Contemporary Pop Fiction: Jun. 2023, Pt. 3 | Prepub Alert

Big-name authors for great summer reading.

Audrain, Ashley. The Whispers. Viking. Jun. 2023. 336p. ISBN 9781984881694. $28. lrg. prnt. Downloadable. CONTEMPORARY

Caña, Natalie. A Dish Best Served Hot. Mira: Harlequin. Jun. 2023. 336p. ISBN 9780778333500. pap. $16.99. CONTEMPORARY

Carr, Robyn. The Friendship Table. Mira: Harlequin. Jun. 2023. 368p. ISBN 9780778311881. $30. CD. CONTEMPORARY

de los Santos, Marisa. Watch Us Shine. Morrow. Jun. 2023. 320p. ISBN 9780063095601. $30. lrg. prnt. CONTEMPORARY

Hall, Louisa. Reproduction. Ecco. Jun. 2023. 256p. ISBN 9780063283626. $30. CD. CONTEMPORARY

Higgins, Kristan. A Little Ray of Sunshine. Berkley. Jun. 2023. 496p. ISBN 9780593547601. $28; pap. ISBN 9780593547618. $18. CONTEMPORARY

Hilderbrand, Elin. The Five-Star Weekend. Little, Brown. Jun. 2023. 400p. ISBN 9780316258777. $30. CD/downloadable. CONTEMPORARY

Mallery, Susan. The Happiness Plan. Mira: Harlequin. Jun. 2023. 400p. ISBN 9780778307624. $30; pap. ISBN 9780778333555. $18.99. CD. CONTEMPORARY

Monaghan, Annabel. Same Time Next Summer. Putnam. Jun. 2023. 320p. ISBN 9780593544969. pap. $17. CONTEMPORARY

Patrick, Phaedra. The Little Italian Hotel. Park Row: Harlequin. Jun. 2023. 240p. ISBN 9780778307648. $30; pap. ISBN 9780778387121. $18.99. CONTEMPORARY

Pride, Christine & Jo Piazza. You Were Always Mine. Atria. Jun. 2023. 336p. ISBN 9781668005507. $28. CONTEMPORARY

Shipman, Viola. Famous in a Small Town. Graydon House: Harlequin. Jun. 2023. 304p. ISBN 9781525805073. $30; pap. ISBN 9781525804854. $18.99. CONTEMPORARY

Steel, Danielle. Palazzo. Delacorte. Jun. 2023. 256p. ISBN 9781984821898. $28.99. lrg. prnt. CONTEMPORARY

Wiggs, Susan. Welcome to Beach Town. Morrow. Jun. 2023. 384p. ISBN 9780062914163. $30. lrg. prnt. CD. CONTEMPORARY

In this follow-up to Audrain’s New York Times best-selling debut, The Push, a child loudly berated by his mother at a suburban barbeque later slips from his window and ends up in a coma, prompting Whispers in the neighborhood about what really happened. After debuting with the all-star A Proposal They Can't Refuse, Caña cooks up A Dish Best Served Hot, featuring a single dad who falls for his daughter's teacher but jeopardizes their relationship with actions (undertaken for familial duty) of which she disapproves (50,000-copy first printing). In mega-popular Carr’s The Friendship Table, four women working together on a highly rated cooking show join forces when they discover that their youngest member has an abusive boyfriend (200,000-copy first printing). When her mother, badly injured in an accident, asks Cornelia Brown to bring her the Northern Lights, a puzzled but obliging Cornelia sorts through her mother’s secret past to figure out what she means in Watch Us Shine; from New York Times best-selling de los Santos (75,000-copy first printing). In Trinity author Hall’s Reproduction, a novelist abandons a book about Mary Shelley that touches on her challenging pregnancies when she confronts her own painful pregnancy and childbirth and instead turns to writing a modern Frankenstein (75,000-copy first printing). The young man who walks into the Cape Cod bookstore where unassuming Harlow Smith works isn’t exactly A Little Ray of Sunshine—he’s the child she secretly birthed and gave up for adoption 17 years previously; from the New York Times best-selling Higgins. With the death of her husband, popular food blogger Hollis Shaw decides to heal by engaging in something called The Five-Star Weekend, which entails inviting a best friend from each stage of her life to a special gathering—in this case, on mega-best-selling author Hilderbrand’s beloved Nantucket (750,000-copy first printing). Moderately contented Heather is surprised to find herself gobsmacked when a former flame finds new love, and friends Daphne and Tori have their own troubles, but in Mallery’s latest, will The Happiness Plan of each woman work? In Monaghan’s Same Time Next Summer, following the LibraryReads pick Nora Goes Off Script, Sam is hunting for a wedding venue near her family’s Long Island beach house when she encounters Wyatt, the love of her life until he broke her heart at age 17. Following the LJ-starred The Messy Lives of Book People, also a LibraryReads pick, Patrick's The Little Italian Hotel features relationship expert Ginny Splinter, who's sideswiped when husband Adrian asks for a divorce and recovers by taking four strangers to Italy on the vacation she had originally planned with Aidan in the (75,000-copy paperback and 10,000-copy hardcover first printing). In Pride and Piazza’s You Were Always Mine, a Black woman named Cinnamon is grateful to be leading a secure, quiet life when she causes an uproar by keeping a white baby she finds abandoned in the park by teenage Daisy, whose grandparents threaten to take custody. In this latest from the beloved Shipman, daring Mary Jackson is Famous in a Small Town in Michigan for her 65-year-old record in the annual cherry pit–spitting contest until modest schoolteacher Becky, determined to shatter her shell, lands in town and breaks the record (100,000-copy paperback and 10,000-copy hardcover first printing). When her parents die in an accident when she is 23, Cosima Saverio inherits their fabulous Palazzo and haute couture Italian leather brand, but she’s all work until she meets Frenchman Olivier Bayard—while facing a terrible choice when irresponsible younger brother Luca racks up a fortune in gambling debts; from blockbuster author Steele. At fancy Thornton Academy on California’s coast, Nikki Graziola—a surfer’s daughter there on scholarship—upends everyone by revealing a shocking secret in her valedictorian’s speech; this Welcome to Beach Town is being delivered by New York Times best-selling author Wiggs (200,000-copy first printing).

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Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (, @BarbaraHoffert on Twitter) is Editor, LJ Prepub Alert; winner of ALA's Louis Shores Award for reviewing; and past president, awards chair, and treasurer of the National Book Critics Circle, which awarded her its inaugural Service Award in 2023.

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