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12 Best Beach Reads of 2019

Sunset beach : a novel / Mary Kay Andrews – Pull up a lounge chair and have a cocktail at Sunset Beach – it comes with a twist. Drue Campbell’s life is adrift. Out of a job and down on her luck, life doesn’t seem to be getting any better when her estranged father, Brice Campbell, a flamboyant personal injury attorney, shows up at her mother’s funeral after a twenty-year absence. Worse, he’s remarried – to Drue’s eighth grade frenemy, Wendy, now his office manager. And they’re offering her a job. It seems like the job from hell, but the offer is sweetened by the news of her inheritance – her grandparents’ beach bungalow in the sleepy town of Sunset Beach, a charming but storm-damaged eyesore now surrounded by waterfront McMansions. With no other prospects, Drue begrudgingly joins the firm, spending her days screening out the grifters whose phone calls flood the law office. Working with Wendy is no picnic either. But when a suspicious death at an exclusive beach resort nearby exposes possible corruption at her father’s firm, she goes from unwilling cubicle rat to unwitting investigator, and is drawn into a case that may – or may not – involve her father. With an office romance building, a decades-old missing persons case re-opened, and a cottage in rehab, one thing is for sure at Sunset Beach: there’s a storm on the horizon. Sunset Beach is a compelling ride, full of Mary Kay Andrews’ signature wit, heart, and charm.

Cape May : a novel / Chip Cheek – Southern newlyweds honeymooning in 1957 Cape May are pulled into the dramas of a trio of sophisticated New England urbanites who render the deserted beach community an intimate playground of corruptive recklessness.

Summer hours : a novel / Amy Mason Doan – Commencement meets The Graduate in this sparkling novel about a secret affair, the summer it all unravels, and the reunion a decade later that will be one woman’s happy ending or her biggest mistake Becc was the good girl. Committed, dedicated. Always where she was supposed to be, until a secret affair with the charming Cal one summer in college cost her everything she held dear: her journalism aspirations; her relationship with her best friend, Eric; and her carefully imagined future. Now ten years older and wiser, Becc knows there’s no changing the past. Still, as she travels to the wedding of a childhood friend, she can’t help but feel the thrilling push and pull of memories with each mile up the scenic California coast—from infinite nights at beach bonfires and lavish boat parties to stealthy movie sessions during work hours. But the mystery man beside her is not so eager to re-create history. And as the events of that heartbreaking summer come into view, Becc must decide if those dazzling hours they once shared are worth fighting for or if they’re lost forever. Set in the mid ’90s, Amy Mason Doan’s Summer Hours is a warmly told novel about the idealism of youth, the seductive power of nostalgia and what happens when you realize you haven’t become the person you’d always promised to be.

You, me, and the sea : a novel / Meg Donohue – Merrow Shawe believes she was born of the sea: strong, joyous, and wild. Her beloved home is Horseshoe Cliff, a small farm on the coast of Northern California, where she spends her days exploring fog-cloaked bluffs and swimming in a secluded cove. It’s an enchanting childhood, but it’s not without hardship. The mystery of her mother’s death haunts her, as does the increasing cruelty of her older brother, Bear. Then, like sea glass carried from a distant shore, Amir arrives in Merrow’s life. He’s been tossed about from India to New York City and now to Horseshoe Cliff, to stay with her family. Together, Merrow and Amir embrace their shared love of the sea and their growing love for each other. But the ocean holds secrets in its darkest depths. When tragedy strikes, Merrow is forced to question whether Amir is really the person she believes him to be. In order to escape the danger she finds herself in and carve hr own path forward, she must let go of the only home she’s ever known and the only boy she’s ever loved.

Sisters of Summer’s End / Lori Foster – When single mom Joy Lee abandoned her old life to take a job at a lakeside resort, she found something that her family’s wealth and influence could never buy: peace of mind. Not easy to come by for the once-burned divorcée who keeps everyone at a distance. But when her new friend, Maris, dares her to take a chance with the drive-in’s charismatic new owner, everything changes for Joy and her young son. A difficult childhood has left Maris Kennedy with definite priorities. Her job running Summer’s End, the camp store and café, comes first. Always. Nothing could ever make her risk that hard-won security–especially not her free-spirited colleague. But the more she encourages Joy to open herself up to new experiences, the more Maris begins to wonder what she, too, might be missing. Learning how to trust will bring Joy and Maris together. And soon they form a friendship that leaves them as close as sisters–and open to love where they least expect it…in Summer’s End.

