5 Sizzling Summer Stories That Will Warm Your Heart

Love reading meet-cutes with summer vacations and small towns? Add these ultimate summer romances to your TBR shelf for a great beach read!

Recommendations Romance
Three books: When in Rome, My Killer Vacation, and Happy Place. Stars, abstract images, and hearts and flowers all around the edges of the books.

Summer is coming in hot. Beach days, backyard picnics, barbeques, and too many books on your TBR. If you need a little push or maybe another book to add to the never-ending list, here are some of my top summer vacation meet-cute (and meet-hate) recommendations that will have the warm fuzzies bubble into an uncontainable grin. So, lay back in your porch chairs, smell the roses, and crack these books open!

Happy Place by Emily Henry

A summer romance list without Emily Henry is literally impossible. She never fails to hit that sweet spot for vacation/summer romances.

Happy Place by Emily Henry. Friends in different color swimsuits jumping into the pool, a couple floating together.

In Happy Place, we follow a group of old friends, gathering as they do every year, to their friend’s vacation home in Maine. However, this year is different. This couple is no longer together. As they fake their last hoorah at vacation paradise, they get nostalgic over how they first met, fell in love, and ultimately broke up. And they need to pretend not to break their friends’ hearts. Tears, laughter, and a nagging question will hang over like a sword over your head of “will-they-won’t-they.” Harriet only wants to go back to her happy place, but maybe Wyn is that place?

Book Lovers by Emily Henry

Yea… There are two of them. Emily Henry. We can’t escape her.

Book Lovers by Emily Henry. A couple reading and handing each other a book behind their back, sitting on luggage filled with books.

Nora, a hard-working literary agent, is tired of always being the “mean girl” in someone else’s story. She’s convinced by her best friend to head to a small town from their favorite novel for a little break. Unfortunately for Nora, you can take the girl out of the city, but never the city out of the girl. She realizes this when she meets Charlie, a book editor who gets on every one of her last nerves, seemingly traveling to the same town for reasons of his own. Both are stubborn, driven, and maybe just what the other one needs (even when they are itching to snap each other’s necks).

My Killer Vacation by Tessa Bailey

You thought all of these were going to be happy, innocent little rom-coms… well they are, but this one has a dead body!

My Killer Vacation by Tessa Bailey. A girl holding onto a guy with tattoos along his arms, hugging close.

In this one, Taylor, an elementary teacher, goes on vacation with her brother and finds some interesting things. One of these very interesting things is the dead body of her Airbnb landlord. Miles, a bounty hunter, shows up to solve this case but seems to get a true-crime-obsessed sunshine girl along with it.

Tessa Bailey does not fail on the steamy meter, so you have been warned; it’s a freaking sauna in this book. If you like a strange, dark-humored premise with a ketchup drizzle of actual suspense, this one is for you!

When in Rome by Sarah Adams

When in Rome by Sarah Adams. A couple in a pie shop, looking at each other and making pies.

Amelia is burned out. As the “princess of pop,” she has a very needy image to maintain. So, while on her way to have a short break from the spotlight, her car breaks down on Noah’s front lawn. But Noah is a pie shop owner of this small town who isn’t exactly thrilled about having a pop star live with him. If you’re into grumpy sunshine, forced proximity, and expectations rising for men to Noah’s standards… then read this!

Just for the Summer by Abby Jimenez

This one is for all my AITA Reddit readers (the ones reading them religiously).

Just for the Summer by Abby Jimenez. A girl and guy with a dog, holding hands and running along the lakeshore as the sun sets.

Just for the Summer is about the one before “the one.” And these two, Emma and Justin, are cursed to always be just that, before the one. After a Reddit post, sliding up into his DMs, and realizing they aren’t the only ones with this curse, they both decide to enact a plan. They will break their curses by being each other’s one before “the one.” They will go on dates, kiss, and have an amicable break-up. Simple. Easy. Except… they might be falling for each other.

Summer is full of unexpected twists and turns, and these stories are your passport to a vacation filled with love, laughter, and delightful surprises. Add these books to your TBR list and sink into the pages. Trust me, you will not regret it!

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