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Spicy Summer Book Review: 5 of My Fav Reads This Summer

Let’s be honest — reading during the school year is hard. Assignments pile up and weekends fill up with tailgates, first dates, and plans with friends; finding the time to sit down and read a good book is hard. The summer, however, is a completely different story.

In between the time when I was working this summer and making time to see my friends from school, I found myself craving the feeling of finishing a good book. For me, there’s no other feeling like escaping into a fantasy world filled with lavish vacations and cheesy relationships.

Here are five (in no particular order) of my favorite spicy, steamy, and, most of the time, sentimental reads from this summer.

things we never got over by lucy score

This book will always hold a very special place in my heart. This novel has the perfect blend of a protagonist taking her own journey while also incorporating a cute, romantic love story with a little spice here and there. Another thing that makes Score such a great writer is her acute attention to detail. The small town that she sets this story in flourishes with personality and quirkiness and makes the overall book just that much better.

Spice rating: Medium

A NOT SO MEET CUTE BY MEGHAN QUINN

This book, although mild when it comes to spice level, kept me reading 24/7. The basic premise is the meet-cute and story of a desperate CEO and a helpless, newly unemployed woman. Their tumultuous relationship had me turning pages at any free chance I got. Although a tad on the cliché side, Quinn captures her readers with the adorableness of her protagonist that has you falling in love not only with the characters, but also with her writing.

Spice rating: Mild

PRETEND YOU’RE MINE BY LUCY SCORE

This was the second Lucy Score book that I read and it definitely did not disappoint. Score writes a lot of her novels as parts of a series, which I absolutely adore. Pretend You’re Mine is the first book in the Benevolence series; it’s set around the same central small town (in this case, Benevolence), but each book explores a different character. This particular story grabbed me because of the “fake engagement” trope — I’m a sucker for it. Not to mention, the ratio of character development and growth to spiciness is perfect. This book is the perfect novel version of a Hallmark movie.

Spice rating: Hot

terms and conditions by lauren asher

This book also follows the “fake engagement” trope, so I’m sure you can assume how I felt about it! Besides the trope, I really did fall in love with these characters. The chemistry that Asher creates and writes into these characters’ relationships builds a growing pressure throughout the entire read to finish the book quickly, so that’s exactly what I did! Centered around their always unspoken feelings for each other, the characters in Asher’s book grow to learn to love each other the way they deserve, and in turn, it makes for a beautiful story. However, I mistakingly read this book first in a series when it’s actually the second, so I’d recommend trying the Dreamland Billionaire series from start!

Spice rating: Medium

people we meet on vacation by emily henry

Although not my favorite read of the summer, this book was the perfect option for reading on the beach. Henry’s writing in this book follows two different timelines of the present-day versus the past. In the past, we follow the adventures of her two central characters and the fun, unique vacations they go on together. In the present storyline, Henry unravels the underlying feelings of her characters from the past and allows them to finally act on their feelings. Although it’s a bit dull in comparison to the hot and steamy romances I’ve read before, People We Meet on Vacation was a cute love story that I got to finish during my last few days of summer.

Spice rating: Super mild

Altogether, my summer reads these past few months took me through love journeys that ranged from small-town meet-cutes to lavish romances, and I couldn’t have loved them more. My favorite thing about books is their ability to transport you into worlds you never even knew existed, and my books of the summer certainly didn’t disappoint.

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Kiley Smyth

U Mass Amherst '23

Kiley is a Senior at UMass Amherst studying Journalism with a concentration in Public Relations. She is also pursuing a certificate in Film Studies!
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