I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this is hands down one of my favorite posts to do every year. I read so often that when I run out of books to read you can usually find me pacing up and down the book aisle of Target reading the back of every book that I think looks even remotely interesting. But I’m not even going to lie, that tends to be a bit of a pain in the butt because although I have found some stellar reads at Target, they don’t have a huge selection of books. It was a lot easier when I was in middle school because I could walk around Barnes & Nobel looking for my next read, but they closed down the one closest to my house (and opened a Nordstrom Rack in it’s place so I’m not all that mad) so Target is really my only option for finding new books in person.
I’m pretty proud of this list because during the beginning of quarantine I was so bored I sat on Amazon for hours searching for new books to read and I ended up creating a HUGE reading list for myself. Quite a few of those books ended up on this list, others did not because I think there was a point where I was a little too desperate for books to read and I came across a stream of duds, but here’s what you can expect from this list. Per usual, there are a few Abbi Glines books because well it’s me and she’s my fave. One author that is always on this list that was not this time is Sarah Dessen. I was pretty sad about this because she usually comes out with a new book about this time every year and I always looks forward to that but I have yet to hear any word about a new book she is working on so fingers crossed she’ll surprise us with one soon! There are a few surprises on this list as far as genres go, like Such a Fun Age. I found this book on a best sellers list and although it wasn’t my usual romance novel, it really intrigued me so I gave it a try and well obviously liked it because, well, it’s on the list! Anyways, I’ll leave y’all to check out my faves below before I start spoiling any more of the books on the list!
Sweet Little Thing by Abbi Glines
The day her mother passed away, Beulah was only given a name. That was it. No other explanation. Portia Van Allan was not someone Beulah could believe her mother ever knew. Wealthy, self-absorbed and other than the fact Portia was supplying special care for Beulah’s sister, Portia was cruel. The day Portia’s son returns home for the summer, Beulah discovers that Portia isn’t in charge. This isn’t her home at all. Her late husband left her with nothing. It all belongs to their son who doesn’t seem to like his mother at all. Jasper Van Allan doesn’t know why his mother has hired a young gorgeous blonde to take care of the house and almost lets her go before he finds out the truth. Realizing there’s more to Beulah than a stunning face, he keeps finding reasons to be near her all the time. It’s all falling into place, it all begins to make sense . . . until the real lies, the dark secrets, and the skeletons come tumbling out of the Van Allan closet. Twisted truths that will send Beulah running . . .
(Personal Opinion: Let’s be honest, would this even be one of my Summer reading lists if I didn’t start you out with an Abbi Glines book? Y’all already know she is one of my absolute favorite authors. If I’m not mistaken I’ve pretty much read every book she has written besides one series that was a little too sci-fi for me. This book is the first in a series of four and I think I actually read this book last year and loved it until there was a twist at the end that made me honestly not want to read any more of this series. But I ran out of books to read during quarantine and decided to give it another try and although I pretty much felt the same way about this book as I did the first time, I ended up really liking the rest of the series, so if you decide to read this and form the same opinion about the first book, keep reading, I promise it gets better. PS, I don’t know how long this will last but the first three books of this series are free for Kindle, so there really is no reason not to try this books out.)
Loving Bad by Regan Ure
The good girl falls for the bad boy. But what if there is more to Sin Carter than a bad attitude, tattoos and piercings? And what if there is more to Taylor Price than the fact she has always followed the rules and done what she was told? Their pasts haunt them. Sin is trying to break free from his dark past while Taylor lives each day trying to forget about the horrors that marred her childhood. When they meet, their physical attraction is undeniable. One night is not enough for either of them.
(Personal Opinion: Y’all oh my lord this book is sooooo good. Like I don’t even know what to tell y’all other than you should absolutely read this book if it even remotely sparks your interest. This is book one in a series of like five or six books and they are all extremely good but this one definitely takes the cake for me if I had to pick a favorite. Like the book before this, I’m pretty sure this book is free for Kindle and although you’ll still have to pay for the others they are super cheap and super worth it!)
We Own Tonight by Corinne Michaels
I’m not a one-night stand kind of woman. I’m especially not the woman who has a few drinks at a concert and ends up in bed with my childhood celebrity crush, Eli Walsh. However, that’s exactly where I find myself. What’s a girl to do after a drunken mistake? Run. I grab my clothes and get away from the powerful, irresistible, and best-sex-of-my-life superstar as fast as I can. His gorgeous green eyes, rock-hard body, and cocky smile have no place in my world. My life is complicated enough. Someone forgot to tell him that. Eli is relentless. Pushing his way into my heart, wearing me down, proving he’s nothing like I assumed, and everything I need. But when my world shatters to pieces, he holds the broken bits together. Unwillingly, I fall desperately in love with him.
