Summer is the best time to cozy up with the best beach reads worth reading. If you’re looking for some books to read at the beach that are also a bit steamy, these are the beach reads to fall in love with this summer.
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If I start to second guess whether I should plan a trip to the beach in the summer, I just have to take a look at this book list and remember that yes, yes I do!
These beach reads are what summer is all about and what I want to experience each and every year.
I want to lounge on a comfy chair, dig my feet in the sand or surf and settle in with a book that is absolutely perfect for reading on the beach.
What Makes a Book a Great Beach Read?
Preferences on what makes a great beach read probably differ from person to person but for me, a great beach read is one that whisks me away to a beautiful summer destination.
Hawaii, the Outer Banks, a tropical island – it really doesn’t matter as long as there is sand, sun, and a beautiful beach that I can imagine myself on.
A great beach read for me is also an epic love story that just captures my heart, maybe tears it up a bit, and sews it back together with a perfect happy ending.
These are some of the best beach reads worth reading and I hope you enjoy them.
If you need to fill your beach bag with even more books, be sure to check out these book lists as well:
- Best Books About Summer Romance
- Romance Books That Inspire Travel
- Best Summer Reads of 2023
- Hottest Summer Reads for 2022
- The Best Summer Reads of 2021
- The Hottest Romance Books Releasing Summer of 2020
Don’t forget to also stock up on the hottest summer gifts for readers before heading out to the beach!
The Best Beach Reads to Fall in Love With
Persephone Fraser hasn’t been home in a decade but one phone call has her racing back to Barry’s Bay and into the orbit of Sam Florek—the man she never thought she’d have to live without.
For six summers, Percy and Sam had been inseparable. Eventually, that friendship turned into something breathtakingly more, before it fell spectacularly apart.
When Percy returns to the lake for Sam’s mother’s funeral, their connection is as undeniable as it had always been.
But until Percy can confront the decisions she made and the years she’s spent punishing herself for them, they’ll never know whether their love might be bigger than the biggest mistakes of their past.
What makes this a perfect beach read: This story is told over the course of six summers and one weekend while delivering an epic love story that’s been years in the making.
Stories with flashbacks to summers past seem to be quite the trend and I’m all for it with this debut novel which was one of 2022’s most popular. It’s also a great pick if you like books about summer romance.
Alex and Poppy have been the best of friends ever since a fateful car share home from college many years ago.
Despite being complete opposites and living far apart, every summer they have vacationed for a week together until two years ago when things were ruined.
Not having spoken since, Poppy realizes she needs to fix things and asks Alex to take one more vacation with her so that they can lay everything out on the table and make it right.
What makes this a perfect beach read: This book was 2021’s mega-hit and gives a similar story about two friends who traveled together every summer until the fateful trip that ended the tradition.
Alternating between flashbacks to past summers spent visiting exotic locations and the present where Alex and Poppy find themselves reconnecting for one more vacation, this book just captured me from the start.
Emily Henry is not only a fantastic writer but she’s a go-to for the best beach reads every year!
Piper Bellinger may be a fashionable influencer, but when her wild child reputation goes a bit too far and lands her in the slammer, her stepfather cuts her off.
Hoping to teach her a lesson, he sends her off to Washington to run her late father’s dive bar where she meets a big surly sea captain who instantly knows she doesn’t belong in their small town.
Brendan figures Piper won’t last a week outside of Beverly Hills even if there is an undeniable attraction between the two opposites.
Piper is determined to prove everyone wrong and can’t risk any distractions, including the feelings she’s beginning to have for the sailor.
What makes this a perfect beach read: Sometimes you just want to read a book that makes you smile the entire time and this one will definitely have you grinning from ear to ear.
I loved how Bailey based Tessa off of Alexis from Schitt’s Creek and made her such a lovable character.
Get swept away to the Washington coast with a grumpy sea captain and the perfect small-town romance. Read My Review of It Happened One Summer.
Gracelyn is on a self-imposed man ban having had her heart broken by three men in her life.
Her heart is even more shattered by the loss of her brother and his wife, leaving her as the guardian to her ten-year-old nephew, Gabe.
Moving into a house on the beach in San Diego, she meets her neighbor, single dad, Nathaniel who’s had his own heart broken more than once.
What makes this a perfect beach read: Jewel E. Ann will captivate you with these two characters who have been devastated by love in the past and unsure if they would ever find it again in the future.
Gracelyn and Nate are struggling to find their way and yet both find comfort in each other. I adored the kids in this one as well as Gracelyn’s grumpy, elder roommate.
Related: Best Single Dad Romance Books
After ten years as a flight attendant, Ava Greene is poised to hang up her wings and finally put down roots.
She’s got one trip left before she bids her old life farewell, but then she discovers that former pilot Jack Stone — the absurdly gorgeous man she’s held a secret grudge against for years — is on her flight.
