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14 Captivating Beach Reads You Won’t Be Able To Put Down This Summer

These unputdownable books will transport you to sunny shores!

Longer days, warmer weather, weekends spent by the pool, lake or ocean (or relaxing in the A/C!)…there are endless reasons to love the summer season. Our favorite way to spend a sunny day? Sinking into a really good book. But searching for the perfect summer book or “beach read” might look a little different depending on the reader. For some, a beach read is a breezy, lighthearted story or romance that transports them to a small coastal town. For others, an ideal beach read is one packed with page-turning suspense and mystery. To help you find the perfect one for you, we gathered up a variety of the best beach reads (so far!) of 2024. From rich historical fiction to eerie psychological thrillers, heart-fluttering romance and more, there is truly something for everyone.

Continue scrolling for 14 of our favorite beach reads just in time for summer vacation! We guarantee that no matter which genre you decide on, these stories will transport you. Want to solve a chilling, long-held lakeside mystery? Pick up Meghan Miranda’s Daughter of Mine. More in the mood to travel to Prince Edward Island for a chilled glass of rosé and a sparkling romance? Try This Summer Will Be Different by Carley Fortune.

Keep reading for the rest of our must-read recommendations!

All the Summers in Between by Brooke Lea Foster

All the Summers in Between by Brooke Lea Foster
Gallery Books


Told in the dual time lines of 1967 and 1977, this dazzling story set in the Hamptons follows wealthy Margot and hardworking Thea, who become unlikely friends one summer while working together at a record store. Then, a decade later, the women reunite and are forced to reckon with a tragic incident that happened one August night all those years ago. A tale of glamour, intrigue and friendship set during a transformative era.

What readers are saying: “I love historical fiction novels that take place in the 1960’s and 70’s,” confesses Carissa Mosness, Woman’s World Assistant Digital Editor. “And this beautifully written tale transported me to those time periods and had me wondering just how far I would go for my friends. I devoured it in a weekend!”

Crow Talk by Eileen Garvin

Crow Talk by Eileen Garvin (Best beach reads)
Dutton

Bestselling author of The Music of Bees Eileen Garvin returns with a poignant novel that centers on two women. Frankie O’Neill is a lonely ornithologist working on her thesis, and Anne Ryan is an Irish musician, far from home, raising her son, Aiden, who refuses to speak. They all wind up in Beauty Bay, a stunning community of summer homes on the shores of June Lake in the Pacific Northwest. Then, when Frankie finds an injured baby crow, a journey toward hope and healing for herself, Anne and Aiden begins.

What readers are saying: “There is no real romance in the novel, yet it is a perfect love story. There are engaging characters and well-developed relationships between parents and children, friends, neighbors and partners. The environment shapes the characters as both a healing force and something to be reckoned with. Delightful!”

The Paradise Problem by Christina Lauren

The Paradise Problem by Christina Lauren
Gallery Books

The bestselling author duo known as Christina Lauren writes unputdownable romance, and their new novel delivers! Artist Anna Green married Liam “West” Weston four years ago for access to housing while at UCLA — and she thought she signed divorce papers after they graduated. Now, West is set to receive an inheritance…but only if he’s been married for five years. Anna is shocked when he shows up at her door, inviting her to act as his wife on a lush island retreat for his sister’s wedding. Can they both act the part without catching real feelings?

What readers are saying: “It’s a good day when there’s a new release by the author duo Christina Lauren — and I couldn’t wait to escape into their newest novel,” says Melissa D’Agnese, Woman’s World Senior Editor. “This rom-com had me smiling from the start! This is slow-burn romance at its finest.”

The Ministry of Time by Kaliane Bradley

The Ministry of Time by Kaliane Bradley
Avid Reader Press

Part time travel romance, part workplace comedy-thriller, this unique, fantastical novel is dazzling readers everywhere this summer. The story is told by a young British ministry employee who becomes part of a secret time travel project that brings people from particular moments in the past to live in the present day. Her mission is to help a commander of an 1847 Arctic expedition acclimate to the modern world and record his progress. But she soon begins to have feelings for the man, and learns there are many who would kill to see the project fail.

