Hot Book Club Reads for Summer | Fiction Previews, May 2015, Pt. 3

de Rosnay, Tatiana. A Paris Affair. St. Martin’s May 2015. 144p. tr. from French by Sam Taylor. ISBN 9781250068804. $22.99. SHORT STORIES
Want a bit of sizzle? This new story collection from the author of the New York Times best-selling PARISAFFAIRSarah’s Key and, most recently, The Other Story, is reputedly hot, hot, hot. After all, what better place to explore the endless allure of forbidden love than Paris? Sometimes sad, sometimes funny, always aimed deep; with extensive promotion, including a reading group guide and library marketing.

Dugan, Polly. The Sweetheart Deal. Little, Brown. May 2015. 320p. ISBN 9780316320351. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780316320337. lib. ebk. ISBN 9780316339056. CD/downloadable: Hachette Audio.POP FICTION
Dugan kickstarted her career last spring with So Much a Part of You, a series of linked stories that received warm reviews often expressing eager anticipation of her first novel. And here it is. Leo always said that if he died he wanted Garrett, his best friend and a lifelong bachelor, to marry his wife, Audrey; he even exacted a promise from Garrett in a moment of drunken revelry. Then comes Leo’s fatal skiing accident. Left alone, Audrey really does start warming to Garrett—until she discovers the secret pact. Dugan is a sharp writer—stories of hers have won Line Zero‘s Spring 2012 Literary Contest Winner and been named Narrative‘s Story of the Week—but this book is more page-turningly commercial. Perhaps a new Elin Hilderbrand, muses the publicist.

Gray, Shelley Shepard. The Proposal at Siesta Key: Bk. 2: Amish Brides of Pinecraft. Avon Inspire. May 2015. 288p. ISBN 9780062337726. pap. $12.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062337733. AMISH FICTION
Don’t be surprised that Gray is giving us the second title in the “Amish Brides of Pinecraft” so quickly after the first title, The Promise of Palm Grove, which will appear in January 2015; all four books in the series will be published next year. In this book, ever-obedient Penny Troyer, solicitous of her parents’ feelings after the death of her sister, finally rebels by slipping out to hear a speech by Michael Knoxx, the high-profile member of The Knoxx Family Singers, a traveling Mennonite Evangelical family. They meet and bond, which means big decisions for them both. From a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author; with a 100,000-copy first printing.

Kennedy, Eliza. I Take You. Crown. May 2015. 320p. ISBN 9780553417821. $24. ebk. ISBN 9780553417838. POP FICTION
Pitched as a debut to equal Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones—and that should get your itakeyouattention—this racy title stars New York lawyer Lily Wilder, who’s getting married in six days to one very hot guy but still cannot resist the lure of other men. Is she really ready for the altar? A book about love, faithfulness, and gender politics that’s also raucous fun; it’s billed as the perfect summer escape, and ever-witty Gary Shteyngart says it “makes infidelity sexy again.” The 12 countries that rushed to buy it after it buzzed about the Frankfurt Book Fair can’t all be wrong.

McCoy, Sarah. The Mapmaker’s Children. Crown. May 2015. 320p. ISBN 9780385348904. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780385348911. LITERARY
Linking a contemporary woman named Eden with the daughter of abolitionist John Brown is a provocative idea, and McCoy has the skills to pull off something talk-worthy; the New York Times best-selling author’s The Baker’s Daughter was a 2012 Goodreads Choice Award Best Historical Fiction nominee that went through six printings in paperback. Devastated when she learns that she cannot bear children, Sarah Brown throws herself into making maps for the Underground Railroad, which as a gifted artist she hides in her paintings. Flip to the present day and Eden, who’s desperate to conceive. In the root cellar of the old house she and her husband have just bought, she discovers a doll’s porcelain head—an artifact of the Underground Railroad that carries its own special meaning.

Maynard, Joyce. Under the Influence. Morrow. May 2015. 288p. ISBN 9780062257642. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062257727. POP FICTION
With her career, her marriage, and custody of son David washed away by alcohol, aspiring art photographer Helen settles for photographing school children and big-bash parties. She’s excited to meet Ava and Swift Havilland, glamorous, wealthy philanthropists who take her under their wing and hire a lawyer to help her regain custody of David. But then David witnesses something that will compromise the Havillands, and Helen must decide whether to compromise herself. Maynard’s Labor Day was a New York Times best seller (and a film), while The Usual Rules is a book club favorite for YAs and adults alike.

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.