Books to Read This Summer

School’s out, the weather is heating up, and (in California, at least) the wildfires have started. For me, that all means summer is here, and will last, oh, the next 6 or so months.

I’m not much of a mood reader. If I have a book in one of my favorite genres to read, I’ll read it. But I still love the idea of summer reads, especially since summer is really about 9 months a year for me. We pretend winter exists, particularly when it rains and people forget how to drive, but our winter low temperatures are really like the high summer temperatures in places like Denmark (I know; I lived it), so it’s really summer all year long!

Hmm, maybe that’s why I’m not a mood reader and every book feels like a summer read to me?

Anyways, summer to me means a lot of things in terms of books. It’s about love and friendship (because my husband and I have some big summer anniversaries and summer trips mean new friendships and new romances), trying to stay cool with wintry reads, and light and easy books that seem to take almost no time to read

Let’s dive in and explore some indie books and books published by the big publishers!


Leads & Lynxes by Rebecca Chastain (Terra Haven Chronicles #1)

Leads & Lynxes by Rebecca Chastain, a fantasy set in Terra Haven
Description

From the USA Today bestselling author of the Gargoyle Guardian Chronicles comes an extraordinary new series filled with elemental magic, mythic creatures, and heroic gargoyles.

This is Kylie’s big break. Thanks to an enchanted tree, the journalist and her gargoyle companion, Quinn, have a secret lead on the story of a lifetime—if they’re brave enough to follow it.

However, she’s not the only one chasing this story. If anyone is going to write a high-profile article, Kylie’s rival, Nathan, believes it should be him. And he’s willing to play dirty to get his way.

To beat Nathan, Kylie and Quinn must work fast. Yet with every new lead forcing them deeper into a deadly maze of murder, warped magic, and monstrous beasts, rushing could prove fatal.

Kylie is determined to publish her dream story, but is it worth dying for?

Type of Summer Read

Love and Friendship

The romance is sweet, but the friendship is even sweeter. This one involves an adorable creature companion and a red hot crush!


We Could Be Heroes by Mike Chen

We Could Be Heroes by Mike Chen
Description

Jamie woke up in an empty apartment with no memory and only a few clues to his identity, but with the ability to read and erase other people’s memories—a power he uses to hold up banks to buy coffee, cat food and books.

Zoe is also searching for her past, and using her abilities of speed and strength…to deliver fast food. And she’ll occasionally put on a cool suit and beat up bad guys, if she feels like it.

When the archrivals meet in a memory-loss support group, they realize the only way to reveal their hidden pasts might be through each other. As they uncover an ongoing threat, suddenly much more is at stake than their fragile friendship. With countless people at risk, Zoe and Jamie will have to recognize that sometimes being a hero starts with trusting someone else—and yourself.

Type of Summer Read

Love and Friendship

This is one of those rare books that focuses only on friendship. I loved how romance was out of the question, and adored reading about the strange, budding friendship between superhero Zoe and villain Jamie.


Snow Dust and Boneshine by Grendolyn Peach Soleil

Snow Dust and Boneshine by Grendolyn Peach Soleil
Description

Once upon a winter’s night, a lost cowboy finds himself in Purgatory Bend. Patrick Doolin is plagued by a wound that won’t heal, but winter is the season of miracles. As Patrick wanders through Wyoming, he meets Fawna Darling, the mysterious granny witch, who channels the folk magic of her ancestors.

With nowhere to go and a secret Patrick doesn’t yet understand, he seeks shelter with Fawna in the snowswept prairie. Forbidden to fall in love, they form an eternal bond in the dreamscape, but when the bluebirds sing of summer and threaten their empire of dreams, they are faced with an impossible decision. Will Patrick stay in the land of the living, or will he cross over the prairie?

Summer is the season of surprises, and Fawna’s childhood sweetheart, Dezi Ketchum, longs to win her heart too. When winter melts across the gold-slick prairie, Fawna searches for answers under the rose moon. Caught between fire and water and flesh and fantasy, she follows her heart and ventures into uncharted territory.

Purchase

Type of Summer Read

Love and Friendship, Wintry Reads

Set during the winter months during the days of the Old West, it’s centered around a blooming friendship and a doomed romance with a good dose of the paranormal.


Dead Man in a Ditch by Luke Arnold (Fetch Phillips #2)

Dead Man in a Ditch by Luke Arnold, the second Fetch Phillips fantasy novel
Descripton

In this brilliant sequel to actor Luke Arnold’s debut The Last Smile in Sunder City, aformer soldier turned PI solves crime in a world that’s lost its magic.

The name’s Fetch Phillips — what do you need?

Cover a Gnome with a crossbow while he does a dodgy deal? Sure.