When their plane encounters mechanical problems, she’s now stuck at a luxury resort in Belize with her nemesis.
Only the more time Ava spends with him under the hot Caribbean sun, the more she begins to second-guess everything she thought she knew about him.
What makes this a perfect beach read: Who doesn’t want to disappear among the pages and envision themselves on the beach in Belize?
Enemies to lovers stories are my absolute favorite because I love “watching” the transition from hate to love unfold and I can’t wait to see how it transpires in this one!
Since the loss of her fiancé, Anna has been shipwrecked by grief—until a reminder goes off about a trip they were supposed to take together.
Impulsively, Anna goes to sea in their sailboat, intending to complete the voyage alone.
But after a treacherous night’s sail, she realizes she can’t do it by herself and hires Keane, a professional sailor, to help.
Much like Anna, Keane is struggling with a very different future than the one he had planned.
As romance rises with the tide, they discover that it’s never too late to chart a new course.
What makes this a perfect beach read: Spending a summer sailing on a sailboat sounds divine, but if you can’t do that in real life, then this book will take you along for the ride.
This is also the perfect feel-good romance where two people can finally move forward from the grief holding them back.
Marin is the sister that’s always played it safe, refusing to set foot outside the state of Tennessee while her younger sister, Sadie, has trotted the globe.
When Sadie returns from a tough assignment needing some R&R, Marin reluctantly agrees to a sisters’ spa weekend on the tropical island of Saba.
The trip does not go as planned, but for the first time in a long time, Marin has to step outside of her comfort zone as she explores the island with Lucas, the handsome stranger, and learn what she’s been missing out on.
What makes this a perfect beach read: I would love to spend my summer exploring a tropical island, and I’m happy to do so with Marin and Lucas.
I love books that inspire you to grab more out of life, and I have a feeling seeing how Marin pushes herself out of her shell will do just that.
Marketing manager Henley Evans couldn’t be more excited that she’s shortlisted for the promotion of her dreams, only to discover that Graeme Crawford-Collins, the remote social media manager and the bane of her existence, is also up for the position.
Although they’ve never met in person, their epic email battles are the stuff of office legend.
Their boss tasks each of them with drafting a proposal on how to boost bookings in the Galápagos—best proposal wins the promotion.
There’s just one catch: they have to go on a company cruise to the Galápagos Islands…together.
But when the two meet on the ship, Henley is shocked to discover that the real Graeme is nothing like she imagined.
As they explore the Islands together, she soon finds the line between loathing and liking thinner than a postcard.
What makes this a perfect beach read: I loved exploring the Galapagos Islands in this beach read which was the perfect marketing tool for anyone contemplating visiting this amazing location.
It’s also a great rom-com where colleagues have to fight their preconceived notions of one another and learn to trust that their feelings may not be what they once thought.
Augustus Everett and January Andrews are polar opposites. He’s an acclaimed author of literary fiction, and she writes bestselling romance.
The only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they’re living in neighboring beach houses, broke, and bogged down with writer’s block.
Until, one hazy evening, one thing leads to another and they strike a deal designed to force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the next Great American Novel.
Everyone will finish a book and no one will fall in love. Really.
What makes this a perfect beach read: Well, besides the name which says it all, and the mega popularity of this title, this is a fantastic book to read at the beach because Henry is just that good.
I personally love books about writers and I love how these two get creative to push through their writer’s block!
Noah and Allie met one summer that would forever be one that neither could forget.
Noah may have been from the wrong side of the tracks but that didn’t stop Allie from defying her parents and spending every moment with him.
But it was ultimately their differences and circumstances beyond their control that tore them apart.
Years later after returning home from service, Noah is determined to fulfill his promise to Allie to restore and old plantation he had once hoped to make their home.
When a newly engaged Allie sees Noah’s work in the paper, she goes to see the house herself and the boy she once loved.
What makes this a perfect beach read: This will forever be one of the best, epic love stories that I ever read (and watched – thank you Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams!).
Go back in time to the banks of the North Carolina coast to see these two teenagers fall in love and then finally rekindle that once-in-a-lifetime love years later.
Malibu: August 1983. It’s the day of Nina Riva’s annual end-of-summer party, and anticipation is at a fever pitch.
Everyone wants to be around the famous Rivas: Nina, the talented surfer and supermodel; brothers Jay and Hud, one a championship surfer, the other a renowned photographer; and their adored baby sister, Kit.
By midnight the party will be completely out of control. By morning, the Riva mansion will have gone up in flames with each family member having to choose what they will keep from the people who made them and what they will leave behind.
But before that first spark in the early hours before dawn, the alcohol will flow, the music will play, and the loves and secrets that shaped this family’s generations will all come rising to the surface.
