July 2019 Reads & Reviews

There doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to accomplish all the reading I’m hoping to get to by the end of summer! Nonetheless, some really cute books have come my way lately that have made reading ridiculously enjoyable. All of these move pretty quick, too so they’re great options to enjoy out on the deck, by the pool, or for a day at the beach! So let’s get into July 2019 reads and reviews.

July 2019 Reads & Reviews
ONE AND ONLY by Jenny Holiday
My rating & recommendation: 4 stars, yes! This was cute AF. All the feels and basically everything I ever want in a romance – funny, cute, sweet, sexy (not over-the-top, but there are a few adult scenes), an actual story/plotline and character development with substance … I couldn’t put it down.

*ARC received from author. Available on Kindle Unlimited!
My rating & recommendation: 4 stars, yes! It’s more obvious than ever that enemies-to-lovers/workplace romances are where Grey shines. She just gets the complications, the tension and the swoon-worthy chemistry that goes along with those dynamics. My favorite aspect of this book besides the obvious romance was just how funny it was! Grey’s humor and pop culture references were on point. We’re also blessed with a really cute epilogue. This had a similar vibe to Arrogant Devil, so if you were a fan of that then I think you’ll love this!

*ARC received from NetGalley. Out now!
My rating & recommendation: 4 stars, yes! There were many elements of this story that I enjoyed. It’s about friendship, loss, starting over, asking for help, mental health, romance … How all these things intertwined together made this book something special. Reading and following Evvie’s emotional growth throughout was so interesting. I definitely did a little victory fist bump for her character when she finally allowed herself to recognize and put her own needs before others’. I’m also glad that the author didn’t wrap everything up in a perfect package at the end – it was still acknowledged that Evvie, as well as her friendships and still-budding relationship with Dean, needed time to continue to work and better herself. It was all very mature and grownup, which was relatable, realistic and refreshing.

THE CACTUS by Sarah Haywood
My rating & recommendation: 3 stars, it’s okay. Pretty forgettable overall. I didn’t get into the story until about 50% in, and even after that I found myself drifting off to other thoughts while reading. Susan is not likeable whatsoever, even toward the end when she starts to lighten up. I felt like her “epiphany” was a little too late, especially toward the people in her life that actually gave a shit about her.

RED, WHITE & ROYAL BLUE by Casey McQuiston
My rating & recommendation: 5 stars, HELL YEAH! This was ADORABLE. I enjoyed every minute, and I’m glad I was able to sneak it in at the end of June in celebration of pride month. Alex and Henry are easy to get hooked on – I kinda wish this whole thing would happen in real life. Ha! But, I also loved their support system – June, Nora, Bea, Pez, etc. All of them as a unit was the ultimate literary friendship! I felt like I knew each of them and what they brought to the table. It also warmed my heart how everyone always supported Henry and Alex, stood by them through thick and thin. A true testament that those close to us sometimes – and often so! – know us better than we know ourselves. Realistic? Nope. Ridiculously idealistic? Absolutely. I wish real-life society and culture was this open-minded and loving.

BET ME TO STAY by Candace Havens
*ARC received from NetGalley. Out now, and available on Kindle Unlimited!
My rating & recommendation: 3 stars, it’s okay. I wanted to like this more than I did. The characters and story are there – it has great potential! Unfortunately, it was just too rushed and too short. There was so much in the story line that could’ve been built/elaborated on to make a longer book. Instead, this book was really nothing more than a quickie romance. It’s too bad since I wanted to feel more connected to the characters, particularly Cassie and the relationship she has with her family.

Bottom line …

Don’t miss Red, White & Royal Blue! One and Only and Evvie Drake Starts Over make for perfect summertime romance and chick-lit reads.

Currently reading: Naturally Tan by Tan France and A Nearly Normal Family by M.T. Edvardsson

What’s on your reading list for the month?

Keep up with all my reading in the archives, on Instagram Highlights and on Goodreads.

Linking up for Show Us Your Books with Steph and Jana

Leave a Comment


  1. 7.12.19
    Kay R.D. said:

    Ive heard so many good things about red white and royal blue!

    • 7.22.19
      Karly said:

      It’s just so good, I loved it and highly recommend!

  2. 7.12.19
    SMD said:

    I saw a few people reading Red, White, and Royal Blue on the beach this week.

    • 7.22.19
      Karly said:

      It’s a great beach read!

  3. 7.11.19
    Kristin said:

    I really enjoyed the storyline in Evvie Drake. I think there was just a lot of baseball in it though, which you don’t pick up on from the description, necessarily. It was like truly half the story.