Find out who killed Lance Niles, the big-shot businessman who just arrived in town? I’ll give it shot.

Help an old-lady Elf track down her husband’s murderer? That’s right up my alley.

What I don’t do, because it’s impossible, is search for a way to bring the goddamn magic back.

Rumors got out about what happened with the Professor, so now people keep asking me to fix the world.

But there’s no magic in this story. Just dead friends, twisted miracles, and a secret machine made to deliver a single shot of murder.

Welcome back to the streets of Sunder City, a darkly imagined world perfect for readers of Ben Aaronovitch and Jim Butcher.

Type of Summer Read

Wintry Read

The second in the series, it’s set during a frigid winter. Everything feels cold as Fetch hunts down rumors of magic returning. A perfect read to make you feel cold as there’s no magic to generate the energy to keep people warm.


The Ranger of Marzanna by Jon Skovron (The Goddess War #1)

Book Review: The Ranger of Marzanna by Jon Skovron - the first book in a new fantasy series based on Eastern European folktales
Description

When their father is murdered by imperial soldiers, two siblings set out on opposite paths–one will destroy the Empire forever and the other will save it–in this thrilling new epic fantasy.

Sonya is training to be a Ranger of Marzanna, an ancient sect of warriors who have protected the land for generations. But the old ways are dying, and the rangers have all been forced into hiding or killed off by the invading Empire.

When her father is murdered by imperial soldiers, she decides to finally take action. Using her skills as a ranger she will travel across the bitter cold tundra and gain the allegiance of the only other force strong enough to take down the invaders.

But nothing about her quest will be easy. Because not everyone is on her side. Her brother, Sebastian, is the most powerful sorcerer the world has ever seen. And he’s fighting for the empire.

Type of Summer Read

Wintry Read, Love and Friendship

A Slavic-inspired fantasy, it’s mostly set in cold, snowy Izmoroz and pits brother against sister as one aligns with Izmoroz and the other chooses the empire that conquered their country.


Knight’s Ransom by Jeff Wheeler (The First Argentines #1)

Knight's Ransom by Jeff Wheeler
Description

From Wall Street Journal bestselling author Jeff Wheeler comes an epic new series of warring kingdoms, deadly family rivalries, and fearless loyalty, set in the world of Kingfountain.

Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown. A brutal war of succession has plunged the court of Kingfountain into a power struggle between a charitable king who took the crown unlawfully and his ambitious rival, Devon Argentine. The balance of power between the two men hinges on the fate of a young boy ensnared in this courtly intrigue. A boy befittingly nicknamed Ransom.

When the Argentine family finally rules, Ransom must make his own way in the world. Opportunities open and shut before him as he journeys along the path to knighthood, blind to a shadowy conspiracy of jealousy and revenge. Securing his place will not be easy, nor will winning the affection of Lady Claire de Murrow, a fiery young heiress from an unpredictably mad kingdom.

Ransom interrupts an abduction plot targeting the Queen of Ceredigion and earns a position in service to her son, the firstborn of the new Argentine dynasty. But conflict and treachery threaten the family, and Ransom must also come to understand and hone his burgeoning powers—abilities that involve more than his mastery with a blade and that make him as much a target as his lord.

Type of Summer Read

Light and Easy

Arthurian-inspired, this is a surprisingly easy fantasy read with wonderful characters and a fairly simple plot, making for a light read.


Glasdel by Rob Heinze

Description

From bestselling Indie author of THE SWARM, comes a touching, moving work of fantasy:

Set in a fantasy world in the tradition of George R.R. Martin, Glasdel is a town nestled near an artic lake, which gains its life-force and energy from the Great Glacier at the edge of the lake. When animals and plants start to die around the village, superstitious fear begins to spread. When pieces of ice start to appear on the beach, the council in Glasdel know that something is happening to the Great Glacier. No one in the history of Glasdel has ventured up the Glacier, and the journey that ensues is one of great discovery and adventure. But can the band of adventurers discover what is destroying the Glacier, and will they be able to stop it?

Glasdel is a fantasy work of startling originality that, if nothing else, will keep you entertained and questioning until the very end.

Fans of Robert Jordan, J.R.R. Tolkien, George R.R. Martin, and other high fantasy novels will love Glasdel.

Purchase

Type of Summer Read

Wintry Reads

This is set around a freezing cold lake, so it’s a perfect summer fantasy read to keep you feeling cold. There’s a journey into snow and ice and lots of secrets. And maybe a dragon.


Twilight’s Fall by J. Steven Lamperti

Twilight's Fall by J. Steven Lamperti
Description

On his way back to his capital to face down a rebellion, the young king Twilight is ambushed in the forest. Who wants to kill him, and why?

His companions, Aela, Blaine, and Corentin, all rise to the occasion in ways the king never expects. Is there more to them than he sees on the surface?

