14 Books Soap Opera Fans Will Love This Summer

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Invincible Summer

The ocean, the sand, the sun, a good bottle of rosé and really, really good books. Summer is here. Here are 14 stellar reads to toss in your beach bag!

1.) Invincible Summer by Alice Adams

Because I love a book about the highs and lows of adulthood and friendship...

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Inseparable throughout college, Eva, Benedict, Sylvie, and Lucien graduate in 1997, into an exhilarating world on the brink of a new millennium. Hopelessly in love with playboy Lucien and eager to shrug off the socialist politics of her upbringing, Eva breaks away to work for a big bank. Benedict, a budding scientist who's pined for Eva for years, stays on to complete his PhD in physics, devoting his life to chasing particles as elusive as the object of his affection. Siblings Sylvie and Lucien, never much inclined toward mortgages or monogamy, pursue more bohemian existences - she as an aspiring artist and he as a club promoter and professional party boy.

As their 20's give way to their 30's, the group struggles to navigate their thwarted dreams. Scattered across Europe and no longer convinced they are truly the masters of their fates, the once close-knit friends find themselves filled with longing for their youth and for one another. Broken hearts and broken careers draw the foursome together again, but in ways the y never could have imagined. On sale now.

You Will Know Me

2.) You Will Know Me: A Novel by Megan Abbott

 Because no one writes teens like Abbott.   

Katie and Eric Knox have dedicated their lives to their 15-year-old daughter Devon, a gymnastics prodigy and Olympic hopeful. When a violent death rocks their close-knit gymnastics community just weeks before an all-important competition, everything the Knoxes have worked so hard for feels suddenly at risk.

 As rumors swirl among the other parents, revealing hidden plots and allegiances, Katie tries frantically to hold her family together while also finding herself drawn, irresistibly, to the crime itself, and the dark corners it threatens to illuminate. On sale July 26. 

Remember The Ladies

3.) Remember the Ladies by Gina L. Mulligan

Because in this historic presidential year, we need to remember the women that helped us get here. 

Growing up in an orphanage prepared Amelia Cooke for the high-stakes role of a female lobbyist in 1887, a time before women could vote. So when she's hired by the National Women's Suffrage Association to lobby for a suffrage amendment, Amelia feels empowered to give women a voice. 

What Amelia doesn't foresee is Senator Edward Stillman. Stillman is charismatic, driven and desperate to crush the amendment and Amelia. But in a political game where bribery, threats, extortion and seduction prevail, who will win and at what cost? On sale now.

The Weekenders

4.) The Weekenders: A Novel by Mary Kay Andrews

Because no one does an escapist setting like Andrews. This book is already a New York Times bestseller. 

Some people stay all summer long on the idyllic island of Belle Isle, North Carolina. Others come only for the weekends. The mix between the regulars and "the weekenders" can sometimes make 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. Her husband is nowhere to be found.

Riley turns to her island friends for help and support, but it turns out 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. On sale now.

In Twenty Years

5.) In Twenty Years: A Novel by Allison Winn Scotch

Because despite their flaws, readers always love Winn Scotch’s rich characters.

Twenty years ago, six Penn students shared a house, naively certain their friendships would endure — until the death of their ringleader and dear friend Bea splintered the group for good. Now, mostly estranged, the remaining five reluctantly gather at that same house on the eve of what would have been Bea’s fortieth birthday.

Along with the return of the friends come old grudges, unrequited feelings, and buried secrets. Catherine, the CEO of a domestic empire, and Owen, a stay-at-home dad, were picture-perfect college sweethearts, yet now teeter on the brink of disaster. Lindy, a well-known musician, is pushing middle age in an industry all about youth. She's slowly self-destructing as she grapples with her own identity.

Behind his smile, handsome plastic surgeon Colin harbors the heartbreaking truth about his own history with Bea. And Annie carefully curates her life on Instagram and Facebook, keeping up appearances so she doesn’t have to face the truth about her own empty reality.

Reunited in the place where so many dreams began, and bolstered by the hope of healing, each of them is forced to confront the past. On sale now.

The Girls

6.) The Girls: A Novel by Emma Cline

Because this debut novel is on everyone else's s summer reading list and I'm totally okay to follow the herd on this. Oh, and the cover is fantastic. 