He made me think we’d have forever . . . I should’ve listened when he said we could only own tonight.
(Personal Opinion: This book was in my suggested reads section based on one of the other books I recently read and I decided to give it a go. Like most of the books I read, this one is part of a series and although I really like this book, I decided to move on to another book on my list instead of reading the next book in this series. I might come back to this series later but for now this is the only one I can speak for. The only think I was a little iffy about with this book is that the characters in this book were a little older and I usually try and stick with books who have characters around my age or younger because they are a little more relatable, but there was just something about this book that kept me drawn in. I honestly think I am a sucker for a guy who heavily pursues the girl instead of the other way around.)
Until Friday Night by Abbi Glines
To everyone who knows him, West Ashby has always been that guy: the cocky, popular, way-too-handsome-for-his-own-good football god who led Lawton High to the state championships. But while West may be Big Man on Campus on the outside, on the inside he’s battling the grief that comes with watching his father slowly die of cancer. Two years ago, Maggie Carleton’s life fell apart when her father murdered her mother. And after she told the police what happened, she stopped speaking and hasn’t spoken since. Even the move to Lawton, Alabama, couldn’t draw Maggie back out. So she stayed quiet, keeping her sorrow and her fractured heart hidden away. As West’s pain becomes too much to handle, he knows he needs to talk to someone about his father—so in the dark shadows of a post-game party, he opens up to the one girl who he knows won’t tell anyone else. West expected that talking about his dad would bring some relief, or at least a flood of emotions he couldn’t control. But he never expected the quiet new girl to reply, to reveal a pain even deeper than his own—or for them to form a connection so strong that he couldn’t ever let her go…
(Personal Opinion: Well, well, well, what do you know, another Abbi Glines book. Clearly nothing has changed around here. This is her most recent series and is the only one that is unfinished as far as I know, so I am currently clinging on to this one for dear life, especially since the next book in this series comes out pretty soon. I love this series because like most of Abbi’s books, it is set in the south which is relatable for me since I’ve lived in SC my whole life, but I also love that this series revolves around football, which again is relatable because in the south, football is everything.)
Such A Fun Age by Kiley Reid
Alix Chamberlain is a woman who gets what she wants and has made a living, with her confidence-driven brand, showing other women how to do the same. So she is shocked when her babysitter, Emira Tucker, is confronted while watching the Chamberlains’ toddler one night, walking the aisles of their local high-end supermarket. The store’s security guard, seeing a young black woman out late with a white child, accuses Emira of kidnapping two-year-old Briar. A small crowd gathers, a bystander films everything, and Emira is furious and humiliated. Alix resolves to make things right. But Emira herself is aimless, broke, and wary of Alix’s desire to help. At twenty-five, she is about to lose her health insurance and has no idea what to do with her life. When the video of Emira unearths someone from Alix’s past, both women find themselves on a crash course that will upend everything they think they know about themselves, and each other.
(Personal Opinion: My girl Reese (Witherspoon) had this book on her book club reading list so naturally I had to give it a read and I am so glad that I did. This was one of those books that I didn’t know I needed in my life but it came to me at the perfect time with everything that is going on in the world right now. It was truly an eye opener to the fact that even the “wokest” of white people might not be as progressive as they think they are. And as an ally of the BLM movement, I felt like this book was truly something I needed to read to better myself and understand just a little more what is going on in the world. )
The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
Belly measures her life in summers. Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August. Winters are simply a time to count the weeks until the next summer, a place away from the beach house, away from Susannah, and most importantly, away from Jeremiah and Conrad. They are the boys that Belly has known since her very first summer—they have been her brother figures, her crushes, and everything in between. But one summer, one wonderful and terrible summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along.
(Personal Opinion: Okay I decided to add this book to the list when I realized that Sarah Dessen wasn’t going to put a new book out this Summer. I kind of felt like I needed something to fill that YA void, so I immediately grabbed for one of my absolute favorite books growing up. This is the first book in a series of three and I literally don’t think I could pick a favorite between the three. These books will take you through every single emotion possible and I think that is what I loved the most about them. Also, just in case you didn’t notice, the author of this series is also the same author who wrote the To All The Boys series that we have all grown to love thanks to Netflix turning that series into a series of movies. So here’s to them discovering this series and creating a movie out of them because that would seriously make my childhood!!)
