How was everyone’s June? In terms of reading mine was pretty good! I read some really great books this month. We spent a lot of time by the lake, which meant a lot of time spent relaxing and reading! A few of my favorite books this month were Home Before Dark and Pretty Things. Both of these are page turners that I highly recommend! As we gear up for July, I’m hoping to get in a few more books before we’re officially on baby watch!
As always, you can see my latest reads on my bookstgram account @enw_reads (I share ALL things books there!) and on my Amazon Shop page! If you have any book recs, send them my way! I would love to hear what you have read recently in the comments. Thanks for stopping by!
THE ROYAL WE by Heather Cocks | American Rebecca Porter was never one for fairy tales. Her twin sister, Lacey, has always been the romantic who fantasized about glamour and royalty, fame and fortune. Yet it’s Bex who seeks adventure at Oxford and finds herself living down the hall from Prince Nicholas, Great Britain’s future king. And when Bex can’t resist falling for Nick, it propels her into a world she did not expect to inhabit, under a spotlight she is not prepared to face. The relationship also comes with unimaginable baggage: hysterical tabloids, Nick’s sparkling and far more suitable ex-girlfriends, and a royal family whose private life is much thornier than anyone on the outside knows. The pressures are almost too much to bear, as Bex struggles to reconcile the man she loves with the monarch he’s fated to become. review: I can’t believe I didn’t read this book before now! With the second book, The Heir Affair, recently released I knew I needed to finally read it. This was such a fun, light book to read. Although it’s roughly 450 pages, I flew through it because I was so intrigued to learn more about the relationship between Bex and Nick. I found myself relating parts of the book to William and Kate (how could you not?!) and that made reading it *that* much more fun! There were parts of the book that dragged on a bit and felt unnecessary, but otherwise it was a good light hearted read! If you’re a fan of the Royals be sure to pick up this book because it will keep you turning the page! rating: 4 out of 5 ⭐️
THE SOUTHERN BOOK CLUB’S GUIDE TO SLAYING VAMPIRES by Grady Hendrix | Patricia Campbell had always planned for a big life, but after giving up her career as a nurse to marry an ambitious doctor and become a mother, Patricia’s life has never felt smaller. The one thing she has to look forward to is her book club, a group of Charleston mothers united only by their love for true-crime and suspenseful fiction. But when an artistic and sensitive stranger moves into the neighborhood, the book club’s meetings turn into speculation about the newcomer. Patricia is initially attracted to him, but when some local children go missing, she starts to suspect the newcomer is involved. She begins her own investigation, assuming that he’s a Jeffrey Dahmer or Ted Bundy. What she uncovers is far more terrifying, and soon she-and her book club-are the only people standing between the monster they’ve invited into their homes and their unsuspecting community. review: Ok, I know a southern book club and vampires don’t exactly mix, but hear me out.. this book was fantastic! It is totally out of my reading comfort zone, but it was such an engaging book. The premise is so unique and unlike anything I have ever read and I found the characters to be very well developed. This book kept me guessing and I really enjoyed that this book had a mix of gore, supernatural elements, and good ole classic southern details. rating: 4 out of 5 ⭐️
PRETTY THINGS by Janelle Brown | Nina once bought into the idea that her fancy liberal arts degree would lead to a fulfilling career. When that dream crashed, she turned to stealing from rich kids in L.A. alongside her Irish boyfriend, Lachlan. Nina learned from the best: Her mother was the original con artist, hustling to give her daughter a decent childhood despite their wayward life. Vanessa is a privileged young heiress who wanted to make her mark in the world. Instead she becomes an Instagram influencer–traveling the globe, receiving free clothes and products, and posing for pictures in exotic locales. But behind the covetable façade is a life marked by tragedy. After a broken engagement, Vanessa retreats to her family’s sprawling mountain estate, Stonehaven, a mansion of dark secrets not just from Vanessa’s past, but from that of a lost and troubled girl named Nina. Nina, Vanessa, and Lachlan’s paths collide here, on the cold shores of Lake Tahoe, where their intertwined lives give way to a winter of aspiration and desire, duplicity and revenge. review: I was so excited when this book showed up at my doorstep from the publisher after hearing SO much hype about it! Anyone remember The Bling Ring? I was so intrigued by that when it was happening years ago and the premise initially reminded me a bit of that! This book takes you for a wild ride and it’s full of twists and turns that I couldn’t predict! This book is very character driven and they’re developed so well that you almost feel like you know them. I thought the writing was superb and the story is told from both Nina and Vanessa’s perspective which I enjoyed. This is a wonderfully crafted book and perfectly paced to give you just enough to keep you reading! rating: 5 out of 5 ⭐️
