This month looks to be a month of fun, fresh romances!
August is going to be slam-packed with September ARCs, so I’m going to take this month and have a bit of a relaxer—read my August ARCs, catch up on contemporary romances, and read other books on my TBR. The lighter and frothier, the better.
Okay, so it’s a common misconception that contemporary romances are light and frothy, but maybe I’ll do a bright and beautiful covers theme this month instead! All of those covers are amazing and beautiful.
ARCs are denoted with an *, and all blurbs are from Goodreads.
A Lot Like Adios by Alexis Daria (September 14, 2021)*
After burning out in her corporate marketing career, Michelle Amato has built a thriving freelance business as a graphic designer. So what if her love life is nonexistent? She’s perfectly fine being the black sheep of her marriage-obsessed Puerto Rican-Italian family. Besides, the only guy who ever made her want happily-ever-after disappeared thirteen years ago. Gabriel Aguilar left the Bronx at eighteen to escape his parents’ demanding expectations, but it also meant saying goodbye to Michelle, his best friend and longtime crush. Now, he’s the successful co-owner of LA’s hottest celebrity gym, with an investor who insists on opening a New York City location. Michelle is torn between holding Gabe at arm’s length or picking up right where they left off—in her bed. As they work on the campaign, old feelings resurface, and their reunion takes a sexy turn.
The Royals Next Door by Karina Halle (August 31, 2021)*
Piper Evans: elementary school teacher by day–avid romance reader and anonymous podcaster by night. She lives a quiet, reclusive life, taking care of her mother, who struggles with mental illness, avoiding her regrettable ex, who bartends in town, and trying to make inroads in the tight-knit island community that still sees her, five years in, as an outsider. And she’s happy with how things are–really–until British royals rent the property next to hers and their brooding bodyguard decides she’s a security threat. Piper quickly realizes that one person’s fairy tale is an ordinary woman’s nightmare as a media frenzy takes over the island and each run-in with Harrison Cole is hotter and more confusing than the last.
Heartbreak for Hire by Sonia Hartl (July 27, 2021)*
Brinkley Saunders has a secret. To everyone in the academic world she left behind, she lost it all when she dropped out of grad school. Once a rising star following in her mother’s footsteps, she’s now an administrative assistant at an insurance agency—or so they think. In reality, Brinkley works at Heartbreak for Hire, a secret service that specializes in revenge for jilted lovers, frenemies, and long-suffering coworkers with a little cash to spare and a man who needs to be taken down a notch. It might not be as prestigious as academia, but it helps Brinkley save for her dream of opening an art gallery and lets her exorcise a few demons, all while helping to empower women. But when her boss announces she’s hiring male heartbreakers for the first time, Brinkley’s no longer so sure she’s doing the right thing—especially when her new coworker turns out to be a target she was paid to take down.
The Princess Trap by Talia Hibbert
Cherry Neita is thirty, flirty, and done with men. As far as she can tell, they’re overrated, overpaid, and underperforming – in every area of life. But a girl has needs, and the smoking-hot stranger she just met at the office seems like the perfect one-night stand. Prince Ruben of Helgmøre is reckless, dominant, and famously filthy. The outcast royal is rebuilding his reputation – all for a good cause – but he can’t resist a pretty face. And bossy whirlwind Cherry’s got the face, the body, and the attitude to make Ruben’s convictions crumble. Even better, when she propositions him, she has no idea who he really is. But when paparazzi catch the pair, erm, kissing in an alleyway, Ruben’s anonymity disappears faster than Cherry’s knickers.
Bad Witch Burning by Jessica Lewis (August 24, 2021)*
Katrell doesn’t mind talking to the dead; she just wishes it made more money. Clients pay her to talk to their deceased loved ones, but it isn’t enough to support her unemployed mother and Mom’s deadbeat boyfriend-of-the-week. Things get worse, when a ghost warns her to stop the summonings or she’ll “burn everything down.” Katrell is willing to call them on their bluff, though. She has no choice. What do ghosts know about eating peanut butter for dinner? However, when her next summoning accidentally raises someone from the dead, Katrell realizes that a live body is worth a lot more than a dead apparition. And, warning or not, she has no intention of letting this lucrative new business go.
Like Other Girls by Britta Lundin (August 3, 2021)*
After getting kicked off the basketball team for a fight that was absolutely totally not her fault (okay maybe a little her fault), Mara is dying to find a new sport to play to prove to her coach that she can be a team player. A lifelong football fan, Mara decides to hit the gridiron with her brother, Noah, and best friend, Quinn-and she turns out to be a natural. But joining the team sets off a chain of events in her small Oregon town-and within her family-that she never could have predicted. Inspired by what they see as Mara’s political statement, four other girls join the team. Now Mara’s lumped in as one of the girls-one of the girls who can’t throw, can’t kick, and doesn’t know a fullback from a linebacker.
If the Shoe Fits by Julie Murphy (August 3, 2021)*
After having just graduated with a degree in shoe design, and trying to get her feet on the ground, Cindy is working for her stepmother, who happens to be the executive producer of America’s favorite reality show, Before Midnight. When a spot on the show needs filling ASAP, Cindy volunteers, hoping it might help jump-start her fashion career, or at least give her something to do while her peers land jobs in the world of high fashion. Turns out being the only plus size woman on a reality dating competition makes a splash, and soon Cindy becomes a body positivity icon for women everywhere.
Outlawed by Anna North
The day of her wedding, 17 year old Ada’s life looks good; she loves her husband, and she loves working as an apprentice to her mother, a respected midwife. But after a year of marriage and no pregnancy, in a town where barren women are routinely hanged as witches, her survival depends on leaving behind everything she knows. She joins up with the notorious Hole in the Wall Gang, a band of outlaws led by a preacher-turned-robber known to all as the Kid. Charismatic, grandiose, and mercurial, the Kid is determined to create a safe haven for outcast women. But to make this dream a reality, the Gang hatches a treacherous plan that may get them all killed. And Ada must decide whether she’s willing to risk her life for the possibility of a new kind of future for them all.
Both of these have been high on my TBR ever since they came out, and the holds are almost coming up in my libraries! I don’t normally read murder mysteries or cozies, but these are sure to tempt me (although Dial A for Aunties isn’t marketed as a cozy, but as a contemporary romance with a dash of murder). Regardless, I am so excited for these.
I mean, just look at those gorgeous covers. I’m a sucker for a pretty illustrated cover (someone please tell me what this style is, because every time I see a book with one, that book just somehow falls into my TBR).
Oh heyyyyyy, not one but two historical fiction books! I have dearly wanted to read another Taylor Jenkins Reid book ever since I read and adored The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, however I haven’t yet dabbled into her backlist, and I refuse to read Daisy Jones and the Six because I hate that cover with the passion of a thousand suns (I have no reason to hate it, I just really, really hate it). It’s already checked out from the library, I just need to start reading!
And I’m super duper excited to listen to Wild Women and the Blues, whose blurb is giving me Evelyn Hugo vibes (I seriously doubt the book is anything like that, but the past-present timeline and fabulous woman MC is what’s causing it, plus that cover with the woman in a gorgeous green dress).