What makes this a perfect beach read: Only Taylor Jenkins Reid will be able to craft an enthralling novel about just one night that will suck you in and grip you while you party with the Riva’s at an epic end-of-summer party.
This 2021 Goodreads Choice Awards winner revolves around this family of siblings (versus a central love story) but is the perfect book to enjoy while on vacation to envision how the other half lives.
Actress Emma needs a change of scenery. After losing her job and finding her boyfriend in bed with another woman, she’s ready for the escape and relaxation promised at the Rosemont estate.
She finds the estate gorgeous, and the owner’s grandson, ex-hockey player, and current recluse Lucian Osmond, equally so yet with such pain in his eyes.
The two avoid each other despite their growing attraction but in staying apart they only seem to grow closer, healing each other in the process.
What makes this a perfect beach read: While this book’s setting is not a beach, I found myself wanting to find a similar summer retreat as the Rosemont estate, including a personal chef, private pool, and gorgeous grounds.
I enjoy beach reads where the main character(s) are at a crossroads in life and trying to craft what their next chapter may bring.
I was rooting for Lucian whose hockey career was cut short, as well as Emma who wanted more than what life had recently thrown her way.
This one is definitely worth a spot in your beach bag this year!
Molly Somerville loves her career as the creator of the Daphne the Bunny children’s book series, but the rest of her life could use some improvement.
She has a reputation for trouble that started even before she gave away her fifteen-million-dollar inheritance. Then there’s her long-term crush on the quarterback for the Chicago Stars football team her sister owns.
One night Kevin barges into Molly’s not-quite-perfect life and turns it upside down. Now she’s at a place called Wind Lake surrounded by paintbox cottages, including a charming old bed-and-breakfast where Molly and Kevin battle their attraction.
What makes this a perfect beach read: I honestly believe any of Susan Elizabeth Phillip’s Chicago Stars books would make the best beach reads, but this one is a particular favorite of mine because I loved the setting at Wind Lake.
Phillips has this knack for creating amazing main and side characters while crafting a storyline that is equal parts hilarious and moving. Just sit back and go along with the ride.
Divorce lawyer Victoria Slade has seen enough unhappy endings to swear off marriage forever.
That doesn’t mean she’s opposed to casual dating—just not with her cocky new neighbor, especially now that she’s agreed to take on his sister’s case.
Investigative journalist Ford Dixon is bent on finding the man who got his sister pregnant and left her high and dry.
Ford is not a man looking to settle down but he is willing to partner with Victoria, even if there’s a scorching attraction between them.
Yet, the more time he spends with her, the more he realizes that the one woman as skeptical about love as he is might be the only woman he could really fall for.
What makes this a perfect beach read: This book may not take place on a beach but it’s a great one to tuck into your beach bag because Julie James is the real deal.
I only wish she wrote MORE books, but this one is one of her tried and true where two people actively not looking for love find it with each other.
Olive’s identical twin sister is getting married, forcing Olive to spend the day with her sworn enemy, Ethan, who just happens to be the best man.
Things finally seem to go her way, however, when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning sparring her and Ethan, leaving an all-expenses-paid honeymoon in Hawaii up for grabs.
Putting their mutual hatred aside for the sake of a free vacation, Olive and Ethan head for paradise, determined to avoid each other at all costs.
But when Olive runs into her future boss, a little white lie forces her and Ethan to pretend to be loving newlyweds.
What makes this a perfect beach read: You’d be hard pressed to find any book list of the best beach reads without this Christina Lauren title because they nail it with this romcom!
Related: The Unhoneymooners Movie
After walking in on her boyfriend with another girl, Pippa Bay Cox ditches London for the States to go on an epic road trip with friends.
Scaling the career ladder is the default way to deal with heartbreak for Jensen Bergstrom. But when his sister Hanna convinces him to join the gang on a two-week wine tour, he has a rare moment of cutting loose.
Of course, it’s only once he’s committed that he realizes the strange girl he met briefly on the plane is coming along, too.
She might be too much for him or he might realize his life has become too small and needs her to make it bigger. In short, their adventures in love, friendship, and hilarity are nothing short of Beautiful.
What makes this a perfect beach read: After reading The Unhoneymooners you should also give this Christina Lauren book a read.
Nothing says summer like an epic road trip and when you add wine (and more and more wine…) that just sounds like the perfect adventure I want to take in real life and among the pages of a great book.
Beautiful is the best ending to a fantastic series that you absolutely have to read. You can read this as a standalone but if you’ve read the series you’ll enjoy moments with the best circle of friends.
Piper Evans lives a quiet life in the tight-knit island community that still sees her, five years in, as an outsider. That is until a prince and princess with their brooding bodyguard move in next door.
Harrison Cole may be hot, but he immediately deems Piper a security threat.