HOME BEFORE DARK by Riley Sager | Twenty-five years ago, Maggie and her parents, Ewan and Jess, moved into Baneberry Hall, a rambling Victorian estate in the Vermont woods. They spent three weeks there before fleeing in the dead of night, an ordeal Ewan later recounted in a nonfiction book called House of Horrors. His tale of ghostly happenings and encounters with spirits became a worldwide phenomenon, rivaling The Amityville Horror in popularity—and skepticism. Today, Maggie is a restorer of old homes and too young to remember any of the events mentioned in her father’s book. When Maggie inherits Baneberry Hall after her father’s death, she returns to renovate the place to prepare it for sale. But her homecoming is anything but warm. People from the past, chronicled in House of Horrors, lurk in the shadows. Even more unnerving is Baneberry Hall itself—a place filled with relics from another era that hint at a history of dark deeds. As Maggie experiences strange occurrences straight out of her father’s book, she starts to believe that what he wrote was more fact than fiction. review: Anytime Riley Sager publishes a new book, I know I’m going to read it! Once again, his newest book Home Before Dark doesn’t disappoint! This compulsive psychological thriller is a true page turner and I absolutely devoured it. The premise reminded me a little bit of The Haunting of Hill House on Netflix and I was immediately hooked. This book is executed so well – you really almost get two books in one. One perspective is from Maggie during present day and the other perspective is from Ewan’s book, House of Horrors. This book is filled with twists, secrets, and surprises. If you like thrillers, suspense books or anything to do with paranormal activity, be sure to pick this one up ASAP! rating: 4.5 out of 5 ⭐️
HAPPY & YOU KNOW IT by Laura Hankin | After her former band shot to stardom without her, Claire reluctantly agrees to a gig as a playgroup musician for overprivileged infants on New York’s Park Avenue. Claire is surprised to discover that she is smitten with her new employers, a welcoming clique of wellness addicts with impossibly shiny hair, who whirl from juice cleanse to overpriced miracle vitamins to spin class with limitless energy. There is perfect hostess Whitney who is on the brink of social-media stardom and just needs to find a way to keep her perfect life from falling apart. Caustically funny, recent stay-at-home mom Amara who is struggling to embrace her new identity. And old money, veteran mom Gwen who never misses an opportunity to dole out parenting advice. But as Claire grows closer to the cool women who pay her bills, she uncovers secrets and betrayals that no amount of activated charcoal can fix. review: This was one of my Book of the Month selections for June and it wasn’t my favorite. It was a little lackluster and I didn’t find myself enjoying it or relating to any of the characters. This book did peel back the curtain of motherhood and showed the pressures moms feel to do everything perfectly, which I appreciated. The story ended up being much slower than I anticipated and I kept reading hoping it would pick up. It did finally pick up towards the end with a decent twist, but it still didn’t meet my expectations! I was hoping it would be along the lines of When Life Gives You Lululemons! I definitely encourage you to read it and see if you like it though. rating: 3 out of 5 ⭐️
28 SUMMERS by Elin Hilderbrand | When Mallory Blessing’s son, Link, receives deathbed instructions from his mother to call a number on a slip of paper in her desk drawer, he’s not sure what to expect. But he certainly does not expect Jake McCloud to answer. It’s the late spring of 2020 and Jake’s wife, Ursula DeGournsey, is the frontrunner in the upcoming Presidential election. There must be a mistake, Link thinks. How do Mallory and Jake know each other?
Flash back to the sweet summer of 1993: Mallory has just inherited a beachfront cottage on Nantucket from her aunt, and she agrees to host her brother’s bachelor party. Cooper’s friend from college, Jake McCloud, attends, and Jake and Mallory form a bond that will persevere – through marriage, children, and beyond. review: You know it’s officially summer time when Elin Hilderbrand’s latest book is published! This book is classic Elin – filled with romance, a Nantucket setting, and a lovable cast of characters. I thought this book was fantastic and although it deals with an affair that spans decades, I think Elin handles it well with this book. The characters are flawed but multifaceted and they’re so well developed that they feel like old friends by the end. I always enjoy Elin Hilderbrands books, but this one was definitely up there in my list of favorites. In particular, I loved how the beginning of each chapter started out with everything that was being talked about during that year. I thought that was such a fun way to document the changes each year with a book that spans over a few decades. Between the quintessential Nantucket setting, the political aspect, and the pop culture references, this book was a five star read for me! rating: 5 out of 5 ⭐️
THE LAST FLIGHT by Julie Clark | Claire Cook has a perfect life. Married to a political dynasty, with a Manhattan townhouse, her surroundings are elegant, her days flawlessly choreographed, and her future auspicious. But behind closed doors, nothing is quite as it seems. That perfect husband has a temper that burns as bright as his promising political career, and he’s not above using his staff to track Claire’s every move, making sure she’s living up to his impossible standards. But what he doesn’t know is that Claire has worked for months on a plan to vanish. A chance meeting in an airport bar brings her together with a woman whose circumstances seem equally dire. Together they make a last-minute decision to switch tickets – thinking the swap will give them a head start to begin again. But everything isn’t what it seems and there are secrets waiting to come to the surface. review: This book hooked me from the very beginning and it didn’t disappoint. Told from the perspectives of Claire and Eva, this book is full of well-timed twists that keep you surprised. I really enjoyed the two perspectives and thought it lent to telling the story of the two well. It gave just enough information each chapter to keep you wanting to know more about each character. This book was addictive, fast-paced and a well written mix of suspense and women’s fiction. rating: 4.5 out of 5 ⭐️