What readers are saying: “I’m a huge Dr. Who fan who also loves historical fiction, so this novel was right up my alley,” smiles Carey Ostergard, Woman’s World Executive Editor. “It was a fresh fusion of historical events, a fish-out-of water perspective, romance and espionage…I couldn’t put it down.”

Welcome Home, Caroline Kline by Courtney Preiss

Welcome Home, Caroline Kline by Courtney Preiss (Best beach reads)
Putnam

This sparkling and witty debut novel by Courtney Preiss follows Caroline Kline, who is picking up the pieces of her life after a surprise breakup. When her father injures himself in a fall, he asks Caroline to move home to the Jersey Shore — but not to be his caretaker. He needs Caroline to be his substitute in his men’s softball league. A gritty yet glittering story about life, love, baseball and finding your way home.

What readers are saying: “I’m forever a Jersey girl at heart, so when a friend told me about this book set near the Jersey Shore, it was an auto-buy for me,” shares Melissa D’Agnese, Woman’s World Senior Editor. “At its heart, this is a story about second chances filled with humor and wit. I was cheering Caroline on until the last page! ”

Jackpot Summer by Elyssa Friedland

Jackpot Summer by Elyssa Friedland
Berkley

This heartfelt, laugh-out-loud novel by Elyssa Friedland stars the Jacobson siblings, Laura, Sophie and Noah, who pitch in for a Powerball ticket — and win. Having grown up with two penny-pincher parents, the trio set their sights on shiny new things—leaving out their fourth sibling, Matthew, who declined on the Powerball ticket. As the family drifts apart, they realize they’ll never feel truly rich until everyone is back together.

What readers are saying: “She’s done it again! Elyssa Friedland’s newest book is a must read! Order it quickly before your next trip! It’s a summer MUST!”

Daughter of Mine by Megan Miranda

Daughter of Mine by Megan Miranda (Best beach reads)
S&S/ Marysue Rucci Books

This thrilling novel penned by bestselling author Megan Miranda follows Hazel Sharp, who grew up in a lake town after moving in with her mother and stepfather and his two sons. When her mother goes missing, Hazel assumes she left her. But when two cars are found submerged in the lake belonging to Hazel’s family, she begins to uncover the truth. An astonishing blend of secrets and suspense.

What readers are saying: “I finished this mystery in one night,” says Anna Traver, Woman’s World Assistant Digital Editor. “Whenever I’m in the mood for a story full of twists, Megan Miranda is one of my go-to authors — she paints chilling scenes and characters so well. As suspected, this tale gave me chills from page one. The book’s looming sense of danger made this a visceral read.”

A Love Like the Sun by Riss M. Neilson

A Love Like the Sun by Riss M. Neilson
Berkley

This radiant debut novel is receiving high praise from fellow novelists like Emily Henry and Carley Fortune! Best friends Laniah Thompson and Issac Jordan couldn’t be more different: Issac is an internet sensation who spends his days being chased by paparazzi, while Laniah spends hers running a small business and avoiding other people. They’ve been friends since childhood. The one area they have in common? Neither feels like they really belong. So when Issac returns to their hometown and tells everyone they are dating as a ploy to save Laniah’s business, something shifts. Told over three steamy summer months, A Love Like The Sun is a story of shared history, friendship and undeniable romance.

What readers are saying: A Love Like the Sun is a beautiful, moving, friends-to-lovers romance. Fans of Kennedy Ryan and Tia Williams will love this book!”

The Sicilian Inheritance by Jo Piazza

The Sicilian Inheritance by Jo Piazza
Dutton

In this riveting saga, readers will escape to Sicily — a place steeped in author Jo Piazza’s very own family history. Sara Marsala is crushed when she receives news that her great-aunt Rosie passed away. But Aunt Rosie’s passing opens an escape from her life: She left Sara a deed to a plot of family land in Sicily. Intrigued, Sara hops a plane to Italy and begins to uncover bombshell secrets while learning a lot about her family — and herself.