The journey back to the King’s Seat is fraught with danger, ghostly trials, and survival, but once there, they still must struggle to face down the rebellion.

In the final battle for his kingdom, Twilight faces his end, his doom. Will he and his allies be able to save his kingdom, or will this be Twilight’s Fall?

Purchase

Type of Summer Read

Light and Easy

A quick, light and easy fantasy perfect for new readers to the genre or anyone needing a lighter fantasy read. Short and simplistic, it’s definitely a quick and fun read.


The Music of the Mind by Ash

Book Review: The Music of the Mind by Ash Adler
Description

Finn Bran is a young journeyman bard who performs all the traditional songs of heroism and great deeds, while dreaming that he could someday be part of such a story – but the Kingdom of Valeria is falling into decline all around him as a mysterious force fosters thoughts of violence and intolerance in people’s minds.

Brought face-to-face with this terrifying evil, Finn narrowly escapes death and emerges beaten, but possessing a strange new gift – or curse. Able to hear the purity or impurity of people’s thoughts in the form of music, Finn realises that his unique insight leaves him with the responsibility to fight back against the evil being that has defeated him once already. But first, he must learn to master the music of his own mind.

This quest will lead Finn from the enchanted realm of the Fair Folk to the castle dungeons; to an ill-fated battle with a dragon that leads to a friendship that changes the shape of the world; to an inner mastery of elemental forces.

Finally, will Finn be strong enough to face the immutable enemy that has twisted an entire nation to its own dark ends … or will he need to reach out for help from the strangest of places?

Purchase

Type of Summer Read

Light and Easy

Up for a Celtic-inspired fantasy about a bard? Look no further than this easy, light on tension novel about doing what’s right.


The Girl With Stars in Her Eyes by Xio Axelrod

The Girl with Stars in Her Eyes by Xio Axelrod
Description

A Star is Born meets Daisy Jones and the Six by way of Colleen Hoover in this unique story following an all-female band on the brink of breaking out. This diverse cast of characters play hard and love harder…no matter the ultimate price.

Growing up in dive bars up and down the East Coast, Toni Bennette’s guitar was her only companion…until she met Sebastian Quick. Seb was a little older, a lot wiser, and before long he was Toni’s way out, promising they’d escape their stifling small town together. Then Seb turned eighteen and split without looking back.

Now, Toni’s all grown up and making a name for herself in Philadelphia’s indie scene. When a friend suggests she try out for a hot new up-and-coming band, Toni decides to take a chance. Strong, feminist, and fierce as fire, Toni B. and the Lillys are the perfect match…except Seb’s now moonlighting as their manager. Whatever. Toni can handle it. No problem. Or it wouldn’t be if Seb didn’t still hold a piece of her heart…not to mention the key to her future.

Type of Summer Read

Love and Friendship

The romance sizzles throughout the book as Toni develops unexpected friendships when she finds herself part of a girl band, creating some incredible tension that’ll keep you reading.


Dragonflies at Night by Anne Marie Bennett

Dragonflies at Night by Anne Marie Bennett
Description

Meet Savannah, the thirty-something owner of Life Celebrations, a party planning business. Despite losing both parents as a teenager, Savannah is creating a positive life for herself, surrounded by friends and co-workers who are now her family. But she also has a secret—as much as she wants to settle down and have children, she is afraid of getting sick too, and having to leave them without their mother, as she herself was left behind years ago.

Her mother is Deirdre Rose. She continues to watch over Savannah, who feels deeply connected to her mother whenever a dragonfly crosses her path.

Now meet Ben, a good-looking, talented recording artist who is already a household name. Yeah, he’s famous, but he’s also painfully lonely. He trusts few people because it seems everyone wants something from him instead of getting to know who he really is.

As fate would have it, Savannah and Ben cross paths at a yoga retreat in the Massachusetts Berkshires.

They are drawn to each other’s creativity and outlook on life.

She sees beyond his celebrity and he admires her strength in what she’s had to overcome.

What happens when the retreat ends and they’re forced to go their separate ways?

Will they be able to make a long distance relationship work?Can Savannah put aside her fears, and will Ben allow himself to be truly vulnerable?

Above all . . . what message do Deirdre Rose and Dragonfly have for both of them?

Type of Summer Read

Love and Friendship, Light and Easy

This features a gorgeous mature romance between a star musician and an event planner living on opposite coasts. A sweet, easy read with characters who go the distance with understanding each other.


