My Favorite Summer Beach Read Authors

 There is nothing I love more than good summer beach read!  While I tend to sprinkle lots of other genres into my reading too there is something about a good summer beach read that just helps me relax and really embrace that summer living. 


While I could have made this post easily double or triple in length, I decided to just focus on one or two books by each of my favorite summer authors:

1. The View From Here by Hannah McKinnon-- I really enjoyed this story about a family; it didn't hurt that it was set in Connecticut around a lake (I live in Ct on a lake!).  Three grown children Perry, a type A personality married with one child, Phoebe, married with twin boys and trying to navigate a major house renovation, Jake, the playful playboy who is finally ready to settle down with Olivia and her daughter.  Then a freak accident threatens to tear the family apart.  Make sure to also check out Mystic Summer & The Summer House.


2. The Summer House by Lauren K. Denton-When Lily wakes up one morning and finds her husband has just left she's surprised to find she feels mostly relieved... until she discovers that the lease on their house went with his job and she's about to be homeless, without a job, and no husband to rely on.  When she sees an advertisement for a hairdresser at the Safe Harbor retirement community she is thrilled to discover it comes with a place to live.  Unsure of how she'll fit in with the older residence and Rose the cantankerous caretaker, they decide to give it a trial run for the summer while Lily makes a clear plan of what to do about her future.  Make sure to check out The Hideaway also.




3.The Invisible Husband of Frick Island by Colleen Oakley-- I just fell in love with this book from the first chapter.  A whole cast of cute and quirky characters come together on this tiny island town. When Piper's husband is lost at sea the whole island comes together for his memorial but Piper can not bring herself to attend; holding onto hope that her husband will come back to her.  One day Piper wakes and begins acting like her husband has returned safe and sound.  The town doesn't really know what to do so they play along.  When Anders Caldwell, news reporter, shows up to cover the annual cake walk event he can't believe how much stepping foot on Frick Island is like stepping back in time and when he finally realizes that a whole town is acting like a dead man has returned to life he can't help but investigate further. I haven't read any other books by this author but can't wait to check out The Mostly True Story of Tanner & Louise.



4.Last Summer at the Golden Hotel by Elyssa Friedland-- another cute story I read in just a couple of days.  Benny and Amos are two best friends that put together a family resort in the Catskills.  Back in it's heyday the resort was beloved by many Jewish families seeking relief from the hustle and bustle of the city.  Presently the hotel is struggling and Amos' son, who has been trying to keep it going, has gotten an offer for a very generous buyout.  Both families converge at the Golden Hotel for a stay to discuss the possibility of selling.  With three generations from two families converging ideas clash, secrets are revealed, and romances bloom.  This is the only book I've read by Elyssa-- any suggestions?!




5. Feels Like Falling by Kirsten Woodson Harvey-- Diana and Gray are both struggling one summer.  Gray has recently had her mother pass away while she's also facing her divorce.  Diana has decided to leave the latest in her long string of deadbeat boyfriends when she finds herself fired and homeless.  After a change meeting Gray hires Diana and the two become fast friends.  It was a sweet story of friendship, love, and forgiveness.  I also love her Peachtree Bluff Series as well as Under the Southern Sky.



6.The Friendship List by Susan Mallery-- When Ellen overhears her son telling one of his friends that he can not go away to college and leave his mom all alone, Ellen and her friend Unity devise a list of things that they will each tackle over the summer.  Unity has been stuck in a rut since her husband died 3 years earlier but thinks her life is perfectly fine; Ellen has been so focused on being a working single that she has neglected to create a life for herself but is content and happy with what life she does have.  Both are only planning to tackles these lists to show others they are just fine and end up discovering that change can be a good thing. Such a cute and fun story of friendship and growth! I also really liked her Mischief Bay series and The Summer Getaway.



7. The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine - This story is told in two parts from two different perspectives.  Amber is jealous of the Parrish life and plots to become the next Mrs. Parrish but all it not as it seems in the Parrish household.




