20 Beach Reads You'll Love

Make your escape with these easy, breezy summer books

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'From Barcelona, With Love' by Elizabeth Adler

Adler’s plot-twister weaves celebrity glamour with a riveting murder mystery. The novel alternates chapters from the California beaches to the streets of Barcelona where a search ensues for one-time movie star Bibi who’s accused of killing her husband and his mistress. A detective is hired by Bibi’s daughter to solve the crime, but he’s faced with more mysteries as details surrounding Bibi’s disappearance unfold.

'The Pile of Stuff at the Bottom of the Stairs' by Christina Hopkinson

As a wife and mother of two rowdy boys, Mary is desperate for some peace. The solution: a passive aggressive chart that tracks everything her husband does to irk her. In this comical, relatable novel, Hopkinson touches on the crazy-making details of a family woman’s life, including that pile of stuff left at the bottom of the stairs.

'With a Little Luck' by Caprice Crane

After two failed attempts at love, radio DJ Berry Lambert is weary of “guy number three.” In this flirtatious dating saga, Crane chronicles the joys and surprises of new love.

'Sisters of the Sari' by Brenda L. Baker

The first day of Kiria Langdon’s Indian vacation brought her nothing but bad luck until a cleaning lady offered the American CEO a hand when her wallet was stolen. Langdon wants to return the favor and begins work building a women’s hostel to help support working women in India. This inspirational novel proves that forming cross-cultural bonds is not only possible, but powerful.

'Original Sin' by Beth McMullen

McMullen’s memorable debut novel centers on a spy turned stay-at-home mom. Searching for FIM-9 Stinger Missiles and HIMARS truck-mounted rocket launchers was never a lifestyle Sally could maintain, especially with a family, but her secret identity, “Sally Sin,” catches up with her when her nemesis shows up and she’s called back into action.

'The GQ Candidate' by Keli Goff

He's your brother, your best friend, your son—and he's running for president. The downside? You’re suddenly the focus of media scrutiny. In this fascinating, politically charged novel Hoff highlights the pros and cons of living in the world of the powerful.

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'Compact with the Devil' by Bethany Maines

Being sent on a  top-secret spy mission to save a sexy pop star from getting killed is all in a day’s work for Nikki Lanier. In this humorous, estrogen-infused James Bond adventure story, an exciting yet dangerous pursuit helps Lanier get over an ex-boyfriend but she soon has bigger problems to worry about—like her survival.

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'Pinch Me' by Andrea Halpern

Lily Burns was warned by her grandmother: “Never marry a man unless he’s short, bald, fat, stupid, and treats you badly.” It’s not just a warning—but an explanation for why their family is cursed when it comes to love. In this witty, original novel Halpern chronicles the disastrous events that occur when a pair of star-crossed lovers get married.

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'Best Staged Plans' by Claire Cook

In her eighth novel, Cook is the voice of Sandy, a professional home stager who moves to Atlanta to take a new job and live with her newly married daughter. Soon after, her daughter heads to Boston for a promotion and Sandy and her son-in-law become roommates. “Our house is your house, mom,” he says to Sandy, which irks her and foreshadows a tale of funny family rifts.

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'40 Love' by Madeleine Wickham

What begins as an amicable married couple’s tennis tournament explodes into a heated social standoff as the competing pairs indiscreetly boast of monetary success and soullessly slam balls crosscourt in this hilarious comedy of manners. Wickham (author of the Shopaholic series) portrays the adult competition as a childish game of alcohol induced envy that gets out of control quick: “You think I’m an evil bastard who married Cressida for her money! Of course you do. Well, maybe I did. But all I can say is much fucking good it did me,” says one spouse, Charles.

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'Then Came You' by Jennifer Weiner

Four women touched by the bonds of surrogacy are the stars of Weiner’s latest lady-centric novel. An unconventional, engaging love story emerges between these women and their new infant additions.

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'Overbite' by Meg Cabot

Calling all True Blood fans! Soap opera drama meets Twilight romance, in this book by best-selling author Meg Cabot. Meena has a special ability to predict how and when people will die and becomes a tool of a military unit of the Vatican, which guards humans from demons. But Meena’s search for answers takes a surprising turn when the Vatican’s young, strikingly good-looking priest is appointed to deal with a vicious vampire enemy.

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'Silver Girl' by Elin Hilderbrand

Hilderbrand bases this story of friendship and forgiveness on the life of infamous Ruth Madoff. After her billionaire husband cheated investors, the novel’s main character Meredith Martin Delinn loses everything and turns to a best friend to try and escape the hurt. They head to Nantucket for the summer where Meredith struggles to make sense of the present while confronting her past.

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'Pie Town' by Lynne Hinton

Longing for small town life? Dip into Pie Town, Lynn Hinton’s charming tale of a remote, close-knit community upended by two outsiders, a minister and a hitchhiker.

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'Beneath a Starlet Sky' by Amanda Goldberg and Ruthanna Khalighi Hopper

Lola, an aspiring fashion designer, juggles a bi-coastal life in this novel as she travels between New York and California, where she lives with her doctor boyfriend. The characters’ outrageous lives parallel those of the authors’, who work in film production and fashion.

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'The Little Women Letters' by Gabrielle Donnelly

Donnelly brings the March sisters back to life in her fresh new take on the Louisa May Alcott classic. Lulu, the middle child of three girls, discovers letters from the 1980s written by her great-grandmother, Josephine March, who shares the stories of her sisters: Amy, Meg and Beth.

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'The Ninth Wife' by Amy Stolls

In this hilarious novel, Bess Gray meets the man of her dreams—or so she thinks—until he proposes and she finds out he has eight ex-wives. Bess’s grandparents, her gay neighbor and a dog set off to find the exes and determine if she can agree to be wife number nine.

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'Summer Rental' by Mary Kay Andrews

Written like a hilarious episode of Sex in the City , this novel centers on three longtime friends who set for a vacation in North Carolina’s Outer Banks.

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'The Wedding Writer' by Susan Schneider

The stress of work and weddings is rolled up in one plotline when Leigh “Lucky” Quinn is made Editor-in-Chief of Your Wedding magazine, replacing her ex-boss and mentor Grace Ralston. As Ralston struggles with unemployment, Lucky attempts to remain sane while facing the disappointed staff Ralston left behind. “I don’t know, Lucky, you’d better watch out,” her father warns. “It’s a cutthroat world you’re involved in.”

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'Witches of East End' by Melissa de la Cruz

In this magical new novel, Joanna and her daughters Ingrid and Freya are different from the rest of their neighbors of North Hampton—but their powers remain a secret to the townspeople until the disappearance of a young girl brings Freya and the rest of her family under scrutiny.

 

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First Published June 2, 2011

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