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FIRST Book Club: 7 Feel-Great Reads You’ll Love For February 2024

From romance and mysteries to historical fiction and magical realism — we have got a book for you!

Welcome, literature lovers, to the seventh installment of the FIRST for Women monthly book club!

Here at FIRST for Women, when we’re not hard at work bringing you stories about health, nutrition, beauty, and lifestyle, we like to kick back with a good book.

We know first-hand that reading provides relief from stress, improves brain health and ushers in more joy. So we rounded up our editors’ seven top picks for February 2024, from historical fiction to romance and heartfelt young adult. Read on for our FIRST book club picks!

We’d also love to hear what books you’re reading this month and how they made you feel!

Like historical romance? Try Just Once

by Karen Kingsbury

FIRST Book Club: Just Once by Karen Kingsbury

“When negative news stories are all I see when I pick up my phone, I start to feel discouraged,” confesses Maggie Dillard, FIRST Senior Associate Editor. “I have to stop my doomscroll and do a digital detox. When that happens, I love jumping into stories that take me to another time!” In her latest compelling WWII tale, beloved author Karen Kingsbury takes readers back to 1941. While Irvel Holland’s boyfriend, Sam, is away after being drafted during the war, unexpected chemistry starts to build between Irvel and Sam’s younger brother, Hank. But soon, Irvel is hired by the military as a spy. The only rule she must follow: She can tell no one. Now, Irvel must fulfill the duty that is required of her, while her heart is caught between two brothers. “This was a heart-tugging page-turner until the very end,” says Maggie. “It made me forget all about my own reality!” (Atria, 2023)

Like cozy mysteries? Try The Valentine Mystery

by Kathi Daley

FIRST BOOK CLUB: The Valentine Mystery by Kathi Daley

“Anyone who knows me knows how much I love my rescue dog, Nala,” says Rachel Cosma, FIRST Health Director. “When I came across this story that combined my love of animals and puzzling together mysteries, I knew it’d shake me out of my winter doldrums.” Tess is delivering Valentine’s mail with her dog when she stumbles upon a car accident. One of the drivers is passing through town to find his birth mother. When he asks for Tess’s help, she can’t refuse. But when she later learns the other driver didn’t make it and that it might not have been an accident after all, she sets out to unravel the mystery — all while trying to help shelter pets find their perfect Valentine’s Day match. Says Rachel, “Not only did this story make me think, which was just what I needed to break out of my rut, but the adorable animals warmed my heart.” (Independent, 2018)

Like historical fiction? Try The Royal Windsor Secret

by Christine Wells

FIRST BOOK CLUB: The Royal Windsor Secret by Christine Wells
William Morrow

“I always feel a little blue once the joy of the holidays are officially over,” says Lauren Stachiw, FIRST Beauty Director. “So to lift my spirits, I reached for this book that transported me back in time.” The year is 1935, and Cleo Davenport was always told that she was an orphan. But now, there are rumors swirling that her father is actually the Prince of Wales. Once she turns 17, she decides to take matters into her own hands and looks into tracking down her parents to discover the truth she always longed for. But what will she find out? “Cleo leaves no stone unturned on her journey to find out her true lineage, and her perseverance was inspiring,” says Lauren. “By the end, all the sadness I was feeling about time moving on vanished — and I realized enjoying the moment is what matters!” (William Morrow, 2023)

Like women’s fiction? Try Five Winters

by Kitty Johnson

FIRST BOOK CLUB: Five Winters by Kitty Johnson
Lake Union Publishing

“Recently, I was dealing with a small personal setback and was in the mood to read a feel-good story,” says Anna Traver, FIRST Assistant Editor. “And I loved cozying up with this read — it brought me so much hope.” Beth Bailey was in love with her best friend’s brother for years. Once he finally gets married to someone else, Beth realizes she’s wasting precious time being stuck on him. Her other dream in life? Becoming a mother. Over five years, she grows and experiences life with unexpected obstacles along the way, and finds herself, the meaning of life, love and happiness. “My heart was warmed by each page,” says Anna. “It was just the uplifting saga I needed!” (Lake Union, 2023)

Like romance? Try The Honey-Don’t List

by Christina Lauren

FIRST BOOK CLUB: The Honey-Don’t List  by Christina Lauren
Gallery Books

“A weekend snowstorm sent me out to shovel all morning, and all I wanted to do was kick back and relax when I got inside,” shares Carissa Mosness, FIRST Assistant Editor. “So I grabbed the first swoon-worthy tale I could find on my shelf — and this one turned my mood around! ” Carey Douglas has worked with home-renovation stars Melissa and Rusty Tripp for nearly a decade. With a book about to launch, the Tripps are on the verge of becoming reality TV royalty. The only problem is that, secretly, America’s favorite couple can’t stand each other, and it’s up to Carey and the Tripps’ other assistant, James McCann, to make sure nobody on their tour finds out. Meanwhile, James and Carey are taken by surprise when sparks fly…between them. Says Carissa, “As an HGTV and romance lover, this book was perfect for me!” (Gallery, 2020)

Like magical realism? Try At the Coffee Shop of Curiosities

by Heather Webber

First Book Club: At the Coffee Shop of Curiosities by Heather Webber
Forge Books

“After long weeks staring at emails, texts and video calls, I always need a tech break,” shares Melissa D’Agnese, FIRST Senior Editor. “My remedy is curling up on the couch with a good book — like this one!” Ava Harrison receives a mysterious letter about a job offer as a live-in caretaker for an old man in Driftwood, Alabama. What follows is a series of events involving a magical coffee shop, new friends and starting over. Says Melissa, “This tale was like a warm hug!” (Forge, 2023)

Like mysteries? Try The Social Climber

by Amanda Pellegrino

FIRST BOOK CLUB: The Social Climber by Amanda Pellegrino
Park Row

“My friends started a book club to keep us entertained ­during the cold winter months,” shares Kate Arcell, FIRST Associate Editor. “This was my favorite pick so far!” After months of careful planning, Eliza Bennett’s wedding is falling into place. With it, she’ll cement her place in the prominent Walker family. But as secrets from her past begin to erupt, Eliza’s real motives for marrying are thrown into question. “I loved talking about my plot theories with friends,” says Kate. “It almost made me forget about the freezing weather!” (Park Row, 2023

For more FIRST Book Club picks:

FIRST Book Club: 7 Feel-Great Reads You’ll Love For January 2024

FIRST Book Club: 7 Feel-Great Reads You’ll Love For December 2023

And for all things books, click here!

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