July eBook Deals: 12 Darling Reads for Your Digital Library

July 5 2021
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If this heat’s got you feeling too lethargic for much flipping of the pages, try tapping them instead! All the eBooks discounted this July are as rejuvenating as a fresh glass of lemonade, and as transporting as a plane ticket.

For more, check out Simon & Schuster’s complete collection of eBook deals.

Price discounts featured are available now, but end dates vary by retailer. Discounted prices do not apply to eBooks sold outside of the United States. Participating retailers only.

The Girl from Venice
by Martin Cruz Smith

NOW $1.99

Venice, 1945. The war may be waning, but the city known as La Serenissima is still occupied and the people of Italy fear the power of the Third Reich. One night, under a canopy of stars, a fisherman named Cenzo comes across a young woman’s body floating in the lagoon and soon discovers that she is still alive and in trouble.

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The Girl from Venice
Martin Cruz Smith

From Martin Cruz Smith, “a master of the international thriller” (The New York Times), a suspenseful World War II love story set against the beauty, mystery, and danger of occupied Venice.

Venice, 1945. The war may be waning, but the city known as La Serenissima is still occupied and the people of Italy fear the power of the Third Reich. One night, under a canopy of stars, a fisherman named Cenzo comes across a young woman’s body floating in the lagoon and soon discovers that she is still alive and in trouble.

Born to a wealthy Jewish family, Giulia is on the run from the Wehrmacht. Cenzo chooses to protect Giulia rather than hand her over to the Nazis. This act of kindness leads them into the world of Partisans, random executions, the arts of forgery and high explosives, Mussolini’s broken promises, the black market and gold, and, everywhere, the enigmatic maze of the Venice Lagoon.

With Martin Cruz Smith’s trademark suspense, action, and breathtaking romance during World War II Italy, The Girl from Venice is “a gripping evocation of a beautiful nation and of two people, trapped in the lunacy of war and the bravery it can inspire” (The Seattle Times).

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The Gilded Years
by Karin Tanabe

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Since childhood, Anita Hemmings has longed to attend the country’s most exclusive school for women, Vassar College. Now, a bright, beautiful senior in the class of 1897, she is hiding a secret that would have banned her from admission: Anita is the only African-American student ever to attend Vassar. With her olive complexion and dark hair, this daughter of a janitor and descendant of slaves has successfully passed as white, but now finds herself rooming with Louise “Lottie” Taylor, the scion of one of New York’s most prominent families.

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The Gilded Years
Karin Tanabe

Passing meets The House of Mirth in this “utterly captivating” (Kathleen Grissom, New York Times bestselling author of The Kitchen House) historical novel based on the true story of Anita Hemmings, the first black student to attend Vassar, who successfully passed as white—until she let herself grow too attached to the wrong person.

Since childhood, Anita Hemmings has longed to attend the country’s most exclusive school for women, Vassar College. Now, a bright, beautiful senior in the class of 1897, she is hiding a secret that would have banned her from admission: Anita is the only African-American student ever to attend Vassar. With her olive complexion and dark hair, this daughter of a janitor and descendant of slaves has successfully passed as white, but now finds herself rooming with Louise “Lottie” Taylor, the scion of one of New York’s most prominent families.

Though Anita has kept herself at a distance from her classmates, Lottie’s sphere of influence is inescapable, her energy irresistible, and the two become fast friends. Pulled into her elite world, Anita learns what it’s like to be treated as a wealthy, educated white woman—the person everyone believes her to be—and even finds herself in a heady romance with a moneyed Harvard student. It’s only when Lottie becomes infatuated with Anita’s brother, Frederick, whose skin is almost as light as his sister’s, that the situation becomes particularly perilous. And as Anita’s college graduation looms, those closest to her will be the ones to dangerously threaten her secret.

Set against the vibrant backdrop of the Gilded Age, an era when old money traditions collided with modern ideas, Tanabe has written an unputdownable and emotionally compelling story of hope, sacrifice, and betrayal—and a gripping account of how one woman dared to risk everything for the chance at a better life.

