Looking for a few clean rom coms to read this week? Check out these new releases from two new-to-me authors. #romcom #cleanromance #sweetromance #amreading #newreleases #bookreviews #summerreading #beachreads

I receive free electronic advanced reader copies of these books through an arrangement between the publishers and NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion on NetGalley’s website. I only review books on my blog that I really love.

Looking for a few clean rom coms to read this week? Check out these new releases from two new-to-me authors.

Looking for a few clean rom coms to read this week? Check out these new releases from two new-to-me authors. #romcom #cleanromance #sweetromance #amreading #newreleases #bookreviews #summerreading #beachreads

Looking for Clean Rom Coms for Your Beach Bag?

Even if you don’t live near a beach or have no plans to visit one soon, you probably have a bag you take while waiting in lines. Or, if you’re like me, you have a book queue lined up on your phone’s Kindle app. Either way, I enjoy reading various books from multiple authors and across many genres. One of my go-to favorites? Clean rom coms (short for romantic comedies). I don’t hide my head in the sand; I realize the world is full of not-so-clean romances (both real and in entertainment), but I choose clean and sweet.

You can’t always tell from the book’s cover if the characters stay out from under the covers (a tenant of the clean rom com genre), so book reviews and trigger warnings by the authors always help. (Emma St. Clair does an exceptional job of always giving trigger warnings.) What’s your favorite genre for beach reading or waiting-in-line distraction?

Loyally, Luke

By Pepper Basham, Thomas Nelson, May 14, 2024, 384 pages.

Luke Edgewood has no desire for romance. Call him a grump, but the last woman he fell in love with wanted him to change everything about himself. As a man with two sisters and a sister-like cousin, Luke feels perfectly at home in a woman’s world. He even puts up with references to Hallmark movies, happy endings, and all that gooey-gushy stuff women seem to crave. But when magical moments mean he must change who he is? No, thank you.

He’d rather stick to his small-town carpentry and renovation business. An occasional trip to Skymar, a small island kingdom across the pond, adds variety and spice to his life. And then he bumps into Grace Kelly (well, her look-alike) when he lands in Skymar. Miss Snooty accuses him of stealing her coffee (the barista made a mistake), and sparks fly.

Once he extricates himself from the disaster, he can face his next hurdle—renovating a quiet cabin in the mountains and bidding for a project at one of Skymar’s orphanages. Unfortunately, the project leader at the orphanage is Grace Kelly’s doppelganger.

What has Luke gotten himself into?

When Princess Elliana St. Clare, Duchess of Mara and the North Country, shows up to talk to the new contractor, she discovers the coffee thief. He’s also a Luddite—the only man in the kingdom of Skymar who stays off social media and doesn’t know her real identity. She can live with that. After spending three years in seclusion, Ellie knows she’s ready to return to her kingdom as a working royal. Her path to self-discovery has made her stronger, but as she learns more about Luke, she realizes traveling companions make the journey easier.

Not just any companion, but a handsome, kind, generous, loving, and incredibly spark-inducing companion. As a working royal, she has responsibilities to her people and her family.

What has Ellie gotten herself into?

Why I Loved This Book

Told through narration and epistolary texts between characters, Basham takes readers on a rollicking ride through the life of a royal. Filled with tongue-in-cheek romance tropes, Disney and Hallmark moments, and a self-centered villain, readers who love all things comedic and romantic will fall in love with Luke and Ellie.

Fans of Courtney Walsh and Emma St. Clair will love Loyally, Luke in this sparkling Cinderfella story.

If you love clean rom coms and royals, you'll love this new release from @pepperbasham and @ThomasNelson #amreading #romcom #cleanromcom #royals Click To Tweet

Cole and Laila are Just Friends

By Bethany Turner, Bethany House, June 4, 2024, 336 pages

Cole Kimball and Laila Olivet practically grew up in each other’s pockets in the small town of Adelaide Springs, CO. For almost forty years, they’ve experienced life together (except for the few years Cole spent away at culinary school). And for nearly 40 years, they’ve never thought about that. That thing that ruins friendships and makes things awkward. 

But when Cole’s grandfather dies unexpectedly and only leaves him the house they shared together, Cole knows he must move on. Even if it means leaving his best friend behind. The pain of driving by the restaurant that no longer belongs to him would eat him like acid. But spending time away from his best friend just might kill him, too.

Despite her hate of flying, Laila agrees to travel to New York City with Cole and their newlywed best friends, Brynn and Sebastian. On their first night in the city, Cole and Laila end up sharing a bed—something they’ve done on occasion over the decades. Friends can share space while sleeping, right? (Don’t worry, this is still falls into the clean rom coms category).

But this time, Cole dreams of Laila as something more than a friend. From then on, Cole and Laila must negotiate the delicate dance of deciding what they mean to each other and how that knowledge will play out in their lives. 

What I Loved About This Book

If you love quirky characters in forced proximity situations, you’ll love Cole and Laila Are Just Friends. Cole and Laila might need to untangle their feelings for each other, but the entire town of Adelaide Springs can’t figure out why it’s taken them so long. The best romances start with trust, friendship, and good communication. And even though it feels awkward, Cole and Laila summon the bravery required to deepen their friendship and discover how they’ve felt all along.

Readers who love The Gilmore Girls, Friends, and classic movies set in New York will enjoy the pop culture references and locations.

Looking for a few clean rom coms to read this week? Check out these new releases from two new-to-me authors. #romcom #cleanromance #sweetromance #amreading #newreleases #bookreviews #summerreading #beachreads

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Anita Ojeda

Anita Ojeda juggles writing with teaching high school English and history. When she's not lurking in odd places looking for rare birds, you can find her camping with her kids, adventuring with her husband or mountain biking with her students.

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