After All by Heidi McLaughlin
Brooklyn Hewett hasn’t set foot in Cape Harbor for fifteen years—not since an accident claimed the love of her life, Austin Woods. Desperate to move forward, Brooklyn has focused on raising her daughter for the past fourteen years. But when the opportunity comes along to renovate the old Driftwood Inn, Brooklyn knows it’s time to go home. But it won’t be easy. For one, Austin’s best friend, Bowie Holmes, still lives in Cape Harbor. Brooklyn hasn’t quite been able to forget him: not since the night they spent together—the same night they both lost Austin. Separated by tragedy and guilt, they’re brought together by the Driftwood project. And as they rebuild the inn, they discover they’re also rebuilding something else. Brooklyn’s always been desperate to move on, not knowing that she first needs to reconcile past transgressions. She can’t forget, but she can forgive—Austin, Bowie, and herself—on her way toward long-awaited happiness.
(Personal Opinion: I read this solely because I didn’t have a book to read one day, and it popped up on my recommendations It was really a right place at the right time kinda thing for this book. It also probably helped that I had read another series that I loved by this author. I truthfully went into this book very unsure if I was going to like it or not because the description on the back of the book was verrrrry odd talking about how Brooklyn was with her boyfriend’s best friend the night that her boyfriend died. That just seemed a little sketchy and almost unforgivable. But I am so glad I decided to give it a chance because it ended up justifying things I didn’t initially think were justifiable as well as making me fall for this couple that I originally thought had no business being together. This was such a good story and I would highly suggesting it to anyone looking for a good beach read.)
When We Found Home by Susan Mallery
Life is meant to be savored, but that’s not easy with no family, limited prospects and a past you’d rather not talk about. Callie Smith doesn’t know how to feel when she discovers she has a brother and a sister—Malcolm, who grew up with affection, wealth and privilege, and Keira, a streetwise twelve-year-old. Despite her trepidation, she moves into the grand family home with her siblings and grandfather on the shores of Lake Washington, hoping just maybe this will be the start of a whole new life. But starting over can be messy. Callie and Keira fit in with each other, but not with their posh new lifestyle, leaving Malcolm feeling like the odd man out in his own home. Becoming a family will take patience, humor, a little bit of wine and a whole lot of love. But love isn’t Malcolm’s strong suit…until he learns that an open heart, like the family table, can always make room for more.
(Personal Opinion: I have had this book on my “to read” list forever but kept putting it off and putting it off and then one day I was browsing my list to find something new to read and decided this was the one. It was definitely worth the read. If there is one thing about this book that I wasn’t a huge fan of it would have to be the fact that sometimes it was a little hard to follow because it jumped around between like four different characters. Normally I don’t think I would hate this as much because more characters usually means more people to fall in love with but in other books I have read that do similar thing they will out a header with the name of the person they are switching perspectives to. Other than that I was a big fan and really loved the family’s dynamic in this book.)
The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory
When someone asks you to spend your life with him, it shouldn’t come as a surprise—or happen in front of 45,000 people. When freelance writer Nikole Paterson goes to a Dodgers game with her actor boyfriend, his man bun, and his bros, the last thing she expects is a scoreboard proposal. Saying no isn’t the hard part—they’ve only been dating for five months, and he can’t even spell her name correctly. The hard part is having to face a stadium full of disappointed fans… At the game with his sister, Carlos Ibarra comes to Nik’s rescue and rushes her away from a camera crew. He’s even there for her when the video goes viral and Nik’s social media blows up—in a bad way. Nik knows that in the wilds of LA, a handsome doctor like Carlos can’t be looking for anything serious, so she embarks on an epic rebound with him, filled with food, fun, and fantastic sex. But when their glorified hookups start breaking the rules, one of them has to be smart enough to put on the brakes…
(Personal Opinion: Okay this book was not on my “to read” list but it was on Reese Whitherspoon’s book club list and sounded like it could be in my wheelhouse, so naturally I had to give it a go. Because I initially didn’t put much thought into this book, I really was unsure where it was going when it came to it’s story line but once I got into the book, I really got into it. This book is a stand alone in a series of I think 5 so I’m pretty sure that I will be reading a few more in this series very soon.)