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You Were Always Mine
by Nicole Baart

NOW $1.99

Jessica Chamberlain, newly separated and living with her two sons in a small Iowa town, can’t believe that a tragedy in another state could have anything to do with her. But when her phone rings one quiet morning, her world is shattered. As she tries to pick up the pieces and make sense of what went wrong, Jess begins to realize that a tragic death is just the beginning. Soon she is caught in a web of lies and half-truths—and she’s horrified to learn that everything leads back to her seven-year-old adopted son, Gabriel.

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You Were Always Mine
Nicole Baart

“An electrifying family drama that shows the dark side of adoption, You Were Always Mine is the kind of book you will want to finish in one sitting.” —Bustle

The acclaimed author of Little Broken Things returns with another “race-to-the-finish family drama” (People) about a single mother who becomes embroiled in a mystery that threatens to tear apart what’s left of her family.

Jessica Chamberlain, newly separated and living with her two sons in a small Iowa town, can’t believe that a tragedy in another state could have anything to do with her. But when her phone rings one quiet morning, her world is shattered. As she tries to pick up the pieces and make sense of what went wrong, Jess begins to realize that a tragic death is just the beginning. Soon she is caught in a web of lies and half-truths—and she’s horrified to learn that everything leads back to her seven-year-old adopted son, Gabriel.

Years ago, Gabe’s birth mother requested a closed adoption and Jessica was more than happy to comply. But when her house is broken into and she discovers a clue that suggests her estranged husband was in close contact with Gabe’s biological mother, she vows to uncover the truth at any cost. A harrowing story of tenacious love and heartbreaking betrayal, You Were Always Mine is about the wars we wage to keep the ones we love close, perfect for fans of Liane Moriarty and Jodi Picoult.

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Fall from Grace
by Richard North Patterson

NOW $1.99

After ten years away from home, Adam Blaine returns to Martha’s Vineyard to attend the funeral of his estranged father, Ben, a famous and charismatic writer who was fond of sailboats, good wine—and women other than his wife. When Adam learns that Ben disinherited his family in favor of his mistress, he begins to wonder if his father’s death—caused by an inexplicable fall from a cliff—might have been suicide or murder. Using his training as a CIA operative, Adam unearths some shattering revelations about the mistress’s past. But even more disturbing are the family secrets that can’t stay buried any longer—secrets that make Adam question everything he thought he knew about every player in this fateful game. Even himself...

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Fall from Grace
Richard North Patterson

The mysterious, violent death of a prominent New England patriarch exposes a nest of dark family secrets in New York Times bestselling author Richard North Patterson’s twentieth compelling novel.

From #1 bestselling author Richard North Patterson comes a spellbinding psychological puzzle filled with unexpected legal twists, potentially criminal turns, and one family’s shocking fall from grace.

After ten years away from home, Adam Blaine returns to Martha’s Vineyard to attend the funeral of his estranged father, Ben, a famous and charismatic writer who was fond of sailboats, good wine—and women other than his wife. When Adam learns that Ben disinherited his family in favor of his mistress, he begins to wonder if his father’s death—caused by an inexplicable fall from a cliff—might have been suicide or murder. Using his training as a CIA operative, Adam unearths some shattering revelations about the mistress’s past. But even more disturbing are the family secrets that can’t stay buried any longer—secrets that make Adam question everything he thought he knew about every player in this fateful game. Even himself...

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The Royal Runaway
by Lindsay Emory

NOW $1.99

Princess Theodora Isabella Victoria of Drieden of the Royal House Laurent is so over this princess thing. After her fiancé jilted her on their wedding day, she’s finally back home after spending four months in exile—aka it’s back to press conferences, public appearances, and putting on a show for the Driedish nation. But Thea’s sick of duty. After all, that’s what got her into this mess in the first place.

So when she sneaks out of the palace and meets a sexy Scot named Nick in a local bar, she relishes the chance to be a normal woman for a change. But just as she thinks she’s found her Prince Charming for the night, he reveals his intentions are less than honorable.

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The Royal Runaway
Lindsay Emory

For fans of The Princess Diaries and The Royal We comes a fun and daring novel about a modern-day princess who teams up with a spy to find out what happened to the fiancé who left her at the altar—and who just might get her own fairytale in the process.

