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3 Books I Loved in Summer 2023

For me, the end of August marks the beginning of my favorite season...AUTUMN. But, I won't lie in saying that this summer was so amazing, and I'll be sad it's slipping away. As the pools close up this weekend, field hockey practices resume and school gets back in session, it makes me look back and consider what were the three reads that defined my summer?

For someone who reads an average of 25 books or more a summer (this year it was 30!!), it's always hard to pick favorites. However, this year I think I can manage. So, let's get right to it.

Practice Makes Perfect by Sarah Adams

I only discovered the sweet Sarah Adams this summer, and she is such a fun romance writer. Her stories are as heart-warming as Hallmark movies, and I could not get over this adorable small town romance between a timid flower shop owner and a handsome tattooed body guard.

The story follows Annie who lives in Rome, Kentucky, a small town where everyone knows everyone and her siblings are always coddling her as the youngest sister. Annie's older brother, Noah, and his bride-to-be, Amelia Rose, are planning their wedding (Go check out their story WHEN IN ROME for all the adorable details on how they meet). Since Amelia is a pop star and her people are worried about paparazzi snooping around the festivities, her bodyguard, Will Griffin, comes to town to keep her safe. And yes, he just so happens to be a really cute guy who Annie cannot stop staring at.

A love story, a journey to find yourself and a novel full of fun will just have you smiling from ear to ear. If you are a big Hallmark fan, you have got to pick this one up, and no, it does not just have to be a summer read.

The Secret Book of Flora Lee by Patti Callahan Henry

Henry tells incredible historical fiction. I read her novel Surviving Savannah in 2021, and literally cried happy tears at Once Upon a Wardrobe in 2022. So, I knew I had to read her latest novel this summer and it was selected for many summer book club picks!

The novel discusses the complexities and emotions around London's Operation Pied Pieper during WWII. Hazel and Flora are sisters who are a part of the operation, and are sent to a beautiful farm town near Oxford England as the bombs fall upon London. Hazel and Flora come up with their own secret magical world called Whisperwood to cope with the changes, and once day Flora disappears without a trace. For years, Hazel blamed herself because she believed Flora went searching for Whisperwood and never came home. But then a book is uncovered detailing their secret place comes across Hazel's desk years later.

This story is both a story of healing, discovery and the bonds between sisters. It was beautifully written and one of my favorites of the YEAR hands down.

The Wishing Game by Meg Schaffer

This book was pure magic. Similar to the likes of The House in the Cerulean Sea and Inheritance Games series, its transportive, heartfelt and a story to those who grew up loving to read.

Lucy Hart grew up finding solace in books, especially when her parents didn't pay her too much mind growing up. She loved the Clock Island stories, and even went so far as to travel to the island where this reclusive yet magical author lived when she was 13. Now, years later, the author has written his last book and has a game to play with the brave children who sought him out all those years ago. Lucy has an incentive to win...she wants to adopt a little boy who needs her love. So she cannot lose and what will it take to have all she ever dreamed of?

A story with so much creativity, riddles and love --- this is a love note to readers that will make you smile, tear up and want to take yourself to Clock Island, too.

Ready for Fall Reading?

It's the best time of the year!! Fall reading, and in honor of this, I am going to do a READ MY SHELF month in September to make more of a dent in my personal shelves that are currently overflowing. If you want to follow along with what I am reading as I read my own shelves, check out my Instagram @showmereads to see all the good stuff.


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