Summer always feels like the perfect time to read a romance novel, so we’ve got three reviews of three very different romances for you to add to your TBR…
Every Summer After (Carley Fortune) ⭐⭐⭐⭐✨
Six summers to fall in love. One moment to fall apart. A weekend to get it right.
They say you can never go home again, and for Persephone Fraser, ever since she made the biggest mistake of her life a decade ago, that has felt too true. Then she gets a call that sends her racing back to Barry’s Bay and back to Sam Florek—the man she never thought she’d have to live without.
But until Percy can confront the decisions she made and the years she’s spent punishing herself for them, they’ll never know whether their love might be bigger than the biggest mistakes of their past.
I absolutely raced through this book, it’s a really lovely, heartwarming coming-of-age story filled with passion and joy, with some bigger themes explored. The story is told over one weekend, with flashbacks to six summers from years before, and I think this format worked really well. The descriptions of the lake are beautiful and made it the perfect summer read. I definitely preferred the “now” storyline as opposed to the chapters of the teenage Percy, but it was all so well written and flowed well. I’d have loved some chapters from Sam’s perspective! Highly recommend for a wonderful summer read!
You Made A Fool of Death with your Beauty (Akwaeke Emezi) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Five years after an accident killed the love of her life, Feyi is learning to live again. Feyi is an artist, and after a chance encounter at a party, she is whisked away for a summer she could never have imagined, a luxurious trip to a tropical island and a curator who wants to help launch her art career. And then she falls for a guy who is definitely off-limits…
This is messy and chaotic and bright and beautiful and I really enjoyed it. I think at times the trauma was maybe a little romanticised and I can see why it wouldn’t be for everyone, I felt that sometimes Feyi’s character was too defined by this and her choices were glossed over due to this. The romance part of the story was a bit hit and miss for me, a problematic relationship and I struggled to connect with it and the ending felt rushed.
However, I thought the writing was beautiful, the descriptions were absolutely incredible – the detail about the food, the island, the art and clothes were an absolute joy to read and I was swept away by this. I would absolutely read more by Emezi, and if you enjoy slow-burn, slightly messy romance novels then I think you’ll enjoy this. I’d really recommend the audiobook, the narration is excellent.
Set On You (Amy Lea) ⭐⭐⭐✨
Curvy fitness influencer Crystal Chen built her career shattering gym stereotypes and mostly ignoring the trolls. After her recent breakup, she has little stamina left for men, instead finding solace in the gym – her place of power and positivity.
Enter firefighter Scott Ritchie, the smug new gym patron who routinely steals her favorite squat rack. Sparks fly as these ultra-competitive foes battle for gym domination. But after a series of escalating jabs, the last thing they expect is to run into each other at their grandparents’ engagement party…
This is a good read. I read it very quickly and thought it was an ideal beach read! I really liked Crystal, I thought she was endearing, funny and relatable and I enjoyed her journey and character development. I was expecting a slow-burn, enemies-to-lovers, but it was all quite rushed (and got steamy much quicker than I expected!) I actually loved the friendship element of the storyline the most, and the family relationships were great to read about! The supporting characters are really well developed too, and given just the right amount of page time. I found the ending a bit ridiculous at times, and it’s very predictable, but I enjoyed it, and it’s a great debut, I’m looking forward to reading the next book by Amy Lea!
What romances have you read this summer?