May 16, 2014

2014 summer reads (part ii)

Welcome back for the second installment of the top 10 books on my 2014 summer reading list. (Take a look at the first five here.) I've already put in requests to the library and stocked up my Nook/Kindle, so I better take this whole reading thing a little more seriously.

My 2014 Summer Reading List (Part II)

Zoey & the Moment of Zen by Cat Lavoie
The sophomore novel from my Marching Ink labelmate, I've had this in my to-read pile since it was released. I'm such a bad labelmate. The premise for this novel sounds delightful, and I loved her first book, so basically... I need to get my life, and reading list, together.
When coffee shop owner Zoey Everwood takes her obsession with ex-boyfriend Braden too far, everyone—except Zoey—is convinced a bit of fun in the sun at the Moment of Zen Wellness Resort will help her get over him once and for all.  
But Zoey's relaxing vacation turns out to be anything but peaceful when she meets Shane Lawson, a resort guest who bears a striking resemblance to Braden. And things get even more complicated when the resort's owner starts spilling secrets about Zoey’s aunt Nessa, the woman who raised her. Add a snarky Wellness Coordinator and Nate Holmes—Shane's grumpy friend—to the mix, and you've got the recipe for a perfect tropical storm. 
When Zoey comes back home with a new husband instead of tacky souvenirs, she must convince everyone she hasn't completely lost her mind. As Zoey and Shane struggle to keep the magic alive outside the resort, Zoey discovers that she isn't the only one having trouble letting go of the past. And when Nate drops a bombshell that changes everything, Zoey must decide if the old saying is true—what happens at the Moment of Zen stays at the Moment of Zen.

Definitely, Maybe in Love by Ophelia London
If I enjoy this story half as much as I've liked getting to know its author, I'll be quite pleased indeed. I'm not too worried, though. I love the premise -- it's inspired by Pride and Prejudice! I love the cover -- beautiful people kissing under an umbrella! And I love that it's a new adult addition to my list! I guess you could say, I'm already half in love with Definitely, Maybe in Love.
Spring Honeycutt wants two things: to ace her sustainable living thesis and to save the environment. Both seem hopelessly unobtainable until her college professor suggests that with a new angle, her paper could be published. Spring swears she’ll do whatever it takes to ensure that happens. 
"Whatever it takes," however, means forming a partnership with the very hot, very privileged, very conceited Henry Knightly. 
Henry is Spring's only hope at publication, but he's also the über-rich son of a land developer and cash-strapped Spring’s polar opposite—though she can't help being attracted to the way he pushes her buttons, both politically and physically. Spring finds there's more to Henry than his old money and argyle sweaters…but can she drop the loud-and-proud act long enough to let him in? Suddenly, choosing between what she wants and what she needs puts Spring at odds with everything she believes in. 
Definitely, Maybe in Love is a modern take on Pride and Prejudice that proves true love is worth risking a little pride.

A Questionable Friendship by Samantha March
The latest novel from my publisher/labelmate, I'm looking forward to reading the story about a friendship in dire straights. Not because I'm depressed, or anything, but it sounds like a unique premise. Usually the main relationship of focus in a book is romantic (which I'm a huge fan of), but this will be different in the best possible way. Samantha's stories also keep getting better and better, so this should be good!
Brynne Ropert and Portland Dolish have been best friends since being paired as roommates in college. Seven years later they are now twenty-five, married, and living in Maine–– but the two women couldn’t be more different. Brynne finds fulfillment in her life as a wife, mother and owner of a small café and bookshop, but is struggling to expand her family. Portland is still coping with her mother’s death during her childhood, and her marriage is unraveling before her eyes. Portland envies her friend’s seemingly stable and easy life while Brynne doesn’t understand the growing distance between them and cannot begin to guess what secret Portland is hiding about her husband and crumbling marriage. While one woman feels shut out, the other enters into a web of lies to protect herself.  
A Questionable Friendship explores what really makes someone a true friend, a support system, a sister. How much trust goes into a friendship and when is being a friend not enough? Brynne and Portland’s story will attempt to answer those questions, and show that happily ever after isn’t in the cards for everyone.

The Last Single Girl by Caitie Quinn
I just really like the premise of this story. And the title. Sometimes I feel like the last single girl in Lincoln, Nebraska, so maybe this tale will make me feel better. Also, this is actually a novella, which means I should be able to find some time to read it, right? (Sidebar: I'm big on using the "time" excuse, yet I hate when others do it. Sigh. I really am a mess.)
One month. 
That's all Sarah has to find a date or earn the honor of being the last single girl in her inner circle. Actually, in all her circles. So with four weeks to find Mr. Right and a frienemy already counting her out, Sarah joins hoping that - just like the perfect purse - the internet can help her find the perfect man. 
The problem is, love isn't always where you think you'll find it and Mr. Right may not be the one with the shiniest profile.

American Honey by Nancy Scrofano
Love the cover. Love the premise. I haven't read anything quite like this before. I mean, I've read reality-inspired stories, but not in the grain of a singing competition, which should be a blast. It's another new adult book, which is a genre I'm interested in exploring more. And I've enjoyed everything I've read by Nancy Scrofano in the past (read my reviews here and here). I'm sure this will be another great book.
After graduating high school, Olivia “Ollie” McKenna leaves her small town roots in Summerville, Georgia, to pursue her dream of becoming a professional singer. With her best friend and older sister in tow, wholesome Ollie travels to the big city to compete in singing contest Atlanta Idol. There she meets nineteen-year-old Jack Bradley, a fellow country singer who quickly becomes a close friend. The connection between them is magnetic and an opportunity to sing together could change their lives forever. But what about Ollie's mama's fear of the music business? She's been burned by the lures of the bright lights before and doesn't want Ollie anywhere near that world. And Ollie's growing feelings for Jack as more than just a pal could ruin everything. Despite her own doubts, Ollie is determined to win. Can she make her dream come true or will she return to her hometown empty-handed and brokenhearted?

Honorable Mentions

These get an honorable mention, because I've kind of already read them. But only kind of. I had the privilege of being a beta reader for Isabella and Brea last year, and now I want to take another look to see the finished product.

I'll try to keep you posted on how the reading process goes -- and what other books land on my summer reading list as the season progresses.

Now you know the 12 books at the top of my to-read list -- not to mention the dozens of others to come after -- but I'm curious. What are you reading this summer?

Have the latest posts from Change the Word delivered to your Inbox by entering your contact information under "Follow by Email." Stay connected with Laura Chapman onFacebookTwitter and Goodreads. Receive updates from Change the Word between posts on Facebook.


  1. Honored to be an honorable mention AND to get another one to add to my list. THE LAST SINGLE GIRL looks fun! Heading to Ammie now! (Almost finished with ATTACHMENTS, one of your recs from Part I. It's seriously one of the best books I've read in months. So glad you mentioned it!)

  2. What a great looking list :)

  3. What are you talking about, Laura Chapman? You are an AWESOME label-mate and if anybody understands the problem of having too many books to read, it's me! (But it's one of the nicer problems to have, right?) Hope you enjoy ZOEY and thank you for including me on your awesome list! :)

  4. Great list. Gawd, I have GOT to start making more time for reading.