Well, summer is officially over. As of today. The first day of fall. And my husband is already starting to get excited about Christmas. Yep! Do you remember me mentioning his Christmas addiction last year? And the year before that? He comes up often in my posts nearing that time of the year, and he’s already starting up. I posted his first “Christmas *squee*” a few days ago on Facebook:
“I was watching the Hallmark channel and just saw a “Countdown to Christmas” commercial advertising their upcoming Christmas movies.
My Christmas-loving husband first *squeeed*, then freaked out saying OMG it’s already September, only two months to get ready!! And then immediately went into a “Ohhhh nooo Christmas is already almost overrrrr” tantrum.
Uh huh. So I figured today is the perfect day to go over my summer reads and pick out my five favorites. I’ve read a bunch that were great, but these are the FIVE that stand out in my head, right now. And… I need to get this finished ASAP before the Christmas lights go up. And that could be like… any day now 😉
So here they are… my TOP FIVE favorite summer reads! PLUS —> I cheated a bit. I included TWO extras because they are the perfect “lighthearted” books that I would easily recommend as a great “vacation” read. Or a great anytime read, but you know what I mean. 😉
The Experiment in Terror Series by Karina Halle
Okay to start off with, I’m going “cheat” my own system, right off the bat by listing an entire series as one of my choices. Since I LOVED the series it in it’s entirety and the last 3 “main” books in the series absolutely rocked my world, I can’t pick just one (and they all “feed” off of each other). If I had to pick my two favorites it would be Lying Season and The Dex Files, but each book is made better by the next one in the series, and as a whole?
Reading this series reminded me of back in the day, when I first started “power-reading” and would read an entire series back to back without stopping. I hadn’t done that in awhile, but this one took me back right “there”. Check out everything I’ve written so far about the author (Karina Halle) —> my book reviews, reading order guide, my own FAQ about the EIT series, etc…
The Mighty Storm by Samantha Towle
I loved it because it was “that kind” of rock star read. A big ol’ angsty, gritty romance. A steamy, intense, jealousy filled train-wreck of a love story. But you KNOW I love those. Oh things are a mess, yes. Sure… some big mistakes, unforgivable moments, face-palm moments. And at times I disliked the one I was rooting for. At times I cried (yes I did!) for the one I thought I WASN’T rooting for (now THAT was something that seriously surprised me! I felt the pain, but I didn’t expect to feel it… for everyone). The tension and angst are prevalent in this book, the “groupie” worries, the BIG “on stage” song to pass an angry/hurt message… it’s all there. My stomach churned with worry (not just the love butterflies), and my heart felt every bit of it. A guilty pleasure FOR SURE!!! check out my book review of The Mighty Storm
On Dublin Street by Samantha Young
An excellent contemporary romance read! A friend asked about this one, and I summed it up like this:
“A great, even excellent, well rounded read. The whole shebang, maybe could have had even more moments of that deep pull, but overall it had pretty much everything going for it…. I felt it. Those “moments of desperation” when the character realizes something bad is about to happen. Hurt my heart and then later… retaliation… eeeep!! And of course the hero and his alpha moments were good too!”
Did I just say “good” alpha moments? Well I meant *whoooo* alpha moments! BIG STRONG yummy alpha moments! And don’t get me started on the spooning. *sigh* Loved it! Check out my book review of On Dublin Street
Onyx – book #2 (A Lux Novel) by Jennifer Armentrout
I love this Paranormal series (well… aliens but you know what I mean 😉 ) So far, it’s only two full length books in (plus a prequel) but it gives me almost that same “book rush” that Vampire Academy used to give me. This is YA, but I don’t feel like I’m missing out, you know? I don’t feel like it’s “too young” for me.
The story itself, and the connection between all of the characters has me hooked. It doesn’t really read like a “high school” story. Oh yes, they are in high school, true. And sure… there are a few moments of high school drama (OH AND I LOVED those moments because they are simply and deliciously infuriating!!), but the books are just so well written that I’m right there with them (or I’m “her”). This author is quite a tease when it comes to the book’s romance angle, but it’s totally working for me. For some reason, when it comes to these books, I don’t need the detailed steamy “adult” situations, because these two are steamy enough in their own right. I get all of the butterflies, and pine like crazy, and am satisfied with that “kiss”. And lemme tell you… those must be some serious kisses to make me forget I’m reading YA. The romantic tension is off the charts! Check out my review of Onyx (and if you haven’t read book #1 yet, skip the review and go directly to the Lux reading order guide).
Bone Deep by Bonnie Dee
This was a “short” but just perfect for me. A darker, more brooding storyline that captured my heart from the very start. An unconventional love story of two very lonely people that meet and connect and fall in love, against all odds. He is part of a circus side show (tattooed from head to toe), and despite his scary appearance, the heroine sees his beauty underneath it all. And so will you. But you’ll also feel their pain as she attempts to hide him (and them) from social scrutiny. LOVED THIS! Check out my review of Bone Deep
And here are my “cheating-my-own-list” EXTRA TWO! Let’s get into the FUNNY stuff now. Perfect light-hearted summer romance reads. I mean, some are my favorite “summer reads” just because I read them over the summertime, and some are the perfect “summer vacation” read, and these would be them. Although, you might get some funny stares when you start snort-laughing on the beach. Just sayin’. Good thing beach-weather is pretty much over. You can snort to your heart’s content, in private!
Oh and beware (especially with the Chocolate Lovers series) –> Readers have mentioned over and over again that their laughing-fits would get so obnoxious as to incite their significant others to insist that they leave the room… the bed… and so on. So yes. Read these in private if you want to read uninterrupted. 😉
Seduction and Snacks (Chocolate Lovers #1) by Tara Sivec
Probably the funniest book I’ve ever read. Romance (sure) but delightfully silly (and at times, realistically so). This is not your sweet fluffy, “everything is almost perfect” love story. But it’s not your angsty, gritty one, either. A refreshing change from my usual book torment.
Everything is here! The drunken thought processes, the jealous but hilarious “speak before you think” moments (one of my favorite moments in the book!), the sexy innuendoes that are unapologetically not so subtle! And of course, even a bit of angst, and doubt. Just enough to make you root for the main characters! Check out my review (and I hear the recently released book #2 Futures and Frosting is just as funny!)
The Redhead Revealed (book #2 The Redhead Series) by Alice Clayton
You have to read book #1 (here is my review of it – The Unidentified Redhead) which I really enjoyed, to get to this one, which I LOVED. Both are witty, and funny, but this one actually gave me a bit of that full-on angst and heartbreak.
The first was a sweet intro into an unusual romance (she’s a struggling actress, and he’s a full on movie star) and they are perfectly adorable and sweetly silly together. There are issues that they need to concern themselves with, but it’s mostly very light-hearted. THIS ONE, book #2 comes full circle for me, and allowed me to actually feel the reality of “them”. And better yet? Let me connect to the heroine, as a real person. The witty banter was toned down a bit and her “human-side” came out. Realistic doubts, and believable reactions. I could finally really connect to her, which made this series a perfect summer read, for me. My review of The Redhead Revealed (book #2)
So… what were your summer favorites?