While I enjoy sweeping historical novels, every once in a while I want to sit down with a fun contemporary story. Something I can gobble down in a couple sittings, just for enjoyment.
Sometimes called “Women’s Fiction” these books are known for their strong female leads, witty narratives, and at least a splash of romance (though sometimes more like a waterfall).
I remember when I realized that Pride and Prejudice was actually a contemporary novel in its day, written much like today’s “chick lit” genre. We think of P&P as classic historical literature, but in truth, it was famous because it used laughs and brilliant complex characters to shine light on Jane Austen’s present day world.
And just like I love Jane Austen’s work, I have also come to appreciate some of the modern authors who are writing contemporary romantic comedies today. Especially the Christian writers who are using this delightful, fun genre to encourage and inspire readers in their walk with the Lord.
So if you also enjoy light, but pleasing, novels—these favorites might be the perfect books for you this season.
Love, Lace, and Minor Alterations by V. Joy Palmer
Isabel is a bridal consultant extraordinaire and there is nothing she likes more than helping brides find the dress of their dreams, but in her heart of hearts she can’t help but wonder if the day will come when she’ll be able to choose a dress for herself.
When Izze’s Bridal shop faces some major changes, she’s forced to decide if she’s willing to trust God with her dreams…which might take a few minor heart alternations.
“Quirky, zany, cute, and funny! You’ll love getting to know Izze as she learns to trust all over again.” –Amazon Review
Just the Way You Are by Pepper Basham
When Eisley Barrett travels to England to unearth a secret, she isn’t expecting to meet anyone who will change her life. After all, she’s a single mom on a mission—not someone in search of romance or new beginnings.
But it turns out that maybe God has a little more in store for her than she imagined.
“Basham dazzles with pitch-perfect comedic spark and oodles of charm!” –Amazon Review
Emma and the Reasons by Natasha Metzler
Emma Cohen and her two roommates are living quiet lives in a small town. Everyone knows they are each single for a reason—and they’re good reasons! But unbeknownst to them, their married friends are plotting the end of their singleness.
When a plethora of eligible men show up in their lives, Emma is left wrestling with God about all her reasons and how they intertwine with her own happily ever after.
“I can’t remember the last time a novel made me ponder the heart of God quite like this one.” – Rachelle Rea Cobb
Bonus: The prequel novella, The Marrieds and their Reasons, tells the story of Emma’s married friends and how they ended up making bets of which of their single friends would marry first. This laugh-worthy prequel novella sets the stage for Emma and the Reasons in a delightfully hilarious way.
The Rockland Chronicles by Chautona Havig
I was going to share just one of Chautona’s books, but then I couldn’t decide which one. The truth is that all of the books in the Rockland Chronicles are awesome.
A fun and heartwarming story of love almost-missed and matchmaking galore.
The story of a twenty-something girl who “inherits” her older sister’s eight children, is hilarious and thought-provoking.
Deals with the serious issue of cult-like churches, while still being a joyful read that feeds you sonnets, Montana countryside, and inner city life…oh, and a little bit of romance.
And if you feel like reading a sweeping story that lasts more than a day or two, try Chautona’s six-volume serial novel Past Forward. You’ll meet a young woman, Willow, who grew up on a farm without outside interaction—and what happens when she steps into the real world. From learning to finagle her way through the city, to falling in love, Willow’s complex character will capture your attention for far too many late nights as you read just one more chapter before going to sleep.
“Have you started your journey into Fairbury and Willow’s life in the Past Forward series? If not, then you are truly missing out on a wonderful story, great characters, and a town you’ll want to move to tomorrow.” –Amazon Review
The Yada Yada Prayer Group by Neta Jackson
When God throws together an ex-con, a former drug addict, a real estate broker, a college student, and a married mother of two—hilarious and life-changing results are sure to be born!
Follow this group of vastly different women as they learn to pray with and for each other through the twists and turns of life.
“I’ve read the whole series and couldn’t put the books down. They opened my eyes to a new way of prayer…” –Amazon Review
The Cupcake Dilemma by Jennifer Rodewald
When Kristin is told that she’s “volunteering” to take care of the cupcakes for a Valentine’s Day party, she knows there’s going to be trouble. Baking + Kristin = disaster. So when help is offered from the local baker, she decides she’d better take it.
This novel is full of baking disasters, laughter, and a whole bunch of sweetness.
Bookishly Ever After by Sarah Monzon
Emory would rather read books instead of interacting with the real world, but her best friend, Tate, makes her a bet that will force her into living the adventures of her fictional friends.
This is a short, sweet story that involves books, bets, and happily-ever-afters.
Do you have a favorite contemporary read? I’d love to hear about it!
*A small reminder, or if you’re new here: If you purchase the items through the links here, Club31Women might get a small affiliate compensation – with no additional cost to you – from some of them and so I thank you for that. But while I appreciate your purchase, you should also know that we share this as our genuine opinion and personal enthusiasm for these items. See my full disclosure here.
Here at Club31Women, we recognize that not everyone has the same taste or point of view on books or movies, but we offer these short reviews for your consideration. Our hope is that you will find something new and wonderful on this list of recommended reading!
~ Lisa Jacobson, Club31Women
Natasha Metzler is a writer and farmer's wife from Northern New York. Though her life looks much different than she ever imagined it would, even the hard things sing of redemption. Her book Pain Redeemed tells the story of her journey through infertility, while Counting Grains of Sand tells of how God built her family from splintered pieces, and WordSnacks is devotional encouragement for every day. You can find her blogging at natashametzler.com, on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.