10 Best Authors Like Wendy Wax for Fans of Intelligent Chick-Lit Books

Looking for authors like Wendy Wax? Discover your next favorite chick-lit reads below.

Wendy Wax is a best-selling author and former broadcaster loved by her fans worldwide for her rich, vibrant, contemporary women’s fiction. She has written sixteen novels and two novellas to date, which have earned Wax a slew of accolades, including the RT Career Achievement Award for Mainstream Fiction. 

If you adore this writer’s novels, you may be looking for other authors like Wendy Wax to explore – and luckily, we’ve got exactly the information you need! Interested in this topic? Check out the best authors like Quinn Blackbird!

Best Authors Like Wendy Wax Ranked

1. Jane Green, 1968 – 

Jane Green is a bestselling American author known for her contemporary fiction that focuses on women’s lived experiences: love, motherhood, family, friendship, and the challenges inherent in each. She was one of the pioneers of ‘chick-lit’ and is credited with being one of the forerunners of ‘moms-lit.’ Like Wendy Wax, Green’s books are rich and thought-provoking, often with something of a sting in the tail. 

If you’re new to this author, The Beach House is a great place to start – if you’ll be jetting off on vacation soon, it’s perfect beach reading, as its name suggests! Green’s novels have been published in over twenty-five languages, with around ten million copies of her books in print worldwide. Today, she is also the head of Emerald Audio, a podcast network that produces original audio dramas aimed at busy women.

“Nothing in this world happens without a reason. That we are all exactly where we are supposed to be, and that the pieces of the puzzle have a tendency to come together when you least expect it.”

Jane Green, The Beach House
The Beach House
  • Green, Jane (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 441 Pages - 07/17/2024 (Publication Date) - Penguin Books (Publisher)

2. Karen White, Active 2002 –

Fans of Jane Green will love Karen White: the latter is an American New York Times bestselling author whose twenty-seven novels to date include The Memory of Water, The Time Between, and Dreams of Falling. White currently has almost two million books in circulation in fifteen languages worldwide.

Her novels are set deep in the South, reflecting the author’s roots, and feature intelligent plot lines, plenty of charm, and relatable characters. If you raced through Green’s Ten Beach Road, try The Sound of Glass. In this novel, White explores what happens when long-buried family secrets are unearthed and how we navigate the complexity of familial ties. 

“You will never be truly happy if you keep holding on to the things that make you sad.”

Karen White, The Sound of Glass
The Sound of Glass
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • White, Karen (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 426 Pages - 05/12/2015 (Publication Date) - Berkley (Publisher)

3. Mary Alice Monroe, Active 1995 – 

Monroe’s novels frequently explore the intersection between the natural world and human nature. As in the books of Wendy Wax, they are concerned with the bonds of female friendships and resilience in the face of adversity. Time is a River tells the story of a group of breast cancer survivors in South Carolina who belong to a local fly-fishing group. Monroe has received many awards, including the South Carolina Award for Literary Excellence, the Southwest Florida Author of Distinction Award, and the RT Lifetime Achievement Award. 

As an active conservationist, Monroe serves on organizations, including the Casting Carolinas Advisory Board and the South Carolina Aquarium Board Emeritus. When writing a novel, she conducts extensive research, such as working with wildlife experts, undertaking academic research, and even carrying out hands-on volunteer work with the animals featured in the story.

“Mia brought her hands to her face, and wondered how she had got to this place.”

Mary Alice Monroe, Time is a River
Time Is a River
  • Monroe, Mary Alice (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 369 Pages - 01/20/2009 (Publication Date) - Pocket Books (Publisher)

4. Emilie Richards, Active 1983 – 

American author Emilie Richards has written over seventy contemporary romance and mystery novels. After starting writing shortly after the birth of her fourth child, Richards has recounted how she frequently wrote with her son sitting on her lap; this first novel, Brendan’s Song, was named in his honor. As well as regularly topping bestseller lists worldwide, ten of Richards’ books have been transformed into television movies in Germany. 

If you’re new to this author, her Shenandoah Album series is a great place to start. The first book in the collection, Wedding Ring, follows Tessa Macrae; after agreeing to spend the summer helping her mother and grandmother clean out the old family home in the Shenandoah Valley, the vintage quilt they come across opens the door to a past – and secrets – long forgotten.

“She was afraid to love me,” Nancy said. “I never realized it. By keeping her distance, she thought she could protect me. If she didn’t love me, maybe I would escape notice. I would survive.”

Emilie Richards, Wedding Ring
Wedding Ring (A Shenandoah Album Novel)
  • Richards, Emilie (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 496 Pages - 03/26/2013 (Publication Date) - MIRA (Publisher)

5. Claire Cook, 1955 –

Claire Cook
A picture of Claire Cook in her office, 2021

Claire Cook is a New York Times and Amazon bestselling author known for her novels celebrating the reinvention of women aged forty-plus. Her second novel, Must Love Dogs, was made into a major motion picture, released in 2005, starring Diane Lane and John Cusack. Beach reading with a bite (excuse the pun!), this book perfectly blends romance, humor, and the bittersweet nature of looking for love slightly later in life. And if you race through the book too fast? Don’t worry: the novel was so beloved by fans that Cook has since written seven further titles in the series. 

Cook founded the publishing company Marshbury Beach Books in 2014; her first non-fiction title published under this imprint, Never Too Late: Your Roadmap to Reinvention (Without Getting Lost Along the Way), shares her journey and tips for those who want to make real change in their lives at forty-plus.

