The 20 Most Anticipated Books of Summer 2021

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Three book covers
Courtesy of BookSparks

Whether you'll be traveling or lounging at home, summer is the perfect time to crack open a new book. If all this time indoors over the past year has made you more of a bookworm than usual, you'll be glad to know that this summer is bringing all kinds of exciting new literary releases, from gripping family dramas to juicy tales of romance. While we also have plenty of suggestions for books to read ASAP, this list includes yet-to-be-released titles you'll want to pre-order so you can start reading the day they're out.

Keep reading for our top 20 picks for the most anticipated books of the summer.

1. "The Guncle" by Steven Rowley

The Guncle Book
Courtesy of BookSparks

Patrick is used to being the "fun gay uncle," and would do absolutely anything for his niece and nephew. But he never imagined that that would include taking over the role of guardianship when their parents fall into an unexpected health crisis. With a rocky love life and not-so-kid-friendly lifestyle, he doesn't know the first thing about parenting — except that it's a lot more than ice cream trips and hide-and-seek. In his heartwarming, humorous new novel, Steven Rowley shows readers the true meaning of family, reminding us that everyone — even parents — is only human.

Release date: May 25, 2021

To buy: amazon.com, bookshop.org, from $24

2. "The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba" by Chanel Cleeton

The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba book
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When Grace Harrington lands a job at Hearst's newspaper in 1896, she's not expecting a life-altering story right off the bat. But that's what she gets. The story is that of Evangelina Cisneros, unjustly imprisoned because of her outspokenness against Spanish oppression in Cuba. When Hearst names her "The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba," a spark is ignited amongst the American people, calling for intervention in Cuba's struggle for independence. What Grace doesn't know is that in her quest to grant Evangelina with her freedom, she will also have to fight for her own.

Release date: May 4, 2021

To buy: amazon.com, bookshop.org, from $15

3. "Talk Bookish to Me" by Kate Bromley

Talk Bookish to Me book
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As a bestselling romance novelist, Kara likes to think she's stocked up on love — even if it's fictional. But as her next deadline approaches along with her best friend's wedding, the last thing she needs is for her infuriating first love Ryan to show up in the wedding party. But Ryan's arrival proves unexpectedly helpful for Kara, inspiring her much-anticipated new release. The only problem: she doesn't know if she can do what needs to be done in order to finish it. After all, exes are exes for a reason, right?

Release date: May 25, 2021

To buy: amazon.com, bookshop.org, from $15

4. "Seven Days in June" by Tia Williams

Seven Days in June Book
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Nothing is more poetic than the story of two writers in love, especially when they've met once before. When former teenage lovers Eva, now a bestselling erotica author, and Shane, an award-winning literary recluse, run into one another at a literary event, the pair must face the fact that their flame still burns just as brightly as it did twenty years ago. And before Eva can trust Shane again, she needs to be sure he won't break her heart again. But can she?

Release date: June 1, 2021

To buy: amazon.com, bookshop.org, from $23

5. "Shoulder Season" by Christina Clancy

Shoulder Season book
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Set during the 1980s at the iconic Lake Geneva Playboy Resort, Christina Clancy's new novel will take readers on a wild adventure. Sherri grew up as the insecure girl who played the organ at her local church. But when she loses her parents at 19, she is drawn to the allure of being a Bunny. At the "Bunny Hutch," Sherri gets a crash course in sex, love and independence. But when the heat of it all results in a massive tragedy, Sherri is left to mend the pieces of her broken life, and she's not sure if she can.

Release date: July 6, 2021

To buy: amazon.com, bookshop.org, from $20

6. "Mona at Sea" by Elizabeth Gonzalez James

Mona at Sea book
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Adulting from your parents' house? Not ideal, and especially for someone like Mona. Hard doesn't even begin to cover it. As someone who's used to perfection, Mona isn't too keen on living in a recession on top of everything else. With her parents on the edge of divorce and her virtually non-existent love life, Mona has no time to figure out her next steps. Whatever they may be.

