2018 Summer Beach Reads
While I could name a ton of books from previous months and years that would make for great beach reads, I’m going to focus this list of books and series that are released June – July -August 2018 that I have either read and loved, am dying to read, and ones that come highly recommended from those I trust. I actually started this list before I read any of them, but with so many good books, I never finished the list! So, I’m going to start with my recent run of 5 star reads.
Here are 21 of the Top Summer Beach Reads:
THE KISS QUOTIENT by Helen Hoang
What a refreshing read! It’s so hard to believe The Kiss Quotient is Helen Hoang’s first book because it was smartly written, refreshing, quirky, sweet, sexy, and unputdownable. It was also nothing like what I expected. This is an adult book with some erotic scenes, make no mistake about it, but it was so much more.
Stella Lane is a very successful econometrician with high-functioning Autism, also referred to as Asperger’s. Because the author has the same thing, our heroine was so real and so special, you couldn’t help but love her.
I can’t tell you how many people I messaged personally about this book. I think it’s an important read, not only because it features an autistic character written by an autistic author, but it also has a diverse cast of characters. But forget about why it’s an “important” read and let’s focus on why it was a great read. It was a hopeful book, filled with pain, joy, sexy times, love, friendship, family, culture, and diversity. It made me laugh, it tugged at my heartstrings, it made me think, and it made me swoon. I reveled in the uniqueness it brought to a common theme (falling for your escort). The topic of autism could have overpowered the story, but it was more about Stella’s personality and the unique qualities that make her special. It was about overcoming labels, accepting that labels don’t make the person. I loved how they both learned to love themselves as they learned to love the other and accept the other’s love. The Kiss Quotient is truly a book I will remember for a long time and I really look forward to the next standalone in the series, The Bride Test, coming in 2019.
Purchase The Kiss Quotient at Amazon
I’m trying to stay away from recommending books that are part of a series, but In Bed with The Beast by Tara Sivec is only the second in a series of 3.
I LOVED the first book, At the Stroke of Midnight, and I loved In Bed with the Beast MORE! This is a modern take on Beauty and the Beast and I felt like the first book had more subtle nods to Cinderella. I loved the way this one tied into the original fairy tale in so many little ways. It was SO CLEVER! The Naughty Princess series is like Bad Moms and Disney Princesses had a mash-up.
Ariel is my favorite of the three, and I have seen Tara post that Ariel’s book, Kiss the Girl, is her favorite of the three, and I know it will be mine too. I CAN’T FREAKING WAIT for September 4.
Note: I listened to At The Stroke of Midnight (after reading it) and loved the narrator so much! I highly recommend this series for your summer road trip!
As I write this, I am almost done with this duet. I loved the Upside of Falling, but that end! OMG, WTF? Thank goodness the next one, The Downside of Love, is right here, and Meghan did the impossible in the second book and made me believe!
Fighter pilots, forbidden romance, slow burn, emotion, funny and sexy times, it’s all here. Rory, the heroine, had a non-verbal autistic brother who took a major role, and I think there were some pretty good teachable moments in this duet as well. As always, Meghan Quinn wows me with her writing.
This one would be the perfect book for when you are getting ready for back-to-school! The High School football star is teaching at his high school when his high school girlfriend comes back to town to teach. If you need to get in that back-to-school mode, this is a great choice.
Getting Schooled is another gem by Emma Chase. Told in alternating points of view, we are so lucky to get more of Emma’s amazing take on the male POV. I loved the unique setting of teaching at the high school you went to and reliving your high school memories while making new ones.
Atticus is a new favorite book for me. I gave it a rare 5++++ Star review and I think it is a MUST READ for anyone who has a pet as part of their family, or even if you don’t. While this may not be your traditional romance, TRUST Sawyer Bennett to bring you a book that will FEEL like a romance and give you all the feels! I absolutely LOVED this book!
It’s nice to have a book you love that you can recommend to anyone whether they read romance or not. If you are a dog lover (or any animal), you will especially love Atticus. If you aren’t, you will become one after reading it. I couldn’t shut up about Atticus to my family, and I think I read my son half of it. Getting in Atticus’s head was so much fun because my dog Lucy reminds me of him in many ways.
While Atticus is a story about a dog, it is SO MUCH MORE. This was such a strong story about how love and family can come in the most unlikely forms. About recognizing your self-worth and living up to it. About how much unconditional love for another being can change you profoundly. It was about love and friendship and self-worth. It brought out every emotion and made me feel so deeply that my dog had to lick my tears away. Atticus was a saga that spanned around 7 years, so don’t expect it to be a quick, fluffy read about a dog, and grab your tissues. I literally hugged my Kindle (and my dog) when I finished. I can’t help but give Atticus ALL the stars. He’s such a GOOD BOY!
