7 sizzling summer reads

Curl-up with this season’s hottest books

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Whether you’re lazing by the shore, parked on a patio, or taking it easy at the cottage, summer is a fantastic time to curl up with a good book. Here are seven hot beach reads to keep you company.


Playing House (Random House)
By Patricia Pearson

When Frannie MacKenzie discovers that she’s pregnant, her whole life turns upside down. Opting to keep her baby, she gives up her vodka tonic-New York lifestyle—but not with ease. Through panic attacks, much self-doubt and a journey to Toronto to find the baby’s father, Frannie learns the ultimate lessons about love, commitment and motherhood. Despite the serious subject matter, this book weaves a humorous tale.

Patricia Pearson is an award-winning magazine writer and crime novelist. Playing House was nominated for a Stephen Leacock Memorial Award for Humour.


Heave (Random House)
By Christy Ann Conlin

Darting away from the wedding alter to the night clubs and strip joints of London, England, Serrie Sullivan sets out to discover the world and escape a dark secret. She tries to flee her rural Nova Scotian past, but soon realizes how intimately the past and future are connected.

Nova Scotia-born Christy Ann Colin writes a powerful account of the joys and distress associated with family and finding one’s roots. This book is widely praised for its bold style of writing.


Inappropriate Men (Red Dress Ink)
By Stacey Ballis

Dating your father’s business partner is sticky—even more so when he’s married, you’re (unhappily) married and you think you may be falling in love. Realizing she’s in a no-win situation, Sidney Stein decides to turn her life around. She leaves her husband, ends her affair and leaps into the dating scene with storm—only, the dating scene is hopeless! After numerous rendezvous disasters, she gives up on love. Just as soon as she does, a new man enters her life…

Stacey Ballis’s debut novel is a funny, smart book about love, heartbreak and all the experiences in between.


Buddha Da (Penguin Canada)
By Anne Donovan

Ye don’t want tae miss oot on Anne Donovan’s debut novel, (written in Glaswegian vernacular) about a family on the brink of a breakup. The story unfolds when Jimmy, a painter and decorator best-known for his drunken antics, takes up Buddhist meditation to get in touch with his spirituality. No one in the family takes him seriously until he vows to be celibate and moves to the Buddhist centre. When his wife Liz runs out of patience, she begins an affair with a philosophy student. And Anne Marie, their 11-year-old daughter, is left in the middle to try to keep the family together.

Shortlisted for the 2003 Orange Prize, this book is both inspiring and charming. This is Canadian author Anne Donovan’s debut novel. She resides in Glasgow.


Weekend in Paris (Penguin Canada)
By Robyn Sisman

Molly Clearwater is a small-town girl with big city dreams of a flourishing career in London, England. She finds her low-level assistant job unfulfilling until her boss proposes she accompany him on a business trip to Paris. It doesn’t take long for Molly to realize it’s an indecent proposal, leaving her with little choice but to quit. With nothing to lose, she heads to Paris on her own for a life-changing adventure filled with passion and self-discovery.

Robyn Sisman, author of Boy Meets Girl and Just Friends, delivers a fun, light story about a girl who takes a leap into the unknown.


Head over Heels (Harper Collins Canada)
By Susan Anderson

Veronica Davis swore she would never turn back when she left her home town of Fossil Washington. But when her sister is murdered, she is forced to return and manage the family-run water hole. Mystery and romance unfold when she gets wrapped up in a dangerous secret and lustful affair with an ex-Special Forces Marine that works behind the bar.

Susan Anderson, author of All Shook Up, is securing her position as the next hot thing in romantic-suspense novels. Head over Heels is as sexy and steamy as it is suspenseful and intense.


Can You Keep a Secret? (Dial Books)
By Sophia Kinsella

If you enjoyed the fun and quirky tone of Sophia Kinsella’s best-selling Shopaholic books, you’re bound to love the secrets that Emma Corrigan couldn’t keep. On a turbulent flight, Emma reveals all her little dark sides to a complete stranger—confessing her weight, that her Kate Spade bag is a knockoff, that she killed and replaced her parents’ goldfish—everything. It’s only a problem when she realizes that Jack, her wide-eared flight companion, is the visiting CEO of the British branch of her company. The embarrassment heightens when he shares her admissions with her co-workers. Yet, a secret relationship between Jack and Emma unfolds.

Kinsella, famous for her spunky style, delivers another fun, fast summer must-have.