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April 16, 2020

5 Authors of Beach Books to Read Now

by Donna Huber

Every summer there are a ton of "beach read" books released that I never get the chance to read. This summer is probably going to look a little different. We may not be heading to the beach or the public pool. With some schools finishing up early and most of us home, now might be a great time to catch up on our beach reading. So fill up the kiddie pool and pull out the lounge chair...

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I'm sure we could all use some lighter reads during this time and some of my favorite "beach read" authors have huge blacklists. Since I've only discovered these authors in the last few year, I could read probably focus on just one of these authors and have something to read all summer (and fall and winter!). While I'm waiting for some of this year's beach books to hit shelves, I have started to delve into these backlist titles.

Nancy Thayer

Thayer is one of my favorite "beach read" authors. I loved The Guest Cottage (read my review) and I've had The Island House sitting on my TBR shelf for a summer or two. I really enjoyed last summer's beach read Surfside Sisters (read my review). I'm really hoping to get to it this summer. As I'm able to work my day job from home, I've been listening to Secrets in Summer and it's making me wish I could dig my toes into the sand. Because of her books, I've put Nantucket on my bucket list. Already read these titles? Thayer has quite the backlist, but even if you have read all her books you won't have to wait long for this year's beach read, Girls of Summer, which comes out at the end of May.

Girls of Summer

Girls of Summer
Lisa Hudson feels more alive than she has in a long time after hiring hunky carpenter Mack Whitney to renovate her old Nantucket home. There's no denying the spark growing between them--despite the fact that Mack is ten years her junior. But her twentysomething children, Juliet and Theo, on the island for the summer, worry that the new relationship will only lead to Lisa's heartbreak.

Yet Juliet and Theo are in for tangled love stories all their own. When dreamy Ryder Hastings moves to the island to pursue a new environmental venture, Juliet feels an unwelcome attraction, her rocky romantic history pushing her to steer clear of love. Theo only has eyes for Mack's daughter, Beth, with whom he was bound by an unspeakable tragedy in high school--but can they overcome their past?

By August, when an impending storm threatens to shatter the peace of the golden island, everyone discovers what they can and cannot control. Nancy Thayer dazzles again with this new tale of a magical summer.

Buy Girls of Summer at Amazon

Debbie Macomber

I fell in love with Macomber's Christmas books but after reading Window on the Bay (read my review) last summer I realize I rather enjoy her stand-alone summer books too. Again, there are a bunch of titles on her backlist but I know she is a favorite author for a lot of readers. Have you read all her titles? Which one is your favorite? You'll have to wait until mid-July for this year's beach read.

A Walk Along the Beach

A Walk Along the Beach
The Lakey sisters are perfect opposites. After their mother died and their father was lost in grief, Willa had no choice but to raise her sister, Harper, and their brother, Lucas. Then, as an adult, she put her own life on hold to nurse Harper through a terrifying illness. Now that Harper is better and the sisters are living as roommates, Willa has realized her dream of running her own bakery and coffee shop, bringing her special brand of caretaking to the whole Oceanside community.

Harper, on the other hand, is always on the go. Overcoming a terrible illness has given her a new lease on life, and she does not intend to waste it. When Harper announces her plan to summit Mount Rainier, Willa fears she may be pushing herself too far. Harper, for her part, urges Willa to stop worrying and do something outside of her comfort zone—like taking a chance on love with a handsome new customer.

Sean O’Malley is as charming as he is intriguing—a freelance photographer whose assignments take him to the ends of the earth. Soon Willa’s falling for him in a way that is both exciting and terrifying. But life has taught Willa to hedge her bets, and she wonders whether the potential heartache is worth the risk.

Life has more challenges in store for them all. But both sisters will discover that even in the darkest moments, family is everything.

Buy A Walk Along the Beach at Amazon

Mary Kay Andrews

After reading the many reviews by Susan of books by Mary Kaye Andrews, I knew she was an author I had to try. I read The High Tide Club (read Susan's review) last spring and knew it wouldn't be my last. Unfortunately, I haven't had the time to delve into her backlist yet. I'm looking forward to reading this year's beach book which comes out at the beginning of May. Have you read her summer books? Do you have a favorite?

Hello, Summer

Hello Summer
It’s a new season...

