21 Books Set at the Beach to Read All Year

The Ultimate List of Beach Reads 15

The final reading challenge prompt of 2020 is to read a book set at the beach. Little did we know just how much we would need a book like this right now.

The list below has something for everyone – romance, historical fiction, thrillers,  fantasy, mystery, and more.

Whether you are looking for a beach book to read in the middle of winter or the heat of summer, something on the list below will surely pique your interest.

Looking for more vacation reads? Head to the Beach Read Hub to see our list of the best summer reads and Summer Reading Bingo!

*Post contains affiliate links. Purchases made through links result in a small commission to us at no cost to you.

Books Set at the Beach

beach readBeach Read by Emily Henryir?source=bk&t=beyondth06 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=646eed9cbbd76b192a8543c811faa8b0& cb=1601430122515

This is the best romance I have read in a long time.  What could be better than a romance about writers?  January is a romance writer who no longer believes in love.  Until she was 28, she led an idyllic life filled with the ideas of perfect love.  Augustus Everett is a literary fiction writer who has never believed in love.  They could not be more different.  When they find themselves living next door to each other they decide to help each other overcome their writer’s block by challenging each other to a writer’s duel.  I loved this book.  4 stars

Sex and VanitySex and Vanity by Kevin Kwanir?source=bk&t=beyondth06 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=9637a1cb81bbecf30b786cfeb3f74ec6& cb=1601478520329

We did an entire post about Sex and Vanity because it’s just such an escapist read! It’s lighthearted and fun which is perfect when you want to take your mind off the doom and gloom of the world we currently inhabit. Like Crazy Rich Asians, this book features the over-the-top world of the wealthiest 1%, but it also deals with harder topics like microaggressions and racism. 4 stars.

The HoneymoonerThe Honeymooner by Melanie Summers

Thanks to Melanie Summers for my free review copy. All opinions are my own. I first reviewed Melanie’s The Crown Jewels trilogy a few years and I loved it. It literally had me cackling and swooning all at once, so I had to jump at the chance to review her newest series – Paradise Bay. The first book did give me a few chuckles as it set up both the new series locale (Paradise Bay Resort) and it’s owner’s love story.  I did love the story, the new location, and the funny characters. I can’t wait to start the next book in the series.  3.5 Stars.

the House in the Cerulean SeaThe House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J Kluneir?source=bk&t=beyondth06 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=9b4de9338c7db98a52ec501d15da5138& cb=1593733861610

I had not heard of it but, it was recommended to me from a few people.  The story sounded great and the cover was so beautiful that I could not resist.  I absolutely loved this book.  The story has just a touch of magic but somehow seems to relevant.  Linus baker works as a caseworker in the Department in Charge of Magical Youth.  He is sent on a mission to a secret orphanage where 6 of the world’s most dangerous youth live.  This story was so much more than the sum of it’s parts.  4.5 stars

28 Summers28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrandir?source=bk&t=beyondth06 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=06fedef45dce4963a03f8017bb25c998& cb=1590787492853

Summer longingSummer Longing by Jaime Brennerir?source=bk&t=beyondth06 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=8eb3931a32d1058e86ff5bc9caec14fa& cb=1590797264417

We love Jaime Brenner and this book is no exception.  We once again find ourselves in Provincetown when Ruth Cooperman moves there to start her life again.  She is not expecting to find a baby on the doorstep of her rented house. This story touches on motherhood from every angle- including women who are mothers with no children.  With the sudden appearance of the baby, Ruth decides to reach out to her own daughter Olivia. The summer unfolds and relationships change in this delightful beach read. 4 stars

montoukMontauk by Nicola Harrisonir?source=bk&t=beyondth06 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=26ec5a70e9bab3a96f19671726e5f990& cb=1561858187974

(Thanks to BookSparks for my review copy. All opinions are my own.)

I was expecting a lighthearted read, but this book had more soul than I was expecting! Set in 1938 in Montauk among the glamorous world of Manhattan’s summering elite, it was full of secrets and romance. It’s sort of like a historical fiction version of an Elin Hildebrandt book with romance and personal growth as our heroine discovers true love in a sleepy beach town. I shed a few tears at the ending – which took me completely by surprise by the way! There is a short, not-so graphic rape scene – so if that’s a trigger for you, steer clear. Otherwise, I applaud this debut and recommend it for your beach bag! 3.5 stars

Beautiful Ruins soon to be a major motion picture starring Sam Mendes.Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

I adored this second chance love story that wasn’t too girly. There was intrigue and insight into Hollywood today verse 60 years ago. I guessed the big reveal pretty early on, but it was still a wonderful story about how love had, lost and then found again can impact our lives.

castle of water by dane huckelbridgeCastle of Water by Dane Huckelridge

This is a wonderful book about love and survival.  It is so much more than it appears on the surface. Kirsten read it and insisted that I would love it- she was correct as always.  This is a beautifully written book. When Sophie and Barry find themselves on an Island as the sole survivors of a plane crash, they learn to depend on each other.  The book moves seamlessly from the past to the present, weaving and intricate tale. I love this book 4.5 stars

51QWkOUXEhL. SY346Circe by Madeline Miller

The Odyssey is one of my all-time favorite books and I think I read Du’Laires Book of Greek Myths more than any other book when I was in middle school. Which means I ADORED Circe! Circe, the nymph who is but a footnote in Du’Laires and gets overshadowed in The Odyssey was a fascinating goddess I can’t believe I knew so little about. I’m desperate to read Madeline Miller’s first book – The Song of Achilles now! 4 stars

51GyaUIKFOL. SX327 BO1204203200Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman

Another former Reese Book Club pick, this thriller was a slow build with an explosive finish. When two newlyweds find something in the water on their honeymoon, the story picks up the pace and I couldn’t put it down. I really loved how the heroine changes over the course of the book. It felt very realistic based on the circumstances. 4 stars.

