I did it! I finished the nine books on my Summer Beach Books list. Before you read my reviews, check out the list and their synopses here.
When I started this blog, I thought I would do more book reviews than I have. I have always been a big reader so this blog seemed like the perfect way to share what I read. However, I never reviewed books before. It is a little intimidating to me, but here I am giving it a shot. I hope as I read and review more, I get a little better. Enjoy!
I should add a little disclaimer: I loved a lot of these books, but I expected to. These books are by some of my favorite authors. I have been looking forward to their books since last summer.
My ratings range from ☀️ = not my favorite to ☀️ ☀️ ☀️ ☀️ ☀️ = I love this book, run to your local bookstore and read it!
Sunburn by Laura Lippman ☀️ ☀️ ☀️ ☀️ ☀️
I really enjoyed Sunburn. The story takes place in a small, fictional town in Delaware. I felt like I had actually driven through the town on one of our drives to the beach each summer. I read quite of few of Laura Lippman’s books, but this mystery was much darker than the others. I love that the characters took a few trips to Baltimore and I knew exactly where they were. It kept me guessing until the very end. Though this book takes place in an east coast town, I wouldn’t call it a beach book. I do recommend it to anyone looking for a mystery that won’t give them nightmares.
A Nantucket Wedding by Nancy Thayer ☀️ ☀️ ☀️ ☀️
I loved heading to Nantucket for a wedding. Alison is getting married this summer and is excited to have her grown children join her on Nantucket at her fiancé’s beach house as much as possible. David, her fiancé, is also encouraging his grown children to join them at the beach house so they can all get to know each other. All four adult children are trying to navigate their parents’ wedding and new lives together. Of course there is some good family drama, laughs, and disappointments all set with beautiful Nantucket in the background. I highly recommend it!
The Secret to Southern Charm by Kristy Woodson Harvey ☀️ ☀️ ☀️ ☀️ ☀️
I was so excited to head back to Peachtree Bluff with Ansley and her three daughters. Before I continue, don’t read this book until you read Caroline’s story in Slightly South of Simple. It will make sense, but the book will be so much better after you’ve read the first one in the series. This book focuses on Sloane’s journey after she finds out her husband is MIA in Afghanistan. It continues the great story of how sisters come together to get through any situation. Sometimes they solve the problem for each other, give each other time to heal, or simply tell them it’s time to get up and get things done. I love the tender way the sisters care for each other, their mother, and their children. I am anxiously awaiting Emerson’s story and returning to Peachtree Bluff. You must read this book (after you read the first one)!
The High Tide Club By Mary Kay Andrews ☀️ ☀️ ☀️ ☀️ ☀️
Mary Kay Andrews is one of my favorite authors to read and to hear talk about her books and adventures. The High Tide Club was one of my favorites that she has written. I was captivated by Talisa Island and Joesphine Bettendorf Warrick’s life on the island. Josephine has quite a few secrets that she would like to make amends with the heirs of her closest childhood friends. She contacts attorney Brooke to help her with this task. Little does Brooke know she is somehow involved in the secrets that Josephine has been holding on to. The story gets its name, The High Tide Club, from the group of full moon skinny dippers consisting of Josephine and her childhood friends. Mary Kay Andrews has kept me guessing until the end of the book and I loved this tale of old friends, new friends, forgiveness, and a beautiful southern barrier island. *Thank you to Netgalley for my copy of this book. My opinions are all my own.*
By Invitation Only by Dorothea Benton Frank ☀️ ☀️ ☀️ ☀️ ☀️
I have very high expectations for Dorothea Benton Frank’s books. She has written some of my favorites. This book did not disappoint. I love to read about the Lowcountry of South Carolina and Dorothea brings it to life in this book. You can see the peach orchard, taste the delicious peach iced tea, and feel the warm sunshine on your face while you read about the groom Frederick’s family and their home. Shelby’s family is a wealthy Chicago family who places a lot of importance on how they are perceived. When the story heads to Chicago for an engagement party and wedding, picturing the southerners in the freezing cold, snowy, January weather made me giggle. The twists and turns of the families, their businesses, and love kept me entertained until the very last page. Go read this book, and any other Dorothea Benton Frank book you can get your hands on.
