It’s Tuesday again so it’s time for a top ten and this week’s theme couldn’t be more apropos given how hot the weather has gotten lately. I wanna go to the seaside!!!
Ahem… now that I got that off my chest, let’s get to the formal presentation of the meme. Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.
The theme this week is: Summer Reads Freebie: In preparation for Memorial Day (which is always the unofficial summer kickoff for me), let’s rec some summer/beach reads: books to go in your beach bag, best books set in summer, books with summer-y covers, best beach reads for people who don’t enjoy contemporary/realistic reads, best beach reads for fans of X genre, etc.
More specifically, I’ll do a top ten of light reads I’d recommend to anyone lucky enough to spend their time basking on the beach, reading. Sigh.
Let’s start with a bang. Wallbanger by Alice Clayton is hands down one of the most hilarious books I’ve ever read.
The first night after Caroline moves into her fantastic new San Francisco apartment, she realizes she’s gaining an intimate knowledge of her new neighbor’s nocturnal adventures. Thanks to paper-thin walls and the guy’s athletic prowess, she can hear not just his bed banging against the wall but the ecstatic response of what seems (as loud night after loud night goes by) like an endless parade of women. And since Caroline is currently on a self-imposed dating hiatus, and her neighbor is clearly lethally attractive to women, she finds her fantasies keep her awake even longer than the noise. So when the wallbanging threatens to literally bounce her out of bed, Caroline, clad in sexual frustration and a pink baby-doll nightie, confronts Simon Parker, her heard-but-never-seen neighbor. The tension between them is as thick as the walls are thin, and the results just as mixed. Suddenly, Caroline is finding she may have discovered a whole new definition of neighborly…
In a delicious mix of silly and steamy, Alice Clayton dishes out a hot and hilarious tale of exasperation at first sight…
Wallbanger is unique in its genre, unbelievably funny and original. Romantic yet realistic… sort of.
My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick is one little YA jewel. It’s one of those books that you start without many expectations and then end up loving unconditionally. I wanted to be a part of the Garretts’ family. Jace was the perfect high school sweetheart and the book had hidden depths and some interesting twists.
“One thing my mother never knew, and would disapprove of most of all, was that I watched the Garretts. All the time.”
The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, messy, affectionate. And every day from her rooftop perch, Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs up next to her and changes everything.
As the two fall fiercely for each other, stumbling through the awkwardness and awesomeness of first love, Jase’s family embraces Samantha – even as she keeps him a secret from her own. Then something unthinkable happens, and the bottom drops out of Samantha’s world. She’s suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?
A transporting debut about family, friendship, first romance, and how to be true to one person you love without betraying another.
Kind of light, fun, real and sweet, this read is perfect for the beach. Plus, extra points because it’s set in summer.
Do I even have to introduce this book? Is there anyone younger than 99 out there who hasn’t read this? Because if there is, they should go right now to the closest book store and buy it. And don’t worry about availability: every book store has it, because it’s just frigging awesome. I love heroines with social anxiety and I love seeing the world through their eyes. All the little fears and doubts and tricks they think of to avoid crowds, the spotlight, attention. Cath is also living in a fictional world, of which she writes Fan Fiction, and I guess that’s what makes her even more relatable. Plus, Levi. He’s… real. He’s not too idealized, but his thoughtfulness toward Cath warmed my heart. The scene when he asks her to read for him is still one of my favorite to date.
Cath is a Simon Snow fan.
Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan…
But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving. Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.
Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.
Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words… And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.
For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?
And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?
If there was ever a perfect Beach Read, the “Kissing Eden” series by TA Foster is it. Read the blurb and tell me I’m wrong.
Have you ever thought of taking a vacation alone? I mean step on a plane, check into your hotel, and lie on the beach completely and utterly alone. No? Me either, but then right before senior spring break I got dumped.
Something about break ups makes you do things you didn’t want to do, and try things you didn’t know you were capable of.
That’s how I ended up at the Palm Palace.
That’s how I met Grey.
That’s how my spring break turned into the most unforgettable week of my life.
One of the things about this book I loved the most was how the island of South Padre was like a character itself. Also, Grey was a very interesting character. Usually, I’d expect a cocky surfer or a charming bartender, a là Penelope Ward meets Vi Keeland. Instead, Grey is kind of a brooding, closed off man. But the two MCs forge an emotional connection which I could truly feel and also in the sequel it was great to see them together, building their lives, their futures. What I’m trying to say is that this is NOT a sugary sweet, cheeky book full of cliches and “I love you so much” “I love you more.” “No, I do.” “NO, I DO!” I know the title and blurb make it sound like it is, but it’s not. Read it. It’s good.
