Lynn and Cindy: The summer is flying by way too fast, but it’s never too late for some summer love! What could be better than reading one of these sweet romance books while lying on the beach, on a boat, or just stretched out in a hammock?
Lynn: I’m a life-long fan of Georgette Heyer’s Regency romance, and clearly Cindy Anstey is, too. Her wonderful Love, Lies and Spies (2016) is a charming salute to all the Regency tropes, and the result is a complete delight. The bookish Juliana Telford is eagerly anticipating the London debutante season, not because of the giddy excitement of balls, gowns, afternoon calls, and eligible young men, but because it will give her a chance to find a publisher. She and her father have labored over a scientific tome on the Lady Beetle, and Juliana wants nothing more than to publish it (before a competitor does), then return to her studies. Beautiful and smart, Juliana is also somewhat clumsy. After a fall over a cliff, she is rescued by a pair of handsome young men. The blue eyed Spencer Northam infuriates Juliana, yet she can’t get him out of her thoughts. But Spencer is not just the fashionable fop he seems. Spencer works for the War Office, and is hunting a dangerous spy giving aid to Britain’s enemy. I’m sure you already know the conclusion, but getting there is sheer pleasure. Witty dialogue, mistaken identities, and convoluted motives all add up to the perfect summer read.
Cindy: Yes, summer is going too quickly, but what if you could squeeze in double the fun and romance? Two Summers (2016) by Aimee Freidman does just that. Summer Everett plans to spend her vacation in Provence visiting her artist father. Summer’s mom is nervous about the trip, and Summer chalks it up to distance—she doesn’t know about the family secrets awaiting her in the south of France. A phone call at the airport makes all the difference. In one story thread, Summer ignores the ringing cell and boards the plane. In the alternate story, Summer answers the phone and is disappointed to hear her father tell her it’s not a good idea for her to come this summer. The alternate realities aren’t really explained, but life is a mystery, non? The novel alternates back and forth between the storylines. Each features a romantic interest, artistic sensibilities, and Summer’s journey toward understanding her father and his secrets. There are sweet kisses with boys on both sides of the pond, and then there are the chocolate-filled, still-warm-from-the-oven croissants. What’s not to love?
Lynn and Cindy: If those two aren’t enough, here are some other 2016 sweet romances to keep teens in the hammock.
P.S. I Like You, by Kasie West
Red Girl, Blue Boy, by Lauren Baratz-Logsted
Summer Days and Summer Nights: 12 Love Stories, edited by Stephanie Perkins
The Unexpected Everything, by Morgan Matson