With summer fully upon us, everyone starts talking about great "beach reads." These are typically considered "light reads" or even "books that women like." Regardless, they are usually books that are guaranteed to be a pleasure on your next vacation.
Instead of a book review to kick off your summer, I am giving you a summer TBR list. These aren't just great reads FOR the beach, however. These books involve plots that center around the beach, too. So if you want to feel the sand between your toes both literally and figuratively, these are the books for you! Click on the titles for links. These are affiliate links, but all opinions are my own.
I haven't finished this one yet, but I already love it. Sophie's dreams of opening a bookshop in seaside Piper's Cove is thrown off kilter when a hurricane hits. To make matters worse, she's forced to wait out the storm with her ex. Can we say, "this needs to be a Hallmark movie?"
Speaking of Hallmark movies, this actually was made into one. The book, however, is much better. Though the second half of the book takes place in a made up kingdom, the first half takes place in St. Simon's Island, Georgia where the main character helps her family with their seaside barbecue joint. Cue the prince, and everything goes haywire!
A cozy mystery, this one is set on the California coast during the 1950s, and the fifties vibe is strong. You'll want to don some huge sunglasses and sit by the pool with some soda shop doo-wop playing in the background. This isn't a Christian book, so it does discuss infidelity and even some drug use (by criminals, mind you), but overall it's a clean and fun whodunit for your vacation.
These are cozy mysteries as well, but they are also Christian, so faith does play a part. Kitty Swift is an interpreter for the deaf on a cruise ship, so plenty of beachy scenery here. Just like in a Hallmark mystery movie, Kitty is always stumbling upon murders, putting her regularly in the path of Starling, an agent for the US Embassy. Swift uses her knowledge of sign language and her service dog to help Agent Starling solve crimes. Although the third mystery wasn't as good as the first two, I still love this series and will continue reading them.
This story has a cast of quirky characters in a quirky, small, beach side town. The main character returns from the big city to help her brother in his crazy scheme to re-open the town's boardwalk amusement park. Naturally, this involves facing her high school sweetheart. This is not a Christian book, and it has some strong language. However, other than that, it is a clean read where the sex scenes are "fade to black."
This book is set on the Florida coast. The main character inherits her grandparent's beach house, and comes to prepare it to be sold. However, family secrets, the handsome widower next door, and a homeless teenager just might change her plans. While it is a little too light on romance for my taste, it was still a fantastic story with a hint of the supernatural involving a giant weeping willow tree in the backyard. As a southerner, the setting also seemed more like New England than Florida. Where was the oppressive heat and humidity? And people never put sweaters on in July down here, I don't care if it's raining, it's never that chilly before October. Nevertheless, it had an almost ethereal feel to it that drew me in. If you read it, that will make sense.
This book is set on the Carolina coast, and I'll admit it isn't a light read. The main character takes a job as a caretaker for a large, antebellum mansion. Inside, she discovers a box filled with "prayers" written by the deceased owner. These "prayers" lead her, and the reader, on a journey through this woman's life. This book also includes an unconventional romantic hero, and I am always a sucker for those.
So there you have it, books about the beach to read by the beach. Happy Summer!
I am a former English teacher turned homeschool mom of three who writes Christian romance novels on the side. You know, in my huge amount of spare time.