Thursday, June 6, 2024

Mini Reviews: Romantic Beach Reads

There's nothing like a romantic beach read to relax you over your vacation or lazy day at the pool. Seven Summers is a fantastic audio book or a great book to bring on vacation wtih you if you enjoy beachy romances that pack an emotional punch. A Wedding in Lake Como, while not my favorite, includes female friendships and a gorgeous setting of Italy.

Seven Summers by Paige Toon
Genre: Romance/Audio Book
Pub. Date: May 21, 2024
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Source: Publisher for review
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says,"Liv and Finn meet six summers ago working in a bar on the rugged Cornish coastline, their futures full of promise. When a night of passion ends in devastating tragedy they are bound together inextricably. But Finn’s life is in LA with his band, and Liv’s is in Cornwall with her family—so they make a promise. Finn will return every year, and if they are single they will spend the summer together.
This summer Liv crosses paths with Tom—a mysterious new arrival in her hometown. As the wildflowers and heather come into bloom, they find themselves falling for one another. For the first time Liv can imagine a world where her heart isn’t broken every autumn. Now Liv must make an impossible choice. And when she discovers the shocking reason that Tom has left home, she’ll need to trust her heart even more . . ."
Olivia "Liv" Arterton lives on the gorgeous Cornish coast dreaming of becoming an artist. One summer she meets Finn, a musician from Los Angeles and they hit it off. What should have been a dreamy summer romance, turns south when Liv is faced with a major tragedy that changes her life forever. After their whirlwind romance, Liv and Finn decide to reunite every summer as long as they are single. After years of this, no one can deny the attraction between the two, but Liv is tired of the instability and is still grieving for the loss in her life. Many years later, she meets Tom, a summer tenant, and she falls in love with him. Can Liv choose the possibility of a happy future with Tom and forget about summers with Finn? Can she choose her future over her past? Seven Summers by Paige Toon is a heartwrenching summer tale that made me swoon and also grab a box of tissues.
If you like your beach reads to only venture into the fluffy territory, 
Seven Summers isn't for you. This novel, while a wonderful book, deals with a lot of sadness: there's grief and heartache in spades. Seven Summers packs an emotional punch, reminiscent of Nicholas Sparks. Nonetheless, I did enjoy Finn and Liv's love story even when Tom entered and it became a love triangle of sorts. The Cornish coast was a beautiful setting for such a heartfelt story with a lot of angst. I couldn't help but imagine Poldark on the windswept cliffs brooding right along with them (If you know you know!) Also, Toon tells the story wonderfully in that it's told through flashbacks and jumps around chronologically which only adds to the heartbreak. I jumped from my ARC to the audiobook and I must say I loved the audio version. The narrator, Natalie Simpson, was perfect and I'd recommend Seven Summers as an audiobook for sure, especially to readers who want all the feels.


A Wedding in Lake Como by Jennifer Probst
Pages: 400
Genre: Romance
Pub. Date: May 14, 2024
Publisher: Berkley
Source: Publisher for review
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "A destination wedding in Italy’s Lake Como brings three best friends back together to face the secrets of the past in this romantic novel from New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Probst.
Best friends Ava, Madison, and Chelsea made a pact to reunite for each other’s weddings when their careers sent them in different directions. But after one of them makes a choice that tears the group apart, an upcoming wedding might be their last chance to heal old wounds.

Ava is about to marry the man she loves in a lavish ceremony on the shores of Lake Como, but she’s haunted by the mistakes she’s made. Madison’s made a name for herself as an influencer in the fashion world but is threatened by a scandal impacting everything she holds dear. And Chelsea has the perfect family she always craved, but her professional dreams have fallen by the wayside.

As they return to Italy’s gorgeous coast, the three women revisit their life-changing first trip to Lake Como during college. When Madison comes face-to-face with the college sweetheart who was at the heart of one of the most pivotal times of her life, can they forge a new way forward?"

During college, Ava, Chelsea, and Madison were as thick as thieves. After an unforgettable trip to Lake Como, they swore to always be in each other's lives and be a bridesmaid at each girls' wedding. Madison, who had a sad childhood with unsupportive parents, really relies on the girls, Ava especially, for support and encouragement. But as the years go by, the girls grow apart due to events that were handled poorly and mistakes were made. Madison, now a successful fashion influencer, gets an invitation to Lake Como for Ava's wedding. This would be a great opportunity for the girls to  reunite and put everything aside and where better to do that than in dreamy Italy? Jennifer Probst's A Wedding in Lake Como is a tale of friendship and forgiveness, but ultimately it missed the mark.

If you love fashion, you may appreciate 
A Wedding in Lake Como more than me. Most of Ava's plot deals with her and her dreams to be in fashion. She is currently a fashion influencer and that isn't  something I enjoy, so it got very redundant. Another disappointment for me was the character of Ava. She has crippling insecurities and needs constant reinforcement from her friends. She barely grew as a  character, so this also got old quickly not to mention I felt the friendships were borderline toxic. Lastly, I expected more of Lake Como and fewer college shenanigans; however, this novel felt like more of a coming-of-age story at times. What did keep me reading was the setting of Lake Como, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I just wish there was more of it!


So, have you read either of these books? Are they on your summer TBR? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.



  1. I am so intrigued by Lake Como! I keep hoping my library will pick it up (they've got her other books so fingers crossed!).

    I've never read anything by Paige Toon before, but this one sounds like it would definitely pack an emotional punch. That cover is fun and oh-so-summery too!

    1. I hope your library picks it up, too! It wasn't my favorite of Probst's novels, but I loved the Lake Como setting. Paige Toon's novel really got me! All the feels! Thanks for visiting, Rebecca!

  2. While I love a light summer read, I appreciate the depth of Seven Summers. Great reviews, Christina!

    1. So much depth! You have to have a box of tissues! Thanks for visiting, Angela!


I really appreciate your comments. Thank you!

Design by: Designer Blogs