8.  A Walk Along the Beach by Debbie Macomber-- Another tear jerker!  I love Debbie Macomber books because they are always filled with such sweet characters.  This book was set in the Oceanside community that is also mentioned in her other book Cottage by the Sea but it is a stand alone book with it's own separate story.  Willa took over as "mom" of the family when her mother died and her father fell apart with his grief.  Her older brother Lucas entered the military and Willa was left to raise her sister Harper.  Willa opened her own bakery and runs a successful business but has always put the needs of her family and business ahead of her own until Harper convinces Willa to take a chance on Sean O'Malley.  Party love story, part family ties and drama it was a great read.  I also like her Blossom Street series and her Rose Harbor series. 




9. One Perfect Summer by Brenda Novak-- When Serenity sent her DNA in to one of those DNA matching companies she never expected to find that she had two half- sisters she knew nothing about.  Serenity, Lorelei, and Reagan agree to meet up for a week in Lake Tahoe to try and unravel how they could be related and end up spending the whole summer together.  They bond like sisters and help each other through some pretty tough times.  Serenity who is still reeling after he husband's trial, Lorelei who is questioning her marriage, and Reagan who is at a crossroads with her job and some choices she's made professionally.  I loved this heart warming story of friendship. Summer on the Island was another great one. 



10.  Nantucket Nights by Elin Hilderbrand-- I just love Elin's books and this was an iconic Nantucket book with lots of secrets and lies and intrigue. Three women meet each year for a midnight swim and catch up session on one of Nantucket's beaches but this year one of the ladies goes missing. I also really like The Blue Bistro, The Rumor, & The Island just to name a few others. 




11. Same Beach, Next Year by Dorothea Benton Frank-- When Adam meets his old girlfriend Eve while on vacations with their families they all soon become fast friends, meeting up year after year at the same beach.  Make sure to also check out The Last Original Wife & any of the other Lowcountry Tales books. 



12.Sunset Beach by Mary Kay Andrews--When Drue's mother dies and she reluctantly accepts a job working at her father's law firm she has no idea that she is going to get sucked into investigating two cases-- an old missing persons case and a two year old murder.  Though everyone tells her to just ignore them and let them go Drue cannot stop wondering and poking and prodding.  Also make sure to check out The Newcomber and The Weekenders!  




13. The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han-- After watching the whole series on Netflix I decided to read through the book series; it was a cute story.  Belly spends every summer with her mother and brother in Cousins at the beach house of her mother's best friend. Having grown up in the beach house with Suzannah and her sons Conrad and Jeramiah, Belly is looking forward to another summer of swimming, flirting, and fun.  But her long-time crush Conrad is moody and distant, her brother leaves part-way through the summer for college campus tours with their dad, and everything is so very different this summer. I also really enjoyed her Laura Jean series. 



14. Out of the Clear Blue Sky by Kristan Higgins-- You know a book that starts out with the main character letting a skunk loose in her ex-husband's new house with his new (much younger) soon to be trophy wife is going to be good and funny! When Lillie abruptly finds herself living alone after sending her son off to college she's not sure if she's more surprised, hurt, or angry.  She ends up throwing herself into her job as midwife, reconnecting ties with her family and an old family friend Ben, begins toying with her ex and tries to make his life difficult.  It was a quirky and funny book and I really enjoyed it. I've read and enjoyed many other books by this author but I'm not sure that any others are "beachy."



15.She's Up to No Good by Sara Goodman Confino-- Jenna is shocked when her husband tells her he's leaving just 4 short years after they were married. Lost and living with her parents she finds herself volunteering to drive her 90 year old grandmother on a road trip to the Massachusetts shore.  I was giggling through much of the story listening to Jenna and her grandmother, who is quite feisty and fun. This author only has one other book out right now and I'm waiting for a copy from my library.




16. The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren-- This book is a definite "chick lit" pick but I found parts of it so funny I actually laughed out loud.  Based on a pretty unlikely premise that the maid of honor and the best man are the only two people not to get food poisoning at the wedding they are encouraged to take the bride and groom's honeymoon for them; the only catch?  They can't stand each other. This was my first Christina Lauren book but I have been slowly making my way through the others and am loving them all. 




17. Secrets in Summer by Nancy Thayer-- When Darci becomes friends with three of the renters near her home in Nantucket she had no idea just how many secrets she'll uncover and have to keep by summer's end. Summer Love, The Island House, and Family Reunion are all good ones too. 