Princess Theodora Isabella Victoria of Drieden of the Royal House Laurent is so over this princess thing.

After her fiancé jilted her on their wedding day, she’s finally back home after spending four months in exile—aka it’s back to press conferences, public appearances, and putting on a show for the Driedish nation as the perfect princess they expect her to be. But Thea’s sick of duty. After all, that’s what got her into this mess in the first place.

So when she sneaks out of the palace and meets a sexy Scot named Nick in a local bar, she relishes the chance to be a normal woman for a change. But just as she thinks she’s found her Prince Charming for the night, he reveals his intentions are less than honorable: he’s the brother of her former fiancé, a British spy, and he’s not above blackmail. As Thea reluctantly joins forces with Nick to find out what happened the day her fiancé disappeared, together they discover a secret that could destroy a centuries-old monarchy and change life as they know it.

Funny, fast-paced, and full of more twists and turns than the castle Thea lives in, The Royal Runaway is a fresh romantic comedy that will leave you cheering for the modern-day royal who chucks the rulebook aside to create her own happily-ever-after.

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The Girl They Left Behind
by Roxanne Veletzos

NOW $1.99

On a freezing night in January 1941, a little Jewish girl is found on the steps of an apartment building in Bucharest. With Romania recently allied with the Nazis, the Jewish population is in grave danger so the girl is placed in an orphanage and eventually adopted by a wealthy childless couple who name her Natalia. As she assimilates into her new life, she all but forgets the parents who were forced to leave her behind.

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The Girl They Left Behind
Roxanne Veletzos

A sweeping historical romance that is “gripping, tragic, yet filled with passion and hope” (Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author), offering a vivid and unique portrayal of life in war-torn 1941 Bucharest during World War II and its aftermath—perfect for fans of Lilac Girls and Sarah’s Key.

On a freezing night in January 1941, a little Jewish girl is found on the steps of an apartment building in Bucharest. With Romania recently allied with the Nazis, the Jewish population is in grave danger so the girl is placed in an orphanage and eventually adopted by a wealthy childless couple who name her Natalia. As she assimilates into her new life, she all but forgets the parents who were forced to leave her behind.

As a young woman in Soviet Romania, Natalia crosses paths with Victor—an important official in the Communist regime that she used to know as an impoverished young student. Now they are fatefully drawn into a passionate affair despite the obstacles swirling around them and Victor’s dark secrets.

When Natalia is suddenly offered a one-time chance at freedom, Victor is determined to help her escape, even if it means losing her. Natalia must make an agonizing decision: remain in Bucharest with her beloved adoptive parents and the man she has come to love, or seize the chance to finally live life on her own terms, and to confront the painful enigma of her past.

The Girl They Left Behind “is a vividly told, beautifully written, impossible-but-true story” (Helen Bryan, internationally bestselling author of War Brides) that you won’t soon forget.

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Blackbirds
by Chuck Wendig

NOW $1.99

Miriam Black knows how you’re going to die. This makes her daily life a living hell, especially when you can’t do anything about it, or stop trying to. She’s foreseen hundreds of car crashes, heart attacks, strokes, and suicides. She merely needs to touch you—skin to skin contact—and she knows how and when your final moments will occur. Miriam has given up trying to save people; that only makes their deaths happen. But when she hitches a ride with Louis Darling and shakes his hand, she sees in thirty days that Louis will be murdered while he calls her name— Louis will die because he met her, and Miriam will be the next victim. No matter what she does she can’t save Louis. But if she wants to stay alive, she’ll have to try.

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Blackbirds
Chuck Wendig

The first book in the Miriam Black series: “A sassy, hard-boiled thriller with a paranormal slant” (The Guardian) about a young woman who can see the darkest corners of the future.

Miriam Black knows how you’re going to die. This makes her daily life a living hell, especially when you can’t do anything about it, or stop trying to. She’s foreseen hundreds of car crashes, heart attacks, strokes, and suicides. She merely needs to touch you—skin to skin contact—and she knows how and when your final moments will occur. Miriam has given up trying to save people; that only makes their deaths happen. But when she hitches a ride with Louis Darling and shakes his hand, she sees in thirty days that Louis will be murdered while he calls her name— Louis will die because he met her, and Miriam will be the next victim. No matter what she does she can’t save Louis. But if she wants to stay alive, she’ll have to try.

