It’s time to sit down and write a post letting you know my favorite books of the last three months and y’all, making this list was a struggle. I think my brain lately has gotten really picky about what it allows me to really, truly fall in love with so I have a couple of real, true stand outs that I can promise you’ll see on a list at the end of the year and then we have a ton of books that I gave 4.5 stars and I think they’re amazing, but they lack the same spark that is entirely personal to me. But that’s enough introspection, let’s talk about the books! I’m not going to bother ranking these favorites because my brain is not about that life at the moment. So enjoy this chaotic order!
All Rhodes Lead Here by Mariana Zapata
This is a small town romance with a single dad (though the actual parenting situation is a bit more complicated than that) where every single page and interaction had me deeply invested. I don’t even know how to articulate my love of this book because it caught me entirely off guard, but when I fell, I fell hard. I just went ahead and bought myself a physical copy because I love this cover and I wanted to get it before it gets pulled since Avon has acquired it. Congratulations to MZ for that too! But anyway, this book has really compelling characters, but don’t read it if you don’t like single POV romances or romances where the kid (in this case, a slightly surly teenager) plays a large part in the romance. Also, this book made me contemplate going outside, which is incredibly wild as that is not generally a place I like to go. It did also convince me that I am correct that solo hiking is not for me though. Always pleased to have that affirmed for me. Anyway!!! I really loved this book. Highly recommend.
I’m going to be honest, I have no idea how TJR made me love this book the way I did because… I really don’t know that I should have. But there was something about the audiobook that gave me every sports movie feeling I’ve ever had and… well, I do tend to like those movies. The story plot is so straightforward and it’s such a good time to watch and, it turns out, to read. I’ve played tennis, four years of it, so I knew a lot of the terms, but I’ve never really been a watcher of tennis beyond my teammates matches in high school. I’ve also never been good at tennis. But it turns out that didn’t matter because I just had such a great time listening to the audiobook that everything was fine. Great really. This book is for sure not going to be for everyone though so only pick it up if you think it could work for you!
The Worst Guy by Kate Canterbary
I mean, is it really a surprise to see a Kate Canterbary book on this list? If you’re me, it is not. I really love her character work. Stremmel and Shapiro are fascinating characters and I loved getting to know them. She is truly so talented at bringing two characters with big, yet contained personalities to life. Essentially the book follows two doctors who do not get along. Shap is a recovering people pleaser and Stremmel is. Well. Not that, certainly. He’s a bit of a grump who complains about… almost everything. And somehow, their relationship evolves in this slow and steady way where you and the characters are all in love before you even quite realize it. I highly recommend.
Lovelight Farms by B. K. Borison
I feel like I could start a list of books that I love because they randomly made me cry and this book would slot in there quite neatly. I don’t even know what happened. One minute I’m waiting in line to get gas (and annoyed because why did so many people need gas while I was already running late? Honestly.) and the next minute I’ve got tears in my eyes and I don’t even know why. I mean, tbh, friends to lovers books get me a lot because of that moment when they’re like, “Oh, shit, what if we completely destroyed everything?” Every time. Anyway, I love Borison’s writing and I am truly so excited to continue reading from her. Soon. Hopefully. Nick thinks I’ll love book two so much so I’m really excited.
The Fall vibes in this book are immaculate. I love the competition and prank element here as neither got too over the top. There was a moment when I thought it was going that direction, but Parrish deftly wove together a story where everything that happens really does allow this relationship and these characters to develop in a way that winds up feeling natural, if maybe a little too good to be true. Either way, I loved it and cannot recommend it highly enough.
Hello quiet angsty character filled romance!! Y’all, this book was like a breath of fresh air and I needed it at the time and am looking forward to more from Devon with a fierce desperation. I can love a gimmick as much as the next girlie, but sometimes I just want a really well developed romance between characters who feel real and also deeply flawed. I really enjoyed this one and think that if you like Borison’s writing, you should try Bend Toward the Sun too. And vice versa!
My Killer Vacation by Tessa Bailey
Tbh, I don’t think I would actually recommend this one to many people, but let me tell you, I had a great time. You see how above I mentioned that a gimmick can work for me? This book found me at the right time and was such a fun ride. It also has all of Tessa Bailey’s writing quirks that can bother people, which is why I say I would necessarily recommend it for people in general. But for me? This book was a win.
This book has such unique world-building and I think a lot of it can be off-putting for some readers. It sort of thorws you into the world in a way where you either have to roll with it or spend a lot of time figuring out the world without much explanation. I said, “Okay, cool, a setting I don’t understand,” and rolled with it because I am not a world-building person. This is not me bragging, I genuinely don’t understand world-building half the time even when it is spelled out for me. My reading comprehension doesn’t extend that far. Anyway, I say all that to say, what pulled me in here is the family dynamics with Mercy and also, I love Hart. I loved that both characters in this romance felt fully developed. I loved the way everyone felt real to me. Can I explain the actual plot of the book to you? No, no, I cannot. So, basically, what I’m saying is, if you’re a character reader who can go in with vibes only for the world building, pick this up. If you’re a fantasy reader on the regular… Tread with caution.
After Hours on Milagro Street is another book that would belong on the list of books that unexpectedly made me cry. Like one minute, I’m wondering if this book is long or if it’s just me and the next I’m literally crying so hard I can’t see the screen. So… You know. Sometimes the emotions just hit. In this case, it was the character development that had me really emotional because The Baddest Bitch in Bartending and her prickly exterior was suddenly experiencing so much growth and emotion and my heart was hurting right there alongside her. I really enjoyed this one, but it was definitely a slower build for me. I still highly, highly recommend though!
I think this has been one of the most fun series and the blend in this one of mystery, adventure, and historical romance was really excellent and I think if you’ve been enjoying the series, you’ll like this installment as well. If you haven’t tried the series yet, but you’re up for something a little different, please give this series a shot! I thought the various storylines were well-balanced and I am definitely looking forward to more in the series. Soon? Hopefully?
I really did have a great reading time in the last quarter, but I’ll be honest, if I included re-reads on this list, a lot of these books would find themselves bumped off the list. But regardless, I do recommend these books! But now, my plane is about to board so I’ve got to go.