12 best, hottest summer reads for the whole family

Jul 15, 2014 at 4:58 p.m. ET
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Next time you take a family outing to the local bookstore, keep these books in mind — they're perfect for the entire family.

Perfect reads for Mom

After I do- Taylor Reid

After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid

When Lauren and Ryan hit the breaking point in their marriage, they take a year off with only one rule: they can't contact each other. As Lauren embarks on a journey of self-discovery, she learns her friends and family have their own ideas on what marriage means. These influences and her own healing process begin to change her thoughts on monogamy and marriage. When you can have romance without loyalty and commitment without marriage, what are you willing to fight for?

One Plus One- Jojo Moyes

One Plus One by Jojo Moyes

It's not always easy being a single mom, but we admire Jess's strength and passion for her family in One Plus One by Jojo Moyes. Her husband left her, her teenage stepson is being bullied and her daughter has a once in a lifetime opportunity that she can't afford and she is trying to do the best she can, until a knight in shining comes to save her. Although, her knight turn outs to be Geeky Ed, the annoying tech millionaire whose vacation home Jess cleans. Ed has his own problems, and tries to help the dysfunctional family with selfless acts.

The Art of Arranging Flowers- Lynne Branard

The Art of Arranging Flowers by Lynne Branard

Ruby Jewell knows flowers. With just a glance and a few words, Ruby can put together the perfect arrangement for any occasion. Her expressive floral designs mark moments and milestones in the lives of her neighbors. However, Ruby's own desires have been ignored since her sister's death. It will take an invitation from an astronaut, a unique little boy and a concerned veterinarian to reawaken Ruby's wounded spirit.

Perfect reads for Dad

Bad Monkey by Carl Hiaasen

Bad Monkey by Carl Hiaasen

Andrew Yancy, a former Miami police officer, has a human arm in his freezer. He has a perfectly logical explanation for why it is no longer attached to its owner, but if he can prove murder, Yancy might be able to get out of his current job as a health inspector. But first, Yancy must get through an obstacle course of ridiculous events punctuated by a cast of quirky characters.

The Curse of Van Gosh- Paul Hoppe

The Curse of Van Gogh by Paul Hoppe

At the hottest art opening of the season, Tyler, a simple New York City bartender, meets Japanese billionaire and art collector Kommate Imasu. Kommate knows more about Tyler than his own mother and begins making threats toward Tyler's friends and family. Tyler is forced into a world full of art forgers, hit men, Yakuza and the legendary curse of Van Gogh, all to pull off the greatest art heist in history.

Bodies on the Potomac- Daniel O'Neil

Bodies on the Potomac by Daniel O'Neil

When Universal Motors threatens to shut down Karl Blumenthal's car dealership — seemingly because he's failed to financially back the reelection of the President of the United States — Karl calls in good friend and former D.C. power broker Taylor Clark to investigate. Utilizing his extensive network of Capitol connections, he and his boss search desperately for footing in the investigation, tapping sources they haven’t called on for years. When they arrive back at Blumenthal's dealership seconds too late to prevent a firearms confrontation, it becomes clear that a national catastrophe looms. It isn't long before they realize that the dealership is simply part of a grand Russian political scandal.

Perfect reads for the big sister or brother

My Last Kiss- Bethany Neal

My Last Kiss by Bethany Neal

Cassidy Haines remembers her first kiss vividly. Her last kiss — the one she shared with someone at her 17th birthday party the night she died — is a blur. Cassidy is trapped in the world of the living and cannot remember anything about the weeks leading up to her death. If she wants to uncover the truth, Cassidy has to face all the decisions she made — good and bad — that led to her last kiss.

Merlin's Nightmare by Robert Treskillard

Merlin's Nightmare by Robert Treskillard

Arthur goes missing, and Merlin must abandon all other quests to find Arthur before he is caught. Merlin and Arthur must rally Britain's soldiers to fight three overwhelming enemies. To make matters worse, Mórgana has brought Merlin's deepest fear to life and has released a horde of werewolves to destroy Britain. When the purpose of this nightmare is revealed, will Merlin and Arthur find a way to stay alive without releasing a larger evil?


Doon by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon

Veronica doesn't think she's going crazy, but why can't anyone else see the mysterious blond boy who pops up wherever she goes? When Veronica's friend Mackenna invites her to spend the summer in Scotland, Veronica jumps at the chance to leave her crazy life behind for a while. The Scottish countryside is full of mysteries — not only has the blond boy followed her to Alloway, an unnerving note left by Mackenna's great aunt transports the girls to the fantasy world of Doon. However, Doon isn't as wonderful as it seems.

Perfect reads for the little brother or sister

Escape From Mr Lemoncello's Library

Escape From Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein

Kyle Keeley loves games — word games, board games and especially video games. His hero, Luigi Lemoncello, is a notorious game maker and happens to be the genius designer of the new town library. Kyle is one of 12 lucky children who win a sleepover in the library, hosted by Mr. Lemoncello himself. When morning comes, however, the doors stay locked. Kyle and the other children must solve puzzles and find clues to find the hidden escape route.

The Night Gardener

The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier

Two Irish siblings travel to work as servants in a creepy old English mansion. The children realize that the family and the house aren't quite what they seem. They are soon confronted by an ancient curse that threatens their lives.

Dex T-Rex

Dex T-Rex by Katya Bowser

Dex T-Rex is a lovable little rascal who just wants to have fun. He kicks! He smashes! He shreds! But what happens when the little fella plays too rough? Follow the delightful rapscallion Dex T-Rex as he learns how to play nice.

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