13 Widely-Reviewed Beach Reads You May Not Have Read Yet

Posted on July 25, 2017 by

If you’re on the hunt for your next beach read, look no further than our list of popular summer books you may not have read yet. With over 500 reviews or more, these page-turners have the stamp of approval from readers and include some of the best beach books, both new and old. Check out our recommendations below, complete with publishers’ descriptions.

 

Whisper Beach by Shelley Noble

Whisper Beach by Shelley Noble

From the New York Times bestselling author of Beach Colors and Breakwater Bay comes this unforgettable story — reminiscent of Kristin Hannah’s beloved novels — of friends, loyalty, and love as three women, who are reunited in the idyllic beach town where they grew up, are forced to re-evaluate their bonds.

Fifteen years ago, 17-year-old Vanessa Moran fell in love and lost her virginity but not to the same boy. Pregnant, desperate, and humiliated, she fled friends and family and Whisper Beach, New Jersey, never breathing a word about her secret to anyone. She hasn’t been back since. Now a professional Manhattan organizer, she returns to the funeral of her best friend’s husband. She intends on just paying her respects and leaving—though she can’t deny she also wants the town to see how far she’s come as a successful business woman. But her plans to make this a short visit fall by the wayside when her girlfriends have other ideas.

Dorie, the owner of the pier’s Blue Crab Restaurant where Van and her friends worked as teenagers, needs help. Dorie’s roving husband spends every penny they make and now their restaurant is failing.

Joe, the boy Van left behind without an explanation, has never stopped loving her. While he’s wary of getting hurt again, he also can’t help wondering what would happen if they took up where they left off.

As the summer progresses and the restaurant takes on a new look, trouble comes from unexpected sources. For Van, this summer will test the meaning of friendship and trust—and how far love can bend before it breaks.

 

In Twenty Years by Allison Winn Scotch

In Twenty Years by Allison Winn Scotch

Twenty years ago, six Penn students shared a house, naively certain that their friendships would endure — until the death of their ringleader and dear friend Bea splintered the group for good. Now, mostly estranged from one another, the remaining five reluctantly gather at that same house on the eve of what would have been Bea’s 40th birthday.

But along with the return of the friends come old grudges, unrequited feelings, and buried secrets. Catherine, the CEO of a domestic empire, and Owen, a stay-at-home dad, were picture-perfect college sweethearts — but now teeter on the brink of disaster. Lindy, a well-known musician, is pushing middle age in an industry that’s all about youth and slowly self-destructing as she grapples with her own identity. Behind his smile, handsome plastic surgeon Colin harbors the heartbreaking truth about his own history with Bea. And Annie carefully curates her life on Instagram and Facebook, keeping up appearances so she doesn’t have to face the truth about her own empty reality.

Reunited in the place where so many dreams began, and bolstered by the hope of healing, each of them is forced to confront the past.

 

The Beach House by Georgia Bockoven

The Beach House by Georgia Bockoven

The beach house is a peaceful haven, a place to escape everyday problems. Here, three families find their feelings intensified and their lives transformed each summer.

When 30-year-old Julia, mourning the death of her husband, decides to sell the Santa Cruz beach house they owned together, she sets in motion a final summer that will change the lives of all the families who rent it year after year. Teenaged Chris discovers the bittersweet joy of first love. Maggie and Joe, married 65 years, courageously face a separation that even their devotion cannot prevent. The married woman Peter yearns for suddenly comes within his reach. And Julia ultimately finds the strength to rebuild her life — something she once thought impossible.

With equal measures of heartbreak and happiness, bestselling author Georgia Bockoven’s unforgettable novel tells of the beauty of life and the power of love, and speaks to every woman who has ever clung to a child or loved a man.

 

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The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George

The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George

Monsieur Perdu calls himself a literary apothecary. From his floating bookstore in a barge on the Seine, he prescribes novels for the hardships of life. Using his intuitive feel for the exact book a reader needs, Perdu mends broken hearts and souls. The only person he can’t seem to heal through literature is himself; he’s still haunted by heartbreak after his great love disappeared. She left him with only a letter, which he has never opened.

After Perdu is finally tempted to read the letter, he hauls anchor and departs on a mission to the south of France, hoping to make peace with his loss and discover the end of the story. Joined by a bestselling but blocked author and a lovelorn Italian chef, Perdu travels along the country’s rivers, dispensing his wisdom and his books, showing that the literary world can take the human soul on a journey to heal itself.

Internationally bestselling and filled with warmth and adventure, The Little Paris Bookshop is a love letter to books, meant for anyone who believes in the power of stories to shape people’s lives.

 

A Paris Apartment by Michelle Gable

A Paris Apartment by Michelle Gable

Bienvenue à Paris!

When April Vogt’s boss tells her about an apartment in the ninth arrondissement that has been discovered after being shuttered for the past seventy years, the Sotheby’s continental furniture specialist does not hear the words “dust” or “rats” or “decrepit.” She hears Paris. She hears escape.

