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Seven Days in June

by Tia Williams

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3041672,440 (3.88)3
A REESE WITHERSPOON BOOK CLUB PICK THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER 'A sexy, modern love story to start the summer off right' Reese Witherspoon 'A smart, sexy testament to Black joy ... I absolutely loved it' Jodi Picoult 'A vision of life as it truly is: complications and difficulties punctuated by profound joy' Rumaan Alam Seven days to fall in love, fifteen years to forget, and seven days to get it all back again... Eva Mercy is a single mother and bestselling erotica writer who is feeling pressed from all sides. Shane Hall is a reclusive, enigmatic, award-winning novelist, who, to everyone's surprise, shows up unexpectedly in New York. When Shane and Eva meet at a literary event, sparks fly, raising not only their buried traumas, but also the eyebrows of the Black literati. What no one knows is that fifteen years earlier, teenage Eva and Shane spent one crazy, torrid week madly in love. While they may be pretending not to know each other, they can't deny their chemistry - or the fact that they've been secretly writing to each other in their books through the years. Over the next seven days, amidst a steamy Brooklyn summer, Eva and Shane reconnect - but Eva's wary of the man who broke her heart, and wants him out of the city so her life can return to normal. Before Shane disappears though, she needs a few questions answered . . . With its keen observations of creative life in America today, as well as the joys and complications of being a mother and a daughter, Seven Days in June is a hilarious, romantic, and sexy-as-hell story of two writers discovering their second chance at love. 'Deliciously witty' Zoella Book Club 'Hilarious, romantic and incredibly sexy' Hello! 'Electric and alive' Kirkus 'A captivating love story' Melan Mag… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
I love how I knew this would be 5 stars after reading the first line of chapter one. ( )
  DominiqueDavis | Aug 9, 2022 |
3.5 stars

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

When Eva Mercy was little, her mom had told her that Creole women see signs.

Seven Days in June was the story of two high-school kids who didn't have the best home life finding each other for a week and then losing each other for 15yrs. Genevieve Mercer suffers from debilitating headaches and the stress of having an unstable home life doesn't help. Her mother Lizette lives a nomadic life going from boyfriend to boyfriend and as Lizette ages, the boyfriends and paid apartments get shabbier and shabbier. When they're in D.C., Genevieve decides to try and make a friend and picks the loner boy on the bleachers.

He'd never composed even one sentence sober, and frankly, he was scared to try.

Shane Hall has went from foster home to foster home and doesn't want to be bothered by the new girl trying to make a friend, until they start talking and he ends up in a fight for her and they runaway for a while together. They had a drug fueled, emotionally open, and deep connection week until they get pulled apart but Genevieve never really knows the answers to the why and what happened after her mother comes for her and she found Shane was gone. Shane has sobered up and with two years of sobriety under his belt, he decides to reconnect with Genevieve.

They'd stayed out of each other's way for fifteen years.

Genevieve now goes by Eva Mercy and is a popular author of a supernatural erotica romance series about vampires. When Shane shows up at a panel she's at, the connection they had 15yrs ago, is instantly back, along with the pain of not knowing why Shane left her. Shane says he's there to make amends and when Eva's daughter gets into trouble at school and Eva has to ask him a favor, they're back in each others lives.

“We have unfinished business,” he said. “You know we do. We've made careers off it.”

If you're a writer, I feel like you need to read this story immediately, the way that Eva and Shane (Shane's a popular lit fic writer) communicated with each other through their works and wrote out their emotions was so good. The scene, around 30%, where they call each other out on this was chef's kiss, the intensity and passion, GAH. In fact, in the beginning, the chemistry between Eva and Shane was sparking hard, they're a little raw nerve and, you can tell, excited thrilled to be back in each others company. There's also numerous shout-outs to the literary world and general, what I see as, writer's world emotions. The story is told more from Eva's point-of-view, so we know more about her and then it periodically jumps back to give readers flashbacks of Eva and Shane meeting and a few high emotion scenes of their week together. The pain and anger comes from Shane disappearing on Eva and Eva and the reader don't know the full story until later in the book, around 70%.

“I'm not just writing about you,” said Shane. “I'm writing to you.”

If you've ever read a Sonali Dev, I'd say this was close in story and tone of hers, there is the romance but, especially Eva's background family life, and Shane's childhood, play a big part; they're well rounded out characters that deal with trauma (self-harm plays a big part in both characters) and that personal journey shares equal footing with the romance, if not eclipsing it at times. I was reading this with more of a romance view and the ending kind of lost me because of this, Eva's self-journey takes the spotlight and I thought this lead to a fizzled out, less firework romance ending that I was personally looking for between these two.

There was Shane. Exasperatingly handsome in a dark tee, dark jeans, and three-day stubble---and gazing at Eva like she hung the goddamned moon.

The relationships between all the characters felt real and I did feel encompassed into this world. Eva with her daughter Audre will make you desire such a relationship with your mom, that scene where Eva calls out everything she's done for Audre to have the life and opportunities she had, hit so hard and good with the different generational view points. It felt right that Eva's relationship with her mother never got wrapped up with a bow (I would have liked Audre learning more about the true Lizette) and while I felt it deadened the romance for me some, I liked the personal journey Eva went on, in fact, could have read a book about her visiting all those places. Shane gets a little eclipsed by Eva, I felt this was more her story than his or theirs, but he's impactful. I would have liked a couple more flashbacks, him getting sober, from his point-of-view and while there was an incredibly sad moment for him, I don't think it hit as hard as it could because he wasn't as dived into as Eva and the relationship involving the sad moment wasn't as developed.

