What's in your book bag for the summer? Check out these contemporary Christian romances. They'll entertain and tackle tough topics. #amreading #bookreview #newrelease #netgalley #romance #contemporary #inspirational #inspy

What’s in your book bag for the summer? Check out these contemporary Christian romances. They’ll entertain and tackle tough topics.

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.

What's in your book bag for the summer? Check out these contemporary Christian romances. They'll entertain and tackle tough topics. #amreading #bookreview #newrelease #netgalley #romance #contemporary #inspirational #inspy

What do you plan on reading this summer? I usually choose historical fiction, but I found some awesome contemporary fiction titles perfect for a day by the pool. These three books entertain while they tackle tough topics. Visit a town like Mitford (from Jan Karon’s series), experience the South, and uncover the past in these new releases.

Of Literature and Lattes

By Katherine Reay, Thomas Nelson, May 2020, 336 pages.

If you loved The Printed Letter Bookshop, you’ll love Of Literature and Lattes. The setting remains the same—Winsome, Illinois. But this time the main characters have changed. This book features Alyssa, Janet Harrison’s estranged (and very angry) daughter, and Jeremy Mitchell, a newcomer to Winsome.

Three years ago, Alyssa promised herself she’d never return to the home her mother wrecked. But now, with no job, no money, and no prospects, she figures she can wait for her interview with the FBI in Winsome more cheaply than in California.  Alyssa tucks her tail between her legs and returns to Winsome and a hostile relationship with her mom. Only her mom doesn’t seem as hostile. 

Alyssa can’t figure out what’s going on with her mom, and why her dad won’t let her stay with him. She’s tired of running and doesn’t know where to stop.

Jeremy Mitchell has transplanted from Seattle with his buddy Ryan to take over a coffee shop in quaint Winsome, Illinois. He’ll live near enough to his daughter to take part in her life, and fulfill his dream of owning a coffee shop and snugging into a community. 

Even though his shop looks like his dream come true, he can’t figure out why it fails to thrive. He gets to see his daughter more, but he can’t understand his ex-wife’s anger toward him, nor why everyone seems so resistant to change. 

Why I Love This Book

Reay introduces new characters and picks up threads of stories from the first book in this second book set in Winsome. You’ll love the gentle pace of a small town as well as the delicate way Reay tackles relationships that matter the most in our lives. 

I confess I went out and purchased three more Reay books and read two of them over the weekend (Dear Mr. Knightly and Lizzy and Jane). Reay is the consummate book lover’s author. Her frequent references to beloved books, authors, and characters act like grace notes to the reader. I love knowing that my favorite books have touched other people in similar ways.

I'm a @Katherine_Reay superfan :). Check out her new release #OfLiteratureandLattes and you'll know why. #amreading #bookrelease #bookreview Click To Tweet

Stay With Me

By Becky Wade, Bethany House Publishers, May 2020, 396 pages.

Sam Turner discovers a real-life Goldylocks sleeping on the bare bed in his guest cottage. When he finds pills in her purse, he immediately suspects she suffers from the same thing Kayden did—an opioid addiction. He wants nothing more than to get her off his property. A few days later she shows up again, this time, asking to rent and renovate his cottage. Reluctantly, he agrees—as long as she commits to his rules. No more Oxy, counseling, telling someone else, and not falling in love with him.

Genevieve Woodward came home to Misty River to solve two problems—to ask her parents about a mysterious letter she received and to quit Oxy cold-turkey. Either thing could tank her career as a best-selling Bible study author and public speaker. When she wakes up in a stranger’s guest cottage, it only confirms her need to quit Oxy.

After spending a day with her overprotective mom, Genevieve knows she can’t keep her addiction secret while staying with her parents. She decides to convince the enigmatic Sam Turner to rent his cottage to her. He drives a hard bargain, but she senses he’ll hold her accountable—something she desperately needs. Once she makes it through the worst of withdrawal, she’ll tackle the other problem—uncovering the mystery behind the threatening letter. 

Why I Love this Book

Wade has a beautiful way of crafting stories full of romance, deep spiritual truths, and humor. The well-developed characters have relatable struggles, and in Stay With Me, Wade tackles a problem that, statistically, thousands of Christians face. But no one wants to talk about—opioid drug addiction. 

Wade takes the time to delve into the backstory of why a Christian leader (or anyone else), could turn to painkillers. Through Genevieve, Sam, and Kayden, she shows readers how best to tackle addiction and supporting someone who struggles. We have to trust God with our truth—no matter how sordid and tattered—in order to receive his grace.

@beckywadewriter has done it again! #StayWithMe will keep you turning pages and make you think. Romance without the fluff. #netgalley #amreading #bookreview Click To Tweet

The first book in the Misty River Romance series, Stay With Me will draw you in and keep you reading from the first page to the last. 

Unveiling the Past

By Kim Vogel Sawyer, WaterBrook, May 2020, 343 pages.

This multigenerational novel of love, relationships lost, and relationships regained, will delight readers. When Margaret Diane DeFord got pregnant in college, the father walked away without another word. Diane chose to keep and raise their daughter and worked hard to finish school and become a teacher. 

In her quest to not follow in her mother’s footsteps and act overprotective, Diane often falls short in her parenting. Decades later, her daughter Meghan DeFord-Eagle feels uncertain about her own ability to parent based on her absentee father and lassie-faire mother. 

Meghan and her husband Sean work for the Little Rock, Arkansas cold case division, and they’ve been partners on the job for years and partners for life for three years. Sean wants to start a family. Meghan doesn’t think she’s ready. 

As part of their job, Meghan gets assigned to a special case that takes her to her birth father’s hometown. Once she makes the decision to reach out to him, a series of unexpected events catapult Diane, Meghan, and Sean into the unknown.

Why You’ll Love this Book 

If you love multigenerational stories told from multiple points of view, you’ll love this book. The cold cases Sean and Meghan work on add tension to the multi-layered relationship stories. 

What's in your book bag for the summer? Check out these contemporary Christian romances. They'll entertain and tackle tough topics. #amreading #bookreview #newrelease #netgalley #romance #contemporary #inspirational #inspy


  1. I preordered Of Literature and Lattes, and it’s on its way to me now! I fell in love with Katherine’s writing with her first book, Dear Mr. Knightly, and have gotten all of her books since. The other two you mention sound good, too.

  2. Anita, I love these reviews. 🙂 I have pre-ordered Katherine Reay’s book, and I look forward to reading it soon. And, I’ve enjoyed about all of Becky Wade’s books. Kim Vogel Sawyer’s book sounds intriguing! Thanks for giving sneak peeks into these stories!

  3. All of these books sound wonderful. I am very excited about Katherine Reay’s new book. I have read all of her others and I am definitely a super fan. Sounds like I will have a great summer of reading.

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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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