Not Just Beach Reads | Pop Fiction Previews, May 2018

Agresti, Aimee. Campaign Widows. Graydon House: HarperCollins. May 2018. 384p. ISBN 9781525804267. pap. $15.99. WOMEN’S
New to Washington, DC, Cady Davenport isn’t overjoyed when she loses her fiancé to the campaign trail, but then she befriends other “campaign widows”: a mommy blogger, a website editor, an elegant Georgetown resident, and a woman who’s reluctant to be First Lady. The result: mutual moral support and even reinvention. With a 150,000-copy first printing; Agresti, a former staff writer for US, has written the YA trilogy “Gilded Wings.”

Andrews, Mary Kay. The High Tide Club. St. Martin’s. May 2018. 448p. ISBN 9781250126061. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250126092. CD. WOMEN’S
When lawyer Brooke Trappnell is invited by 99-year-old heiress Josephine Bettendorf Warrick to her 20,000-acre barrier island home, it’s not for the scenery. Josephine wants Brooke to protect her island from developers after her death and to bring together the descendants of her best friends, a spirited bunch who dubbed themselves the High Tide Club. Therein lies a tale of high jinks, betrayal, and unsolved murder. With a national one-day laydown on May 8.

Brown, Holly. How Far She’s Come. Morrow. May 2018. 384p. ISBN 9780062846112. $26.99; pap. ISBN 9780062749925. $15.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062749932. WOMEN’S
Thrilled to have been offered her dream job at Independent News Network, which aims for innovative news reporting, Cheyenne Florian is subsequently dismayed to find male hierarchy and petty jealousies abounding once she is on staff. Then the 1991 diary of an iconic female broadcast journalist appears on her desk, with a note to heed the past, and uncomfortable parallels between her life and her predecessor’s begin to unfold. With a 30,000-copy hardcover and 40,000-copy paperback first printing; from the author of Don’t Try To Find Me.

Buckley, Christopher. The Judge Hunter. S. & S. May 2018. 368p. ISBN 9781501192517. $26.95. HISTORICAL
In this follow-up to The Relic Master, satirist Buckley stays in historical mode. Samuel Pepys, an officer in the king’s navy, deals with the brother-in-law who’s been sponging off him by sending 24-year-old Baltasar “Balty” St. Michel to the New World to find two judges responsible for the execution of King Charles I. From Puritanical Boston to rough-and-ready New Amsterdam, it really is a new world for Balty.

Colgan, Jenny. The Endless Beach. Morrow Paperbacks. May 2018. 416p. ISBN 9780062851116. $26.99; pap. ISBN 9780062849991. $15.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062850003. WOMEN’S
Flora MacKenzie has happily abandoned London for her hometown on the glorious Scottish island of Mure, where she’s opened the sweetest café. Lo and behold, former boss Joel, crusty but cute, has followed her to Mure. But even with romance in the air, locals are pointing out that the whales plunging through the waves off the beach are an omen of no good to come. With a 30,000-copy hardcover and 75,000-copy paperback first printing; from the author of the New York Times best-selling The Bookshop on the Corner.

Frank, Dorothea Benton. By Invitation Only. Morrow. May 2018. 384p. ISBN 9780062390820. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062390837. lrg. prnt. WOMEN’S
You bet that Frank is again taking us to the salt-sprayed loveliness of South Carolina’s Lowcountry, this time with a bright-eyed sophisticate from Chicago in tow. She’s fallen in love not just with the owner of a farm on Johns Island but with a land- and-seascape she wants for her own. With a 250,000-copy first printing.

Gable, Michelle. The Summer I Met Jack. St. Martin’s. May 2018. 448p. ISBN 9781250103246. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250103260. CD. WOMEN’S
In 1950, a beautiful Polish refugee begins working for a gilded family in Hyannisport, MA, and becomes involved with rising-star son Jack, whose father refuses to let them marry. She subsequently dates millionaires and Hollywood stars but meets up with Jack on the eve of his inauguration as president, and they may have had a child together. Sounds fanciful, but this latest from the author of the New York Times best-selling A Paris Apartment is based on claims made by and about the real-life Alicia Corning Clark.

Haywood, Sarah. The Cactus. Park Row: HarperCollins. May 2018. 368p. ISBN 9780778318996. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781488078729. FAMILY LIFE
Briskly efficient Susan likes her made-for-one apartment, matches-her-thinking job, and meets-her-needs relationship. Then she’s totally upended when her mother dies, leaving more money to her lazy brother than to her, and she also finds that she is pregnant. Now she’s got to work on expanding her emotional understanding of the world. A debut with a 100,000-copy first printing, pitched at the Rosie crowd.

