Summers are for two things: a good book and a good drink. Throw in a cloudless, sunny day and a beach to sit on and you’re golden (literally). With countless romances constantly trending on BookTok and Bookstagram, it can seem a bit overwhelming to pick out the right book to soak up the sun with. That’s why we’ve put together a list of nine trending romance books on the Internet and paired them with classic summer cocktails.
This way, you can dive into your next romantic obsession and avoid worrying about how you’ll stay cool in the summer heat. In fact, by the end of this list, your biggest dilemma will be deciding what you’ll be reading and drinking first. So grab your books and glasses, and catch those rays.
1. Book Lovers, Emily Henry – Vodka Lemonade
We’re kicking off our list with Book Lovers, the newest novel from Emily Henry. This contemporary romance is a delicious enemies-to-lovers centered around two bookish characters: literary agent Nora Stephens and her nemesis, book editor Charlie Lastra. When Nora reluctantly goes on a month-long trip with her sister to Sunshine Falls, NC, she inexplicably keeps bumping into brooding Charlie. Will they kill each other by the end of this trip or will they rewrite everything they thought they knew about each other (and themselves)?
The classic vodka lemonade is the perfect drink for this book. Fresh-squeezed country lemonade is reminiscent of the quaint small town of Sunshine Falls, while the vodka puts a modern city twist on it, just like Nora and Charlie.
2. It Happened One Summer, Tessa Bailey – Bay Breeze
Fans of Schitt’s Creek will love this opposites-attract romance from Tessa Bailey. When Hollywood socialite Piper Bellinger throws a rooftop party that gets out of control, she’s cut off from her wealthy family and exiled to a beach town in Washington. Upon arrival, Piper is already butting heads with Brendan, a sea captain who doesn’t think she’ll last long in this town. But is there an undeniable ~attraction~ between the two, or will Piper eventually head back to Beverly Hills? Read It Happened One Summer to find out!
By drinking a bay breeze while reading this book, you’ll feel like you’re right there in that Washington sea town with Piper and Brendan. The cranberry and pineapple juice clash together in the best way possible, like Piper and Brendan. Plus, a bit of vodka never hurts.
3. One Last Stop, Casey McQuiston – Tequila Sunrise
We’ve already raved about Casey McQuiston’s One Last Stop on here before, but we’re gonna do it again. Not only is it a beautiful queer romance, but it brings LGBTQ history to modern-day New York City. When August Landry took her long, monotonous train ride to work, she never would have imagined she’d encounter the mysterious Jane Su, who looks like a punk rocker straight out of the 1970s. The problem? Jane is literally displaced in time from the 70s. As August works to find a way to help Jane, the two begin to fall for each other, creating a heartwarming, time-bending romance everyone is sure to love.
Step back in time with a tequila sunrise- one of the 1970s’ most popular drinks! The tequila sunrise is served unmixed to preserve the bright, colorful layers of orange juice and grenadine. It doesn’t hide what it’s made of, just like members of the LGBTQ community should never feel like they need to hide who they are.
4. Heart Bones, Colleen Hoover – Paloma
We can’t compile a list of this summer’s trending romances without including Colleen Hoover. In Heart Bones, an unexpected death forced Beyah to spend the rest of her summer in Texas with a father she barely knows. Beyah’s plan to keep her head down is completely upended when she meets her new neighbor, Samson. They’re immediately drawn to each other and agree to a shallow summer fling, but will it stay that way?
The paloma is the most popular drink in Texas, and with Heart Bones taking place in Texas, it just seems right. This book will rip your heart out in true Colleen Hoover fashion while you say, “Thank you.” The paloma will do the same thing; the tart grapefruit and lime juices will hit you hard, but the sweet agave nectar will balance it out.
