My August 2021 Reading List: What to Read & What to Skip

Why waste time and money on just a mediocre book when you can read a GREAT romance book?

Check out which romance books made my reading list in August. I share mini reviews of each book where I tell you what I really think of it – whether it’s worth reading or one to skip!

*Disclosure: This post may include affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Check out She Reads Romance Books' August 2021 reading list for mini reviews that tell you which romance books to read and which romance novels to skip.

August was a month for a lot of great variety in romance for me. I checked out a bunch of new or recent releases, one yet to be published book, and a few throw backs I’ve been meaning to check out for some time.

I also read a few romance books that inspired or are inspiring a few book lists which you will be seeing soon!

It’s hard to say which book is my favorite because I really enjoyed so many. From new enemies to lovers books, new friends to lovers books, paranormal and teacher student romance picks, there’s something for every romance book reader in this list.

One common thread through many of this month’s selections? They had amazing book boyfriends. Seriously, I was fangirling over many of these romance heroes and I think you will too.

Mini Reviews to Save You From Mediocre Books

If you’re new here, every month I share mini reviews of the books I read to help my fellow romance book lovers find the best romance books worth reading.

I don’t want you to waste your time (and money) reading a mediocre book, so I help you find the best books to add to your must read pile while making sure you skip the rest.

Check out which books I loved and which I didn’t below.

My August 2021 Romance Book Reads

Totally Folked is a romance book I recommend reading.

Totally Folked
by Penny Reid

A Second Chance Romance That Delivers
Published July 2021
4 stars

Jackson James is a sheriff’s deputy in a super small town in Tennessee. He takes his role to serve and protect quite seriously but his need to let loose at night are pursued with equal abandon. Only Green Valley’s most eligible—and notorious—bachelor may actually be longing for something more than a one night stand.

Mega movie star Raquel Ezra follows only one rule: always leave them wanting more. But years of always leaving has the starlet longing for something (and perhaps someone) lasting.

When Raquel once again crosses paths with Jackson whom she once spent one unforgettable night with, they must both decide whether it’s more important following their rules or maybe finding something real. 

Man did I realize I missed reading Penny Reid while reading this one. It was SO nice to get back to Green Valley and learn more about Jackson James. I liked him in Reid’s Beauty and the Mustache and even more so in Hope Ellis’ Been There Done That, but oh did I fall for him in this one.

He was just the perfect gentleman and really wanted something to go the distance with Raquel, no longer willing to settle for a fling or a one night stand. There was such a great build up to their eventual relationship that I loved.

Raquel was equally great. Such a down to earth person looking to find her way and never expecting it to lead her back to Jackson and this small town. This book made my best summer reads of 2021 list and did not disappoint. A definite must read!

Amazon | Goodreads

The Kingmaker is a must read romance book that She Reads Romance Books recommends.

The Kingmaker
by Kennedy Ryan

A Well Written Romance With Social Issues at the Heart
Published October 2019
4.5 stars

Maxim comes from a wealthy family whose money is from the oil pipelines he wants nothing to do with. But going against the family, he’ll have to strike out on his own. Build his own empire. He just didn’t factor Lennix Hunter into his plans. The spitfire he met at a pipeline protest and who later stole his heart. Only he lied to her and now it could cost them everything.

I had a paperback copy of this book sitting on my shelf for way too long and finally read it. Gah! Why did I wait so long? It is such a great book- well written, poignant, strong characters and a cliffhanger!!! Kennedy Ryan makes you think as well as feel in this romance.

Amazon | Goodreads

The Spanish Love Deception is a must read, enemies to lovers book.

The Spanish Love Deception
by Elena Armas

An Enemies to Lovers, Fake Relationship Romance You Have to Read!
Published February 2021
4 Stars

Catalina Martin is in a bind. She does NOT want to show up single at her sister’s wedding with her ex in attendance and his new fiancé. Nor does she want to take up her infuriating co-worker’s offer to travel to Spain and be her fake boyfriend. Yet she really has no choice but to take up the charade.

Enemies to lovers, office romance, fake dating, slow burn…could this book be any better? I have to thank a blog follower for recommending this book to me. I loved it. It was so well written that I can’t wait for more from this author!