“Think Six Feet Under co-written by Stephen King and Chuck Palahniuk” (SFX), and you have Blackbirds: a visceral, exciting novel about life on the edge.

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The Finest Hours
by Michael J. Tougias

NOW $1.99

It’s the winter of 1952 and a ferocious Nor’easter is pounding New England with howling winds and seventy-foot seas. Two oil tankers get caught in the violent storm off Cape Cod, its fury splitting the massive ships in two. Back on shore are four young Coast Guardsmen who are given a suicide mission. They must save the lives of the seamen left stranded in the killer storm, and they have to do it in a tiny lifeboat. 

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The Finest Hours
Michael J. Tougias

The story behind the major motion picture from Disney—starring Chris Pine, Eric Bana, and Casey Affleck—written by a recognized master of the genre—“a blockbuster account of tragedy at sea” (The Providence Journal).

It’s the winter of 1952 and a ferocious Nor’easter is pounding New England with howling winds and seventy-foot seas. Two oil tankers get caught in the violent storm off Cape Cod, its fury splitting the massive ships in two. Back on shore are four young Coast Guardsmen who are given a suicide mission. They must save the lives of the seamen left stranded in the killer storm, and they have to do it in a tiny lifeboat. The crew is led by Bernie Webber, who has to rely on prayer and the courage of his three crewmembers to pull off the impossible. As Webber and his crew sail into the teeth of the storm, each man comes to the realization that he may not come back alive. They’ve lost all navigation and have no idea where the stranded seaman are, and have no idea how to get back home. Whether by sheer luck or divine intervention, the crew stumbles upon the wounded ship in the darkness. More than thirty men appear at the railings of the SS Pendleton, all hoping to be saved. Once again, Webber and his crew face a daunting challenge. How can they rescue all these men with their tiny lifeboat?

Dripping with suspense and high-stakes human drama, The Finest Hours has incredible and astonishing true-to-life heroism and action-packed rescue scenes. This “marvelous and terrifying yarn” (Los Angeles Times) “deserves a place as a classic of survival at sea” (The Boston Globe).

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Mystic Summer
by Hannah McKinnon

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Since finishing graduate school, Maggie Griffin has worked hard to build an enviable life in Boston. But when Maggie’s career is suddenly in jeopardy, her life begins to unravel. Stricken, Maggie returns home to seaside Mystic, Connecticut, where she expects to find comfort in family and familiarity. Instead, she runs into Cameron Wilder, a young man from her past who has also returned home, and whose life has taken a turn that puts Maggie’s city struggles in harsh perspective. When tragedy strikes for Cameron, Maggie is faced with big decisions as she weighs what matters most and strives to stay true to the person she’s become.

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Mystic Summer
Hannah McKinnon

Maggie Giffin has an enviable life as an elementary school teacher in a Boston suburb, but when she discovers her job may be on the line, she returns to Mystic, Connecticut, the beach town where she grew up, for her best friend’s wedding. There, she runs into Cameron, a man from her past who makes her see her idyllic life from a new perspective.

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The American Spirit
by David McCullough

NOW $3.99

Over the course of his distinguished career, David McCullough has spoken before Congress, the White House, colleges and universities, historical societies, and other esteemed institutions. Now, at a time of self-reflection in America following the bitter 2016 election campaign that left the country divided, McCullough collected some of his most important speeches in a brief volume that celebrates the important principles and characteristics that are particularly American.

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The American Spirit
David McCullough

A timely collection of speeches by David McCullough, the most honored historian in the United States—winner of two Pulitzer Prizes, two National Book Awards, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, among many others—that reminds us of fundamental American principles.

“Insightful and inspirational, The American Spirit summons a vexed and divided nation to remember—and cherish—our unifying ideas and ideals” (Richmond Times-Dispatch). Over the course of his distinguished career, McCullough has spoken before Congress, the White House, colleges and universities, historical societies, and other esteemed institutions. Now, at a time of self-reflection in America following the bitter 2016 election campaign that has left the country divided, McCullough has collected some of his most important speeches in a brief volume that celebrates the important principles and characteristics that are particularly American.

