It’s funny, I really tend to go through waves of blog posts where I will write a few and then fall off and not post for a few weeks or months and then hop back on, write a few more and so on so forth. But if there is one post that has been super consistent since the time I started this blog, it would be my Summer Reading List. There is just something so nostalgic about a Summer Reading list that makes writing this post so dang enjoyable for me that I can’t stand to miss out on sharing my favorite books with y’all every year. I remember the feeling of being a kid and my mom forcing me to read the required books from my Summer Reading list every year and me always waiting until the last minute to skim the pages just enough to get by with any type of homework or pop quizzes I might have at the beginning of the school year. I love thinking back to this time in my life because I realized I have always truly loved reading but I was alway so reluctant to read any book from my Summer reading list if it wasn’t one that I was choosing to read. I think that is why I love writing this post and sharing my favorite books with y’all because this is a list of books I chose to read this year. So without further ado, let’s get to it!
My Summer 2022 Reading List
Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life – until the unthinkable happens. Where the Crawdads Sing is at once an exquisite ode to the natural world, a heartbreaking coming-of-age story, and a surprising tale of possible murder. Owens reminds us that we are forever shaped by the children we once were, and that we are all subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps.
(Personal Opinion: I am not going to lie, I only read this book because I saw the trailer for the movie and I felt like I had to read the book first before I saw the movie. I do this often with books turned into movies as kind of a challenge to myself. When I originally started reading the book I felt like it was going to be way over hyped. One of those books that everyone says they love because they feel like they have to. It started off really slow and was a little more period piece than I typically like (I know most people think of period pieces as something set in like the 17 or 1800’s but I honestly don’t often read books that are set any time outside of the last ten to fifteen years so that’s why I consider this book being set between the 50s – 70s a period piece) but I think the fact that I knew there was a bit of a love story in tied into the plot made me keep trucking through and once I finally got through the beginning I was really hooked to a point that I didn’t want to put the book down. I think I would highly suggest this book to anyone, no matter what there favorite genre is.)
It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town where she grew up—she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. And when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life seems too good to be true. Ryle is assertive, stubborn, maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily. And the way he looks in scrubs certainly doesn’t hurt. Lily can’t get him out of her head. But Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his “no dating” rule, she can’t help but wonder what made him that way in the first place. As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan—her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.
(Personal Opinion: I will be the first to say I have read a few Colleen Hoover books trying to hop on the bandwagon and although there weren’t any books that I read that I hated, there were quite a few that I read that I don’t have any urge to re read (which is usually how I judge how much I love a book). With all of that being said, this was by far my favorite Colleen Hoover book I’ve read in the past year and although I don’t see myself picking this one up to reread any time soon, I do often suggest this one to people who ask for book recommendations. I have very few complaints about this book and I honestly think the only reason I wasn’t head over heels in love with it is because it isn’t exactly one of my typical raunchy, carefree romance novels I like to read. It did however have a great love story and I did connect with the characters, but it was also really heavy and had some topics that I probably could have done without solely because I often like to read to escape reality for a moment (not that I have a crazy life I want to escape from but we all like to daydream from time to time am I right?!). All in all I really did enjoy this book and thing it would be a great addition to anyones Summer reading list, if you haven’t already read it. Also, I just heard that they are currently making this into a movie so I am looking forward to seeing that when it comes out.)
Things We Never Got Over
Bearded, bad-boy barber Knox prefers to live his life the way he takes his coffee: Alone. Unless you count his basset hound, Waylon. Knox doesn’t tolerate drama, even when it comes in the form of a stranded runaway bride. Naomi wasn’t just running away from her wedding. She was riding to the rescue of her estranged twin to Knockemout, Virginia, a rough-around-the-edges town where disputes are settled the old-fashioned way…with fists and beer. Usually in that order. Too bad for Naomi her evil twin hasn’t changed at all. After helping herself to Naomi’s car and cash, Tina leaves her with something unexpected. The niece Naomi didn’t know she had. Now she’s stuck in town with no car, no job, no plan, and no home with an 11-year-old going on thirty to take care of. There’s a reason Knox doesn’t do complications or high-maintenance women, especially not the romantic ones. But since Naomi’s life imploded right in front of him, the least he can do is help her out of her jam. And just as soon as she stops getting into new trouble he can leave her alone and get back to his peaceful, solitary life. At least, that’s the plan until the trouble turns to real danger.
(Personal Opinion: I’ve read quite a few Lucy Score books and they are usually very hit or miss but this one is hands down a hit. There was such a great storyline in this book on top of an amazing romance between two characters that were so dang easy to fall in love with. This was very easily one of my top five favorite reads so far this year.)