And let me just say that Aaron is so incredibly HOT. This man knows consent and he knows what he wants. When that is FINALLY made apparent, ahhhh, it was amazing! You go Catalina. I loved you too.

Amazon | Goodreads

Waylaid is a new romance book by Sarina Bowen.

by Sarina Bowen

A Young Adult Romance That Was OK
Published July 2021
3.5 stars

Daphne Shipley doesn’t understand why Rickie keeps flirting with her, especially since he stood her up all those years ago. Only now that their paths have crossed again and he’s living in her house, working on her family farm, he doesn’t seem to remember the six hours they spent together.

They’re both keeping secrets, even if he can’t remember his, but that doesn’t mean they should help each other, or kiss each other, does it?

I’d say Rickie stole the show for me in this one because he was just a really fun guy. Definitely a well written book by Bowen but I just didn’t really care for the mystery behind Rickie’s memory loss or the story behind Daphne’s issues which is why it kind of dragged for me and hence the lower stars but that’s just me.

Amazon | Goodreads

Dear Mr. Brody is a must read MM teacher student romance book.

Dear Mr. Brody
by A.M. Johnson

A MM, Teacher Student Romance I Loved
Published August 2021
4 stars

Donovan Brody, recently divorced, single dad sees his single status as an opportunity to explore the attraction he’s always felt toward men, but never pursued having married his high school sweetheart.

Unsure how to proceed or even enter the dating world, he takes up his friend’s suggestion to try a dating app. He just never thought he’d make a connection so quick. Nor did he anticipate the man he’s falling for to be his student.

There was just something about this book that really hooked me. I loved how Donovan “Van” is so open to exploring this new side to himself and how wonderful Patrick was with him. I couldn’t wait to add this to my teacher student romance book list!

Amazon | Goodreads

Devilry is a must read MM teacher student romance book.

by Marley Valentine

An Age Gap, Teacher Student Romance I Enjoyed
Published June 2019
3.5 stars

Earning a full scholarship to King University was my hard-earned ticket out of the small town and away from the small-minded people who live there.

Diving head first into new experiences, new friends, and parties, I didn’t expect to run straight into the one thing I wasn’t ready for. Cole Huxley is everything I could fall in love with, except for one problem… I never wanted to fall for my professor.

This book surprised me by how much I liked Elijah, the 18-year-old freshman when I typically don’t like age gap romances. It too made my book list of teacher student romance books to read. I also liked the friendship Cole has with two other professors who each have their own teacher student love stories in this series, which I hope to read too.

Amazon | Goodreads

Feral Sins is a must read, werewolf romance book.

Feral Sins
by Suzanne Wright

A Werewolf Romance With the Best Heat and Sarcasm
Published February 2013
4.5 stars

When female wolf shifter Taryn Warner first encounters Trey Coleman, an alpha male wolf shifter with a dangerous reputation, she’s determined to resist his charms. But Taryn finds herself drawn in by Trey’s forceful demeanor and arctic-blue eyes, and she eventually agrees to enter an uneasy alliance with him.

If the two succeed in convincing their respective packs that they’ve chosen each other as mates, Trey will win valuable political allies, while Taryn will escape an odious arranged mating.

I was in a wolf kind of mood and this book totally hit the spot. If you love alpha males and sassy, sarcastic, strong heroines you’ll love this even if you aren’t into paranormal romance. I highly recommend it.

Amazon | Goodreads

Hook Line and Sinker is a new romance book release coming March 2022.

Hook, Line and Sinker
by Tessa Bailey

A Friends to Lovers Romance That Was So Much More
Coming March 2022
5 stars

King crab fisherman Fox Thornton has a reputation as a hot, carefree flirt who’s a guaranteed good time–in bed and out–and that’s exactly how he prefers it. Until he meets Hannah Bellinger. She’s immune to his charm and looks, but she seems to enjoy his… personality? And wants to be friends?

Now, Hannah’s in town for work, crashing in Fox’s spare bedroom. She’s still nursing a hopeless crush on a colleague yet the more time she spends with Fox, the more she wants him instead.