Hopkins, Ellen. A Sin Such as This. Atria. May 2018. 320p. ISBN 9781476743691. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781476743707. WOMEN’S
LJ called Love Lies Beneath “a sex-filled masterpiece of mystery and romance,” so you know what to expect from this follow-up. Bad things happen after Tara finally marries gorgeous doctor Calvin Lattimore. She learns that he’s still meeting with his former girlfriend, whom teenage son Eli is sometimes seeing, even as Eli dates Tara’s niece and hits on Tara herself. And that’s not all. From YA star–turned–New York Times best-selling novelist Hopkins.

Mott, Jason. The Crossing. Park Row: HarperCollins. May 2018. 336p. ISBN 9780778330738. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9781488023521. DYSTOPIAN
Orphaned at age five, twins Tommy and Virginia cling to each other as they’re shoved through a brutal foster care system. Then a deadly epidemic radically depopulates the world, the search for a cure means war, and Tommy gets a draft notice. That’s when it’s time for the twins to run. With a 75,000-copy first printing; more dystopia from the author who went high concept—and scored big—with The Returned.

Poeppel, Amy. Limelight. Emily Bestler: Atria. May 2018. 384p. ISBN 9781501176371. $26. WOMEN’S
Overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle, embarrassed by a call from the principal’s office, and shocked to have lost the job she was counting on, Allison Brinkley wonders if she and her husband made a mistake when they left Dallas for New York. Then she encounters a teen pop star just cast in a Broadway musical and gets a whole new view of her life. Poeppel’s Small Admissions was a hit debut last year.

Reilly, Meg Little. Everything That Follows. Mira: HarperCollins. May 2018. 320p. ISBN 9780778364146. pap. $15.99; ebk. ISBN 9781488079412. WOMEN’S
As the season ends on Martha’s Vineyard, three friends throw themselves an offshore party, sailing into the late-night wind. Glassblower Kat has remade her life by coming to the island, senator’s son Hunter is keeping it together post-rehab, and new-in-town bartender Kyle aims for acceptance. Then Kyle goes overboard for reasons that are hard to fathom. Did he swim to shore? Or drown? If so, where’s the body? With a 50,000-copy first printing; tense doings from the author of We Are Unprepared.

Steel, Danielle. The Cast. Delacorte. May 2018. 288p. ISBN 9781101884034. $28.99; ebk. ISBN 9781101884041. lrg. prnt. WOMEN’S
Popular magazine columnist Kait Whittier keeps to herself, having tried marriage twice. But when television producer Zack Winter loves the storyline for a TV series she’s based on her tougher-than-tough grandmother, she finds herself in Los Angeles, suddenly part of the wide-ranging family of actors cast in the series. Then tragedy strikes one of Kait’s grown children. Can her new TV family help?

Thayer, Nancy. A Nantucket Wedding. Ballantine. Apr. 2018. 304p. ISBN 9781101967102. $27; ebk. ISBN 9781101967126. WOMEN’S
Beach writer par excellence Thayer keeps up with the sea, salt, and sand but offers a stand-alone with this tale set on Nantucket. Determined mom Felicity and high-power businesswoman Jane arrive on the island for their mother’s wedding, hoping that they won’t wreck the big day with their usual head-on clashes. But there’s family drama anyway, as Felicity’s husband reveals an affair and Jane falls for her brother-in-law to be.

Weir, Alison. Jane Seymour, the Haunted Queen. Ballantine. May 2018. 512p. ISBN 9781101966549. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781101966556. HISTORICAL
Royalty among novelists writing about royalty, the New York Times best-selling author Weir offers her third in the “Six Tudor Queens” series. Obviously, we’re up to Jane Seymour, pushed into court as lady-in-waiting to Queen Katherine of Aragon though she only ever wanted to join a convent. With Anne Boleyn’s execution, she becomes England’s queen, terrified to resist Henry’s advances lest she end up like her predecessor.

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Barbara Hoffert About Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (bhoffert@mediasourceinc.com, @BarbaraHoffert on Twitter) is Editor, LJ Prepub Alert; past chair of the Materials Selection Committee of the RUSA (Reference and User Services Assn.) division of the American Library Association; and past president, treasurer, and awards chair of the National Book Critics Circle.

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