10 Must-Have Summer Beach Reads

summer beach reads

The first day of summer is almost here and so are the days where you lay around at the beach while reading books that take you to another paradise. From contemporary romance to thrillers, we’ve gathered a list of 10 perfect beach reads to pack in your beach bag this summer. Nothing completes a beach day like a good book!

The Tip Line by Vanessa Cuti

Thirty-year-old Virginia Carey lands a job as an operator at a police tip line with the intention of finding herself a husband. Sweet homicide detective Charlie Ford and charming police chief Declan “Deck” Brady are exactly the type of men she is looking for. But as her plan starts to fall into place, Virginia answers a call from a mysterious woman that will change everything. Verona, a sex worker, gives Virginia a tip about four bodies on a local beach, as well as sordid details about the activities certain law enforcement officers partake in after hours. But here is the real tip: She is certain it is a police officer responsible for the killings. 

Big Gay Wedding by Byron Lane

Barnett Durang’s mother knows he is gay. What she doesn’t know is that he is getting married, and the wedding will be held at her quiet rescue farm in their small Louisiana town. It will be an intimate affair with 200 of Barnett’s closest friends and family from the “heathen coasts,” and will be the biggest, and gayest, event in the town’s history. As Barnett faces the forces within his modern new family and the town itself who don’t want to see this wedding happen, he finds the power of family and the meaning of a mother’s unconditional love for her son. 

One Summer in Savannah by Terah Shelton Harris

After leaving her home in Savannah, Georgia eight years ago following a terrifying sexual assault, Sara Lancaster is forced to return to face her past when her father falls ill. Back home, Sara cares for her father and runs his bookstore, all while keeping her daughter, Alana, from the family of the man who assaulted her. With all of them in prison, out of town, or completely unaware of Alana’s existence, Sara believes she is successful. What she doesn’t expect is for Jacob, her attacker’s identical twin brother, to return to Savannah. Their worlds collide and the two form an unexpected connection, drawn to each other in ways neither thought possible. This debut story of family, redemption and unconditional love comes out July 4. 

Love Buzz by Neely Tubati-Alexander

Serena Khan is anything but enjoying her semi-estranged cousin’s bachelorette party in New Orleans. The wretched maid of honor, hangovers, and Mardi Gras crowds are not her definition of a good time. Until she meets a handsome stranger, who is also from Seattle, at a Bourbon Street bar and sparks fly. After their conversation is cut short, Serena is left with few details and an irrational and burning desire to find him. As she searches Seattle for her New Orleans mystery man, going against every part of her perfectly curated life, Serena must decide if this pursuit of passion is worth destroying the life she always thought she wanted. 

Famous for a Living by Melissa Ferguson

Superstar influencer Cat Cranwell falls from her pedestal when her business partner is accused of serious financial crimes. Desperate to get away from the backlash and online trolls, Cat moves to work with her uncle in Kannery National Park, Montana. Her world shifts overnight from likes, comments, and brand deals to blizzards, waist-deep snow, and frozen lakes. Instead of living in the comfort of her Manhattan loft, she is sharing a tent-sized cabin with an overly friendly roommate. As she adjusts to these changes, Cat reacquaints with the most honest parts of her­self, all while falling for Zaiah, the ruggedly handsome park ranger who hates all things social media.

Big Girl by Mecca Jamilah Sullivan

Eight-year-old Malaya Clondon wants nothing more than to get away from the pressures of going to a predominantly white Upper East Side prep school and the expectations passed down over generations from her grandmother and her mother, along with their relentless diets. As she comes of age in a rapidly gentrifying 1990s Harlem, Malaya struggles to understand and fit into the confines of “ladyness” and “femininity” that hold no place for her body. Even as she finds solace in the words of Biggie Smalls and Aaliyah, and in the support of her father, nothing seems to help. That is, until a family tragedy forces her to finally face the source of her hunger on her own terms.

summer beach reads

Ciao For Now by Kate Bromley

Violet Luciano’s dream of finishing design school and working in fashion has cost her everything. When she lands an internship at a fashion brand in Rome, she throws all she has into the opportunity, especially when a job at a New York label is the prize for winning a competition between interns. But everything goes wrong when Violet accidentally destroys a stranger’s laptop at a cafe, and that stranger turns out to be her professor’s really grumpy son, Matteo. Their animosity, and chemistry, grows as they are forced to spend the summer living together and adventuring through Rome. As Violet becomes more distracted, she must decide if she wants to say ciao to Matteo—or ciao to her dreams.

The Summer of Songbirds by Kristy Woodson Harvey

Camp Holly Springs is a summer haven for girls. Bought nearly 30 years ago by June Moore, the camp is now in danger of shutting down. June’s niece, Daphne, met her two best friends, Lanier and Mary Stuart, one fateful summer at camp. They’ve been through everything together and are inseparable even in their thirties, and though they are all facing personal problems, nothing is more important to these women than Camp Holly Springs. When they hear their summer oasis is in danger, they band together to save the summer camp that changed their lives, rediscovering themselves in the process. 

Kismet by Becky Chalsen

It’s always been Amy, Jo, and Ben. The inseparable Sharp twins, Amy and Jo; and Ben, Amy’s childhood sweetheart turned husband. But everything changes as this year’s Fourth of July weekend approaches. Jo’s sudden engagement and wedding eclipses the twins’ long-awaited thirtieth birthday. Amy and Ben’s recent arguments strain their relationship. And as Jo’s wedding is underway, the arrival of a handsome, mysterious newcomer with a strikingly familiar face, one that Amy had planned to never see again, becomes the most unexpected hurdle and the biggest test for the trio. No amount of SPF will be able to protect the secrets about to come out this holiday weekend. 

Good Fortune by C.K. Chau

When Elizabeth Chen’s realtor mother sells the community center down the block to Brendan Lee and Darcy Wong, Elizabeth is instantly suspicious of their plan to clean up the neighborhood. Determined to keep her community from being transformed into a place of profit, Elizabeth confronts arrogant Darcy every chance she gets. Her situation isn’t helped when Elizabeth’s mom sees an opportunity to get Elizabeth and her four other daughters ahead in the world, keeping her investors close and forcing Elizabeth to spend more time with Darcy than she likes. As their relationship grows, the more conflicted Elizabeth feels. But when a shocking betrayal comes to light, Elizabeth must reconsider everything she thought she knew about love, trust, and Darcy Wong.

Got a Book You Love? Tell Us About It!

We all have that one book that’s tops on our list. What’s yours? Send us your review or story about it and we’ll help you publish it! Submit to editor@mscareergirl.com.


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Ms. Career Girl

Ms. Career Girl was started in 2008 to help ambitious young professional women figure out who they are, what they want and how to get it.