August is read-a-romance month! One of the great things about romance stories is that there is really some story for everyone. Some authors will give you the simple happily ever after while others pull at your heart strings, will make you cry and possibly yell and the book before the characters can get their HEA but ends up being completely worth it in the end.
I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter
Warning! This is a series, but I promise is worth if you want a little espionage with your romance. Since this is a YA series, it does read quickly and I promise you’ll get sucked into the story right away.
Cammie Morgan is a student at the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women, a fairly typical all-girls school—that is, if every school taught advanced martial arts in PE and the latest in chemical warfare in science, and students received extra credit for breaking CIA codes in computer class. The Gallagher Academy might claim to be a school for geniuses, but it’s really a school for spies. Even though Cammie is fluent in fourteen languages and capable of killing a man in seven different ways, she has no idea what to do when she meets an ordinary boy who thinks she’s an ordinary girl. Sure, she can tap his phone, hack into his computer, or track him through town with the skill of a real “pavement artist”—but can she maneuver a relationship with someone who can never know the truth about her?
Cammie Morgan may be an elite spy-in-training, but in her sophomore year, she’s on her most dangerous mission—falling in love.
Second First Impressions by Sally Thorne
Sally Thorne quickly became an author whose works I truly enjoy reading. The latest book was no exception.
Ruthie Midona has worked the front desk at the Providence Luxury Retirement Villa for six years, dedicating her entire adult life to caring for the Villa’s residents, maintaining the property (with an assist from DIY YouTube tutorials), and guarding the endangered tortoises that live in the Villa’s gardens. Somewhere along the way, she’s forgotten that she’s young and beautiful, and that there’s a world outside of work—until she meets the son of the property developer who just acquired the retirement center.
Teddy Prescott has spent the last few years partying, sleeping in late, tattooing himself when bored, and generally not taking life too seriously—something his father, who dreams of grooming Teddy into his successor, can’t understand. When Teddy needs a place to crash, his father seizes the chance to get him to grow up. He’ll let Teddy stay in one of the on-site cottages at the retirement home, but only if he works to earn his keep. Teddy agrees—he can change a few lightbulbs and clip some hedges, no sweat. But Ruthie has plans for Teddy too.
Her two wealthiest and most eccentric residents have just placed an ad (yet another!) seeking a new personal assistant to torment. The women are ninety-year-old, four-foot-tall menaces, and not one of their assistants has lasted a full week. Offering up Teddy seems like a surefire way to get rid of the tall, handsome, unnerving man who won’t stop getting under her skin.
Ruthie doesn’t count on the fact that in Teddy Prescott, the Biddies may have finally met their match. He’ll pick up Chanel gowns from the dry cleaner and cut Big Macs into bite-sized bits. He’ll do repairs around the property, make the residents laugh, and charm the entire villa. He might even remind Ruthie what it’s like to be young and fun again. But when she finds out Teddy’s father’s only fixing up the retirement home to sell it, putting everything she cares about in jeopardy, she’s left wondering if Teddy’s magic was all just a façade.
The Dating Plan by Sara Desai
Desai is another author who writes stories that pull you in. While this is the second book in this series, you don’t need to read book #1, but it helps you better understand the supporting characters.
Daisy Patel is a software engineer who understands lists and logic better than bosses and boyfriends. With her life all planned out, and no interest in love, the one thing she can’t give her family is the marriage they expect. Left with few options, she asks her childhood crush to be her decoy fiance.
Liam Murphy is a venture capitalist with something to prove. When he learns that his inheritance is contingent on being married, he realizes his best friend’s little sister has the perfect solution to his problem. A marriage of convenience will get Daisy’s matchmaking relatives off her back and fulfill the terms of his late grandfather’s will. If only he hadn’t broken her tender teenage heart nine years ago…
Sparks fly when Daisy and Liam go on a series of dates to legitimize their fake relationship. Too late, they realize that very little is convenient about their arrangement. History and chemistry aren’t about to follow the rules of this engagement.
