Hey y’all, happy Thursday! I can’t believe it’s already July; in many ways time feels like it has been dragging this year, but in some ways, it feels like it’s flying. June was a really fulfilling reading month for me as I enjoyed every book I picked up, and since we spent a week at the beach, I was able to read many books in one or two sittings. There’s not much that beats quality reading time on the beach!
As is custom on these posts, I wanted to call out that I’m part of a program where Random House will send me some of their new titles each month. I’m under no obligation to post about any titles I receive, so I really can tell you my own opinion (good or bad!) about them. I’ve starred the books Random House sent me for free below. I’m so lucky to be sent books and that’s not lost on me!
You can always follow along with what I am reading in real-time over on Goodreads—feel free to friend me there!
ROSES // LEILA MEACHAM
This story begins in the early 1900s and flashes forward through the World Wars and up to the 1980s. It chronicles the lives of three families, the Tolivers, Dumonts, and Warwicks, who emigrated from England to West Texas to make a better life for themselves. Mary Toliver’s father passes away and he unexpectedly leaves the family cotton plantation to her—passing over her mother and brother, who, in those days, would be heir apparent. Mary’s father knows she’ll do anything to keep the plantation in the family, including losing the opportunity to marry her sweetheart, Percy Warwick, who just can’t live with being number two to Toliver Farms. Not Mary must deal with family secrets and the loss of what could have been to protect her children and grandchildren.
Would I recommend it? Absolutely—this book was published ten years ago, so maybe it made a big wave then, but I am surprised more people in my circle haven’t read this one. It’s got a little bit of everything—historical fiction, drama, romance, mystery. I couldn’t put it down!
JACKIE & MARIA // GILL PAUL*
* I was gifted this book by Harper Collins via NetGalley.
Jackie Kennedy, as we all know, married a Jack Kennedy as his political star was rising—and while they look perfect on the outside, Jackie quickly becomes aware of his indiscretions and realizes he can’t always give her the emotional support she needs. So when Aristotle Onassis offers her a vacation on her private yacht to grieve the death of her child away from the American press, she jumps at the opportunity. All the while, Maria Callas is a famous opera singer and begins a years-long affair with Aristotle Onassis. Little by little, Jackie’s and Maria’s lives become more intertwined.
Would I recommend it? Yes, especially if you’re a fan of Jackie Kennedy like I am—this gave me a great look at a part of her life I admittedly don’t know as much about, and gave me a great opportunity to learn more about Maria Callas. It comes out August 18!
THE LIES THAT BIND // EMILY GIFFIN
Cecily recently broke up with her boyfriend, and is nursing her heartache one night in May 2001 at a dive bar on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. While she’s there, she meets Grant, who buys her a shot of goldshlager and ends up coming home with her. They begin a whirlwind summer romance. Grant works on the 75th floor of the South tower and is presumed dead on September 11; Cecily is heartbroken. But as puzzle pieces begin to fall into place, she quickly realizes she didn’t know Grant at all.
Would I recommend it? While I enjoyed the last couple of Emily Giffin novels, they didn’t really hit it out of the park for me, but I really liked this one. A lot of my friends have compared this to The Light We Lost and there definitely are a lot of parallels!
ONE IN A MILLION // LINDSEY KELK
Annie runs a small advertising agency and makes a bet with her friend she can make a random stranger internet famous in 30 days. She chooses a Historian in her coworking space who is stuck on his ex-girlfriend and in need of a serious wardrobe overhaul. Annie quickly realizes she might have bit off more than she can chew.
Would I recommend it? Super cute read, especially if you’re a fan of British chick lit! And it’s currently on sale for $1.99 in the Kindle Store.
RUSH // LISA PATTON
Cali Watkins grew up in small town Mississippi and has dreamed of becoming a sorority girl. However, she lacks the pedigree and is worried about the potential cost. When she is moved into school by her grandparents, she quickly meets two girls who live down the hall—Ellie and Annie Laurie. Cali and Ellie become fast friends, but Annie Laurie takes after her mother, Lilith, who’s a bit of a snob—especially when it comes to sororities. Lilith recently became House Corp President of Alpha Delta Beta, one of the top sororities on campus and is determined to make Annie Laurie an ADB herself. All the while, Miss Pearl, the house keeper and second mother at ADB, wants to apply for House Manager when the position opens up—but Lilith Whitmore tries to squash that dreams saying there have been no Black house managers at Ole Miss before. Cali and Ellie catch wind of Lilith’s wrongdoings and try to make a plan to change Greek life for the better.
Would I recommend it? Yes—I could not put this one down and thought a lot about my own experience in a sorority while reading this one. I want to read more books by Lisa Patton!
THE HONEY DON’T LIST // CHRISTINA LAUREN
Carey has worked for home renovation stars Melissa and Rusty—think Joanna and Chip—for nearly a decade. She started working at their store and quickly rose through the ranks, secretly doing a lot of the work behind the scenes. Melissa and Rusty are about to launch a new TV show and a new book, there’s only one problem—the couple can no longer stand each other. Carey and her new coworker, James, who joins the team supposedly as an engineer but ends up being Rusty’s assistant, catch Rusty hooking up with someone who is not his wife at their launch party. Carey and James are then sent out on the book tour with Melissa and Rusty to make sure nothing implodes—and, as you might expect, chaos ensues.
Would I recommend it? I always love Christina Lauren books and this one certainly didn’t disappoint! I read it in a single sitting at the beach.
ONE TO WATCH // KATE STAYMAN-LONDON*
Bea is a plus-size blogger who seemingly has it all—except for love. She’s been in love with her best friend, Ray, for the better part of a decade and after they finally hook up, he disappears and won’t return any of her calls or texts. While broken-hearted, Bea gets a call from the producers at Main Squeeze, a Bachelor type show, and they want her to be the next star, with a cast of eligible men for her to date. Bea agrees—but tells the producer she is absolutely not going to fall in love. She’s there to further her career and inspire plus-size women and fight for fashion inclusivity. But as Bea starts meeting her potential suitors, she quickly realizes it’s not going to be as easy as she thought to keep her feelings out of it.
Would I recommend it? This was a super cute read and I think it’s going to be a hyped book this summer! I think this is definitely worth read, especially if you like chick lit and The Bachelor franchise.