When I think of summer, I think of the blush of first love, the impatience of youth, that feeling that you’ll never be quite this young and quite this passionate ever again (that feeling is probably true, unfortunately). There is a tinge of urgency and desperation surrounding those hot months of July and August, like you’re trying to cram a lifetime’s worth of experience in the space of 60 days. For me, its about trying to catch as much rays as possible before the inevitable return of that infamous London weather. Hey-ho.
The list I’ve compiled here reflects that summer-y mood. Its light, fluffy and nothing too taxing on the brain cells. I’ve included some mysteries just to make it interesting but on the whole, I think this list makes for good beach-side reading. Enjoy!
Stay by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy
I went through a phase where I was obsessed with reading New Adult Romance, and these two are the best in that genre. Sarina Bowen, especially, I found to be the perfect mix of romance and reality. Her stories have just the right amount of angst and wish-fulfilment to still be believable and relatable.
Stay is the latest in the WAGs (Wives and Girlfriends) series, it will be released on the 20th of June. There was nothing particularly interesting about the first book in this series. In fact, I think I’ve already forgotten the plot. All I know was that despite the blandness of it, it was still good writing. The premise of this one seems more promising: a virtual assistant to a divorced hockey star falling in love with said hockey star. Full description of this and the first book in the series here.
The Royals Series by Erin Watt
Okay so I don’t think anyone actually knows who Erin Watt is. She is apparently the brainchild of two authors. All I know is that one of those authors is Elle Kennedy (again! the woman is most prolific) so I’m already predisposed to like this series. Unlike Stay, this is more YA than anything else. However, reading it makes me long for the days when teenagers were simple and innocent. Think Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield in Sweet Valley High. Anyway, this series was so blatantly similar to the Asian series Romantic Princess, with a dash of Meteor Garden. Elle Harper is saved from near-prostitution by the appearance of Callum Royal, an old friend of her father’s, who brings her into his home. There she meets The Royals (I have to think of them in capitalised letters!), Callum’s uncontrollable sons. Reed Royal is the “most enigmatic” of the brothers, and also the most cruel, and he does everything he can to drive her out of the house and their lives to the point of enlisting the help of everyone in school to make Elle’s life a living hell (Dao Ming Se!). He later falls in love with her spunk and strength of course, and become her protector (any of this sounding familiar at all??).
Its a trilogy, and believe me the plot quickly becomes similar to a mexican telenovela, but its just too good to put down. There is no way anyone can mistake this for more than what it is: an escapist, dramatic, overly angsty YA novel, nor does it pretend to be more than that. In fact, the series celebrates its dramatic-ness and only gets more dramatic as the trilogy ends. I am normally not a fan of overblown plots, but again, this was just so so good. Click here for more details.
When It’s Real by Erin Watt
I really really loved the idea of being with a famous musician when I was a kid. This was the Nick Carter (of Backstreet Boys’ fame) days of course. So it stands to reason that I would get so giddy over this book, where an ordinary high school girl gets hired to pose as a rock star’s girlfriend.
I love pretend couples. I know its a well-worn formula but there are just so many things you can do with it. And I’m sure under Erin Watt’s hands, we’ll get another spin on such a classic premise. I’ve just downloaded this on my kindle, and I haven’t got the chance to read it yet but it will be on my Goodreads page as soon as I get cracking on it. More details here.
Echoes in Death by JD Robb
This is the latest in the In Death series. Its number 44 in fact, can you believe it? Talk about longevity! Seriously, Katy Perry should take a page out of JD Robb’s book, literally, and recognise her formula for success: sticking to what works. Okay, sometimes it gets repetitive. And not all 44 books were brilliant, but there were more hits than misses. They’re certainly better than her Nora Roberts books. I wanted to buy this one on Kindle but I’m waiting for the price to drop to its usual £4.59 (its still closer to £10 at the moment). So meanwhile, I borrowed a hardback copy from a colleague who I belatedly discovered was also a fan. I say belatedly because she’s my boss, we see each other everyday and we somehow never got around to discussing our common love for Eve and Roarke. I only discovered this after I had already bought all 42 books in the series at the time!
Anyway, Echoes in Death is a whodunit story involving a rich couple with the husband gruesomely murdered. The dazed and confused wife goes out into the street and nearly gets run over by Eve and Roarke, and when asked, all she can tell them is that she saw some kind of ‘devil’. It feels like its going to be a lot of fun. I love a good murder/mystery. And I hope its one of those In Death books that leaves you guessing about the perp till the end and its someone you never would have expected.
The Silent by Elizabeth Hunter
Anyone who’s ever followed my Goodreads account will know how much I adore Elizabeth Hunter. Her books are fabulous. My sister doesn’t like them because they’re low on angst. Actually, she doesn’t like them because she read the Elemental Mysteries series first and she claimed it reminded her far too much of Twilight, which is an absolutely ludicrous thing to say. It was nothing like Twilight!
Anyway, The Silent is the fifth book in the Irin Chronicles. I don’t think my own description can do these books justice, but let’s just say it involves angels, fallen angels and soulmates. The romance is always really sweet and yes, low angst, but I don’t see why that’s a bad thing. Angst is far too overrated in my opinion. The Silent can’t be read as a standalone though, you really need to read the first four to get a better picture but they’re easy, light reading. You’ll get through them in a week.
Happy Reading Bookworms!