Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Book Club: June 2021


It's Book Club day!! Typically we do this at the beginning of the month, but we've been on back-to-back beach vacations with July 4th celebrations smooshed in between. is in full motion again and we have zero complaints! 

And speaking of beach vacations...we've been reading all the beach books. Light, easy, steamy with a side of fruity cocktails - sounds about the perfect reading recipe for vacation, right? 

It is our very favorite time to read, and we are taking full advantage of all the juicy romances and seaside thrillers that have been released this year. And there are some goooood ones! 


Christina Lauren never does me wrong. I know when I pick up one of their novels, it will be something I enjoy from start to finish. THE SOULMATE EQUATION follows Jess who is a single mother and River Pena who is about to release the match making company of all match making companies. On a whim, Jess's quirky romance novel writing best friend Fizzy convinces her to tour River's company with her and ultimately give it a try. When results return though, no one is more surprised than Jess and River. 

Quaint coffee shops, adorable daughters, steamy romance, and laugh out loud commentary - Christina Lauren packs in all for the adorable enemies to lovers romance novel goodness we've grown to love from them. I enjoyed THE SOULMATE EQUATION, but I still think my five star read from them would be LOVE AND OTHER WORDS. Reading both this Summer will not disappoint.

Looking for something a little darker this month in a sea of beachy romances, I picked up HER DARK LIES. This was just the suspense thriller my beach bag needed. Set off the coast of Italy, Claire finds herself the center of attention as she is about to marry into the über elite and über rich Compton family. Notoriously private, the family decides the wedding should be held at their villa on the island of Isola. However, as events unfold and remains of a body are found upon arrival Claire wonders if her wedding is a stage for disaster, and if the Compton's desired privacy is to truly have a chance to escape from it all, or a chance to escape from all of their secrets.

From start to finish, I could not put this one down. Each twist and turn uncovered a new secret from a characters past, and even though I was able to guess who the murderer was about halfway through, it was the secrets and all the juicy details that kept me enticed. There are a ton of surprises along the way, and even a character I wasn't expecting to had her own dark secrets. HER DARK LIES was such a good twisty thriller! 

This is the second hit for me by Emily Henry. PEOPLE WE MEET ON VACATION is a swoony best friends to lovers romance with a fun vacation twist. Poppy and Alex are polar opposites, but after sharing a ride home from college one college summer break they manage to become the best of friends. Both are seeking some sort of escape and plan a trip together. The trip turns into an annual event they look forward to until one trip ends in a disaster.

Poppy is a travel writer for a popular magazine in New York City. On paper she has everything she’s ever wanted, but misses Alex terribly. She decides to plan one last trip to see if their friendship is repairable but in this slow burn she finds more heat in the desert than she bargains for (see what I did there?! 😜). From start to finish, I loved how Poppy and Alex’s relationship unfolded. It was a quick, page turning read that makes for perfect beach reading. 

I initially picked out FLOAT PLAN because of the cute cover. I was expecting a light/breezy rom-com style story, but boy was I surprised. Later, as I looked closer to the cover, it actually gives hints to the story perfectly. I don't want to give any spoilers, but I'll try to quickly summarize. The story follows Anna who was supposed to be on a Caribbean sailing trip with her fiancé. Depressed and feeling lost she decides to take the trip alone. Very quickly she realizes she needs help. In walks Keane at the perfect time. Keane is an Irish professional sailor who is also dealing with his own tragedies and lost path. Together they decide to do the trip together in hopes of finding their ways.

This story brought me to tears so many times. It's a romance/beach read story, but with much more depth (especially considering some of the topics it covers). It's a story that opens with a tragedy, but is more about recovering from the aftermath and dealing with loss than the actual tragedy. I couldn't put it down, and appreciated having a beach read with a little more "meat" to it. I wanted a little bit more to the story and was excited to learn that it is the first in a planned series, so we will get to know more of the story, but also the chance to follow some of the other fun characters you stumble across as you read.

I loved FLOAT PLAN, and definitely recommend you throwing it in your beach bags this summer. But pack tissues too!

I always appreciate that Jennifer Weiner books tend to be a little deeper and shed light on important social topics. THAT SUMMER is a story about two women who stumble upon each other and realize they have more in common than just a similar name.

A friendship forms just when Diana needs it most. Her closest friend has recently passed away, she feels more inferior in her marriage than ever, her daughter is distant and leaving her prestige boarding school under troublesome circumstances, and overall she just feels lost.

The new Diana gives her a jolt of purpose and a boost of much need confidence, but then the reality of their friendship, and secrets from the past, cause her world to come crashing down.

Set in Cape Cod over Summer the story has that beach read feel, but delves into a modern day “Me Too” twisty tale of friendship.

I enjoyed the book as I do with of Weiner’s novels, and loved the love story buried with in the tragedy of horrific circumstances. Well done JW for weaving such a beautiful story.

Colleen Oakley does it again! She pulled at my heart strings, and gave me the perfect beach read all in one. This is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. I saw some of her early novels are on sale for Kindle, and I can't wait to add those to my ever growing Kindle library.

THE INVISIBLE HUSBAND OF FRICK ISLAND might be one of my favorite books of the year. I brought this one to the beach with me, and it was the perfect setting to read it. Set on the remote location of Frick Island (lots of jokes about this throughout the book), it opens with the heartbreaking story of a wife losing a husband at sea. This young wife becomes the center of a lot of island drama, yet captures the heart of each and every one of her neighbors.

Even though all signs point to Piper's husband being dead, Piper still sees him, makes him breakfast, talks to him at the local restaurants...and not a single neighbor argues otherwise. Until Anders Caldwell lands on the island. Hopeful journalist and podcaster, he lands on the tiny island expecting to do a quick article about the island's Cake Walk event, but stumbles on a much larger story he can't resist. Or is it Piper he can't resist?

Love story, ghost story, grief story, mystery story - AMAZING story! I enjoyed it from start to finish!


After a slew of tear jerking beach reads, I am switching it up with something a little more fun and light. I've got WHEN STARS COLLIDE ready to go for some steamy poolside romance reading. This is the latest in her Chicago Stars series, but can be read as a stand alone. 

WHEN STARS COLLIDE by Susan Elizabeth Phillips



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1 comment:

  1. I loved the Invisible Husband and have both Float Plan and Soulmate waiting for me in my library basket.


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