See my interview with Sawyer Bennett and Atticus, which also has a hidden spoiler in case you are nervous about what made me cry (don’t worry!)
I haven’t read this one yet, but it is on my TBR for sure! I have had SO. MANY, recommendations for this one.
Thea Landry has always known her place in modern-day society. It’s somewhere just above the trash can her mother dumped her in as a newborn but below the class where much comes easy. With her tattered shoes and bargain-bin clothes, her life has never been full of glamour.
So when a rich and charismatic man takes interest, she doesn’t fool herself into thinking their encounter is anything more than a one-night stand. Months later, she’s kicking herself for not getting his phone number. Or his last name. She’s given up hope of seeing him ever again.
Until one day, years later, Logan Kendrick waltzes into her life once more and turns everything she’s built upside down. This time around, she won’t make the same mistake. She’s going to fight to keep him in her life—not for herself.
But for their daughter.
TIMID, the next in the series, releases September 4th.
Purchase Tattered by Devney Perry at Amazon
Voted one of the Most Anticipated Romances of 2018 on Goodreads! I have this on my Kindle, ready to go and I am hearing great things!
She was the one thing holding him together.
Until she was gone.
And then there was whiskey.
Fallon Gentry has spent the last decade reliving one dark night in his head. The moment he lost the woman he loved when a single blink cascaded into a series of events that stole both of their lives. Now his nights are spent playing music in southern honky-tonks and nursing the memory of her the only way he knows how-at the bottom of a whiskey bottle.
A brief stint in Nashville, a hit song, and a brush with Hollywood couldn’t bring him closer to God, but when the ghost of Augusta Belle Branson appears in his corner of another lonely dive bar late after dark, he’s forced to confront everything he thought he knew about that fateful night, and a few things he didn’t.
He’s her contradiction, she’s his salvation.
A firestorm of emotion consumes them when they come together after ten lost years, every moment more revealing, more unpredictable, more intoxicating than the next until the only reckoning left for Fallon is the one he must make with himself. But this time, fate may have left an after-burn too bitter to swallow. This time, he may lose his whiskey girl for good.
Purchase Whiskey Girl on Amazon
I am completely ashamed to say I have not read Jodi Ellen Malpas even though I have all of her books on my Kindle. I know I need to read about Jesse Ward, but I hear that this duet is amazing, so when the second releases, I will be binging on them both.
Her father is The King of England.
She is The Controversial Princess.
Regarded as down to earth by the press and rebellious by the King, Princess Adeline refuses to bow to the royal expectations her title carries. She knows better than anyone that the united front of the Royal Family is nothing but smoke and mirrors – lies and secrets masked by power and privilege. She wants no part of it, and she will never surrender to the King’s demand to marry a man she does not love. But despite Adeline’s determination to retain her free will, she remains deeply unfulfilled, feeling caged and suffocated.
That is until she meets Josh Jameson. Drawn in by his confidence, Adeline is soon captivated by the scandalously sexy American actor. His ability to penetrate her defenses overwhelms her – his touch is pure fire, and his allure overpowering. Nothing has ever made her feel so alive in a world where she’s otherwise slowly drowning. However, while Josh may be Hollywood royalty, he’s not actual royalty, and Adeline knows the King and his advisors will do everything in their power to keep them apart.
But Josh Jameson becomes the princess’s ultimate vice.
And although she bows to no one, she bows to him.
It’s Lauren Blakely, so it’s guaranteed in my eyes! Get ready for your next favorite romantic comedy, THE REAL DEAL!
April Hamilton wants you to know she hasn’t been on GigsForHire since that time she sold her futon after college. She doesn’t even spend that much time online. And even if she did, she would not be looking up personal ads. But going home alone for her family’s summer reunion is an invitation for every single relative to butt into her personal life. She simply can’t handle another blind date with the butcher, the baker or the candlestick maker from her hometown. So when she finds the GigsforHire ad for a boyfriend-for-hire, she’s ready to pay to play.
Heading Home and Need a Buffer? I’m the REAL DEAL.
Theo Banks has been running from the past for years. He’s this close to finally settling all his debts, and one more job as a boyfriend-for-hire will do the trick. He’s no gigolo. Please. He’s something of an actor, and he knows how to slip into any role, including pretending to be April’s new beau — the bad boy with the heart of gold.
