Contemporary Reads for July, Part Two!


As we head into August, these books will be sure to change your reading trend and comfort that we’re more than halfway through the year! 

Engagement and Espionage by Penny Reid 

Jennifer Sylvester made her deal with the devil . . . and now they’re engaged!

But all is not well in Green Valley. A chicken choker is on the loose, 61 dead birds most “fowl” need plucking, and no time remains for Jennifer and her devilish fiancé. Desperate to find a spare moment together, Jenn and Cletus’s attempts to reconnect are thwarted by one seemingly coincidental disaster after another. It’s not long before Cletus and Jenn see a pattern emerge and the truth becomes clear.


Will an undercover mission unmask the culprit? Or are these love-birds totally plucked?

Jenn and Cletus are one of my favorite couples from the Winston brother series. I loved this new look into their dynamic. She was one of my favorite heroines for her surprising strength and grace. This book is reminiscent of a Charlaine Harris mystery novel. There’s plenty of intrigue here with the missing baking supplies and the who dun it. I can’t think of a better pair to solve mysteries than these two. It’s a little predictable but it’s very much a good setup for the rest of the series. I can’t wait to be back at the bakery and see what the rest of these characters will be up to.

Flirtasaurus by Erin Mallon 

My name is Calliope and “I bone for a living.” Kidding. I am studying to be a paleontologist though. It’s the only thing I’ve ever wanted to be, and I have finally landed the perfect museum internship to make all of my dino-loving dreams come true.

Trouble is, everyone wants me to be a gentle, loving sort of creature, but I’m more of the T-Rex type by nature – the kind who is determined to stomp and tear her way through any obstacle in order to get what she wants.

But when a sexy, rumbly-voiced astronomer plummets into my orbit and threatens to break open my hard little heart, my career and my whole way of looking at the world is suddenly on the line.

The dinosaurs didn’t see their asteroid coming.

And I sure as hell wasn’t prepared for mine.

I love a book with a hilarious title and (bonus) heroine that’s in STEM, something we don’t see too often. This is a hilarious rom com, written by someone you may have heard narrating your favorite audiobook, and has plenty of snazzy dialogue and banter. Banter is what hooks me into a story,and particularly good banter, it sets the stage for electric chemistry and our heroine needs someone who can match her in wit. And who better than Ralph, a new astronomer in the museum. This book has a fun, new kind of setting (the museum) and witty characters make this book a solid pick me up kind of romance. 

Paris is Always A Good Idea by Jenn McKinlay 

It’s been seven years since Chelsea Martin embarked on her yearlong postcollege European adventure. Since then, she’s lost her mother to cancer and watched her sister marry twice, while Chelsea’s thrown herself into work, becoming one of the most talented fundraisers for the American Cancer Coalition, and with the exception of one annoyingly competent coworker, Jason Knightley, her status as most successful moneymaker is unquestioned.

When her introverted mathematician father announces he’s getting remarried, Chelsea is forced to acknowledge that her life stopped after her mother died and that the last time she can remember being happy, in love, or enjoying her life was on her year abroad. Inspired to retrace her steps—to find Colin in Ireland, Jean Claude in France, and Marcelino in Italy—Chelsea hopes that one of these three men who stole her heart so many years ago can help her find it again. 

From the start of her journey nothing goes as planned, but as Chelsea reconnects with her old self, she also finds love in the very last place she expected.

What I really enjoyed from this book is the traveling from city to city. As traveling is on hold for much of the US, I enjoyed reading about the Irish countryside, the glamour of Paris and  the vineyards of Italy. This is  a journey of self discovery, exploration of grief and romance. As Chelsea tries to relive her first trip in each city, trying to remember when was the last time she laughed and loved, she unravels old griefs and makes new memories with an unlikely friend. Jason Knightley, her work nemesis, proves to be an interesting leading man as he spends much of the first half being your basic bro. But when Chelsea really needs him, he shows his true colors as a rational, funny partner. This is a fun beach read that is rich in description and basic in romance. 

What are you reading this month?

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