Summer Reading Guide: Top 10 Contemporary Romance (2020)


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Top 10 Contemporary Romance Book Picks 

Over the past few months, I have been reading many contemporary romances that are the perfect escape with happily ever after and so much joy.  Here are ten romance titles that you should add to your TBR this summer. 

Mermaid Inn by Jenny Holiday

What I love about this book?  Second chance romance set in a quirky lake town in Canada. This book reminded me of Stars Hollow from Gilmore Girls.

What you should know? This is the first book in a series. Book 2 Paradise Cove is coming out in July 28, 2020.

Author Interview: Check out Jenny’s interview on What to Read Next Podcast 


Eve Abbott has a problem–actually, make that a lot of problems. And they’re all going to get worse the moment her toes hit the sand in Matchmaker Bay. Once a blissful summer escape, now the tiny town just reminds Eve of loss. Inheriting her aunt’s beloved Mermaid Inn is the only reason Eve is coming back. She’s definitely not ready to handle nosy neighbors, extensive renovations, or the discovery that a certain heartbreaker still lives down the street…

Police Chief Sawyer Collins always does the right thing, even when it costs him everything. Like Evie. He’s spent the past ten years trying to forget her–to forget how right she felt in his arms, to forget the pain in her eyes the day she left. The last thing he expects is to see her back in town or to find that the spark between them is as strong as ever. Sawyer knows this is his only chance to prove that his feelings have always been real… before Eve turns tail and leaves for good.

What I love about this book?  Strong female friendships are built after a twitter video gone viral. Tech-centric romance with a financial crime subplot. There is romance but this book is more than the romance. I would love to work in that tech company. 

What you should know? This is the first book in a series. 


Samiah Brooks never thought she would be “that” girl. But a live tweet of a horrific date just revealed the painful truth: she’s been catfished by a three-timing jerk of a boyfriend. Suddenly Samiah-along with his two other “girlfriends,” London and Taylor-have gone viral online. Now the three new besties are making a pact to spend the next six months investing in themselves. No men and no dating.

For once Samiah is putting herself first, and that includes finally developing the app she’s always dreamed of creating. Which is the exact moment she meets the deliciously sexy Daniel Collins at work. What are the chances? But is Daniel really boyfriend material or is he maybe just a little too good to be true?

What I love about this book?  Book set in Alaska? Yes, please. This is the story about a tourist town and it’s a grumpy residents who wish they can go back to the olden times where it was not overrun by tourists. This is a PG romance. 

What you should know? This is the first book in a series. 

Author Interview: Check out  Sarah Morgenthaler’s interview on What to Read Next Podcast

Synopsis: He had a strict “no tourists” policy…

Until she broke all of his rules.

When Graham Barnett named his diner The Tourist Trap, he meant it as a joke. Now he’s stuck slinging reindeer dogs to an endless parade of resort visitors who couldn’t interest him less. Not even the sweet, enthusiastic tourist in the corner who blushes every time he looks her way…

Two weeks in Alaska isn’t just the top item on Zoey Caldwell’s bucket list. It’s the whole bucket. One look at the mountain town of Moose Springs and she’s smitten. But when an act of kindness brings Zoey into Graham’s world, she may just find there’s more to the grumpy local than meets the eye…and more to love in Moose Springs than just the Alaskan wilderness.

What I love about this book? This book is steam on a page and it’s really good. This is a bit of enemies to lovers, down and the outs for the heroine who is trying to get over a divorce and has a boat to crash. The hero wants to help her out but they start at the wrong foot. 

What you should know? This is book 3 in a series but it can be read as a standalone.

Synopsis: After an overseas mission goes wrong, Army Special Forces officer Jacob Kincaid knows where he must go to make things right: back home to the tiny town of Cedar Ridge, Colorado. All he needs to scrub away his painful past is fresh mountain air, a lakeside cabin, and quiet solitude. But what he discovers is a gorgeous woman living on a boat at his dock.

Sophie Marren has nowhere else to go. She’s broke, intermittently seasick, and fighting a serious attraction to the brooding, dishy, I’m-too-sexy-for-myself guy who’s now claiming her dock. Something about Jacob’s dark intensity makes her want to tease-and tempt-him beyond measure. Neither one wants to give any ground . . . until they realize the only true home they have is with each other.

What I love about this book? Rockstar romance that turns the trope upside down. I love the meetcute and the puppy that steals your heart. I like this book better than The Friend Zone. Witty dialogue, there is steam. Strong female friendships. This book deals with grief. 

What you should know? This is book 2 in a series and you should read The Friend Zone first to get the most out of this book.

Author interview: Check out Abby Jimenez’s What to Read Next Podcast Interview. 

Synopsis: Two years after losing her fiance, Sloan Monroe still can’t seem to get her life back on track. But one trouble-making pup with a “take me home” look in his eyes is about to change everything. With her new pet by her side, Sloan finally starts to feel more like herself. Then, after weeks of unanswered texts, Tucker’s owner reaches out. He’s a musician on tour in Australia. And bottom line: He wants Tucker back.

Well, Sloan’s not about to give up her dog without a fight. But what if this Jason guy really loves Tucker? As their flirty texts turn into long calls, Sloan can’t deny a connection. Jason is hot and nice and funny. There’s no telling what could happen when they meet in person. The question is: With his music career on the rise, how long will Jason really stick around? And is it possible for Sloan to survive another heartbreak?

