I happen to love the month of June for purely selfish reasons. First, it's my birthday month. And second, it's the month of "getting out of school." Thought for many people that's May, for most of my life it's been June that housed the much-awesome "last day of school." I'm not even IN school and I look forward to it. Because SUMMER.
Summer is for reading! Summer Reading is a big ol' list-making opportunity for all the people who write the words, right? And what's bonkers about my making a summer reading list is that I don't read more or less during the summer than I do any other season. I read constantly. But I know that more vacations happen in summer, and more people park themselves in leisurely positions for hours at a time with the express purpose of absorbing vitamin D from solar sources, and taking extended time for reading.
So here's a brief list of what I'm looking forward to reading this month. Please note: These are not all new books. Some have been out for ages, but I just discovered them, so they're "new" to me. I know publishing likes to push what's brand new, but if you haven't read it before, it's all new—all the more reason to read more every day, right?
The Theory of Attraction and The Seduction Hypothesis by Delphine Dryden
These are erotic contemporary romances heavily steeped in science. I want to read both because I am always curious about erotic romance, but I'm also a very finicky erotic romance reader. I don't mind explicit sexuality, and I don't mind erotic tension causing the problems between protagonists. What I dislike is the feeling that the sex is layered on top of the story instead of integrated into the plot, and when the characters stop talking like normal humans and begin practicing all their porn-tastic dialogue, regardless of how out-of-character those words may be. With these two stories, all signs point to "you will really like this" because of the mix of science, social skills and sexual curiosity.
A Prior Engagement by Karina Bliss
This is part of Karina Bliss' series of SuperRomances about SAS soldiers returning home to New Zealand after combat service. One of them, Bring Him Home, was a Sizzling Book Club selection—and in that book, the hero is tortured by a moment in combat that continues to haunt him. In A Prior Engagement, a soldier that many presumed dead returns after surviving being a prisoner of war, and comes home to find that the woman who turned down his marriage proposal before he deployed is now pretending that she had accepted the proposal, and has been grieving him ever since. SuperRomances bring the angst, but when Bliss is writing them, the characters are achingly real, and knowing this is going to make my eyes sting does not dissuade me from reading it. I just have to make sure I have many hours to indulge, and a new box of tissues nearby.
The Rebellious Ward by Joan Wolf
I have been feeding my new love of classic Regencies by buying one or two a month and savoring them. The Rebellious Ward was originally published in 1988, and is about an illegitimate young woman who travels to live with a very socially prominent nobleman and his family. This is a guardian/ward romance, and I love how the idea of "I should not desire or like you" has changed—and not changed—in romances over the years.
An Invitation to Sin by Sarah Morgan
Sarah Morgan writes fantastic Harlequin Presents romances. She's an absolute autobuy author for me, in part because her characters are flawed, but always in a way that inspires empathy in me as a reader for the cause of their flaws, and hope for them to change for the better. The heroine, Taylor, is an actress with a tattered reputation, one she's been trying to rebuild professionally and personally for years. When the hero, a businessman, is caught in a somewhat compromising position with her, they embark on a pretend engagement to repair both their immediate problems.
It Happened One Midnight by Julie Anne Long
This is technically, and by "technically" I mean "according to publishing calendars which are completely weird," a "July" book because it comes out June 25, 2013. I suspect this scheduling strangeness is somewhat related to the fact that Christmas decorations will show up in my local Kohl's in mid-September. But regardless of whether this is a "June" or "July" book, I'm reading it as soon as possible. I love the Pennyroyal Green series, the overarching mysteries and subplots that continue through the background, and I love Long's skill with writing emotion and intimacy, and the way she recasts familiar roles in new ways. I'm going to love reading this book, I can just tell.
So that's part of my June reading list. I'll be adding to it frequently because unfortunately I have very poor book acquisition impulse control. What about you? What are you looking forward to reading this month? I hope you'll share your reading list with me as well!
Sarah Wendell is the co-creator, editor and mastermind of the popular romance blog Smart Bitches, Trashy Books. She loves talking with romance readers, and hopes you'll share your new favorite romance reading recommendations. You can find her on Twitter @smartbitches, on Facebook, or on her couch, most likely with her eyeglasses turned towards a book.