Beachy Novels

Easy-reading stories perfect for the backyard, beach, or pool

Cornelia is a hopeless romantic, obsessed with the epic love stories portrayed in classic films, but floundering in her own life. Everything changes the day a Cary Grant look-alike walks through the door of the coffee shop she manages. Of course she falls for him, and strikes up an unlikely friendship with his 11-year-old daughter. You can’t help but cheer for these characters as they navigate the tricky waters of friendship, heartbreak, and love. De los Santos is a poet by training, and it shows in her prose. If you love this, good news: there’s a sequel.
This book will not make you feel smarter, wiser, or better read: it’s 100% Kate Middleton fan fiction, and it couldn’t be more fun. Fashion bloggers Cocks and Morgan reinvent the royal fairy tale: when American Bex Porter heads to Oxford to study abroad for a year, she first befriends—and then falls in love with—handsome Prince Nicholas of Wales. Sure, why not. The big enemies of their love are his family—and the tabloids. Especially the tabloids. Bex loves Nick, but does she love him enough to endure a lifetime of public scrutiny? Hugely entertaining and wickedly funny.
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Within hours of arriving on Nantucket, Adrienne lands a job at The Blue Bistro, its acclaimed oceanside restaurant. Over the course of the summer, she falls in love, endures family drama, and confronts a medical mystery, but the real star of this book is the restaurant itself. Hilderbrand’s tales from the belly of a fabulous summer hotspot are riveting and realistic: you’ll find yourself rooting for Adrienne as she figures out how to survive in the cutthroat setting. Warning: all that great food on the page will make you hungry. Hilderbrand is queen of the summer novel; this is one of her best.
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Moriarty’s particular talent is to write novels that read like the fluffiest fluff … but have a depth that will stay with you long after you turn the last page, thanks to her sharp insights into human nature. This story follows three moms who have children in the same kindergarten class in an idyllic Australian seaside community. Parents behaving badly provide plenty of fodder for wicked humor. This is Moriarty at her finest, right up there with What Alice Forgot. Darkly comic: this is summer reading with an edge.
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Polly’s life is in ruins: in one fell swoop, she’s lost her business, her boyfriend, and her flat. She can’t afford a place in town, so she’s forced to move out of the city—way out of the city, to a remote British island town, in a flat above an abandoned shop. (Everyone’s reaction to her new home: shouldn’t this place be condemned?) Polly turns to baking to cheer herself up, and before long her favorite hobby turns into something more substantial than she ever dared to dream. (Many readers will appreciate the lack of lascivious scenes. Her characters aren’t all chaste, but that action happens offscreen.) A sweet and multilayered story about starting over, with lots of heart, perfect for fans of Emily Giffin and Jojo Moyes.
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Dimple and Rishi are destined to marry—their parents arranged it years ago. And when both teens decide they want to attend the same residential summer program, their parents think there's no harm in letting them get to know each other. Rishi can't wait to meet—and woo—his future wife over the summer. But, unbeknownst to Rishi, Dimple's parents haven't told her anything. Can you saw awkward? When they meet, sparks fly—and not the good kind. At least not at first. This is bubble-gum feel-good Bollywood YA, tons of fun and surprisingly insightful. Publication date: May 30.
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With novels like How to Eat a Cupcake and All the Summer Girls, Meg Donohue is no stranger to the summer reading scene. This year she's back with a story inspired by Delilah Rene Luke, host of radio show Delilah After Dark, which Donohue fondly remembers as "part soap opera, part therapy session, and part corny music extravaganza." (That fact alone made me want to read it.) In this novel, Delilah becomes Gail Gideon, a local talk show host who's life becomes very complicated, very quickly, when her horse-loving teen daughter suffers a traumatic brain injury, at about the same time that a stalker forces her way into G.G.'s life, threatening G.G. and her family. If that sounds grim, take heart: with Donohue's light touch this becomes a warm, uplifting read. Publication date: March 14.
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Alice doesn't believe in luck, at least not the good kind. But when she buys her friend Teddy a lottery ticket for his 18th birthday, she picks the good ones: 31 (Teddy's birthday). 9 (the number of years they've been friends). And for the Powerball number: 13 (the date both her parents died, 13 months apart, making her an orphan). That unlucky number wins him 140 million dollars. Teddy promises her the money won't change anything, but of course it does. A novel of love, family, fate, and Chicago, and one that you could read in the course of one happy afternoon. Publication date: May 2.
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Flora was determined not to become trapped on the tiny Scottish island where she grew up, like her mother was. She fled years ago and made a life for herself in London, never looking back. Her job could be better, and she's such a cliché, hopelessly in love with her oblivious boss, but at least she got out. But then fate intervenes, and her firm's most important client needs her hometown knowledge for an important deal, so she reluctantly returns to face the family she left under terrible circumstances. A story of small town life, second chances, and family—the kind you get, and the kind you make. If you loved The Bookshop on the Corner or My Not So Perfect Life, you will LOVE this book. Publication date: June 27.
Sunshine Mackenzie has it all—a loving husband, a successful business, and a blockbuster YouTube cooking show. She's about to ink a deal making her the next Food Network star when a hacker takes over her twitter account and exposes her as a fraud, spilling secrets she's kept carefully hidden. She can't cook, she's no farmer's daughter, and her work relationships have become less-than-professional. After this spectacular and public fall from grace, Sunshine needs to put her life back together—but how? If you need likable characters, this is NOT the book for you, but if you want a breezy beach read with a beautiful juicy cover, drop this in your swim bag. From the bestselling author of Eight Hundred Grapes. Publication date: July 11.
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