Contemporary Literature · Romance

Seven Days in June

The color blocking on this cover is so eye-catching. And this is mostly not at all related, but I have been loving that song Heat Waves by Glass Animals and every time I see this title, that song pops into my head. While it’s “seven days in June” versus “late nights in the middle of June” it has merged in my head to be essentially the same thing. All of that to say, I really needed to read this book. Haha.

Seven Days in June by Tia Williams

Eva Mercy is a paranormal erotica writer, with a robust fan club for her 14-book long bestselling series. She lives in Brooklyn with her daughter, Audre. Shane Hall is a mysterious (because he’s basically a recluse) prize-winning, hard-hitting fiction author. When Shane shows up at a writer’s event (surprise!) where Eva is speaking, the tension between them is palpable and obvious to everyone else in the room. And no wonder, it turns out, as the two shared an intense, emotional, week-long, falling-in-love fling while in high school. While they may have thought they buried their shared past/trauma, it turns out they’ve really been writing to/about each other over the past fifteen years. And their present-day chemistry is undeniable. Can they re-find what they lost, across all this time and space, during a second week in June?

My goodness, this was freaking spectacular! There’s family drama, secrets/lies/buried pasts, lost love and second chance love, fantastic on-page chemistry (and while there aren’t many of them, the few sex scenes are well done), wonderful pacing/tension of the unfolding love story, a relatable and wonderfully precocious daughter character, superb dialogue, authentically included social media/fandom aspects, and really well-handled serious topics (disability: migraines, self-medication, self-harm, addiction, gun violence). It’s a lot. From the romance to the more sensitive content it’s an intense story. In the good, unputdownable, way. I listened to the audiobook (which was narrated really nicely) and I groaned in frustration any time I had to press pause. I was completely absorbed in these characters and their stories. 

There are so many things that I want to point out about how well Williams wrote this novel. There are myriad different parts of this story whose details could easily have been left hanging, but I feel like she tied them all back in/together quite smoothly. Some of them got more fleshed out than others, naturally, but I don’t feel like I was left with any unresolved storylines. I also was impressed with how comfortably Shane and Eva’s relationship resolved. There was every chance for it to become/stay an unhealthy one, considering how it started and where they were in their lives when they re-met. And yet, I was pleased with how it ended – a great mix of reliance as a healthy part of a romantic relationship, but enough independent confidence to show a maturity growth from their first meeting to their adult getting back together. Basically, I thought their star-crossed, all-in lovers thing was written perfectly. Along with that, their individual growth was clear, if not finished (but then, who is ever finished with self-growth?). Relatedly, their mental health/disability medical issues (Shane’s addiction and Eva’s migraines) seemed to be treated with care/non-judgmentally, bringing attention especially to migraines as an invisible and under-represented (in literature) disability, at least as far as my frame of experience (I do not personally get migraines and have supported those living with addition) allows me to “approve.” I also loved Eva’s daughter, Audre. Her entire vibe was perfect – smart and mature, and knows it, but with the self-centered POV of adolescence. I would be hella into reading a companion novel about her as she grows up (and achieves her celebrity-counseling dreams). 

The writing was easy and mature (a perfect combination for getting lost in it while reading). I am not always a fan of a dual-timeline story-telling method, as I do think they can get overdone and formulaic, but Williams skirts that potential pitfall and I ended up enjoying the presentation. There were a few random spots where we got a bit of story from another perspective – not Shane or Eva – and they were at times a bit jarring to adjust to, since they were mostly one-off perspectives. But they really did give a little something to the story development and character understanding that we might not have gotten elsewhere/otherwise, so I’m giving it the proverbial “pass.” And I mentioned this earlier, but the pacing and tension progression of the romance piece was spot on. 

All in all, if I had to pick one word to describe this book it would be delicious. Absolutely delicious. 

One thought on “Seven Days in June

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