Readers' Favorite

April 25, 2017

Upcoming Beach Reads

by Susan Roberts

May is my favorite time of the year to go the beach in South Carolina.  The weather is warm and the beaches aren't crowded yet.  You can walk on the beach and enjoy the sun and the surf and think about the beauty that surrounds you.  Several of my favorite Southern authors have books releasing soon that take place at the beach - usually in the SC Lowcountry - and they always help to remind me of how much I enjoy my time at the beach.  How about you have a beach that you enjoy somewhere in the world?  I'd love to hear about your favorite beach in the comments below.  I'm always ready to take a road trip so I need some good suggestions.

Amazon affiliate links are used in this post. Advance Readers Copies were provided for honest reviews.

Slightly South of Simple
April 2017; Gallery Books; 9781501158056
ebook & print (400 pages); women's fiction
Slightly South of Simple by Kristy Woodson Harvey

Kristy Woodson Harvey has done it again!! She has written a book that has fantastic characters, wonderful setting and an engaging plot. This is book one of a new trilogy and I can't wait to read the rest of the story.

Three very different type of sisters end up living with their mom at her home in Peachtree Bluff, Georgia for various reasons: Caroline lives in NYC and her husband is having a very public affair, Emerson, an actress, has a new role that is shooting in Georgia and Sloane's husband has been deployed to the Middle East. Ansley, their mom, has spent a lot of years living on her own and having all of her daughters plus three grandchildren (with one on the way) at her home, wrecks havoc with her quiet life. I really don't want to tell you much about the story, I just want to say that this book is Caroline's story and focuses most on her life. What I do want to write about are the best parts of this book:

SETTING - as with Kristy's other books, this one is at the ocean. You can smell the salt air and feel the ocean breezes as you read the book. The setting is practically one of the characters.

PLOT - there is a lot going on in this book but it is well told and so much fun to read. Yes, I will admit that there were several laugh out loud moments as well as a few tears.

CHARACTERS - to me this is the strongest part of this novel. I loved these characters. I feel like they are people that I know and that I could sit down at the table and have a cup of coffee with them. The sisters are so different from each other but the bond between them is unbreakable.

SUMMARY - READ THIS BOOK! It's a wonderful story about growing up and overcoming adversity. It's a story about love and family - the sisters are wonderful and that bond between them and their mother, though tenuous at times, continues to grow. It's a wonderful book about love and family and isn't that what life is all about?

Buy Slightly South of Simple at Amazon

Same Beach, Next Year
May 2017; William Morrow; 9780062390783
ebook, audio, print (384 pages)
women's fiction
Same Beach, Next Year by Dorothea Benton Frank

Dorothea Benton Frank returns to her magical Lowcountry of South Carolina in this bewitching story of marriage, love, family, and friendship that is infused with her warm and engaging earthy humor and generous heart.

One enchanted summer, two couples begin a friendship that will last more than twenty years and transform their lives. A chance meeting on the Isle of Palms, one of Charleston’s most stunning barrier islands, brings former sweethearts, Adam Stanley and Eve Landers together again. Their respective spouses, Eliza and Carl, fight sparks of jealousy flaring from their imagined rekindling of old flames. As Adam and Eve get caught up on their lives, their partners strike up a deep friendship—and flirt with an unexpected attraction—of their own.

Year after year, Adam, Eliza, Eve, and Carl eagerly await their reunion at Wild Dunes, a condominium complex at the island’s tip end, where they grow closer with each passing day, building a friendship that will withstand financial catastrophe, family tragedy, and devastating heartbreak. The devotion and love they share will help them weather the vagaries of time and enrich their lives as circumstances change, their children grow up and leave home, and their twilight years approach.

Bursting with the intoxicating richness of Dorothea Benton Frank’s beloved Lowcountry—the sultry sunshine, cool ocean breezes, icy cocktails, and starry velvet skies—Same Beach, Next Year is a dazzling celebration of the power of friendship, the enduring promise of summer, and the indelible bonds of love.

