In July I was in full summer reading mode. My boyfriend and I took a week-long trip to Antigua, which was just so wonderful. For that trip, I think I packed seven books and six of them were romances. What can I say? I just love a romance read, especially during the summer/in a beach setting!
While We Were Dating by Jasmine Guillory | 4.5 stars
Jasmine Guillory is an auto-buy author for me and I was so excited to read her latest book. This one follows a female movie star named Anna who strikes up a relationship with Ben (Theo’s brother from The Wedding Party) when they’re working together on the set of a new advertising campaign. I absolutely loved the celebrity and non-celebrity trope and how that was an added layer to Anna and Ben’s relationship. Jasmine Guillory’s books just feel like a good hug to me. While We Were Dating was sexy and so much fun, which is exactly what I want in a summer read. [Check out my full review here.]
The Idea of You by Robinne Lee | 4 stars
I’ve wanted to read this ever since I heard about it on the Bad on Paper podcast. I think originally, the premise didn’t sound that interesting to me (a romance between an older woman and a young heartthrob in a boy band), but I heard so many rave reviews that I had to see what I was missing out on. The Idea of You features fancy meals, jetsetting, designer names, and lots of sex (a fair warning for those who prefer a closed door romance!), which made for a great escapist read. The phrase “lifestyles of the rich and famous” definitely came to mind while reading this book. [Check out my full review here.]
Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid | 3.5 stars
This is one of the buzzy books of the summer! It’s about four siblings growing up in Malibu in the 80s. It also flashes back to their childhood and the story of how their parents met. It was a great beach read- full of sun, sand, and surf. I very much enjoyed it while I was reading, but perhaps towards the end, I was just a little bit tired of these rich people and their shenanigans. [Check out my full review here.]
People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry | 5 stars
This book spoke to me. There is just something so magical about reading the right book at the right time. Our main characters are Poppy and Alex, two best friends that have a tradition of taking an annual trip together. Recently though, their relationship has been strained, but Poppy hopes that they can repair it by taking another vacation together. This is a slow burn, friends-to-lovers romance, and I thought it was so well done. I loved the structure of it, the way that Henry flashes back and forth between their past vacations and their present one. I definitely felt a connection to this book as I was reading and I loved getting swept up in the love story. And I preferred this one over Beach Read! [Check out my full review here.]
Not the Kind of Earl You Marry by Kate Pembrooke | 3.5 stars
Thank you, Bridgerton, for making me realize that I love a regency romance. I’ve read a few this year and I’ve enjoyed them all, including this one. It features a fake engagement between Charlotte, an early feminist, and William, a prominent politician and earl. I loved the dynamic between them. They were constantly teasing each other and she had no problem dressing him down a bit and keeping his ego in check. Also, it looks like this is going to be a series, which I’m looking forward to as I would happily return to this world.
The Dating Playbook by Farrah Rochon | 4 stars (out 8/17)
I loved The Boyfriend Project when I read it last year, so I was very excited to read this next installment in the series. This one is all about Taylor, who is a fitness coach. She starts working with (and then fake dating!) a famous professional football player named Jamar who’s hoping to make a comeback after suffering a knee injury. I loved seeing the relationship build between Taylor and Jamar, especially when they stopped being silly and finally admitted that they have feelings for each other! I will say that I’m not really a huge sports person, so I didn’t find the sports aspect of this story as interesting. But, I enjoyed this book from start to finish, and I think if you are a football fan, or a sports fan in general, you’d enjoy it even more. [Check out my full review here.]
The Ugly Cry by Danielle Henderson | 4.5 stars
I think this might be the first time that I’ve picked up a memoir without knowing anything about the author in advance. This was the Literary League pick for July and I’m so glad that book club put it on my radar because I thought it was so good. I listened to it on audio over the course of two days and for me, it worked really well as an audiobook. It’s narrated by the author and she’s telling the story of her difficult childhood while infusing a lot of humor into her writing. Such a good listen!
So You Want to Talk about Race by Ijeoma Oluo | 5 stars
This has been on my TBR for a while and I finally picked it up! I originally started this in paperback, but then ended up switching to the audio after about 75 pages. I love Oluo’s writing because it’s just so direct, clear, and accessible. She really breaks things down so well in this book, explaining various terms and providing tips on how to have productive conversations about race. If you’re looking to start your antiracist education somewhere, I think this is a good place to start.
Have you read any of these books? If so, what did you think?
Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post, meaning that I may earn an affiliate commission if you buy something through my links. Thank you for your support!