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Looking for some fresh and exciting beach romance books to dive into this year? Well, look no further because I’ve got you covered with a handpicked list of the best beach romance books to check out in 2023.
I know many of you probably have a long list of good books from popular authors like Taylor Jenkins Reid or Christina Lauren. While they’re fantastic, sometimes it’s refreshing to discover underrated gems that deserve more love. That’s why I’ve made sure to include some hidden treasures in this list.
Best books set in summer with sandy shores, and heartwarming love connections that will make your beach days even more.
So grab your sunscreen, flip-flops, and a cool drink, and get ready to discover the best beach romance books to read in 2023.
Beach Read by Emily Henry
- The New York Times Book Review’s Summer Romance Reads
- Entertainment Weekly’s Hottest Summer Reads of 2020
- Oprah Magazine’s Best Beach Reads of Summer 2020
- Betches’ 20 Books to Read in 2020
- SheReads’ Most Anticipated Books of Summer 2020
- Goodreads’ Big Books of Spring
- Popsugar’s 25 Exciting New Books Coming Out in May
- Bustle’s Most Anticipated May Titles
- Shondaland’s Five Books to Read in May
- TheSkimm’s 11 Buzzy Books for Your Imaginary Beach Bag
- Good Morning America’s 25 Novels You’ll Want to Read this Summer
- The New York Post’s Required Reading
- Good Housekeeping’s 25 Best Beach Reads
- Huffington Post’s Best Books to Read During Quarantine
- CNN’s Perfect Summer Reads
- LitHub’s Ultimate Summer 2020 Reading List
- BookRiot’s 6 Captivating New Books
- Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Best Romance (2020)
The first book on the list has to be from the Queen of Beach romances, right? Whether it’s beach romances of second chances or enemies to lovers, Emily Henry‘s novels are the best books that everyone wants to read.
In Beach Read two polar opposites find themselves sharing neighboring beach houses for the summer.
Augustus Everett, an acclaimed literary fiction author, and January Andrews, a bestselling romance writer, couldn’t be more different. While Augustus prefers somber tales, January specializes in happily ever afters.
Facing writer’s block and financial struggles, they decide the only thing possible, they strike a deal. Augustus will venture into writing something uplifting, while January tackles the Great American Novel.
As they immerse themselves in their writing, their lives become intertwined in unexpected ways. Augustus joins January on rom-com-inspired escapades, while she accompanies him on interviews with a backwoods death cult.
Beach Read is a witty, and swoony beach romance book that without a doubt, everyone should read. If you liked Sally Thorne’s The Hating Game or Christina Lauren’s The Unhoneymooners, you’ll fall in love with January and Gus.
Other Birds by Sarah Addison Allen
- The New York Times Bestseller
- Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Best Fiction (2022)
Other Birds is a beach town romance book that blends magical realism and profound love.
The story starts with The Dellawisp, an extraordinary cobblestone building nestled off the coast of South Carolina. Its horseshoe shape mirrors the mysteries that unfold within its walls, where both humans and tiny turquoise birds coexist in a shroud of magical secrecy.
Enter Zoey, who arrives on Mallow Island to claim her late mother’s apartment at The Dellawisp. There, she encounters a cast of eccentric and enigmatic neighbors. There is a young woman with a hidden past, two estranged sisters, a solitary chef, and even three lingering ghosts.
When a tragic event shakes the community, Zoey is thrust into the mystery of The Dellawisp. which involves missing pages from a legendary writer whose work might be hidden there. Other Birds is filled with whimsical, poetic language. A perfect novel to read by the beach and captures the essence of summer.
Mrs. Nash’s Ashes by Sarah Adler
- A Most Anticipated Summer Read by Today, Barnes & Noble, BookRiot, GoodReads, Cultures
Mrs. Nash’s Ashes by Sarah Adler, is among the highly anticipated new books by GoodReads, Cultures, and is already receiving rave reviews.
