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11 Hot Novels Hitting Shelves This July

11 Hot Novels Hitting Shelves This July

Regardless of how loudly you proclaim your undying love for summer, as the sweltering sun beats down, bleaching the soil and burning the skin, it’s advisable to seek a respite.

Some people are unarguably fucking creative when it comes to finding ways to beat the heat.


But for me — as it almost certainly goes without saying — not even the temptation of cool, calm, chlorinated pool water thrills me as much as diving into a sparkling piece of literature.

Despite the fact that, much to the chagrin of my tidy husband, my bookshelves are pretty much filled to capacity, I’ve got my eye on a slew of July new releases.

These works of fiction are — much like a fruity cocktail topped with an entirely unnecessary but entirely adorable umbrella — just too tempting for me to resist.

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Check out the 11 novels hitting store shelves this month that simply demand to be added to your TBR.


by Hannah Jayne

Release Date - July 3, 2018

Genre - Young Adult Thriller

Protagonist Addison is a lot like, well, teenage me — and TBH, probably like teenage anyone-else-who-reads-this-blog-and-is-a-total-book-geek #NoShame #Nerd4Life. Like many a bibliophile before her, she’s counting down the days until a new volume in her favorite series hits shelves.

As she waits, she’s unexpectedly contacted by none-other than R.J. Rosen — the author of this beloved series. And Rosen doesn’t just want to thank Addison for being part of the fandom, she wants to give Addison insider information about the novel.

Too good to be true, right? Right.

But, Addison’s joy is short lived as, not long after her communication with Rosen, the most popular girl in her school goes missing… mysteriously. With her real life increasingly mirroring the plot of the novels she’s been devouring for years, Addison begins to realize that figuring out this particular mystery won’t be just a leisure activity. In this instance, figuring it all out before the turn of the last page could mean the difference between life and death.

The Last Time I Lied

by Riley Sager

Release Date - July 3, 2018

Genre - Thriller

Summer camp just isn’t for me. The forced merriment of horseback riding through sweltering woods mixed with the repetitive production of twig-and-yarn dreamcatchers just doesn’t hold much appeal.

Emma Davis, however, has a decidedly darker reason to detest these seasonal retreats into the woods. When she was a child, three friends disappeared into the night at a summer camp...and were never seen again.

Like many a fucked-up-by-the-past individual, she’s translated her pain surrounding this incident into art — in her case, oversized canvases filled with eerie images that hint at the horrors she experienced.

When one of these images catches the attention of the current owner of the summer camp at which Emma was forever scarred — Camp Nightingale — she receives an unexpected call from this owner, imploring her to come back to this camp of childhood horrors and work as an art teacher.

Begrudgingly, she accepts, hoping that returning to the scene of the crime, as it were, will give her the chance to finally overcome her past.

But, when she arrives, she finds that little is changed. The camp is just as creepy — maybe even creepier, now that she’s seeing it with adult eyes. And, this time, she might just be the one in danger of disappearing.

A Gathering of Secrets

by Linda Castillo

Release Date - July 10, 2018

Genre - Thriller

All Kate Burkholder wants is the truth.

But it won’t be easy to unearth the truth when doing so requires cooperation from a closed-door community that is woefully unwilling to cooperate.

When a local barn burns to the ground in the middle of the night, it seems, at first, that it may have been an accident. Barns burn down from time to time, after all — or so I’m told as the closest I’ve ever come to being a farmer is milking a cow at the Ohio State Fair (and I only did that for the sticker). But when the body of an eighteen-year-old is found among the charred remains of this historic structure, it becomes increasingly probable that the burning of the barn was an exceedingly deliberate act.

When Kate tries to speak to the witnesses — mainly, the Amish who were family to this boy and residents of this community — she finds them unwilling to speak.

Are they just trying to retain their separation from the non-amish, as they have done for centuries? Or, are they actively hiding ugly truths?

Her Pretty Face

by Robin Harding

Release Date - July 10, 2018

Genre - Thriller

Frances isn’t one of the picture-perfect moms who heads up to the school for pick-up sipping on a kale and beetroot smoothie and wearing a set of leggings that look too perfect to have ever been exercised in.

No, despite her best efforts, France is a bit… schlubby.

