Chicklit on Audio this Summer

Chicklit readers, now is the time to load up on some new audiobooks for your commute/gym/morning jog. Two new audiobooks are guaranteed to please:

Newly out in the Chicklit:  Jill Shalvis’ Forever and a Day, and Meg Mitchell Moore’s The Arrivals.

Forever and a Day, by Jill Shalvis, is number 6 in the Lucky Harbor Series, which is very popular among the Nora Roberts-like line of contemporary romance. The books are easy and relaxing, and the guy always gets the girl-but not without some very endearing conflicts along the way. This particular novel circles around Grace, a woman who is trying to decide what she wants to do with her life when she falls into nanny-ing and dog sitting for the town’s most eligible bachelor, a handsome local Doctor named Josh. They made a deal that her position would be temporary, but things start to get complicated VERY quickly. Juicy love scenes included.

Meg Mitchell Moore’s The Arrivals is a more family-centered novel, focusing less on romantic love and more on the complex relationships that exist between parents and their children, ranging from young to old. When a retired couple finds their children all home at once, working through difficult life obstacles and some even bringing children of their own, they will learn that parenting never ends, and it doesn’t get any easier, either. This is a heartwarming novel that ends happily as the characters learn to be comfortable with themselves and their life decisions, with the love of family to back them up.  If you are a parent, you will find this one especially touching and sweet.

So if you have been looking for a new audiobook, these are this reviewer’s top Chicklit choices for a summer listen-so grab them now and listen before fall rolls in, and I throw another one your way!

A Simple Thing by Kathleen McCleary

A Simple Thing” by Kathleen McCleary is a novel about the trials of learning about yourself and finding peace while struggling with parenthood.

Susannah Delaney is a neurotic, controlling and anxious mother whose life seems to be spiralling out of control as her teenage daughter begins to rebel and assert her independence in very self-destructive ways, and her young son is being bullied by other children in their suburban world. Susannah decides that she wants to “save” her family, so she packs up their things and proceeds to move her two children to a remote island off of the coast of Washington State-leaving her husband behind, blinking in awe.

Katie and Quinn are none too pleased about the new arrangement at first, but as they begin to make new friends and get comfortable, she begins to wonder if she has made a huge mistake. Do life’s problems just follow you wherever you go, or can you escape them by changing your surroundings? Susannah is forced to deal with her own demons as she realizes a great deal about herself, her marriage and her children out on a barely populated island with no electricity and plenty of time to think about what is really important.

This is a novel about parenting, marriage, love, resentment, blame and shame, but most importantly, it’s a novel about learning who you are and accepting that there are some things you just can’t change.

If you love women’s fiction or anything about motherhood, you will not want to miss this novel. It’s also a GREAT vacation read, especially if you are “roughing” it. If you like this novel, also look out for “What Alice Forgot” by Liane Moriarty, which has similar themes and an equally satisfying ending.

What You Wish For by Kerry Reichs

Wyatt, Dimple, Eva and Maryn are all at a crossroads. To have a baby or to not have a baby.

Wyatt is a single man who is tired of waiting for Mrs. Right to come along and start a family. His heart has been broken enough times, and he is ready to adopt a child of his own. But very few adoption agencies will give a “single father” the time of day, and his quest to become a father is twisted into something perverse by many members of the public. But Wyatt won’t back down when all he wants is to become a father. Why do men and women get treated differently when parenthood comes into play?

Dimple is an actress slowly inching past her prime, and she, like Wyatt, feels the urge to have a baby of her own. But her agent and many in the acting business believe that this decision would be career suicide. Is she willing to give up Hollywood to become a mother? She has been waiting for the right guy to come along and now she’s starting to wonder if a man is really necessary-beyond the initial contribution, of course.

Eva is a Hollywood agent representing a hot young starlet who wants to take over Hollywood, and she has just met and begun seeing the man of her dreams. But Eva has a secret that she fears will mean the end of her perfect relationship. Eva doesn’t want kids. Not now, not ever. Will she wind up alone?

Maryn is in the horse shipping business, highly successful and a cancer survivor. Before she began cancer treatment, she and her husband had embryos frozen in the event that her ovaries were rendered useless by the process. Divorced before her cancer was even in remission, Maryn now wants to use those embryos. Her ex-husband and his young new wife aren’t so keen on the idea, however, and she finds herself in a court battle of epic proportions and a media circus that becomes a national issue. Are frozen embryos people? Should they be destroyed when the couple no longer has use for them? Should people be allowed to access unwanted emryos and use them for their own fertility issues?