Summer by the tides / Denise Hunter – Following a painful betrayal, Maddy Monroe’s love life is a wreck, and her restaurant career is in shambles. When her grandmother goes missing, she and her estranged sisters converge at the family beach house in Sea Haven, North Carolina. Being with uptight Nora and free-spirited Emma at the place where their family broke apart is a struggle, and undercurrents of jealousy and resentment threaten to pull the sisters under. In the midst of the storm, sparks begin to fly between Maddy and Gram’s maddening neighbor, Connor Murphy. As the sisters pack up the family belongings, memories of idyllic, slow-paced summers are resurrected. But long-buried secrets also come to light as Maddy discovers that all was not as it appeared that last summer in Sea Haven–nor today in the seemingly perfect lives of her sisters. As family tensions rise and Connor causes tumult in Maddy’s heart, the sisters must find a way to accept each other for the women they’ve become before the bitterness of the past destroys their hope for a future.

Barefoot beach / Debbie Mason – Can a summer of love make up for a lifetime of secrets? Wedding fever has taken over Harmony Harbor this summer, and the local matchmakers have set their sights on Theia Lawson, a former navy pilot who’s in town for a stay at Greystone Manor. And while Theia’s got her reasons to put this small town behind her as fast as she can, there’s a certain tall, dark, and irresistible man that she can’t seem to get off her mind. Firefighter Marco DiRossi wants to beat the matchmakers at their own game so he conspires with Theia to pretend they’ve already fallen in love. It’s only for the summer. What could go wrong? Yet as the beach season draws to a close, Marco and Theia find their pretend relationship has led to very real attraction. But when a secret from the past is revealed, jeopardizing everything they hold dear, can this unlikely couple find their way to a happily-ever-after?

Deep harbor / Fern Michaels – Immersed in her job as an assistant to a congressman, Carol Ann “CJ” Jansen uncovers possible evidence of her boss’s corrupt activities before his apparent suicide, and moves to a small New England town for her own protection.

The islanders : a novel / Meg Mitchell Moore – Anthony Puckett was a rising literary star. The son of an uber-famous thriller writer, Anthony’s debut novel spent two years on the bestseller list and won the adoration of critics. But something went very wrong with his second work. Now Anthony’s borrowing an old college’s friend’s crumbling beach house on Block Island in the hopes that solitude will help him get back to the person he used to be. Joy Sousa owns and runs Block Island’s beloved whoopie pie café. She came to this quiet space eleven years ago, newly divorced and with a young daughter, and built a life for them here. To her customers and friends, Joy is a model of independence, hard-working and happy. And mostly she is. But this summer she’s thrown off balance. A food truck from a famous New York City brand is roving around the island, selling goodies, and threatening her business.

A beach wish : a novel / Shelley Noble – Zoe Bascombe has never said no to her family. When she blew her Juilliard audition, she caved to their wishes and went to business school. But when her mother dies and leaves instructions for Zoe to spread her ashes at a place called Wind Chime Beach, Zoe defies her brothers and starts out for a New England town none of them have ever heard of and discovers a side of her garden club mother her wildest dreams hadn’t imagined. Zoe has another family. Her first instinct is to run home. Instead, she is caught in the middle of her feuding new relatives. With one family fighting among themselves and the other not speaking to her, Zoe must somehow find a way to bridge her new life with her old. For the first time in her life, Zoe must make a stand for her family—both of them. If only she could figure out how. Her answer lies at Wind Chime Beach, where generations of people have come to add their chimes to thosealready left among the trees. And when the wind blows and the air fills with music, their secrets, dreams, and hopes are sent into the world. There’s a message for Zoe here, if she has the courage to open her heart.

It’s hot in the Hamptons : a novel / Holly Peterson – From the author of the summer hit It Happens in The Hamptons comes an unforgettable new novel about the women who live and love in the Hamptons.

Aussie rules Jill Shalvis – It’s fair to say that gutsy pilot Mel Anderson is happier in the air than on the ground. But she also has to clean up after her disorganized best friend and business partner and keep an eye on their employees, who tend to make more work than they get done. Now, the one man she hoped she’d never see again is back and looking for trouble. The kind of trouble that keeps Mel grounded in a most unexpectedly pleasurable way…Bo Black wants his family’s airport back, and he’s determined to get it. He might be a laid-back Aussie, but he’s also nobody’s fool. And neither is Mel. She’s intense. Uptight. Sexy. And very, very tempting. Suddenly, Bo’s thinking less about revenge and more about kissing and touching and falling into a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of forever love…

 

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