Available May 16
Buy Same Beach, Next Year at Amazon 

Beach House for Rent
June 2017; Gallery Books; 9781501125461
ebook, audio, print (416 pages)
women's fiction
Beach House for Rent by Mary Alice Monroe

When Cara Rutledge rents out her quaint beach house on Isle of Palms to Heather Fordham for the entire summer, it’s a win-win by any standard: Cara’s generating income necessary to keep husband Brett’s ecotourism boat business afloat, and anxiety-prone Heather, a young artist who’s been given a commission to paint birds on postage stamps, has a quiet space in which to work and tend to her pet canaries uninterrupted.

It isn’t long, however, before both women’s idyllic summers are altered irrevocably: the alluring shorebirds—and the man who rescues them—begin to draw Heather out of the shell she’s cultivated toward a world of adventure, and maybe even love; at the same time, Cara’s life reels with sudden tragedy, and she wishes only to return to the beach house that had once been her port amidst life’s storms. When Heather refuses to budge from her newfound sanctuary, so begins the unlikeliest of rooming situations. While they start out as strangers, as everything around the women falls apart they learn that the only thing they can really rely on is each other.

And, like the migrating shorebirds that come to the island for the summer, these two women of different generations must rediscover their unique strengths so by summer’s end they, too, can take flight in ways they never imagined possible.

Available June 20
Buy Beach House for Rent at Amazon

The Bookshopt at Water's End
July 2017; Berkley; 978-0399583117
ebook & print (352 pages)
women's fiction
The Bookshop at Water's End by Patti Callahan Henry

Bonny Blankenship's most treasured memories are of idyllic summers spent in Watersend, South Carolina, with her best friend, Lainey McKay. Amid the sand dunes and oak trees draped with Spanish moss, they swam and wished for happy-ever-afters, then escaped to the local bookshop to read and whisper in the glorious cool silence. Until the night that changed everything, the night that Lainey's mother disappeared.

Now, in her early fifties, Bonny is desperate to clear her head after a tragic mistake threatens her career as an emergency room doctor, and her marriage crumbles around her. With her troubled teenage daughter, Piper, in tow, she goes back to the beloved river house, where she is soon joined by Lainey and her two young children. During lazy summer days and magical nights, they reunite with bookshop owner Mimi, who is tangled with the past and its mysteries. As the three women cling to a fragile peace, buried secrets and long ago loves return like the tide.

Available July 11
Buy The Bookshop at Water's End at Amazon

Susan Roberts lives in North Carolina when she isn't traveling.  She and her husband enjoy traveling, gardening and spending time with their grandson.  Susan reads almost anything (and the piles of books in her house prove that) but her favorite genres are Southern fiction, women's fiction, and thrillers. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with Susan on Facebook.

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  1. The Beach House for Rent looks like it might be a good read.

    Once Upon a Time

    1. Morgan, it's listed as being part of a series but can be read as a stand alone with no problems. It's a very good book.

  2. I should plan a visit to South Carolina next Spring. Her e in New England is still to cold :( You are making me want take a walk at the beach right now Donna :) Well I spend most of my time near the beach. I love the beaches in south MA and RI especially Block Island, Cape Cod and Newport! I hope one day you come to visit if you haven't yet. I'm gonna have to read Slightly South of Simple! I love the beach and I love when you say it's almost a character! :)

    1. I love all of Kristy Woodson Harvey's books. You should give her a try.

  3. We usually take beach vacations... they are our favorites. I loved the beach at Longboat Key, FL. I also enjoyed Sanibel Island, but it's not a beach I can take long walks on... it's an island of shells and I quickly developed the "Sanibel Stoop" as I kept stopping to pick up beautiful shells. My husband's brother lives in SC and we've visited a few times but never made it to the beach there! We better plan another trip.

    Trudy @ Reel Focus
    Food in Film: Ugli Fruit

    1. Sanibel Island is on my short lists of places to visit. There are some great SC beaches so I hope you get a chance to visit one of them.

  4. I enjoy going to Folly Beach. My two sisters live in the area and that's where they go. I've heard Pawleys Island is nice too.

    1. I've been to Folly Beach before and really liked it. Be sure you spend some time in Charleston - it's a fantastic city.

  5. My grandparents lived at the beach and I spent many wonderful times there with them. Great memories. WeekendsInMaine

  6. Fort de Soto Beach in St. Petersburg, Florida is just beautiful. I only visited once, but it's the beach I think of anytime someone asks for a suggestion!