Having a baby has never been so complicated-and all four characters are about to find themselves twisted into a complicated web as paths cross and relationships form between the most unlikely of people. This book will be particularly interesting for women who have reached or surpassed child-bearing years and faced that question themselves: To be a parent, to not be a parent… And what is YOUR definition of family?

Kerry Reichs has also written Leaving Unknown, The Good Luck Girl, and The Best Day of Someone Else’s Life. If you like Chicklit, you will want to try her out!

More Like Her by Liza Palmer

Frances was recently dumped by her boyfriend for another woman, and as she sees the women around her who seem to have it all figured out, she begins wondering what is wrong with her…Will she be a spinster? Is she so flawed that she will never be loved for herself? What do these other women have that she does not?

When Frances and her friends and coworkers go to a party being held by their prim and perfect school headmistress and boss, and the most horrific event of their lives brings an end to the merry affair, people’s secrets start slipping out. Nobody’s life is as it seemed before. Frances begins to see the merits of being exactly who you are without shame and secrecy…Especially when sexy southern architect Sam shows serious interest in her, hopeless flaws and all…

But can Frances’ friends and family come to grips with the reality of their lives and begin to repair the damages? Can Frances accept herself and the truths of the people around her? Can they all find solace in one another and learn to appreciate life like never before? This novel is full of surprises and frank, realistic humor that makes the characters some of the most endearing personalities in women’s fiction. If you love books that break your heart and warm it again, More Like Her is a must-read.

Liza Palmer also wrote Conversations with the Fat Girl, Seeing Me Naked, and A Field Guide to Burying your Parents. Her prose is humorous and addictive and anyone who reads Women’s fiction should seriously considering grabbing this book this week!

Head Over Heels by Jill Shalvis

Chloe Traeger grew up with her “free-spirited” mother, traveling the country, wherever she could get a free ride to a new place– As an adult, she finds that she, too, has light feet and is difficult to pin down in one place. Chloe likes to do as she pleases, and she doesn’t mind climbing a fence or two in the process. Sawyer Thompson is the Sheriff of Lucky Harbor, and he finds himself drawn to Chloe in ways that he can’t even explain…What happens when sexy rule-enforcing Sawyer tries to catch delightfully unconventional Chloe? One hint: it gets STEAMY.

This is the 3rd novel in the Lucky Harbor series, by Jill Shalvis, in the first two, 3 sisters have met one another after growing up apart, and joined hands in the business venture of running a bed and breakfast together. This novel is fine as a standalone, but if you think you may want to read the series, you should look out for Simply Irresistible and The Sweetest Thing first. Head Over Heels will also be followed by Lucky in LoveAt last and Forever and a Day.

Hachette Audio has also put out an excellent audiobook of Head over Heels, which is perfect for letting your brain rest and enjoying the simple process by which two very normal people can fall in love and find out who they truly are and what they want in the process.

Start off your summer right with this sexy series.

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

Alice Love woke up on the gym floor with absolutely no idea what she was doing there. The paramedics keep asking her questions and she can’t seem to answer correctly. Alice soon discovers that she has amnesia, and she has somehow forgotten the last ten years of her life. Unfortunately for her, a lot has happened in the last ten years. She had 3 children, for example. And her marriage seems to have fallen apart but all she remembers is being madly in love with her husband Nick.

Alice’s family and friends are justifiably concerned, especially when her personality seems to have changed in the extreme. The 29-year-old Alice was kind and forgiving and thoughtful and enjoyed her humble life. The 39-year-old Alice is formidable and strict and so busy she has forgotten how to live. Can the young-minded Alice get the memories back so that she can learn what happened to her in the last ten years to make her so unpleasant? If the amnesia goes away, will 39-year-old Alice be able to find happiness again?

This is a novel about love, marriage, family, and the delicate moments that make differences in our relationships, adding up until you no longer recognize one another. Women’s literature and Chicklit fans will both like this novel, which is sentimental and humorous, and which puts things into rather harsh perspective and leaves you feeling grateful and utterly aware of the importance of loved ones in your life.

Liane Moriarty has really hit the mark with this excellent read, perfect for book clubs and for an excellent vacation read. You won’t want to miss this novel, so pick it up!

Losing Clementine by Ashley Ream

Losing Clementine, by Ashley Ream, is about Clementine Pritchard, a manic depressive artist who has decided that she will take her own life in one month’s time. She has decided to spend the month doing things that she always wanted to do, eating her favorite foods, and preparing for her funeral and death arrangements. She has told her friends and family that she is dying to soften the blow, and she has planned her death out perfectly. Many readers would be upset about the premise of the novel, but the author manages to make the characters lovable and humorous somehow, and there are even a few “laugh-out-loud” moments throughout the novel.

