Summer is in full swing and there are so many wonderful books being released. I have two recommendations for you today.

The first one is Betting on the Brainiac by Melanie Jacobson. This sweet romantic comedy is the perfect summer read. There is crackling tension mixed with humor and just the right amount of layers to give the characters a realistic depth. Plus, it has kittens! And who doesn’t love some great kitten scenes?

Madison does a favor for her roommate and allows Oliver, a tech startup guy, to use her nightclub during the daylight hours as a quiet “office.” She’s so sure he’s just a nerdy guy who only wears hoodies, she seems surprised when there’s more to him. But when he overhears a fight with Madi’s demanding multi-millionaire father, the answer to both of their financial goals suddenly becomes clear—if they can have a marriage of convenience for just one year and a day, Madi will get the money she wants to set up a victim’s fund for people hurt by her father’s unethical business decisions and Oliver will have the money to keep his company afloat. But beneath those nerdy hoodies is a man that Madison is starting to have feelings for and marriage might ruin what could be a happily-ever-after for them. Can she bet on the “brainiac?”

The author does a fantastic job with sassy banter and fun flirting between the two main characters. The chemistry between them is off the charts! Beyond that, however, Betting on the Brainiac has some serious themes dealing with difficult family relationships, which makes for a well-rounded and relatable story. Readers will be laughing out loud at the “cat parents,” swooning at the masked man moments, and will never look at the 7-11 convenience store the same way again. This book is a delightful start for any summer reading book list.

Betting on the Brainiac by Melanie Jacobson, 344 pages, available in ebook and paperback.

The second recommendation is Highcliffe House by Megan Walker. This historical romance is set by the seaside and is perfect for a lazy summer afternoon when you can almost feel those salty sea breezes brush by you.

Anna Lane has been hurt by love and wants her father near her side, but he is busy considering an investment proposal from his young friend Graham Everett. Graham has annoyed Anna for years and she would rather her father have nothing to do with him. But instead of rejecting Graham’s investment proposal, Anna’s father sends her to Brighton in his place to see what she thinks of this possible investment—and he expects a thorough report from her. Anna sees her chance to possibly sever her father’s connection to Graham once and for all, but she doesn’t count on finally seeing the man Graham truly is. When matters come to a head regarding her father’s investment, could Anna be brave enough to risk her heart and take a chance on love?

This lovely regency romance has a sweet depth to it as the characters start out as rivals and slowly overcome their prejudices about the other to finally falling in love. The author’s style is true to the time period, and she has a way of bringing the characters to life so that they jump off the page. Readers will particularly enjoy the setting of the seaside town and several beach scenes, the detailed descriptions making it seem as if you are really there. Graham’s family, especially his little sister, steal every scene they are in, and give a glimpse into Graham’s history and why he acts the way he does.  Anna’s reaction to them is so sweet and shows her own growth as a character. The clever banter, the slow-burn romance, and the incredible setting make this book a can’t miss on your summer reading list!

Highcliffe House by Megan Walker, published by Shadow Mountain Publishing, 322 pages, available in ebook, paperback, and audiobook.

After winning $10 in a second-grade writing contest, Julie Coulter Bellon knew she wanted to be a published author someday. That dream came true and she is now an award-winning author of thirty books. She is also a podcast host for Authors Off the Page and Book Chat with Julie.