26 Quick Book Reviews: August 2022 Novel Ideas

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26 Quick Book Reviews: August 2022 Novel Ideas 28

Our August 2022 Novel Ideas has 26 quick book reviews to help you choose your next book. So whether you love historical fiction, romance or fantasy, we read some amazing books this month to help you choose what to read.

Need a personalized recommendation, send us an email and we are happy to help out. Be sure to check out all our great reviews this month. What is the best book you read this month?

*Post contains affiliate links. Purchases made through links result in a small commission to us at no cost to you. Some books have been gifted. All opinions are our own.

Kirsten’s August 2022 Novel Ideas Stack

The War Librarian and more WWI books like The Alice Network.

The War Librarian by Addison Armstrong

This dual-timeline story is about both a librarian during WWI and a female cadet in the first class of women at the U.S. Naval Academy. There are so many strong women in our list of books like the Alice Network.

Both women in this story are connected in multiple ways, including being females in a trailblazing role customarily reserved for men.

While I found Librarian, Emmaline’s story to be more engrossing, I found Kathleen Carre’s struggles in the male-dominated school fascinating too. I wouldn’t mind reading a book just about the first few classes of women in various military academies.

Thanks to Putnam for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
the littlest library

The Littlest Library by Poppy Alexander

Jess loses her library job and her grandmother who raised her around the same time. She decides she needs a change. She buys a little cottage in a new town that also comes with an old telephone booth.

Soon, she is making friends with her neighbors and turning her phone booth into a cute community library! I loved watching Jess learn to manage her grief and create a network of people around her. It was such a lovely one-sitting read.

Thanks to Avon Books for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 3 out of 5.
Meet Me Under the Mistletoe and more Christmas Books for 2022

Meet Me Under the Mistletoe by Jenny Bayliss

Nory, a used bookstore owner, is back in her hometown staying in a castle for her posh friend’s wedding. Reunited after years apart, this group of high school friends have lots of secrets and shared memories.

But during the week-long festivities, Nory is drawn to her former childhood nemesis, Isaac, who now runs the castle grounds and gardens.

I thought this would just be a charming Christmas romance novel, but it deals with the fallout from one of the friends in their group who had committed suicide a few years prior. Mental health, adultery, and classism are just a few of the heavier topics discussed in this book.

This one is the perfect Christmas book club pick for 2022.

Thanks to Penguin Random House for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 3 out of 5.
a very merry bromance

A Very Merry Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams

Technically this steamy Christmas romance novel is the 5th in the Bromance Book Club series, but it can be read as a standalone (which I know because I’ve never read any of the others!)

Jackie loved the first book in this series, so I knew I would probably want to dive into the Christmas tale. It’s all about Colton, a country star and total sweetheart, who is head-over-heels for Gretchen, a grumpy immigration attorney.

It was steamy and swoony and I loved every minute of this Christmas story that fulfills the grumpy sunshine trope with Christmas joy!!

Thanks to Berkley for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
The It Girl by Ruth Ware

The It Girl by Ruth Ware

Ruth Ware’s slow-burn style of writing psychological thrillers continues to impress. This Dark Academia murder mystery focuses on the murder of April, an It Girl at Oxford.

Her accused murderer has recently died in prison, causing her best friend, Hannah to question if she wrongfully put the wrong person in prison. As Hannah reevaluates the murder a decade later, new information comes to light that has her questioning everything she knew about that time in her own life and April’s.

This pick from our summer reads 2023 is a long book and a slow burn, but I didn’t see the ending coming! I thought I figured out the murderer early on and was dead wrong.

Thanks to Gallery Books for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
merry little meet cute

Merry Little Meet Cute by Julie Murphy and Sierra Simone

This is one steamy Christmas romance novel that is unlike any other. The premise alone is hysterical – a female adult film star is accidentally cast in a cheesy Christmas movie. As Bee tries to keep her identity under wraps, she falls hard for reformed boyband member, Nolan.

