Summer is officially underway, which means we’re scouring the shelves for the perfect books to read while relaxing in the shade. Need inspiration for your next book? There are plenty of excellent new titles to choose from! In May and June, 18 different books entered The New York Times’ Combined Print & Ebook Fiction Bestseller List in the top five. Summer’s hottest 18 books (so far!) are listed below, and publishers’ descriptions are included.
End of Watch by Stephen King
The spectacular finale to the New York Times bestselling trilogy that began with Mr. Mercedes (winner of the Edgar Award) and Finders Keepers — In End of Watch, the diabolical “Mercedes Killer” drives his enemies to suicide, and if Bill Hodges and Holly Gibney don’t figure out a way to stop him, they’ll be victims themselves.
In Room 217 of the Lakes Region Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic, something has awakened. Something evil. Brady Hartsfield, perpetrator of the Mercedes Massacre, where eight people were killed and many more were badly injured, has been in the clinic for five years, in a vegetative state. According to his doctors, anything approaching a complete recovery is unlikely. But behind the drool and stare, Brady is awake, and in possession of deadly new powers that allow him to wreak unimaginable havoc without ever leaving his hospital room.
Retired police detective Bill Hodges, the unlikely hero of Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers, now runs an investigation agency with his partner, Holly Gibney — the woman who delivered the blow to Hartsfield’s head that put him on the brain injury ward. When Bill and Holly are called to a suicide scene with ties to the Mercedes Massacre, they find themselves pulled into their most dangerous case yet, one that will put their lives at risk, as well as those of Bill’s heroic young friend Jerome Robinson and his teenage sister, Barbara. Brady Hartsfield is back, and planning revenge not just on Hodges and his friends, but on an entire city.
In End of Watch, Stephen King brings the Hodges trilogy to a sublimely terrifying conclusion, combining the detective fiction of Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers with the heart-pounding, supernatural suspense that has been his bestselling trademark. The result is an unnerving look at human vulnerability and chilling suspense. No one does it better than King.
Cross Kill by James Patterson
Alex Cross, I’m coming for you — even from the grave if I have to.
Along Came a Spider killer Gary Soneji has been dead for over 10 years. Alex Cross watched him die. But today, Cross saw him gun down his partner. Is Soneji alive? A ghost? Or something even more sinister?
Nothing will prepare you for the wicked truth.
Dishonorable Intentions by Stuart Woods
Stone Barrington’s latest lady friend is full of surprises, both good and ill. A sensual woman with unexpected desires, Stone finds her revelations in the boudoir extremely agreeable. But on the other hand, she also has some unfinished business with a temperamental man who believes Stone is an intolerable obstacle in the way of his goals.
In a cat-and-mouse game that trails from sun-drenched Bel-Air to a peaceful European estate and gorgeous Santa Fe, Stone and his friend remain just one step ahead of their opponent. But their pursuer is not a man who can stand to be thwarted, and tensions are mounting… and may soon reach the boiling point.
Before the Fall by Noah Hawley
On a foggy summer night, 11 people — 10 privileged, one down-on-his-luck painter — depart Martha’s Vineyard on a private jet headed for New York. 16 minutes later, the unthinkable happens: The plane plunges into the ocean. The only survivors are Scott Burroughs — the painter — and a four-year-old boy, who is now the last remaining member of an immensely wealthy and powerful media mogul’s family.
With chapters weaving between the aftermath of the crash and the backstories of the passengers and crew members — including a Wall Street titan and his wife, a Texan-born party boy just in from London, a young woman questioning her path in life, and a career pilot — the mystery surrounding the tragedy heightens. As the passengers’ intrigues unravel, odd coincidences point to a conspiracy. Was it merely by dumb chance that so many influential people perished? Or was something far more sinister at work? Events soon threaten to spiral out of control in an escalating storm of media outrage and accusations. And while Scott struggles to cope with fame that borders on notoriety, the authorities scramble to salvage the truth from the wreckage.