18. The Summer House by Jenny Hale-- I read this cute romance book on our vacation to Charleston.  Callie and her friend Olivia are working to change a much loved home on the shores of North Carolina's outer banks into a bed and breakfast.  They uncover a secret diary that could change the lives of a family friend.  With a romance brewing and a hurricane threatening their progress they begin to wonder if their dreams and hard work will ever come to fruition. I don't think I've read any other books by this author. 




19. The Book of Summer by Michelle Gable--  Bess is called to Nantucket to try and get her mother to move out of the family compound Cliff House; which is slowly tumbling into the sea.  While packing up the house Bess comes across the guest book that spans back several generations weaving together a spell binding story of the people who visited through the years.



20. On Mystic Lake by Kristin Hannah-- I loved this story!  When Annie drops her daughter off at the airport for a semester abroad she was so worried about how she was going to fill her time and her days.  Only to arrive home and have her husband tell her that he's leaving her and is in love with someone else.  Annie decides to go back to her hometown and heal with the help of her father.  She is reunited with an old college friend who is in need of help for both himself and his daughter who are drowning in grief.  The three spend the season relying on one another, healing, and learning to be happy again.  When Annie's life is turned upside down once again she must make a very difficult choice.  A heart wrenching Kristin Hannah novel I had not heard of before a fellow blogger reviewed it on her blog. I love most of Kristin Hannah books but another lovely summery type read of hers is The Sweetness of Forgetting which I also loved. 




21. Welcome to Moonlight Harbor by Sheila Roberts--  When Jenna finds herself 40, divorced, paying alimony to her husband and worrying about bills she is thrilled to head to Moonlight Harbor and help her aunt run The Driftwood Inn.  Jenna can not wait to show her daughter around the wonderful beach side town Jenna visited every summer but when they get there Jenna is dismayed at the state of neglect the old hotel is showing.  With very little money between them Jenna is not sure she can keep The Driftwood in business for her aunt, but she is determined to try. This is the first book in a delightful series. 




22. The Perfect Summer By Luanne Rice--  This is another book my sister bought me for my birthday and I really enjoyed it! When her husband never returns home one idyllic summer afternoon Bay's life completely changes.  She finds that her husband was in the middle of an investigation by the FBI and as she struggles to uncover the truth of what happened while still protecting her children she's left questioning what love really means. I've read other books by this author but nothing beachy (though I found some I can't wait to try on Amazon!). 


 23. Beach Read by Emily Henry-- I finally downloaded the Libby app to my phone and have been listening to Audiobooks while working out, cleaning house, and driving around in my car.  My first book was Beach Read and I really enjoyed this story.  January's life blows up and she decides to move into the house her father left her.  She's unable to write and feeling angry and lost.  Then she discovers her next door neighbor, Gus, is the boy she had quite the writing rivalry with in college.  The two end up striking up a bargain-- they'll swap writing genres and the one that finishes the best book first will get their book talked up by the other.   I really enjoyed Book Lovers and Happy Place too.

24. If For Any Reason by Courtney Walsh--  In this book Emily is headed back to Nantucket after failing spectacularly in her life.  Armed with a book of letters from her mother she's prepared to face the island once more in order to restore the old family home in hopes of selling it.  She doesn't want to face the memories of the night her mother died when Emily was just a child, or the fact that she's never even known her father, she doesn't even want to think about how she's let her grandparents down and she certainly never expected to find Hollis McGuire, the boy next door, back on the island and reminding Emily of all that is good about summers on Nantucket.  It was a really sweet story and it had lots of great (if predictable) twists and turns. Is It Any wonder is cute too but I preferred If For Any Reason. 



25. True Love by Jude Deveraux-- Just as Alix is finishing up architectural school she is dumped by her boyfriend and discovers that some mysterious woman died and left a will asking that Alix spend just one year in her house on Nantucket.  Hurting and unsure what to do, Alix decides to give it a try.   With much mystery around the family dynamics and an old ghost rumored to be haunting the house this year is sure to be just what Alix needed. The whole Nantucket Bride series was really good. 


I'm sure I'm forgetting a few... who are some of your favorite authors for light, summer reading?

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Comments

  1. I like many of these recommendations. Now that I have some spare time I would really love to do some reading. Welcome To Moonlight Harbour sounds interesting and light hearted. I'm just in the mood for a good read like this!
    Ruth@playworkeatrepeat

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    1. Yes, I love light hearted books; especially in summer.

