sultry summer reads – the hardbacks

If you glance upwards you’ll see strange, bright, heat-giving disk in the sky …that’s the sun. Could it be that summer is finally here? After a false start back in June my thoughts have once again turned to sizzling hot reads for the summer. Here’s my pick of the hardbacks …

All of these books are available to purchase from your favourite bookseller right now.

Let’s dive in …

A Burning


A girl walks through the slums of Kolkata holding an armful of books. She returns home smelling of smoke, and checks her most prized possession: a brand-new smartphone, purchased in instalments. On Facebook, there is only one conversation.

#KolabaganTrainAttack

On the small, glowing screen, she types a dangerous thing…

If the police didn’t help ordinary people like you and me, if the police watched them die, doesn’t that mean that the government is also a terrorist?’

Set in contemporary India, A Burning is the story of three unforgettable characters, all dreaming of a better future, whose lives are changed for ever when they become caught up in the devastating aftermath of a terrorist attack. 

Jivan – a poor, young, Muslim girl, who dreams of going to college – faces a possible death sentence after being accused of collaborating with the terrorists.

Lovely – an exuberant hijra who longs to be a Bollywood star – holds the alibi that can set Jivan free, but telling the truth will cost her everything she holds dear.

PT Sir – an opportunistic gym teacher who once taught Jivan – becomes involved with Hindu nationalist politics and his own ascent is soon inextricably linked to Jivan’s fall.

Taut, propulsive and electrifying, from its opening lines to its astonishing finale, A Burning confronts issues of class, fate, prejudice and corruption with a Dickensian sense of injustice, and asks us to consider what it means to nurture big ambitions in a country hurtling towards political extremism.

A Burning is a novel for our times and for all time.

‘Immaculately constructed, acidly observed and gripping from start to finish, A Burning is a brilliant debut.’
Guardian

A Burning is a political thriller so charged and tense, it will keep you reading after lights out.’
Red Magazine

‘An evocative insight into class, corruption, injustice and power dynamics, this poignant tale makes for memorable reading.’
Cosmopolitan

Voyeur


WRITER SEEKS ASSISTANT TO HELP WITH ARCHIVING/RESEARCH FOR A NEW NOVEL. (Don’t bother to apply if your name is Shakespearean or classical.)
PARIS AND SOUTH. PART-TIME.

Leah, a young woman who has found herself ‘ambitioned’ out of London, is now aimlessly adrift in Paris. Tired of odd jobs in cafes and teaching English to unresponsive social media influencers, her heart skips a beat when she spots an advert for a writer seeking an assistant.

Michael was once the bright young star of the London literary scene, now a washed-up author with writer’s block. He doesn’t place much hope in the advert, but after meeting Leah is filled with an inspiration he hasn’t felt in years.

When Michael offers Leah the opportunity to join him and his family in their rambling but glorious property in the south of France for the summer, she finally feels her luck is turning. But as she begins to transcribe the diaries from his debauched life in 1960s Soho, something begins to nag at Leah’s sense of fulfilment; that there might be more to Michael than meets the eye.

‘Set to rule the literary summer.’
Sunday Times Style

‘Tense and sultry… addictive… With a complicated love triangle, glamorous settings, a cast of enigmatic characters and a mystery that will keep you guessing right until the end, it’s a genuinely thrilling summer holiday read.’
Stylist

‘[A] sizzling summer debut, a one-way ticket to the south of France.’
Esquire

Malibu Rising


Malibu: August, 1983.

It’s the day of Nina Riva’s annual end-of-summer party, and anticipation is at a fever pitch. Everyone wants to be around the famous Rivas: Nina, the talented surfer and supermodel; brothers Jay and Hud, one a championship surfer, the other a renowned photographer; and their adored baby sister, Kit. Together, the siblings are a source of fascination in Malibu and the world over-especially as the offspring of the legendary singer, Mick Riva.

The only person not looking forward to the party of the year is Nina herself, who never wanted to be the center of attention, and who has also just been very publicly abandoned by her pro tennis player husband. Oh, and maybe Hud-because it is long past time to confess something to the brother from whom he’s been inseparable since birth.

Jay, on the other hand, is counting the minutes until nightfall, when the girl he can’t stop thinking about promised she’ll be there.

And Kit has a couple secrets of her own-including a guest she invited without consulting anyone.

By midnight the party will be completely out of control. By morning, the Riva mansion will have gone up in flames. But before that first spark in the early hours before dawn, the alcohol will flow, the music will play, and the loves and secrets that shaped this family’s generations will all come bubbling to the surface.

Malibu Rising is a story about one unforgettable night in the life of a family: the night they each have to choose what they will keep from the people who made them . . . and what they will leave behind.

