The best women’s fiction books with gorgeous heartland settings

Sarah Elizabeth Bromke Author Of Home to Brambleberry Creek
By Sarah Elizabeth Bromke

Who am I?

I love drawing gorgeous, interesting settings. Ever since my parents drove my brother and me across America to visit our cousins in Michigan, I have found myself enchanted by everything from sweet small-towns to pit stops with lots of potential for drama. I have always felt that setting can be its own character. With its bright, sunny suburbs and its dark, shadowy back-alleys, the setting is the centerpiece of any great story.


I wrote...

Home to Brambleberry Creek

By Sarah Elizabeth Bromke,

Book cover of Home to Brambleberry Creek

What is my book about?

Morgan Jo Coyle has been trying to escape her past but when she receives a heart-breaking call from her mother, telling her that her Memaw Essie is on her deathbed, Morgan drops everything to go home to the small town of Brambleberry Creek and face her family—before it’s too late.

Stepping through the door of the charming old farmhouse, Morgan is reminded of all the happy times she spent there. It’s not long before her childhood sweetheart, Emmett Dawson comes to find her. Morgan can’t deny her attraction to him. But Emmett is now a successful lawyer, getting rich with his smart-talking in court. He’s nothing like the kind boy who used to make her laugh… is he?

The books I picked & why

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The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek

By Kim Michele Richardson,

Book cover of The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek

Why this book?

If you’re looking for a story rich in a southern setting, you cannot go wrong with this one. Richardson is masterful at dialogue, and her prose is sure to sweep you into a surprising, enchanting world. I love stories like The Book Woman because I learn something new, but I don’t feel like I’m learning. I feel like I’m living in the world of the story.


Where the Crawdads Sing

By Delia Owens,

Book cover of Where the Crawdads Sing

Why this book?

This book is everywhere right now, what with the film release. Admittedly, I haven’t watched the movie; however, I devoured this story several years back. Though the mystery and character development are flawless, what really sucked me in was the low-country beauty. At times, the setting was a hostile, lonely place. And yet Owens’ treatment of the setting as a character unto itself draws you back to the book time and again.


The Mountain Between Us

By Charles Martin,

Book cover of The Mountain Between Us

Why this book?

This book was a surprise hit for me. I’d never read Martin before, but my husband knew I appreciated adventure stories. What I got instead, was a little bit of everything. Adventure, romance, excitement, and more—The Mountain Between Us was unputdownable for me. I think, though, that its dangerous, snowy setting was the one thing that upped the stakes the most. When reading this book, I felt trapped in the snowy mountains, myself. I felt cold and hungry, thirsty, and…totally swept away. 


The Lucky One

By Nicholas Sparks,

Book cover of The Lucky One

Why this book?

You might not think about Sparks as a go-to for sweeping countryside settings… and yet his treatment of the North Carolina lends itself so sweetly to this romance, that I bet the story wouldn’t be the same without it. There is something so sexy about a handsome man in blue jeans ambling down a country lane.


Virgin River

By Robyn Carr,

Book cover of Virgin River

Why this book?

I’d be terribly remiss if I didn’t hit on the ultimate small-town series. If you haven’t fallen in love with Virgin River yet, what are you waiting for? The charm of the locale and the townspeople elevate Carr’s mega-hit saga from sweet romance to sweeping, irresistible drama for fans of various genres.


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