It’s an intertwining story of a starry-eyed romantic, a cynical writer, and the ashes of an elderly woman. Millicent Watts-Cohen is on a mission to fulfill her promise to her dear friend—to reunite her with the love of her life from eighty years ago. With Mrs. Nash’s remains tucked away in her backpack, Millie embarks on a journey from D.C. to Key West, seeking a symbolic happily-ever-after that transcends time.
Unexpectedly, Millie finds herself joined by Hollis Hollenbeck, an acquaintance from her ex’s MFA program. Hollis is a firm skeptic when it comes to love. But as they navigate peculiar bed-and-breakfasts, quirky small-town festivals, and encounters with deer on the brink of disaster, Millie begins to sense that Hollis may be more invested in their journey than he lets on.
Amidst the picturesque backdrop of a beach romance, Mrs. Nash’s Ashes will captivate you with its blend of humor, poignant moments, and a touch of magic that will leave you believing in the power of true love.
Meet Me in Paradise by Libby Hubscher
Marin Cole has always played it safe. She’s never seen the vastness of the ocean, never climbed a majestic mountain, and never taken a risk on love. But all of that might change if her sister’s audacious plan actually works.
Since their mother’s death Marin has been trapped within the confines of her fear and routine. Meanwhile, her adventurous younger sister, Sadie, has embraced a nomadic life. When Sadie returns from a challenging assignment, she proposes a sisters’ spa weekend in the tropical paradise of Saba. Reluctantly, Marin agrees, only to face a series of mishaps—missing the flight, luggage mix-up, and a turbulent flight.
For the first time in a long time, Marin finds herself thrust into a world of uncertainty. Meet Me in Paradise is a fun beach romance book for adults with heartfelt moments, stunning scenery, and a powerful exploration of sisterhood.
It’s that kind of book that will inspire you to get out of your comfort zone and explore the world.
Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult
- New York Times bestseller
- Named one of the best books of the year by She Reads
Jodi Picoult is hands down one of my favorite writers. Whether it’s The Storyteller or Leaving Time her novels never fail to surprise me and make me think deeply. That’s why I couldn’t resist including her 2021 novel Wish You Were Here, to the list of the best beach romance novels.
Set in the Galápagos Islands, this novel is perfect for beach reading because it combines romance with thought-provoking themes that keep you hooked from beginning to end.
We follow Diana O’Toole who knows she is right on track with her life. She has a great job and a fabulous boyfriend who is about to propose on their romantic getaway to the Galápagos. But then a virus emerges challenging everything. Diana finds herself marooned on the island. Cut off from the world, she must leave the familiar shores of her comfort zone and explore uncharted territories.
With the backdrop of turquoise waters and sandy beaches, Wish You Were Here reminds us we have the power to create our own sunshine and emerge stronger.
On Fire Island by Jane L. Rosen
From the author of A Shoe Story comes a sparkling and surprising tale set on Fire Island, where a book editor embraces one last summer that will leave an indelible mark on her loved ones and herself.
Julia Morse has always been immersed in stories. But she never anticipated that her own story would take an unexpected turn. The unimaginable happens when Julia passes away at the young age of thirty-seven. Rather than journeying toward the light at the end of the tunnel, she chooses to spend her final summer in the company of those she holds dear.
On Fire Island, you join Julia as she follows her adoring husband, Ben, to their unexpectedly bustling home on Fire Island. In this captivating tale, Julia discovers the profound impact her life has had on the lives of those around her.
This is a funny and lighthearted beach romance novel that is an absolute must for your beach bag. The novel pays homage to the stories that surround us and celebrates the most powerful forms of love.
The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
When it comes to beach reads, Nicholas Sparks novels are in a league of their own. With their captivating storytelling and emotionally charged narratives, they are the perfect companions for lazy days on the sand.
So, if you’re looking for a book to bring with you to the beach, can’t go wrong with Sparks’ classic novel, The Notebook set on the North Carolina coast, the novel that will whisk you away to a world of love, memories, and the power of a summer romance.
