So, with Summer finally winding down and the school year kicking off for students and parents all over, I figured I’d share what I loved reading this Summer!
Full disclosure, I was on a HUGE contemporary romance kick this Summer (still kind of am) so most, maybe all, of these recs will be romance novels. I’m a really diverse reader so I can read all genres, but sometimes I just get in a mood and will stick to one genre more than others. It is what it is.
Also, I feel like Summer is the perfect time for romances! I always read more thriller/mystery novels during the Fall and colder months and then I break into romance and lighter reads during the Spring and Summer. I’m also a seasonal reader, apparently.
The first book I read this Summer that I loved was the stunning debut The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez. I received it as an ARC from my friends at Forever and I have to say that I completely adored this novel. It had me laughing, crying, swooning, and fanning myself all at the same time. It was a romance novel with such wit and heart that it was nearly impossible to put down.
It reads a little more closely to a NA romance considering the language, age of the characters, and really just the writing in general. The reviews for this, based on my Goodreads, is really mixed. Like, some of my favorite bloggers loved this, and some of my favorite bloggers disliked it. If you’re willing to give a mixed-review book a try, then I strongly urge you to pick this up! Read my full review for some more on the trigger warnings in this book and specifics on why I adored it!
My next favorite book I read this Summer is a cozy mystery that I read as part of the Cozy Mystery Book Club; I’m talking about A Dark and Stormy Murder! Honestly, this would be the PERFECT Fall cozy to read, but I’m so happy I read it this Summer. It had been on my TBR for a while, but in typical book blogger fashion, I had it pushed to the way-back burner.
Cozies, after starting my blog journey, have become one of my favorite genres to read. They’re like cozy little puzzles and I can’t get enough of them and their adorable covers. This was such a well-written and well plotted novel that it was equal parts cozy and just a damn good mystery. If you’re looking for a good mystery for the Fall, I highly suggest this! Also, there’s already two others out in this series so you can binge if you want!
Book three was a gift from Forever Publishing and was a Spring release this year. Spring is literally in the name of the book. It’s Springtime at Hope Cottage! I read the first book in the series the year prior as part of my Christmas Romance Month, and I absolutely adored it so I knew I had to read the second as soon as I could. I was so lucky to receive a copy from Forever and I cannot wait for this series to continue in the next few months!
Springtime at Hope Cottage is the sweetest contemporary novel with plenty of heart and humor. It was nearly unputdownable and I probably gushed about it to everyone who would listen. You don’t need to read the first in the series to read this one, so if you wanted to pick this up as a standalone and didn’t want to begin another series then you totally can! But, after you get your first taste of Sweetwater Springs I can assure you that you won’t want to leave.
So, this next novel isn’t a five-star read for me, but I feel like I need to mention it because it was one of the better novels I read over the Summer. Consider it an honorable mention. Of course, I’m talking about Ruth Ware’s latest novel, The Turn of the Key. While this wasn’t my favorite novel Ware has written, and I’ve read her entire works aside from one, it was a close second.
I always love Ruth Ware’s writing even if I don’t necessarily love her plot, and this ARC stayed with me long after I finished it. Another perfect book for Fall, this was a spooky and enthralling novel that’s part ghost story part psychological thriller. Just a really good book from one of the most notable authors in the last few years.
Another contemporary romance from Forever that I loved this Summer was The Cottage on Rose Lane. It was such a touching and lovely read that was only heightened by the fact that Hope Ramsay is a phenomenal author. It was obvious she had done her research for this novel and while it was a bit educational in terms of boat and sailing lingo, it was so much fun and a deeply enjoyable read.
This is the first in a series that can be read as a standalone, but the second novel just came out so now is the perfect time to jump into this series if you’re interested!
It’ll probably come as no surprise to you that another of the novels on this list is Birthday Girl by Penelope Douglas. I love love love her novels and her work never fails to kick me out of my reading slumps. This was the ultimate slow-burn romance with just the minimal touches of taboo that makes it feel wrong but also not so wrong that you feel weird reading it (ya know?).
Typical Douglas writing in terms of the tension, drama, and romance. It left me wanting nothing but more and I think it was really the perfect break from my planned TBR. If you’re new to her work then this would be a great place to start because it isn’t nearly as dark as her Devil’s Night series or even her Fall Away series.
The final book I wanted to mention in this post is actually a novel from Kensington Publishing, one of my newer publishing partners! They were kind enough to send me the re-released version of Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder, a cozy cult classic that had been on my TBR for years. The new cover is adorable and I love the bigger, heavier paperback compared to the regular mass markets that this series usually comes in.
A classic cozy mystery that leaves you guessing and also never wanting to leave this small, quaint town, this is a great time to start this long-running series if you haven’t yet because the new format is beautiful and it’s a great Fall read! I honestly cannot wait to see the other new covers for this series and I can’t wait to visit Hannah Swensen again!
Overall I read some really great books this Summer and I discovered that contemporary romance is one of my new favorite genres! It was a successful reading season on that front and the fact that I’m completely caught up on my partner copies that I hadn’t read!
Fall is here and if you haven’t felt it yet then don’t worry, you will! This Fall is going to have some incredible releases that I’m excited for and I actually already have two releases and two ARCs to get to for September and October. Let me know what you loved this Summer and what you’re waiting for in Fall!