Hair Down, Glasses Off: Best New Romance Summer Edition

Best New Romance

It's summer, yes! Summer is the ultimate time for escapist reading. And what is more escapist reading than a little romance? While it is this author's personal belief that romance is an anytime genre, it is sometimes better enjoyed by a pool, in the mountains, or on a sandy beach. Here are five books to toss in your travel bag this summer.

blame it on the duke coverBlame it on the Duke by Lenora Bell

Lenora Bell is an interesting new addition to historical romance and who, in my opinion, has not received nearly enough notice. This book follows the odd and unique Miss Alice Tombs, who will stop at nothing to repel every suitor in order to follow her dreams of becoming a scholar in India. That is until her father wagers her betrothal in a game of cards. Now she finds herself engaged to the rakish Lord Hatherly, who also has no desire to marry and carry on his family's 'madness'. While the plot is little over the top and the romance a little forced, the topic of mental illness and in-depth female scholarship in the 19th century are topics not often covered in historicals. Making this a unique and interesting addition to the genre.

always and forever, lara jean coverAlways and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han

With a saccharin sweet plot that manages to come off endearing rather than over the top, Jenny Han completes the To All the Boys I've Ever Loved Before series with a giant cherry. In this final entry in the series, we find Lara Jean Covey still in a strong relationship with her boyfriend Peter and unsure where her life is headed after some unexpected bad news during her senior year. Lara Jean is a girl whose naivety and innocence about boys would in a less adept author's hands be annoying, but Han is able to create a fully realized and genuine character that is hard to forget. If you are looking for a fun and light beach read, look no further than this series. Be sure to read the first two books: To All the Boys I've Ever Loved Before and P.S. I Still Love You first.

dating you hating you coverDating You Hating You by Christina Lauren

Fans of Lauren's extremely popular Beautiful Bastard series will be overjoyed for this standalone. Carter and Evie are two high-powered thirty-something Hollywood agents, who despite working at competing agencies are trying to make a solid relationship. But when their agencies merge and Carter and Evie must compete for the same position, all bets are off. This book is a funny and delightful romcom that will have you wishing for more.

day of the duchessDay of the Duchess by Sarah MacLean

Sarah MacLean is my one of my favorite historical romance authors working today. Her heroines are always strong and daring, with just a slight hint of historical anachronism. This is the final installment in the Scandal &Scoundrel series and quite possibly the strongest entry. Seraphina, the Duchess of Haven, has had her heart broken by none other than her own husband. After three years of separation, the Duke now has only one summer to make his wife love him again and give his family an heir. This book highlights historical romance at its best and will make you a fan of the genre. Never read a historical before? I always recommend MacLean's first book, Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake.

when dimple met rishi coverWhen Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon 

This fun quick YA novel is ideal for adult readers, too. Dimple Shah is ready for college. She is definitely ready to break away from her family and her mother's need to find her "the perfect Indian husband," but to her surprise her parents agree to let her attend a web development camp the summer before college. Letting her go all the way to San Francisco must mean her mother's mind is changing. Enter Rishi Patel, a hopeless romantic, who cannot wait to meet his future intended at the same summer camp Dimple is attending. The perfect mixture of personality clash, humor, sweetness, and culture make When Dimple Met Rishi a must read romance.

What is your favorite summer romance read? Let us know in the comments below.


Do you find yourself just looking for the authors, knowing the books will be fun? I've enjoyed Eloisa James, Elizabeth Hoyt, Julie Anne Long, and Mary Balogh. Nice to have stories with well written characters and settings. Thanks for sharing these ideas. Not to be found in the 'romance' section, but a great story with a few treats in it, is Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer. I've read it multiple times and it's always fun.

Yes! Eloisa James and Elizabeth Hoyt are, for me, an automatic purchase.

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