As previously mentioned, we are reclaiming the summer of romance; beach reads, chick lit, rom coms, historical, contemporary… all kinds of romance we are reading but not only that; literary and all other kinds of fiction too. We are going with words of comfort and good times, secrets and scandals, family rivals and showbiz dazzle… my friends we are reading.
At a loss for where to start? I got you.
NEVER SEDUCE A SCOT
I’ve told you how much I loved reading this book in this post, and I will tell you again; this was a glorious book to read and an even more enchanting book to re-read. Historical romance authors are always in their bag and I am here for it.
NEXT YEAR IN HAVANA
Having been to Cuba and aching to return, this book brings back so many memories but also challenges the reader to see things from a perspective other than the known narrative especially those perpetuated by the media. It also brings to the fore the concept of home and what it means. That difference between people who flee and those who stay and what claims they can lay on home.
This is one of, if not, my favourite tropes to read; scandal, secrets and family. A plot that is irresistibly human and relatable. Estranged siblings are brought together by their dead mother; typical. it is just what our mothers can do when they die. You know that thing of mothers saying they will hunt you down? It is true. In 1965 a bride throws herself into the ocean after her older gangster husband dies at their wedding reception. No one hears from her again. She also happens to be a very good swimmer.
This is a hell of a slow burn, twists, turns and entanglement that weave the past and present together with a plethora of character that only enrich the story. Set against the backdrop of history, racism, scandal and intrigue. Oh, and more secrets.
Colson Whitehead writes in a way that lets you know he wants you to take your time to read and enjoy the story unfolding because he is all about the story, he is a master story teller. Harlem Shuffle is set in the rich neighbourhood of Harlem New York and that in itself is a strand in the story that makes it all the more endearing. Ray Carney is a man trying to straddle the right side of life but set against the racism and corruption of the era, life gets a little more complicated.
Taylor Jenkins Reid
Taylor Jenkins Reid writes a delicious summer read that I am happen to re-read time and again. As with every tope I love it has family drama and social dynamics that scratches all of our itches.
The Riva siblings are forever bonded by their difficult childhood at the hands of a deadbeat and famous father and an alcoholic mother. It often meant, Nina, the oldest Riva, played the role of mother and father. At the annual Riva party, held at Nina’s home is a tradition and this is where secrets of the past are revealed and each Riva sibling is only too aware of how inextricably connected they are to their past and the cost of breaking free of it.
DEVIL IN DISGUISE
In the continued legacy of the Wallflower Ravenals cross over comes this delightful story of Lady Merrit daughter of Lord Westcliff and Lillian our beloved wallflower and Keir Macrae Scottish whiskey deal with a connection to our favourite Sebastian formerlly Lord St Vincent, now Kingston.
This story draws on the beloved trope of Kleypas, and intertwining secrets that bind both families together. We see beloved characters from other stories which is often my favourite type of story; a good crossover that shows a continuity of a beloved world.
Lisa Kleypas oh Lisa Kleypas… I will follow her to the depths of hell as I would Sebastian Lord St Vincent. That makes me deranged I know.
In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe has neither the look nor the voice of divinity, and is scorned and rejected by her kin. Increasingly isolated, she turns to mortals for companionship, leading her to discover a power forbidden to the gods: witchcraft.
A witch finds her voice and becomes one of the most powerful sorceress; she who was thought worthless is treated to a fierce and delicious story of her own.
Re-reading this book is now a yearly tradition maybe even a multi-year tradition because this story is powerful and in a lot of way relatable to the way of the world today.
Emily St John Mandel
One snowy night in Toronto famous actor Arthur Leander dies on stage whilst performing the role of a lifetime. That same evening a deadly virus touches down in North America. The world will never be the same again…
If civilization was lost, what would you preserve? And how far would you go to protect it?
This is the synopsis of this book and I couldn’t have put it better myself. What would you do when this is all over. It is contemplative, a book that makes us question everything, and the life we knew and now that it feels like we swayed on the tip of the edge of world’s end, what type of life so we really want to live?
Some people prefer Lothaire, I prefer Rune the Baneblood with his well hung manhood and gift. Whilst Josie is not my favourite heroine in this series, Mariketa is, but Rune just does something for me. Moreover most books in this series are sublime and worthy of the time, I still say Sweet Ruin is head and shoulders above the rest. I cannot wait for Nix and Orion to get together. They better.
IN EVERY MIRROR SHE’S BLACK
Lola Akinmade Akerström
Three Black women linked to the same influential white man in Stockholm an open society run by the most private people.
Kemi, Brittany-Rae and Muna…
In this story of ties that inextricably bind these three women they lead us through a story that exposes the complexities of what it means to be a Black woman in a white man’s world.
THE MISSING SISTER
I was gifted the first book in this series soon as it came out years ago and I have been invested since; I love the stories of family, and this is that. An old eccentric adopts sisters and each comes with full stories and histories that are at once curious and all together interesting as they work their way back to where they came from and learn more about their lives before the life they were gifted.
