Binge worthy books to kick off the summer

We have no gas, we’ve seen everything on the streaming apps –Falcon and the Winter Solider, am I right — and many of us don’t trust people enough to hang out in crowds. Oh, wait, that’s just me.

Anyway, with the lazy days of summer coming up soon, we’re going to need something to do. What’s better than reading? Here are some books and series that will make you feel as if you’re watching a blockbuster no matter where you are. . .

Books that read like great movies:

(Im)Perfectly Happy by Sharina Harris

This is a book that pulls you in from page one. The worst thing about this book is that it comes to an end.

When four college friends formed the Brown Sugarettes Mastermind Group, they had very different goals—but matched each other in ambition. Yet ten years later they can’t help wondering what happened to the hopeful, confident, driven women they used to be—and how to get 
them back . . .
 
Radio personality Raina, known as “the black Delilah,” hates the wholesome persona that’s made her a success. Doling out syrupy versions of her grandma’s wisdom feels worlds away from the sarcastic,
tell-it-like-it-is woman Raina really is.
 
Kara Jones was sure she’d be a master sommelier by thirty. Life and loss interfered with that plan. Now she has one more chance—but it’s taking a toll on her self-esteem and her marriage.
 
Nikki Grayson hardly recognizes the stay-at-home mom she’s become. When her band signed a record deal, she swapped the limelight for a minivan and a sensible ’do. Now she’s wishing she had followed her heart. Instead, she’s drowning her regret in alcohol.
 
Public defender Sienna Njeri willingly put her city council aspirations aside to support her fiancé’s bid for office—and now she’s wondering if her loyalty is misplaced.
 
Longing for the support, advice, and tough love they once shared, all four resolve to start meeting up again. After all, their dreams may still be within reach. But are they worth the price they’ll pay to achieve them?

Sisters In Arms by Kaia Alderson

What’s the summer blockbuster season without a war movie. In Kaia’s debut historical novel, she weaves a story about the Black women who served in World War II. This book takes you back in time and teaches you something brand new about history.

Grace Steele and Eliza Jones may be from completely different backgrounds, but when it comes to the army, specifically the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC), they are both starting from the same level. Not only will they be among the first class of female officers the army has even seen, they are also the first Black women allowed to serve. 

As these courageous women help to form the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion, they are dealing with more than just army bureaucracy—everyone is determined to see this experiment fail. For two northern women, learning to navigate their way through the segregated army may be tougher than boot camp. Grace and Eliza know that there is no room for error; they must be more perfect than everyone else. 

When they finally make it overseas, to England and then France, Grace and Eliza will at last be able to do their parts for the country they love, whatever the risk to themselves. 

Based on the true story of the 6888th Postal Battalion (the Six Triple Eight), Sisters in Arms explores the untold story of what life was like for the only all-Black, female U.S. battalion to be deployed overseas during World War II. 

Wild Women and the Blues by Denny Bryce

What can I saw about this book that Oprah, Parade and Buzzfeed haven’t said? I can say this, I was obsessed with this book based on the cover alone, then I read it. And it was GLORIOUS!

In a stirring and impeccably researched novel of Jazz-age Chicago in all its vibrant life, two stories intertwine nearly a hundred years apart, as a chorus girl and a film student deal with loss, forgiveness, and love…in all its joy, sadness, and imperfections.
 
“Why would I talk to you about my life? I don’t know you, and even if I did, I don’t tell my story to just any boy with long hair, who probably smokes weed.You wanna hear about me. You gotta tell me something about you. To make this worth my while.”
 
1925: Chicago is the jazz capital of the world, and the Dreamland Café is the ritziest black-and-tan club in town. Honoree Dalcour is a sharecropper’s daughter, willing to work hard and dance every night on her way to the top. Dreamland offers a path to the good life, socializing with celebrities like Louis Armstrong and filmmaker Oscar Micheaux. But Chicago is also awash in bootleg whiskey, gambling, and gangsters. And a young woman driven by ambition might risk more than she can stand to lose.
 
2015: Film student Sawyer Hayes arrives at the bedside of 110-year-old Honoree Dalcour, still reeling from a devastating loss that has taken him right to the brink. Sawyer has rested all his hope on this frail but formidable woman, the only living link to the legendary Oscar Micheaux. If he’s right—if she can fill in the blanks in his research, perhaps he can complete his thesis and begin a new chapter in his life. But the links Honoree makes are not ones he’s expecting . . .
 
Piece by piece, Honoree reveals her past and her secrets, while Sawyer fights tooth and nail to keep his. It’s a story of courage and ambition, hot jazz and illicit passions. And as past meets present, for Honoree, it’s a final chance to be truly heard and seen before it’s too late. No matter the cost . . .

Series for your summer binge-fest:

If you’re like me and my dad, you watch westerns in the summer and Beverly Jenkins has the books for you. Check out the Old West series:

Forbidden, Breathless and Tempest are the kind of books that make you want to take riding lessons. And who doesn’t swoon for a hero who calls his woman “Duchess” or a hero who gives up everything for love or a hero with kids? This sexy old west series is better than anything streaming.

Take a trip to Jackson Falls and meet Synithia Williams’s Robidoux family. If you think Victor Newman is a bad man, wait until you meet Grant. The books in this series reminds you of the days when soap operas were good. A sister falling for her sister’s ex, secret babies in reverse, a cold hearted vixen being brought to her knees. Forbidden Promises, Scandalous Secrets and Careless Whispers are the books for you.

Imagine someone coming into your life and ruining everything. Take a read of Lutishia Lovely‘s Shady Sisters trilogy. Jacqueline Tate is a character who sticks with you long after the book ends.

And here comes the shameless plug. The Richardson Sisters series by me. . .

The four very different Richardson sisters have one thing in common: their fierce loyalty to their family and pride in the historic bed and breakfast they own. But unexpected desire will challenge them in ways they never imagined . . .

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