Fiction Previews, Jun. 2013, Pt. 1: Great Beach Reads from Andrews, Hilderbranch, Weisberger, and More

Andrews, Mary Kay. Ladies’ Night. St. Martin’s. Jun. 2013. 400p. ISBN 9781250019677. $25.99. CD: Macmillan. POP FICTION
When hot new media star Grace Stanton wreaks revenge on her cheating husband by gear-shifting his nifty little sports car into the swimming pool, she loses everything—McMansion, bank account, and even access to her lifestyle blog. But she gains fast friends when she attends court-mandated therapy sessions, as she and the three other women in the sessions eventually dump the therapist and meet regularly for “Ladies’ Night” at her mother’s funky beachside bar. Bound to be big; with a one-day laydown on June 4 and a big book-club campaign.

Delinsky, Barbara. Sweet Salt Air. St. Martin’s. Jun. 2013. 352p. ISBN 9781250007032. $25.99. POP FICTION
When travel writer Nicole heads back to the island house where her family always summered, she decides to invite Charlotte, a childhood friend who often joined her at the house but from whom she’s grown apart. The gregarious Charlotte, a food blogger, could help with the book Nicole is planning about the island’s cuisine. But (inevitably) both women harbor secrets that could wreck the relationship forever. Especially strong characterization should please Delinsky fans.

Frank, Dorothea Benton. The Last Original Wife. Morrow. Jun. 2013. 368p. ISBN 9780062132468. $26.99; eISBN 9780062132451. lrg. prnt. CD: HarperAudio. POP FICTION
Leslie Anne Greene Carter is the only first wife among her husband’s friends, all of whom have moved on to perky second marriages. She’s proud of her secure if not scintillating situation until, when out golfing with the crowd, she falls into a manhole and no one notices she’s missing. Thereafter, Leslie Anne determines to rouse her inner sexy goddess and take South Carolina’s white-sand beaches by storm. With a one day laydown on June 11, an eight-city author tour, and a 250,000-copy first printing. Beach reading for sure!

Hilderbrand, Elin. Beautiful Day. Reagan Arthur Bks: Little, Brown. Jun. 2013. 416p. ISBN 9780316099783. $26.99. lrg. prnt. CD/downloadable: Hachette Audio. POP FICTION
At a wedding on Nantucket uniting the Carmichael and Graham families, plans are proceeding according to instructions left by the bride’s late mother. Husband and wife to be are very happy, but everyone around them is coming apart at the seams. A New York Times best-selling author with a big social media presence. More beaching reading!

Hoffman, Beth. Looking for Me. Pamela Dorman Bks: Viking. Jun. 2013. 384p. ISBN 9781611761702. $27.95. CD/downloadable: Penguin Audio. POP FICTION
Having stormed out of the gate with a big best seller, Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, Hoffman returns with another Southern-set tale. Teddi Overman saw the elegance under the battered chair she pulled from a Kentucky ditch and turned her new-found interest into a business restoring antiques. But now it’s her heart that needs restoring as she uncovers hints that her long-lost brother might still be alive.

McCall Smith, Alexander. Trains and Lovers. Pantheon. Jun. 2013. 224p. ISBN 9780307908544. $23.95; eISBN 9780307908551. lrg. prnt. POP FICTION
McCall Smith departs from his numerous abundantly popular series to write a standalone that explores the nature of love. Four strangers sitting on a train begin to tell stories that manage to weave together. All aboard.

Rice, Luanne. The Lemon Orchard. Pamela Dorman Bks: Viking. Jun. 2013. 352p. ISBN 9780670025275. $27.95. POP FICTION
House-sitting for her aunt and uncle in Malibu, with only her dog for company, Julia seeks solitude so that she can quietly mourn her daughter’s death. Then she befriends Roberto, who tends the nearby lemon orchard and has sorrows of his own: his daughter has disappeared, but he has yet to give up hope. Classic Rice and doubtless another best seller.

Shaara, Jeff. A Chain of Thunder: A Novel of the Siege of Vicksburg. Ballantine. Jun. 2013. ISBN 9780345527387. $28; eISBN 9780345527400. lrg. prnt. CD/downloadable: HISTORICAL FICTION
Actually, a late May publication from the author of many stirring (and New York Times best-selling) exemplars of military fiction. Here, he revisits the May–July 1863 Siege of Vicksburg, with Grant’s troops driving the Confederates hard up against the beleaguered city. Lots of fans.

Thayer, Nancy. Island Girls. Ballantine. Jun. 2013. 288p. ISBN 9780345528735. $26; eISBN 9780345538833. Downloadable: Random Audio. POP FICTION
When Rory Randall dies, his three daughters from three different marriages are set to inherit his Nantucket mansion—but only if they can live there peaceably for a summer. Distrustful TV show host Arden, not-in-this-world academic Meg, and IT specialist Jenny haven’t been exactly sisterly, but now’s their chance. More Nantucket salt and sand from yet another New York Times best seller.

Weisberger, Lauren. Revenge Wears Prada: The Devil Returns. S. & S. Jun. 2013. 384p. ISBN 9781439136638. $25.99; eISBN 9781439146958. CD/downloadable: S. & S. Audio. POP FICTION
Readers everywhere cheered when Andrea “Andy” Sachs turned her back on Runway magazine’s claws-and-all high priestess, Miranda Priestly, the boiling hot center of Weisburger’s huge hit, The Devil Wears Prada. They’ll cheer when they learn in this sequel that Andy is getting married and that she and Emily, another of Miranda’s victims, er, assistants, have set up their own high-fashion bridal magazine, Plunge. But visions of Miranda still haunt Andy, and as Plunge ramps up there’s every good chance she will encounter Miranda again. Do you wear Prada?

Barbara Hoffert About Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (, @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.