Release date: June 30, 2021

To buy: amazon.com, bookshop.org, from $15

7. "The Guilt Trip" by Sandie Jones

The Guilt Trip book
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After 20 years of friendship and two marriages, Rachel and Noah have cast away any hope that they might one day further their relationship. But when Noah's brother decides to marry a woman named Ali, the pair and their spouses travel to Portugal with the soon-to-be newlyweds on a couples only getaway. Which would be great — if Rachel hadn't discovered Ali's darkest secret. With one comes all, and as everyone's pasts come to light, their relationships may fall into the abyss.

Release date: Aug. 3, 2021

To buy: amazon.com, bookshop.org, from $24

8. "The Therapist" by B.A. Paris

The Therapist book
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Haunted houses are fun on Halloween, sure, but not to move into. This is the exact sentiment that Leo and Alice express when they move into their new gated community, "The Circle." As Alice digs to find out more about their new home, she forms a connection to Nina, the therapist who lived there two years before. As neighbors shy away from her questions and Leo questions her motives, Alice sets out to uncover the mystery of Nina on her own.

Release date: July 13, 2021

To buy: amazon.com, bookshop.org, from $19

9. "The Other Black Girl" by Zakiya Dalila Harris

The Other Black Girl book
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A clear depiction of workplace racism, readers follow Wagner Books' only black employee Nella. Nella is fed up with the constant scrutiny and is ecstatic when Harlem-bred Hazel joins the Wagner team. But just as the two begin to bond, a chain of events puts Hazel in the place of "office sweetheart," and leaves Nella in the dust. When hostility is pointed in Nella's direction, she begins to realize that there is a lot more than her career at Wagner on the line.

Release date: June 1, 2021

To buy: amazon.com, bookshop.org, from $19

10. "Her Last Breath" by Hilary Davidson

Her Last Breath book
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Deirdre doesn't care much for her family, except for her sister Caroline. But when Caroline dies and a mysterious letter reveals her husband Theo as the culprit, Deirdre is prepared to face her relatives at the funeral just to confront him. But when Theo reveals his dark side, as well as suspicions of Caroline's infidelity, Deirdre changes course to uncover Caroline's secrets, not realizing that she has put her own life in danger, and that Theo may not be the only killer in the family.

Release date: July 1, 2021

To buy: amazon.com, bookshop.org, from $15

11. "Ghost Forest" by Pik-Shuen Fung

Ghost Forest book
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In this profound tribute to grief and growing up a child of immigrants, Pik-Shuen Fung harnesses the story of an unnamed protagonist who has recently lost her father. While she and her father lived between oceans for most of her life, the main character struggles with the memories she does have. Haunted by a slew of feelings she doesn't know what to do with, the question remains: how does one survive grief in a family that doesn't talk about their feelings?

Release date: July 13, 2021

To buy: amazon.com, bookshop.org, from $23

12. "The Husbands" by Chandler Baker

The Husbands book
Courtesy of BookSparks

Life in Dynasty Ranch is a lot different than the life that Nora knows at home. The wives there are CEOs, doctors and the like, with very supportive husbands. As a hard-working mother and lawyer, Nora finds her place amongst these women — save for the supportive husband. But when she agrees to help out with a residential case in Dynasty ranch, she discovers exactly why the lives and marriages in Dynasty Ranch are different from her own — and what it takes to get there.

Release date: Aug. 3, 2021

To buy: amazon.com, bookshop.org, from $18

13. "The Show Girl" by Nicola Harrison

The Show Girl book
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New York City in the 1920s is just how you'd imagine it — full of glitz and glamour. And that's exactly what it is for Olive when she moves halfway across the country to pursue her singing and dancing dreams. Every obstacle, every success, it's all worth it. And when she meets Archie, it all seems to fall into place. He accepts her for her success and her modernity, and it's all that she could ask for. But can she sacrifice her dreams for the man that she loves?

