14 Clean Fiction Book Recommendations

What is the loveliness I bring to you today, my friends? Fourteen delightful fiction book recommendations. Why did I choose the number fourteen? Quite simply because that gives you one book to read each day for the next two weeks. 😉

I’m going to attempt to have an order with these books, going from my 14th favorite, all the way up to the one that I’d push into your hands with delightful squeals if I could.

Okay, Lydia from the future here: I had no clue how long it would take me to try and pick 14 of my favorite fiction books. Add in trying to put them in order from least to favorite? Well, this has been a two-day project, but I’m pretty excited about how it turned out. I scrolled through hundreds of books I’ve read to pick which gems to share with you, and it was a delightful trip down memory lane.

If you’ve read any of these books – or end up reading them after browsing this post – I’d be delighted to hear your thoughts. Blessings!

14. The Hope of Azure Springs 
Read my review here. 

This book was a refreshing break from the all-too-familiar beautiful main characters that are so prevalent in fiction. I’m not very familiar with this author, but I look forward to reading more of her books.

13. Secrets She Kept
Read my review here. 

Cathy Gohlke is an author who doesn’t disappoint. I had a hard time choosing which of her books to put on this list – she yanks her readers into history and makes tedious tasks come alive. I chose this book because although I normally don’t like reading books with different timelines, she pulled it off perfectly. 

12. All Fall Down
Read my review here. (This book is representing a trilogy.)
The first time I read the trilogy I wasn’t sure what to think (as you’d see if you read my review), but then about a year later I listened to the trilogy and was blown away by how much I had missed during my first read. There are various parts of the story I don’t condone, but it’s brilliantly executed and the characters are incredibly flawed in the best of ways.

11. Rock Harbor Mystery Collection 
(This is representing a whole series.) 

Colleen Coble’s books fall into two categories for me: Either they’re too mysterious (or creepy, scary, etc…) so I don’t read them, or else they pull me in like crazy and have the best characters ever. I listen to most of her books vs. reading them, and I’ve felt like I’ve gotten to know her characters and settings so well. Most of her books that I’ve read interconnect at some point or another, and I’m excited and delighted by that.

10. Between Two Shores
Read my review here

Hello, plot twist. This was another author who I had a hard time choosing which book to put on my list. Her research is so thorough I always learn something intriguingly new while reading her books. I chose this book because there was a plot twist in it that I’ve never seen in Christian historical fiction, and it made my mouth literally dropped open when I got to it.

9. Counted with the Stars
Read my review here. (This book is representing a trilogy.)

I call Connilyn Cossette Queen of Biblical Fiction and that’s not a title I give lightly. She’s the only author who has all of her books represented (two series) on this list.

8. Thief of Corinth

I’d pull this book out right now for a re-read if I hadn’t lent it to someone. The storyline is compelling, the characters are frustratingly real, the twists and turns in the plot are exciting, and the writing is excellent.

7. The Lost Girl of Astor Street 
Read my review here.

Not only is the cover gorgeous, but the story is, too. The world-building is so well crafted that you’ll be sucked into the story and won’t want to emerge. It’s a slow-paced mystery with an emphasis on the characters, which is my favorite type of read. I own both the hardcover and ebook versions of this book, have given it as a gift, and recommend it often.

6. Thicker than Blood
(This book is representing a series.)

This series I randomly stumbled upon on kindle about six years ago. It combines all the elements you can think of to make a fantastic story, including characters who make me want to help them and yell at them and beg them to make the right decisions all at the same time.

5.The Number of Love
Read my review here. 

Espionage is my favorite trope in books. Books that take place during WW1 hold a very special place in my heart. And, characters who are brilliant (and yet obviously flawed) are incredibly entertaining. The Number of Love combines those three elements perfectly.  This story is so skillfully written that as soon as I finished reading it I lent it out so others could be as delighted as me. It was by far one of my favorite books of 2019.

4. Derwood Inc. 

Ah, a childhood favorite. This book is Middle Grade, so if you’re looking for a delightfully funny, whimsical, and silly read for you or your Middle Grader, this book is an excellent choice. I’ve read it so many times over the years I’ve lost count. In fact, I think it’s about time for me to pick it up again…

3. A Light on the Hill
Read my review here. (This book is representing a series.)

I went into this series blind – as in not knowing a thing about what it’s about – and therefore I was completely unprepared for the plot twists that occurred. Connilyn Cossette takes obscure Bible verses, researches them, digs into them, and produces books that whisk me instantly into the Bible times and makes that time period in history seem so much more alive and relatable.

2. The Bridge
Read my review here. (This book is representing a trilogy.)

Another childhood favorite – written by the same author of Derwood Inc., but incredibly different from that book. Goodness, folks. This trilogy was written for Middle Graders, yet it was one of my first tastes of non-picture books. My sister read the books to us when I was three, which is my first specific memory of being read to. I’ve read the books time and again since then, and have found them beyond delightful.

1. An Hour Unspent
(This book is representing a trilogy.)

All of the other series I’ve talked about in this post I’ve featured the first book – no matter which one was my actual favorite – because that made sense. But this book is the end of the trilogy, and also the only fiction book I’ve given five stars to in the last four years.
Normally the end of a series bothers me, but this book was everything I wanted it to be, plus more. It had the narrator I was hoping for, the espionage I craved, the character development that only a skillful author can provide, and a delightful plot. And therefore, it claims the #1 spot in this post, which is a high honor indeed.

There you have it, folks! Enjoy reading!

Quick Genre Stats: 
Historical Fiction = 6
Biblical Fiction = 3
Mystery = 4
Contemporary = 4 

 

4 thoughts on “14 Clean Fiction Book Recommendations

  1. Emily says:

    About halfway through the post, I started looking up the books you’d listed. I got sucked into ‘The Hope of Azure Springs’ before I’d finished the sneak peak on amazon. I was very pleased with the main characters: they were relatable, and yet I was able to admire them, which is something I look for in a good book. I also enjoyed the fact that while the main female character wasn’t ‘pretty’ in usual sense, her beauty was deep. I know people who may not be considered ‘pretty’ but they are some of the most beautiful people I know. It’s difficult to explain what the author has been able to accomplish without seeming cliché, but that’s what fiction can do: take a truth we’ve all heard a thousand times and make it come alive. Well done, Ms. Fordham.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lydia Howe says:

      Yes! And it continued with that same vein – instead of the character suddenly being pretty party way through the book. While writing this post I saw that the author has several more books out now, so I want to look them up.

      Like

      • Emily says:

        I’m on a Lydia-recommends roll! Read ‘The Lost Girl of Astor Street’ last night. Wow! just wow! Loved the main character, and I’ve never read a book that was told in that point of view…almost as if Piper was telling a friend how it all played out afterwards. The point of view was different, but didn’t distract from the story at all, it added to it. I’m definitely going to check out more of this author’s works. Thanks Lydia!

        Liked by 1 person

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