Top 5 Poolside Reads for 2021Read Now
Why does reading a book at the pool always sound like heaven?
Yeah, cozying up by the fire has its place in time, but there’s nothing better than a heart-swooning romance, preferably one chock-full of humor, read poolside. So if you’re looking for your next great summer read in the next three months, here are a few of my suggestions.
These are all clean, romantic comedies by some of my favorite indie authors:
Blind Dates, Bridesmaids, & Other Disasters by Aspen Hadley
On the surface, Rachel Steven's life looks perfect.
One great job, two awesome roommates, and a supportive family. But when her roommate Hannah announces her engagement, Rachel sees eternal singleness and innumerable cats in her future. When the bride-to-be issues a challenge--go on six blind dates and before the "I do's" --Rachel isn't convinced her imagined future is that bad in comparison. The dates are predictably horrible and the situation further complicated by the return of James, Rachel's first, long-lost love. James says he is over her . . . but is Rachel over him?
Dating Mr. Darcy by Kate O'Keeffe
Is it a truth universally acknowledged, that a girl must compete on reality TV to win a modern-day Mr. Darcy's heart?
Emma Brady is having doubts about how far she'll go to promote her new activewear line. Sure, being on a reality show could be the big break her business so desperately needs, but is putting up with a Mr. Darcy wannabe worth it?
Mr HOA by Carina Taylor
It’s just bad business to admit to being homeless when you’re the top selling real estate agent in the county. So when a fellow evictee, Nola, comes up with a solution to my homeless situation, I take her up on her offer.
An empty house with a gorgeous roommate? Sign me up.
I didn’t know that staying at her friend’s house would lead to us pretending to be married.
The Match by Sarah Adams
Having worked for Southern Service Paws for a few years now, I like to think I’m prepared for just about any client meeting under the sun. I am dead wrong.
The day I meet with single dad, Jacob Broaden, about potentially matching his daughter with one of our service dogs, I learn a few valuable lessons.
1) Always set my alarm clock.
2) Single dads are way hotter than I previously thought.
3) It is possible to go from fantasizing about kissing someone to wishing they would be run over by a truck in a matter of two minutes.
It's Just Business by Summer Dowell
Growing up, Haley Lane's mom had more boyfriends than flowers have petals. A fact that has given Haley zero hope for love. It doesn’t exist. But when a charming man with an annoyingly perfect smile and a habit of volunteering keeps running into her, she wonders if she was wrong all along.
That is until she realizes he's the one that stole her flower shop.
What books would you add to this list??
The Fake Love SeriesRead Now
Do you have a favorite romance trope? One you can read over and over?
Fake romances are that for me. I love the awkwardness and hilarious moments those unplanned “relationships” take on. Which is what inspired me to write the Fake Love Series. It's a three book series that follows the love stories of three siblings.
Book one, A Temporary Marriage, is about the oldest brother Ryan. He’s finally on the cusp of success with his company when things come to a crashing halt. To save his business he has to propose a fake marriage plan to his good friend, Kylee.
Book two, A Temporary Boyfriend, is about the sister, Madison. She is a type-A that has spent the last six years working toward a job that’s almost in her grasp. She’s got the qualifications, the schooling, the perfect resume; all that’s left is to impress her future boss. Something a white lie about an imaginary boyfriend can achieve.
Book three, A Temporary Engagement, is about the last sibling, Mason. Despite his natural charm and charisma, when his big mouth gets him into trouble, he needs some last-minute help. He just didn't expect his rescuer to be quite so attractive. Or so completely uninterested in him.
This is such a fun group of rom coms that you can GRAB HERE! But first, you need to grab the FREE prequel to this series, A Temporary Situation, below! Don’t miss out!
Book Review Time! I am clearly on a historical/regency romance kick guys!
A Regrettable Proposal by Jennie Goutet:
Orphaned at a young age, Eleanor wants nothing more than to settle in a home of her own. Stratford, having met once with betrayal, desires a woman who will be true. When a complicated inheritance forces them together, they little expect this to be the answer to their innermost desires.
I loved the way this book started out with Lord Stratford totally putting his foot in his mouth . I like how his and Eleanor’s relationship slowly built throughout the book, it made it believable. The treason side story was a fun addition too. Overall a great mix of characters and plotlines to make a fun regency novel! I’d definitely recommend!