5. Every Summer After, Carley Fortune – Aperol Spritz
Every Summer After sees our main character, Persephone “Percy” Fraser get a second chance at love. When an unexpected family tragedy (Heart Bones, is that you?) sends Percy back to the lake where she used to spend her summers and spectacularly ruined the relationship with her first love, Sam Florek. As Percy comes home to confront her past, she’ll also have to confront Sam and either prove their falling out was meant to be, or maybe just make it right.
This book opens with Percy reflecting on the night she thought breakup bangs were a good idea after one too many spritzes. That’s why the Aperol Spritz is an excellent companion to this book about summer love. Just don’t be like Percy and go for the bangs; it’s not worth it and you’ll most likely regret it immediately.
6. Take a Hint, Dani Brown, Talia Hibbert – Mojito
Take a Hint, Dani Brown indulges readers with arguably one of the best romance tropes: the fake relationship. When Zafir “rescues” Dani from a workplace fire drill gone wrong, Dani believes they’re destined to sleep together. But when a video of the heroic rescue goes viral, Dani’s not the only one desperately rooting for the two to get together. Zafi sees the publicity as a chance to promote his sports charity for children, so the two decide to keep up the lie (for the children of course). But will their fake relationship turn into *gasp* a real one?
We’re keeping things simple with a classic mojito, so we don’t take away from the vibrant, loveable, hilarious characters in this contemporary romance from Talia Hibbert’s The Brown Sisters series. By the time you finish this book, you’ll be wanting more from The Brown Sisters, just like you’ll be reaching for another mojito.
7. Something Wilder, Christina Lauren – Red Sangria
Summer is the perfect time to get out and explore the great outdoors. Christina Lauren’s Something Wilder does just that, letting readers experience Utah’s beautiful red rock canyons through a funny, romantic adventure. Lily Wilder guides tourists on fake treasure hunts through the wilderness using her father’s famous hand-drawn maps. She’s pretty great at it too, until Leo Grady, the man she once loved, joins her group. When the trip goes hilariously wrong, Lily and Leo have a chance to right the wrongs of their past, and maybe even rekindle what they once had.
You’ve got to drink a sangria as red as the canyons in Utah while reading Something Wilder. With the Canyonlands serving as the backdrop for this romantic comedy, your drink should reflect its natural beauty. Red sangria’s various fruits make it an adaptable summer drink, just like Lily and Leo.
8. Delilah Green Doesn’t Care, Ashley Herring Blake – Americano
Delilah Green may not care, but we sure do. Delilah Green Doesn’t Care is a delicious rom-com about Delilah, a photographer who’s forced to come back to her hometown to shoot her sister’s wedding. What she thought was going to be a dreadful event turns into something more when she meets Claire, a single mom, and friend of Delilah’s sister. This LGBTQ story is a perfect opposites-attract romance that’s sure to hook every reader from the first page.
The americano cocktail (not to be confused with its caffeinated cousin) is a light but flavorful beverage. It’s bubbly like Claire but a little bittersweet like Delilah. In other words, the perfect combination of flavors, just like Delilah Green Doesn’t Care and the americano.
9. Malibu Rising, Taylor Jenkins Reid – Piña Colada
We’re closing out this list with a book about an end-of-summer party that is way crazier than any of the ones you have planned (unless you also planned on your house going up in flames by the end of it). From Daisy Jones and The Six’s Taylor Jenkins Reid comes Malibu Rising. It’s 1983, and the famous Riva siblings’ end-of-summer party is fast approaching and anticipation is at an all-time high. But each of the four siblings has a reason for dreading this night or looking forward to it. By the end of the night, the Riva mansion will be up in flames, but not before the loves and secrets that have shaped these siblings comes out.
This 80’s-set story deserves an 80’s drink, and what better than the reliable piña colada? It’s refreshing and easy to drink while you devour this complex story of family dynamics, relationships, and secrets. While the Riva house burns down, you’ll be kept cool by the piña colada.
And there you have it. With nine delicious pairings to choose from, where do you even start? Don’t worry, we think you’ll figure it out. Happy reading!