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  2. I am totally checking out "The Invisible Husband of Frick Island"!

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  3. I have the Brenda Novak book right now. I had not heard of her. You have a great list here! I have read some of them. I am really bad about remembering details after I finish a book, though!

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    1. I hope you like it! And I fully admit to copying and pasting these summaries from past posts-- I too tend to forget a lot of details after reading.

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  4. Some of these books sound really good! I tend to like more literary books but I think that I would enjoy reading many of these. Thanks for such a big list!

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  5. Oh these all look so good- I want to add some but I don't know which ones!! Ahhh! Thanks for sharing :)

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    1. I don't think you can really go wrong with any of these so whatever you pick will be great.

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  6. This is such a great list! I'm going to save it for future use, thank you!!

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  7. It's great that so many authors write specifically for summer and the beach! I have some authors who I love to read every summer and usually romance or thrillers!

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    1. Yes! I think so too; I have many favorite authors that don't write just summer/beach that I read through all the other seasons but nothing says summer quite like a fun little beach read.

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  8. I've only read 3 of these so clearly I have some catching up to do! Heading over to add a few of these to my list!

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  9. Pinned your great graphic in my virtual book club Pinterest board. She's Up to No Good sounds very good. And I loved Beach Read. For next month's book club consideration list, I want to add some light, beachy reads. Everyone needs a break now and then from the heavy stuff.

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    1. I think so too; I often use the beach reads to balance out those heavier emotional stories.

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  10. So many of these are favorites of mine too. I'm adding a few that I hadn't heard of to my summer reading list!

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  11. What a great selection of books. They do all sound like real summer reads.

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  12. I read that one, The Last Mrs. Parrish and thought it was great. I can't believe I haven't read any of the others,
    XOOX
    Jodie
    www.jtouchofstyle.com

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    1. I'm always on the hunt for new authors to try.

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  13. I am totally going to come back to this post. I want to try and make myself read more this summer. These look like all books I would really enjoy.

    Patty
    GoodBetterBestFood.blogspot.com

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    1. I hope you do get to read more this summer; it's a wonderful way to relax.

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  14. i'm going to keep my librarian busy ferreting out some of these titles, Joanne ... THANKS!

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  15. I love Dottie Frank! I honestly cried when she died. Her daughter has written a book, and I liked it. You can tell she's trying to pick up from her momma and is doing a fine job. I also love Elin Hilderbrand. I discovered Nancy Thayer decades ago and always love anything she writes. I'd add Jennifer Weiner and Jen Lancaster. Jen Lancaster writes really sarcastic and biting memoirs, but I love her. She went to school with my best friend and the guidance counselor where I taught. She referred to the county seat as Cow Town, USA, and she wasn't wrong! So many good authors, Joanne!

    https://marshainthemiddle.com/

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    1. I have read a few by Jennifer Weiner but I don't think I've heard of Jen Lancaster before; I'll have to check hers out.

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  16. Joanne,
    Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by!! I seem to find much more time to read in the Summer so I hope to read at least 10 books this Summer...For me, that I a lot...I want to clear out some of the books that I amassed to read when I retired...It remains to be seen if I will reach my goal...I hope you are having a great weekend..
    Hugs,
    Deb

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  17. I love Christina Lauren and Emily Henry! I haven't read a Debbi Macomber book in ages! There are lots of books on this list here that I still need to check out.

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    1. I am fairly new to both Christina Lauren and Emily Henry but have really been making up for lost time!

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  18. I enjoyed this! I am a mystery reader, I especially like historical mysteries, but the summer does tempt me into beach reads.
    Amalia
    xo

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  19. Thank you for all these great recommendations. I really like the sound of The Invisible Husband of Frick Island and Beach Read :)

    #MMBC

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  20. Joanne, I will be adding these to my reading list. I enjoyed reading Beach Read. I just reading Hotel Nantucket and I like it a lot.

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    1. So glad you found some to add to your list!

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  21. I am always so jealous of people that can read so much! I just cannot get into it. But I LOVE to see what other people read. I even save some of the books in my Amazon cart, but never buy them. Maybe I'll get into it once my kids are older, I just can't find the time!

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    1. I've always been an avid reader; though admittedly I read less when my boys were little (however, I can definitely remember reading while breast feeding-- especially with my oldest).

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