cover image Hot Summer

Hot Summer

Elle Everhart. Putnam, $19 trade paper (400p) ISBN 978-0-593-54512-6

In this inclusive, pop-culture-forward romance, Everhart (Wanderlust) sends her heroine into the world of reality television. Cas Morgan works for Friday, a popular dating app. When she’s not running the app’s in-person events, she’s watching Hot Summer, a Love Island–esque British reality dating show about gorgeous people looking for love in a Cypriot villa. Then Cas’s boss announces that Friday has landed an organic marketing deal with Hot Summer and offers Cas a promotion if she appears on the show and makes it to the finals. Cas heads to Cyprus for an eight-week, high-stakes vacation with at least nine other people. Cas, who is bisexual and whose fiancée recently left her at the altar, is looking for career advancement, not love—but she feels an unexpected connection to Ada, a fellow bisexual woman. The two grow closer, but what will happen when Ada learns Cas’s true reasons for appearing on the show? Everhart has a light touch with both plotting and prose, and her heroines’ bisexuality is refreshingly unsensationalized. Meanwhile, the supporting characters—especially obnoxious contestant Brad, a mansplainer with a short temper—feel impressively real. This is one to throw in the beach bag. (June)