The books Southern indie booksellers are recommending to readers everywhere!

Romantic Comedy

The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

A Summer Read This Next! Selection!

If, like me, your catnip is the taciturn, brainy, hot hero who is secretly a big squishy marshmallow at heart, you can look nor further than this awesome debut! It’s also sexy, witty, and features a well-rounded cast of characters in a STEM environment.

The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood, (List Price: 16, Berkley, 9780593336823, September 2021)

Reviewed by Angela Trigg, The Haunted Book Shop in Mobile, Alabama

We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This by Rachel Lynn Solomon

This was my first time reading Rachel Lynn Solomon’s YA, and now I want to go back and read everything she’s written. I loved the representation in this book: not only are the characters racially diverse, but there is also great LGBTQ representation, plus the main character has OCD and a side character has depression. It is great to see so many different kinds of characters in one book. The set-up is perfect for a sweet romance: Quinn Berkowitz is the daughter of wedding-planner parents, and she’s expected to join the family business officially after college. But Quinn feels jaded about romance and wants to pursue her own dreams. A great book about finding yourself!


We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This by Rachel Lynn Solomon (List Price: $19.99, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 9781534440272, 6/1/2021)

Reviewed by Kate Storhoff, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

The Road Trip by Beth O’Leary

The Road Trip vividly tells the story of Addie and Dylan; they fell hard for each other and their relationship ended in horrible terms. Now somehow after not speaking to each other for awhile, they are stuck in a car together for a long trip to a mutual friend’s wedding. Told from both of their perspectives and present and past tense, Beth O’Leary can somehow take a simple idea and make it deep, funny, endearing and entertaining.

The Road Trip by Beth O’Leary (List Price: $17, Berkley, 9780593335024, 6/1/2021)

Reviewed by Deanna Bailey, Story on the Square in McDonough, Georgia

Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto

Think Weekend at Bernie’s but filled with hilarious, amazing, and brazen Chinese-Indonesian Aunties. I LOVED this book. Like, deep love. Like help dispose of a body and cover up a murder love. Dial A for Aunties is funny and outrageous and, surprisingly, romantic. If your family drives you crazy, but would also drive with a dead body in their trunk for you, then maybe you should cut them some slack and appreciate them. 😉

Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto (List Price: $26, Berkley, 9780593336731, 4/27/2021)

Reviewed by Kate Towery, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia

One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston

A Spring 2021 Read This Next! Title

One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston
Griffin, June

August has grown up believing that being alone is best. Then she moves to New York and gets caught up with her new wacky roommates, who drag her out of her comfort zone. And she meets Jane, a girl on the subway she has an instant connection with. The only problem is…Jane is literally stuck on the train, displaced somehow from her life in the 1970s. So August makes it her mission to solve the mystery of Jane and fix it so she can be where and when she belongs, even though August wants Jane to belong with her more than anything. If The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue were a rom-com, this would be it. McQuiston has written a big-hearted, laugh-out-loud funny, and tender novel that will speak to readers about love and connection and friendship and family.

– Melissa Oates from Fiction Addiction in Greenville, SC

Better than the Movies by Lynn Painter

A Spring 2021 Read This Next! Title

Better than the Movies by Lynn Painter
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, May

Better Than the Movies is such a joy of a book! You’ve got enemies to lovers with a main character who has the energy of Jack Black’s character in The Holiday–goofy and sweet, full of love and loss, and of course, a deep, nerdy love for movie soundtracks. Better than the Movies will have you squealing and swooning.

– Brittany Bunzey from Read With Me, A Children’s Book & Art Shop in Raleigh, NC

The Bookshop of Second Chances by Jackie Fraser

Thea is having a terrible Valentine’s day. She and her husband are splitting up because he’s been cheating on her…with one of her friends. And she’s just been let go from her job. So when an uncle she doesn’t remember dies and leaves her his estate in Scotland, she decides to head up there and sort it all out, with a plan to sell. But once she gets there, she decides that she’ll stay awhile. She gets a job with the grumpy bookstore owner while she takes her time in sorting out the estate.

