5 Sizzling Summer Reads Perfect for Vacation Relaxation

5 Sizzling Summer Reads Perfect for Vacation Relaxation

Summer is in full swing and that means I am on the lookout for (in my opinion) the best sizzling summer reads to throw in your suitcase as you’re getting ready to set off to your summer vacation destination, or to read as you curl up on your sofa with the AC cranked up high for a relaxing staycation. Whichever you prefer. Whether you’re planning a vacation, a staycation or simply looking for a book with an immersive escape, this post has you covered. Not in sunblock…Don’t forget to grab that along with one of these great reads.

Sizzling Summer Reads

Book cover for People We Meet on Vacation
People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry

People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry

My first recommendation is without a doubt one of my favorite reads of 2021 so far. I fell head over heels in love with the characters, Poppy and Alex. Their friendship is adorable and feels as if it is glowing brightly right off the pages. The writing was lyrical, the vacations Poppy and Alex take together are dreamy and their witty banter is downright hilarious. The author definitely breathed opposites attract and life into these characters. Reading this recently published title will definitely have you itching to travel this summer! This book is a perfect getaway read.

  1. Poppy and Alex. Alex and Poppy. They have nothing in common. She’s a wild child; he wears khakis. She has insatiable wanderlust; he prefers to stay home with a book. Yet somehow, they are the very best of friends. Most of the year they live apart—she is in NYC and he is in their small hometown in Ohio—but every summer, for a decade, they have taken one glorious week of vacation together.

Until 2 years ago, when they ruined everything. They haven’t spoken since.

When Poppy thinks of the last time she was truly happy, Alex instantly pops into her head. She decides to reach out to him, see if he would be down for another trip together. Miraculously, he agrees. This vacation could be their final one and Poppy is determined to make sure that doesn’t happen, and tear down this wall that is caught between them.

But that wall is the unspoken, one big truth that has always stood quietly in the middle of their friendship…What could possibly go wrong?

Book cover for A Cuban Girl's Guide to Tea and Tomorrow
A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow by Laura Taylor Namey

A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow by Laura Taylor Namey

The next book to definitely read this summer is a wonderful Young Adult title that has mouth watering food descriptions, a charming and witty English boy and a passionate Cuban girl who is at home in the kitchen. Lila Reyes was such a wonderful character and I adored her journey of self-discovery and how she explored her struggles with grief and mental health. She and Orion Maxwell build a gorgeously warm, and empathetic friendship/relationship which I found super sweet. Reading this book will have you booking a flight to the UK so you can see for yourself the gorgeous architecture and eat the deliciously described biscuits and pastries!

Publisher’s description

Spending a summer in England was never part of Lila Reyes plan. Her plan was simple:

  1. 1. Take over her abuelas role as head baker
  2. Move in with her best friend after graduation
  3. Live happily ever after with her boyfriend

Unfortunately, everything falls apart. Including Lila. Her family decides that a full summer spending time with her family in Winchester, England will help her get out of her funk. At first, she sees this trip as a nightmare. Then she meets Orion Maxwell…A way too gorgeous teashop clerk who takes it upon himself to be Lila’s personal tour guide. Before long, Orion—and England—are making Lila feel almost back to her normal self. Soon, a new future starts to appear in Lila’s mind…

Book cover for The Switch by Beth O'Leary
The Switch by Beth O’Leary

The Switch by Beth O’Leary

Have you ever thought about switching lives with someone else? Me too. Have you ever thought about switching lives with your elderly grandmother? Maybe, maybe not! This is exactly what Leena and Eileen Cotton do in this humorous, witty and tear-jerking story. I highly recommend listening to the audiobook. The two narrators do a fantastic job of highlighting the main characters in a wholesome and endearing light. If you’re searching for an easy and effortless summer read, look no further! This granddaughter and grandmother dynamic duo will steal your heart in the first few chapters.

Publisher’s description

Eileen is sick of being 79. Leena is tired of life in her twenties. Maybe it’s time they swapped places…

Leena Cotton is a true overachiever. So much so, her boss has ordered her to take a two-month sabbatical. Leena can hardly argue with her boss, she knows she is stressed out and still grieving after the loss of her sister. She escapes to her grandmother Eileen’s house for some peace and quiet.

