For me a summer romance isn’t complete without the magical elements of this season. And it’s always such a delight to find the right combination of this in a book, where the story in and of itself can become an indulgent vacation.
By T.I. Lowe, author of the Carolina Coast series
So many ideas come to mind when I think about summer love. Magical is one of them. Where the recipe for it has to be just right and all the supporting roles enhance it. The delicious heat of the July sun dancing along your tanned skin. A tall glass of tangy sweet lemonade, cold with delicate slivers of ice that melt on your tongue with each sip. The only treat better than that is a tender kiss from newfound love.
For me a summer romance isn’t complete without the magical elements of this season. And it’s always such a delight to find the right combination of this in a book, where the story in and of itself can become an indulgent vacation. I have to admit my taste in summer romance usually includes a Southern setting. There’s something so enticing about long summer nights where the sky flickers from the lightning bugs’ show and is enriched by the symphony of crickets and frogs. Where shoes are optional, but holding hands while swaying on the porch swing is much obliged.
The time I spent writing the Carolina Coast series, these thoughts remained front and center, hoping to give readers a sweet romance series that felt like a vacation. Who knew at the time how much we would need a book to take us somewhere relaxing during this 2020 summer of uncertainty?
The first kiss Josie Slater and August Bradford share in Driftwood Dreams while dancing in the rain is a scene that I feel captures the essence of summer love.
Water trickled from the tip of August’s nose and his grinning lips as he gently swept a lock of wet hair off of her cheek.
Before she allowed herself to overthink it, Josie reached up and placed her equally wet lips against his, briefly but long enough for the warmth of it to reach her tender heart.
“When you see the rain, you’ll remember the day Josie Slater wasn’t too chicken to take the kiss she’d been wanting for a really long time.” She smiled at him as August concluded their dance.
August’s grin dropped as he focused on her lips. “It took you long enough,” he said in a matter-of-fact tone as if he’d been waiting on her all of those years as much as she’d been waiting on him.
I enjoyed writing this series of summer romance, but I also love reading books in the same genre. I thought it would be fun to share with you a few of my favorites.
The Backroads series by Christina Coryell. These two books capture the charm of summer love with a Southern backdrop. Pond parties attended by good ole country boys and the cowboy boot–wearing women who capture their attention.
The Peach Keeper. I’m a big fan of Sarah Addison Allen’s whimsical Southern romances, where her settings and story lines are just so enchanting that I can easily get lost in the magic of it.
The Rescue. Most may declare The Notebook as Nicholas Sparks’s best work, but I think this one is it. I love a strong hero with a tender heart in a Southern setting, and the author delivered both.
Where the River Ends. I cannot talk about my favorite Southern authors that are perfect summer reads without mentioning Charles Martin. I also thought I would include at least one heartbreaking romance with you. This book nails that theme.
Driftwood Dreams by T.I. Lowe
From the bestselling author of Lulu’s Café
Josie Slater has allowed the circumstances anchoring her in Sunset Cove to become a life sentence. Since her mother’s death years before, she’s spent most of her waking hours helping her dad run the Driftwood Diner. As her best friends, Opal and Sophia, make their dreams come true, Josie watches her own art school aspirations drift on by. But when a French-speaking Southern gentleman from her past moves back from Europe, Josie is launched into a tizzy of what-ifs and I-sure-do-hope-sos.
August Bradford left Sunset Cove six years ago to sow some life oats and conquer his ambitious career goals. Finally ready to lay down some roots, the successful artist is back in town and determined to win Josie’s heart. When he enlists Josie’s help in the preparations for a children’s art camp, Josie finds herself unleashing her artistic side in a way she hasn’t since before her mother’s death. August hopes to convince Josie to paint a life with him, but the problem is convincing her to let go of her apprehensions and give him—and her dreams—a fair chance.
Get your copy of Driftwood Dreams here!