Eva Mercy is a single mother and erotica writer facing mounting pressure from her editor to complete book fifteen of her bestselling series, Cursed. Meanwhile, Shane Hall is a reclusive award-winning novelist who has become quite an enigma in the literary world. When Eva and Shane meet at a literary event in New York, sparks fly, and buried traumas are brought to the surface. However, no one knows that Eva and Shane met for the first time fifteen years ago and that since then, they have been secretly communicating with each other through their writing. Over the next seven days, Eva and Shane reconnect. But to come together again, both of them must face what happened in their teenage years.
Seven Days in June is a gorgeous romance story brimming with hope, joy, and love. Over the course of the novel, Williams expertly flits between the present day and the past to allow her readers to get to know Eva and Shane as teenagers and adults. Through this means of storytelling, Williams paints a very honest picture of her characters, who both have their traumas. Shane struggles with alcoholism and grew up in care, whilst Eva self-harmed in her teenage years and suffers from an unnamed chronic illness. Eva’s illness is brilliantly portrayed, showcasing great skill and consideration on Williams’s part. Williams also explores chronic illness more generally, in particular, the fact that society often mismanages such disabilities. The only medical treatment provided to Eva, for example, is painkillers. In this way, Eva’s character proves extremely eye-opening.
Furthermore, Williams uses the characters of Eva and Shane to delve into the publishing industry as she explores the creative process of writing, fandom, and racism. For example, we learn that Eva and Shane, as Black authors, are expected to write about Black suffering if they want to produce a bestselling novel. They are told by publishers that a novel about Black joy will not sell. In an upcoming adaptation of the Cursed series, Eva is even pressured to cast white actors as her protagonists, despite them being Black in the books. This insight into the publishing industry is equally interesting and disturbing.
Overall, Seven Days in June is not only a love story but an exploration of the coexistence of joy and unhappiness.