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Hot in Here: 8 Sexy Thrillers for a Sizzling Summer

by  | July 16
Reading a book in bed

Who says you have to save the best thrillers to read in the fall? Summertime suspense gets our approval, especially novels abounding with psychological intrigue, mysterious love interests, and chilling twists that feel even more piercing in the heat. The good news is that masters of the genre like Sandra Brown, Karen Robards, and Layne Fargo know exactly what we want. Read on for our curated list of sexy thrillers that will somehow manage to turn up the heat and make your blood run cold, simultaneously.

White Hot

White Hot

by Sandra Brown

When her younger brother, Danny, commits suicide, Sayre Lynch breaks her vow never to return to her Louisiana hometown, and gets drawn back into her tyrannical father's web. He and her older brother—who control the town's sole industry, an iron foundry—are as corrupt as ever. Worse, they have hired a shrewd and disarming new lawyer, Beck Merchant…a man with his own agenda. When the police determine that Danny's suicide was actually a homicide, Sayre must battle her family—and her passionate feelings for Beck—as she confronts a powder keg of old hatreds, past crimes, and a surprising plan of revenge.

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Temper

Temper

by Layne Fargo

After years of struggling in the Chicago theater scene, ambitious actress Kira Rascher finally lands the role of a lifetime. The catch? The mercurial Malcolm Mercer is the director and he’s known for pushing his performers past their limits—on stage and off. Kira’s convinced she can handle Malcolm, but the theater’s cofounder, Joanna Cuyler, is another story. Joanna sees Kira as a threat—to her own thwarted artistic ambitions, her twisted relationship with Malcolm, and the shocking secret she’s keeping about the upcoming production. But as opening night draws near, Kira and Joanna both come to the realization that Malcolm’s dangerous extremes are nothing compared to what they’re capable of themselves.

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I Killed Zoe Spanos

I Killed Zoe Spanos

by Kit Frick

When Anna Cicconi arrives to the small Hamptons village of Herron Mills for a summer nanny gig, she has high hopes for a fresh start. What she finds instead is a community on edge after the disappearance of Zoe Spanos, a local girl who has been missing since New Year’s Eve. Anna bears an eerie resemblance to Zoe, and her mere presence in town stirs up still-raw feelings about the unsolved case. As Anna delves deeper into the mystery, stepping further and further into Zoe’s life, she becomes increasingly convinced that she and Zoe are connected—and that she knows what happened to her.

Two months later, Zoe’s body is found in a nearby lake, and Anna is charged with manslaughter. But Anna’s confession is riddled with holes, and Martina Green, teen host of the Missing Zoe podcast, isn’t satisfied. Did Anna really kill Zoe? And if not, can Martina’s podcast uncover the truth?

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Desperate Girls

Desperate Girls

by Laura Griffin

Defense attorney Brynn Holloran is right at home among cops, criminals, and tough-as-nails prosecutors. With her sharp wit and pointed words, she has a tendency to intimidate, and she likes it that way. She’s a force to be reckoned with in the courtroom, but in her personal life, she’s a mess.

When a vicious murderer she once helped prosecute resurfaces and starts a killing spree to wipe out those who put him behind bars, one thing becomes clear: Brynn needs to run for her life.

When the police come up empty-handed, Brynn turns to a private security firm for protection. But when she defies advice and gets involved in the investigation, even the former Secret Service agent assigned to protect her may not be able to keep her safe. With every new clue she discovers, Brynn is pulled back into the vortex of a disturbing case from her past.

As the clock ticks down on a manhunt, Brynn’s desperate search for the truth unearths long-buried secrets and reignites a killer’s fury.

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The Swap

The Swap

by Robyn Harding

Whatever the reason, Low Morrison just doesn’t fit in—and neither does Freya, an ethereal beauty and once-famous social media influencer who now owns the local pottery studio. After signing up for a class, Low quickly falls under Freya’s spell. And Freya, buoyed by Low’s adoration, is compelled to share her darkest secrets and deepest desires. Finally, both feel a sense of belonging...that is, until Jamie walks through the studio door. Desperate for a baby, she and her husband have moved to the island hoping that the healthy environment will result in a pregnancy. Freya and Jamie become fast friends, as do their husbands, leaving Low alone once again.

Then one night, after a boozy dinner party, Freya suggests swapping partners. It should have been a harmless fling between consenting adults, one night of debauchery that they would put behind them, but instead, it upends their lives. And provides Low the perfect opportunity to unleash her growing resentment.

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Tell Me Lies

Tell Me Lies

by Carola Lovering

Lucy Albright is far from her Long Island upbringing when she arrives on the campus of her small California college and happy to be hundreds of miles from her mother—whom she’s never forgiven for an act of betrayal in her early teen years. Quickly grasping at her fresh start, Lucy embraces college life and all it has to offer. And then she meets Stephen DeMarco. Charming. Attractive. Complicated. Devastating.

Confident and cocksure, Stephen sees something in Lucy that no one else has, and she’s quickly seduced by this vision of herself, and the sense of possibility that his attention brings her. Meanwhile, Stephen is determined to forget an incident buried in his past that, if exposed, could ruin him, and his single-minded drive for success extends to winning, and keeping, Lucy’s heart. Lucy knows there’s something about Stephen that isn’t to be trusted. Stephen knows Lucy can’t tear herself away. And their addicting entanglement will have consequences they never could have imagined.

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The Seasonaires

The Seasonaires

by Janna King

An idyllic Nantucket summer begins like a dream for Mia, Presley, Weston, Jade, J.P., and Grant who are working as seasonaires for the clothing brand Lyndon Wyld. But like all things that look too good to be true, the darkness underneath slowly rises to the surface. Lyndon Wyld, the chic British tigress who owns the eponymous business, rules their daily life by curating their every move, which they are obligated to post on social media for throngs of followers. When corporate greed, professional rivalries and personal conflicts are mixed with sex, drugs, and the naiveté of youth, the results are explosive as a murder sullies their catalog-perfect lives.

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Beachcomber

Beachcomber

by Karen Robards

Christy Petrino hadn't planned on a vacation on Ocracoke Island, but when she learns her fiancé and boss, suave Michael DePalma, is a "made man" and the Philadelphia law firm where she works is a front for the mob, she breaks her engagement and quits her job. But no one walks away from the DePalma family business so easily....Only if she delivers a locked briefcase to a motel on Ocracoke Island will she—and her mother and sisters—be free.

But after clandestinely making her drop-off late at night, Christy suspects she is being followed on the moonlit beach—and unwittingly runs into a new kind of terror. Now a witness at the center of a homicide investigation, Christy learns the police are hunting a serial killer they refer to as the "Beachcomber" because beautiful young women—women who in fact resemble her—have disappeared recently while vacationing at nearby beach communities. Christy doesn't know whom to fear more—a serial killer who believes she might be able to identify him, or the DePalma family, whose tentacles she can't seem to escape. Only when she's with Luke Rand, her big surfer-dude next-door neighbor, does she feel safe. But she also can't help but wonder if Luke's interest in her is due to more than sexual attraction.

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