What to Read & What to Skip: My July Reading List

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Discover which romance books you should read and which books you should skip from She Reads Romance Books' July 2020 reading list.

This month I’m kicking off a new feature on the blog: mini book reviews for the books I read each month!

This will give you a quick look at what romance books I suggest you read and which books I suggest you skip.

These monthly book lists will feature new romance book releases as well as throw backs that I finally pick up from my FULL backlog of books to read.

Looking at my pile of books, I’d say July was a busy month of reading for me!

Check out my favorites and my not-so favorites below.

My July 2020 Reading List: What to Read & What to Skip

Favorite Book of the Month:

Hothead by Stella Rhys is the latest, all-time favorite romance book read by romance book blogger, She Reads Romance Books. It’s a contemporary, fake relationship romance with a sexy baseball player. Read her full book review to see if you’ll find this book worth reading too.

by Stella Rhys
Favorite Fake Relationship
5 stars

Drew is a sexy MLB star who’s worried that his job is on the chopping block because of his hothead reputation. To turn things around, he proposes a fake relationship to Evie, a girl desperate to make her ex-fiance jealous.

This was seriously the perfect romance for me. Two strong characters, a ton of heat and chemistry and a great story line without needless drama.

Fans of sports romance and fake relationship love stories will love this book. [Full Book Review]

Related: Best Fake Relationship Romance Books

July Books To Read and Those to Skip:

Reckless by Stella Rhys is the her latest, 2020 new romance book release in the Irresistible series, but can easily be read as a standalone. Check out the book review by romance book blogger, She Reads Romance Books to learn more about this office romance worth reading.

by Stella Rhys
Fabulous Office Romance
5 stars

When AJ gets hired at one of the top sports agencies, she is instantly attracted to her boss. Not one to mix business with pleasure, she stuffs that attraction down deep. But when she catches her fiance with another woman, all bets are off.

Rhys always gives her characters such amazing backstories. They are so unique and often a bit heart wrenching which makes the happy ending all the sweeter! She does the same with AJ and Sean in Reckless.

This was a fabulous office romance between boss and assistant that was full of chemistry and built on years of working together. A must read.

Related: Best Office Romance Books

Logan book cover.

by Jay McLean
A New Adult Love Affair
5 stars

Logan is a high school drop out who outraces his demons with the help of Mary. She’s the only thing that can help, until he meets Aubrey.

WOW…my heart is still reeling from this one. I cried so many times I lost count. Logan was my first book by this author and she blew me away with her writing.

A book that explores the strong bonds of family, resilience and a love affair with marijuana to escape trauma. A moving, enemies to lovers, new adult romance that is extremely powerful and well written. [Trigger warning: child abuse].

In a Holidaze is the latest contemporary romance book writing duo Christina Lauren. Mae is stuck in a time loop reliving her Christmas holiday but at least she has the chance to right a wrong - which was kissing the wrong brother! Read the book review by romance book blogger, She Reads Romance Books to see if you’ll find this book worth reading too.

In a Holidaze
by Christina Lauren
Time Loop Holiday Romance
3 stars

Releasing October 6, 2020
*advanced reader copy

Maelyn is spending the holidays at a cabin in Utah with her family and friends. Only she wakes up the morning after Christmas having kissed her long-time friend, NOT his brother whom she’s had a massive crush on since she was a teen. That morning kicks off a time loop where she’s stuck reliving the same vacation giving her a chance to right the past.

The time loop plot was a neat twist without being overdone but the book would have been better with more character development. I would have also enjoyed Andrew’s POV but overall a unique holiday tale, just not my favorite of Christina Lauren’s. [Full Book Review]

Arrogant Bastard book cover.

Arrogant Bastard
by Jennifer Dawson
Office Romance That Dragged
2.5 stars

Cat is desperate for a farm manager to run her family’s business and Caden is her last hope only she knows he’s hiding something.

It’s hard for me to like a book where the hero calls the heroine a slut and more than once. The initial chemistry between Caden and Cat gave the book a good start but then the story just dragged.

It just wasn’t the book for me. 