The Summer Proposal by Vi Keeland
The first time I met Max Yearwood was on a blind date. Max was insanely gorgeous, funny, and our chemistry was off the charts. He also had the biggest dimples I’d ever laid eyes on. Exactly what I needed after my breakup. Or so I thought… Until my real date arrived. Turned out, Max wasn’t who I was there to meet. He only pretended to be until my real date showed up. To say I was disappointed would be an understatement. Before he left, he slipped me a ticket to a hockey game a few blocks away, in case things didn’t work out on my actual date. I tossed the ticket into my purse and went about trying to enjoy the man I was supposed to meet. But my real blind date and I had no connection. So on my way home, I decided to take a chance and stop by the game. When I arrived, the seat next to me was empty. Disappointed again, I decided to leave at the end of the period. Just before the buzzer, one of the teams scored, and the entire arena went crazy. A player’s face flashed up on the Jumbotron. He was wearing a helmet, but I froze when he smiled. You guessed it: Dimples. Apparently, my fake blind date hadn’t invited me to watch hockey with him, he’d invited me to watch him play. And so began my adventure with Max Yearwood. He was everything I needed at the time – fun, sexy, up for anything, and only around for a few months, since he’d signed with a new team 3,000 miles away. Max proposed we spend the summer helping me forget my ex. It sounded like a good plan. Things couldn’t get too serious when we had an expiration date. Right? Though, you know what they say about the best-laid plans.
(Personal Opinion: This was one of those random books that I found on the recommended reads page while I was in between books that ended up surprising me with how much I really liked it. I think I had a weird but fun phase a couple months ago where I read one romance series that the male lead played hockey and after I finished that all these hockey romance novels started popping up on my recommended page like crazy. I’m not mad at it because I do often love a sports romance novel, but I literally know nothing besides the basics of hockey so I was kind of shocked at how into these hockey romance books I was into. I love a good fling turned relationship romance and that is exactly what this book was so if you are into that kind of thing this might just be the next book for you, even if you’re not a hockey fanatic!)
Truth or Tequila by Donna Schwartze
A steamy romantic comedy about good timing, bad temptation, and way too much tequila. Seb’s the most famous baseball player in the world. Sophie’s not impressed. Game on.
When we graduated from college, my friends and I made a pact that we would only play this stupid game five more times—at each of our bachelorette parties. Tonight’s number four and it couldn’t come at a worse time. I have a meeting with a new client tomorrow. I can’t be hungover. Unfortunately, I’ve never played this game without ending up that way. I’m already at a disadvantage with the client. It’s the professional baseball team in town. I’m not much of a sports fan. I don’t even know who the players are, but I guess I’ll worry about that tomorrow. Tonight, it seems that, once again, I’m destined for tequila and bad decisions.
Don’t get me wrong, I like being a professional athlete. I just wish it didn’t come with so much fame. People are always staring at me and tonight’s no exception. All eyes are on me as I walk into the bar—except for one pair. And they’re attached to a gorgeous woman. When she finally looks up from her phone, she catches me ogling her and rolls her eyes. I don’t think she has any idea who I am. Damn, that turns me on. I spend most of the night trying to figure out how to talk to her when suddenly she lands in my lap. She’s playing a drinking game with her friends and has to get me to kiss her to win. I want to kiss her—passionately—but not when she’s this flat-out drunk. I’d at least like her to remember our first kiss.
The Next Day
I’m painfully hungover. All I want to do is get done with this meeting, so I can go home and have my friends tell me about the guy I tried to drunkenly seduce last night. All I remember are his eyes—his soft, beautiful eyes. I’m on the field with my new client watching the players practice when the catcher jumps up from behind the plate and starts walking toward me. When he pulls up his mask, the eyes I’ve been thinking about all morning are staring at me. “Sophie?” he says as a smile starts curling at the corners of his mouth.
(Personal Opinion: Now this is my kind of sports romance novel. I am a HUGE baseball fan so the fact that the one of the main characters is a professional baseball player… say less! I REALLLLY enjoyed this love story and the connection both of the main characters had with each other. I also really loved the fact that Seb seems like a genuinely good guy which made me feel a little better about myself because I was starting to get worried that I was only connection with characters who at least started their relationship in a really toxic or dramatic way. PS, there is a sequel to this book that is just as amazing and I highly suggest reading it as soon as you finish this book.)
Lyrics of a Small Town by Abbi Glines
A small town where pickup trucks rule, the farmer’s market is bigger than the grocery store, and just about everyone goes to church on Sunday is the last place Henley Warren expects to find herself three months after her grandmother’s death. But Gran left a list of things she needed Henley to do after she died, and fulfilling those wishes means spending a summer in the same place her mom fled from when she was only seventeen years old. With each task that is ticked off the list, events are set in motion that uncover secrets surrounding Henley’s life. Although Henley may have arrived on the shores of Alabama’s Gulf Coast feeling alone and lost in a world without her Gran, things soon change. The small town holds more than she realized—including a broody, gorgeous, potentially dangerous guy who is always showing up when she needs him the most. Henley fears her heart isn’t ready to trust someone so unpredictable but he makes her feel things deeper than she thought possible. So, when Henley discovers the twisted, dark world he is living in, will it be too late to save her heart? Or has her heart been beyond saving from the moment he stepped out of his truck on that very first day?
(Personal Opinion: Okay if any of y’all have ever read any of my previous Summer Reading List posts you know one of my all time favorite authors is Abbi Glines. I have read every single books she has written (and there are a lot) except for one series that is a little more Fantasy than I like. So with this book, I didn’t realize it was a part of a 2 book series (I don’t think you can call it a series with only two books but were just gonna ignore that) until I had finished both books and noticed there were some similar characters (I read both books kind of far apart and I guess forgot about minor details in them). I think between the two this one was definitely my favorite. It is the most “Abbi Glines” like and we all know I am a sucker for any of her books. I usually judge a book a lot based on how well I connect with the main characters and how involved I am with their relationship and this book did it for me on both of those categories.)