And as if her own inability to fit in with the physical perfection of other moms at the elite Forrester Academy wasn’t ostracizing enough, her son is also unable to truly fit in, thanks to a history of behavior problems.

Despite the fact that Frances has grown accustom to not fitting in, she desperately wants to. And it looks like she might just get her wish when Kate Randolph — a mom who sets a new standard for perfection — befriends her.

Almost immediately, Frances becomes committed to this friendship. It’s everything she’s ever wanted. She would do anything to maintain it.

There’s only one problem.

One of these ladies is not who she appears to be. She’s not a happy SAHM (Stay-at-home mom) with a pristine past.


This mom has a history that’s beyond checkered. She has a past as a murderer.

How do you think that’s gonna go over at the PTO?

Find out in this new — and, TBH, unputdownable — Harding thriller.

Baby Teeth

by Zoje Stage

Release Date - July 17, 2018

Genre - Horror

If you think that creepy kids are scary AF — like, if you just want to drop-kick those little whiteish-blonde kids that point into empty space and insist that there is some unseen force standing there — then this book is either perfect for you, or the worst possible thing you could read.

Central to this novel is a decidedly creepy little girl, although her creepiness isn’t of the supernatural variety — at least it doesn’t appear to be.

Hannah, daughter of the protagonist, Suzette and her husband, Alex, has never been much of a chatterbox. In fact, despite the fact that she’s now 7, she’s never spoken at all.

And this lack of linguistic development isn’t the only cause for concern.

She also does threatening things to her mother and her peers.

Her behavior is so aberrant, in fact, that she’s been kicked out of multiple schools and is now begrudgingly homeschooled by her exhausted mother.

But Hannah shows a decidedly different side to her father. The Hannah Alex knows is all sunshine and roses, so he has a hard time reconciling this bright girl with the troubled youngster his wife describes to him.

Despite his disbelief, though, when Hannah’s behavior escalates, even he has to agree to seek more intensive interventions — interventions Hannah will likely dislike.

With her long-accepted behavior now being forcibly curtailed, how will Hannah react? Will she become the girl she’s always pretended to be around her father, or will she grow even more violent, putting her mother and others around her in real, serious, risk?

The Future Will Be BS Free

by Will McIntosh

Release Date - July 24, 2018

Genre - Young Adult Dystopian

It’s the future and things have turned out… well… pretty much like some people worry things will turn out.

In a now Putin-esque America, a group of teens — who previously attended a gifted and talented program which has now been eliminated — find themselves with some serious time on their hands.

And, like most industrious teens, they decide to put it to good use.

Their plan: to create an unbeatable lie detector that will entirely eradicate dishonesty.

Just when they finish their prototype and begin to market it, their leader, Theo, is found dead.

This leaves them wondering, who is trying to stop the Truth App from coming out, and how far will they go to prevent the teens from accomplishing their goal of making America honest again?

And, on a personal note, I suspect this will hit a cord with a lot of readers this July. Given the current political and social climate, we would all celebrate a future free of — or even just lighter in — BS.

Believe Me

by J.P. Delaney

Release Date - July 24, 2018

Genre - Thriller

I have — in my past as a fledgling freelancer — worked as an invisible boyfriend/girlfriend serving as someone’s entirely fictitious digital main-squeeze. At the time, it thought this was pretty much the weirdest fucking job ever.

Now, I wonder.

Maybe the weirdest job ever is actually the one Claire, the protagonist of this newest J.P. Delaney novel, has recently undertaken.

A struggling actress, she agrees, with reservation, to work for a firm of divorce lawyers, acting as bait for married men who may be prone to cheating.

She doesn’t approach these men, she just stands there — looking like a tasty snack — and the lawyers see if the men will make the first move.

When one of the firm’s client’s comes up dead, though, this all changes.

Now the police, certain that the husband is to blame, want Claire to take a different approach. They want her to actively try to lure this potentially murderous now-widower into a relationship and extract from him information regarding his wife’s murder.

Will Claire be able to do what they want her to do? And how significantly will she be putting her own personal safety at risk to find the truth the authorities seek?

Girls’ Night Out

by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke

Release Date - July 24, 2018

Genre - Thriller

When Ashley arranges a trip to Mexico with her two best girlfriends, Natalie and Lauren, she hopes they’ll work on more than just their tans. Ideally, she would like to spend at least some of their time south of the border mending their broken friendship — which, TBH, may be damaged beyond repair.