    • 7.22.19
      Karly said:

      The baseball stuff didn’t bug me, but I can totally see where you’re coming from when I go back and think about it.

  4. 7.11.19
    kristen said:

    ah bummer about the cactus, i just started it. one and only is one of my faves!! so freaking cute. good to know about the bet me to stay book, i was on the fence about that one!

    • 7.22.19
      Karly said:

      I now know that you felt the same about The Cactus, lol. One and Only was adorable.

  5. 7.9.19
    Julie said:

    Red white & blue is requested at the library. I’ve heard so much good stuff about it!

    • 7.10.19
      Karly said:

      It’s a really cute book. Enjoy!

  6. 7.9.19

    I’m on the hold list for Evvie Drake and really excited to read it. I’ve been curious about Red, White and Royal Blue and I’m going to add it to my TBR. My initial hesitancy had to do with my not being a huge romance or royal fan but it sounds really good. And I could really use some “I wish this was the world we were living in right now” reading.

    • 7.10.19
      Karly said:

      The royal stuff isn’t on main display throughout the whole book … it’s just part of one of the character’s identities really. I think it’s worth a shot!

  7. 7.9.19

    I do want to read Evvie Drake so I think I will put it on hold before I forget about it.

    • 7.10.19
      Karly said:

      It’s a cute, but adult read. Super refreshing!

  8. 7.9.19
    Gina said:

    You had a great reading month! Four books with 4+ stars is pretty good! I really need to check out R.S. Grey. I’ve seen her (? – I think it’s a her) books recommended a few times!

    • 7.10.19
      Karly said:

      That’s so true, I didn’t even think about it that way! R.S. Grey (yes, she! 🙂 ) makes for good “mindless” reads. You always know what you’re going to get with her.

  9. 7.9.19
    Dani said:

    Wow, looks like you had a great reading month! I haven’t read anything by R.S. Grey but I’ve been wanting to, and I love it when authors incorporate pop culture references (and Kindle Unlimited you say?), so definitely adding that one! A Nearly Normal Family sounds good too, so I’m curious to her your thoughts on that one when you finish it!

    • 7.9.19
      Dani said:

      Ugh… hear*

    • 7.10.19
      Karly said:

      All of R.S. Grey’s books are on Kindle Unlimited, so yay! I recommend starting with her earlier books – my favorite is Anything You Can Do. I’m starting a Nearly Normal Family tonight, I’ve seen mixed reviews so I’ll obviously report back.

  10. 7.9.19

    I just went to add Evvie Drake Starts Over on Goodreads and realised it’s already there. Haha.

    • 7.10.19
      Karly said:

      Always fun when that happens! 🙂

  11. 7.9.19

    I LOVED Red, White, and Royal Blue. I thought all the characters were fab and I’d love another novel following some of those secondary characters. 🙂


  12. 7.9.19
    Monica said:

    Red, White & Royal Blue is on hold but its a long wait, I can’t wait to get it though!

    • 7.10.19
      Karly said:

      I was on a super long wait list, too but surprisingly got it pretty quick. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that the same happens for you!

  13. 7.9.19

    Not at all reading related, because I haven’t read any of these, but I have the same wire basket, haha! Use a bigger version to store my blankets in the living room.

    • 7.10.19
      Karly said:

      Cute! I love those baskets.

  14. 7.9.19

    I just picked up Evie Drake from the library on Sunday!

  15. 7.8.19
    Biana said:

    I love all the kindle unlimited options and I am adding One and Only to my reading list! xo, Biana

    • 7.10.19
      Karly said:

      I think you’ll enjoy it, it’s really cute!

  16. 7.8.19

    Ok, totally adding Red, White & Royal Blue to my list immediately. I just finished Columbine, hard read, but good and am now reading Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover- I love her!

    • 7.10.19
      Karly said:

      Oh, Ugly Love is one of my favorites by her! Hope you enjoy it.

  17. 7.8.19
    Kasey said:

    I have been seeing Red, White, & Royal Blue everywhere lately, I’m going to have to add it to my TBR stack! I’m reading At The Water’s Edge right now, and it’s pretty good so far!

    • 7.10.19
      Karly said:

      I feel like I had that on my TBR list ages ago, glad to hear it’s a good read!

  18. 7.8.19
    Debbie said:

    I’m always inspired by all your reading, and of course I’m woefully behind on mine! I would really like to get to Howard Stern’s book and Elin Hilderbrand’s new book as well.

    • 7.10.19
      Karly said:

      I’d like to borrow Elin Hilderbrand’s new book when you’re finished with it!