Noah Calhoun is a country boy who’s just returned from World War II, and he’s dedicating himself to restoring a beautiful old plantation home. But there’s something haunting him—memories of a girl he fell madly in love with years ago. He can’t find her, but he can’t forget her either.
Noah and Allie’s tale is like a mind-bending puzzle that keeps you guessing. As their story unravels, it transforms into something even more profound, with higher stakes than you can imagine. Brace yourself for a heart-wrenching exploration of love itself—the tender moments, the transformative power, and the way it touches every single one of us.
A Drop in the Ocean by Jenni Ogden
In A Drop in the Ocean, Anna Fergusson’s life takes an unexpected turn on her 49th birthday. Faced with the loss of her research funding and feeling uncertain about her future, she decides to escape to a cabin on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. However, her peaceful retreat on Turtle Island turns out to be anything but what she anticipated.
Amidst the vibrant presence of sea birds and nesting Green turtles, Anna discovers a newfound love—for the quirky islanders for Tom, the laid-back turtle whisperer. And even for the remarkable turtles themselves, whose ancient instincts move her deeply. But even in this idyllic paradise, Anna realizes that life is easy.
The best part about this summer beach romance book is its breathtaking setting and heartfelt storytelling.
There is no question that A Drop in the Ocean is a perfect beach companion that will transport you to the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef.
Summer Reading by Jenn McKinlay
Next, we have New York Times bestselling author Jenn McKinlay’s delightful romantic comedy set on a scenic island.
When Samantha Gale, a self-professed non-reader, crosses paths with a captivating bookworm, their encounter ignites a scorching hot-summer affair.
Samantha had envisioned her summer on Martha’s Vineyard as a chance to revive her culinary career. Little did she know that her plans would take an unexpected turn when she becomes responsible for chaperoning her brainiac half-brother, Tyler, who is participating in a robotics competition at the local library. Unfortunately for Sam, the library is the last place she wants to be, as she struggles with dyslexia. And to make matters worse, the interim director of the library happens to be the attractive guy she accidentally ruined a book for during their ferry ride to the island.
Bennett Reynolds is taking a temporary job on the island while searching for his father.
As a magnetic connection forms between them, Ben inspires Sam to pursue her lifelong dream of creating a cookbook, while she wholeheartedly supports him in his quest to find his father.
With an irresistible blend of passion, laughter, and heartwarming moments, Summer Reading is the kind of beachy book you want to read while lounging on the sand or relaxing under a beach umbrella.
The Hotel by the Bay by Melissa Hill
Escape to a picturesque coastal retreat with The Hotel by the Bay” by Melissa Hill, a USA Today bestselling author.
Perched atop a cliff overlooking the breathtaking coastline, The Bay Hotel was once the beating heart of Mulberry Bay. Managed by the beloved landlady Anna and owned by the Harte family. For sisters Eleanor and Penny, The Bay Hotel was not only a thriving business but also a cherished home. While Penny still resides nearby, it has been years since Eleanor set foot in the place she once called home. However, a family tragedy compels her to return and confront the life she left behind.
The Hotel by the Bay is a perfect beach romance for the fans of authors like Elin Hilderbrand and Robyn Carr. This deliciously captivating narrative will keep you eagerly turning the pages.
The Reef by Nora Roberts
New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts takes readers on a journey where passion and suspense intertwine against the backdrop of crystal-clear waters and sun-kissed beaches.
The Reef is a thrilling adventure of love, treasure, and danger in the Caribbean.
Meet Tate Beaumont, a spirited marine archaeologist driven by her insatiable thirst for treasure. She and her father have unearthed countless riches over the years, except one Angelique’s Curse—a legendary jeweled amulet steeped in history. Determined to find this priceless artifact, the Beaumonts reluctantly join forces with salvagers Buck and Matthew Lassiter.
