Library Column: New Chick Lit

Published 8:00 am Monday, June 14, 2021

This column was submitted by Evangeline Cessna, Local History Librarian at the Warren County – Vicksburg Public Library.

This week’s column features novels from our New Adult Fiction section.

“Golden Girl” is the latest from bestselling author Elin Hilderbrand. Nantucket novelist Vivian Howe has authored 13 beach reads and is the mother of three nearly-grown children. One beautiful June day, Vivian is struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver while jogging near her home. When she ascends to the afterlife, she is assigned a caretaker named Martha who allows Vivi to watch what happens below for one last summer. She is also granted three “nudges” she can use to change the outcome of events on Earth. Her daughter Willa is on her third miscarriage, Carson is partying until all hours and Leo is on a “break” with his high-maintenance girlfriend, so Vivi will have to think carefully about how and where she uses her nudges. Vivi also watches as the chief of police Ed Kapenash investigates her death, but her greatest worry is that a long-buried secret from her own youth — which she slipped into her last novel — will be disastrous for her reputation. When this truth comes to light, Vivi’s family must sort out their past and present mistakes and Vivi realizes that she must let go and let her family grow without her.

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“The Other Black Girl” is a thriller by Zakiya Dalila Harris. Nella Rogers is a 26-year-old editorial assistant at Wagner Books. She feels isolated and that other employees are micro-aggressive toward her, so she is thrilled when Harlem-born and bred Hazel starts working in the cubicle beside hers. They have just begun to bond when a series of uncomfortable situations elevate Hazel to the office darling and Nella is left out in the cold. Then Nella begins receiving notes on her desk that read: LEAVE WAGNER, NOW! Hazel seems to be the culprit, but Nella is finding it hard to believe and she begins to obsess over the sinister forces at play. Soon, Nella realizes there is more at stake than just her career.

Fern Michaels begins a new series with her novel “Hidden.” Brother and sister Cullan and Luna Bodman have just launched their furniture restoration shop/cafe — an offshoot of the family’s longtime antiques business — in an up-and-coming arts center. The duo couldn’t be more different. Cullan is efficient and serious while his younger sister, Luna, is a free spirit. Little do they know that their unique talents may be their only defense in a matter of life and death. When Cullan acquires a new piece of furniture, Luna can’t shake the feeling of dread she gets about it and the siblings find themselves joining forces to solve a mystery that has far-reaching consequences. Cullan and Luna know they can rely on each other, even when forces beyond their control are determined to use any means necessary to get what they want.

“While Justice Sleeps” is the new novel by Stacey Abrams. Avery Keene is a young law clerk for Justice Howard Wynn. She is brilliant, but beneath her polished surface, there is turmoil. Avery is holding down a very prestigious career and dealing with a troubled family. One day, the news breaks that Justice Wynn has slipped into a coma and Avery learns that he has made her his legal guardian and has given her power of attorney. She learns that Wynn had been secretly researching one of the most controversial cases to come before his court — the proposed merger of an American biotech firm and an Indian genetics company. Their merger promises breakthroughs in the biomedical field that would change the course of human evolution. Avery learns that Justice Wynn suspected a conspiracy that permeated the highest corridors of Washington. Political machinations are determined to replace the ailing judge whose life and survival Avery controls. Wynn has left a series of breadcrumbs for Avery to follow, and she soon realizes that they will put her squarely in harm’s way in order to find the truth.

The latest from mega-author Nora Roberts is called “Legacy.” Adrian Rizzo was seven when she first met her father. That was the day he nearly killed her — until her mother, Lina, stepped in. Not long after, Adrian was dropped off at her grandparents’ house in Maryland where she spent a long summer drinking lemonade, playing with the dogs, making a new best friend and crushing on said best friend’s 10-year-old brother. Meanwhile, Lina was traveling the country promoting her fitness brand and turning it into a multimillion-dollar business. Lina felt there was no point living in the past. Ten years later, Adrian has created her own line of yoga and workout videos. She is following in her mother’s footsteps, but she is determined to maintain creative control of her business. While the two are not close, they are cordial — if they don’t cross one another — and Adrian is as cool and ambitious as Lina. When Adrian begins getting death threats, Lina finds the vicious rhymes unsettling, but Adrian dismisses them as part of her growing celebrity. Year after year the letters arrive. Though the postmark changes, the tone is the same menacing vitriol. Adrian returns to Maryland and reacquaints herself with her childhood crush, Raylan. The terrifying letters become routine, until the murders start…

The second book in Alyssa Cole’s Runaway Royals series is called “How to Find a Princess.” Makeda Hicks has lost her job and her girlfriend in one fell swoop. So, when the investigator from the World Federation of Monarchies shows up searching for Ibarania’s missing heir, the last thing Makeda wants is to rehash her grandmother’s tale of her infamous summer fling with a runaway prince from that country. Beznaria Chetchevaliere is a sleek and beautiful investigator who exudes the kind of charisma that Makeda finds irresistible, even though Bez is determined to drag her into a world of royal duties she wants nothing to do with. However, her grandmother’s livelihood becomes threatened and Makeda allows Bez to drag her on a transatlantic adventure with a crew of lovable weirdos, a fake marriage, and all kinds of hijinks on the high seas. When they finally arrive, Makeda realizes that there is more at stake than cash and a crown, she must learn how to fight for what she desires and not what she feels duty-bound to do.