What I love about this book? Fake relationship with just one bed trope? Count me in. This book is the perfect escape to a beach vacation in the Keys. The hero is a firefighter. The heroine is a social media influencer. 

What you should know? This is book 1 in a series. 

Author interview: Check out Priscilla Oliveras’ What to Read Next Podcast Interview. 

Synopsis: Sought-after social media influencer Sara Vance, in recovery from an eating disorder, is coming into her own, with a potential career expansion on the horizon. Despite the good news, her successful siblings (and their perfect spouses) have a way of making her feel like the odd one out. So, when her unreliable boyfriend is a no-show for a Florida family vacation, Sara recruits Luis Navarro–a firefighter paramedic and dive captain willing to play the part of her smitten fiance

Luis’s big Cuban familia has been in Key West for generations, and his quiet strength feeds off the island’s laidback style. Though guarded after a deep betrayal, he’ll always help someone in need–especially a spunky beauty with a surprising knowledge of Spanish curse words. Soon, he and Sara have memorized their “how we met” story and are immersed in family dinners, bike tours, private snorkeling trips . . . sharing secrets, and slow, melting kisses. But when it’s time for Sara to return home, will their fake relationship fade like the stunning sunset . . . or blossom into something beautiful?

What I love about this book? Own Voices for Brazilian representation romance set in Washington DC. The heroine was left at the altar and the hero was in charge of letting her know. They meet again on a work  assignment and they become enemies to lovers. There are pranks, just one bed and steam. 

What you should know? This is book 1 in a series. 

Synopsis: A wedding planner left at the altar? Yeah, the irony isn’t lost on Carolina Santos, either. But despite that embarrassing blip from her past, Lina’s offered an opportunity that could change her life. There’s just one hitch… she has to collaborate with the best (make that worst) man from her own failed nuptials.

Marketing expert Max Hartley is determined to make his mark with a coveted hotel client looking to expand its brand. Then he learns he’ll be working with his brother’s whip-smart, stunning–absolutely off-limits–ex-fiancée. And she loathes him.

If they can nail their presentation without killing each other, they’ll both come out ahead. Except Max has been public enemy number one ever since he encouraged his brother to jilt the bride, and Lina’s ready to dish out a little payback of her own.

Soon Lina and Max discover animosity may not be the only emotion creating sparks between them. Still, this star-crossed couple can never be more than temporary playmates because Lina isn’t interested in falling in love and Max refuses to play runner-up to his brother ever again…

What I love about this book? Friends to lovers romance that decide to fake their engagement. Heroine is a social media influencer and the hero supports her in her endeavors. Love the wedding planning business. Strong female friendships are featured in this book. 

What you should know? This is book 3 in a series but it can be read as a standalone.

Synopsis: Can guys and girls ever be just friends? According to Audrey Tate and Clarke West, absolutely. After all, they’ve been best friends since childhood without a single romantic entanglement. Clarke is the charming playboy Audrey can always count on, and he knows that the ever-loyal Audrey will never not play along with his strategy for dodging his matchmaking mother–announcing he’s already engaged…to Audrey.

But what starts out as a playful game between two best friends turns into something infinitely more complicated, as just-for-show kisses begin to stir up forbidden feelings. As the faux wedding date looms closer, Audrey and Clarke realize that they can never go back to the way things were, but deep down, do they really want to?

What I love about this book? Marriage in Crisis books are my jam. This book has forced proximity. The hero goes to therapy to deal with his issues and he learns how to communicate. This book was a delight to read. 

What you should know? This is book 2 in a series but it can be read as a standalone.

Synopsis: Isabel Winton had planned to spend the last few days of her marriage at her vacation home, intending to reflect, regroup…or maybe just do some solitary sulking. Instead, she collides with her almost ex, Paul, who has the same idea. Too stubborn to leave, Isabel figures this is a chance for them to get some closure. But she’s astonished to see that months apart have transformed her emotionally aloof husband into “Paul 2.0,” more open than ever before.

Paul was blindsided when Isabel left him. He had no idea she felt he was more committed to his career than to their marriage. With his new, hard-won self-awareness, he blames himself for letting her walk away. But winning her back will take more than simple words. It’ll mean finding the courage to grow, to trust, and grab a second chance at life by each other’s sides.

What I love about this book? Contemporary marriage of convenience with just one bed trope. The couple meets at a reality tv show where they ended up getting married within a day or so. They are opposites attract working towards the goal of winning a million dollars.

What you should know? This is book 2 in a series but it can be read as a standalone.

Synopsis: If someone had bet Nell a million dollars that she would be saying “I do” to a complete stranger on national television, she’d have called them crazy, but with her crushing student loan payments sending her deep into the red, she’s out of options. This should be nothing more than a business transaction–until she sets eyes on her groom, and everything changes.

The game is on the instant Luke spots Penelope “Nell” Carpenter. He’s out for the money, yes, but getting a little dirty with Nell doesn’t sound too bad either. Everyone knows he’s not the marrying kind, so it’s a good thing it’s just for show. God knows he’s the worst guy his pretty wife should pick for real.

They have nothing in common, but if they want the grand prize, they’ll have to beat out eight other couples. Proving that total opposites attract should be easy enough…as long as they don’t fall in love in the process.

I hope you pick up one or all ten of these romance book picks! if you have read any of these books, leave a comment and let me know your thoughts.

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