It's finally summer, officially speaking. School is done, temperatures are (mostly) up, and whether you're looking at hot days, or rainy days, or maybe a hurricane (piss off, Debby), the implication with "summer reading" is that there's more time for reading.

Oddly enough, I sometimes find I have less time to read in the summer because there's so much other stuff I want to do and I have to drive to get to it, which means I can't read on the way there. But I still latch on to that expectation of more time even when I have less of it. So I have quite a list of books I want to read, and while some of these aren't available yet, I wanted to share what's on my "Can't Wait to Read" list for the next month or so.

Read the last Smart Bitches, Trashy Books on why using cliched coffee talk to describe characters is so over.

Where the Heart Lies by Michelle Garren Flye (Carina Press, July 16)

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This contemporary romance is set in a small town, which is hugely popular as a setting right now. Alicia Galloway is a widow who has moved to her late husband's hometown to run the bookstore and raise her kids. The town hell-raiser, her late husband's best friend, tries to help out, but their attraction is not welcomed by either of them—nor by the town, who are all against the two of them hooking up. While usually nebby townspeople bug me, I'm so curious about this book because of the newcomer vs. longtime resident dynamic, and the way in which the characters struggle with the way other people see them.

pushing the limits Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry (Harlequin Teen, July 31)

This is a YA romance that has received a lot of online discussion. Jane from DearAuthor discussed it with me in our last podcast, and she said it was a really emotional story. She doesn't usually rave about YA as much as I do, so I'm very curious about this book. It's about two teens brought together by their court-ordered therapist. Echo is scarred by an event she can't remember, and Noah has been labeled a “problem child” for doing what he thought was right. The opening excerpt, which you can read on Amazon hooked me totally, and based on the recommendations, I cannot wait to read this. I'm trying to keep myself from doing so until closer to the end of July, but I think I'm going to lose that battle.

 

lady never lies A Lady Never Lies by Juliana Gray (Berkley/Penguin, Aug. 7)

This historical romance features a scheming and savvy heroine looking to save herself financially, and an inventor hero who never had any time for females until now. There's car racing, incredible tension and, my favorite, witty banter! I started reading the first chapter and made myself stop, even though I loved what I read. I'm not going to be able to resist reading this early either. My literary willpower is so sad sometimes.

What about you? What books are you hopping up and down to read as soon as possible? Do you plan your vacation reading like I do? Wherever you go, I hope you bring the best books with you!

Sarah Wendell is the co-creator, editor and mastermind of the popular romance blog Smart Bitches, Trashy Books.