5 Great Summer Reads (A Round-up)

Summer is upon us, and there’s no better way to spend the hot days than catching up on the best books. If you’re looking for some picks to put in your beach bag, here are 5 great summer reads releasing this summer that I truly enjoyed.

little mercies cover

Little Mercies – Heather Gudenkauf (June 24, 2014)

Ellen Moore is a social worker dedicated to her clients, even though she’s seen the worst humanity has to offer. Everything shatters in a second, though, when one mistake threatens everything Ellen holds dear. Gudenkauf writes social worker Ellen Moore sympathetically but also realistically, while the secondary narrator, young Jenny, has seen too much bad in the world for her tender age. This is a book that will make you reevaluate your busy life and think hard about your priorities and your family, whether you have children or not. Heather Gudenkauf’s third novel might not seem like typical summer fare due to its heavy subject—child neglect and abuse—but its fast pace and riveting plot ensure that it’s a perfect summer read. This would also make a great book club selection, as readers will itch to discuss Ellen, and their own feelings on the difficult situation she has to face. You can find a book club kit for Little Mercies below.

stories we tell - patti callahan henrythat summer - lauren willig
The Stories We Tell – Patti Callahan Henry (June 24, 2014)

A sultry, gorgeously written Southern novel, The Stories We Tell is just as much about a family falling apart as it is a love letter to Savannah, Georgia. The sense of place is everything in this novel about a woman, Eve, whose sister and husband are in a car accident that shatters her world. As she’s picking up the pieces, small inconsistencies in her husband’s story make her question everything around her, wondering what really happened that fateful night. Though it might initially seem predictable, this novel provides many surprises on Eve’s journey, as she must reevaluate what she has and what she wants.

That Summer – Lauren Willig (June 4, 2014)

Willig’s second standalone novel, after The Ashford Affair, is an engaging novel set in both the past and the present. Julia Conley is shocked to inherit her Aunt Regina’s house in England, seeing as how she barely knew her aunt and hadn’t seen her since her mother’s death when she was six years old. While there, she stumbles upon an old painting hidden inside a wall, a painting that might uncover ghosts her ancestors buried long ago. It’s light and fun, with all the mystery and romance you want from a great summer read. Willig does an excellent job with both timelines, bringing these characters to life, and crafting a novel that readers won’t want to put down.

never never sisters - l. allison hellermatchmaker - elin hilderbrand

The Never Never Sisters – L. Alison Heller (June 3, 2014)

A touching novel about the importance of family, The Never Never Sisters features Paige Reinhardt, a marriage counselor who isn’t quite sure what to do about her own marriage. Her workaholic husband has been suspended from work, and Paige is sure that he’s not telling her everything. But when Paige’s sister reappears after 20 years, wanting to have a relationship with her, Paige must reevaluate her priorities and figure out what she needs . . . and what she doesn’t. It’s a sweet and honest read that also manages to be entertaining on every page.

The Matchmaker – Elin Hilderbrand (June 10, 2014)

Dabney Beech has been married to the same man for over 20 years, but she knows that man who truly has her heart is on the other side of the world. That is, until she receives an email stating that Clendenin Hughes is returning to Nantucket. This email throws Dabney’s carefully ordered life into chaos as she struggles between the obligations of family and the pull of her heart. Hilderbrand always writes reliable beach reads, and this book is no exception. It’s heartfelt and honest, with realistic characters (if not character names). This is absolutely the book you want in your travel bag, whether to make a long plane ride pass quickly or to read while lazing about by the pool.

I was compensated for this post by Harlequin (publisher of Little Mercies), but all words, thoughts, criticism, and selection of other books are my own.


  1. Love the variety on this list! Thanks for the suggestions.

  2. Gorgeous selection.

  3. I am looking forward to Little Mercies! I also cannot wait to read The Matchmaker.

  4. The Stories We Tell sounds fantastic! I love Savannah so much, I’m definitely going to have to add this to my reading list.


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