At the start of summer, a lonely and thoughtful teenager, Evie Boyd, sees a group of girls in the park. She's immediately caught by their freedom, their careless dress, their dangerous aura of abandon. Soon, Evie is in thrall to Suzanne, a mesmerizing older girl, and is drawn into the circle of a soon-to-be infamous cult and the man who is its charismatic leader.

Hidden in the hills, their sprawling ranch is eerie and run down, but to Evie, it is exotic, thrilling and charged — a place where she feels desperate to be accepted. As she spends more time away from her mother and the rhythms of her daily life, Evie's obsession with Suzanne intensifies. Just how close will Evie come to unthinkable violence? On sale now.

The Secrets She Keeps

7.) The Secrets She Kept by Brenda Novak

Because Novak does family secrets so damn good. This book is a follow-up to the acclaimed The Secret Sister. 

The rich and powerful Josephine Lazarow, matriarch of Fairham Island, is dead. The police say it's suicide, but Keith, her estranged son, doesn't believe it. 

Keith bears scars both physical and emotional from his childhood, but he's worked hard to overcome the past. After walking away from his mother and her controlling ways five years ago, he's built a new life in LA. He's also accumulated a fortune of his own. But as soon as he learns of his mother's death, he returns to Fairham. 

Keith feels he owes it to his grandfather to put the family empire together again and he's determined to find his mother's killer. Problem is, coming home to Fairham puts him back in contact with Nancy Dellinger, the woman he hurt so badly when he left all those years ago. Digging so deeply into his mother's final days and hours entails a very real risk for Keith, because the person who killed her could be someone he loves. On sale July 26.

The Cavendon Luck

8.) The Cavendon Luck: A Novel by Barbara Taylor Bradford

Because she mastered the family saga before anyone else did. The Cavendon Luck is the third book in the Cavendon Chronicles series. 

It is 1938 in England, and Miles and Cecily Ingham have lead the family in bringing the Cavendon estate back from the brink of disaster. But now, with the arrival of World War II, Cavendon Hall will face its biggest challenge yet. 

It is a challenge that will push the Inghams and Swanns to protect each other and the villagers, and reveal their true capacity for survival and rebirth. On sale now.

First Comes Love

9.) First Comes Love: A Novel by Emily Giffin

Because you can't name one person who doesn’t think Giffin’s books aren’t compulsively consumable.  

Growing up, Josie and Meredith Garland shared a loving, if sometimes contentious, relationship. Josie was impulsive, spirited, and outgoing. Meredith was always hardworking, thoughtful and reserved. When tragedy strikes, their delicate bond splinters.

Fifteen years later, Josie and Meredith are in their late thirties, following very different paths. Josie, a first grade teacher, is single and this close to swearing off dating for good. What she wants more than the right guy, however, is to become a mother — a feeling that is heightened when her ex-boyfriend’s daughter is assigned to her class.Determined to have the future she's s always wanted, Josie decides to take matters into her own hands.

On the outside, Meredith is the model daughter with the perfect life. A successful attorney, she’s married to a wonderful man, and together they’re raising a beautiful 4-year-old daughter. Yet lately Meredith feels dissatisfied and restless, secretly wondering if she chose the life that was expected of her rather than the one she truly desired.

As the anniversary of their tragedy looms, and painful secrets from the past begin to surface, Josie and Meredith must not only confront the issues that divide them but also come to terms with their own choices. In their journey toward understanding and forgiveness, both sisters discover they need each other more than they knew and that in the search for true happiness, love always comes first. On sale now. 

All is not forgotten

10.) All Is Not Forgotten: A Novel by Wendy Walker

Because all I can say is that this book is crazy good. Emphasis on the word crazy...

It begins in the small, affluent town of Fairview, Connecticut, where everything seems picture perfect. Until one night when young Jenny Kramer is attacked at a local party. In the hours immediately after, she is given a controversial drug to medically erase her memory of the violent assault. 

In the weeks and months that follow, as she heals from her physical wounds, and with no factual recall of the attack, Jenny struggles with her raging emotional memory. Her father, Tom, becomes obsessed with his inability to find her attacker and seek justice while her mother, Charlotte, struggles to pretend this horrific event did not touch her carefully constructed world.

As Tom and Charlotte seek help for their daughter, the fault lines within their marriage and their close-knit community emerge from the shadows where they have been hidden for years. The relentless quest to find the monster who invaded their town — or perhaps lives among them — drive this psychological thriller to a shocking and unexpected conclusion. On sale July 12. 