Even if it means sleeping in close quarters in that tiny little bed in her parents’ inn. Even if it means spinning tales of a romance that starts to feel all too true. What neither one of them counts on is that amid the egg toss, the arm wrestling, and a fierce game of Lawn Twister that has them tangled up together, they might be feeling the real deal.
She only wanted to show her family once and for all that she had no need to settle down.
He didn’t expect to have the time of his life at her parent’s home.
They didn’t plan on loving every single second of the game.
But can a masterful game of pretend result in true love?
Colleen Hoover. That basically says it all. When Colleen Hoover releases a book, you can be sure it will be an amazing read, like every other book she has written. I just started and I’m HOOKED.
The #1 New York Times bestselling author of It Ends with Us—whose writing is “emotionally wrenching and utterly original” (Sarah Shepard, New York Times bestselling author of the Pretty Little Liars series)—delivers a tour de force novel about a troubled marriage and the one old forgotten promise that might be able to save it.
Quinn and Graham’s perfect love is threatened by their imperfect marriage. The memories, mistakes, and secrets that they have built up over the years are now tearing them apart. The one thing that could save them might also be the very thing that pushes their marriage beyond the point of repair.
All Your Perfects is a profound novel about a damaged couple whose potential future hinges on promises made in the past. This is a heartbreaking page-turner that asks: Can a resounding love with a perfect beginning survive a lifetime between two imperfect people?
I have read a few early reviews of this one, plus, it’s Vi-freaking-Keeland, so you know will it be good!
It was just a typical Monday.
Until the big boss asked me to make the pitch for a prospective new client.
After two years on shaky ground at work because of my screw up, an opportunity to impress the senior partners was just what I needed.
Or so I thought…
Until I walked into the conference room and collided with the man I was supposed to pitch.
My coffee spilled, my files tumbled to the ground, and I almost lost my balance.
And that was the good part of my day.
Because the gorgeous man crouched down and looking at me like he wanted to eat me alive, was none other than my ex, Gray Westbrook.
A man who I’d only just begun to move on from.
A man who my heart despised—yet my body obviously still had other ideas about.
A man who was as charismatic and confident as he was sexy.
Somehow, I managed to make it through my presentation ignoring his intense stare.
Although it was impossible to ignore all the dirty things he whispered into my ear right after I was done.
But there was no way I was giving him another chance, especially now that he was a client
If you are looking for a laugh-out-loud romcom filled with awkward moments, you came to the right place.
You’re ready to leave after a one-night stand, and you’re figuring out how to—shock horror—leave your number and ask him to be your fake boyfriend for your sister’s wedding this weekend.
When he wakes up.
Well, that happened to me. And over coffee and omelets, I found myself a date.
Which was how I ended up arriving at the wedding with a guy I knew nothing about.
I didn’t know his last name, or how we met, or how long we’d been dating. I didn’t know where he grew up, what he’d majored in in college, or how many siblings he had.
I sure as hell didn’t know he was Adam Winters, hotshot hockey player—and not only my father’s favorite player, but my little nephew’s freakin’ idol.
Which means I’m in trouble. Big, big trouble.
My mother is suspicious, my sister is bridezilla on crack, and my grandpa will tell anyone who’ll listen about his time in Amsterdam’s Red Light District.
I have to keep this up for four days, and then Adam and I can return to our regular lives, where we don’t have sex whenever we’re alone and my family aren’t interrogating him over his intentions with me.
At least, that’s the plan.
And we all know what happens to those.
Purchase Four Day Fling: Amazon
I am so excited for this one! The last 2 Kate Stewart books I read were 5++++ star reads, and this sounds just as good!
The first time I met Ian Kemp in the sparkling blue waters of St. Thomas, I was six years old and we shared a summer beneath the stars.
The second time I met Ian Kemp, he was a shell of the boy I once knew. Turbulent and infuriating, he refused my friendship at every turn. Like me, he was a casualty of life’s cruelty, but we were planets apart.
We’d both sought refuge on the island, hoping to find our anchor. Instead, we found each other and managed to reclaim our stars…until we both got swept away.
Purchase Someone Else’s Ocean: Amazon
While I am trying to keep this to standalones or series that release over the summer, I can’t leave off my most anticipated summer read, Wild Like The Wind by Kristen Ashley. Though almost all of her books can stand alone, they are better in order. You can find my full Guide to Kristen Ashley here.
