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Top Books for Beach Reads

  By  Ashley Daniels

One of the best companions to have on the beach (other than a cold beverage) is a good book in your hands on the sand. We’ve rounded up some of the best reads you’ll want to pack in your beach bag and escape into, page after page.

Book Cover for The Last Thing He Told Me, Laura Dave
1. The Last Thing He Told Me, Laura Dave

This page-turning suspense novel released in 2021 was just recently made into a TV series on Apple TV starring Jennifer Garner as the main character, Hannah Hall. Hannah’s husband, Owen Michaels, suddenly disappears – but not before he gives her a handwritten note that says, “Protect her.” “Her” is Owen’s 16-year-old daughter, Bailey, who lost her mother as a child and cannot stand her new stepmother. Regardless of their strained relationship, Hanna and Bailey set out to put the puzzle pieces together of Owen’s disappearance and his secret life. Meanwhile, the FBI arrests Owen’s boss and a U.S. marshal and federal agents show up unannounced at Hannah’s home in Sausalito.

Book Cover for The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, Taylor Jenkins Reid
2. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, Taylor Jenkins Reid

Known as one of the best reads of 2017, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo should also make it into your summer of 2023. The book oozes Old Hollywood glamour at its finest, with the title character, Evelyn Hugo, an aging, reclusive actress, spilling it all about her scandalous life to unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant. While Monique’s personal and professional life is a disaster, she’s ready to listen and learn from Evelyn as she recounts her journey to Los Angeles and her seven husbands along the way. It turns out the two women may actually have a connection in a tragic way.

Book Cover for The Perfect Couple, Elin Hilderbrand
3. The Perfect Couple, Elin Hilderbrand

Elin Hilderbrand, the “Queen of the Summer Beach Reads,” released this novel to follow the same characters from The Castaways, Beautiful Day, and A Summer Affair. Set during Nantucket wedding season, The Perfect Couple focuses on the Otis-Winbury wedding that will take place on the groom’s lavish oceanfront estate. Unfortunately, the ceremony doesn’t have a happy ending and the soon-to-be-married couple turns out to be far from perfect. A body washes up in Nantucket Harbor hours before the ceremony and Chief of Police Ed Kapenash considers everyone in the wedding party a suspect.

Book Cover for American Royals, Katherine McGee
4. American Royals, Katherine McGee

For those of you who binged “The Crown,” you’ll love American Royals, a hypothetical, modern-day book about British royals ruling America. Imagine if George Washington became king instead of the first president of the United States and get sucked into Katherine McGee’s escape from reality. And, once you breeze through American Royals, start on the sequel: American Royals II: Majesty.

Book Cover for Beach Read, Emily Henry
5. Beach Read, Emily Henry

The title of this book should be reason enough to have it on your summer reading list, but it’s also because the popular Emily Henry, penned another best-seller. The plot follows a rom-com writer, January Andrews, and a literary fiction writer, Augustus Everett, facing writer’s block. Polar opposites, they spend the summer at neighboring beach houses and challenge each other to write a book that’s outside their wheelhouse. Their working relationship soon turns into a summer romance, with ups and downs mixed in with research projects/dates along the way. (Another new read by Emily Henry for 2023 is Happy Place.)

Book Cover for A Perfect Vintage, Chelsea Fagan
6. A Perfect Vintage, Chelsea Fagan

Scheduled to be released in June 2023, A Perfect Vintage is set in a French countryside, where Lea Mortimer, a sought-after consultant who transforms rundown French country estates into boutique hotels. She may seem like she has everything under control, but single, child-free Lea doesn’t always get along with the families she works for. One summer, Lea takes her friend, Stephanie, and her college-aged daughter to the Loire Valley in France after her friend’s heated divorce to tag along her latest work assignment. Unfortunately, they complicate things for Lea to launch the hotel on time – and Lea further complicates things by falling for the much-younger son of her boss.

Ashley Daniels

Ashley Daniels of Myrtle Beach is a full-time freelance writer, editor, wife, and mother of three sons (not necessarily in that order), and two fur babies. A native of Eastern PA, Ashley received her bachelor’s in English Writing from the University of Pittsburgh and her MA in Writing from Coastal Carolina University. Today, her folio boasts nearly 25 years of regional and nationally published printed magazine features, blogs, and web copy for a lineup of clients on the East Coast, and ADDY award-winning copywriting. For more info, visit