‘Sun-drenched … addictive and fun, it’s an essential addition to your summer reading list.’
Stylist (Best Fiction of 2021)

‘Unapologetically escapist beach-read fiction.’
Sunday Times

‘A sex-on-the-beach cocktail (quite literally) of a book.’ 
Pandora Sykes

The Distant Shores


Margot Hart is travelling to the farthest south-west corner of Ireland, intent on researching a biography of the Deverill family whose intriguing story spans centuries and continents. To dig deep into the secrets of their past, Margot knows she must win over the person Lord Deverill – JP. A notorious recluse, JP won’t be an easy man to crack. But Margot is determined – and she is not a woman who is easily put off.

What she never expected was to form a close bond with JP and be drawn into his family disputes. Shouldering the blame for running up debts that forced him to sell the family castle, JP is isolated and vulnerable. His son Colm is profoundly suspicious of Margot. But could Margot help restore JP’s fortunes and finally lift the curse that has cast its dark shadow over so many?

Will the family ever succeed in healing rifts that have been centuries in the making?

‘Nobody does epic romance like Santa Montefiore.’
Jojo Moyes

‘An enchanting read, overflowing with deliciously poignant moments.’

Dinah Jefferies

‘Funny, sad, poignant and heart-warming.’

Choice Magazine

Songs In Ursa Major


Behind every greatest hit, is an even greater love story.

The summer of 1969

From the moment Jane Quinn steps barefoot onto the main stage at Island Folk festival, her golden hair glinting, her voice soaring into the summer dusk, a star is born – and so is a passionate love story.

Jane’s band hits the road with none other than Jesse Reid, the musician whose bright blue eyes are setting hearts alight everywhere. And as the summer streaks by in a haze of crowds, wild nights and magenta sunsets, Jane is pulled into the orbit of Jesse’s star.

But Jesse’s rise could mean Jane’s fall. And when she discovers a dark secret beneath his music, she picks up her guitar and writes her heartache into the album that could make or break her: Songs in Ursa Major.

Set against the heady haze of the 70s and alive with music, sex and sun-soaked hedonism, Songs In Ursa Major is an unforgettable debut and the soundtrack to a love story like no other.

‘A gorgeous, one-gulp novel about two star-crossed singers that’s full of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll.’
RED

‘…an intoxicating chronicle of the music industry, inspired largely by the love affair between artists Joni Mitchell and James Taylor.’
Elle

‘Utterly transporting, it’ll inspire a folk-tinged soundtrack for the summer.’
Stylist

Her Last Holiday


You come to be healed. You don’t expect to die.

Two years ago, Fran’s sister Jenna disappeared on a wellness retreat in Gozo that went terribly wrong.

Tom Wade, the now infamous man behind Soul Shrink Retreats, has just been released from prison after serving his sentence for the deaths of two people. But he has never let on what happened to the third victim: Jenna.

Determined to find out the truth, Fran books herself onto his upcoming retreat – the first since his release – and finds herself face to face with the man who might hold the key to her sister’s disappearance. The only question is, will she escape the retreat alive? Or does someone out there want Jenna’s secrets to stay hidden?

The master of suspense is back. Prepare yourself for the latest heart-in-mouth rollercoaster ride from the Sunday Times bestseller.

‘Another twisty-turny and unputdownable read from the Queen of psychological thrillers. Her Last Holiday is a chillingly plausible tale of why you should never, ever go on a wellness retreat.’
Susi Holliday

‘A thrilling, compelling read which delivered a fabulously satisfying ending. Clever, creepy and very intriguing. Loved it!’
Milly Johnson

‘An addictive page-turner that kept me reading through the night. Her Last Holiday is tightly plotted, with a cast of intriguing characters – none of whom are quite what they seem. Sure to be a huge hit!’
Lucy Clarke

Both Of You


Happy. Married. Missing.

Leigh Fletcher: happily married stepmum to two gorgeous boys goes missing on Monday. Her husband Mark says he knows nothing of her whereabouts. She simply went to work and just never came home. Their family is shattered.

Kai Janssen: married to wealthy Dutch businessman, Daan, vanishes the same week. Kai left their luxurious penthouse and glamorous world without a backward glance. She seemingly evaporated into thin air. Daan is distraught.

DC Clements knows that people disappear all the time – far too frequently. Most run away from things, some run towards, others are taken but find their way back. A sad few never return. These two women are from very different worlds, their disappearances are unlikely to be connected. And yet, at a gut level, the DC believes they might be.

How could these women walk away from their families, husbands and homes willingly? Clements is determined to unearth the truth, no matter how shocking and devastating it may be.

‘Yet another stick of literary dynamite from Adele Parks: chilling, gripping and entirely unputdownable.’
Lisa Jewell

‘Crackles with toxic relationships, dark desires and shocking twists.’
Eve Chase

‘Ambitious, nail-biting, darkly voyeuristic – I tore through it in two sittings.’
Louise Candlish


Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I hope these books provide the perfect accompaniment to your summer .

If you’re more of a paperback fanatic, you might want to check out my June blog post dedicated to sultry summer paperbacks.


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