The brother known as Hound has a reputation. He’s all about cracking heads, having a good time, and when the Chaos Motorcycle Club needs someone to do the tough job, they call on him.
But Hound has a secret. He fell in love with a woman years ago. She’s untouchable. Unattainable. And even when her status changes, for Hound, it remains the same.
Keely Black had it all early and lost it all not long after. Thrown into an abyss of loss and grief, she’s faced a life of raising two sons alone and battling the rage at all that had been ripped from them.
Words spoken in anger open Hound’s and Keely’s eyes. For Hound, he sees he’s wasted his life loving the wrong woman. Keely sees she’s wasting her life not opening herself to the love of a good man.
It’s Helena Hunting, I don’t even need another reason to add it here.
Is it love, or is she just his good luck charm? New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Helena Hunting brilliantly captures the hilarity and heartache of first love and second chances in her sexy new romantic comedy, The Good Luck Charm.
Lilah isn’t sure what hurt worse: the day Ethan left her to focus on his hockey career or the day he came back eight years later. He might think they can pick up just where they left off, but she’s no longer that same girl and never wants to be again.
Ethan wants his glory days back. And that includes having Lilah by his side. With her, he was magic. They were magic. All he has to do is make her see that.
Just when Lilah might finally be ready to let Ethan in, though, she finds out their reunion might have nothing to do with love and everything to do with improving his game. But Ethan’s already lost her once, and even if it costs him his career, he’ll do anything to keep from losing her again.
Purchase The Good Luck Charm on Amazon
Though not technically a romance, Good Luck With That is being marketed to romance readers. It seems like a great summer beach read about friendship and body image. I can’t wait to read this one, I am hoping maybe it will help me as well!
New York Times bestselling author Kristan Higgins is beloved for her heartfelt novels filled with humor and wisdom. Now, she tackles an issue every woman deals with: body image and self-acceptance.
Emerson, Georgia, and Marley have been best friends ever since they met at a weight-loss camp as teens. When Emerson tragically passes away, she leaves one final wish for her best friends: to conquer the fears they still carry as adults.
For each of them, that means something different. For Marley, it’s coming to terms with the survivor’s guilt she’s carried around since her twin sister’s death, which has left her blind to the real chance for romance in her life. For Georgia, it’s about learning to stop trying to live up to her mother’s and brother’s ridiculous standards, and learning to accept the love her ex-husband has tried to give her.
But as Marley and Georgia grow stronger, the real meaning of Emerson’s dying wish becomes truly clear: more than anything, she wanted her friends to love themselves.
A novel of compassion and insight, Good Luck With That tells the story of two women who learn to embrace themselves just the way they are.
The editorial reviews are great, and I expect no less from Kylie Scott It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time seems like a good idea to me!
Returning home for her father’s wedding was never going to be easy for Adele. If being sent away at eighteen hadn’t been bad enough, the mess she left behind when she made a pass at her dad’s business partner sure was.
Fifteen years older than her, Pete had been her crush for as long as she could remember. But she’d misread the situation—confusing friendliness for undying love. Awkward. Add her father to the misunderstanding, and Pete was left with a broken nose and a business on the edge of ruin. The man had to be just as glad as everyone else when she left town.
Seven years later, things are different. Adele is no longer a kid, but a fully grown adult more than capable of getting through the wedding and being polite. But all it takes is seeing him again to bring back those old feelings.
Sometimes first loves are the truest.
The New York Times Bestselling author of the On Dublin Street series and Play On returns to the world of the arts in this intense and emotional standalone romance about love, sacrifice, and surviving both. As Dust Dances releases August 7th.
Once upon a time Skylar Finch was the lead singer of a hugely successful American pop-rock band. But fame made her miserable. When years of living a lie suddenly ended in tragedy, Skylar fell off the map.
Eighteen months later she’s sleeping in a tent in a cemetery in Glasgow, making just enough money to eat by busking on the streets. She manages to avoid recognition, but not the attention of one of Glasgow’s ambitious A&R executives.
Killian O’Dea works at Skyscraper Records, Scotland’s most successful record label. Raised by his uncle and owner of the label, Killian’s upbringing would have been devoid of affection entirely if it wasn’t for his loving sister. Killian is unflinchingly determined to bring the label more success than ever, and the young homeless woman who busks on Buchanan Street is going to help him do that. Her music speaks to him in a way he refuses to over-analyze. All he knows is that if it can touch his dark soul, it’ll set everyone else’s alight.
