6 Summer Reads You’ll Be Talking About All Season

From mind-bending thrillers to hand-fanning romance, you’ll want to clear your calendar to read these buzzy books.

A woman reads a book on the beach wearing a giant sun hat

(Photo: Getty)

Hot weather, staycations and holidays require reading material that’s an escape for the mind. Think heart-pounding thrillers that keep you guessing, swoon-worthy romances that leave you blushing and juicy dramas with a side of glamour. Here are six picks you won’t want to put down.

American Royalty by Tracey Livesay

Best read in the sizzling heat…
Can’t get enough of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle? This highly anticipated romance by Tracey Livesay is sure to fuel your fantasies. Bold and ambitious rapper Danielle “Duchess” Nelson gets booked for a royal gig just when she needs some good press. The reclusive English Prince Jameson thought her name sounded appropriate—knowing nothing about Dani’s provocative style. This opposites-attract scorcher has everything you want to read on a summer day: heat, heart, sexy banter and a happily ever after that satisfies (plus a prince who does, too). Out now.

Counterfeit by Kirstin Chen

Best read under a wide-brimmed hat on a comfy chaise…
Former successful lawyer and doting mother Ava Wong seems to have it all—but really, everything is falling apart. Her marriage is in ruins, her law degree is gathering dust and mothering a toddler is kicking her ass. When her former college roommate Winnie shows up in her life, Ava is drawn by her friend’s confidence and glamorous lifestyle, only to find out that Winnie is involved in a luxury handbag counterfeit ring. When Winnie disappears, Ava is left to handle the fallout. Chen writes with humour about the faux-toxic appeal of the label-conscious while creating a colourful world of characters with depth and charisma. Out now.

Groupies by Sarah Priscus

Best read with an umbrella drink in hand…
A quintessential beach book, this glittery debut novel set in the late ’70s Los Angeles rock scene is full of charismatic women and gorgeous rock stars living life to excess. Faun Novak, aspiring photographer, drops out of college after losing her mother and flees to L.A. She hooks up with her childhood friend Josie, the model girlfriend of rock star Cal Holiday, frontman of the band Holiday Sun. Faun enters a glamorous, drug-fuelled world inhabited by the famous, and their fans—young women who devote themselves to inspiring the creativity of men. But at what cost? Priscus delivers an entertaining tale about the tainted allure of fame, told through the eyes of a young woman coming into her own power. Out now.

In the Dark We Forget by Sandra SG Wong

Best read tucked indoors on a cool, stormy night…
A woman wakes up on the side of a mountain highway without her phone, wallet or any memory of who she is. Once Cleo Li learns her identity, she finds out that her parents—who just won $47 million in the lottery—have disappeared and she’s a person of interest. Her brother is on her side, but family secrets emerge as Cleo tries to remember what happened the last time she saw her parents alive. How reliable are her memories? And what if she doesn’t want to remember? Wong grabs your attention from page one in this fast-paced, psychological thriller that also delves into cultural commentary on diversity and the Asian Canadian experience. Out now.

Please Join Us by Catherine McKenzie

Best read when the weather is as moody as this drama…
Superstar lawyer Nicole Muller is told she isn’t reaching her potential at work, leading her to accept a mysterious invitation to join a women’s networking group called Panthera Leo. A retreat leads to bonding rituals and ride-or-die friendships with powerful women in high places … with emphasis on the die part. Everything isn’t what it seems as Nicole finds herself making a life-changing choice. What happens when women take things into their own hands? How far do you go for sisterhood? This suspenseful, thoughtful page-turner is the 13th novel by bestselling lawyer-turned-author Catherine McKenzie. Out August 23.

You Made A Fool of Death With Your Beauty by Akwaeke Emezi

Best read alongside a box of tissues…
If you love a story you can lose yourself in, you’ll be seduced by this passionate tale. It’s been five years since New York artist Feyi Adekola lost her great love—and she’s finally ready to live again. A hot hookup leads to an exciting, glamorous summer including a trip to the Caribbean, art world connections and potential with a guy who seems perfect (on paper, at least). But Feyi is thrown off-balance by a surprising and powerful attraction to her new boyfriend’s father, a renowned chef with grief of his own. The award-winning Emezi writes with lyrical lushness and heart about loss, healing and ultimately, hope. Out now.

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