Related: Best Office Romance Books

The Risk is a must read college romance book by Elle Kennedy in the Briar U series. If you love fake relationships and enemies to lovers romance books, then you’ll find this book worth reading. Book review by She Reads Romance Books

The Risk
by Elle Kennedy
Fake Relationship With Hot Chemistry
5 stars

Desperate to claim a sports broadcasting internship, Brenna has no choice but to ask hockey star Jake to pose as her boyfriend. Not sure it’s the best idea to fake date the coach’s daughter from a rival school, Jake still accepts with one caveat: She must give him one real date for every fake date.

This is a fantastic read. Both a fake relationship and enemies to lovers story – it sizzles with heat. Brenna is a strong heroine and Jake is the type of romantic hero that I adore. The perfect book boyfriend. This is a must read. [Full Book Review]

Related: Best Fake Relationship Romance Books & Best Enemies to Lovers Romance Books

The Play book cover

The Play
by Elle Kennedy
Lackluster College Romance
2 stars

Hunter is the new captain of the hockey team at Briar U and is determined to make up for last season. To stay focused, he’s going celibate – until he’s tempted by Demi.

I DNF’d this one at 85%.

I really liked Hunter but I didn’t care for Demi. It had good writing but was so achingly slow that I just didn’t care to find out how it ends.

I’ve been so hot or cold with this series. Stick with The Risk and skip the rest in the Briar U series.

Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall is a Brittish, MM gay romance book releasing in July 2020. Fans of opposites attract love stories and the fake relationship trope will find this book worth reading. Book review by romance book blogger, She Reads Romance Books

Boyfriend Material
by Alexis Hall
Witty, Brittish Rom Com
3 stars

*advanced reader copy

One compromising photo too many puts Luc’s job in jeopardy. His one chance at redemption turns out to be a fake relationship with a respectable boyfriend to clean up his image. That “job” falls to Oliver Blackwood, a barrister, who is the opposite of Luc in every way.

This is worth a read for fans of fake relationship stories and opposites attract romances. This was my first Hall book and though the banter was great, the prose at times got wordy. I also found Luc to be a bit depressing but Oliver was great. [Full Book Review]

Related: Best MM Romance Books

Hands Down book cover.

Hands Down
by Mariana Zapata
An Utterly Disappointing Read
1 star

Bianca thought she was over being ghosted by her friend all those years ago but now Zack’s back in her life and she’s at risk of getting her heart broken a second time.

This should have been a DNF for me.

There was so much needless repetition, nicknames that were cringe-worthy and a complete lack of chemistry between the two leads.

Though Zapata is a great writer, this was a disappointing friends to lovers story that you should definitely pass on.

Nerdy Little Secret by Carrie Aarons is a fun, cute romance book where the nerd scores the popular girl. Fans of opposites attract love stories and college romance novels will find this book worth reading. Book review by romance book blogger, She Reads Romance Books.

Nerdy Little Secret
by Carrie Aarons
College Romance Between the Nerd and the Beauty
3 stars

*advanced reader copy

Mick and Jolie met while working at a summer camp. Now they are both on the same college campus but can two opposites – the nerd and the beauty – find more than a summer fling?

Mick considered himself a nerd but he was quite the book boyfriend. Unfortunately Jolie came off as the dense, party girl she didn’t want to be known as and I couldn’t warm up to her. Overall a cute new adult romance that was an opposites attract love story. [Full Book Review]

Wild at Heart by K.A. Tucker is a wonderful, contemporary romance book that continues the love story between Calla and Jonah from The Simple Wild . This is an amazing romance book worth reading to see what really happens after falling in love. Book review by She Reads Romance Books

Wild at Heart
by K.A. Tucker
HEA Worth Waiting For
5 stars

Wild at Heart continues the story started in The Simple Wild which I highly recommend reading first. Calla and Jonah fell in love in the wilds of Alaska, but can they make their relationship last?

Wild at Heart gives you a beautiful love story set in awe-inspiring setting that is a character all its own. It gives you a front row seat to watching how a couple, despite their differences, strives to make it work so that they can live out their epic love story. This was a tremendous book that I highly recommend! [Full Book Review]

Related: Best Books of 2020 so Far

This month definitely had a lot of highlights and a few low lights for sure but I was happy to read several books that earned 5 stars.

What was your favorite romance book to read in July 2020? Share below!

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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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