Bella Cigna by Wendi Dass

Bella Cigna by Wendi Dass
Description

Devastated by personal loss, Sarah Flynn escapes to Rome where she finds a job teaching English. Only the girls’ school is like a nunnery and she’s expected to speak fluent Italian overnight. What has she gotten herself into? While the beautiful sights rekindle her interest in art, not even her brush finding canvas can heal all the wounds she carries. She’ll need the help of a meddling nun, a nutty mathematician, and a handsome Italian admirer. Can Sarah overcome the insecurities
born of a shattered marriage? Will she again take a chance on love?

Type of Summer Read

Love and Friendship

The star of this book is Italy, but there’s also a gorgeous Italian man just around the corner waiting for Sarah, an American come to teach English at an all girls Catholic school in Rome. Their relationship was fraught with miscommunication, but it’s so easy to root for them. Bonus: Travel to Italy!


The Friendship List by Susan Mallery

Book Blog Tour - review of The Friendship List by Susan Mallery
Description

A witty, heartfelt and irresistible story about two best friends determined to help one another shake things up and live life to the fullest in a summer that will change them forever.

Susan Mallery, #1 New York Times bestselling author of California Girls and Sisters by Choice, has delivered the perfect escape about the power of female friendship and the importance of making your dreams come true.

Single mom Ellen Fox couldn’t be more content—until she overhears her son saying he can’t go to his dream college because she needs him too much. If she wants him to live his best life, she has to convince him she’s living hers.

So Unity Leandre, her best friend since forever, creates a list of challenges to push Ellen out of her comfort zone. Unity will complete the list, too, but not because she needs to change. What’s wrong with a thirtysomething widow still sleeping in her late husband’s childhood bed?

The Friendship List begins as a way to make others believe they’re just fine. But somewhere between “wear three-inch heels” and “have sex with a gorgeous guy,” Ellen and Unity discover that life is meant to be lived with joy and abandon, in a story filled with humor, heartache and regrettable tattoos.

Type of Summer Read

Love and Friendship, Light and Easy

A light summer read set during the summer along the West Coast, it features two lifelong friends and their summer of romances that could last forever.


Finding Home by Kate Field

Finding Home by Kate Field
Description

Meet Miranda Brown: you can call her Mim. She’s jobless, homeless and living in her car… but with a history like hers she knows she has a huge amount to be grateful for.

Meet Beatrice and William Howard: Bill and Bea to you. The heads of the Howard family and owners of Venhallow Hall, a sprawling seaside Devonshire estate… stranded in a layby five hours from home the night before their niece’s wedding.

When fate brings the trio together, Mim doesn’t think twice before offering to drive the affable older couple home. It’s not like she has anywhere else to be. But as the car pulls into the picturesque village of Littlemead, Mim has no idea how her life is about to change…

An uplifting story of found family and true love perfect for fans of Fern Britton and Veronica Henry.

Type of Summer Read

Light and Easy

While this also has a soft, naturally progressing romance, it’s really a delightful, light, easy read about family and finding one’s place.


The Memory Keeper by Jenny Hale

The Memory Keeper by Jenny Hale
Description

From the USA Today bestselling author of The Summer House comes a story about finding lost loves, chasing dreams, and the people who show up when they’re needed the most. The Memory Keeper is the perfect escape for fans of Debbie Macomber, Pamela Kelley, and Susan Mallery.

This year, for her birthday, Hannah Townsend is leaving the icy New York City sludge for sunshine! She’s got tickets for two to Barbados, and she’s all packed and surprising her beau Miles Monahan at the airport for a week of cocktails, sandy beaches, and the music of steel drums.

But her life is turned upside down in the span of that one morning. Hannah is rocked by the news that her beloved grandmother is very sick, and Hannah needs to come home to her small Tennessee town right away to be with her family and help run her gran’s dilapidated flower shop. It also means she has to face Ethan Wright, the childhood best friend she’d left behind so many years ago. If that isn’t enough to deal with, she discovers her boyfriend is seeing someone else.

With flights grounded and rental cars in great demand due to the winter snowstorm, she’s stranded at the airport. On her birthday, instead of waking up in a stylish beachfront hotel in Miles’s arms like she thought, she finds herself packed like sardines into a car, with two passengers, on a ride-share from LaGuardia Airport to her hometown of Franklin, Tennessee.

When everything seems to be going wrong, it’s the kindness of Liam McGuire, a handsome man from Hannah’s past that might just save her. But a new development that threatens Gran’s shop and secrets surrounding Liam could alter both their lives forever.

A heartwarming, sweet romance that will have you laughing, crying, and best of all, hugging those around you a little tighter. One of the best feel good reads of the season! If you loved the Christmas movies based on Jenny’s books and are looking for more small town romance, look no further!

Type of Summer Read

Love and Friendship, Wintry Reads

This is set towards the end of winter, so it’s still a bit chilly, but the friendships and romance that develop over the course of the book are so sweet and so natural.


