August ended up being a really great reading month for me! I ended up reading seven books this month, including some highly anticipated releases like The Night Swim and The Heir Affair! The two books are really different, but I really enjoyed both of these, so be sure to add them to your reading list. I read on my Kindle Paperwhite a lot this month. I made sure I had it loaded with books in case I had time to read while pumping or during late night feedings. Some nights reading was the *only* thing that kept me awake long enough to feed!
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!
ON THE ISLAND by Tracey Garvis Graves | When Anna Emerson is offered a summer job tutoring T.J. Callahan at his family’s rental in the Maldives, she accepts without hesitation. Anna and T.J. are en route to join T.J.’s family in the Maldives when the pilot of their seaplane suffers a fatal heart attack and crash-lands in the Indian Ocean. Adrift in shark-infested waters, their life jackets keep them afloat until they make it to the shore of an uninhabited island. Now Anna and T.J. just want to survive and they must work together to obtain water, food, fire, and shelter. Their basic needs might be met for now, but how long can this last? And better yet how will their relationship unfold? review: After reading and enjoying The Girl He Used to Know (review here) last year, I knew I needed to add another book by the author to my list. At first I wasn’t sure about the plot since it’s a bit of a “teacher-student” scenario, but I quickly got past that in the name of a good book! I really liked the alternating chapters from T.J. and Anna, it gave a nice glimpse at how both of them were handling life on the island. I also really enjoyed that we got to see how their lives unfolded afterwards. Often times in books like this, the book just ends abruptly and you’re left wondering “ok, so what happened afterwards?” but the author did a great job with continuing the story in a believable way. rating: 4 out of 5 ⭐️
THE SWAP by Robyn Harding | Low Morrison is not your average teen. For whatever the reason, Low just doesn’t fit in—and neither does Freya, an ethereal beauty and once-famous social media influencer who now owns the local pottery studio. After signing up for a class, Low quickly falls under Freya’s spell. Finally, both feel a sense of belonging…that is, until Jamie walks through the studio door. Desperate for a baby, she and her husband have moved to the island hoping that the healthy environment will result in a pregnancy. Freya and Jamie become fast friends, as do their husbands, leaving Low alone once again. Then one night, after a boozy dinner party, Freya suggests swapping partners. It should have been a harmless fling between consenting adults, one night of debauchery that they would put behind them, but instead, it upends their lives. And provides Low the perfect opportunity to unleash her growing resentment. review: This book is a tale of lies and obsession, making it highly addictive from the very first page. The cast of characters are unlikable and unrelatable, and while I typically don’t like that, it totally works in this particular book. The writing was fantastic and the storyline was unique. This book kept me on the edge of my seat. Just when you thought things couldn’t get crazier, another secret or manipulation would come out, making you turn the pages even faster! I loved how this book wrapped up and it was full of suspense. rating: 4 out of 5 ⭐️
THE HEIR AFFAIR by Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan | After a scandalous secret turns their fairy-tale wedding into a nightmare, Rebecca “Bex” Porter and her husband Prince Nicholas are in self-imposed exile. Cutting themselves off from friends and family, and escaping the world’s judgmental eyes, feels like the best way to protect their fragile, all-consuming romance. But when a crisis forces the new Duke and Duchess back to London, the Band-Aid they’d placed over their problems starts to peel at the edges. Now, as old family secrets and new ones threaten to derail her new royal life, Bex has to face the emotional wreckage she and Nick left behind: with the Queen, with the world, and with Nick’s brother Freddie, whose sins may not be so easily forgotten — nor forgiven. review: The Royal We was such a hit that I’m always a little suspect of sequels, especially when it comes five years after the first book. The authors totally nailed it with this follow up book though! They brought us a totally new perspective of Bex and Nick’s relationship and there was certainly no shortage of Royal drama! I really enjoyed reading more about the characters and loved how well they were developed in this book. It felt like gathering with old friends again after some time away. This book was a bit of a slow build, but I really enjoyed this storyline and that the authors added in some “heavy” tragedies and scandals to the mix. This is a book that you can easily devour in a weekend, especially if you’re a Royal lover! rating: 4 out of 5 ⭐️
THE WIFE STALKER by Liv Constantine | When Piper meets Leo Drakos, a handsome, successful lawyer, the wedding ring on his finger is the only thing she doesn’t like about him. Yet as Piper well knows, no marriage is permanent. Meanwhile, Joanna has been waiting patiently for Leo, the charismatic man she fell in love with all those years ago, to re-emerge from the severe depression that has engulfed him. However, it may be too late. Leo has fallen head over heels for Piper, the newcomer, and he’s more than willing to leave Joanna behind, along with everything they’ve built. As Joanna digs deeper into Piper’s past, she begins to unearth disturbing secrets…but when she confides to her therapist that she fears for the lives of her ex-husband and children, her concerns are dismissed as paranoia. Can she find the proof she needs in time to save them? review: I’ll admit, I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with this author. Some books I have loved, while others just weren’t for me. This one falls middle of the road for me. This book has a cast of characters and unreliable narrators, making it for a quick read, however a lot of the plot was a bit far-fetched and at times quite cheesy. I wish the characters had been a bit more developed and that *more* happened to provide a thrill. The first half of the book is a bit slow because nothing really happens. I personally found the writing to be a bit stilted and the story seemed disjointed – but the ending redeemed itself a little bit because I definitely didn’t see it coming! If you liked The Last Mrs. Parrish and want a quick fast-paced read you should give this a try, it may be a great book for you! rating: 3 out of 5 ⭐️
