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?

The books I picked & why

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These Tangled Vines

By Julianne MacLean,

Book cover of These Tangled Vines

Why 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.


Our Italian Summer

By Jennifer Probst,

Book cover of Our Italian Summer

Why 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.


The Lost Girls of Devon

By Barbara O'Neal,

Book cover of The Lost Girls of Devon

Why 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.


In Five Years

By Rebecca Serle,

Book cover of In Five Years

Why 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.


A Promise of Fireflies

By Susan Haught,

Book cover of A Promise of Fireflies

Why 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.”


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Italy, Tuscany, and Manhattan?

5,716 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Italy, Tuscany, and Manhattan.

Italy Explore 224 books about Italy
Tuscany Explore 12 books about Tuscany
Manhattan Explore 62 books about Manhattan

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like The Fault in Our Stars, The Lies That Bind, and The Spanish Love Deception if you like this list.