Eileen is newly single thanks to her no-good husband who decided he wanted to start a new life with his dance instructor—good riddance. She is almost 80 but, she would like a second chance at love. Sadly, her tiny Yorkshire village doesn’t offer many eligible gentlemen. When her granddaughter arrives at her doorstep and devises a solution for the both of them, Eileen cannot resist. A two-month swap. Leena and Eileen swap cities, homes and lives and along the way they build new friendships and build connections they never thought possible. Life will never again be the same for either of them…

Book cover: Party of two
Party of Two by Jasmine Guillory

Party of Two by Jasmine Guillory

Next up is a lovely little romance by one of my favorite authors, Jasmine Guillory. Her books never disappoint! This book is the fifth title in The Wedding Date series but, you do not need to read the previous books to read this one. This book is full of fun romantic acts, clandestine dates, and silly disguises. The main characters, Olivia and Max, have an instant connection as they discuss how delicious and perfect a chocolate cake truly is. Max is the senator (hence the silly disguises) and he sweeps Olivia off of her feet in the most adorable and thoughtful ways. I enjoyed this book so much I practically flew through it! If you’re looking for a lighthearted romance book to read this summer, look no further. Maybe read it with a slice of cake though…Delicious cake is mentioned frequently in this book.

Publisher’s description

Dating is the last thing on Olivia Monroe’s mind when she moves to LA to start her own law firm. Relationships are messy and time consuming, and she is content with her life at the moment. When she meets a gorgeous man at the hotel bar and they spend the entire evening flirting (and talking about chocolate cake) she enjoys herself. Then she finds out that gorgeous man is the hotshot junior senator Max Powell. Olivia has zero interest in dating a politician but, when a cake arrives at her office with the cutest message from Max himself, she can’t resist—it is chocolate cake, after all.

Olivia is surprised to find that she likes Max. Okay, she really likes Max. Because of his high-profile job, they start to date each other secretly. When they finally do go public, things become challenging. Olivia knows that what she and Max have is special but is it strong enough to survive the heat of the spotlight?

act your age, eve brown
Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert

Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert

My final book recommendation is a book that I believe should be on everyone’s reading list this summer. It was written by the author that got me hooked on romantic-comedy novels: Talia Hibbert and her lovely series, The Brown Sisters.

This is another book series where you do not have to read the books in order, which is great because I highly recommend reading all three books in the series. But, for right now, I will only talk about the third Brown sister, Eve Brown.

This book is the definition of a cute romance but, it also highlights characters with disabilities in an honest and positive way. Eve Brown is the youngest of her sisters and also the flightiest. She meets Jacob who is without a doubt the grumpiest character I’ve ever met yet somehow, he is still so lovable. And since it is a romance novel, yes, of course, they fall in love! If you’re looking for a book to read that will have you grinning ear to ear a lot and laughing hysterically, here you go. You can thank me later.

Publisher’s description

Eve Brown is a certified hot mess. She has hopped from job to job to job and isn’t quite sure what her path or purpose is in the world. Her parents have had enough. It’s time for Eve to grow up. She sets out to do just that in the only way she knows how—getting a job and keeping it. Hopefully.

Jacob Wayne is in control. Always. If not, he may lose his mind. Seriously. The bed and breakfast he owns and operates is perfect. Well, at least it will be once he hires a chef that marks every single one of his checkboxes. When a purple haired tornado of a woman shows up out of the blue to interview for the position he tells her absolutely not will he hire her. Then she hits him with her car…Supposedly by accident. Yeah right.

Now Jacobs arm is broken, his B&B is understaffed and Eve is the new chef. Great. Before long, Eve has infiltrated everything in the building—his kitchen, his work, and his spare bedroom. Jacob hates all of it. Well, a little bit. Sunny, chaotic Eve begins to melt Jacob’s frosty exterior. The more time they spend together, the more the heat between them is impossible to ignore.

In conclusion

I hope you have added one (or all) of these great sizzling summer books to your list. These books are perfect if you’re searching for an immersive escape. When I’m looking for a great book for summer, I look for easygoing fun books and that is exactly what these books are. So, which one are you going to read this summer? I’d love to know! Let me know in the comments. Happy reading, and happy summer!

Looking for other great book suggestions? Listen to the Booklovers Podcast.

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Shayna is an Adult Services Specialist at Clermont County Public Library’s New Richmond Branch. Some of her favorite authors are Laini Taylor, JK Rowling and Anthony Doerr.

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