Seline's Top 10 Romance Books for Summer Reading

Seline's Top 10 Romance Books for Summer Reading

Sometimes it's nice to curl up with a good book. You get engrossed with the story, setting, and characters, and it can be hard to put down and go to bed. And it always helps to have a good romantic plot! So for those of you who love romances and want to expand your booklist with a cast of diverse characters and storylines, check out these picks by avid reader and lifestyle blogger, Seline DuMane (@lifebytheink).

She says, "As the summer season approaches, one of my favorite pastimes is the chance to indulge in reading, whether that's at the beach or my front porch. Here are some of my favorite books. Some of them are on backlist and some are releases I'm anticipating, but all of them I recommend reading this summer!"

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Séline DuMane
Lifestyle Blogger
  • Casey McQuiston
    One Last Stop

    Séline DuMane

    McQuiston writes another incredible, unconventional romance book! This sapphic rom-com is a historically driven story that explores queer communities through the time travel driven story of our two vibrant leads. One is August, a cynical loner who likes to solve mysteries, and the second is Jane, a punk rock lesbian stuck on the Q train since 1970. 

    This story is filled with witty charm, a wholesome found family trope with a tremendously diverse cast, and the chance to expect the unexpected. It was heartwarming and authentic in all the best places.
  • Talia Hibbert
    Get a Life, Chloe Brown

    Séline DuMane

    This is the first book in a series about the Brown family. In it, Hibbert introduces the first sister, Chloe, a chronically ill computer geek with a goal, a plan, and a list. After almost—but not quite—dying, she’s come up with seven directives to help her “Get a Life.” 

    This book was a gem to read, as the lead was an incredibly relatable character with a refreshing lens on realistic adulting. And once the love interest, Red, enters the scene, the well-written, hilarious banter between the two leads carries the sexy romantic comedy up until the very last page. This delight of a book is wrapped with the most tender, enduring bow.
  • Alexis Daria
    You Had Me at Hola

    Séline DuMane

    For fans of Jane the Virgin, You Had Me at Hola is for you! This is an addictive and hilarious romantic comedy read that highlights progressive representation in Hollywood. It has a Latinx cast and a steamy, fun romance between the leads Jasmine and Ashton, who have palpable chemistry. 

    I know that, as readers, we're used to seeing books being turned into movies or TV series adaptations, but this was refreshing because it was like the complete opposite! It felt like this was a movie inside of a book and it had plenty of drama between characters. 

    You Had Me at Hola was incredibly fun to read cover to cover and is a great addition to your summer reading. Plus, it had plenty of clever dialogue!
  • Emiko Jean
    Tokyo Ever After

    Séline DuMane

    Today's generation of The Princess Diaries comes with a fresh take on a very familiar storyline and the exploration of race and fitting into a particular culture. 

    It's an endearing romantic comedy where our heroine, Izumi, must figure out how to navigate the spaces between personal identity, the opinions of those around her, and a forbidden romance, but she does find her happily ever after in the end. 

    When Izumi gets the chance to go to Japan to learn how to be royal, her character begins to flourish on her heartwarming journey. And, overall, she was a lovable character who was exciting, relatable, and quick-witted despite her difficult circumstances. Also, the author, Jean's writing is so beautiful, which made this young adult story so addicting!
  • Madeline Miller
    The Song of Achilles

    Séline DuMane

    This is a profoundly moving and utterly tragic romantic retelling of the Iliad with Achilles and Patroclus. The two meet by chance, form a strong bond, and join the Greek cause in the battle of Troy, where tragedy awaits. 

    Miller's writing craft is wholly lyrical and unique, and it will not disappoint, as this story carries with you for a lifetime. But the greatness of this book can only be truly expressed through the act of reading it yourself.

    In order to keep this spoiler-free, my only advice as I urge you to read this is: get your tissues ready, because you will be emotional from beginning to end! This is one of my favorite greek mythology-inspired stories to date.
  • K.A. Tucker
    The Simple Wild

    Séline DuMane

    Even though this does not have a summer-y backdrop, it is still a perfect romance to add to your list! It reads similarly to what watching your favorite hallmark movies feels like. It's an endearing story in which the heroine, Calla, goes back to her childhood roots in Alaska to spend time with her father who is diagnosed with lung cancer. 

    There, she finds love, not only with her family again, but with the most unexpected people that she will soon call family as well. This book will pull your heartstrings in all directions and there is a certain "lumberjack Yeti" who will become your next book boyfriend. 

    It's an unexpected love story that requires soul-searching in an Alaskan small town and opening your heart to the people least expected.
  • Helen Hoang
    The Bride Test

    Séline DuMane

    The second installment from Hoang's romance collection comes as a standalone book about love across continents and in spite of difficult circumstances. And Helen Hoang is incredible at giving a cast of diverse characters with relatable situations. 

    Khai, a high-functioning autistic primary character, and Esme, a mixed-race girl from Ho Chi Minh City come together in unexpected circumstances set up by Khai's mother. Their interactions, and the following story, give subtle education about internal processing, growth, and love. 

    The romance between the leads was so exciting and developed beautifully. They are two people you will always want to root for.
  • Bolu Babalola
    Love in Color

    Séline DuMane

    If you're in the mood for a short read, this is the perfect pick-me-up. Babalola's collection of short love stories all take inspiration from old fables, ranging from Greek mythology to classic Middle Eastern tales. 

    In other words, she explores the coloration of love with non-white, diverse stories and incredible writing skills to deliver beautiful love stories and themes that will stay with you well after the last page. My favorite stories from this anthology specifically were Osun, Nefertiti, Naleli, and Zhinu.
  • Abigail Hing Wen
    Loveboat, Taipei

    Séline DuMane

    This book is like a young adult version of Crazy Rich Asians. You first meet the main character, Ever, who has a life predestined for her by strict parents. But when they send her to Taipei, they do not realize that the program they shipped her off to is a "loveboat" filled with surprises. 

    Abigail Hing Wen highlights the experiences as a first-generation Asian-American and the cultural pressures one receives as one. She does a graceful job of it, too, and the book includes themes of stereotyping, racism, toxic relationships, and more. 

    Loveboat, Taipei has a refreshing cast that develops complex relationships with each other, and each of their stories makes up one own-voices love story about self-discovery as well as finding your place within the roots of tenderness and love.
  • Christina Lauren
    The Unhoneymooners

    Séline DuMane

    If you need to transport yourself to a tropical scene this summer while stuck at home, this will be a great read for you! This was such a fun rom-com to read. 

    Our two leads, Olive and Ethan, hate each other, but Ethan just so happens to be the best man at Olive's sister's wedding. Due to a string of events, Ethan and Olive go on a fake honeymoon to Hawaii together and hilarity and romance ensue.

    As a fan of the fake dating and marriage-of-convenience trope, this was beautifully executed and it happens to be my favorite book from the Christina Lauren duo! There were many times I laughed out loud by our lead's dialogue, ridiculously fun reactions, and overdramatic family drama.