Each month, BookSparks founder Crystal Patriarche is reading and bingeing some of the best new books that need to be on your radar. Get the best beach reads for summer with these June and July picks!
All the Sinners Bleed by S.A. Cosby
Titus Crown is the first Black sheriff in his small southern town in Virginia. A year after his election, a school teacher is killed by her own student, thrusting the town and Crown into chaos. While investigating, the sheriff discovers a serial killer hiding in plain sight. As Crown uncovers the town’s dark secrets, his own past fights to stay buried in this thrilling crime fiction from New York Times bestseller, S.A. Cosby.
Unfortunately Yours by Tessa Bailey
When Natalie loses her fiancé and her job in one ugly swoop, she’s forced to head home to Napa to drown her sorrows in wine. Once she’s reached the bottom of enough bottles, she’s ready to start a business. A business that requires she be married in order to access her trust fund. August is struggling to make his late best friend’s vineyard work. He’s out of money and making wine no one wants to drink. In their desperation, Natalie and August agree to a sham marriage that could save them both, if they don’t kill each other first.
Crook Manifesto by Colson Whitehead
In the next of his Ray Carney books, Colson Whitehead returns readers to Harlem in the 70s, when crime and violence are at an all-time high. Carney is trying to keep his head down and his business running, but times are tough and his straight path is quickly driven off course. Told over multiple years spanning the decade, this dark and humorous tale gives an inside look at a city in turmoil and a man in the middle of it.
Same Time Next Summer by Annabel Monaghan
Sam is set up to have the perfect life. Her job is great, her doctor fiancé is the perfect counterbalance for her. So when she goes home to scope out beach wedding venues in Long Island, it should be the happiest time of her life. Unfortunately, Wyatt is there. Wyatt who broke her heart when she was seventeen. Wyatt whose guitar playing keeps floating over from next door. On the brink of having it all, Sam must confront her past and decide on her future.
Big Girl by Mecca Jamilah Sullivan
Malaya is growing up in 1990s Harlem and has set her life to the soundtrack of Biggie Smalls and Aaliyah, but the sounds she can’t get out of her head are the voices of her peers and mother. In a body that doesn’t fit the fitness-focused, fad diet era along with being at a mostly white prep school, Malaya must contend with her desires in an environment that is desperately trying to force her to change. When faced with a family tragedy, she’s finally driven to come to terms with the source of her hunger and a love for herself.
Forever Hold Your Peace by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke
A shotgun wedding between an eager, and possibly delusional, young couple should be the biggest problem for the parents of the bride and groom-to-be. But when the future in-laws meet for the first time, it isn’t the first time at all. Turns out, Amy and June were the best of friends twenty-five years ago before a major falling out. Now, the two mothers are in competition with each other and the secrets begging to bubble to the surface as the nuptials move forward and the women fight to escape the past.
Cassandra in Reverse by Holly Smale
A predictably delightful life is all Cassandra really wants. The job she can count on, the boyfriend she adores and museums. She is decidedly not a fan of messes, chaos and disorder. Suddenly, that’s exactly what her life becomes. Dumped, fired and about to freaking lose it, Cassandra stumbles upon the ability to turn back time. Using this, she tries to undo every mistake she can find, but is this truly the reverse road to happiness?
One Summer in Savannah by Terah Shelton Harris
Sara fled her past eight years ago, leaving behind her hometown of Savannah, Georgia and her baby. Alana was the biproduct of a terrifying sexual assault and Sara wanted to get as far away as she could. When she’s forced to return home due to her father’s failing health, Sara must confront more than her own history. Jacob, her attacker’s twin brother, has also returned in search of redemption and reconciliation. As Sara tries to keep her daughter safe and tucked away, she finds herself drawn to Jacob in an unexpected way.
Hello Stranger by Katherine Center
One minute Sadie is winning a national award for her work in portraits. The next, she’s waking up in a hospital with what doctors hope is temporary face blindness. Facing both personal and professional struggles, Sadie hardly has the space for one love interest let alone the two she’s completely head over heals for. In the midst of a life-altering diagnosis Sadie attempts to piece herself back together.
What Never Happened by Rachel Howzell Hall
Coco is returning to her home on Catalina Island in an attempt to run from an ex and return to her writing roots, crafting obituaries. It’s the first time she’s returned home since Coco was left as the lone survivor of a home invasion. As she writes up the obituaries of local, deceased elderly residents, she begins to see a pattern. These aren’t natural deaths, there is a killer and this person seems to be connected to her own tragic past. When Coco receives an ominous obituary written about her, she’s forced to face secrets and survival on Catalina Island.
Business or Pleasure by Rachel Lynn Solomon
Chandler is a ghostwriter who is feeling more invisible than ever. She shows up at an author event for a book she ghostwrote and the author doesn’t even recognize her. In her state of doubt, Chandler hooks up with a guy who is good looking, but less than mind-blowing in bed. Her casual one-night fling, Finn, turns out to be her next client. He’s a C-list actor with a cult following and it’s Chandler’s job to pen his memoir. When she reveals their roll in the sheets was more humorous than hot, they come to an agreement. In between writing the book, she’ll school him in the bedroom. But can she stay in business mode while indulging in pleasure?
Sunshine Nails by Mai Nguyen
Vietnamese refugees Phil and Debbie have made a life for themselves with their no-frills nail salon in Toronto. They raised their children and got by fine until a high-end salon and a raise in rent threatens to bring down the whole operation. Now with their grown children and niece at their side they begin to engage in some good old fashion sabotage. Will it save their business or destroy their family?
The Bear Season Two
Everybody’s favorite fast-talking, Chicago chef is back with season two of The Bear. After the anxiety-inducing rollercoaster that was the first season, Carm has decided close “The Beef” and open a high-end restaurant. Of course he has to do it in record time with his questionable uncle living in his ear demanding a profit be turned. Determined to keep everyone employed, the team has to do some questionable and always hilarious things to open their doors on time.