Amid pulse-quickening suspense, the fragile relationship between Scott and the young boy glows at the heart of this stunning novel, raising questions of fate, human nature, and the inextricable ties that bind us together.
The Emperor’s Revenge by Clive Cussler and Boyd Morrison
Juan Cabrillo and the crew of the Oregon face their toughest challenge yet when a violent bank heist during the Monaco Grand Prix decimates the Corporation’s accounts. To get the money back, Juan joins forces with an old friend from his days in the CIA so they can track down a rogue hacker and a ruthless former Ukrainian naval officer. It is only after the hunt begins that the enormity of the plan comes into focus: The bank theft is just the first step in a plot that will result in the deaths of millions and bring the world’s economies to a standstill. The catalyst for the scheme? A stunning document stolen during Napoleon’s disastrous invasion of Russia. But 200 years later, it may be the thing that brings Europe to its knees.
Marrying Winterborne by Lisa Kleypas
A ruthless tycoon
Savage ambition has brought common-born Rhys Winterborne vast wealth and success. In business and beyond, Rhys gets exactly what he wants. And from the moment he meets the shy, aristocratic Lady Helen Ravenel, he is determined to possess her. If he must take her virtue to ensure she marries him, so much the better…
A sheltered beauty
Helen has had little contact with the glittering, cynical world of London society. Yet Rhys’s determined seduction awakens an intense mutual passion. Helen’s gentle upbringing belies a stubborn conviction that only she can tame her unruly husband. As Rhys’s enemies conspire against them, Helen must trust him with her darkest secret. The risks are unthinkable… the reward, a lifetime of incomparable bliss. And it all begins with…
Marrying Mr. Winterborne
All Summer Long by Dorothea Benton Frank
All Summer Long follows one charming New York couple — prominent interior designer Olivia Ritchie and her husband Nicholas Seymour, an English professor and true southern gentleman. They are seemingly polar opposites, yet magnetically drawn together and in love for more than 14 years.
As they prepare to relocate to Charleston, SC, Olivia, the ultimate New Yorker, has reservations about the promise she made to retire in the Lowcountry, where Nick wants to return home and lead a more peaceful life. They are moving north to south, fast pace versus slow pace and downsizing. Nick is ecstatic. Olivia is not. She can’t let Nick know that their finances are not what he thought. Her client list is evaporating, their monetary reserves are dwindling, and maybe that house she picked out on Sullivans Island needs too much work. Thank God, for her assistant, Roni Larini, her right (and sometimes left) hand.
As they find themselves pondering the next step of their lives, Olivia and Nick travel with her billionaire clients and their friends and are swept up into the world of the ultra-rich and explore the globe with a cast of zany eccentrics over one tumultuous, hot summer. All as Olivia grapples with what lies ahead for her and Nick.
This is a story of how plans evolve and lives change in unexpected ways, how even those who have everything are still looking for something more. Even the most successful people can often struggle to keep things together. All Summer Long asks the ultimate question: Can money buy happiness? From Sullivans Island to Necker Island to Nantucket to the beaches of Southern Spain, we’ll come to recognize the many faces of true love, love that deepens and endures but only because one woman makes a tremendous leap of faith. And that leap changes everything.
The City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin
You followed The Passage. You faced The Twelve. Now enter The City of Mirrors for the final reckoning. As the bestselling epic races to its breathtaking finale, Justin Cronin’s band of hardened survivors await the second coming of unspeakable darkness.
The world we knew is gone. What world will rise in its place?
The Twelve have been destroyed and the terrifying 100-year reign of darkness that descended upon the world has ended. The survivors are stepping outside their walls, determined to build society anew — and daring to dream of a hopeful future.
But far from them, in a dead metropolis, he waits: Zero. The First. Father of the Twelve. The anguish that shattered his human life haunts him, and the hatred spawned by his transformation burns bright. His fury will be quenched only when he destroys Amy — humanity’s only hope, the Girl from Nowhere who grew up to rise against him.