The Black Widow

11.) The Black Widow by Daniel Silva

Because Silva's international thrillers are always positively riveting. This book features his legendary protagonist Gabriel Allon.

Gabriel Allon, the art restorer, spy and assassin described as the most compelling fictional creation "since Ian Fleming put down his martini and invented James Bond" (Rocky Mountain News), is poised to become the chief of Israel’ s secret intelligence service. On the eve of his promotion, events conspire to lure him into the field for one final operation. 

ISIS has detonated a massive bomb in the Marais district of Paris, and a desperate French government wants Gabriel to eliminate the man responsible before he can strike again. On sale July 12. 

The Secret Language of Stones

12.) The Secret Language of Stones: A Novel (The Daughters of La Lune) by M.J. Rose

Because Rose is a seductive and magical storyteller.

Nestled within the historic Palais Royal district of Paris is a jewelry store unlike any other. La Fantasie Russie is owned by Pavel Orloff, protégé to the famous Faberge, and is known by the city's fashion elite as the place to find the rarest of gemstones and the most unique designs. War has transformed Paris from a city of style and romance to a place of fear and mourning.

In the summer of 1918, places where lovers used to walk, widows now wander alone. It is from La Fantasie Russie’s workshop that young, ambitious Opaline Duplessi now spends her time making trench watches for soldiers at the front, as well as mourning jewelry for the mothers, wives and lovers of those who have fallen. 

People say Opaline's  creations are magical. But magic is a word Opaline would rather not use. The concept is too closely associated with her mother Sandrine, who practices the dark arts passed down from their ancestor La Lune, one of sixteenth century Paris's most famous courtesans.

Opaline does have a rare gift even she can’t deny, a form of lithomancy that allows her to translate the energy emanating from stones. Certain gemstones, combined with a personal item, such as a lock of hair, enable her to receive messages from beyond the grave. 

In her mind, Opaline is no mystic, but merely a messenger, giving voice to soldiers who died before they were able to properly express themselves to loved ones. Until one day, one of these fallen soldiers communicates a message directly to her.

So begins a dangerous journey that will take Opaline into the darkest corners of wartime Paris and across the English Channel, where the exiled Romanov dowager empress is waiting to discover the fate of her family. On sale July 19.

Falling

13.) Falling by Jane Green

Because once you start one of Green's novels, nothing else really matters by you finishing that story.

When Emma Montague left the strict confines of upper-crust British life for New York, she felt sure it would make her happy. Away from her parents and expectations, she felt liberated, throwing herself into Manhattan life replete with a high-paying job, a gorgeous apartment, and a string of successful boyfriends. 

This isn’t the life Emma wanted either. The cutthroat world of finance and relentless pursuit of more begin to take their toll.  On the move again, Emma settles in the picturesque waterfront town of Westport, Connecticut, a world apart from both England and Manhattan. It is in Westport where she begins to confront what it is she really wants from her life. With no job, and knowing only one person in town, she channels her passion for creating beautiful spaces into remaking the dilapidated cottage she rents from Dominic, a local handyman who lives next door with his 6-year-old son.

Unlike any man Emma has ever known, Dominic is confident, grounded  and committed to being present for his motherless son. Emma and Dominic become friends and slowly much more, as Emma finds herself feeling at home in a way she never has before.

Just as they start to imagine a life together as a family, fate intervenes in the most shocking of ways. For the first time, Emma has to stay and fight for what she loves, for the truth she has discovered about herself, or risk losing it all. On sale July 19.

Night and Day

14.) Night and Day: An Eve Duncan Novel by Iris Johansen

Because Johansen writes three books a year which all make the New York Times Bestseller list. This means that someone you know is reading Johansen right this very minute. Do the math. This is the final book in the wildly popular 2015-2016 Eve Duncan trilogy. 

Forensic sculptor Eve Duncan risks it all to protect Cara Delaney from the enemies who want her dead. The journey leads them from California to a remote mountain in the Scottish highlands and earns Eve the distinction of becoming their next target. 

When, despite all precautions, Cara is taken, Eve must hunt down the very people who want to kill her in order to save the young girl. At a time in her life when she has more at stake than ever before, she puts it all on the line in a pulse-pounding mission of rescue and survival. This is the final book in the wildly popular 2015-2016 Eve Duncan trilogy. On sale July 19. 

Reporting by Annie Bouza. Reach her at anniebouza23@gmail.com