Every summer, we like to prepare a list of stories and books we want to read during the long, warm evenings sitting quietly with a cold glass of lemonade (Marie) or cucumber mint vodka (Elisabeth), lol. With the official start of the season just around the bend for us here in the Northern Hemisphere, we thought it might be cool to list some of our recommended reads to you who may be interested.
The first part of the list is from Elisabeth; free stories available on Wattpad. They are all completed novellas, so breezy reads.
The second part of the list is from Marie. It has mainstream recommendations available from Kindle or most other ebook sellers.
We’ve listed the reasons why we liked each story/book beneath its title and genre. Our lists are in no particular order of preference.
BioSynth (sci-fi) by MonicaBGuerra *MxM. A biosynth tracker and his photographer husband get into a car crash. What happens next when the tracker discovers his loving husband of many years is one of the very artificial humans he hunts? Action packed from start to finish. Blade Runner vibes with a dash of Mission Impossible.
Anywhen (sci-fi romance) by EvelynHail A genius 26th century time machine inventor finds herself accidentally transported into a dashing 18th century’s nobleman’s bedroom... with said nobleman present in naught but his nightshirt. What ensues is a good ol’ fish out of water romp through jolly London, England. Doctor Who meets Pride & Prejudice. Great sassy heroine and a hero to swoon over.
Who Let the Ghosts Out? (paranormal adventure) by lhansenauthor The dead decide to take over the living world using climate change as the means to an end. A motley ghost hunting crew of 3 women try to save the day. If only they hadn’t gotten themselves killed early on and now have to fix things as ghosts themselves. What the 2017 Ghostbusters movie reboot should have been.
The Clockmaker’s Shadow (fantasy thriller) by elveloy A young man discovers he can jump between dimensions, and realizes too late that he can never go back home. He decides maybe it’s in his best interest to try and settle down in one of the worlds… if only there weren’t some murderous force following him from one to the other.
One Night in Xanadu (historical fiction-erotica) by ChloeTzang A kickass horseriding, warrior-trained Mulan...with wild, steppe sex.
Huginn’s Yule (historical fiction-mature) by ChloeTzang Epic story of a sword fighting Chinese princess’ journey from east Asia to Scandinavia. If you watched the Netflix movie “The Dig”, this novella was inspired by that true story. Mulan vibes again only mixed with hot vikings à la 13th Warrior style.
The Magnolia Sword: A Ballad of Mulan (young adult) by Sherry Thomas My favorite retelling of Mulan so far. A fun version of the original story. The descriptions of the world and characters around Mulan feel very authentic. There is also a sweet hint of romance weaved naturally into the narrative that I thought was very well written.
Midnight in Chernobyl (nonfiction) by Adam Higginbotham I highly recommend this book to anybody who is interested in the real story of what happened during the nuclear reactor explosion at the Chernobyl power plant. The explanation of the events leading up to the explosion and the aftermath are interesting (and heartbreaking). The author does a great job explaining the complex material in an easily accessible manner. And you also get a glimpse into what life was like in the Soviet Union.
Suicide Forest (horror) by Jeremy Bates The story of a group of friends who become lost in Aokigahara Forest in Japan. There is a palpable sense of dread running throughout the first 75% of this book. I stopped reading it at night before bed early on, lol. If you enjoy horror, this is a fun one.
Those Who Wish Me Dead (thriller) by Michael Koryta A young boy witnesses a murder and is sent to participate in a survival group for troubled teens under an assumed name to avoid being found. The setting for this cat and mouse story is in the rocky mountains with a raging wildfire moving through the area. This one grabbed me from the very start and didn’t let go. I read it in just a few days. This is not a recommendation for the recent movie based on this book which I haven’t seen.
The Razorland Trilogy (older young adult) by Ann Aguirre I’ve read many young adult series but this one continues to top the list of my favorites. The story is one of survival in a post apocalyptic world. There’s nothing new there, I know. It’s the main characters and their development that really sells this one for me. Deuce is a strong heroine who stays strong and true to herself throughout the three books. Her relationship with Fade is one of my favorites because it’s gritty and real. And the love triangle in this one didn’t make me want to leap into the story and smack some sense into the characters, lol.
Moon Called (urban fantasy) by Patricia Briggs This one is the start of a series about Mercy Thompson, a coyote shifter surrounded by wolves, vampires, and fae. I can’t speak for the whole series but I really enjoyed the first four books. Mercy is a great heroine who can hold her own with just about anybody out there. I would also recommend checking out some of Patricia Briggs’ older novels which are more traditional fantasy but still just as fun.
Now your turn! We’d love to hear back from you, our blog readers, about any stories you’d like to recommend to us. And if you do have any, please let us know why you liked it. We’re pretty open to any genre.