Conley Hawkins left her family’s small town newspaper, The Silver Bay Beacon, in the rearview mirror years ago. Now a star reporter for a big-city paper, Conley is exactly where she wants to be and is about to take a fancy new position in Washington, D.C. Or so she thinks.

For small town scandals...

When the new job goes up in smoke, Conley finds herself right back where she started, working for her sister, who is trying to keep The Silver Bay Beacon afloat—and she doesn’t exactly have warm feelings for Conley. Soon she is given the unenviable task of overseeing the local gossip column, “Hello, Summer.”

And big-time secrets.

Then Conley witnesses an accident that ends in the death of a local congressman—a beloved war hero with a shady past. The more she digs into the story, the more dangerous it gets. As an old heartbreaker causes trouble and a new flame ignites, it soon looks like their sleepy beach town is the most scandalous hotspot of the summer.

Buy Hello, Summer at Amazon

Jill Shalvis

Shalvis is another author that I tried because of Susan's review of Rainy Day Friends two summers ago. Last fall I listened to The Lemon Sisters and was not disappointed. I didn't realize until after I read it that it is book 3 in a series. I haven't had time to read more of her books, but I'm hoping I get approved for an advance copy of her new summer book which comes out in June. It's the 5th book in Wildstone series, which I haven't read so I'm hoping I can get to some of them through my digital library between now and June. What are some of your favorite Jill Shalvis books?

The Summer Deal

The Summer Deal
Brynn Turner desperately wishes she had it together, but her personal life is like a ping-pong match that’s left her scared and hurt after so many attempts to get it right. In search of a place to lick her wounds and get a fresh start, she heads back home to Wildstone.

And then there’s Kinsey Davis, who after battling serious health issues her entire twenty-nine years of life, is tired of hoping for . . . well, anything. She's fierce, tough, and pretty much the opposite of Brynn except for one thing: they're half-sisters. Kinsey is keeping this bombshell, and a few others as well. Long time frenemies from summer camp, there’s no way she’s going to tell Brynn they’re related.

But then Brynn runs into Kinsey's lifelong best friend, Eli, renewing a childhood crush. He’s still easy-going and funny and sexy as hell. When he gets her to agree to a summer-time deal to trust him to do right by her, no matter what, she never dreams it’ll result in finding a piece of herself she didn’t even know was missing. She could have a sister, love, and a future―if she can only learn to let go of the past.

As the long days of summer wind down, the three of them must discover if forgiveness is enough to grasp the unconditional love that’s right in front of them.

Buy The Summer Deal at Amazon

Megan Miranda

Now, most beach reads fall in the women's fiction genre as you can see from the four previous authors I've recommended. But I love thrillers and summer is a great time to sink your teeth into a nailbiting tale. Several summers ago I discovered Megan Miranda when I read All the Missing Girls (read my review). With my ever-growing pile of books and the discovery of new authors, I have kind of forgotten about this author but I do remember how entertaining her novel was. She has plenty of titles on her backlist to keep us entertained until her new book comes out in June.

The Girl from Widow Hill

The Girl from Widow Hill
Everyone knows the story of “the girl from Widow Hills.”

Arden Maynor was just a child when she was swept away while sleepwalking during a terrifying rainstorm and went missing for days. Strangers and friends, neighbors and rescue workers, set up search parties and held vigils, praying for her safe return. Against all odds, she was found, alive, clinging to a storm drain. The girl from Widow Hills was a living miracle. Arden’s mother wrote a book. Fame followed. Fans and fan letters, creeps, and stalkers. And every year, the anniversary. It all became too much. As soon as she was old enough, Arden changed her name and disappeared from the public eye.

Now a young woman living hundreds of miles away, Arden goes by Olivia. She’s managed to stay off the radar for the last few years. But with the twentieth anniversary of her rescue approaching, the media will inevitably renew its interest in Arden. Where is she now? Soon Olivia feels like she’s being watched and begins sleepwalking again, like she did long ago, even waking outside her home. Until late one night she jolts awake in her yard. At her feet is the corpse of a man she knows—from her previous life, as Arden Maynor.

And now, the girl from Widow Hills is about to become the center of the story, once again.

Buy The Girl from Widow Hill at Amazon

Who are some of your favorite summertime authors? What beach books would you highly recommend reading this summer? Have you started on your beach reads for this year?

Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour

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