One last time light and dark will clash, and at last Amy and her friends will know their fate.
The Weekenders by Mary Kay Andrews
Some people stay all summer long on the idyllic island of Belle Isle, North Carolina. Others come only for the weekends-and the mix between the regulars and “the weekenders” can sometimes make the sparks fly. Riley Griggs has a season of good times with friends and family ahead of her on Belle Isle when things take an unexpected turn. While waiting for her husband to arrive on the ferry one Friday afternoon, Riley is confronted by a process server who thrusts papers into her hand. And her husband is nowhere to be found.
So she turns to her island friends for help and support, but it turns out that each of them has their own secrets, and the clock is ticking as the mystery deepens… in a murderous way. Cocktail parties aside, Riley must find a way to investigate the secrets of Belle Island, the husband she might not really know, and the summer that could change everything.
Told with Mary Kay Andrews’ trademark blend of humor and warmth, and with characters and a setting that you can’t help but fall for, The Weekenders is the perfect summer escape.
The Fireman by Joe Hill
From the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of NOS4A2 and Heart-Shaped Box comes a chilling novel about a worldwide pandemic of spontaneous combustion that threatens to reduce civilization to ashes and a band of improbable heroes who battle to save it, led by one powerful and enigmatic man known as the Fireman.
The fireman is coming. Stay cool.
No one knows exactly when it began or where it originated. A terrifying new plague is spreading like wildfire across the country, striking cities one by one: Boston, Detroit, Seattle. The doctors call it Draco Incendia Trychophyton. To everyone else it’s Dragonscale, a highly contagious, deadly spore that marks its hosts with beautiful black and gold marks across their bodies — before causing them to burst into flames. Millions are infected; blazes erupt everywhere. There is no antidote. No one is safe.
Harper Grayson, a compassionate, dedicated nurse as pragmatic as Mary Poppins, treated hundreds of infected patients before her hospital burned to the ground. Now she’s discovered the telltale gold-flecked marks on her skin. When the outbreak first began, she and her husband, Jakob, had made a pact: They would take matters into their own hands if they became infected. To Jakob’s dismay, Harper wants to live — at least until the fetus she is carrying comes to term. At the hospital, she witnessed infected mothers give birth to healthy babies and believes hers will be fine too… if she can live long enough to deliver the child.
Convinced that his do-gooding wife has made him sick, Jakob becomes unhinged, and eventually abandons her as their placid New England community collapses in terror. The chaos gives rise to ruthless Cremation Squads — armed, self-appointed posses roaming the streets and woods to exterminate those who they believe carry the spore. But Harper isn’t as alone as she fears: A mysterious and compelling stranger she briefly met at the hospital, a man in a dirty yellow fire fighter’s jacket, carrying a hooked iron bar, straddles the abyss between insanity and death. Known as The Fireman, he strolls the ruins of New Hampshire, a madman afflicted with Dragonscale who has learned to control the fire within himself, using it as a shield to protect the hunted… and as a weapon to avenge the wronged.
In the desperate season to come, as the world burns out of control, Harper must learn the Fireman’s secrets before her life — and that of her unborn child — goes up in smoke.
15th Affair by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
Lindsay Boxer has a beautiful baby daughter and a husband she loves unconditionally. She’d always been too focused on her career as a San Francisco police detective to wonder what domestic bliss might feel like, but now she knows, and she’s never been happier. She can’t imagine that a brutal murder at a luxury hotel, and the disappearance of a gorgeous blond woman from the scene, could have anything to do with her own life and marriage — yet soon both are unraveling, and Lindsay can’t ignore disturbing clues that hit very close to home.
