More Funny and Sweet Light Fiction
Adorable rom-coms feel like the perfect summertime reading, and I've loved so many lately, I can't wait to share these with you!
If you're into lighter fiction with some romance and laughs, you might also like the books on the Greedy Reading Lists Six Rom-Coms Perfect for Summer Reading, Six Great Light Fiction Stories Perfect for Summer Reading, and Six More Great Light Fiction Stories.
Have you read any of these? I'd love to hear what you thought! Have you loved any other romantic comedy or lighter fiction stories lately?
01 Will They or Won't They by Ava Wilder
Ava Wilder's rom-com takes us behind the scenes of a hit teen TV show whose lead characters once liked each other in real life but now can't stand each other. This was funny, sweet, steamy, and poignant--a fantastic summer light-fiction read that I loved.
Lilah Hunter and Shane McCarthy are the stars of the popular paranormal television show Intangible, and for multiple seasons they've yearned for each other on screen, but their characters have never gotten together.
Lilah has dreams of directing and of breaking into movies, but she's back for the sixth and final season of the show, in which her character and Shane's will finally get together.
But in real life, Shane and Lilah detest each other. Their secret tryst at the end of season one ended badly, and they've been far from friendly ever since.
I LOVED this. The premise sounded like a slam dunk for me, and the reality of the book was a funny, poignant, banter-filled, behind-the-scenes, realistically complicated, wonderful story.
There's a ton of steaminess as Lilah and Shane at times can't deny their attraction and act upon it.
I smiled a lot, I teared up, and I loved this perfect summer read!
02 Love, Theoretically by Ali Hazelwood
Ali Hazelwood's light fiction novel is wonderfully immersed in science, offering a forbidden relationship and an enemies-to-lovers dynamic, plus lots of steamy scenes.
Elsie Hannaway is an adjunct physics professor, but her dream is to dedicate herself to a career in research.
To help pay the bills, Elsie is a paid escort (who does not have sex with her clients, as she keeps explaining to certain men). She's fake-dating a nice man in order to keep his family off of his back.
Now Elsie has the interview of a lifetime, at MIT. But a series of coincidences and misunderstandings lead to her being unaware that the head physicist on site...is her fake boyfriend's brother.
I loved the significant science element here, the jargon, the exploration of academic politics, and the passion for research and discovery.
I was frustrated by Elsie's lack of assertiveness, although I recognized that it was set up in order to have her ultimately find her own opinions and set her course.
I found the family dynamic related to her mother's demands of Elsie absurd. The situation with her twin brothers felt slapstick and silly to me.
The steamy scenes, the twisty route to the relationship, the career shifts, and the science focus were all winners for me. I'd like to read more by Ali Hazelwood.
For my full review of this book, check out Love, Theoretically.
03 The True Love Experiment by Christina Lauren
The True Love Experiment is a wonderful, romantic read about forbidden attraction and heartwarming vulnerability, with steamy scenes, will-they/won't-they tensions, funny dialogue, behind-the-scenes televised moments, and loooooooove.
I loved The Soulmate Equation from the writing team known as Christina Lauren. That book introduced the fantastic best-friend character of Felicity "Fizzy" Chen. The True Love Experiment is Fizzy's story.
Fizzy is a straight talker, a sex-positive woman, and a successful romance writer, but she's never been in love, only in lust. Now she's beginning to feel like she's been selling her readers a lie.
Connor Prince (his last name is Prince!) is a single dad and documentary filmmaker slated by his boss to create a reality TV program about finding love. He's completely out of his comfort zone and the pressure is on--but when he meets Fizzy, he just knows he's found the perfect star for the show.
The True Love Experiment is an irresistible exploration of a spark of feelings, impossible difficulties, terrifying vulnerability, and hard-won joy.
The issues keeping the two love interests apart felt powerful and heartbreaking and offered tantalizing tension to the story. The happy ending made me tear up and also made me want to cheer.
This was a wonderful summer read for me and I loved it.
For my full review, check out The True Love Experiment.
04 Weather Girl by Rachel Lynn Solomon
In Weather Girl, Rachel Lynn Solomon brings humor and a little steamy romance to a newsroom setting, with a fun Parent Trap-style backdrop--and weighty issues like depression that are addressed with grace.
Ari Abrams has always been fascinated by the weather, and now she's got her dream job: she's a junior meteorologist on TV.
But her two bosses, Torrence and Seth, who are exes, seem more concerned with their long-term petty arguments and with airing personal grievances than with running the station, mentoring younger staff members, or creating professional opportunities.
When Ari and kind, quiet sportscaster Russell close down the company's holiday party, they joke about Parent Trapping Seth and Torrence in order to create harmony in the TV station and allow them to better do their jobs.
As they mastermind a plan to bring the exes together in Rachel Lynn Solomon’s light fiction story, Russell and Ari realize they have more in common than they thought.
Weather Girl is romantic and occasionally steamy. The story is largely about accepting yourself and loving yourself--and treasuring someone who delights in you just the way you are. This is an excellent example of how authors of light fiction can take on weighty issues with grace and care.
For my full review of this book, check out Weather Girl.
05 Better Than the Movies by Lynn Painter
I LOVED this young adult book. It's perfectly charming, funny, quirky, and sweet, yet it deals with grief and fear, hope and forgiveness, being true to oneself and growing up, and of course love.
Lynn Painter's adorable young adult rom-com Better Than the Movies is about Liz Buxbaum, a fabulously eccentric high schooler coping with the grief of having lost her mom--while navigating the sparkly idea--and messy reality--of romance, with the inspiration of her mom's favorite romantic comedies.
Liz is a hopeless romantic who has been waiting her whole high school career to be swept off her feet in quintessential romantic-comedy fashion--with the perfect soundtrack playing in the background.
But it looks like she may have to rely on her annoying next-door neighbor Wes to try to gain the attention of dreamy Michael with the perfect hair, who has just moved back to town.
Better Than the Movies is funny funny funny and so lovely and sweet, I adored the whole story, the characters, the growth, the banter, the heartbreaking, heartwarming growth, the fun--this is basically a perfect young adult romantic comedy.
For my full review of this book, please see Better Than the Movies.
06 Charm City Rocks by Matthew Norman
Charm City Rocks is sweet, interesting, and layered. I loved this story about relationships, complications, famous/everyday person romance, and a love of music that binds.
Billy Perkins is a music teacher living above a record store in Baltimore called Charm City Rocks with his beloved teen son Caleb. He's content co-parenting with his ex-partner Robyn, who is remarried.
Margot Hammer, on the other hand, is miserable. The former drummer of the popular band Burnt Flowers is, decades later, a recluse living in New York City.
When a documentary shines a light on Margot again, Billy's longtime crush on the musician is renewed. Caleb cooks up a scheme to get Margot to perform at Charm City Rocks so his dad, who Caleb thinks is lonely, can finally meet Margot and, if all goes as planned, hopefully forge a connection.
I was in love with Charm City Rocks--the Baltimore love, the embracing of the beauty in an everyday life and in straightforward affection, the heartbreak of missed chances, and the soaring hearts who find renewed belief in true love.
For my full review of this book, please check out Charm City Rocks.