of Fireflies is about everything women hold dear about falling in love. You won’t find perfect characters in this book. Ryleigh (the heroine) deals with deep emotional scars, lies, and the difficult challenge of finding a new perspective on life. The rich cast of characters confronts her—dare her—to put her fears to rest and be willing to face a new future. 

The author shows how what we fear the most can trap and keep us from the life and love we desire. The letters will make your heart swell, the poetry will make you cry, and the love will make you long to recapture that first feeling of falling for someone. This enchanting story gives you romance with a capital “R.”

By Susan Haught,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Promise of Fireflies as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Questions never asked don't always remain unanswered...

Ryleigh Collins discovers a decades-old journal among her deceased mother's belongings. Though her mother never mentioned the journal, Ryleigh can't suppress the feeling she's somehow connected. When a reclusive old man on the other side of the country reveals the journal's secrets, Ryleigh is forced to face forty-three years of lies, and sets in motion a future she never envisioned.

Bearing a deeply scarred heart, Ryleigh returns home to her ex-husband's plea to take him back. Overwhelmed, she escapes to a Rocky Mountain resort to sort through her messy life. When a paralyzing…


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Flashes of Insight

By Lynda Allen,

Book cover of Flashes of Insight

Lynda Allen

New book alert!

What is my book about?

Mood swings and insomnia are one thing, hot flash-induced psychic visions are quite another. When Olivia Wilde realizes the visions she’s experiencing in the midst of hot flashes are actually premonitions, she must learn to understand and trust what she sees in order to help a friend, preserve a piece of history, and save a life.

When Liv’s friend’s antique store in Fredericksburg, Virginia is robbed, she finds herself in the midst of a quest to find a secret cache of priceless letters written by President James Monroe and his wife Elizabeth. With the encouragement of her "Monthly" dinner party girlfriends, Liv begins to learn how to harness her newfound abilities, along with her smarts, to help catch the thief.

Flashes of Insight

By Lynda Allen,

What is this book about?

Mood swings and insomnia are one thing, hot flash-induced psychic visions are quite another. When Olivia Wilde realizes the visions she's been experiencing in the midst of hot flashes are actually premonitions, she has to learn to understand and trust what she sees in order to help a friend, preserve a piece of history, and save a life.

Deftly weaving together elements of history, mystery, menopause, humor, some Jersey girl attitude, a bit of salty language, and a healthy dose of female friendship, Flashes of Insight marks the start of a new "Jersey Cozy"* series sure to deliver laughter, intelligence,…


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