Once in France, April quickly learns the apartment is not merely some rich hoarder’s repository. Beneath the cobwebs and stale perfumed air is a goldmine, and not because of the actual gold (or painted ostrich eggs or mounted rhinoceros horns or bronze bathtub). First, there’s a portrait by one of the masters of the Belle Epoque, Giovanni Boldini. And then there are letters and journals written by the very woman in the painting, Marthe de Florian. These documents reveal that she was more than a renowned courtesan with enviable decolletage. Suddenly April’s quest is no longer about the bureaux plats and Louis-style armchairs that will fetch millions at auction. It’s about discovering the story behind this charismatic woman.

It’s about discovering two women, actually.

With the help of a salty (and annoyingly sexy) Parisian solicitor and the courtesan’s private diaries, April tries to uncover the many secrets buried in the apartment. As she digs into Marthe’s life, April can’t help but take a deeper look into her own. Having left behind in the States a cheating husband, a family crisis about to erupt, and a career she’s been using as the crutch to simply get by, she feels compelled to sort out her own life too. When the things she left bubbling back home begin to boil over, and Parisian delicacies beyond flaky pâtisseries tempt her better judgment, April knows that both she and Marthe deserve happy finales.

Whether accompanied by croissants or champagne, this delectable debut novel depicts the Paris of the Belle Epoque and the present day with vibrant and stunning allure. Based on historical events, Michelle Gable’s A Paris Apartment will entertain and inspire, as readers embrace the struggles and successes of two very unforgettable women.

 

Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead

Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead

Maggie Shipstead’s Seating Arrangements is a stunning debut, an irresistible social satire that is also an unforgettable meditation on the persistence of hope, the yearning for connection, and the promise of enduring love.

Winn Van Meter is heading for his family’s retreat on the pristine New England island of Waskeke. Normally a haven of calm, for the next three days this sanctuary will be overrun by tipsy revelers as Winn prepares for the marriage of his daughter Daphne to the affable young scion Greyson Duff. Winn’s wife, Biddy, has planned the wedding with military precision, but arrangements are sideswept by a storm of salacious misbehavior and intractable lust: Daphne’s sister, Livia, who has recently had her heart broken by Teddy Fenn, the son of her father’s oldest rival, is an eager target for the seductive wiles of Greyson’s best man; Winn, instead of reveling in his patriarchal duties, is tormented by his long-standing crush on Daphne’s beguiling bridesmaid Agatha; and the bride and groom find themselves presiding over a spectacle of misplaced desire, marital infidelity, and monumental loss of faith in the rituals of American life.

Hilarious, keenly intelligent, and commandingly well written, Shipstead’s deceptively frothy first novel is a piercing rumination on desire, on love and its obligations, and on the dangers of leading an inauthentic life, heralding the debut of an exciting new literary voice.

 

Finding Fraser by K.C. Dyer

Finding Fraser by K.C. Dyer

 I met Jamie Fraser when I was nineteen years old. He was tall, red-headed, and at our first meeting at least, a virgin. He was, in fact, the perfect man. That he was fictional hardly entered into it…

On the cusp of thirty, Emma Sheridan is desperately in need of a change. After a string of failed relationships, she can admit that no man has ever lived up to her idea of perfection: the Scottish fictional star of romantic fantasies the world over — James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser.

Her ideal man might be ripped from the pages of a book, but Emma hopes that by making one life-altering decision she might be able to turn fiction into fact. After selling all her worldly possessions, Emma takes off for Scotland with nothing but her burgeoning travel blog to confide in.

But as she scours the country’s rolling green hills and crumbling castles, Emma discovers that in searching for her own Jamie Fraser, she just might find herself.

 

Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan

Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan

In her best-selling debut, Commencement, J. Courtney Sullivan explored the complicated and contradictory landscape of female friendship. Now, in her highly anticipated second novel, Sullivan takes us into even richer territory, introducing four unforgettable women who have nothing in common but the fact that, like it or not, they’re family.

For the Kellehers, Maine is a place where children run in packs, showers are taken outdoors, and old Irish songs are sung around a piano. Their beachfront property, won on a barroom bet after the war, sits on three acres of sand and pine nestled between stretches of rocky coast, with one tree bearing the initials “A.H.” At the cottage, built by Kelleher hands, cocktail hour follows morning mass, nosy grandchildren snoop in drawers, and decades-old grudges simmer beneath the surface.

As three generations of Kelleher women descend on the property one summer, each brings her own hopes and fears. Maggie is thirty-two and pregnant, waiting for the perfect moment to tell her imperfect boyfriend the news; Ann Marie, a Kelleher by marriage, is channeling her domestic frustration into a dollhouse obsession and an ill-advised crush; Kathleen, the black sheep, never wanted to set foot in the cottage again; and Alice, the matriarch at the center of it all, would trade every floorboard for a chance to undo the events of one night, long ago.