Beach House Reunion By Mary Alice Monroe ☀️ ☀️ ☀️ ☀️
I love revisiting the Rutledge family! I am a series reader and heading back to Lovie’s beloved Primrose Cottage is the perfect vacation. Mary Alice Monroe’s love of sea turtles and Isle of Palms is so evident in this story where I learn as much as I enjoy the story. Linnea Rutledge, Lovie’s granddaughter, joins Cara in Beach House Reunion. Cara is coming home to raise her daughter Hope and has to confront the memories of her widow Brett. Linnea joins her while trying to figure out what to do with her life after college. Together, they rejoin the Turtle Team, reunite with old friends, and maybe find love. Beach House Reunion is the perfect way to continue the series.
Best Beach Ever by Wendy Wax ☀️ ☀️ ☀️
I was excited to revisit the ladies I first met in Ten Beach Road. As I was reading, I noticed there were a few things I didn’t quite get and realized that I missed number 5 in the series. So, I would recommend reading them all in order. In this story the ladies aren’t actually renovating a property. It is the story of them working on themselves. Maddie is trying to figure out how to relax and enjoy her time. Avery is trying to figure out if she is ready to love. Kyra is still trying to figure out how to be the mother of a movie star’s child, raise him to be a great kid, and what she wants to do now that they aren’t renovating. Nikki is trying to figure out how to be a mom to infant twins at 47 and not lose herself. I love to read series and see what happens to the characters as time passes. I enjoyed seeing how the characters are changing and tackling life’s challenges, but there were some points in the book where I was like “Come on. Make the right choice character!”. If you’ve read the others, I’d say keep reading. But definitely don’t start with this one. *Thank you to Netgalley for my copy of this book. My opinions are all my own.*
The Ever After By Sarah Pekkanan ☀️ ☀️ ☀️
After hearing Sarah Pekkanan talk about this book, my hopes were high and so were my nerves. Sarah described the couple as a husband downstairs watching sports and the wife upstairs reading her book in bed. Kourtni and I looked at each other when she said that and said, “Oh my goodness, that’s us!” Luckily, the couple in the story is not us. I had high hopes because Sarah was an investigative journalist and this is the story of the wife investigating her affair. She also wrote The Wife Between Us which is AMAZING, as in go read it now! To be honest, I felt a little let down. At the book talk, Sarah said she wrote the book in a week and it felt like that. There wasn’t as much investigating as I was hoping for and I got a little tired of the wife’s whining. I enjoyed all of her other books, but this one wasn’t for me.
Dreams of Falling By Karen White ☀️ ☀️ ☀️ ☀️ ☀️
The is book was AMAZING!! I loved every minute of it. The story goes back and forth between the 1950s and 2010. It is a story of friendship, love, and rediscovering oneself. Ceecee, Bitty, and Margaret are a trio of close friends that have been through it all, love, death, babies, vacations, hurricanes, and fires. Ceecee is the caretaker of all the women in the story. She has put her friends’ needs ahead of her own for decades, is a mother, and helped to raise her granddaughter Larkin. Larkin comes back to Georgetown, South Carolina after her mother is gravely injured. The lowcountry of South Carolina’s coast is the perfect setting for discovering family secrets, searching for the truth, and learning just how much love friends that become family can share. This is one of my favorite books of the year! *Thank you to Netgalley for my copy of this book. My opinions are all my own.*
The Perfect Couple By Elin Hilderbrand ☀️ ☀️ ☀️ ☀️ ☀️
Elin Hilderbrand has done it again! Her story set on the beautiful island of Nantucket kept me guessing from page one. Through the murder mystery, you learn just how many secrets each member of the family is hiding. Elin brings back some of my favorite Nantucket residents in this story. I absolutely love when authors do that! I am so sad that this is one of Elin’s last 7 books, but she is truly saving the best for last! Enjoy! *Thank you to Netgalley for my copy of this book. My opinions are all my own.*
I’m still reading some great beach books this summer. If you’d like to see what else I’ve been reading, check out my 2018 list. If you’re looking for other great summer authors, try Hannah McKinnon, Shelley Noble, or Orly Konig. I am excited to meet Beatriz Williams next week and get my copy of The Summer Wives.
Keep reading! I’d love to hear any other beach books you love!
☀️ 📚 😎