A Good Heart by Lisa Volz

Description

An attending nurse becomes the object of a man’s affection after his grandmother informs him that he must be married to inherit the family fortune.Grace Kearny loves being an attending nurse at Magnolia Gardens. Her strong work ethic and strength of moral character makes her one of Magnolia Garden’s most trusted employees. She treats her elderly residents like family, including her favorite resident, Elena Russo. Elena thinks Grace would be a perfect match for her successful and handsome grandson, Dante. But Grace has no interest in breaking company policy over a man.When Elena tells Dante that he must be married to receive the family inheritance, Elena also tells him that Grace is the one for him.Will the wishes of a kind, elderly woman be enough to convince Grace to walk away from her professional relationship and pursue a romantic one with Dante? If Elena can convince Grace that Dante has a good heart and good intentions, then Grace Kearny might find happiness she never knew possible.

Purchase

Tpe of Summer Read

Love and Friendship

A Christian romance, this novella is short and sweet, and the romance is quite lovely. There’s also a delightful matchmaking grandmother and a woman trying to figure out how to balance her personal and professional lives.


The Bookstore on the Beach by Brenda Novak

The Bookstore on the Beach by Brenda Novak
Description

How do you start a new chapter of your life when you haven’t closed the book on the previous one?

Eighteen months ago, Autumn Divac’s husband went missing. Her desperate search has yielded no answers, and she can’t imagine moving forward without him. But for the sake of their two teenage children, she has to try.

Autumn takes her kids home for the summer to the charming beachside town where she was raised. She seeks comfort working alongside her mother and aunt at their bookshop, only to learn that her daughter is facing a huge life change and her mother has been hiding a terrible secret for years. And when she runs into the boy who stole her heart in high school, old feelings start to bubble up again. Is she free to love him, or should she hold out hope for her husband’s return? She can only trust her heart…and hope it won’t lead her astray.

Type of Summer Read

Love and Friendship

This one has not one, but two love triangles, but also some nice friendships and romantic relationships. Set on the beach, it’s perfect for summer romances and starting again.


Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade

Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade, a cute romance
Description

Olivia Dade bursts onto the scene in this delightfully fun romantic comedy set in the world of fanfiction, in which a devoted fan goes on an unexpected date with her celebrity crush, who’s secretly posting fanfiction of his own. 

Marcus Caster-Rupp has a secret. The world may know him as Aeneas, star of the biggest show on television, but fanfiction readers call him something else: Book!AeneasWouldNever. Marcus gets out his frustrations with the show through anonymous stories about the internet’s favorite couple, Aeneas and Lavinia. But if anyone discovered his online persona, he’d be finished in Hollywood.

April Whittier has secrets of her own. A hardcore Lavinia fan, she’s long hidden her fanfic and cosplay hobbies from her “real life”—but not anymore. When she dares to post her latest costume creation on Twitter, her plus-size take goes viral. And when Marcus asks her out to spite her internet critics, truth officially becomes stranger than fanfiction.

On their date, Marcus quickly realizes he wants more from April than a one-time publicity stunt. But when he discovers she’s Unapologetic Lavinia Stan, his closest fandom friend, he has one more huge secret to keep from her.

With love and Marcus’s career on the line, can the two of them stop hiding once and for all, or will a match made in fandom end up prematurely cancelled?

Type of Summer Read

Love and Friendship

For fans of fanfic, Greek mythology, and Twitter, this book has an incredible friendship/romance that’s so sweet and beautiful. It hits on some serious topics, but, seriously, that romance…


The Seven Steps to Closure by Donna Joy Usher

The Seven Steps to Closure by Donna Joy Usher
Description

Can A Trashy Magazine Article Help Heal A Broken Heart?

Tara Babcock awakes the morning after her 30th birthday with a hangover that could kill an elephant – and the knowledge she is still no closer to achieving closure on her marriage breakup. Things go from bad to worse when she discovers that, not only is her ex-husband engaged to her cousin – Tash, the woman he left her for – but that Jake is also running for Lord Mayor of Sydney.

Desperate to leave the destructive relationship behind and with nothing to lose, she decides – with encouragement from her three best friends – to follow the dubious advice from a magazine article, Closure in Seven Easy Steps.

The Seven Steps to Closure follows Tara on her sometimes disastrous – always hilarious – path to achieve the seemingly impossible.

Type of Summer Read

Love and Friendship, Light and Easy

This is a fun one set in Australia and India involving a recently divorced woman and a man she finds herself traveling with who might know more about her than she thinks.


The Last Charm by Ella Allbright

Book Review: The Last Charm by Ella Allbright - a sweet story about a young couple and the charm bracelet linking them
Description

Leila’s charm bracelet tells a story of love, a story of loss, a story of hope.

This is the story of her… and the story of Jake.