Though the trio have been friends since college, they’ve discovered that maintaining friendships through the trials of real adulthood is decidedly more difficult. Adding to the complexity of an already complex relationship is the fact that Ashley and Natalie are more than just friends — they’re business partners. Recently, Revlon has offered to purchase the company these two women birth and raised, and they don’t agree on how they should respond to the offer.  

Though Ashley might have had the best intentions when she planned the trip, she quickly abandons her reconciliatory efforts when Marco, a local hottie, shows interest in her.

As it would turn out, however, admonishments not to trust strangers — especially unfairly hot ones — may be quite justified as, just as their about to leave, Ashley goes missing.

This leaves the two remaining vacationers to piece together the puzzle and find out what happened to Ashley — before it’s too late. If it isn’t already.

A Noise Downstairs

by Linwood Barclay

Release Date - July 24, 2018

Genre - Thriller

Paul Davis almost lost his life in an ill-fated encounter with a murder who was disposing of bodies on a dark, abandoned road.

Though he survived this harrowing ordeal, he certainly isn’t unscathed.

Hoping to help him deal with the PTSD and depression that have — understandably — plagued him since his encounter, his wife buys him a typewriter and encourages him to get started on his passion project — the writing of a novel.

But, to Paul at least, this typewriter isn’t just a benign tool. He feels that the device is possessed. He even insists that he hears typing noises coming from downstairs late at night. Growing increasingly paranoid and ever-more petrified of potential powers this device yields, Paul decides that this typewriter must, in some way, be connected to the murder he unwittingly stumbled upon.

Desperate to escape the seemingly inescapable horror, Paul is torn — should he get rid of the typewriter once and for all, or is the only way to truly get over this frightful episode from his past to face it, head on?


by Rosie Walsh

Release Date - July 24, 2018

Genre - Women’s Fiction

When Sarah meets Eddie it’s all fireworks and lightning bolts and angels playing harps. They have an immediate connection.

And, the feeling is mutual.

They promptly start spending every waking minute together — and the non-waking ones, too, for that matter.

Seven days into this rom-com-worthy love-affair, Eddie has to leave for a trip he planned long before he even knew Sarah existed. He promises he will call from the airport. But he doesn’t.

Not only doesn’t he call from the airport, he doesn’t call from the taxi, or the hotel.

In fact, Sarah never hears from him again.

Her friends encourage her to forget all about him — likely telling her that she’s as beautiful as the setting sun. And that her hair smells like marshmallows and raspberries and happiness. And her skin is as radiant as the glossy mane of a thoroughbred horse. You know, the shit friends are supposed to say.

Even though she knows they’re right, she just can’t let him go.

As she digs deeper, trying to find an answer — any answer — she discovers that the reason that he left is the one thing he didn’t share with her during their week-long tryst — the truth.

Side note - After doing a little internet detective work (thanks, Google) I discovered that the concept of “ghosting” first came into common use in 2015… This was ten years after I was already married —  a fact for which I thank the Lord Jesus, because I don’t think I could have dated in a world where ghosting was a thing.

Last Seen Alive

by Claire Douglas

Release Date - June 26, 2018

Genre - Thriller

Adversity drizzles down on all of us from time to time. But, recently, Libby Hall has been drenched by a monsoon of misfortune.

Though she has survived this period of misadventure, she’s not without her scars — both physical and emotional.

So when the opportunity to engage in a house swap presents itself, Libby jumps on it.

When she arrives at her new temporary abode, she’s immediately grateful she agrees to the arrangement, as she and her husband finds themselves the residents of a seaside estate.

As she explores her new home, however, she discovers that the arrangement may not have been as fortuitous as it seemed.

Not only is the house tricked out with a ridiculous amount of surveillance equipment, there is also a spooky-AF operating room in the basement.

And when her husband, Jamie, falls ill, Libby finds herself again facing a trial solo.

Why is she here? What do the owners of this home want? And will she ever get to the other end of this tunnel of tribulations?


"Girls' Night Out" by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke

"Girls' Night Out" by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke

Design a Cocktail and We'll Give You a June New Release to Read

Design a Cocktail and We'll Give You a June New Release to Read