The lack of angst which distinguishes this series from all other contemporary romance and especially rock star romances makes it perfect for the beach. Moreover, in the first part of the book, the two main characters live in their little bubble of paradise right next to the sea. The banter is outstanding, the characters incredible and the style wonderful. I mean it’s Kristen Callihan. That woman and amazing characterization are practically the same thing.
I found Killian drunk and sprawled out on my lawn like some lost prince. With the face of a god and the arrogance to match, the pest won’t leave. Sexy, charming, and just a little bit dirty, he’s slowly wearing me down, making me crave more.
He could be mine if I dare to claim him. Problem is, the world thinks he’s theirs. How do you keep an idol when everyone is intent on taking him away?
As lead singer for the biggest rock band in the world, I lived a life of dreams. It all fell apart with one fateful decision. Now everything is in shambles.
Until Liberty. She’s grouchy, a recluse—and kind of cute. Scratch that. When I get my hands on her, she is scorching hot and more addictive than all the fans who’ve screamed my name.
The world is clamoring for me to get back on stage, but I’m not willing to leave her. I’ve got to find a way to coax the hermit from her shell and keep her with me. Because, with Libby, everything has changed. Everything.
One of my favorite books this year. Hilarious, fresh, unconventional. The hero is such a unique character and the whole story is so hilarious, sweet and romantic that for me it’s become an instant classic. Blake, with his weird jargon, puppy-like behavior and happy-go-lucky attitude captured my heart. The lowest-in-history levels of angst helped me enjoy the ride without heartache, so beach, here comes another perfect read.
Hosting her brother’s wedding for an MVP guest list is the challenge of Jess Canning’s life. Already the family screw-up, she can’t afford to fail. And nobody (nobody!) can learn of the colossal mistake she made with the best man during a weak moment last spring. It was wrong, and there will not be a repeat. Absolutely not. Even if he is the sexiest thing on two legs.
Blake Riley sees the wedding as fate’s gift to him. Jess is the maid of honor and he’s the best man? Let the games begin. So what if he’s facing a little (fine, a lot) of resistance? He just needs to convince the stubborn blonde that he’s really a good boy with a bad rap. Luckily, every professional hockey player knows that you’ve got to make an effort if you want to score.
But Jess has more pressing issues to deal with than sexy-times with a giant man-child. Such as: Will the ceremony start on time, even though someone got grandma drunk? Does glitter ever belong at a wedding? And is it wrong to murder the best man?
Caution: May cause accidental aspiration of tea or coffee. Do not read in a public place where loud laughter is inappropriate. Contains hot but hilarious hockey players, puppy cuddling and a snarky pair of underwear.
This book hid unexpected depths, but really, what’s more heartwarming than a big hockey player falling head over heels for a single mother and her two little daughters. I absolutely adored this book in its simplicity, but also length, which was another surprise. I thought I’d signed up for a somewhat cheesy Nicola Spark-ish novel and instead what I got was a very romantic yet realistic and cute story. No unnecessary drama or angst. Characters acting maturely and building their relationship like grown ups.
Four years ago, my dreams were shattered in an instant.
I tried to pick up the pieces and glue them back together the best I knew how, but something was always missing.
A father for my two girls.
But then, Brody Murphy landed on my doorstep, literally. He was a carefree, playful hockey player who barged into my life and messed with my head. He left me more confused than I had ever been.
What if the one thing I thought I needed was the only thing holding me back?
Surreal, 100% bat shit crazy, and plain, light fun. This book is… like two friends got together and said: “What can we come up with that is so out of this world it will make people pee themselves laughing, gasp in embarrassment and make them swoon too a bit?” Wait, I think that’s actually how that went down. Anyway, this is as carefree as they come, and so completely nuts that you will be snickering while under your umbrella, hiding behind your shades. #YAMA
What’s the recipe to the ultimate disaster week?
Three unruly friends.
A wedding we shouldn’t have been invited to.
Two unexpected romances.
A scoop of sexy.
And a double scoop of chaos.
Lydia is a good girl who is above revenge. Good thing she has us. No one cheats on our best friend and rides off into the sunset with his new bride.
What was supposed to happen? Unleash hell like two badasses. It was a simple plan, but we failed to anticipate a few things. A rogue prosthetic, an accidental exorcism, and dominatrix strippers willing to take things way too far, just to name a few.
What actually happened? As usual, nothing went as planned, especially when two sexy distractions popped into the mix. We were there to avenge our friend, not to get entangled with two cocky, arrogant men, who don’t like to hear the word no. I was sure we could resist.