The Bookshop of Second Chances by Jackie Fraser (List Price: $17, Ballantine Books, 9780593355657, 5/4/2021)

Reviewed by Jennifer Jones, Bookmiser, Inc. in Marietta, Georgia

People We Meet On Vacation by Emily Henry

It’s hard to follow up a book that was as good as Beach Read, yet Emily Henry has done it again! She really knows how to suck you in with her characters and get emotionally involved. If you enjoy the opposites attract, friends-to-lovers and slow burn romance, you will definitely enjoy this!

People We Meet On Vacation by Emily Henry (List Price: $16, Berkley, 9781984806758, 5/11/2021)

Reviewed by Deanna Bailey, Story on the Square in McDonough, Georgia

First Comes Like by Alisha Rai

It turns out a there is nothing better in a romance novel than a fake relationship trope! I’ve been waiting for Jia’s story since we first met her and First Comes Like did not disappoint. Jia, the youngest of five Pakistani American sisters, often feels like she is “too much.” She’s incredibly dedicated to her career as a make-up vlogger, which took her to the other side of the country from her family, and is often regarded as impulsive. But really she’s smart and savvy, so when she realizes she’s been catfished, a fake relationship is her answer to making sure her family does not find out. I especially loved the romance in this book; Dev and Jia are so perfectly matched even if they came together in an unconventional way. Every decision Jia made felt true to her personality, her loyalty to her family and friends, and her religion. I loved this book!

First Comes Like by Alisha Rai (List Price: $15.99, Avon, 9780062878151, February, 2021)

Reviewed by Kate Storhoff, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

The Forever Girl by Jill Shalvis

Cat is getting married and she wants her two foster sisters and foster brother to be there. But they haven’t really kept up with each other, so she devises a plan to get them all back and connecting again. It might work, it might blow up in her face. But it’s sure to be entertaining!

The Forever Girl by Jill Shalvis (List Price: $16.99, William Morrow Paperbacks, 9780062897855, 1/12/2021)

Reviewed by Jennifer Jones, Bookmiser, Inc. in Roswell, Georgia

Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert

Talia Hibbert’s Brown sisters books just keep getting better and better! Although I related the most to Dani Brown, I think I loved Eve Brown the most, even though she literally hits someone with her car in the opening of this book. As far as meet-cutes go, it’s not the most opportune! The picturesque bed and breakfast in the Lake District was the perfect setting for this sweet romance.

Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert (List Price: $15.99, Avon, 9780062941275, 3/9/2021)

Reviewed by Kate Storhoff, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Rosie’s Travelling Tea Shop by Rebecca Raisin

Rosie has an impressive job as a sous chef at a Michelin starred restaurant and a husband she loves. But it all comes crashing down when her husband dumps her for someone else…on her birthday, no less! Rosie looks at her life and realizes that her job doesn’t actually make her happy. So the morning after a bit too much to drink, Rosie wakes up to discover that she’s bought a travel camper. She then decides to give the nomad life a try as she travels around in her new, mobile tea shop.

Rosie’s Travelling Tea Shop by Rebecca Raisin (List Price: $16.99, HQ, 9780008414207, 2/16/2021)

Reviewed by Jennifer Jones, Bookmiser, Inc. in Roswell, Georgia

Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert

A Winter 2021 Read This Next! Title

Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert
Avon, March

Talia Hibbert is the queen of cozy, sexy, hate-to-love romance and I want to soak in the Brown sisters’ stories forever. Eve, the youngest sister, finally gets the spotlight as her journey for self-actualization leads her to an adorable B&B, whereupon she immediately hits her love interest with her car. Eve is the definition of chaotic good and her entanglement with the very LAWFUL good Jacob is squee-worthy and hot as hell.

— Sami Thomason-Fyke, Square Books in Oxford, MS

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