By turns wickedly funny and achingly sad, Maine unveils the sibling rivalry, alcoholism, social climbing, and Catholic guilt at the center of one family, along with the abiding, often irrational love that keeps them coming back, every summer, to Maine and to each other.

 

The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

American Bex Porter was never one for fairy tales. Her twin sister Lacey was always the romantic, the one who daydreamed of being a princess, but it’s adventure-seeking Bex who goes to Oxford and meets dreamy Nick across the hall-and Bex who finds herself accidentally in love with the heir to the British throne.

Nick is wonderful, but he comes with unimaginable baggage: a complicated family, hysterical tabloids tracking his every move, and a public that expected its future king to marry a Brit. On the eve of the most talked-about wedding of the century, Bex looks back on how much she’s had to give up for true love… and exactly whose heart she may yet have to break.

 

Everything We Keep by Kerry Lonsdale

Everything We Keep by Kerry Lonsdale

Sous chef Aimee Tierney has the perfect recipe for the perfect life: marry her childhood sweetheart, raise a family, and buy out her parents’ restaurant. But when her fiancé, James Donato, vanishes in a boating accident, her well-baked future is swept out to sea. Instead of walking down the aisle on their wedding day, Aimee is at James’s funeral — a funeral that leaves her more unsettled than at peace.

As Aimee struggles to reconstruct her life, she delves deeper into James’s disappearance. What she uncovers is an ocean of secrets that make her question everything about the life they built together. And just below the surface is a truth that may set Aimee free… or shatter her forever.

A luminous debut with unexpected twists, Everything We Keep explores the devastation of loss, the euphoria of finding love again, and the pulse-racing repercussions of discovering the truth about the ones we hold dear and the lengths they will go to protect us.

 

Crazy Little Thing by Tracy Brogan

Crazy Little Thing by Tracy Brogan

If Sadie Turner is good at anything, it’s putting stuff in order. So when she finds her “perfect” life in disarray, she hopes a summer vacation at her aunt’s lake house will help her piece it back together. She wants to relax, reboot, and heal the wounds left by her cheating ex-husband. And that requires time away from men. All men.

Or so she thinks.

With two slobbering dogs and two cousins living there — one a flamboyant decorator intent on making over Sadie — it’s hard to get a moment’s peace at eccentric Aunt Dody’s house, especially with everyone so determined to set her up with Desmond, the sexy new neighbor.

Desmond is Sadie’s worst nightmare. Tall, tanned, muscular… and to top it off, he’s great with her kids. But he must have a flaw — he’s a man — so Sadie vows to keep her distance.

As summer blazes on, the life Sadie is trying so hard to simplify only becomes more complicated — a new career presents itself, her evil ex haunts her, and Aunt Dody reveals a tragic secret — but maybe a little chaos is just what Sadie needs to get her life back in order.

 

Summer of Firefly Memories by Joan Gable

Summer of Firefly Memories by Joan Gable

Imagine spending an entire summer in a cabin on a lake — simply because you can.

That’s exactly what Samantha McGreggor, a 30-something eco-journalist, does in Summer of Firefly Memories. She trades Arizona’s summer heat for Minnesota’s cool lake breezes by spending her summer at the same resort her family used to go to when she was young.

Her summer agenda — relaxation, beach reads, soul-searching, bonding with her three grown sisters.

Her concerns — she and her sisters haven’t been back to the resort since their parents’ death twenty years ago when they were all practically teenagers, and, well, they tend to act like emotional teenagers when they’re all together.

Her summer reality — fun in the sun, secrets, sibling rivalries, lost memories, new love, hope.

 

Vintage by Susan Gloss

Vintage by Susan Gloss

Vintage is Susan Gloss’s sparkling debut novel in the vein of The Friday Night Knitting Clubcentered around a Midwestern vintage clothing shop and and a group of women who eventually transform the store and each others’ lives.

At Hourglass Vintage in Madison, Wisconsin, every item in the boutique has a story to tell… and so do the women who are drawn there.

Violet Turner has always dreamed of owning a shop like Hourglass Vintage. When she is faced with the possibility of losing it, she realizes that, as much as she wants to, she cannot save it alone.

Eighteen-year-old April Morgan is nearly five months along in an unplanned pregnancy when her hasty engagement is broken. When she returns the perfect 1950s wedding dress, she discovers unexpected possibilities and friends who won’t let her give up on her dreams.

Betrayed by her husband, Amithi Singh begins selling off her old clothes, remnants of her past life. After decades of housekeeping and parenting a daughter who rejects her traditional ways, she fears she has nothing more ahead for her.

An engaging story that beautifully captures the essence of women’s friendship and love, Vintage is a charming tale of possibility, of finding renewal and hope when we least expect it.

 

Have you read any of these books? Tell us in the comments!

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