There was a lot here for people to relate, commiserate, feel, and cheer for and it also delivered some deep emotion, memorable scenes, and steam. The ending got a little more away from the romance than I would have liked, there was some outside planning to ultimately get these two together that I would have rather come from them directly choosing, but the idea of two authors writing to each other because they're not emotionally there yet to be together, beautiful story. ( )
  WhiskeyintheJar | Jun 26, 2022 |
An angst ridden, second-chance romance between 2 authors who had seven perfect days in their teens but are struggling with their lives now.
For me , Audre stole the show with her innocent wit and smart observations. Tia Williams masterfully wove a plot encompassing history, heritage, struggle and romance.

As the case with all romances, I wish there was a longer epilogue but overall a pretty decent read. ( )
  kritieeee | Jun 16, 2022 |
Not only does this book end in my alternate hometown of Atlanta (where I happened to be when I read the book and where I am as I write this), but it ends in one of our favorite restaurants, Floataway Cafe. When my now adult son was little we used to go quite frequently. The wonderful, generous, brilliant chef/owner Anne Quatrano would always make E a special desert, just for him and not on the menu, and when he got a bit older sometimes she would take him into the kitchen and let him help prepare and plate. E's first fancy grown up meal was at one of Annie's other restaurants, Bacchanalia, and that is when he learned that a cheese course beats a sweet desert. He is in his 20's now, and Annie gets a chunk of the credit for his now being an excellent cook. So this was a solid 3-star book until the ending made a 3.5 for completely personal reasons.

The majority of this book happens in Park Slope and the West Village/Tribeca. My obsessive love of my current hometown is usually what sells me on books, but not so here. Williams does a great sendup of Park Slope. With its woke educational options, $7,000 strollers and $12 vegan muffins with chickpea flour milled onsite it is easy to do. The problem is that no one reading this could possibly understand why anyone would want to live in PS. As it happens I did live there for five years, and there are many things to love, but Williams makes it sound really awful. As for the West Village, other than the wonder of James Baldwin's townhouse (which according to the book one can rent on Air B&B) and a scene in the Dream House in Tribeca that was pretty fun, there is not much to hold on to. That would be fine, but Williams spends a LOT of time describing place, setting the scenes with an unusual attention to detail, so a more balanced and more interesting approach would have been welcome. I want to hear more about the energy of the West Village and the beautiful sense of community in Park Slope and less about people's Ikea furniture and 5000 sq. ft. penthouses.

I also wanted to hear less about Eva's chronic migraine. It is a key factor in most everything that happens in the book so I am not suggesting erasure. I am just saying once you have described the migraines once you need not do so fully again (and again and again.) I know the whole invisible disability thing is important to Williams, and that the book is as much about loving oneself as one is as it is about the actual romance, but for me it got very old and made me not really want to return to reading. I say this as someone who had had debilitating migraines since I was 14 (not a fraction as severe as our heroine) and has spent days literally struck blind and racked with pain in every cell of my body. If it was too much migraine talk for me, I am guessing it was too much for most people.

I really liked the group of women friends Eva was a part of. These accomplished ivy and black ivy educated women were supportive of one another without question and supportive of black men and women coming up after them. They built their professional capital and then used it to help the next wave of black writers. I liked the way in which single parenting a precocious child was described (again, this felt familiar to me) and I liked Shane as a character very much. That said, I did not get a whole lot of chemistry between Shane and Eva. The magnetic attraction is discussed in detail and frequently, but I did not feel it. Also, Shane seemed just a little too desperate for Eva. I read a lot of romance, so I have a high tolerance level for obsessive adoration, but I have limits. It really bugged me that Eva was to have the goal of loving herself for herself and Shane was to have the goal of making himself worthy of Eva. For me that is just wrong.

There was a lot of fun to be had here, it is an enjoyable enough light read, but overall I do not get the hype and I will not be running to recommend this to others. ( )
  Narshkite | May 16, 2022 |
This book completely absorbed my attention. It is super well written and I was completely engaged in Eva's life and thoughts.

While overcoming their upbringings and circumstances you still experience that they are forever going to be dealing with it all.

Highly recommend while adding that there is some sex, language, drugs, drinking, self harm and all versions of the n word. ( )
  TABrowne | Apr 27, 2022 |
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A REESE WITHERSPOON BOOK CLUB PICK THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER 'A sexy, modern love story to start the summer off right' Reese Witherspoon 'A smart, sexy testament to Black joy ... I absolutely loved it' Jodi Picoult 'A vision of life as it truly is: complications and difficulties punctuated by profound joy' Rumaan Alam Seven days to fall in love, fifteen years to forget, and seven days to get it all back again... Eva Mercy is a single mother and bestselling erotica writer who is feeling pressed from all sides. Shane Hall is a reclusive, enigmatic, award-winning novelist, who, to everyone's surprise, shows up unexpectedly in New York. When Shane and Eva meet at a literary event, sparks fly, raising not only their buried traumas, but also the eyebrows of the Black literati. What no one knows is that fifteen years earlier, teenage Eva and Shane spent one crazy, torrid week madly in love. While they may be pretending not to know each other, they can't deny their chemistry - or the fact that they've been secretly writing to each other in their books through the years. Over the next seven days, amidst a steamy Brooklyn summer, Eva and Shane reconnect - but Eva's wary of the man who broke her heart, and wants him out of the city so her life can return to normal. Before Shane disappears though, she needs a few questions answered . . . With its keen observations of creative life in America today, as well as the joys and complications of being a mother and a daughter, Seven Days in June is a hilarious, romantic, and sexy-as-hell story of two writers discovering their second chance at love. 'Deliciously witty' Zoella Book Club 'Hilarious, romantic and incredibly sexy' Hello! 'Electric and alive' Kirkus 'A captivating love story' Melan Mag

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