As the Beaumonts and Lassiters combine their skills and resources to track down Angelique’s Curse, the Caribbean waters become a treacherous playground of deception and hidden threats.
The Reef weaves together an irresistible blend of adventure, mystery, and romance that will keep you hooked from start to finish. The vivid descriptions of the Caribbean landscape transport you to sandy shores, azure waters, and lush tropical beauty.
It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey
Tessa Bailey’s beach town romance novel is the perfect companion for your seaside getaway as it will have you laughing, swooning, and rooting for love.
It Happened One Summer follows the adventures of Piper Bellinger, a fashionable and influential socialite whose wild reputation has landed her in trouble one too many times.
After a rooftop party goes wrong, Piper’s stepfather decides it’s time for her to learn some responsibility. He cuts her off from her lavish lifestyle and sends her, along with her sister, to run their late father’s dive bar in the small town of Westport, Washington. Piper is determined to prove herself and show everyone, including the rugged and skeptical local, Brendan, that she’s more than just a pretty face.
Tessa Bailey delivers a steamy beach read filled with witty banter, unexpected romance, and the perfect blend of small-town charm and big emotions.
Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan
Little Beach Street Bakery is a heartfelt journey of Polly Waterford who finds herself living above an abandoned shop in a sleepy seaside resort in Cornwall.
After escaping from a toxic relationship, Polly decides to move far away from everyone she knows and seeks solace in her passion for baking bread. What starts as a simple hobby quickly becomes a therapeutic outlet as she pours her emotions into the dough, creating loaf after delicious loaf. From nut-filled bread to savory loaves with olives and chorizo, Polly’s unique and mouthwatering recipes capture the attention of the locals.
Jenny Colgan’s novel is my favorite book from the book list. She is also one of my favorite British chick-lit authors for this very reason. If you’re looking for a moving, funny, and unforgettable romance novel set in a small beachy town, get your hands on Little Beach Street Bakery.
Sullivan’s Island by Dorothea Benton Frank
Set against the backdrop of South Carolina’s steamy and stormy landscape, Sullivan’s Island is an unforgettable story that follows the courageous journey of Susan Hayes as she confronts her past and seeks the truth.
Growing up on the picturesque Sullivan’s Island, Susan Hayes learned to navigate her challenging childhood with her trademark humor, spunk, and Southern sass. However, as an adult, she finds herself in a complex and tumultuous situation. Her husband’s infidelity, a sometimes resentful teenage daughter, and a heart burdened with bittersweet memories leave her feeling conflicted.
Yearning for clarity and resolution, Susan embarks on a transformative journey back to her roots. Returning to the beachfront house where her sister eagerly awaits her, she finds solace in the familiar embrace of her childhood sanctuary. Prepare to be swept away by this great beach book.
The evocative beauty of South Carolina’s coastal charm as you join Susan on her quest for truth, healing, and a place to truly call home.
Beach Haven by T.I. Lowe
Beach Haven is a heartwarming beach romance set in the picturesque coastal town of Sunset Cove. The protagonist Opal Gilbert, is a spirited and free-spirited woman whose life revolves around her charming boutique, Bless This Mess.
It’s where she lovingly refurbishes vintage furniture. Opal seems content with her happy existence, until one day, Lincoln Cole, a troubled ex-Marine walks into her shop.
Opal’s keen intuition tells her that Lincoln is in need of help, and she extends an offer of employment in her workshop. However, Lincoln rejects it. But little does he know that fate has other plans in store for them.
When a powerful hurricane strikes Sunset Cove, Bless This Mess suffers severe damage. Overwhelmed with guilt for his earlier dismissive behavior, Lincoln feels compelled to lend a helping hand to Opal. As they work side by side, a bond begins to form, and Opal’s genuine kindness and well-intentioned meddling slowly start to mend the wounds that have haunted Lincoln for far too long.
Beach Haven is the perfect escape that will warm your heart and leave you yearning for the serenity of a beachside retreat.