The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams
I wanted to recommend the fourth book in this series, but this is one that you really need to start at book one in order to understand the rest of the series. In a society where toxic masculinity is a real thing, it was fun to read this storyline – a group of guy friends get together to read romances and try to learn lessons from the stories and apply them to their lives. These books are funny and heart warming and I’m sure you’ll find them enjoyable.
The first rule of book club: You don’t talk about book club.
Nashville Legends second baseman Gavin Scott’s marriage is in major league trouble. He’s recently discovered a humiliating secret: his wife Thea has always faked the Big O. When he loses his cool at the revelation, it’s the final straw on their already strained relationship. Thea asks for a divorce, and Gavin realizes he’s let his pride and fear get the better of him.
Welcome to the Bromance Book Club.
Distraught and desperate, Gavin finds help from an unlikely source: a secret romance book club made up of Nashville’s top alpha men. With the help of their current read, a steamy Regency titled Courting the Countess, the guys coach Gavin on saving his marriage. But it’ll take a lot more than flowery words and grand gestures for this hapless Romeo to find his inner hero and win back the trust of his wife.
One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston
If you have ready McQuiston’s hit book Red, White and Royal Blue, then pick up the next book by Casey. You will surely find this story enjoyable.
For cynical twenty-three-year-old August, moving to New York City is supposed to prove her right: that things like magic and cinematic love stories don’t exist, and the only smart way to go through life is alone. She can’t imagine how waiting tables at a 24-hour pancake diner and moving in with too many weird roommates could possibly change that. And there’s certainly no chance of her subway commute being anything more than a daily trudge through boredom and electrical failures.
But then, there’s this gorgeous girl on the train.
Jane. Dazzling, charming, mysterious, impossible Jane. Jane with her rough edges and swoopy hair and soft smile, showing up in a leather jacket to save August’s day when she needed it most. August’s subway crush becomes the best part of her day, but pretty soon, she discovers there’s one big problem: Jane doesn’t just look like an old school punk rocker. She’s literally displaced in time from the 1970s, and August is going to have to use everything she tried to leave in her own past to help her. Maybe it’s time to start believing in some things, after all.
Casey McQuiston’s One Last Stop is a magical, sexy, big-hearted romance where the impossible becomes possible as August does everything in her power to save the girl lost in time.
The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang
I have really enjoyed reading Hoang’s other titles and I can’t wait to get this one in my hands.
A woman struggling with burnout learns to embrace the unexpected—and the man she enlists to help her—in this heartfelt new romance by USA Today bestselling author Helen Hoang.
When violinist Anna Sun accidentally achieves career success with a viral YouTube video, she finds herself incapacitated and burned out from her attempts to replicate that moment. And when her longtime boyfriend announces he wants an open relationship before making a final commitment, a hurt and angry Anna decides that if he wants an open relationship, then she does, too. Translation: She’s going to embark on a string of one-night stands. The more unacceptable the men, the better.
That’s where tattooed, motorcycle-riding Quan Diep comes in. Their first attempt at a one-night stand fails, as does their second, and their third, because being with Quan is more than sex—he accepts Anna on an unconditional level that she has just started to understand herself. However, when tragedy strikes Anna’s family she takes on a role that she is ill-suited for, until the burden of expectations threatens to destroy her. Anna and Quan have to fight for their chance at love, but to do that, they also have to fight for themselves.
The Intimacy Experiment by Rosie Danan
This read is another fun title to pick up and is book #2 in the series. This is another one that reading the first book helps but is not required.
Naomi Grant has built her life around going against the grain. After the sex-positive start-up she cofounded becomes an international sensation, she wants to extend her educational platform to live lecturing. Unfortunately, despite her long list of qualifications, higher ed won’t hire her.
