Six More Great Light Fiction Stories
More Light Fiction Favorites
When I posted a few weeks ago about favorite light fiction reads and asked for other's favorites, bookish friends recommended:
more of Katherine Center's books (I posted about Things You Save in a Fire)
Lia Louis's Eight Perfect Hours (I posted about her book Dear Emmie Blue)
the Hedgehog books by Jessica Redland
books by Rachel Hauck
Trish Doller's Float Plan and other books, and
Jenn McKinlay's Wait for It.
Thanks for all of these recommendations! I love Christina Lauren's and Emily Henry's books (I list another of Emily Henry's here), and I haven't yet read either of their newest books, Something Wilder or Book Lovers, but I can't wait to.
What other lighter fiction authors or books do you love?
01 Very Sincerely Yours by Kerry Winfrey
I delighted in the way Teddy and Everett shared pieces of their true oddball, vulnerable, silly, thoughtful selves. This was a satisfying, often funny, romantic book that hit all the right notes for me.
Teddy Phillips isn't sure how she got to this point in her life. She's coasting in her not-dream job at a vintage toy store, all of her opinions and desires seem to have have been subsumed by her boyfriend Richard's plans and preferences, and she's not close with her best friends or even with her sister anymore.
Teddy is forced to consider her life and the person she's become--and determine whether she's capable of change. She finds comfort in watching episodes of her local children's show, and she impulsively writes a letter to the calm, kind, handsome host, starting a correspondence that will shift the course of her life.
Winfrey's Very Sincerely Yours is light fiction that delivers delightful, charming banter, the promise of a new romance for Teddy, and wonderfully loyal friendships.
For my full review, please see Very Sincerely Yours.
02 The Ex Talk by Rachel Lynn Solomon
Rachel Lynn Solomon's debut light fiction, The Ex Talk, incorporates a love of public radio, will-they/won't-they tensions, humor, heart, and some steamy scenes.
In Solomon's The Ex Talk, Seattle public radio producer Shay Goldstein is in her late twenties, she's put in her time, and she thinks that her ideas deserve respect. So when young hotshot Dominic Yun shows up and, as a male, automatically has the ear of their misogynistic boss, Shay is beyond annoyed. The two soon find themselves driving everyone around them crazy with their constant bickering about anything and everything.
When Dominic and Shay get talked into posing as exes in order to host a promising radio show about relationships, they're forced to get to know each other better in order to fake their past--but they actually open the door for a potential future for themselves instead.
The Ex Talk is a fast read with lots of sexual tension along with some sexy romantic interludes, and everything about this book wonderfully suited my summer reading mood.
For my full review, please see The Ex Talk.
03 The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren
The story is heartwarming, funny, with strong friendships, plus it's steamy and romantic at times without being dramatic. I loved this one for a summer read!
Single mom Jess is a data analyst. She's good at crunching the numbers for work, taking care of her daughter, and leaning on her grandparents (who raised her) for help, but she's not comfortable with the idea of dating again.
But then her daring best friend (who writes sexy romance novels) pushes her to consider a DNA-based, data-driven dating program--and she receives an unheard-of 98 percent compatible romantic match with an unlikely partner.
The Soulmate Equation is often funny, and the best-friendship between Jess and Fizzy (Felicity) is one of the funniest aspects and was one of my favorite elements. The heartwarming familial support isn't stereotypical in its structure, and wonderfully imperfect family members add to various conflicts.
I appreciated that the will they/won't they romantic tension satisfyingly hinges on factors somewhat outside of the main protagonists' control.
The story is steamy and romantic at times without being dramatic. I love the tone the writing team of Christina Lauren struck with this one!
For my full review of this book, please see The Soulmate Equation.
Click here for my reviews of Lauren's books The Unhoneymooners, In a Holidaze, Love and Other Words, The Soulmate Equation (a favorite), and Autoboyography (another favorite and a young adult LGBTQ+ gem). Lauren's newest is Something Wilder; stay tuned for that review.
04 The Guncle by Steven Rowley
The Guncle is full of heart and humor, quirky family love, and fun references to musicals and movies--yet Rowley also offers poignancy, an exploration of grief, and the impossible-seeming prospect of going on after deep loss.
In Steven Rowley's fun, funny, and heartwarming light fiction story The Guncle, aging former sitcom star Patrick is temporarily caring for his niece and nephew.
Patrick's best friend from college (who later married Patrick's brother) has died, and Patrick's brother is going through a health crisis of his own.
Which means setting Patrick and his beloved (but sometimes foreign-to-him) Maisie and Grant loose in his home in Palm Springs, making things up as they go along. They're each coping with grief and confusion, but they adore each other and have their love to fall back on as they flounder.
Rowley explores grief and how it is a shared--yet completely individual--experience. This is especially interesting as related to the two lost loved ones for which Patrick is not officially able to “claim” a grieving role--he was not a husband to his beloved partner Joe when he died and so was not considered family. He was Sara's best friend (and, secondarily, her brother in law), but he doesn't feel he can grieve as deeply as a family member who has cultural permission to do so.
For my full review of this book, please see The Guncle.
05 People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry
Henry strikes the perfect tone for this wonderfully sweet, funny, friendship-based, romantic story that has lovely depth. People We Meet on Vacation made me laugh a lot--and got me a little teary in the end.
Best friends and polar opposites Alex and Poppy are on their annual vacation. Poppy is impulsive and fun-loving, and Alex would generally rather stay home and read than seek out adventure.
The pair has long been emotionally inseparable despite living in different cities--Poppy in New York and Alex in their small hometown. But two years ago on their vacation, something BIG happened. It threatened their friendship and continues to loom over everything between them.
This was a will they/won't they story I loved. Some of the structure of having one character hold such emotional power over the other was frustrating because of the unlikely obliviousness required on the part of that character. But Henry strikes the perfect tone for this wonderfully sweet, funny, friendship-based, romantic story that has lovely depth. People We Meet on Vacation made me laugh a lot--and got me a little teary in the end.
06 Part of Your World by Abby Jimenez
Jimenez offers humor, spicy moments, and romance while incorporating weighty issues into her light fiction opposites-attract story Part of Your World.
Alexis and Daniel are opposites. She's coming off a bad breakup. He's ten years younger than she is. She's a city doctor, he's a small-town furniture maker. Nothing about them should fit--but they can't stay away from each other.
Everything is complicated. Alexis is part of the Montgomery legacy that built the regional hospital, and a Montgomery has been pivotal to its operation (see what I did there?) for 125 years. She can't abandon her job or her duties. And she can't bring Daniel into her world, because her parents would literally disown her and never speak to her again--which is what they've vowed to do to her brother, formerly the golden child, because of his recent marriage to someone they hadn't vetted.
Meanwhile every visit to Daniel and his town builds up Alexis, fills her heart, teaches her about unconditional love, and makes her yearn for more.
Told in alternating points of view from Daniel and Alexis, Part of Your World is romantic, often funny, sometimes sexy, poignant, and it includes touches of magical realism. I felt confident that I knew where this was going, but I was in for all of it.
For my full review of this book, please see Part of Your World.