THE NIGHT SWIM by Megan Goldin | After the first season of her true crime podcast became an overnight sensation and set an innocent man free, Rachel Krall is now a household name―and the last hope for thousands of people seeking justice. The small town of Neapolis is being torn apart by a devastating rape trial. The town’s golden boy has been accused of raping a high school student, the beloved granddaughter of the police chief. But that’s not the only case that the town is dealing with, one from 25 years ago is making its way back to the surface, begging to be solved. Under pressure to make Season Three a success, Rachel throws herself into interviewing and investigating―but mysterious letters keep showing up in unexpected places. Someone is following her, and she won’t stop until Rachel finds out what happened to her sister twenty-five years ago. Officially, Jenny Stills tragically drowned, but the letters insists she was murdered―and when Rachel starts asking questions, nobody seems to want to answer. The past and present start to collide as Rachel uncovers startling connections between the two cases that will change the course of the trial and the lives of everyone involved. review: This is one of those books that I simply couldn’t put down and absolutely devoured! The Night Swim is character-driven and alternates between Rachel’s story, season 3 of the podcast and letters from Hannah. I am a true crime podcast junkie, so I really loved the podcast element of this book. This book felt like a fresh perspective in a sea of similar suspense thrillers. The way the two storylines intertwined was absolutely fantastic and had me on the edge of my seat the entire time trying to figure out if & how they were related. Rape and sexual assault are often hard to read about, but I thought the author did a great job with such tough subjects and wrote about them eloquently and in a way that was very thought provoking. It made for a satisfying and surprising courtroom drama and I highly recommend this book! rating: 5 out of 5 ⭐️
A HAPPY CATASTROPHE by Maddie Dawson | Marnie MacGraw and Patrick Delaney have been in love for a few years now, enough to realize that they are imperfectly perfect together. Still, there are some things that maybe need a little attention. She thrives on change; he prefers stability. She sees marriage and parenthood in their future, but he can’t see beyond the shadow of an earlier tragedy. Then an eight-year-old surprise from Patrick’s past shows up on their doorstep, cartwheeling into their lives and spinning things in all directions. While it’s not exactly the change she envisioned, it looks like instant family to Marnie. But Patrick, afraid of being hurt again, retreats further into himself. Suddenly, two very different pieces of a beautiful puzzle find it harder and harder to fit. But some love stories are worth waiting for. And what’s love without a little chaos anyway? review: I read Matchmaking for Beginners (review here) in 2018 and was so happy to see there was a sequel being released! Marnie and Patrick are back and better than ever in this sequel. These two (plus the secondary characters) are ones that you can’t help but love and adore! We get a closer look at their relationship in this book and I loved how authentic it felt, flaws and all. Both Marnie and Patrick are dealing with their own issues in this book and they both felt relatable in different ways. At times I was afraid that Marnie’s positive, optimistic demeanor was no longer going to be a match for Patrick’s pessimistic and scarred lifestyle. Even though I could predict where things were heading, there were some surprises along the way and the book captivated me the entire time, much like the first novel. This book was heartwarming and so charming – definitely a cute, quick read that will leave you smiling! rating: 4.5 out of 5 ⭐️
AMERICAN ROYALS by Katharine McGee | When America won the Revolutionary War, its people offered General George Washington a crown. Two and a half centuries later, the House of Washington still sits on the throne. As Princess Beatrice gets closer to becoming America’s first queen regnant, the duty she has embraced her entire life suddenly feels stifling. Nobody cares about the spare except when she’s breaking the rules, so Princess Samantha doesn’t care much about anything, either… except the one boy who is distinctly off-limits to her. And then there’s Samantha’s twin, Prince Jefferson. If he’d been born a generation earlier, he would have stood first in line for the throne, but the new laws of succession make him third. Most of America adores their devastatingly handsome prince… but two very different girls are vying to capture his heart. review: I read this book last year but realized I never reviewed it here! I did a quick re-read in anticipation of the second book, Majesty coming out this week and I loved it just as much as I did the first time! I have read my fair share of Royal-related books and this one has such a fresh and unique perspective that it’s immediately intriguing! It’s the perfect mix of Gossip Girl meets royalty, complete with all the juicy family drama and scandals! The pacing of the book is fabulous – it’s a true page turner with no lulls or slow points. This book leaves you with a crazy cliffhanger for everyone involved, so be sure to read it and be ready to pick up Majesty, the next book in the series out now! rating: 5 out of 5 ⭐️