The American Spirit is as inspirational as it is brilliant, as simple as it is sophisticated” (Buffalo News). McCullough reminds us of the core American values that define us, regardless of which region we live in, which political party we identify with, or our ethnic background. This is a book about America for all Americans that reminds us who we are and helps to guide us as we find our way forward.

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The Rum Diary
by Hunter S. Thompson

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Begun in 1959 by a twenty-two-year-old Hunter S. Thompson, THE RUM DIARY is a brilliantly tangled love story of jealousy, treachery, and violent alcoholic lust in the Caribbean boomtown that was San Juan, Puerto Rico, in the late 1950s. The narrator, freelance journalist Paul Kemp, irresistibly drawn to a sexy, mysterious woman, is soon thrust into a world where corruption and get-rich-quick schemes rule, and anything (including murder) is permissible. Exuberant and mad, youthful and energetic, this dazzling comedic romp provides a fictional excursion as riveting and outrageous as Thompson’s FEAR AND LOATHING books.

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The Rum Diary
Hunter S. Thompson

Made into a major motion picture starring Johnny Depp, The Rum Diary—a national bestseller and New York Times Notable Book—is Hunter S. Thompson’s brilliant love story of jealousy, treachery, and violent lust in the Caribbean.

Begun in 1959 by a twenty-two-year-old Hunter S. Thompson, The Rum Diary is a brilliantly tangled love story of jealousy, treachery, and violent alcoholic lust in the Caribbean boomtown that was San Juan, Puerto Rico, in the late 1950s. The narrator, freelance journalist Paul Kemp, irresistibly drawn to a sexy, mysterious woman, is soon thrust into a world where corruption and get-rich-quick schemes rule, and anything (including murder) is permissible. Exuberant and mad, youthful and energetic, this dazzling comedic romp provides a fictional excursion as riveting and outrageous as Thompson’s Fear and Loathing books.

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The Summer I Dared
by Barbara Delinsky

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Set on a beautiful island off the coast of Maine, this deeply moving and powerful novel by New York Times bestselling author and "first-rate storyteller" (The Boston Globe) is about three people who survive a boating accident, exploring not only how each person deals with his or her own twist of fate, but also the effect each survivor has on the other.

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The Summer I Dared
Barbara Delinsky

Set on a beautiful island off the coast of Maine, this deeply moving and powerful novel by New York Times bestselling author and "first-rate storyteller" (The Boston Globe) is about three people who survive a boating accident, exploring not only how each person deals with his or her own twist of fate, but also the effect each survivor has on the other.

WHAT COMES AFTER THE MOMENT THAT FOREVER CHANGES YOUR LIFE?

This is the question that haunts Julia Bechtel, Noah Prine, and Kim Colella, the only survivors of a terrible boating accident off the coast of Maine that claimed the lives of nine other people.

Julia, a forty-year-old wife and mother, has always taken the path of least resistance. Pigeonholed by her controlling family and increasingly distant husband as "loyal" and "obedient," she realizes in the aftermath of her brush with death that there is more to her -- and to the world around her -- than she ever imagined.

Feeling strangely connected to Noah, the divorced, brooding lobsterman who helped save her life, and to Kim, a twenty-one-year-old whose role in the accident and subsequent muteness are a mystery, Julia begins to explore the unique possibilities offered by the quiet island of Big Sawyer, Maine. Suddenly, things that once seemed critical lose significance, and things that seemed inconsequential take on a whole new importance. With each passing moment, each new discovery, Julia grows more sure that after coming face-to-face with death, she must have more from life.

Resolving to make things right for the future and drawing on an inner strength she never knew she possessed, Julia passionately awakens to a new world, fearlessly embracing uncertainties in a way she couldn't have imagined only a few weeks ago.

Set off the coast of Maine, where lobstermen leave with the tides each morning to haul and reset their traps, and neighbors gather each night to feast on the catch of the day, Barbara Delinsky's The Summer I Dared is a deeply moving story of the risky but rewarding search for self, a story of survival, and of the irrepressible ability of the human spirit to rebound from disaster and to create life anew.

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