There’s nothing quite like that feeling of butterflies in your stomach when you meet someone new. Whether it’s a hot date, a sudden flirtation or the beginning of an unexpected office affair, summer has a way of bringing out those passionate moments — and what better way to experience them than with some cozy beach reading? Kick off the season with these must-read romance books for July: we promise they will tantalize, beguile and prepare you for those romantic escapades yet to come! 💗
An Island Princess Starts A Scandal by Adriana Herrera
One last summer.
For Manuela del Carmen Caceres Galvan, the invitation to show her paintings at the 1889 Exposition Universelle came at the perfect time. Soon to be trapped in a loveless marriage, Manuela has given herself one last summer of freedom—in Paris, with her two best friends.
One scandalous encounter.
Cora Kempf Bristol, Duchess of Sundridge, is known for her ruthlessness in business. It’s not money she chases, but power. When she sees the opportunity to secure her position among her rivals, she does not hesitate. How difficult could it be to convince the mercurial Miss Caceres Galvan to part with a parcel of land she’s sworn never to sell?
One life-changing bargain.
Tempted by Cora’s offer, Manuela proposes a trade: her beloved land for a summer with the duchess in her corner of Paris. A taste of the wild, carefree world that will soon be out of her reach. What follows thrills and terrifies Cora, igniting desires the duchess long thought dead. As they fill their days indulging in a shared passion for the arts and their nights with dark and delicious deeds, the happiness that seemed impossible moves within reach…though claiming it would cause the greatest scandal Paris has seen in decades.
Kismat Connection by Ananya Devarajan
In this charming YA debut, a girl who’s determined to prove her star chart wrong ropes her longtime best friend into an experimental relationship—not knowing that he has been in love with her for years.
Is it possible to change your fate?
Madhuri Iyer is doomed. Doomed for her upcoming senior year to be a total failure, according to her astrology-obsessed mother, and doomed to a happily ever after with her first boyfriend, according to her family curse.
Determined to prove the existence of her free will, Madhuri devises an experimental relationship with the one boy she knows she’ll never fall for: her childhood best friend, Arjun Mehta. But Arjun’s feelings for her are a variable she didn’t account for.
As Madhuri starts to fall for her experimental boyfriend, she’ll have to decide if charting her own destiny is worth breaking Arjun’s heart—and her own.
Even if the Sky is Falling edited by Taj McCoy
When an international warning siren accidentally goes off, convincing everyone that a meteor shower may just be the end of life as they know it, six couples—friends, exes, crushes and rivals—must take shelter. Inhibitions are abandoned, confessions are made and love blossoms, but what happens when the world doesn’t end?
Filled with humor, heat and hope, this riveting collection of interconnected multicultural stories by acclaimed authors Lane Clarke, Farah Heron, Taj McCoy, Charish Reid, Sarah Smith and Denise Williams beautifully explores the secrets we carry with us—and the joy we discover when we let go and reach for the stars.
- Two NASA specialist exes forced to reunite under pressure.
- Competing food stall owners face no escape—from each other or their shared past.
- Two law students learn just how strongly opposites attract between the library stacks.
- A pair of literature lovers confront long-held feelings under the covers of a bookstore bunker.
- A songwriter discovers her newly hired contractor hits all the right notes.
- Trapped on campus, former college rivals entertain their reignited spark.
Mickey Chambers Shakes It Up by Charish Reid
Total opposites. Totally irresistible.
Mickey Chambers is an expert at analyzing modern literature. But when it comes to figuring out her own story, she’s feeling a little lost. At thirty-three, she’s an adjunct instructor with a meager summer class schedule and too many medical bills, courtesy of her chronic illness. Picking up a bartending gig seems perfect. Sure, Mickey’s never done this before, but the gorgeous, grumpy bar owner, Diego Acosta, might be the perfect man to teach the teacher…if he wasn’t so stressed.
Diego is worried he’s running his late wife’s bar into the ground. Add the pressures of returning to college part-time at forty-two, and it’s no wonder he’s making rash decisions. Like hiring the sunny, sexy woman who looks more at home in a library than slinging beers to rowdy barflies, and who turns out to be teaching his online writing course, a complication neither was expecting…
It’s not long before Mickey starts reenergizing The Saloon with cocktails, karaoke and an optimism even Diego can’t ignore. They need to fight their feelings if they want to keep things professional, but all it takes is one sip, one kiss, to shake both their worlds forever…
Cafe at Beach End by RaeAnne Thayne
When Meredith Collins was a child, the little beach town of Cape Sanctuary lived up to its name. Spending summers there with her grandmother, Meredith finally felt safe and loved.