A Foolish Heart by Martha Keyes:
Mercy Marcotte doesn't deserve a second chance at love. At least, that's what she's believed since jilting Solomon Kennett, the man she loved, when his fortunes took a turn for the worse. But Solomon is back from the West Indies, rich, aloof, and about to offer for Mercy's best friend.
This was a fun remake of a midsummers night dream. Love the way the main characters get themselves into a love pickle by their stubbornness. I think the side characters, especially Viola, are my favorite though. Their ridiculousness make the story so fun. A great, regency novel!
Rescuing Lord Inglewood by Sally Britton
All he wants is someone he can trust. All she wants is to belong. But when compromising circumstances force them together, do they have a chance at finding love?
This is the first of Sally Britton’s book I’ve read and I really enjoyed it! The premise is that after a few unplanned mishaps, the two main characters are forced into an engagement/marriage.
I loved the idea of two lonely people coming together for support, and how Esther overcame her fear of not being wanted. I probably would’ve liked a little more romance, by the end I wasn’t sure and I really believed that they fell in love with each other. But other than that it was a fun read with a little bit of everything in it!
A Diamond in the Rough by Jen Turano
To save her family from financial ruin, Miss Poppy Garrison accepts an unusual proposition to participate in the New York social season in exchange for her grandmother settling a family loan that has unexpectedly come due.
This was such a fun, witty historical fiction! Poppy is klutzy and completely unpredictable as she makes her debut into New York society. I love the friendships formed as well as the transformation between her and her grandma. And of course, the unexpected love story between her and Reginald. Overall a hilarious, light romance book. I definitely recommend if you need a good laugh!
The Accidental Beauty Queen by Teri Wilson
"Charlotte Gorman loves her job as an elementary school librarian, and is content to experience life through the pages of her books. Which couldn’t be more opposite from her identical twin sister. Ginny, an Instagram-famous beauty pageant contestant, has been chasing a crown since she was old enough to enunciate the words world peace, and she’s not giving up until she gets the title of Miss American Treasure. And Ginny’s refusing to do it alone this time."
I really enjoyed this book! It had a Miss Congeniality vibe that I really loved, and the connection between the sisters was totally relatable. It had the perfect amount of fun, laugh-out-loud moments while still maintaining an engaging story line. Cute, fast romantic comedy!
Catching Coy by Ranee S. Clark
"From the moment Coy Jones lays eyes on Bellamy Hansen, he knows he’s falling in love. Despite the sparks flying between the two, there’s one problem: Bellamy is not one of the eight women competing for Coy’s heart on the popular dating reality show, The Catch. She’s the manager of the trendy Ranch House bed and breakfast where the show is set this season in the small town of Little River."
This was such a fun read! It was basically a book version of the reality show The Bachelor and I loved it. The connection between Bellamy and Coy was realistic and I liked how their relationship started out as a friendship. Definitely recommend this for anyone looking for a fun, clean romance!
The second book in The Fake Love series is hereeeee!!! Guys, The Temporary Boyfriend is a fun, laugh-out-loud romantic comedy that will honestly just make you feel good and happy by the end. Its available on Amazon now and is free to Kindle Unlimited members. Go grab it!
"I need a boyfriend. For the weekend."
Type A Madison Hudson has spent the last six years working toward the nutritionist position that’s almost in her grasp. She’s got the qualifications, the schooling, the perfect resume; all that’s left is to impress her future boss. Something a white lie about an imaginary boyfriend can achieve.
Computer nerd Eric Ward usually stays away from drama. But when his sister's roommate needs a boyfriend for a night, he can’t find an excuse to say no. How hard can one evening be? Pity no one told him what a knockout his fake girlfriend would be.
How long before their little white lie turns into a whole lot more than these two planned for?
Don't miss A Temporary Marriage, the second book of The Fake Love series by Summer Dowell. If you like fake relationships and swoon worthy moments, then this is a romantic comedy you won't put down!
We are just three weeks away from the release of the first book in my Fake Love Series! I'm so excited for you to get your hands on A TEMPORARY MARRIAGE.
This is a super cute, fun read that will make you smile or at least shake your head at the situation Kylee and Ryan get themselves in.
Click on the image above to preorder yours today!