Just as bombs are starting to go off in her personal life, an explosive tragedy rocks San Francisco, plunging the city into chaos. Pressed into duty to investigate a criminal plot that stretches around the globe, Lindsay again finds herself following signs that lead to her own front door. Thrown into a tailspin and fighting against powerful enemies trying to protect their operatives and conceal the truth at all costs, Lindsay turns to the Women’s Murder Club for help as she desperately searches for the elusive, and deadly, blonde before she loses Joe for good.
Filled with the pulse-pounding intrigue that has made James Patterson the world’s #1 bestselling writer, 15th Affair is an emotionally charged story that proves all is fair in love, war, and espionage.
The Apartment by Danielle Steel
They come together by chance in the heart of New York City, four young women at turning points in their lives. Claire Kelly finds the walk-up apartment — a spacious loft in Hell’s Kitchen. But the aspiring shoe designer needs at least one roommate to manage it. She meets Abby Williams, a writer trying to make it on her own, far away from her successful family in L.A. Four years later, Morgan Shelby joins them. She’s ambitious, with a serious finance job on Wall Street. Then Sasha Hartman, a medical student whose identical twin sister is a headline-grabbing supermodel. And so the sprawling space, with its exposed brick and rich natural light, becomes a home to friends about to embark on new, exhilarating adventures.
Frustrated by her ultra-conservative boss, Claire soon faces a career crisis as a designer. Abby is under the spell of an older man, an off-off-Broadway producer who exploits her and detours her from her true talent as a novelist, while destroying her self-confidence. Morgan is happily in love with a successful restaurateur who supplies her roommates with fine food. At her office, she begins to suspect something is off about her boss, a legendary investment manager whom she’s always admired. But does she even know him? And Sasha begins an all-work-no-play residency as an OB/GYN, as her glamorous jet-set sister makes increasingly risky decisions.
Their shared life in the apartment grounds them as they bring one another comfort and become a family of beloved friends. Unexpected opportunities alter the course of each of their lives, and as they meet the challenges, they face the bittersweet reality that in time, they will inevitably move away from the place where their dreams began.
Extreme Prey by John Sandford
After the events in Gathering Prey, Lucas Davenport finds himself in a very unusual situation — no longer employed by the Minnesota BCA. His friend the governor is just cranking up a presidential campaign, though, and he invites Lucas to come along as part of his campaign staff. “Should be fun!” he says, and it kind of is — until they find they have a shadow: an armed man intent on killing the governor… and anyone who gets in the way.
Fire Bound by Christine Feehan
The #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Sea Haven novels returns to the circle of the six sisters of the heart, bound by the elements — and to one who possesses the power to inflame the most dangerous passions of all.
Flame-haired Lissa Piner is a skilled glass blower whose delicate gift conceals a burning inner strength that can destroy as exquisitely as it can create. Commissioned to design chandeliers for a string of luxury hotels, her remarkable skills have taken her to Italy. But Lissa’s real mission there is a secret. For her entire life has been a lie, leading to a chance to avenge a terrible wrong.
Enlisted as her bodyguard is Casmir Prakenskii, a trained assassin living off the grid. In Lissa, he sees a kindred spirit — something unexpected and wicked, mysterious and sensual. But more than desire is about to bring them together: Because both of their pasts cry out for revenge. And for two people with this many secrets, this much passion, and this many enemies, someone is bound to get burned.
The Last Mile by David Baldacci
In his #1 New York Times bestseller Memory Man, David Baldacci introduced the extraordinary detective Amos Decker — the man who can forget nothing. Now, Decker returns in a spectacular new thriller… The Last Mile.
Convicted murderer Melvin Mars is counting down the last hours before his execution — for the violent killing of his parents 20 years earlier — when he’s granted an unexpected reprieve. Another man has confessed to the crime.
Amos Decker, newly hired on an FBI special task force, takes an interest in Mars’s case after discovering the striking similarities to his own life: Both men were talented football players with promising careers cut short by tragedy. Both men’s families were brutally murdered. And in both cases, another suspect came forward, years after the killing, to confess to the crime. A suspect who may or may not have been telling the truth.