Too bad that their constant run-ins show that underneath Harrison’s no-nonsense exterior lies a soft heart that tempts Piper into believing that maybe white knights do exist.
What makes this a perfect beach read: Why wouldn’t you want to read a book about royals and bodyguards on the beach?!
Sometimes you just need the right mix of steamy, funny, and sweet while on vacation and you get that and more with this summer romance set in the Pacific Northwest.
Proud and beautiful Annabelle Peyton could have her pick of suitors, if only she had a dowry.
Her family is on the brink of disaster, and the only way Annabelle can save them is to marry a wealthy man.
Unfortunately, her most persistent admirer is the brash Simon Hunt, a handsome and ambitious entrepreneur who wants her as his mistress.
As they try to outmaneuver each other, they find themselves surrendering to a love more powerful than they could have ever imagined.
But fate may have other plans—and it will take all of Annabelle’s courage to face a peril that could destroy everything she holds dear.
What makes this a perfect beach read: Summer is the perfect time to travel back in time and get swept up in the world of suitors, wallflowers, and stolen glances with a historical romance.
When her gram passes away, Melanie Simpson is lost until her grandmother’s will gives her a purpose: an inheritance to buy a crumbling house in Rosemary Bay.
They used to visit the village every summer, sit by the sparkling water on a beach the color of pearl, and daydream about turning the place on the corner into a bed and breakfast.
Melanie plans to restore the beach house to its original glory, and local contractor and landowner Josh Claiborne, is the perfect person to help her do it.
But hiding in a closet is a yellowing stack of letters that could change everything. The looping handwriting reveals the mystery of the rickety house—a buried history that touches everyone in Rosemary Bay.
Will its secrets bring Melanie and Josh together or tear them apart?
What makes this a perfect beach read: I love books that have both a contemporary romance as well as a romantic story from the past that’s slowly uncovered.
This is giving me similar vibes to The Last Letter from Your Lover (which would also make a great beach read BTW!) and I’m all for it.
Becca Thorpe has uprooted her life and escaped to the beach. Now’s her chance to get away from city living, throw caution to the ocean winds, live in the moment and maybe see where things go with the hot surfer she meets in Lucky Harbor.
Boatbuilder and investment genius Sam Brody is a self-made man who knows how dangerous it can be to mix business and pleasure.
But he can’t resist offering Becca a job just to hear her laugh and have her near.
Yet, when her brother comes to town asking for help, will he tempt her back to her glamorous life in the city? Or do Sam and little Lucky Harbor have a chance to win Becca’s heart?
What makes this a perfect beach read: Shalvis’ entire book catalog would make great beach reads, but I have a soft spot for her Lucky Harbor series which was one of the first book series I binge read from start to finish.
I loved the heroes and the heroines of these stories, but I really enjoyed the “will she stay or will she go” push and pull of this small-town romance.
When Meredith Fox lost her sister, Claire, eighteen months ago, she shut everyone out. But this summer she’s determined to join the world again.
The annual family vacation to Martha’s Vineyard seems like the perfect place to reconnect.
Her entire extended family is gathering for a big summer wedding, and although Meredith is dateless after being unexpectedly dumped, she’s excited to participate in the traditional Fox family game.
But when Meredith forms an alliance with a cute groomsman, she finds herself getting distracted.
Meredith tries to focus on the game and win it for her sister, but she can’t help falling for him. And as the week progresses, she realizes she’s not only at risk of losing the game, but also her heart.
What makes this a perfect beach read: This young adult romance became a Booktok sensation, especially for fans of Taylor Swift as this book is inspired by her songs!
Queue up your Swift playlist while lounging with this one at the beach and just soak in the fun, the antics, the connection, and the love.
With his cancer in remission, sixteen-year-old T.J. Callahan just wants to get back to normal life, not catch up on missed schoolwork at their Maldives summer home.
Anna Emerson is a thirty-year-old English teacher who jumps at the chance to spend the summer on a tropical island tutoring T.J. only the unthinkable happens.
Their private plane nosedives leaving them stranded on an uninhabited island.
As the days turn to weeks, and then months, and as birthdays pass, these two lost souls must come to terms with their situation and find companionship in one another in the moments they need it most.
What makes this a perfect beach read: Read this one on the beach if you want a bit of suspense, action, and slow burn romance.
I’m honestly not sure if I’d survive on a deserted island, ala Tom Hanks-style in Castaway, but I’d like to read about these two making it.
Related: Best Teacher Student Romance Books
Belly measures her life in summers.
Winters are simply a time to count the weeks until the next summer, a place away from the beach house, away from Susannah, and most importantly, away from Jeremiah and Conrad.
They are the boys that Belly has known since her very first summer—they have been her brother figures, her crushes, and everything in between.
But one summer, one wonderful and terrible summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along.
Summer is where the magic happens in young adult romance and this may make you nostalgic for yours 😊.