Who here is already thinking about summer?
I know I am.
This winter feels like it has lasted an eternity. I still have studded tires on my SUV for goodness’ sake.
But today, Mother Nature threw us Oregonians a get-out-of-jail-free-card in the form of a 75-degree day! All of the sudden sunglasses shaded squinting eyes, sunroofs slid open, and bare, translucent arms hung out the sides of every open car window in the Pacific Northwest.
And now I’m dreaming about cold salads for dinner, barbecued burgers and steaks, and whether or not my shorts still fit from last year. (that’s a hard no).
I’m planning summer camps for my kids, and shaking my leftover bottle of self-tanner, watching the orangey goo separate, and then blend back together, hoping this is the year I can finally stand the scent of it. (also no).
I’m putting away thick, heavy sweaters and pulling out short-sleeved tops and tanks that fail to stay put on slippery hangers. I’m reaching for my straw hat and perusing book blogs for juicy new releases I should read.
This is a summer I am darn well ready for.
Maybe you too are planning summer vacations as we speak, or at least thinking about taking some time off during the upcoming mid year months.
If so, and you’re wondering what you should pick up to read on your trip, I have some ideas.
Instead of having to go back through all my past newsletters to find the books I’ve truly loved, not just recommended, I’ve put together a handy list for ya.
I thought I’d do a simple round up here, all nice and neat in one easy newsletter. This way you can spend less time looking for a good book, and more time selecting a swimsuit that does it’s job well. Which, I think we all can agree, is the more important task here, anyway.
Book Recommendation Round Up by Genre
Steamy Historical Romance
Both of these will either reconfirm your love of historical romance, or they will make you change your mind about the genre being boring. Or unsexy. Or hard to follow.
These books will probably always remain in my top ten most favorite books of all time. And I don’t even like historical romance, so that is telling in itself.
As an added bonus, Wolfsgate is available right now on Kindle Unlimited as well, so if you’re a subscriber, you can read it for free.
Get one of these for your next vacation read, STAT!
Steamy Contemporary Romance
These were all excellent reads with very high heat levels. I think my favorite is probably The Kiss Quotient because it’s so relevant to our time, the characters are real, the writing is sexy as heck, and overall it is just adorable. I can’t recommend this book enough.
Next would definitely be Archer’s Voice because it is such a unique premise (a deaf main character) and it is just SO well written. I loved this book. It will definitely be one I re-read every year.
Don’t read The Idea of You unless you want to cry for a little bit. But crying in a good way, you know? It’s full of angst, has an older woman younger man trope, and will be the book you end up loving when you thought you’d hate it. Ignore the cover and be sure to stick with it past the first three chapters.
Ready to Fall is a quick, easy, sexy read that takes place in Puget Sound, Washington. It’s cute, relatable, and fun, and has one of the best up-against-a-wall-kissing-scenes I’ve ever read. Bonus: it is on Kindle Unlimited right now.
Hero starts out sad but quickly pulls you in, especially if you have children and suffer from mom guilt. It’s a great read that would be perfect to start on an airplane and finish next to a pool. Just don’t forget a cocktail because some scenes in this book are smokin’ hot. Available on Kindle Unlimited right now too.
Long Shot was my first Kennedy Ryan book, and even though the subject matter was really tough to read at times, I ended up liking the book after all. This book is the first in a series of “Shot” books by Ryan, and so far, her fans are loving this new line. It’s well written, sexxxxxy, and deals with a topic I think everyone, especially women, need to read about. Per the author’s note, this book is based on factual events. Available on Kindle Unlimited.
Here are a few reviews of these books.
These kind of reviews make me feel so great! They also strike fear into my heart that anything I produce from here forward will be absolute shit.
Thanks for giving my books a try, friends. I appreciate you taking a chance on me.
Psychological Thriller / Suspense
Cross Her Heart is probably my favorite psychological read this year. The story covers what it looks like to try and rebuild a new life after a troubled past, and how, no matter how hard we try, secrets never seem to stay buried.
Behind Her Eyes by the same author, was excellent also. Despite being a contemporary novel, it does carry a paranormal aspect, however, I thought it was still an incredible read. And the ending is one I did NOT see coming.