Here's a teaser below to get you started:
"Ryan sat in his chair, tapping his fingers mindlessly on the vinyl tabletop in front of him. He’d gotten to Rodrigo’s a few minutes early, so he’d gone ahead and ordered burritos for the both of them. Extra cheese for him, no beans and extra guacamole for Kylee.
His phone buzzed with a text. When he pulled it out, he saw it was from his brother.
Did she agree to it?? Is she as nuts as you?
Ryan blew a breath of air out as he responded.
No, she’s not here yet. Stop bugging me.
He turned off his phone before sliding it back into his pocket.
A blonde girl entered the place, and for a second, he thought it was her. But when she turned, there was no hint of Kylee’s grin or bright-green eyes. He ran a hand through his hair and leaned back into the chair. He needed to relax; his nerves were pushing him to the edge.
Ryan had a good reason to be nervous, though. He was pretty sure there was at least a 70% chance Kylee would turn his request down. If he hadn’t been so desperate, there was no way he would’ve considered asking her in the first place. Really, who in their right mind asked one of their best friends to--
“Hey, Ryan.” Kylee rapped her knuckles on the tabletop, pulling Ryan out of his musings.
“Kylee, oh, good. You came!” He jumped up and reached for an impromptu hug.
She gave him a funny look, and he shrugged, trying to play it off. He and Kylee were good friends, but they weren’t normally the touchy-feely type.
“Well, I said I’d come.” She shrugged as she settled into the chair across from him. “So here I am.”
“Yeah, of course. I just...never mind.” Despite the fact that Ryan wanted to dive right into his request, he knew they’d need a little small talk first. Something to ease into his plea. “I ordered us both burritos, so I hope you haven’t discovered a love for beans in the last couple of weeks.”
“Definitely not.” She wrinkled her nose. “If I ever do develop an affinity for them, please have my taste buds checked.”
Her easy smile put him a little more at ease. This was Kylee. She was one of his best friends. Everything would be fine...."
Behind The Author Episode 3: Where Do Authors Get Inspiration for Unique Stories?Read Now
These are the notes from episode 3 of the Behind the Author Series--all about where authors get inspiration for their books. These are just brief, summarizing snippets of the clip. To see the full video, you can click HERE.
"I think the genre an author writes in has a big impact on their storylines since as a general rule, authors write to meet their readers' expectations.
I am a romance author, and while every romance book is unique, for the most part, they follow the same general story line that readers expect:
How authors make each of their stories interesting is by creating unique scenarios, details, and characters. How do they repeatedly do this?
It’s ten times easier to write or talk about a topic you have some knowledge and interesting, so that’s exactly what writers generally do.
Summary: story ideas come from things I’m familiar with."
Hope this was an interesting angle!
These are the notes from episode 2 of the Behind the Author Series--all about whether or not authors know the end of their book when they start writing. These are just brief, summarizing snippets of the clip. To see the full video, you can click HERE.
"Here’s the magic answer: SOMETIMES.
There are two groups of authors.
I do a hybrid.
I like to plot out a very skeletal version of my story. Just the barest details of what’s going to happen. From there I start writing. I usually write the first chapter. Then I stop and write an in-depth, almost mini-plot outline of the next chapter. Then I go ahead and write the second chapter.
I repeat this as I go throughout the book, progressively building a complete story that follows the initial skeletal outline I planned.
So basically my answer is yes, I know how my story is going to end. What I don’t know is exactly how it’s going to get there.
In summary though, every author is unique and will have their own writing and plotting methods."
Hope this was some interesting insight!
These are the notes from episode 1 of the Behind the Author Series--all about how I create a character profile. These are just brief, summarizing snippets of the clip. To see the full video, you can click HERE.
"Obviously, characters have an overall internal character arc developing throughout the story, and that’s great and exciting, but sometimes the more fun part is actually creating a realistic person from nothing.
First, I like to start with physical traits like face and hair.
From there I move onto their body type and how they dress.
From there I go on to more non-physical features. I begin with a job or an occupation.
Next, I like to give my characters all quirks.
And last I like to give each character a hobby.
After I get all these details nailed down I put them in a spreadsheet that I can reference while I am writing. Having that baseline of their physical features, their job, their quirks and hobbies, etc. makes it so much easier to create a real person."
Hope this helps you begin to create your own character profiles!
Hi my name is Summer and I am a clean romantic comedy author who loves reading and writing! Learn more about my writing process and more here!