I mean, it was only a week, right? What could happen in a week?
Not intrigued enough? There’s totally a duck in this story.
Ah yeah. Now we have your undivided attention. Enjoy our chaos.
Can you spell guilty pleasure? This is the only book (novella, really) by AR I’ve every read. The recipe is perfect: one hot alpha who also happens to be a high school sweetheart, one frail, naive girl, drama and jealousy, possessiveness, alpha H saving girl from abusive father, marriage maybe? Can’t remember. I definitely remember a streak of breeding. It’s OTT, it’s surreal. I’d probably sue the H for stalking if he were real, but in a book we’re known to be more lenient toward this kind of behaviors, so yep, this is the perfect beach read. Also, the tan should mask the blushing, right?
It’s Lily Parker’s first day at a new high school. She’s a senior finishing her last semester, and all she wants to do is graduate and get out of town. Her home life is a secret hell, and she’s trying to find a way out. But everything changes when Ren says hello and sees right through to her truth.
Ren Hendrick’s succeed’s at everything he touches, including football. But he’s never been passionate about anything. He’s quiet and keeps to himself, which pisses people off. But he can’t find the desire to care. He’s lived a life without color, until Lily walks in and lights up his world.
Their story is one of sweet young love and finding your forever before you can even dream of what that is. It’s one of protecting what belongs to you and having the courage to follow your heart, no matter your age.
Warning: Call your dentist and schedule an appointment, because you’re going to get nothing but cavities from this sugary book. Ren and Lily start off so innocent, but by the time it’s over, you’re gonna need to hose yourself off. We’re talking two virgins who turn into maniacs. You’re welcome!
I mean, read that warning! It’s clear that AR is not so discreetly catering to our unconfessed desires and carefully hidden cravings. They talk to the most primal parts of our brain… yeah, brain (just trying to keep it PG-rated.) Anyway, as far as beach reads go, this is a must. No real plot, no real character development, just an overload of sugary sweetness and unrealistic sex (oops, here goes the PG-rating).
This is not exactly a “super light” book. But I love Linda Kage. I love her “Forbidden Men” series and Oren Tenning is in my Top Ten book boyfriends of all times. He’s… cocky, charming, fun, an asshole at times, sarcastic, supportive of his friends, sweet but only to the heroine and a few selected ones, assertive, smart, fun. Fun. Fun. Did I already say fun? Well, then I’ll add he’s hot as sin, knows his way in the sack and is one hell of a boyfriend. If you know me, you know I have little to no patience for brother’s best friend’s romances. They don’t do it for me. Well, this book is the exception to the rule. I’d advice reading the previous books in the series too because Ten and Caroline’s relationship has a great build-up, especially in the last two books leading up to this one. These two are perfect together and their story is not devoid of heartache or drama (NOT A TEAR-JERKER, though), but they’re so meant to be you know everything is going to be okay. When they’re together, it’s just… everything feels right in the world.
Let your hair down, Caroline, they said. It’ll be fun, they said.
I know I’ve closed myself off in a major way over the past year, ever since “the incident” where I messed up my life completely. It’s past time I try to live again or just give up altogether. But this is quite possibly the craziest thing I’ve ever done. In a last ditch effort to invigorate myself, I’m standing outside Oren Tenning’s bedroom, I just peeled off the sexiest pair of underwear I own, and my hand is already raised to knock. My brother would disown me for doing anything with his best friend, and he’d probably kill Oren. But if I play my cards right, no one will ever know about this. Not even Ten.
Maybe after tonight, I’ll finally get over this stupid, irrational crush I hate having on the biggest jerk I’ve ever met. Or maybe I’ll just end up falling for him even harder. Maybe I’ll discover there’s so much more to my crude, carefree hunk than meets the eye.
This is my top ten beachy reads and I was surprised by how many fun, light or sweet books I actually had on my shelves. I’d gladly re-read all of them… but especially the last one. I’m serious, if you haven’t read it, or the whole series for that matter, drop everything and start. The style is beautiful, and not one – NO ONE – writes better group dialogues than Miss Kage. Her group of friend is the kind of “family” everyone wish they had. All of her characters are so different from one another and most of them have very dark, sad pasts, but in the present her prose is light, with amazing banter (ABSOLUTELY AMAZING BANTER) and plots which are never straightforward from A to B. There’s always that extra twist which leaves me hanging and gasping.
But really, even for just her characters, READ HER BOOKS!!!! Lol, fangirling over.