When Leila Jones loses her precious charm bracelet and a stranger finds it, she has to tell the story of how she got the charms to prove she’s the owner. Each and every one is a precious memory of her life with Jake.

So Leila starts at the beginning, recounting the charms and experiences that have led her to the present. A present she never could have expected when she met Jake nearly twenty years ago…

Type of Summer Read

Love and Friendship

This one broke my heart and put it back together again with a friends turned lovers story in just the most beautiful and heartbreaking way.


Accidents Make the Heart Grow Fonder by Tara Mills

Accidents Make the Heart Grow Fonder by Tara Mills
Description

Is fate messing with them or is he just unlucky? And seriously, how many times does a girl have to say she’s sorry?

Sabrina Eckhart is losing it. Oasis, the restaurant she manages, is getting battered by a trendy newcomer and with everyone looking to her for ideas, you could say she’s under a little pressure. But wait, that’s not all. Her evil landlady has given her until the end of the month to vacate her crummy apartment. Then there’s her thirtieth birthday looming, reminding her of the milestones she’s missed. No wonder she’s so distracted by the jogger with the tightest buns she’s ever seen she nearly flattens him with her car.

Jackson Murphy is an avid jogger, and the local television station’s scrumptious news director—if he can keep the job. Unfortunately, he has one year to resuscitate their wheezing news department or the owners are going to pull the plug. His hands are already full even without Sabrina dropping into them.

The road to love is bumpy. It’ll take all of Cupid’s arrows, and a hard shove from interfering friends, for these two to win the Dating Game.

Read the romantic comedy that’s been described as a little ‘What’s Up, Doc,’ a little ‘Bringing Up Baby,’ and a whole lotta laughs. Accidents Make the Heart Grow Fonder, a romance that packs a hilarious punch!

Type of Summer Read

Love and Friendship, Light and Easy

Apparently, hurt a man enough times, and he’ll agree to date you. This is a fun, zany romance, but it’s also a quick read with a terrific couple.


Talk Bookish to Me by Kate Bromley

Talk Bookish to Me by Kate Bromley
Description

Inspiration can come from the most unlikely—and inconvenient—sources.

Kara Sullivan’s life is full of love—albeit fictional. As a bestselling romance novelist and influential bookstagrammer, she’s fine with getting her happily-ever-after fix between the covers of a book.

But right now? Not only is Kara’s best friend getting married next week—which means big wedding stress—but the deadline for her next novel is looming, and she hasn’t written a single word. The last thing she needs is for her infuriating first love, Ryan Thompson, to suddenly appear in the wedding party. But Ryan’s unexpected arrival sparks a creative awakening in Kara that inspires the steamy historical romance she desperately needs to deliver.

With her wedding duties intensifying, her deadline getting closer by the second and her bills not paying themselves, Kara knows there’s only one way for her to finish her book and to give her characters the ever-after they deserve. But can she embrace the unlikely, ruggedly handsome muse—who pushes every one of her buttons—to save the wedding, her career and, just maybe, write her own happy ending?

Type of Summer Read

Love and Friendship

A second chance at love story, this revolves around a seriously fun former couple who might still have a thing for each other.


Home at Summer’s End by Alys Murray

Home at Summer's End by Alys Murray
Description

Rose Anderson is done with being known as “the nice one” in the small town where she lives. She’s done with playing third, fifth, seventh wheel at loud gatherings on her family’s flower farm. And most of all, she is done with the pitying looks she gets about her single status from the way-too-interested townsfolk.

Busy with her flower-arranging business, Rose has no time for a man, thank you very much. And it has nothing to do with the scars she still nurses from her last breakup. So when she meets Cole McKittrick, Rose gets an idea. But first she needs to get beneath his aloof exterior and convince him to agree…

Cole McKittrick is trying to keep calm. So what if he quit a steady job for a shot at his dream, was dumped and his move to Yokel County, California is bringing back childhood memories he’d rather forget? It’s all about perspective. He doesn’t want to get any more involved in this town than he has to be, so his first instinct is to push Rose Anderson and her intriguing idea away. But the woman won’t get gone, and then she makes him an offer he can’t refuse.

The two are soon neck deep in deception, playing up a starry-eyed romance in public while they clash wits and wills in private. But Cole has been hiding a big secret from Rose about his past. And when Rose finds out could it spell the end for their picture-perfect romance, or will she realize that he has taken over not just her home, but also her heart…?

A fun, charming romance about family and finding the one, perfect for fans of Robyn Carr, Debbie Macomber and Carolyn Brown.

Type of Summer Read

Love and Friendship, Light and Easy

A sweet romance about a fake relationship, though the heroine is a romance novel lover and is determined to not fall in love with the man she’s pretending to date.


Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers

Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers
Description

When becoming an adult means learning to love yourself first.

With her newly completed PhD in astronomy in hand, twenty-eight-year-old Grace Porter goes on a girls’ trip to Vegas to celebrate. She’s a straight A, work-through-the-summer certified high achiever. She is not the kind of person who goes to Vegas and gets drunkenly married to a woman whose name she doesn’t know…until she does exactly that.

This one moment of departure from her stern ex-military father’s plans for her life has Grace wondering why she doesn’t feel more fulfilled from completing her degree. Staggering under the weight of her parent’s expectations, a struggling job market and feelings of burnout, Grace flees her home in Portland for a summer in New York with the wife she barely knows.

In New York, she’s able to ignore all the constant questions about her future plans and falls hard for her creative and beautiful wife, Yuki Yamamoto. But when reality comes crashing in, Grace must face what she’s been running from all along—the fears that make us human, the family scars that need to heal and the longing for connection, especially when navigating the messiness of adulthood.

Type of Summer Read

Love and Friendship

More about the friends than the romance, the characters really come to life and their relationships are just note perfect. A novel full of spectacular sapphic romance and incredible female friendships! It’s more of a serious read, but it’ll hit you right in the heart.


The Summer Villa by Melissa Hill

Book Blog Tour: An Excerpt of The Summer Villa by Melissa Hill - a fun women's fiction novel that takes place on the Amalfi Coast in Italy
Description

Villa Dolce Vita, a rambling stone house on the Amalfi Coast, sits high above the Gulf of Naples amid dappled lemon groves and fragrant, tumbling bougainvillea. Kim, Colette and Annie all came to the villa in need of escape and in the process forged an unlikely friendship.

Now, years later, Kim has transformed the crumbling house into a luxury retreat and has invited her friends back for the summer to celebrate.

But as friendships are rekindled under the Italian sun, secrets buried in the past will come to light, and not everyone is happy that the three friends are reuniting… Each woman will have things to face up to if they are all to find true happiness and fully embrace the sweet life.

An epic summer read about food, friendship and the magic of Italy, perfect for fans of Mary Kay Andrews and Susan Mallery.

Type of Summer Read

Love and Friendship

Mostly set at and around a charming Italian villa on the Amalfi Coast, three women form an unlikely friendship and find love during one summer of escape.


The Farmer’s Daughter by Lisa R. Howeler

The Farmer's Daughter by Lisa R. Howeler
Description

A story with loveable characters facing challenges, falling in love or deeper in love and growing closer to God.

Molly Tanner thought she’d be further in life by now, but, no. At the age of 26, still living on her parents’ dairy farm in rural Pennsylvania, wondering if there is a life for her somewhere other than little Spencer Valley. While wondering, though, her family faces financial struggles, her best friend falls into a deep depression, and her brother’s best friend starts acting weird around her. Weird as in — is attractive Alex Stone flirting with her?

Alex has his own challenges to face, mainly facing past demons that make him feel like he’s not worthy of the love the Tanner family has already shown him, let alone the love of the woman he’s fallen for while working side-by-side with her in the barn each day.

Will the desire to change their lives bring Molly and Alex together and will the Tanner family be able to save their family farm and their family business?

Purchase

Type of Summer Read

Love and Friendship

A sweet Christian romance, the romance is incredibly lovely and all of the characters feel like a warm family you won’t want to leave. A beautiful story of love, friendship, and family.


Don’t Wait for Me by Dan Kolbet

Don't Wait For Me by Dan Kolbet
Description

Edwin Klein’s iconic downtown toy store is hanging by a thread. The end is near, but he won’t accept it. The store is all he has left of his wife and he can’t let it go. Failure and loss have led him to a dark place. Can the introduction of a new love help him and his store survive the Christmas season?

After a chance encounter with a shoplifter, he stumbles upon the help of Amelia Cook, who is struggling with her own loss. Through one holiday season the two of them hatch a plan to save the store and in turn touch the lives of everyone they know.

What follows is a wonderful, but tragic tale of love, loss and new beginnings.

Type of Summer Read

Wintry Reads, Love and Friendship

It’s Christmas in this wintry book and involves a sweet romance, but is the timing right?


Who Did You Tell? by Leslie Kara

Book Review: Who Did You Tell? y by Lesley Kara - a psychological mystery
Description

A recovering alcoholic’s dark secrets catch up with her in this gripping novel of psychological suspense from the internationally bestselling author of The Rumor.

We said to keep it a secret, that no one needed to know.

Astrid is newly sober and trying to turn her life around. Having reluctantly moved back in with her mother, in a quiet seaside town away from the temptations and darkness of her previous life , she is focusing on her recovery. She’s going to meetings. Confessing her misdeeds. Making amends to those she’s wronged. If she fills her days, maybe she can outrun the ghosts that haunt her. Maybe she can start anew. 