When the Lights go Out was recommended to me by a friend that reads ten times faster than I do. She loved it so much she gave it 5 stars, and she NEVER gives any book 5 stars. For that reason alone, this one is at the top of my TBR.
No Exit and Sweet Little Lies are also waiting patiently on my bedside table. No Exit has over 3,000 reviews and a nearly 100% positive rating. That’s almost an impossible feat, so you know it has to be good. Here’s a quick blurb:
A brilliant, edgy thriller about four strangers, a blizzard, a kidnapped child, and a determined young woman desperate to unmask and outwit a vicious psychopath.
A kidnapped little girl locked in a stranger’s van. No help for miles. What would you do?An Anonymous Girl was a great read in that the plot was so unlike any I have ever read. It made me think about morals and values and all the little lies we tell ourselves to justify and rationalize behavior that, on its own, is really pretty horrible. Dr. Shields, is so eerily creepy and composed, I couldn’t stop thinking about that character for weeks. A true psychological mind frack.
The Martian was a book I never thought I would like. I honestly can’t even tell you why I picked it up. I hadn’t heard anything about it, nor had anyone I knew heard about it. Maybe it was the cover? Maybe it was the intriguing color scheme or the image. I don’t know, but I definitely remember why I started reading it: the first sentence made me laugh.
“I’m pretty much fucked.”
And so I started to read it in the store and didn’t put it down until late, late that same night. This book is captivating, and so incredibly smart and interesting, and the main character is one you can’t help but root for. With over 30 THOUSAND reviews (omg), you know it has to be stellar.
And it is. It truly is.
If you’ve seen the movie, I still recommend that you read the book. It has a lot more detail, a lot more inner dialogue, and, bonus: you can picture Matt Damon as you inhale the pages.
Romance (that I haven’t yet read)
The Hating Game is one of those books that everyone is raving about, and telling me I should read, and I’m almost certain I’m going to go crazy if I don’t read the darn thing. LOL. Really though, this has to be my next read. The End.
Oh but wait…
This Man, by Jose Ellen Palpas is probably one of the most talked about romance novels ever. I still can’t believe I haven’t read it. Look at these headlines:
Named one of “The 20 Greatest Ever Romance Novels According to Goodreads Reviews” by O, The Oprah Magazine!
Named one of “The 10 Best Romance Novels to Read if You Love Fifty Shades of Grey” by Today.com!
Named one of “The 20 Best Romance Novels of All Time, According to Dedicated Readers” by Good Housekeeping!
How can I not read this one next?
Bella Andre is the queen of romance. Like, 5 million readers, queen. The Look of Love is the first of her hugely popular Sullivan family series and apparently it’s pretty darn addicting.
Guys. Not only does Cat Porter write one of my favorite historical romances (see above), but she also writes a pretty steamy series of motorcycle club romance novels. I hear this first in the series, Lock & Key, is akin to the hugely popular show Sons of Anarchy. SofA was at times absolutely brutal to watch, but it gained my respect because factually, it was very well done. The director apparently interviewed, and later hired as an actor on the show, a real-life motorcycle gang member to provide input on the mechanics of the show.
Okay, so that was a bit of a tangent there, lol, but anyway, this series is supposed to be great and the first book is free right now on Kindle.
Devney Perry has some of the prettiest book covers ever. And apparently her writing is top-notch as well. Friends have loved her books and this latest one, Tattered, is another win.
The Hookup Handbook by Kendall Ryan. You guys, you have to go stalk her on Instagram. She is literally the cutest person ever. She has the most adorable, perfectly curled eyelashes, and a sense of style I just want to have instantly appear in my closet. Add to that the fact she is a writing machine (she puts out a book about every three months!), and you’ve got an A+ romance author. Plus, I’ve never seen cuter covers. Go show her some love on social media!
Because this month was so heavily focused on book recommendations, I am skipping over the rest of my usual categories and ending by wishing you all a very happy start to your spring and early summer.
May your days be filled with flowers, sunshine, great skincare products (I’ll have some terrific recommendations next month), and tons and tons and tons of great books to read.
Cheers to you! May all your kisses be long ones.
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