Can you believe we’re in 2021?!?! What a tumultuous start, I hope that with the promise of a new year, we’re able to put down the doomscrool and be able to read beautiful books that uplift our mood. This month delivers sweet romances, unlikely pairings, and an ode to a summer that can change the direction of your life.
You Have a Match by Emma Lord
When Abby signs up for a DNA service, it’s mainly to give her friend and secret love interest, Leo, a nudge. After all, she knows who she is already: Avid photographer. Injury-prone tree climber. Best friend to Leo and Connie…although ever since the B.E.I. (Big Embarrassing Incident) with Leo, things have been awkward on that front.
But she didn’t know she’s a younger sister.
When the DNA service reveals Abby has a secret sister, shimmery-haired Instagram star Savannah Tully, it’s hard to believe they’re from the same planet, never mind the same parents — especially considering Savannah, queen of green smoothies, is only a year and a half older than Abby herself.
The logical course of action? Meet up at summer camp (obviously) and figure out why Abby’s parents gave Savvy up for adoption. But there are complications: Savvy is a rigid rule-follower and total narc. Leo is the camp’s co-chef, putting Abby’s growing feelings for him on blast. And her parents have a secret that threatens to unravel everything.
But part of life is showing up, leaning in, and learning to fit all your awkward pieces together. Because sometimes, the hardest things can also be the best ones.
This is a young adult novel that I could not get enough of. It does deal with very heavy topics but it is an all encompassing novel that talks about love, mental health, grief and some deep teen angst. The story opens with a life changing event for Abby, what she thought was going to be a genetics test of her unibrow abilities turns out to actually unearth a long lost sister. A sort of Parent Trap story ensues with the two meeting up at camp. With the Puget Sound in the background, they find that unearthing their parent’s secrets might be what breaks the camel’s back. There’s also a whole bunch of fun at summer camp with summer romances and character changing discoveries.
Lore by Alexandra Bracken
Every seven years, the Agon begins. As punishment for a past rebellion, nine Greek gods are forced to walk the earth as mortals. They are hunted by the descendants of ancient bloodlines, all eager to kill a god and seize their divine power and immortality.
Long ago, Lore Perseous fled that brutal world, turning her back on the hunt’s promises of eternal glory after her family was murdered by a rival line. For years she’s pushed away any thought of revenge against the man—now a god—responsible for their deaths.
Yet as the next hunt dawns over New York City, two participants seek her out: Castor, a childhood friend Lore believed to be dead, and Athena, one of the last of the original gods, now gravely wounded.
The goddess offers an alliance against their mutual enemy and a way to leave the Agon behind forever. But Lore’s decision to rejoin the hunt, binding her fate to Athena’s, will come at a deadly cost—and it may not be enough to stop the rise of a new god with the power to bring humanity to its knees.
This greek inspired story set in modern times is a combination of The Hunger Games and Percy Jackson. I loved delving into the Greek Mythology stories and seeing these old stories through a new feminist viewpoint. Lore is our heroine and she’s been trying to leave the world of the Hunt behind. We’re led into a spellbinding tale as Lore navigates the blending of the hunters in her new world. When old enemies resurface she has to do everything in her power to protect her friends and city but not all is at it seems to be. There’s also a romance element weaved throughout the story that will have you rooting for every scene they have together.
High Risk Rookie by Odette Stone
He’s a gifted hockey player who can’t get his act together.
The moment I heard about Levi Ziegler, I had a bad feeling in my gut.
As a seasoned sports agent, I just knew he was going to be trouble.
But despite my reservations, as a favor to the GM of the Vancouver Wolves, I agreed to sign this young, wild player as a client.
One reckless night, one terrible mistake, and suddenly my entire world, and everything I have worked for, is on thin ice.
Thanks to my rookie.
I shouldn’t work with him professionally, because I can’t seem to keep my hands off him.
The more tangled our lies get, the more complicated our relationship becomes.
Can I figure out how to get him signed with the team, while keeping him out of my bed and my heart?
He’s a high risk rookie, and he’s a liability I can’t resist.
I discovered this series by way of a friend and I gobbled up all three books in the series in a weekend. This is the fourth new standalone. Her books capture your attention and give you an enthralling fun read from start to finish. In this age gap romance, this sports agent is tasked with bringing on a rookie that seems to have disappeared from his team. Levi and Krista have a crazy start but as they develop in the story so do their feelings. Their chemistry skates across the pages and drives this hockey romance into molten hot level.
Wrecked Palace by Catherine Cowles
One night was all it took for everything to change.
From college student to guardian in a single breath.
My siblings became my world.
No time for date nights or romantic dreams.
I traded quiet weekends for sleepless nights.
Giving my all to make sure they were cared for.
But Griffin had a brokenness that called to me—one that mirrored my own.
Gruff and just a little bit reckless.
He was the last thing I needed. But everything I wanted.
Only someone isn’t happy about this new life I’m building.
Deciding to set fire to everything I hold close.
And when the smoke clears, there might be only ashes left behind…
This author always delivers a lyrical story and in this third standalone from the series, a brooding hero and a heroine who has too much on her plate. We met both of these characters in book 1 but you do not need to read them in order. This edition delivers the real essence of their characters and broadens what we know about them. Caelyn had big plans that were put on hold when she took on the guardianship of siblings. They are the world to her, you can feel that in the story. You can also feel the amount of stress she’s under. When their safety is threatened, she finds solace in the sexy stranger who has steadily visited her at work. Their story is romantic and a slow burn.
What are you reading this month?