Since quarantine started, I’ve had much more time to read, especially since we were partially furloughed and my hours have been reduced during this time.
As of today, I’ve completed 22 books in quarantine. Below are some of my favorites. For a complete list, check out my Quarantine Reads bookshelf on Goodreads.
When author Jill Shalvis messaged me through Instagram to ask if I’d like a copy of The Summer Deal, I was excited because it’s a part of her Wildstone series which I have been enjoying. Prior to her reaching out, I had read the first 2 installments and as soon as she did reach out, I was presented the perfect opportunity to dive into the third and fourth installments, since The Summer Deal is book 5. All of these books can be read as standalones as all the stories are unrelated except they all take place in the same town. Shalvis explores so many types of relationships–romantic, platonic, and familial–throughout this entire series, and I think everyone can find a story they relate to. You can read my review of The Summer Deal on my blog here.
I fell head-over-heels in love with Lyssa Kay Adams’ The Bromance Book Club last year, so I had been keeping an eye out for Undercover Bromance on Netgalley. All my waiting paid off as Adams did not disappoint! Her characters are still as complex, hilarious, and lovable as I remembered. This #MeToo inspired story will have you swooning, laughing, and applauding all the way through. (C/W: Sexual harassment/unwanted sexual advances, domestic abuse.).
I heard about Beach Read through one of the various book webinars I watched for work and once the presenters mentioned it was available through Netgalley, I requested it immediately. This one officially comes out on Tuesday, May 19th, and I can’t wait for all romance lovers to get their hands on it if they haven’t read an ARC of it already! This story is just so lovely and I remember feeling all of the female protagonist’s feelings deep down in my core while reading. A lovely romance story about two authors who learn more about themselves and each other by exploring one another’s writing styles.
I fell in love with Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ writing when a friend recommended her Chicago Stars series. It’s been a few years since I read those books, so when I read Dance Away With Me (ARC via Netgalley), I was flooded with remembrance of how extremely tough Phillips is on her characters, how deeply she makes them dig to understand themselves, and how strong they become after confronting their issues. Phillips weaves her story so carefully that when I realized I was so in love with her characters, I forgot there was a time I thought they were absolutely insane. A somewhat enemies-to-lovers story with fairy-tale like transformations of all characters as it unfolds. (C/W: death post-birth, mentions of past child abuse).
Penny Reid’s Winston Brothers series is a collection of southern romances focusing on various bearded members of the Winston family. I just started reading book 5, Dr. Strange Beard. The first book, Truth or Beard, is another enemies-to-lovers story (my favorite, if you couldn’t tell) about former best frenemies, Duane Winston and Jessica James. Duane has loved Jessica his whole life while Jessica preferred Duane’s twin brother, Beau. But Jessica mistakes one twin for the other and somehow finds herself falling for the wrong one. Reid’s stories make me laugh so much and are exactly what I need to listen to during my long walks around the neighborhood. I do fear fellow neighbors may wonder why I am laughing out loud though.
Sarah Morgan’s Family For Beginners is a beautiful story that is more about family than romance. While the romance aspect appealed to me first, the family “drama” and lessons on how to navigate family troubles kept me interested. You can read my review of Family for Beginners on my blog here.
Before quarantine began, I still had two library books checked out. Things You Save in A Fire by Katherine Center is an emotionally stirring story about a female firefighter who transfers to an all-male Boston Firehouse where she has to act like one of the guys to survive and thrive. She finds herself falling for her rookie cohort despite all attempts at closing off her emotions and falling for anyone, especially a coworker. (C/W: Rape). Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes is a beautiful love story about a misunderstood widow and a former MLB pitcher escaping the media. What I loved most about this story is that it’s about two, normal human beings who fall in love with each other on their own, without any suggestion or coercion by other people in their lives. Fortunately for me, both of these books turned out to be excellent quarantine reads.
Leave a comment below with your favorite reads during quarantine so far. Also let me know if you also read any of the books I mentioned.