The kinky things these two get into while working on the film made me blush. Add in a film crew that is half regular industry and half secretly adult film industry and you have a book that is absolutely hysterical.

Do NOT read this one if you are faint of heart. It’s definitely not a romance for your grandma…or maybe it is for the right grandmom. 😉

Thanks to Avon Books for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 3 out of 5.
Cover story

Cover Story by Susan Rigetti

Like everyone, I fell deep into the Netflix show Inventing Anna. When I realized this story was about a similar tale, I knew it would be the perfect summer book about con artists!

Essentially it’s about an intern named Lora who was taken in by an Elle editor named Cat Wolff whose glamorous life quickly takes over her own. But is Cat who she claims to be or is she someone else entirely?

Let’s just say this is one of those books where you get to the end and you want to go back and re-read. I gasped when I read the final chapter of this pick from summer reads 2023.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
the impossible things

These Impossible Things by Salma El-Wardany

June 2022 Read with Jenna Book Club Pick

Well, this story is a doozy. It’s a book club book worth discussing with friends, which makes sense because the heart of the story is female friendships.

Malak, Kees, and Jenna have been besties since childhood, but this story focuses on their young adulthood and their respective romantic relationships.

There is so much meat in this story to discuss – the expectations put on Muslim women, the difficulty of having (or hiding) a non-muslim partner, the call to leave Europe, and the balance of cultural traditions verse modern life. I can’t recommend this story enough. It’s one of the best books of 2022 for sure.

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Just Like magic and more Christmas romance books

Just Like Magic by Sarah Hogle

If you only read one Christmas book this holiday season, let it be Just Like Magic. I adored this funny paranormal romance book and it is defintely one of the best holiday books ever! The premise is amazing. Down-on-her-luck Bettie Hughes accidentally summons the magical Holiday Spirit, who can’t leave her until he raises her spirit level.

So going by the name of Hal, he poses as her boyfriend for her week-long family Christmas vacation. His use of magic throughout the week is hysterical. It also helps that the chemistry between Hal and Bettie crackles. It’s unlike any other Christmas story I’ve read in the best way possible! If you are looking for reverse grumpy sunshine books, this should be on the top of your list.

Thanks to Putnam for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Every Summer After and more goodreads choice awards 2022 books

Every Summer After by Carley Fortune

I absolutely adored this charming second-chance romance set at a lake house. It was one of the most popular books on Instagram this summer and for good reason.

Sam is the teenage boy we all needed in our lives growing up, and he gets better with age! Meanwhile, I was rooting for Percy to get her happily ever after with Sam the whole time. I was swept away by their summer love story and you will be too!

This is a must-read if you are looking for the best summer reads for 2023.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
Always Be My Duchess by Amalie Howard

Always Be My Duchess by Amalie Howard

I have a thing for historical romance books like Bridgerton, so I knew I had to read the first in the Taming the Dukes series that Amalie Howard wrote.

Lord Blackstone needs a faux-fiance to secure a land deal, and he stumbles upon the perfect partner in out-of-work ballerina, Geneviève. We all know what happens in faux-dating romances, and yet, it’s still satisfying when the couple falls in love EVERY TIME.

I’m looking forward to the next one in this series and is a perfect pick for our ultimate list of beach reads 2023!

Thanks to Forever for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 3 out of 5.
American Royalty

American Royalty by Tracey Livesay

This story is semi-based on Meghan and Harry’s romance. Prince Jameson is a reclusive royal who doesn’t want to be in the spotlight. Dani AKA “Duchess” is an American rapper who wants to give up rap to focus on her beauty line.

When Jameson is tasked with creating a concert for the Queen, he books Duchess before listening to her music. Eager to take a break, Duchess ends up in London early and stays with Jameson in his castle. Romance blooms in a MAJOR way.

I had to suspend belief a lot while reading this one. As someone that loves to indulge in many royal romances, I considered myself well-versed in the British Royal Family and royal reads. So there were many scenes I had to remember this was fiction because in no way would some of these scenarios happen.

