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Beach Reads Aren’t Just for Summer

7 minute read

Beach Reads

There are two things you don’t need to enjoy these beach reads – summer and a beach.

Beach reads are fun, lighthearted romances, gripping thrillers, or heartwarming contemporary novels. They are known for appealing to all types of readers and are the ideal type of book to pick up between heavier titles.

While most beach reads are published in summer, that doesn’t mean you can’t appreciate the magic year-round. If you’re traveling, throw one in your carry-on. Have a long commute? Listen to one on your way into the office. Need a last-minute gift for a friend? Opt for one of these.

No matter what time of year you decide to enjoy a beach read, we’ve collected a few of our favorites. From romance to thrillers, check out the beach reads that we will be picking up this year.

Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala

Beach Reads - Arsenic and adobo

If you can’t decide between a flirty romance or a thrilling mystery for your beach read, then why not have a little bit of both. What starts as a rom-com story made for a Lifetime film soon turns into an Agatha Christie mystery novel.

Lila Macapagal is tasked with saving her aunt’s failing restaurant before the landlord throws out her family and resells the storefront. Everything rests on the review of one notoriously nasty food critic – Lila’s ex-boyfriend. But just when everything looks like Lila might save the restaurant and find love, her ex drops dead. Suddenly the cops are treating Lila like the only suspect in the case.

To clear her name, she, her bestie, her nosy aunties, and her trusty dachshund conduct their own investigation. However, if Lila isn’t careful, she might find herself in deep waters.

Seven Days in June by Tia Williams

Seven Days in June by Tia Williams

Eva Mercy is a bestselling erotica novelist, a single mother, and about to wish she lived in a different city. Shane Hall is an award-winning novelist, a bit of a recluse, and an attendee at a New York City literary event. When Eva and Shane meet, sparks fly, and the chemistry between the two writers is undeniable. But what seems like a first meeting is actually masking a well-hidden secret.

Fifteen years ago, Eva and Shane spent one week together, madly in love. Afterward, they secretly wrote to each other through their books. Now, the two adults find themselves spending another week together during the steamy Brooklyn summer. Can Eva forgive Shane for breaking her heart? Or will this week just become another secret love affair?

Tia Williams has created the perfect beach read by weaving a smart, hilarious, and super sexy story around her keen observations of creative life. This is more than just a romance novel. It is also a story of being a mother, a daughter, and a woman with a broken heart.

The View was Exhausting, by Mikaella Clements and Onjuli Datta

The View was Exhausting

Who doesn’t love a fake relationship trope? Mikaella takes this fan-favorite trope to the next level. While a celebrity fake-relationship turned real romance story might seem overdone, this novel is more than just about romance. Set across a range of exotic locations and filled with wit and steamy romance, Mikaella’s novel showcases what it means to be a woman of color working in a man’s world.

Actress Win Targore is used to making headlines with her playboy boyfriend, Leo Milanowski. Their on-again, off-again romance has kept the press, the internet, and that paparazzi up in arms for years. However, it’s all fake. Win and Leo’s relationship is simply a front so that Win can have even a semblance of control over her public persona. As a woman of color in Hollywood, she knows the deck is stacked against her, and she has to use all of her skills to win.

However, when a fake romantic trip to the French Riviera turns into real-life tension between the two actors, things start to blow up. A secret from Leo’s past threatens to ruin everything Win has worked for. What’s more, Win has realized that this relationship might not be as fake as she thought. But is the risk to her career worth falling in love?

The Break Up Book Club by Wendy Wax

Beach Reads - The break up book club

Book clubs are about more than just getting together over wine to chat about the latest bestseller. They are about friends coming together, about supporting each other and helping each other grow. Okay, they are also about books, but that is less important in this novel.

In this heartwarming story, four women attend a book club at a local bookstore. Jazmine, Judith, Erin, and Sara don’t have much in common but share a love of books and wine. As the book club goes on, they start to realize that they do have something else in common – all of their lives have gone a bit off the rails. None of them are where they thought they’d be at this point in their lives.

Jazmine is struggling to balance her career with being a sing mother. Judith is questioning her marriage now that her kids have moved out. Erin’s fiancé is getting cold feet before the wedding. At the same time, Sara struggles with an unruly mother-in-law. As these women navigate their lives, they start to realize that while this might not be what they wanted, it can still be a bit of a happy ending.

One Last Stop by Casey McQuinten

One Last Stop by Casey McQuinten

If you enjoy a bit of magic with your romance, then Casey McQuinten has you covered with this perfect beach read. What happens when a cynical New Yorker falls for a mysterious girl on the subway? Sparks fly. But things get a little complicated when it turns out this mysterious girl is more than she seems.

August moved to New York City to prove that magic and cinematic love don’t exist. Actually, she believes that it is better to go through life alone. So, she is perfectly content with working at a 24-hour pancake diner, living with weird roomies, and taking the subway around town every day. Then she met Jane – the beautiful, mysterious punk-rocker who saves August’s day.

There is only one problem with Jane. It turns out that she isn’t quite from this time period. Her vintage look isn’t vintage; she is actually from 1970. Displaced from time, Jane has to find her way back and only has August to help her. It seems that there is such a thing as magic in New York City, and August is going to have to start believing in it.

We Were Never Here by Andrea Bartz

We Were Never Here - Thriller

Can you trust your best friend? Are you sure? If you are vacationing with your bestie, then this might not be the beach read thriller for you. But if you are looking for a gripping page-turner, then We Were Never Here is perfect.

Emily and Kristen have been taking an annual trip for years now. It is a tradition. This year, the two find themselves hiking the mountains of Chile, growing closer as friends. However, tragedy strikes when Emily returns to the hotel room to find blood, broken glass, and a dead backpacker. Kristen swears she killed the man in self-defense, but Emily has her doubts. It turns out a similar tragedy occurred during last year’s trip.

After cleaning up their mess in Chilie, the girls return home, and Emily tries to bury her trauma under a new relationship and work. However, everything starts to fall apart when Kristen shows up for a surprise visit. As the two reckon with the truth behind their dual cover-ups, Emily starts to worry that her closest friend might be there to destroy her life.

Remember, just because you might not be at the beach doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy these page-turning beach reads. Make sure to add these titles to your TBR and check out more of our book recommendations.

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Writer, editor, and proud nerd. Co-host of Wit Beyond Measure, a Jane Austen podcast. A reader of books, binger of Netflix, and knitter of scarves. Her cat is probably yelling at her right now.