Skylar makes it clear that she doesn’t want to sign with him. But when she experiences the dangerous reality of a woman sleeping rough, Skylar has no one else but Killian to turn to. An undeniable connection forms between them. But Skylar doesn’t want the career Killian is trying to forge for her, and when her past comes back to haunt her Killian will be faced with a decision that could ruin him. He must either free Skylar from his selfish machinations and destroy everything he’s ever worked for, or lose a woman who has come to mean more to him than he ever thought possible.
Purchase As Dust Dances by Samantha Young on Amazon
Lauren Blakely is one of my favorite authors and it looks like this one may be a bit more emotional than her others. I’m so excited to listen to this one!
From #1 New York Times bestseller Lauren Blakely comes a new standalone romance as you’ve never seen her before. Filled with raw emotion, heartbreak, hope and humor, UNBREAK MY HEART explores how to heal, how to live, and how to love.
I didn’t break her heart, and she didn’t break mine — we broke each other’s.
I never stopped loving her, but time and distance played its cruel role in ripping us apart three years ago when she moved halfway around the world. Now after all those endless miles away, she’s returned . . . but I’m not the guy I was before.
Beautiful, kind, and loving, she’s the same — my hope. The only one who can make a day better, who can make me feel again with one kiss, one touch, one night.
There’s so much I have to put back in place now that I’m alone and on my own. Things I never wanted at the age of twenty-five. When I receive an unexpected letter that might hold the clues to everything I desperately need to understand about my family, I’m sure I have to follow it. But that means leaving her once more.
She says she’ll come with me, and having her by my side will unbreak my heart . . . or destroy it.
That’s the chance I have to take.
From the national bestselling author of Before We Were Strangers, Swear on this Life, and Wish You Were Here comes a powerful story of two people who spend years denying their scientifically proven chemistry, Blind Kiss.
Penny spends her afternoons sitting outside a sandwich shop, surrounded by ghosts. Fourteen years ago, this shop was her childhood dance studio—and she was a dancer on the rise. Now she’s a suburban housewife, dreading the moment her son departs for MIT, leaving her with an impeccably decorated McMansion and a failing marriage. She had her chance at wild, stars-in-her-eyes happiness, but that was a lifetime ago. After The Kiss. Before The Decision.
The Kiss was soulful. Magical. Earth-shattering. And it was all for a free gift card. Asked to participate in a psych study that posed the question, “Can you have sexual chemistry without knowing what the other person looks like?” Penny agreed to be blindfolded, make polite conversation with a total stranger, and kiss him. She never expected The Kiss to change her life forever and introduce her to Gavin: tattooed, gorgeous, and spontaneous enough to ask her out seconds after the blindfolds came off.
For a year, they danced between friendship and romance—until Penny made The Decision that forced them to settle for friendship. Now, fourteen years later, both of their lives are about to radically change—and it’s his turn to decide what will become of their once-in-a-lifetime connection.
I love getting in on the first in a new series! And if it’s Kristen Proby, you know it will be good!
In New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kristen Proby’s brand new Romancing Manhattan series, three brothers get more than they bargain for as they practice law, balance life, and navigate love in and around New York City. This first in the series is All The Way.
Finn Cavanaugh is known for being a force to be reckoned with in the courtroom. He owns a successful law firm with his brother and brother-in-law in Manhattan. On the rare occasion that he has down time, he spends it at his home in Martha’s Vineyard. But when Finn’s troubled niece goes to stay with him for the summer in Martha’s Vineyard, he’s reluctant to take time off from work. That is, until he meets his beautiful new neighbor, London.
London Watson is a Tony Award winning actress on Broadway. When tragedy strikes her family, leaving her alone and injured, she flees Manhattan for Martha’s Vineyard. Hoping she can figure out how to pick up the pieces of her life, London is convinced that she’ll never be able to return to the stage. But when she meets the charming young girl next door and her sexy uncle, they soon lure London out of her shell as she finally begins to heal from the wounds of her past.
But when London feels confident enough to return to the spotlight, she’s dealt another devastating blow. Will the newfound love between London and Finn be enough to conquer all? Or will it be over before it has a chance to grow…?
There are so many books I had to choose from (I tried to keep to a dozen!). And these are what I came up with for this summer’s top Beach Reads. I KNOW I am missing a few. I KNOW a few AMAZING books will pop up and surprise me. But these are, for now, the Top Summer Beach Reads that if I have the time, I plan to read all of.
Tell me, What is the book you are most excited for this summer?