Ethan Cohen has recently received two honors: LA Mag named him one of the city’s hottest bachelors and he became rabbi of his own synagogue. Taking a gamble in an effort to attract more millennials to the faith, the executive board hired Ethan because of his nontraditional background. Unfortunately, his shul is low on both funds and congregants. The board gives him three months to turn things around or else they’ll close the doors of his synagogue for good.
Naomi and Ethan join forces to host a buzzy seminar series on Modern Intimacy, the perfect solution to their problems–until they discover a new one–their growing attraction to each other. They’ve built the syllabus for love’s latest experiment, but neither of them expected they’d be the ones putting it to the test.
The Locker Room by Meghan Quinn
Okay so I’m going to warn you now, this is a book that will make you laugh, get mad and cry during the reading process but its 100% worth it!
Have you heard the rumor around campus about the locker room?
If you haven’t, let me enlighten you: Legend has it if you bring a girl into the sacred after-game domain of the baseball locker room, it will end with a walk down the aisle. One rowdy and naked encounter against the lockers with the girl of your dreams will make her your wife.
Translation: baseball players are stupidly superstitious and believe the locker room has magical powers.
But not all baseball players are superstitious, me included.
So when the girl I’ve fallen for brushes me off, I start to question if I need to switch my way of thinking. Maybe it’s time I finally hand out a coveted invitation to the locker room.
The only question is, will she accept?
The Bookworm’s Guide to Dating by Emma Hart
I started reading Emma Hart’s books before the pandemic, but really fell in love with her stories during the pandemic. I was anxiously waiting for each of her titles to get released. I hope you appreciate this story as much as I do.
What I wanted for my birthday: Books.
What I got for my birthday: my brother’s best friend playing matchmaker.
Let it be known that I, Kinsley Lane, am one hundred percent against being set up with somebody.
And I’m one thousand percent sure that Josh Carter is not the man to find me a boyfriend.
I mean, if I’m so great, why isn’t he the one dating me? (For the record, I don’t know the answer. That’s just what the guy on the internet asked.)
Still, I’ll humor him. If I go on his little dates, he’ll teach my bookish, introverted self how not to be totally, completely, utterly, unforgivably awkward on every single one of them.
And all I have to do is fall in love with one of the lovely gentlemen he’s serving up for me on a silver platter—all of whom fit my very specific guidelines.
It would be.
If only I could stop falling for Josh.
The Secret Bridesmaid by Katy Birchall
Alright, so this story might be a bit predictable, but it’s still a lovely journey. I think the concept of a bridesmaid for hire is absolutely genius and I’m sure there are entrepreneurs out there crushing it. The main character in this story has to put up with a lot of interesting demands from her clients but when one client is working to get her to quit, Sophie digs her heels in and is adamant she is going to help this bride.
Sophie Breeze is a brilliant bridesmaid. So brilliant, in fact, that she’s made it her full-time job.
As a professional bridesmaid, Sophie is hired by London brides to be their right-hand woman, posing as a friend but working behind the scenes to help plan the perfect wedding and ensure their big day goes off without a hitch. When she’s hired by Lady Victoria Swann––a former model and “It Girl” of 1970’s London; now the Marchioness of Meade––for the society wedding of the year, it should be a chance for Sophie to prove just how talented she is.
Of course, it’s not ideal that the bride, Lady Victoria’s daughter, Cordelia, is an absolute diva and determined to make Sophie’s life a nightmare. It’s also a bit inconvenient that Sophie finds herself drawn to Cordelia’s posh older brother, who is absolutely off limits. But when a rival society wedding is announced for the very same day, things start to get…well, complicated.
Can Sophie pull off the biggest challenge of her career––execute a high-profile gala for four hundred and fifty guests in record time, win over a reluctant bride, and catch the eye of handsome Lord Swann––all while keeping her true identity a secret, and her dignity intact?
Heartwarming and hilarious, The Secret Bridesmaid celebrates the joys (and foibles) of weddings, the nuances of female friendship, and the redeeming power of love in its many unexpected forms.