What To Read After Seven Days In June

What To Read After Seven Days In June

The foundations of what I come to expect from a contemporary romance were irrevocably rocked after finishing Tia Williams’ Seven Days in June last summer.

Set amidst the sweltering, heady heat of Brooklyn across (you guessed it) seven days in June, we follow the second-chance romance between childhood sweethearts, Eva and Shane. Spending a whirlwind week together in their teens, torn apart by ‘right person, wrong time’, the two find themselves with another opportunity for love after a chance encounter at a literary festival.

What follows is a raw, visceral and at oftentimes hilarious tale following their reunion over the course of seven days, 20 years after they first met.

The two leads are some of the most likeable protagonists in recent romantic history. Now I love a silly trope here, a tad of strife and miscommunication there - and this book does pull some of these old tricks, but somehow Seven Days hits different. I’d even argue that second-chance romance is my least favourite trope, but somehow Williams works her magic and ensures their story is heartfelt and entirely believable, while setting the bar HIGH for men in literature.

If you haven’t read it yet, then get off this blog and go read it RIGHT NOW. But if you’re anything like me and are searching high and low to fill the Shane-shaped hole in your life, then I suggest you read on.

Honey and Spice

Cartoon cover of the book's protagonist looking back over her shoulder

Fake dating is probably one of my favourite tropes (hammering this point home with the recommendation second to this). There’s something so whimsical and unbelievable about the whole thing - like really what situation warrants it?

Don’t care. I NEED it.

In Honey and Spice, Kiki is the host of popular campus radio show, Brown Sugar. Here, she’s the guru on all things ‘situationships’, players, and heartbreak. So when she’s caught kissing Malakai, who she previously outed as the ‘Wasteman of Whitewell’, the two must enter a fake relationship to salvage their reputations, and restore the public’s trust in her show.

The View Was Exhausting

hollywood starlet is leaning back on a sofa looking at the camera where there is the effect of a camera flashing, evoking old Hollywood glamour

That’s right. It’s…another fake dating trope.

Win is Hollywood’s most adored starlet. Leo is a millionaire playboy with more money than sense. The two have each seen their fair share of scandal, and each time one of them finds themselves in hot water, they switch on the charm as Hollywood’s most adored will-they-won’t-they couple to divert attention.

But what happens when the lines between what’s real and what’s fake begin to blur?

Funny You Should Ask

cartoon collage cover showing airplanes and the lover interest. Promoting the California setting in a pinkish hue.

It’s…another celebrity romance (I need to broaden my horizons).

Chani is an up-and-coming journalist who is tasked with writing a feature on the new Hollywood bombshell and Bond-to-be, Gabe. Sparks fly, and what follows is a whirlwind weekend that has the tabloids up in arms.

10 years later, fresh out of a divorce, Chani returns to Hollywood to progress her career. But all people want to talk to her about is that infamous profile she wrote on Gabe. When opportunity comes knocking in the form of a second interview, Chani must ask herself: is she prepared to rehash those unresolved feelings?

A Rogue of One’s Own

cartoon cover of the two protagonists having afternoon tea in front of a backdrop of the houses of parliament.

This one might seem a bit left-field in and amongst this list, but hear me out.

The ‘A League of Extraordinary Women’ series is like Bridgerton, but make it Suffragists. It’s Suffragist Smut.

In the second instalment of the franchise, we follow the Oxford Suffragist chapter leader and her enemies-to-lovers romance with the town rake. It’s a classic ‘he falls first’ and we find our romantic lead pulling the strings he has in the House of Lords to help his love further her quest for equal rights.

Got me giggling and kicking my feet.

Get A Life, Chloe Brown

cartoon cover, two protagonists are in the lower left corner in an embrace

Chloe Brown is a chronically online nerd who sits safe and pretty within the confines of her family mansion. When she (kinda)nearly dies, she resolves to accomplish six tasks in order to ‘get a life’ (I love it when a title comes full circle).

She wants to move out, do something dangerous and have some great sex. But the only problem is that she doesn’t know where to start.

Enter Red Morgan. Brooding artist. Heartthrob. Chloe’s new teacher in how to live life to the fullest. You know the rest.

The Charm Offensive

cartoon cover with one blonde male under the spotlight on stage, with the other love interest looking on from backstage.

Dev is the mastermind behind Reality TV sensation Ever After. But behind the hit dating show that helps other people find love, lies his own complete lack of it.

Charlie is a disgraced tech wunderkid hoping to restore his public reputation on Ever After. Dev promises to rewrite Charlie’s story by orchestrating a redemption arc on his show. But when he fails to make any connections with the 20 women on the show, and starts finding himself preoccupied with thoughts of Dev, Charlie wonders if his true happiness depends on going off-script.

The Kiss Quotient

cartoon cover of the two protagonists standing on top of a root squared symbol, in an embrace.

Stella Lane’s life revolves around data. A career-minded 30-year old, Stella has found herself preoccupied with numbers, leaving her a little dry on the personal side of things.

Stella realises she needs some human experience, but before she dives head-first, she needs to practise said experience. A diligent queen.

She ends up hiring the eye-wateringly gorgeous escort, Michael Phan, to help her check off every item on her lesson plan (and let me tell you, he checks off every item on OUR lesson plan). But as the two spend more time together practising, Stella begins to wonder if love is actually the more powerful force than logic.

One thing we do know? Foreplay has never been so organised.