In the process of preparing to end her life, Clementine discovers truths about herself and the people around her that are unexpected, and the novel teaches an important life lesson, as well. This novel won’t be for everyone, but if you have an excellent sense of humor and are slightly morbid, you may want to check it out!

This novel can be picked up today, and it would make a great weekend read if you need a quick, surprisingly light-hearted (considering the topic) read.

A Grown Up Kind of Pretty by Joshilyn Jackson

Mosey Slocumb comes from a family with a long history, and no, she is not a blue-blooded aristocrat. Every woman in Mosey’s family has been pregnant by the age of 15. Now that she is approaching the ripe old age of 15, people have begun to whisper behind her back about just how long it will take before the youngest Slocumb succumbs to her fate. But Mosey is different than the other women in her family. In more ways than she ever thought possible, and she is about to find out just how different she is…And it all started with a tree.

Mosey’s grandmother, nicknamed “Big” has decided to tear down the tree in the back yard and dig out a hole so that Mosey’s mother “Little” can do physical therapy at home. Mosey’s mother had a stroke in the middle of a school function recently and turned the Slocumb women’s lives upside down. Sadly, Mosey’s mother had a bit of a reputation around town for having a keen interest in other women’s husbands before she had her mishap. The three Slocumb females must join forces in the absence of community support and pull one another through the storm that arrives when human bones are found in the earth where the swimming pool belongs…And the richest, snobbiest woman in town wants to point her finger at the town’s one-time harlot, who can no longer defend herself.

Follow the Slocumb women through their journey as they discover the meaning behind the bones, cryptic messages from “Little”, clues left behind in an old treehouse, and a trail that has been cold and dead for decades.

This novel digs into the importance of identity and female solidarity, and if you love women’s fiction that glistens with humor and heartwarming love, this novel is, quite possibly, one of the best grabs of the year. Pick up your copy of the novel today, or order the audiobook from Hachette Audio, it is a rare jewel among audiobooks. Plus, if you love the novel, Joshilyn Jackson has more books to gobble up! Don’t miss out!

How to Eat a Cupcake by Meg Donohue

Annie Quintana, baker and pastry chef, has put a lot of effort into separating herself from her less than romantic past. Her mother was a housekeeper for the very rich St. Clair family and she was raised with their daughter, Julia (in a way). The two girls played together for many years but Annie was always the “poor housekeeper’s daughter” when she went to the private school that her mother’s employer paid for. When rumors were spread around the school that various thefts were committed by the pathetic charity case, and her mother passed away, Annie’s life was ruined and her college career was threatened-and she believes Julia responsible for the rumors.

But Annie has achieved her own life successes and has found her own little niche, baking cupcakes and living among other hardworking and “normal” people like herself. The past is behind her. Until she is asked to provide cupcakes for a fundraiser being held by Mrs. St. Clair, her mother’s previous employer. She knows she should decline, but finds herself accepting the job…And entering the house, once again, in which her mother had passed away…Who should appear, but Julia, the so-called childhood friend, and Annie is forced to face the ghosts of her past, learn the truth about who she really is, and learn that there are mysteries in the St. Clair house that should be brought into the light of day.

This novel, Meg Donohue’s debut into the genre, can be considered chick-lit with a touch of mystery. If you like the chick-lit, you won’t want to miss her special gift for character strength and true human interaction in her work.  Check it out!

‘In the Bag’ by Kate Klise

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Four strangers ride the same plane to Europe, and two of them end up with the wrong bags. Daisy is a world-reknowned chef, and she brought her daughter, Coco, to Paris on vacation. Andrew stages art shows, and his son, Webb, is along for a trip to Madrid. When Coco opens her bag to find ratty old boys’ clothing in place of her stylish and fashionable clothing, she is mortified. Luckily, her email address was on her baggage and Webb contacts her to arrange a swap. These four strangers have no idea just what kinds of adventures are in store for them, and where love may just bud..

Lost baggage can be a life-changing event for the 4 strangers, who are about to know one another much better than they could have ever imagined.

Kate Klise is better known for her kids’ books (which are illustrated by her sister, Sarah Klise), but was motivated to write this adult novel when she discovered a note written to her inside her own carry-on bag while traveling. If you like chick-lit, or novels like Daniel Handler’s “Why We Broke Up“, you will want to give this easy read a try. Pick up “In The Bag” at The Boulder Bookstore today!