The confession has the potential to make Melvin Mars — guilty or not — a free man. Who wants Mars out of prison? And why now?
But when a member of Decker’s team disappears, it becomes clear that something much larger — and more sinister — than just one convicted criminal’s life hangs in the balance. Decker will need all of his extraordinary brainpower to stop an innocent man from being executed.
Bounty by Kristen Ashley
Justice Lonesome has enjoyed a life of bounty.
Even so, she’s inherited the curse of the Lonesome. A poet’s soul. Which means she’s still searching for something. Searching for peace. Searching for the less… that’s more.
And when the foundation of her life is pulled out from under her, grieving, she goes to the mountains to find her oasis. She hits Carnal, Colorado and decides to stay.
Deke Hightower lost everything at the age of two. He lost it again at 15. His life has not been about bounty. It’s been about learning to live with less, because there’s no way to get more.
Deke’s also watched all his friends go down to the women who gave them what they needed. He wants that for himself. But he knows that search isn’t going to be easy because he’s a rider. His home is the road. That’s the only place he can breathe. And the woman who takes her place at his side has to do it sitting on the back of his bike.
When Deke meets Justice, he knows she’s not that woman. She’s cute. She’s sweet. And she’s into him, but she’s got it all and Deke knows he won’t fit into that. So he holds her at arm’s length. Establishes boundaries. And Justice will take it because she wants Deke any way he’ll let her have him.
But when Justice finds herself a pawn in a dangerous game, Deke makes a decision.
When he does, he has no idea he’s just opened himself up to bounty.
The Obsession by Nora Roberts
The riveting new novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Liar.
“She stood in the deep, dark woods, breath shallow and cold prickling over her skin despite the hot, heavy air. She took a step back, then two, as the urge to run fell over her.”
Naomi Bowes lost her innocence the night she followed her father into the woods. In freeing the girl trapped in the root cellar, Naomi revealed the horrible extent of her father’s crimes and made him infamous. No matter how close she gets to happiness, she can’t outrun the sins of Thomas David Bowes.
Now a successful photographer living under the name Naomi Carson, she has found a place that calls to her, a rambling old house in need of repair, thousands of miles away from everything she’s ever known. Naomi wants to embrace the solitude, but the kindly residents of Sunrise Cove keep forcing her to open up — especially the determined Xander Keaton.
Naomi can feel her defenses failing, and knows that the connection her new life offers is something she’s always secretly craved. But the sins of her father can become an obsession, and, as she’s learned time and again, her past is never more than a nightmare away.
Stuck-Up Suit by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward
From the New York Times bestselling authors of Cocky Bastard, comes a sexy new standalone novel.
It started out like any other morning on the train.
Until I became mesmerized by the guy sitting across the aisle.
He was barking at someone on his phone like he ruled the world.
Who did the stuck-up suit think he was… God?
Actually, he looked like a God. That was about it.
When his stop came, he got up suddenly and left. So suddenly, he dropped his phone on the way out.
I might have picked it up.
I might have gone through all of his photos and called some of the numbers.
I might have held onto the mystery man’s phone for days ― until I finally conjured up the courage to return it.
When I traipsed my ass across town to his fancy company, he refused to see me.
So, I left the phone on the empty desk outside the arrogant jerk’s office.
I might have also left behind a dirty picture on it first though.
I didn’t expect him to text back.
I didn’t expect our exchanges to be hot as hell.
I didn’t expect to fall for him ― all before we even met.
The two of us couldn’t have been any more different.
Yet, you know what they say about opposites.
When we finally came face to face, we found out opposites sometimes do more than attract ― we consumed each other.
Nothing could have prepared me for the ride he took me on. And I certainly wasn’t prepared for where I’d wind up when the ride was over.
All good things must come to an end, right?
Except our ending was one I didn’t see coming.
What book are you most looking forward to reading this summer? Tell us in the comments?
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