THE DAY OF THE DUCHESS
What a book, what a treat. In the rigorous British society comes a story of a woman and her sisters who defy all convention, dare to speak their minds, and give a riveting and withering insight into the stiff uppers of English society.
MacLean writes the sort of heroine we all want to read. Women who do not wither, who dare to thrive in the face of convention that tries to stifle them, and who also love love and falling in love and my goodness does she write a grovel and I love it.
THE CATCH ME IF YOU CAN
Travel is my love language, and it is one of life’s greatest pleasures for those who are enamoured by it. Jessica Nabongo is the first Black woman to travel to every country in the world and I am here for it. But its not just the travel; its the fact that it broadens the conversation of and around travel, it gives visibility to Black women travellers and it enriches the conversation around travel. More than anything it reveals the souls of who we are as a people.
It’s out on kindle in the UK and in hardback in August.
Eric Jerome Dickey
This was my first Eric Jerome Dickey novel and its safe to say I have read every one of his novels ever since. On his passing last year, I re-read it and loved it even more. I love it so much I bought it three times. The story telling is superior, the emotion on the page, the ability for Dickey paint a vivid world, a rich diverse and fraught world that does more than move the story, it sweeps the reader up in its furore. A masterclass.
HONEY & SPICE
I wrote about Babalola’s debut novel; LOVE IN COLOUR here, an anthology of love stories centering women of colour around known tales and some new ones. From the first story I was hooked and by the sounds of things, we are in for a treat with this next novel coming in July of this fake dating stories between Kiki and Malakai but we all now how combustible fake dating can be because of those pesky things called emotions. I am having endorphins just thinking about this.
RELEASE DATE: JULY, 19TH 2022
DINNER FOR ONE
Sutanya Dacres met and married her French husband at 27, moved to Paris with him from New York, to live out the fairytale. I love stories like these; I have a few french immigrants I follow on social media, mostly women, who jack in their lives as they knew it, and move to France to live out the fairytale. I absolutely adore their feed and curation of the bucolic life by the French country side or the charming city life of Paris.
But what happens when eating croissants and buying baguettes from the neighbourhood bakery is not all its cracked up to be? Sutanya not only finds out in the wake of her flailing marriage which subsequently ends in divorce two years later, in Paris, but she learns to soothe her soul from inside out as she takes us on this journey to self discovery when the Parisian fantasy ends and real life begins.
A HEART OF BLOOD AND ASHES
I have read this book three times back to back and it is one of those I look forward to re-reading each year. There are barbarians, outlandish world, a heroine who has been put through the ringer by her father and a hero too stubborn to see the truth before him… and there is s bonkers hand job that will make you sit up straight.
This is not my typical cup of tea, but there is a love story a revenge story brooding and damn if that is not my kink. My goodness this story, this beautiful love story is soft at its core; a journey of two people dealt a rough hand with vengeances as their bind but Miller Vane who also writers as Meljean Brooks has woven fantasy, romance, feminism, fertility, even periods in this book to make is work and satisfy all kinds of needs we did not know we had.
A SCANDAL OF HER OWN
Of all the sinful wallflower series, this is my favourite book for it’s ever loving charm and rekindled romance from childhood. The prologue sealed it and what a wonderful read it is.
Lady Ophelia is the wilful daughter of a powerful Marquess and Devlin Barnes is the little boy with whom she made a pact following his daring rescue of her. Society will deem them to be an unsuitable match but Lady Ophelia will find her way back to Devlin though not without its share of trouble.
THE LAW OF INNOCENCE
If you love Bosch like I do, you will enjoy this thriller from Connelly. Mickey Haller is the Lincoln lawyer and half brother of Harry Bosch, who is stopped by police and is found to have a body in the trunk of his car, framed for murder. The body is a former client of Haller’s, con man, Sam Scales. Before he knows it, Haller is incarcerated under constant threat, paying for protection from, Bishop. With the odds stacking up against him, Haller opts to defend himself.
Connelly is a top tier crime writer with a gift for plotting that makes life easy for the reader. We are swept into this story salivating at every detail. His characters, are adept and the story unfolds like a chess move but without contrived coincidence.
A CARRIBEAN HEIRESS IN PARIS
Adriana Herrera is in her historical bag with this novel; a debut historical from the author that is both delightful and thrilling.
Luz Alana Heith-Benzan, heiress to the Caña Brava rum empire, is determined to make her family’s business a success. James Evanston Sinclair, Earl of Darnick. charming and Scottish can help with that. He is willing to help wit that. But neither had love in mind… oh you two sill geese. Luz Alana’s inheritance is also dependent on her being married and a marriage of convenience is the same right?
When Luz Alana set sail for Paris, she had one mission; success, Love never came into the equation.
There you have it, most of these are rereads because I am seeking comfort from the known world and words; things that are sure to make me laugh and lighten my heart. I am seeking the familiar but also reads that are sure to give me a thrill like The Catch Me If You Can. So, pour yourself a glass of something bubbly, lean back into your reading nook or further under the duvet, and enjoy words of hope and love and promise.