The Southern C x Badass Women’s Book Club: June 2023

Jun 26 2023

by Regina Warner

Hot Summer Reads

by Gina Warner, founder of Badass Women’s Book Club

Get ready to blow up your #TBR (to-be-read) list! I’ve got all the best reads for your summer right here! And as always – they are all FOR badass women, BY badass women!

First up is our very own Mary Hollis Huddleston with this delightfully entertaining read…


Piece of Cake by Mary Hollis Huddleston and Asher Paul

Claire Sommers grew up as a society girl destined to have it all: tasteful Dallas mansion, high-powered career, hot and rich husband. Until a massive mistake left her reputation in tatters and trust fund frozen. Now the former debutante is scraping by as a magazine staffer in Nashville—trading in her diamonds and designer stilettos for rhinestones and cowgirl boots. But all is not well in the world of print publications. Piece of Cake, the beloved Southern wedding magazine where Claire works, is one issue away from going under. Thankfully, Claire has a plan to save the day and the magazine—a reality show–style docuseries on the South’s most over-the-top and outlandish nuptials. And with country music royalty, Elvis impersonators, and enough drama to make your momma faint, it just so happens that Tennessee is the perfect setting for unscripted wedding day magic. Her boss loves Claire’s idea so much that she even brings in “The Brides’ Man,” New York native and social media star Dominic Gravino, to partner with Claire on the project, despite her protestations. Dominic’s East Coast confidence and charisma clash with Claire’s Southern breeding and independent spirit as the two unlikely collaborators attempt to create a series that will save Piece of Cake. But in between million-dollar weddings, two-stepping bachelorette parties, and hot chicken fiascos, Claire and Dom discover they make a great team . . . on and off the job. But letting go of old hurts is harder than she imagines, and soon Claire realizes that she must come to terms with what happened in her past if she’s ever going to embrace the present. You can read more and get your copy here.

It’s just not summer without a new Elin Hildebrand book and this one looks like one of her best yet!

The Five Star Weekend by Elin Hildebrand

Hollis Shaw’s life seems picture-perfect. She’s the creator of the popular food blog Hungry with Hollis and is married to Matthew, a dreamy heart surgeon. But after she and Matthew get into a heated argument one snowy morning, he leaves for the airport and is killed in a car accident. The cracks in Hollis’s perfect life—her strained marriage and her complicated relationship with her daughter, Caroline—grow deeper. So when Hollis hears about something called a “Five-Star Weekend”—one woman organizes a trip for her best friend from each phase of her life: her teenage years, her twenties, her thirties, and midlife—she decides to host her own Five-Star Weekend on Nantucket. But the weekend doesn’t turn out to be a joyful Hallmark movie. The Five-Star Weekend is a surprising and captivating story about friendship, love, and self-discovery set on Nantucket. You can read more and get your copy here.

With Book Lovers, Beach Read, and The People We Meet on Vacation, Emily Henry is making a name for herself as must-read summer author! This one is her latest…

Happy Place by Emily Henry

Harriet and Wyn have been the perfect couple since they met in college, but they broke up five months ago and still haven’t told their best friends. Which is how they find themselves sharing a bedroom at the Maine cottage that has been their friend group’s yearly getaway for the last decade. Only this year, Harriet and Wyn are lying through their teeth while trying not to notice how desperately they still want each other. Because the cottage is for sale, and this is the last week they’ll all have together in this place. They can’t stand to break their friends’ hearts, and so they’ll play their parts. After years of being in love, how hard can it be to fake it for one week, in front of those who know you best? You can read more and get your copy here.

With so many designers (and I’m guessing HGTV fans?) in the TSC Community, I think a lot of you will enjoy this…

We Love to Entertain by Sarah Strohmeyer

Holly and Robert Barron are attractive young real-estate investors and contestants in a competition run by To the Manor Build, the nation’s most popular home renovation app. With millions in product endorsements and online followers at stake, they’re rehabbing a Vermont home they scored at a bargain price into a chic hilltop estate ideal for entertaining. It’s all camera-ready laughs and debates over herringbone tile until Holly and Robert go missing hours after their picture-perfect wedding—leaving behind a bloody trail. Suspicion falls quickly on Erika Turnbull, the Barrons’ twenty-something assistant, but Erika’s mother, Kim, is not about to let small-town gossip and a cop with an axe to grind destroy her daughter—again. You can read more and get your copy here.

Definitely check out this next one if you loved Daisy Jones and the Six…

The Daydreams by Laura Hankin

Back in 2004, The Daydreams had it all: a cast of innocent-seeming teenagers acting and singing their hearts out, amazing ratings, and a will-they-or-won’t-they romance that steamed up fan fiction forums. Then, during the live season two finale, it all imploded, leaving everyone scrambling to understand why. Afterward, the four stars went down very different paths. Kat is now a lawyer in Washington, DC. Liana is the bored wife of a famous athlete. Noah, the show’s golden boy, emerged unscathed and is poised to become a household name. And Summer, the object of Noah’s fictional (and maybe real-life) affections, is the cautionary tale. But now the fans are demanding a reunion special. The stars all have private reasons to come back: forgiveness, revenge, a second chance with a first love. But as they tentatively rediscover the magic of the original show, old secrets threaten to resurface—including the real reason behind their downfall. Will this reunion be a chance to make things right? Or will it be the biggest mess the world has ever seen? You can read more and get your copy here.

Finally, what’s a beach vacation without a little murder?

Bad Summer People by Emma Rosenblum

Jen Weinstein and Lauren Parker rule the town of Salcombe, Fire Island every summer. They hold sway on the beach and the tennis court and are adept at manipulating people to get what they want. Their husbands, Sam and Jason, have summered together on the island since childhood, despite lifelong grudges and numerous secrets. Their one single friend, Rachel Woolf, is looking to meet her match, whether he’s the tennis pro―or someone else’s husband. But even with plenty to gossip about, this season starts out as quietly as any other. Until a body is discovered, face down, off the side of the boardwalk. None of them would claim to be a particularly good person. But who among them is actually capable of murder? You can read more and get your copy here.

And if this isn’t enough for you, I’ve got twelve more (!) summer reading recs you can check out here. What are you reading this summer? Shoot me an email at hello@badasswomensbookclub and let me know! I’m always looking for the best books FOR badass women, BY badass women!

Gina Warner, founder of the Badass Women’s Book Club, is a voracious reader, a relentless recommender, an unabashed personal growth enthusiast, and a passionate believer in the power of women’s stories to change lives.  You can learn more about her work and the Badass Women’s Book Club here.


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