A look at what’s steaming up the shelves this month.
School has started for my kids and my teacher-husband, and no matter how long I’ve been out of it myself, it still feels like a new beginning. New notebooks, pencils that still have their erasers, the promise of fall weather (eventually, right?)… Ah, it’s a clean slate. This is the time of year when I start clearing away my always overly ambitious summer-reading pile to make way for my equally overly ambitious fall-reading pile. (The difference? My fall pile has fewer beaches and more magic.)
As we ease into September, that in-between month when the days are still long and often hot, here’s a look at a couple of the books I’ve been enjoying in these last days of summer.
Holly James’ The Déjà Glitch (Dutton) is the kind of romance I love: two likable characters, a compelling storyline, and the sort of happy-ever-after that makes you believe anything is possible.
When radio producer Gemma Peters runs into Jack Lincoln at an L.A. coffeeshop one Thursday morning, she can’t shake a sense of déjà vu. She doesn’t think it’s possible that she knows this handsome stranger, but she can’t ignore the feeling that there’s something more between them than a mere chance encounter.
For Jack, the morning feels just like yesterday because he’s been seeing Gemma every day for the past five months. Somehow, he has to convince her of that truth so they can figure out a way to get time back on track. Jack, who has fallen in love with Gemma over the course of their run-ins, thinks the only way he’ll ever be free from this time loop is if she falls in love with him, too.
While she has her doubts about the veracity of his wacky theory, Jack knows enough about her personal life to build a convincing argument. So, with the encouragement of her best friend, Lila, Gemma agrees to give it a day and see if he’s right. As she spends time with Jack, she realizes that he’s gotten to know her in a way no one else can. But is one day enough time for her to fall in love with him?
With a swoon-worthy hero and some sparkling chemistry, James delivers in The Déjà Glitch a “Groundhog Day”-style tale that’s fresh and fun.
Spies? Check. International intrigue. Check. Romance? Check. Humor? Check. One of my favorite books of 2023? Big check! Ally Carter’s The Blonde Identity (Avon) has it all.
A woman wakes up on a snowy Paris sidewalk with no memory of who she is or why she’s there. Smoldering-hot spy Jake Sawyer shows up to rescue her from some deadly bad guys, informing her that she’s his partner, her name is Alex, and she’s a rogue CIA agent on the run from a dangerous Russian oligarch. Only…she isn’t. She’s actually Alex’s identical twin, Zoe. And while she isn’t sure about anything in her life, she’s not convinced she’s a spy.
The bad guys and the CIA are after Alex, but since Zoe looks just like her sister, she’s become a target, too. It’s a lot to deal with, but Zoe does her best to take it all in stride even as people are trying to kill her. Brooding, sexy Jake may be a lethal operative who’s completely closed-off emotionally, but he still has a conscience and can’t abandon the seemingly helpless Zoe. Of course, protecting her from assassins is easy; it’s protecting his heart that becomes surprisingly difficult.
As Zoe and Jake race across Europe trying to unravel the mess Alex created, Zoe discovers that although she may not be a spy, she can kick ass with the best of them. With a denouement worthy of the big screen, The Blonde Identity is a fast-paced, laugh-out-loud, steamy, grumpy/sunshine story that pays off in a big way!
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.