Summer is here, and with summer comes the search for the perfect beach read. A beach read is a delicate and complicated combination of characteristics: it must be light enough to make you smile while simultaneously being absorbing enough to make you risk sunburn because you simply can’t stop turning the pages (books are the cause of approximately 85% of any bookworm’s sunburns). These five stories are likely to sweep you off your feet, so make sure you bring a lot of sunscreen.
Who Do You Love, by Jennifer Weiner
Nobody combines humor and pathos quite like Weiner, the bestselling author of books like Good in Bed and In Her Shoes. In her latest, she tells the story of two children, Rachel and Andy, who meet one night in an emergency room. Rachel has a congenital heart defect, Andy has a broken arm and came to the ER all alone. She tells him a story, and they expect to never see each other again. Who Do You Love follows Rachel and Andy as they grow up and cross paths again and again over the next 30 years, in a beautiful and touching tale of first love.
The Guest Cottage, by Nancy Thayer
This lovely romance from the author of Nantucket Sisters and Island Girls takes us to Nantucket once more. When 36-year-old Sophie Anderson, mother of two, finds herself abruptly divorced, she realizes there’s a lot more to life than catering to a demanding husband. In an effort to find out exactly what that might be, she rents a summer cottage on the beach…the same cottage, it turns out, that widower Trevor Black just rented with his own little boy. They decide to share the cottage, and sparks fly. A perfect beach read even if you don’t have access to your own perfect guest cottage.
Country, by Danielle Steel
When Stephanie Adams’ lawyer husband drops dead on a skiing trip, she’s faced with grieving children, a boat-load of conflicting emotions, and absolutely no idea what should come next in her life. An impulsive road trip takes her to Vegas, where she meets country music star Chase Taylor and is swept up into his Nashville lifestyle. An excellent summer read for fans of Steel, country music, and TV’s Nashville (And if you’re not a fan of Nashville, what are you even doing with your life?).
The Rumor, by Erin Hilderbrand
“Did you hear that Grace Pancik has been having an affair with her landscaper?” “That doesn’t surprise me; apparently, her husband’s up to no good.” “And what about Madeline King? Where’s her second novel? I hear she’s choking.” Rumor, by Erin Hilderbrand, plunges readers right into the gossipy center of a Nantucket town. And no one’s more fun to gossip about than Madeline and Grace, best friends with perfect marriages that might not be as perfect as they seem.
Beach Town, by Mary Kay Andrews
This charming tale follows Greer Hennessy, a movie location scout, in her efforts to save her career by finding the perfect quiet beach town location. She finds an excellent option in Cypress Key, but unfortunately its super-attractive mayor, Eben Thibadeaux, has no interest in her plan. Will Greer manage to save her career and deal with the simmering attraction between her and Eben? As crazy directors, egomaniacal actors, and obsessed fans descend upon Cypress Key, she’ll have to find a way to build the life she wants, and seize the love story that’s right in front of her.
The Liar, by Nora Roberts
Shelby Foxworth has had a bad year. Her husband drowned in a boating accident, and then the revelations about him began: that he cheated on her, that he left her in enormous, crippling debt, that he held multiple passports in multiple names. In an attempt to start putting her life back together, she takes her young daughter back to the family and Tennessee town that have always been there for her. There she meets Griff Lott, the opposite of everything her deceitful husband stood for…but when danger comes to the small town, she discovers she still hasn’t escaped her husband’s web of lies. Will she manage to put the past behind her and seize a new life full of hope and love?