the last house guestThe Last Guest House by Megan Mirandair?source=bk&t=beyondth06 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=219d85319c8f3c715c047db811db5a61& cb=1567277702534

Thanks to Simon Books for a free review copy. This past weekend I found myself on a beach in the mood for a good thriller. I finally cracked this bad boy open (can you crack open a digital book?) and I finished it in 3 days. The story descriptions were wonderful. I could vividly picture what I was reading.I liked the way the story was told in a dual timeline, I liked the many red herrings thrown in, and I was committed to making sure the main character came out unharmed. As with any thriller, the trick to success is not being able to predict the twists. I was, unfortunately, able to come up with most of the plot points before the main character. The very, very ending took me a bit by surprise in how the climax played out, but overall, I saw the premise coming from a mile away. That doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the book, I just never got to the point of heightened anxiety that I expect in an unpredictable thriller. 3 stars.

the IdenticalsThe Identicals by Elin Hilderbrandir?source=bk&t=beyondth06 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=4539b82315e937907f558316b7a21a6f& cb=1575161540916  3.5 stars

This was an easy-to-read book that I really enjoyed.  There wasn’t anything particularly unique about the book but, I have enjoyed every book by Elin Hilderbrand that I have read.   This book centers on the relationship (or lack thereof) between twins who, in the style of the Parent Trap, each grew up with one parent. I finished with a feel-good feeling

The Long CallThe Long Call by Ann Cleevesir?source=bk&t=beyondth06 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=98897e56e9b8d8f673e07fd2f1ef1247& cb=1569625712829

I was so happy to receive this book. I have never read Ann Cleaves before but I had heard such great things about her writing.  Thank you so much to NetGalley, Minotaur Books and Libro.fm for my copies of this book.  There are so many things about this book that I loved. The book starts when Matthew Venn attends the funeral of his estranged father.  When a murdered man is washed up on the beach, Matthew is brought back into the community that he left years before.  The characters are rich, real, flawed, and likable.  The story is driven by the characters who make the story compelling and unpredictable.  I did not predict “who Dun it” which is always a huge bonus for me.  I cannot wait to read the next book in the series 4 stars

The Guest ListThe Guest List by Lucy Foleyir?source=bk&t=beyondth06 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=78ba2bdc46a15bdb9816b2acc05e8925& cb=1590787071390

This is by far the best thriller that I have read in a while.  Thank you so much to Libro.fm for my copy of this book.  I love the multiple narrators, it really made the story come alive.  The book starts with a dead body at an exclusive wedding being held on an island off the coast of Ireland.  The catch? We don’t know who was murdered. I love the way this story and the characters were developed.  It was smart and suspenseful and completely unputdownable.  I not only needed to find out who did it and why but, who was the victim?

the Golden HourThe Golden Hour by Beatriz Williams

This historical fiction story takes place in the Bahamas during WWII. The Duke and Duchess of Windsor are prominetly featured, though the main story revolves around the murder of a man named Harry Oaks, life in Nassau, and the romance between the female lead and her beau. There is also a bit of a flashback type story that plays out in parts too. It’s a lovely little novel that had me flipping pages quickly and kept me entertained by the pool. 4 stars

The Scent KeeperThe Scent Keeper by Erica Bauermeister

I snagged a copy of The Scent Keeper because Reese Witherspoon told me I should. #sorrynotsorry . I usually love her picks and this was no exception. I’ve seen many mixed reviews on this one, but for me, it was a reflective read about what is means to be loved, and the memories that scents hold. The premise of a little girl growing up on an isolated island learning about scents had me picking up the book, but the hard-life lessons she learned along the way kept me flipping the pages. 3.5 stars.

Florence Adler Swims Forever

Florence Adler Swims Forever by Rachel Beanlandir?source=bk&t=beyondth06 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=4633c4e3605231918d4de595011e3cc3& cb=1593733910192

Thank you so much to Simon and Schuster for my copy of this book.  I really like this book but it was not what I was expecting- it was so much more.  I thought the book was about Florence Adler.  I was very wrong.  This book takes place in the United States just before WWII.  Every summer the Adler’s rent out their house in Atlantic City. Florence returns from college so she can spend the summer practicing to swim the English Channel.  When Florence dies in a tragic accident, the family decides that they cannot tell Florence’s sister who is in the hospital on bed rest after losing a child a year before.  I loved the writing, the story and the desire to keep family together at all costs.  4 stars.

winter in paradiseWinter in Paradise by Elin Hilderbrand

Irene Steele gets the shock of her life when she gets a phone call saying her husband has died in a plane accident while on a business trip. Traveling down to St. John to collect his things, she finds out that he actually has an entire second family. With her two adult sons along for the journey, she realizes that not only is her world unraveling, but her sons have hidden secrets as well. Told across multiple points of view, this is Elin at her finest. I’m so eager to get my hands on the next books in the trilogy. 4 stars.

the island of sea womanIsland of Sea Women by Lisa See

Thanks to Scribner for our free review copy. I read the Island of Sea Woman by Lisa See and was captivated from the first page.   Lisa See’s last novel The Tea Girl of Humminbird Lane was absolutely brilliant and I felt the same way about this book.  It tells the story of a friendship between two women on the Korean Island of Jeju.  There, woman work as a diving collective to provide for their families and the men look after the children.  It was so interesting to read a story where some gender norms are completely reversed and others, like feeding woman and children last, were still perpetuated. Beyond the incredible history of this small island is the story of a remarkable friendship between Mi-ja and Young-sook from over decades.  Lisa See has done it again with this remarkable book. 5 stars

The house on Fripp IslandThe House on Fripp Island by Rebecca Kauffman

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