Still, I was entertained and I loved the ending. I really hope there is a sequel to this one because I’d love to see this story expanded on.

Thanks to Avon Books for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 3 out of 5.
good girl

Good Girl Complex by Elle Kennedy

I have long been a fan of Elle Kennedy. Her books appear on our list of college romance books and they are AMAZING.

This is the first in a new series set in the beachside town of Avalon Bay. In this story, Cooper decided to go after the girlfriend of a man who got him fired. What starts as revenge, quickly turns into a real relationship with college student, Mac.

Their love story was sweet and satisfying and I can’t wait to read Cooper’s twin’s story next month.

Rating: 3 out of 5.
the kingdoms of savannah

Kingdoms of Savannah by George Dawes Green

I had trouble getting into this murder mystery set in Savannah, Georgia. I wanted to solve the mystery, and yet, I never really found myself caring about the murdered person or the story behind it.

The writing was beautiful, as I would expect from a Moth winner, but the story dragged. I didn’t like any of the characters especially the family investigating the case. And the ending wasn’t all that satisfying either.

Thanks to Celadon for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.
A Winter Wedding

A Winter Wedding at Willowtree Hall by Alison Sherlock

This charming story is being released as an audiobook this year and it’s a sweet Christmas romance book for 2022.

Will is back at Willowtree Hall after his recent tabloid scandal and loss of his job. He thinks he can move into the Willowtree Lodge he’s expecting to inherit until Skye shows up claiming she owns the Lodge too.

Soon Skye is being welcomed into the community and Will is catching feelings – even if he wants the Lodge for himself. As they work together to help Will’s older brother get the Christmas wedding of his dreams, their romance blooms in a delightful way. If you are looking for holiday books, this is a must-read.

Thanks to Saga for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Jackie’s August 2022 Books Stack

The Ballad of the Never after and more goodreads choice awards 2022 books

Ballad of Never After (Once Upon a Broken Heart Series #2) by Stephanie Garber

This is the second book in the New York Times best-selling YA fantasy series. Jacks has betrayed Evangaline for the last time and she swears that she will never trust him again. But now, Evangeline finds herself cursed and must rely on Jacks to help her try and break the curse.

Stephanie Garber never fails to write a YA fantasy novel that is unputdownable. Beware the ending. I cannot believe I have to wait to find out what happens because there is no way this story is over. This was a must on our list of ultimate beach reads 2023.

Thanks to PRH Audio for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Bend toward the Sun

Bend Toward the Sun by Jen Devon

Rowan has a Ph. D in botany and is suffering from a setback in her research. She decides to take a position to help restore a winery vineyard until she is able to resume her research and start a post-doc position. She has her two best friends and that is all she needs after an emotionally abusive mother and a similar ex-fiance.

She does not expect to meet Harrison, an OB who has issues of his own. This is such a well-written romance and I loved seeing these two characters overcome heartache and distrust. This is a fun one that is also on our list of fiction books about wine and is such a great pick from ultimate beach reads 2023.

Thanks to St. Martin Griffin for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
love on the brain

Love on the Brain by Ali Hazelwood

Bee is a brilliant and unconventional scientist who lives by a strict code “what would Marie Curie Do?” She even has a secret Twitter account to help other female scientists in a male-dominated workplace.

When she is offered her dream job at Nasa, she cannot wait to start until she realized that she is not the lead scientist. She is the co-lead with her work nemesis Levi Ward. To make matters worse, he seems to be sabotaging everything that she tries to do. Could there be a better pick for enemies-to-lovers books?

Ali Hazelwood does an amazing job of writing office romances while still including the struggles that women have to deal with on a daily basis. This book was a clear choice for Books Like The Love Hypothesis. It’s an Audie Awards 2023 finalist and a perfect pick for beach reads 2023.