Sixteenth Summer by Michelle Dalton
Sixteenth Summer takes you to the tourist-filled Dune Island, where the main character Anna is yearning for something new this summer.
Little does she know that this summer will be unlike any other when she crosses paths with Will, a charming and irresistible visitor from New York.
From the moment their eyes meet, Anna’s world is transformed. The days become a whirlwind of flirtation, shared laughter, and stolen moments of pure bliss. Every beach outing, ice cream date, and adventure with friends becomes a chapter in their enchanting love story. Anna falls deeply and passionately in love, cherishing each precious moment spent with Will.
Yet, as the summer days melt away, Anna can’t escape the looming reality that their time together is limited. How can she hold onto a love that seems destined to slip through her fingers?
Sixteenth Summer is a beautiful young adult romance novel that is reminiscent of the vulnerability of first love. It’s a feel-good summer love story you might want to read again and again.
A Week at the Shore by Barbara Delinsky
In the compelling novel, A Week at the Shore by Barbara Delinsky, the complexities of family, love, and the power of memory take center stage. Mallory Aldiss, a successful real estate photographer, receives a life-altering phone call that draws her back to her family’s beach house in Rhode Island. It has been two decades since she last set foot in the place that shattered relationships, and long-kept secrets.
As Mallory returns to her childhood home, she is accompanied by her thirteen-year-old daughter, Joy, who yearns to connect with the family she never truly knew. Fatherless and seeking a sense of belonging, Joy is eager to spend time with her estranged grandfather and uncover the roots of her own identity.
Prepare to be immersed in the emotional landscape of family dynamics as you join Mallory.
The Island by Victoria Hislop
I don’t know about you, but there’s something incredibly captivating about historical fiction summer reads. They possess the extraordinary ability to whisk you away to unfamiliar lands, immersing you in their narratives.
The Island by Victoria Hislop is one such novel that transports you to the enchanting island of Crete.
We follow the journey of Alexis Fielding, a young woman on a quest to uncover the secrets of her mother’s past. Alexis has always been intrigued by her mother Sofia’s enigmatic silence about her early life in a small Cretan village before moving to London.
Determined to unravel the truth, Alexis decides to embark on a trip to Crete, setting in motion a chain of events that will change her life forever.
The Island takes readers on a richly atmospheric and emotionally charged journey, weaving together past and present, love and loss, and the enduring power of family bonds. So get ready for a gripping and evocative tale that will take you to the sun-drenched landscapes of Crete.
Barefoot by Elin Hilderbrand
If there’s a single author that readers are eagerly anticipating indulging in this summer, it’s Elin Hilderbrand. Whether The Hotel Nantucket or Golden Girl, her novels are the essence of a perfect summer vacation. They transport readers to idyllic settings and narrate enchanting tales that capture the true spirit of the season.
So for this beach romance booklist, I have chosen Barefoot. It’s the story of three women who find solace and healing amidst the challenges they face in their lives. And just like other novels, the story takes place on the picturesque island of Nantucket.
The story follows Vicki, Brenda, and Melanie each arriving on Nantucket burdened with their own personal struggles. Vicki is grappling with the news of a serious illness. Brenda has recently left her job after being involved in an affair with a student, and she is trying to rebuild her life and navigate the consequences of her actions. Melanie is finally pregnant after multiple failed attempts at in vitro fertilization. But discovers her husband’s infidelity. As these women gather on Nantucket, they hope to find respite from their troubles and enjoy the tranquility of the island.
Barefoot is a compelling and bittersweet novel with a blend of humor, heartache, and poignant storytelling.
The Beach Reads Book Club by Kathryn Freeman
When Lottie Watt is thrown out of her conventional book club, she decides to create one of her own. Her book club is all about lively conversations, gin, and cake take precedence over actually having read the book!
The Beach Reads Book Club finds a perfect meeting place at Books by the Bay, a charming bookshop and café owned by the handsome and brooding Matthew Steele. As the book club discussions heat up, so does the undeniable chemistry between Matt and Lottie. Their connection grows stronger as they share their love for literature.