I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Hannah and Fox’s story after devouring It Happened One Summer and it did not disappoint. Gosh, what a fantastic, friends to lovers romance I couldn’t put down. I adored Hannah’s strength and Fox’s wounded soul. I’ll post a full review closer to the release date but be sure to preorder this. So, so good!!

Amazon | Goodreads

Priceless is a BDSM, new adult romance book worth reading.

by Miranda Silver

A BDSM New Adult Romance That Hooked But Kind of Fizzled
Published January 2020
3 stars

Christina is a junior in college whose life took a turn for the worse. She quit the cheer team, dropped her boyfriend, has grades in the tank and is hooked on uppers. Oh, and she’s now broke. Patrick Caruthers, the senior with the icy stare only for her offers her a proposition she can’t really refuse, can she? Three nights a week he’ll pay her to be in his bed, at his mercy.

This started out strong and interesting even though humiliation isn’t my kink. Patrick intrigued me and I wanted to learn more about him….but then the book sort of plateaued and then became drama filled. I guess if you like new adult romance this could work for you but the ending wasn’t really satisfying to me.

Amazon | Goodreads

A Really Bad Idea is a friends to lovers romance book to check out.

A Really Bad Idea
by Jeannine Colette

A Friends to Lovers Romance That Could Have Been More
Published May 2019
3 stars

Meadow always envisioned that she’d be a mom, but when she caught her professional hockey player husband in bed with another woman, that dream took a back seat. When her mother approaches her on her thirty-third birthday with a brochure for egg freezing, she decides it’s time for her to take things into her own hands.

Never did she expect her best friend, the gorgeous doctor, Christian, to suggest that they have a baby together. His only condition before doing the deed, is that they go on three dates. Can they really do this or will it change their friendship forever?

This was my pick for the August Romance Book Reading Challenge which was to read one, friends to lovers book. While it was definitely a very well written book, I can’t help but feel like I wanted more of their dating to really believe their switch from friends to lovers.

The whole pregnancy angle and Meadow’s mother’s heart condition took up a big portion of the book (understandable since Colette wrote this after her own mother’s heart health scare) but I think this book would have benefited if we saw more of their pining but this could just be me.

Amazon | Goodreads

Neon Gods is a must read, BDSM modern retelling romance book worth reading.

Neon Gods
by Katee Roberts

A Fantastic Greek Myth Retelling I Really Enjoyed
Published June 2021
4.5 stars

Society darling Persephone Dimitriou plans to flee the ultra-modern city of Olympus and start over, but her plans are ripped away when her mother ambushes her with an engagement to Zeus.

With no options left, Persephone flees to the forbidden undercity and makes a devil’s bargain with a man she once believed a myth. Hades has spent his life in the shadows, planning his revenge against Zeus. When Persephone drops into his lap and offers an opportunity to grab his revenge, he takes it. Only the more days and nights he spends with Persephone, the more he’s willing to go to war with Olympus itself to keep her his.

I admit that I totally LOVE Greek mythology and couldn’t pass up this erotic, modern retelling of Hades and Persephone. Roberts’ twist on their story was fantastic (and HOT!) and a great launch to her new Dark Olympus series. Both characters were really strong and totally fit each other. I highly recommend checking it out and can’t wait for the next book.

Amazon | Goodreads

Read These Books with Kindle Unlimited!

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Looking for More Recommendations?

Check out all of my What to Read book lists to see which romance books I recommend you read and which I suggest you skip.

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Here’s to finding your next book boyfriend!

What book did you love (or dislike) this month? Share in the comments below.

Related Book Lists:

Leslie Murphy is the owner and writer of She Reads Romance Books.

Why Trust She Reads Romance Books?

Leslie is the founder, writer, and producer of She Reads Romance Books (and the She Reads Romance Books Podcast), an online book community focused on romance books and the readers who love them because life is better with a love story.

Leslie reads 150 romance books a year and has been called a "book expert" by CNN. Reading romance is her passion and she cultivates her book lists with the best books worth reading in the genre. Leslie graduated magna cum laude from Davidson College where she honed her writing skills and also holds two Master's degrees. Join her community in the She Reads Romance Books Reader Lounge.

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She Reads Romance Books helps romance book lovers find their next book boyfriend because life is better with a love story.