“Why one human being is attracted to another is one of the great mysteries of the world.”

Claire Cooke, Must Love Dogs
Must Love Dogs
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Cook, Claire (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 266 Pages - 09/18/2013 (Publication Date) - Marshbury Beach Books (Publisher)

6. Beatriz Williams, Active 2012 – 

Internationally-bestselling author Beatriz Williams is a must-read for fans of Wendy Wax. Her historical books focus on female protagonists, and she has collaborated with Karen White, who also appears on this list, on The Lost Summers of Newport and All the Ways We Said Goodbye. 

Williams’ Our Woman in Moscow was published in 2022 and was loosely inspired by the Cambridge spy ring. The novel was selected as a Best of Summer Pick by Goodreads, Bustle, and BuzzFeed. Before turning her hand to writing, Williams worked as a corporate and communication strategist in London and New York before publishing her first novel in 2012. Today, Williams’ novels regularly appear on worldwide bestseller lists and have been translated into more than a dozen languages.

“We are all different. We are all locked in struggle with our own demons.”

Beatriz Williams, Our Woman in Moscow
Our Woman in Moscow: A Novel
  • Williams, Beatriz (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 464 Pages - 06/28/2022 (Publication Date) - William Morrow Paperbacks (Publisher)

7. Cathy Holton, Active 2006 – 2013

Looking for your next holiday read that’s as full of sun, fun, and friendship as a Wendy Wax book? If so, Cathy Holton must be added to your ‘authors to check out’ list as soon as possible. Beach Trip tells the story of four friends, now in their forties, who reunite at a North Carolina beach house to try to recapture the energy and carefree attitudes of their twenties, when they met at a small Southern liberal arts college. 

Holton was loved by critics and readers alike; tragically, she passed away in 2013 following a long battle with cancer. She left behind a trove of finished and unfinished novels, which her family and publisher are preparing for publication in her memory. The first of these legacy titles, The Rico Boys, is now available.

“But there was a different kind too, a slow, quiet contentment that built gradually over time, a feeling based on trust and fortitude, on the shared experiences of raising children, on grief and hardship and joy.”

Cathy Holton, Beach Trip
Beach Trip: A Novel
  • Holton, Cathy (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 432 Pages - 06/22/2010 (Publication Date) - Ballantine Books (Publisher)

8. Mary McNear, Active 2014 – 

Take a trip to Butternut Lake and prepare to lose yourself for hours in this six-part series from the pen of USA Today and New York Times bestselling author Mary McNear. In the first book, Up at Butternut Lake, Protagonist Allie Beckett returns to her family’s idyllic cabin on the shores of Butternut Lake. It’s been ten years since she last visited, and now she’s returning with her son, trying to find peace of mind and healing following the death of her husband in Afghanistan. There are old connections to renew, new friends to make, and – who knows – maybe the romance that Allie thought she’d never again experience could come calling…

“It had been over ten years since she’d last seen it. Part of her had thought it might have vanished altogether, swallowed up by the forest around it. But of course that hadn’t happened. This wasn’t a fairytale. This was real life. She, of all people, knew that. She’d learned it the hard way.”

Mary McNear, Up at Butternut Lake
Up at Butternut Lake: A Novel (The Butternut Lake Trilogy Book 1)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • McNear, Mary (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 403 Pages - 04/08/2014 (Publication Date) - William Morrow Paperbacks (Publisher)

9. Lauren Willig, Active 2005 – 

Lauren Willig writes historical romance fiction packed with drama and rich historical detail. Like Wendy Wax’s books, her stories feature strong, multi-faceted female characters overcoming various challenges. Willig is best known for the RITA award-winning Pink Carnation series, which tells the stories of a group of British spies in the Napoleonic era

She co-authored several other historical novels with Karen White and Beatriz Williams, both of whom appear on this list. Willig’s titles have been translated into over twenty languages, and she’s received many accolades, including the Booksellers Best, RITA, and Golden Leaf awards. 

“It would be, like all of Pammy’s parties, hot and crowded and filled with impossibly glamorous people with hip bones so sharp they could qualify as concealed weapons.”

Lauren Willig, The Secret History of the Pink Carnation
The Secret History of the Pink Carnation
  • Willig, Lauren (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 449 Pages - 12/27/2005 (Publication Date) - Penguin Publishing Group (Publisher)

10. Cassandra King, 1944 –

In all her books, King seeks to portray female characters facing the same dilemmas and struggles as the rest of us do in our everyday lives. Her first book, Making Waves, was published in 1995, but her second release, The Sunday Wife, put this author on the map. As well as winning many awards, the novel was selected for a campaign to support reading groups devised by the Nestle Corporation. The Same Sweet Girls followed to critical acclaim. The story follows a tight-knit, spirited group of friends and chronicles their lives, loves, and enduring friendships.

“All southern girls are raised to be nice and polite, can’t be anything but, regardless of how meanspirited we might be deep down. The illusion of sweetness, that’s all that counts. We don’t have to be sincerely sweet, but by God we have to be good at faking it. Southern girls will stab you in the back, same as anyone else, but we’ll give you a sugary smile while doing it.”

Cassandra King, The Same Sweet Girls
The Same Sweet Girls
  • King, Cassandra (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 416 Pages - 02/01/2006 (Publication Date) - Hachette Books (Publisher)