Thanks to PRH Audio for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
The Magic of Lemon Drop Pie

The Magic of Lemon Drop Pie by Rachel Linden

After Lolly’s mother dies, she abandoned her hopes and dreams as well as the love of her life to stay and run the families struggling Seattle diner. Now, as her 33rd birthday approaches, she is sad and lost. Everyone seems to be living the life they chose except her.

For a birthday gift, her aunt gives her magic lemon drops which will allow her to relive one day in a life that might have been. What if she never broke up with her fiance? What if her mom didn’t die?

This book is such a thoughtful and original book that really makes you think- is there something you would want a “do-over”? I loved this adorable book from our ultimate beach reads 2023.

Thanks to PRH Audio for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Legendborn by Tracy Deonn

Why did I not read this book before now? In a way, I’m glad I just read this because I only have to wait a few more months for the sequel. If you love YA fantasy, this King Arthur re-imagining is a must-read!

Bree Matthews’s mother died in a tragic accident and she cannot seem to recover. When she has a chance to attend a special program for bright high school students at UNC-Chapel Hill, she jumps at the chance.

When Bree witnesses a magical attack on her first night there, her world is thrown upside down as she enters the world of the Legendborn. It is a secret society of students with powerful magic who are also descendants of King Arthur!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
the unlikely Pilgrimage

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

Harold Fry is an unhappy retiree who lives with his wife who is as unhappy as he is. She is irritated by everything he does. When he receives a letter from Queenie Hennessey to let him know that she is dying of cancer, he embarks on a journey to walk 600 miles to hand-deliver the letter to his dying friend. He has not seen her in over 20 years and he suddenly knows that writing a letter will never be enough.

This novel is full of fun and humor but is also poignant and powerful. It is easy to see why this was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
final girls

Final Girls by Riley Sager

This thriller was Riley Sager’s first book. It also happens to be one of my favorite books of his. It was the winner of the International Thrillers Writer Award for Best Hardcover Novel in 2018 and for good reason.

Quincy is a member of a club to which only three girls belong. Final girls are the only survivors of mass killings. Ten years after Quincy’s horrible nightmare in a cabin in the wood, she is being forced to relive the memories that she has completely blocked out since that night.

This book had completely unexpected twists that kept me guessing until the last chapter. Did you read the Riley Sager Books in order of publication?

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
number the stars

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

This is a very powerful middle-grade historical fiction that I think every child should read. This Newbery-Medal Winning book takes place during WWII in Denmark.

This book captured so much emotion, the beauty of friendship, and the power of kindness all while avoiding bringing in gruesome facts about the war. In fact, this book emphasizes the small miracles that took place in order to save Denmark’s Jewish population.

Rating: 5 out of 5.
A Lesson in Vengeance and 16 more magic school books.

A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria Lee

I have been hearing so much about this book and I knew that I needed to read it. Felicity Morros is back at the prestigious Dalloway school to finish high school after a year away. Her mother has pulled strings to get her back to Godwin house even after the terrible events that led to the death of her girlfriend.

Now, despite her past and despite the history of witchcraft and death at the school, Felicity is determined to move forward. But, when she meets Ellis Haley, nothing goes as planned.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
oddest little cornish tea shop

The Oddest Little Cornish Tea Shop by Beth Good

In this little book, Charlie Bell is re-opening her aunt’s tea shop despite the rumors that it is cursed. After the first day ends in a disaster, Charlie wonders if she should have left the shop closed. Suddenly, Gideon Patherick is there to help and he just might be the key to her success.

This is a cute novella that was a one-sitting read.

Rating: 3 out of 5.
husband material

Husband Material by Alexis Hall

I loved Boyfriend Material and was so excited to read this book. To me, it did not live up to the expectations. The first book was a perfect rom-com and I this book lacked all the “Rom”. Luc and Oliver seem to spend the entire book reliving a relationship that used to be something.

I found this rather depressing and nearly stopped reading it. Maybe if I had had the expectation that this is more of a fiction book dealing with the difficulties of relationships, I would have enjoyed it more.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

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