The Beach Reads Book Club is a lighthearted beach romance with witty banter, endearing characters, and a backdrop of a charming bookshop by the sea.
A Cottage By The Sea by Carole Matthews
Carole Matthews’ books always bring a smile to my face. All of her novels are popular chick lit books that take you on a heartwarming journey of friendship, love, and family.
A Cottage By The Sea follows three best friends who reunite for a week in a cozy cottage in South Wales. Grace, Ella, and Flick have shared a deep bond since their university days, but as they enter their thirties, the demands of life have made their time together scarce. When Ella invites them for a much-needed getaway, Grace eagerly accepts, hoping to reconnect not only with her friends but also with her husband, Harry.
A Cottage by the Sea is a sweet immersive beach novel that is perfect for fans of Milly Johnson, Cathy Bramley, and Sarah Morgan.
Float Plan by Trish Doller
Trish Doller’s sensational Float Plan is an irresistible novel that takes you on an emotional and romantic voyage.
Meet Anna, a woman who has been shipwrecked by grief since the loss of her fiancé. Just when she feels adrift in her sorrow, a reminder about the trip they were supposed to take together ignites a spark within her. Without hesitation, Anna decides to set sail on their sailboat, determined to complete the voyage on her own.
However, the challenges of the open water soon prove too daunting for Anna to face alone. So she decides to hire Keane, a professional sailor. Much like Anna, he is also grappling with a future that deviates from his original plans. As they navigate treacherous waters together, a powerful connection begins to form.
Float Plan is an ideal companion for your beach escapades, providing an engrossing and fulfilling reading experience that will leave you yearning for more.
One Night on the Island by Josie Silver
Cleo, a dating columnist seeking rejuvenation, finds herself on a remote Irish island for a self-imposed sabbatical. Meanwhile, Mac, in search of solace and self-discovery, arrives on the same island. However, a booking mix-up forces them to share a one-bedroom cabin, sparking an instant clash of personalities.
Initially, at odds, Cleo and Mac must find a way to coexist until the next ferry arrives. As the days pass, their animosity slowly transforms into something unexpected. Set on an idyllic Irish island, One Night on the Island is an absorbing journey that will leave you with a renewed appreciation for the joy of escaping.
The Royals Next Door by Karina Halle
- One of PopSugar’s Top Summer Reads of 2021
Get ready for a summer full of unexpected twists and royal intrigue in the latest novel from bestselling author Karina Halle.
Piper Evans leads a quiet and solitary life as an elementary school teacher by day and a secret romance podcaster by night. She’s content with her routine, caring for her mother and avoiding her ex, until British royals, accompanied by their dashing bodyguard, move in next door.
Piper’s peaceful existence is shattered as the media descends upon the island. What starts as a fairy tale for others becomes a nightmare for Piper. As a royal scandal rocks the island, Piper finds herself caught in the midst of it all.
The Royals Next Door is a beach escape like no other, where love, loyalty, and self-discovery intertwine.
On The Island by Tracy Garvis
On The Island is an unforgettable journey of survival, hope, and unexpected love in the captivating novel set against the breathtaking backdrop of the Maldives.
When English teacher Anna Emerson is offered the opportunity to tutor T.J. at his family’s summer rental, she eagerly embraces the chance to escape to a tropical paradise. For seventeen-year-old T.J., who is in remission from cancer, spending the summer with his family is far from ideal.
During a fateful seaplane ride, tragedy strikes as their pilot succumbs to a fatal heart attack, leaving Anna and T.J. stranded in the vast Indian Ocean. With only life jackets to cling to, they manage to reach the shores of an uninhabited island.
Now faced with the challenge of survival, they must work together to find water, food, and shelter, and overcome the various threats lurking in the unforgiving environment.
Top 3 Beach Romance Books
To conclude the list of best beach-themed romance books, here are The Creative Muggle’s 3 favorite books.