Romance Roundup: August 2023

A look at what’s steaming up the shelves this month.

Romance Roundup: August 2023

I’m off to the beach this month and cannot wait! Of course, it’s a little bittersweet, too, because I scheduled this trip for the end of summer, and that means summer is almost over. Time is funny, isn’t it? We spend months looking forward to something, only to have it gone in a flash. Again. (Sigh.) Maybe that’s why I love reading so much. For a few hours, time stands still, and I get to immerse myself in another world. If you’re like me and in no rush to say goodbye to summer, enjoy these wonderful books that I lingered over recently. Happy reading!


If you appreciate a good road-trip story like I do, you’ll fall in love with Jessica Joyce’s debut, You, with a View (Berkley).

At 28, Noelle Shepard’s life has veered off course. At the moment, she is unemployed, living with her parents, and grieving the loss of her beloved grandmother Kathleen. Her curiosity is piqued when she finds several old photos of her grandmother with a mysterious man who’s clearly not her grandfather. Intrigued, she turns to TikTok to locate the stranger and lucks out when the man’s grandson responds to set up a meeting. Noelle is thrilled to meet Paul, her grandmother’s former beau, but her excitement wanes when she realizes his grandson is her former high-school rival, Theo Spencer.

When Noelle learns that Paul and Gram had planned to elope and take a honeymoon road trip, she decides to go herself — and Paul and Theo end up tagging along. Despite her embarrassment about the state of her life compared to Theo’s seemingly perfect one, their teasing banter soon develops into an irresistible mutual attraction. But can they figure out how to open up and let each other see all the messy parts they’ve kept hidden?

As the miles unspool, Noelle documents their travels while discovering a new side to Theo. The trip that was supposed to be a way for her to learn more about her grandmother’s past evolves into a journey of self-discovery and personal growth.

With plenty of snarky humor, beautiful scenery, and a terrific supporting cast, this heartfelt and sexy romance is a trip to remember!


The Only Purple House in Town (Sourcebooks Casablanca) is the fourth book in Ann Aguirre’s Fix-It Witches series and is a charming standalone tale of found family.

Unlike the rest of her successful and talented magical family, Iris Collins is a walking disaster who doesn’t fit in and can’t seem to get her life together. She spends her time avoiding her roommates because she owes them money and trying not to think about how she still hasn’t gotten her powers. When she inherits her great-aunt’s rundown Victorian home in the mystical town of St. Claire, Illinois, Iris jumps at the chance to start over. If nothing else, she’ll have a place to sleep without worrying about being evicted.

With grand plans to turn the shabby old house into a B&B, Iris starts renting rooms to other quirky misfits like herself. Wealthy app designer and hawk shape-shifter Eli Reese is in town to visit his grandmother and is delighted to encounter his childhood crush (Iris), except she doesn’t even remember him. He wants to get to know her better, and she obviously needs the money, so when she mistakes him for an interested tenant, Eli ends up renting a room from her — and discovers that he fits right in.

Eli’s deception isn’t the only wrench in their developing relationship, though. For someone used to letting herself down, Iris soon realizes that the stakes are much higher when other people are counting on her to succeed. Iris and Eli are two lost souls who find each other at exactly the right time, and their slow-burn love story is a treat to read. If there’s such a thing as a cozy paranormal romance, this is it.

Kristina Wright lives in Virginia with her husband, their two sons, two goldendoodles, a ginger cat, and a green parrot. She’s a regular contributor at BookBub and a lifelong fan of romance fiction. Find her on Twitter at @kristinawright or on Bookshop, where she features her book recommendations.

Love books about love? Support the nonprofit Independent!
comments powered by Disqus