But someone is tormenting me now. Someone knows where I am and what I’ve done.

Someone knows exactly what Astrid is running from. And they won’t stop until she learns that some mistakes can’t be corrected. Some mistakes, you have to pay for . . . 

The question is: Who did you tell?

Type of Summer Read

Wintry Reads

This one actually takes place during spring/summer, but, as it’s set in a seaside town in the UK, there’s lots of fog, clouds, and rain that makes it feel chilly. This is a bizarre psychological thriller blended with women’s fiction.


Murder at Mile Marker 18 by Denise Jaden

Murder at Mile Marker 18 by Denise Jaden
Description

An unlucky amateur sleuth, an adorable cop, and a cat with a hunch…

If anyone had told Mallory Beck she would become Honeysuckle Grove’s next unschooled detective, she would have thought they were ten noodles short of a lasagna. Her late husband had been the mystery novelist with a penchant for the suspicious. She was born for the Crock-Pot, not the magnifying glass, and yet here she is elbow deep in fettuccine, cat treats, and teenagers with an attitude, the combination of which lands her smack-dab in the middle of a murder investigation.

Maybe she should have thought twice about delivering a casserole to a grieving family. Maybe she should have avoided the ever-changing green eyes of her seventh-grade crush—now the most heart-stopping cop in town. Maybe she should have stopped listening to the insightful mewls of her antagonistic cat, Hunch, who most likely wants her to be the town’s next murder victim.

Whatever the case, Mallory Beck got herself into this investigation, and she has a distraught teenage girl counting on her to deliver the truth. 

Type of Summer Read

Light and Easy, Love and Friendship

The start of a cozy, culinary mystery series, it involves crime and murder, but is also such a quick, fast read that I can’t help thinking of it as a light mystery read that just flings readers into the story and whips them around until they realize they’ve just read the entire thing. There’s also a teenage girl in need of a friend and a gorgeous cop around the corner.


One by One by Ruth Ware

One by One by Ruth Ware
Description

Getting snowed in at a luxurious, rustic ski chalet high in the French Alps doesn’t sound like the worst problem in the world. Especially when there’s a breathtaking vista, a full-service chef and housekeeper, a cozy fire to keep you warm, and others to keep you company. Unless that company happens to be eight coworkers…each with something to gain, something to lose, and something to hide.

When the cofounder of Snoop, a trendy London-based tech startup, organizes a weeklong trip for the team in the French Alps, it starts out as a corporate retreat like any other: PowerPoint presentations and strategy sessions broken up by mandatory bonding on the slopes. But as soon as one shareholder upends the agenda by pushing a lucrative but contentious buyout offer, tensions simmer and loyalties are tested. The storm brewing inside the chalet is no match for the one outside, however, and a devastating avalanche leaves the group cut off from all access to the outside world. Even worse, one Snooper hadn’t made it back from the slopes when the avalanche hit.

As each hour passes without any sign of rescue, panic mounts, the chalet grows colder, and the group dwindles further…one by one.

Type of Summer Read

Wintry Reads

Set at a ski lodge with loads of fresh snow, there is, of course, plenty of snow and cold weather. It’s downright freezing most of the time, making for a nice cool off during the hot summer months.


Eastover Treasures by Dawn Brotherton

Eastover Treasures by Dawn Brotherton
Description

When Aury and her fellow quilters uncover clues to a potential fortune, will they be able to untangle the mystery in time to save Eastover Retreat Center from financial ruin?

During their annual quilt retreat, gale force winds trap the ladies in a boarded-up manor house. Inside, the sewing sisters discover the diaries of the mistress of Eastover Plantation written during the Civil War and clues she left behind which started as a treasure hunt for her children. Following the clues, the quilters take a journey they never expected.

As Aury works closely with the owner of the retreat center, they dig up more than treasure when they follow the trail through history. Will it be enough to save Eastover and preserve the history of the plantation?

Type of Summer Read

Light and Easy

This charming novel is little more than an intriguing treasure hunt. Flipping back and forth between present day and the Civil War, it’s an easy, quick read.


Happy reading this summer!

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*Disclaimer: all book descriptions are from Amazon. I am not an affiliate for any of the links and will not earn anything should you purchase anything through them.

2 thoughts

  1. Kat! I’m sooo behind on reading blogs! I had no idea you had mentioned my book or all these other awesome looking books. Thanks for this list. Tonight is my blog reading night — you may see a lot of likes from me. lol

    1. I can’t help but think yours is a perfect summer read! I was surprised by just how many I’ve read make such good summer reads, at least by the criteria I have in my head.

      Haha, happy reading! And good luck catching up with all the blogs you read!

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