Now she’s returning in disgrace. Her late ex-husband swindled investors out of millions of dollars and made Meredith a figure of scorn—though she knew nothing about his scheme. But she still has the beach cottage she inherited from her grandmother and half ownership of the local café. It’s a place to work and earn a little money. That’s if her cousin, Tori, will let her through the door. Once, Tori and Meredith were as close as sisters—until Meredith chose her neglectful parents’ expectations over their bond. Now widowed with a teenage daughter, Tori isn’t setting out a welcome mat for the woman who let her down so badly.
While Meredith tries to make a fresh start, she is drawn to a mysterious writer renting the cottage next door. Liam Byrne’s kindness is a balm, though she worries he might not be so friendly if he knew who she was. But Liam has his own secret and a mission that will help Meredith confront her past—and maybe, claim a surprising future…
The Roommate Pact by Allison Ashley
The proposition is simple: if ER nurse Claire Harper and her roommate, firefighter Graham Scott, are still single by the time they’re forty, they’ll take the proverbial plunge together…as friends with benefits. Maybe it’s the wine, but in the moment, Claire figures the pact is a safe-enough deal, considering she hasn’t had much luck in love and he’s in no rush to settle down. Like, at all. Besides, there’s no way she could ever really fall for Graham and his thrill-seeking ways. Not after what happened to her father…
Just as things begin to heat up way before the proposed deadline, Graham’s injured in a serious rock climbing accident—and he needs Claire’s help to heal. She’ll do whatever it takes to nurse him back to health…even if it means moving in to Graham’s bed and putting up with his little dog, who hates her. But with this no-strings arrangement taking a complicated turn, keeping “for now” from turning into “forever” isn’t as easy as they’d planned.
Ciao for Now by Kate Bromley
With her thirties rapidly approaching and a mountain of student debt looming over her, Violet Luciano’s dream of finishing design school and working in fashion has cost her everything. So when she lands an internship at an up-and-coming fashion brand in Rome, she brings her A game to Italy. With nothing left to lose, Violet plans to win the competition among the interns for the ultimate prize—a job at a New York label.
But when a coffee run goes wrong and Violet accidentally destroys a stranger’s laptop, all of the apology Americanos in the world won’t help her. Because it turns out that the man from the café is Matteo, her professor’s eternally grumpy son, who thinks she’s a clumsy American…and maybe a stalker. Their animosity (and undeniable chemistry) grows as together they’re forced to face a summer of chic parties, adventures through Rome and sharing a home…with the person they can’t stand the most.
The more time she spends with him, the more distracted she finds herself. With her chance to win the competition slipping out of her grasp, Violet has to decide whether to say ciao to Matteo—or ciao to her dreams.
The Boyfriend Candidate by Ashley Winstead
As a shy school librarian, Alexis Stone is comfortable keeping out of the spotlight. But when she’s dumped for being too meek—in bed!—she decides she needs to change. And what better way to kick-start her new more adventurous life than with her first one-night stand?
Enter Logan, the gorgeous, foul-mouthed stranger she meets at a hotel bar. Audacious and filterless, Logan is Alexis’s opposite—and boy, do opposites attract! Just as she’s about to fulfill her hookup wish, the hotel catches fire in a freak lightning storm. In their rush to escape, Logan is discovered carrying her into the street, where people are waiting with cameras. Cameras Logan promptly—and shockingly—flees.
Alexis is bewildered until suddenly pictures of her and Logan escaping the fire are all over the internet. Turns out Logan is none other than Logan Arthur, the hotshot candidate challenging the Texas governor’s seat. The salacious scandal is poised to sink his career—and jeopardize Alexis’s job—until a solution is proposed: he and Alexis could pretend to be in a relationship until election day…in two months. What could possibly go wrong?
Kissing Kosher by Jean Meltzer
Avital Cohen isn’t wearing underpants—woefully, for unsexy reasons. Chronic pelvic pain has forced her to sideline her photography dreams and her love life. It’s all she can do to manage her family’s kosher bakery, Best Babka in Brooklyn, without collapsing.
She needs hired help.
And distractingly handsome Ethan Lippmann seems the perfect fit.
Except Ethan isn’t there to work—he’s undercover, at the behest of his ironfisted grandfather. Though Lippmann’s is a household name when it comes to mass-produced kosher baked goods, they don’t have the charm of Avital’s bakery. Or her grandfather’s world-famous pumpkin spice babka recipe.
As they bake side by side, Ethan soon finds himself more interested in Avital than in stealing family secrets, especially as he helps her find the chronic pain relief—and pleasure—she’s been missing.
But perfecting the recipe for romance calls for leaving out the lies…even if coming clean means risking everything.