Release date: Aug. 10, 2021

To buy: amazon.com, bookshop.org, from $24

14. "Just One Look" by Lindsay Cameron

Just One Look book
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Cassie expected a lot of things from her new job, but being accidentally looped into a sordid email exchange between firm partner Forest Watts and his wife Annabelle was not one of them. Letting curiosity get the best of her, Cassie reads the emails and finds herself living vicariously through their messages. They remind her that romance exists, and that she craves it too. But when she has a "chance" public meeting with Forest, she notices that there's something amiss, and is suddenly vying to take Annabelle's place.

Release date: July 27, 2021

To buy: amazon.com, bookshop.org, from $18

15. "Everyman" by M Shelly Conner

everyman book
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All Eve wants is to know where she came from. She knows that her mother died giving birth and that she's never known her father, but that's it. In the time of civil rights and Black Power movements, she arrives in Georgia wanting to feel reborn. But between a professor who gives her the tools to find her heritage, an aunt who is secretive "for Eve's own good," and two kind strangers willing to shed some light, Eve wonders how to move forward with all the pieces of her life intact.

Release date: July 20, 2021

To buy: amazon.com, bookshop.org, from $23

16. "The One You're With" by Lauren K. Denton

The One You're With book
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In a perfect world, we would all marry our high school sweethearts, buy a house and have a perfect little life. And for Mac and Edie Swan, this has been mostly true. They're the iconic love story of their small town; Edie a well-respected interior designer and Mac a much-loved pediatrician with two beautiful children. But when a piece of Mac's past walks into the office one day, it calls into question the couple's identities, their family and the future of their relationship, forcing them to navigate their future in a whole new way.

Release date: July 6, 2021

To buy: amazon.com, bookshop.org, from $24

17. "Goodbye, Lark Lovejoy" by Kris Clink

Goodbye Lark Lovejoy book
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Losing a loved-one is never easy, especially when they're the father of your children. After months of grieving, Lark Lovejoy needs to start anew in order to heal her broken heart and continue to take care of her sons. The last thing on Lark's mind as she returns to her small Texas hometown is to fall in love again, especially not with handsome Army vet Wyatt Gifford. As Lark chases her dreams of becoming a winemaker and Wyatt struggles with conquering his own demons, the two somehow find their ways to feeling whole again.

To buy: amazon.com, bookshop.org, from $16

18. "The Sound Between the Notes" Barbara Linn Probst

The Sound Between the Notes book
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Barbara Probst's new novel, "The Sound Between the Notes" will have you reaching for your Kleenex, trust us. As a mom, Susannah's never minded putting her career as a musician on hold to benefit her child. But sixteen years later, just as an opportunity to make her dreams come true presents itself, she is diagnosed with a progressive disease that compromises the use of her hands. As her opportunity creeps closer, Susannah is faced with choices she never thought she would have to make.

To buy: amazon.com, bookshop.org, from $16

19. "Tell Me the Truth" by Matthew Farrell

Tell Me the Truth book
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As Jenny Moore gears up for her upcoming college career in the fall, she only wants one thing: for the people in her life to let her go. But when Jenny's mother finds her dead body in the pines outside their home, all signs point to the Moores as murder suspects. But the real mystery lies in the true culprit, and detectives Susan Adler and Liam Dwyer are going to find out.

Release date: June 22, 2021

To buy: amazon.com, bookshop.org, from $12

20. "Incense and Sensibility" by Sonali Dev

Incense and Sensibility book
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In this cultural twist on a Jane Austen classic, we meet Yash. Yash is primed, privileged and totally in control — until he isn't. As California's first serious Indian gubernatorial candidate, Yash is the picture of stability. But when a hate-fueled incident places a friend in danger, Yash is completely thrown off. As Yash's mental health deteriorates, his family turns to stress management coach India Dashwood. But in order for her to help him, they must rehash the memory of a night they shared together years ago, and Yash must finally open up. But the question remains – can he?

Release date: July 6, 2020

To buy: amazon.com, bookshop.org, from $14

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