Hot Days and Steamy Books

August days are known to be hot and steamy. Maybe that’s why August is Read-a-Romance Month. As the resident hopeless romantic (yes, I love happy endings and cry over Hallmark commercials), I was asked to make a few reading recommendations to heat up the month of August.

Brushing Up on the Classics:
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Ah, the classic story of boy meets girl. Boy insults girl. Girl snubs boy. Boy saves girl’s sister. Girl gets insulted by boy’s family. Love. If you haven’t read it, where have you been for the last 200 years? You need to read this book. If you have read it, then you know how good it is. Maybe it’s time to read it again.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
The beginnings may smack a little of Cinderella, as this orphan deals with life in a not-so-pleasant household, but no one could call her brooding love interest a prince charming. One thing you can say about the Brontë sisters: they love themselves a bad boy. If you want a new take on the Jane Eyre storyline, try My Plain Jane, by Cynthia Hand, Ashton Brodi and Jodi Meadows.

Going Old School (Books my grandmother read):
The India Fan by Victoria Holt

Take the proud, rich boy from the local aristocracy and mix him up with the local vicar’s daughter who is hired to be governess to his sister’s children and throw them in the middle of India during the uprising against the East India Company. What do you expect to happen? A must read for any hopeless romantic.

Feather on the Moon by Phyllis A. Whitney
A kidnapped child, a broken-hearted mother, two con artists and the question of who will inherit Corinthea Aries’ fortune. Did I mention the Aries’ chauffeur, who is a little too mysterious for his own good? Whitney loves to mix mystery and intrigue into her romances. So, if you’re a die-hard mystery reader, you may want to check her out.

Conquering Time and Space:

The Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Girl from 1940s England meets boy from 1740s Scotland. Boy is injured. Girl saves his life. Girl is suspected of being a spy. Boy saves her life. Girl accused of being a witch. Boy saves her life. Boy is captured by the English. Girl saves his life. Lots of action in this book…in more ways than one.

The Host by Stephenie Meyer
I’m probably going to get slammed by adding this book to the mix, but I truly enjoyed the strange love triangle between an alien, her host body and the boy the host loves. Did I mention the alien’s species has invaded earth and the boy is in the resistance? Romance and aliens; what more could you ask for?

Just for Fun:
Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
Boy’s job requires him to force others to follow company’s email policy. Girl does not follow company’s email policy. Boy and girl fall in love without ever really meeting. Results: hilarity. One chapter is just the boy going “No, no, no, no.” (Should I have said “spoiler alert” there?)

Good Luck with That by Kristan Higgins
Take two women with body image and self-esteem issues and a friend’s dying wish, mix in a couple of firefighters, an ex-crush, a video game programmer and a chef, and what do you get? A lot of fun, a few tears and maybe just a little good luck. This book hits bookshelves on Tuesday, August 7, and is the HPB Book Club book for August and September. Grab yourself a copy and join the conversation. What more background on the book? Check out our Behind the Book post from Kristan Higgins herself!

Of course, this list doesn’t even scratch the surface of the wonderful romances out there, like Me Before You, A Walk to Remember, A Fault in Our Stars, The Notebook, Come Sundown, Paradise…but I’m going to have to wrap it up so that I can go read Ashley Poston’s new novel Geekerella.

What romance will you read to keep August the hottest, steamiest month of the year?