As you may have read, I am taking part in the 20 Books of Summer Reading Challenge and I’ve started to make my way through my list. I’ve come across some great reads so far. Here are 10 of the best chick lit and women’s fiction books for your summer reading in 2020.
Of course, I hope to have more reviews and recommendations for you before the summer is over as I get through my TBR list. As well as publishing my reviews here on my blog, I also share them on my Instagram and my new Bookstagram so I’d love it if you’d join me there too.
In this post I will be sharing my thoughts on:
Books for Summer Reading – 10 of the Best Chick Lit & Women’s Fiction for 2020
Holly Wainright – How to be Perfect
Kristen Bailey – Has Anyone Seen My Sex Life
Veronica Henry – A Wedding at the Beach Hut
Bella Osborne – Meet Me at Pebble Beach
Liz Eeles – A Summer Escape and Strawberry Cake at the Cosy Kettle
Sue MacDonagh – Summer at the Art cafe
Emma Kennedy – I left my tent in San Francisco
Judy Leigh – Five French Hens
Nicola Gill – The Neighbours
Caroline Roberts – Rachel’s Pudding Pantry
The Mummy Bloggers & How to be Perfect by Holly Wainright
Last year I read The Mummy Bloggers by Holly Wainright and loved it. It was an outrageous and shocking story about rival bloggers competing for the prestigious “Blog Ahh” award.
How to be Perfect joins those same bloggers over a year later. With some serious character flaws and unlikeable traits, this story is perfect if you want to read a bit of drama. Even though there’s a lot of fiction in this book, you can certainly see a lot of real life truths. Highly recommended as a follow on read.
Has Anyone Seen My Sex Life by Kristen Bailey
When I first started reading the prologue to Has Anyone Seen My Sex Life, I wasn’t too sure about it. I’m very pleased I carried on as it is so funny yet heartwarming at the same time and has been one of my favourite books this year.
It all starts with the craziness of normal family life until a package arrives that could rip the family apart. As the story progresses we find out about a secret life as we follow the extended Morton family through work, school runs, children’s parties, and so much more.
If you want something to make you laugh out loud but tug at your heartstrings too then you should read this book. I can guarantee you’ll never think of a Yorkshire mint cake in the same way again though.
A Wedding at the Beach Hut by Veronica Henry
This is a beautiful moving story that had me crying with sadness and joy. It is a book about the lives, businesses, and relationships of some of the inhabitants of Everdene, a small seaside town in Devon.
Although the story is leading up to the wedding of Jake and Robyn, it is more focused on Robyn’s adoption and all the people involved in the back story. The subject of adoption is dealt with sympathetically and shows just how complex the matter is, and how many lives are affected.
There are a lot of characters involved in this story which I usually find overwhelming, but every one of them was introduced at the right moment and all had such individual traits, there was no confusion. They were all extremely likable too.
I’ve read two of the earlier Beach Hut stories, but they all have different characters so can be read in any order. I highly recommend that you read them all.
Meet Me At Pebble Beach by Bella Osborne
I’ve read several of Bella Osborne’s books before and have loved them all. They are generally released as a four-part series over the period of a few weeks, with the complete book being released as one story towards the end of the series. I do actually like this as each episode is only 99p so you get the chance to try the first part before committing to the whole book, and it’s easy to read in an afternoon.
Meet Me at Pebble Beach is about Regan who makes a fantasy list of what she would do if she won the lottery. Her winning numbers “come up” and we follow her journey of what happens next.
After reading part one in April, I felt that the main character Regan was quite scatty, slovenly and even a bit lazy. She did seem to have her heart in the right place, and I felt that we would see her develop quite a bit in future episodes of this story.
As the story progressed it took on a heavier slant dealing with homelessness in Brighton and terminal ill health. I wondered how Bella Osborne was going to give this one a happy ending. I can’t say much more without giving you any spoilers but the book is a good mix of lightheartedness and serious issues.
I like the acknowledgements in the back of the books for the individuals and charities involved in giving Bella advice for this story. Homelessness in Brighton is a cause I like to support personally.
A Summer Escape and Strawberry Cake at the Cosy Kettle by Liz Eeles
Don’t be put off by the long-winded title, A Summer Escape and Strawberry Cake is delightful.
Flora has recently set up her own book shop with a small cafe in a community village when she catches her husband with another much younger woman. The story follows what happens next as Flora is taken in by the magical Luna.
This book is well written and easy to read with lovely descriptions. Highly recommended, and Liz Eeles has published a whole series of Cosy Kettle books.
Summer at the Art Cafe by Sue McDonagh
I’m a sucker for anything with cafe or little shop in the title, so the debut book from author Sue McDonagh ticks lots of boxes for me – cake, art, and 2 wheels.
Summer at the Art Cafe is about downtrodden, married Lucy who wins a motorbike and and we follow how her life changes afterwards. The story is also told from the perspective of single-dad Ash, her motorcycle instructor.
As a former scooterist I could identify so much with the main character Lucy dropping her motorbike, thrashing it in first gear and all the practice that goes with learning to ride. It was quite nice to read a girly story that covered what is often considered a manly subject. There are plenty of women out there on 2 wheels.
Five French Hens by Judy Leigh
Five French Hens follows the new friendships of 5 ladies in their 60s and 70s who are all still young at heart. In this story they embark on the adventure of a hen night in France.
I loved the characters of the hens, all with different personalities and backgrounds, but the shared bond of friendship. I have to say that I had an instant distrust of the groom, and of one of the husbands which just goes to show the power of written word.
An enjoyable story for mature ladies.
The Neighbours by Nicola Gill
This story is about two neighbours aged 34 and 55, both from very different backgrounds who become good friends and see each other through some troubling times.
It is a good mix of laugh out loud humour along with some very serious topics concerning depression and how the media bullies celebrities. I think this should actually come with a trigger warning and without giving the plot away would advise against reading with caution if you suffer from severe mental health.
A good read with a “will they won’t they?” relationship scenario throughout. I really enjoyed The Neighbours
I Left my Tent in San Francisco by Emma Kennedy
I’ve had this book sitting on my shelf for years and had bought it because of my love of travel particularly in the USA. With lack of travel happening this year, it seemed the perfect time to give it a read.
I Left My Tent in San Francisco is probably one of the funniest books I’ve ever read. It is based on the true story of two university graduates who take off for a working USA roadtrip after leaving Oxford.
The girls go from one disaster to another but learn important life lessons along the way. There are some serious aspects to the book, but it has several laugh out loud moments. I loved it.
Rachel’s Pudding Pantry – Caroline Roberts
This story is set on a farm where 3 generations of females live following the death of Rachel’s father. Struggling to keep the farm afloat Rachel and her mum Jill start a new baking business to try and make ends meet. Of course, there’s a love interest with farmer boy Tom from next door. This is described as a cosy romance, which fits it perfectly. All very light and fluffy and the perfect book for a couple of afternoons reading when you need to switch off.
I’ve also read the Christmas chocolate shop by Caroline Roberts which has a similar vibe. You can read about in my Fabulously Festive Christmas Reads.
I hope you’ve found something here that you like the sound of for your summer reading. Have you already read any of them?
I’d love to know your thoughts or any other suggestions you might have in the women’s fiction and chick lit genres.
You may also like to look at some of my other reads for summer from previous years:
Author’s Twitter – @MrsBaileyWrites @veronica_henry @osborne_bella @lizeelesauthor @JudyLeighWriter @Nicola_J_Gill