What readers are saying: “It was thrilling, exciting and kept my attention non-stop. I was up for over a day just to keep reading and finishing this book. Made me wonder if it was based on truths and yes, it is. I had never wanted to visit Italy until after I read this book. Enjoyable read!”

Funny Story by Emily Henry

Funny Story by Emily Henry (Best beach reads)
Berkley

Bestselling author Emily Henry is known for her smart and witty romances — and her latest is another triumphant love story. When Daphne’s fiancé, Peter, admits he’s actually in love with his childhood friend, Petra, she’s crushed. The only person who can understand her is Petra’s ex, scruffy Miles Nowak. Miles and Daphne become roommates, then hatch a plan to make their exes jealous, but the faux romance starts to feel very real.

What readers are saying: “I’ve been a fan of Emily Henry’s since her debut,” says Melissa D’Agnese, Woman’s World Senior Editor. “But I have to admit…Funny Story may be her best novel yet. Between the richly descriptive scenery and the heartfelt, slow-build moments between Daphne and Miles, I couldn’t get enough of this story.”

This Summer Will Be Different by Carley Fortune

This Summer Will Be Different by Carley Fortune
Berkley

While vacationing on Prince Edward Island, Lucy falls for a local named Felix, who turns out to be her best friend Bridget’s brother. They know a romantic relationship is pretty much off-limits and vow to never repeat their steamy night. Every summer, Lucy visits PEI to soak up the crisp ocean air, fresh oysters and catch up with Bridget. But every time she’s there, Lucy and Felix just can’t seem to stay apart. Then when Bridget flees her hometown of Toronto and heads to the island to navigate a crisis, Lucy follows her to help…and has another run-in with Felix. How much longer will she be able to stave off her feelings?

What readers are saying: “I was bummed when a weekend getaway was canceled, so I grabbed this summer romance as a virtual vacation that I could sink into from my living room couch,” says Rachel Cosma, Woman’s World Health Director. “This was a dreamy story of romantic love, but it was also an ode to friends who feel like family.”

The Women by Kristin Hannah

The Women by Kristin Hannah (Best beach reads)
St. Martin's Press

Unforgettable characters and deeply captivating moments abound in The Women, the newest saga from beloved author Kristin Hannah. It’s 1965 when 20-year-old nursing student Frances “Frankie” McGrath hears four words that change her life: Women can be heroes. After her brother Finley ships out to serve in Vietnam, she joins the Army Nurse Corps and follows his path. Even after the overwhelming day-to-day of the war, the real challenge Frankie will face is coming home to a changed America. A story about courage, friendship, love, loss and the women who bravely served their country.

What readers are saying:“I enjoy books that take me back in time, and this one opened my eyes to the past,” says Patty Bontekoe, Woman’s World Executive Editor. “I was bowled over by Frankie’s strength and courage!”

Summer on Highland Beach by Sunny Hostin

Summer on Highland Beach by Sunny Hostin
William Morrow

Bestselling author Sunny Hostin is back with another beach read — the third installment of her Summer Beach series. Olivia Jones’ history is very intertwined with the coastal community of Highland Beach. And right now there’s a lot on her plate, from secrets surrounding her late aunt to a controlling family member. Olivia must finally decide if she wants to stay in Highland Beach or return to her life — and love — in Sag Harbor.

What readers are saying: “The third book gives us all of the backstory of who Olivia is when we didn’t know we needed it! Touché Sunny on this wonderful riveting page turner. I love how you’ve integrated our important history into this story. We must preserve our history. Thank you for being a vessel for history, truth and another great summer read. I need another book.

How to End a Love Story by Yulin Kuang

How to End a Love Story by Yulin Kuang
Avon

The story follows Helen Zhang, who hasn’t seen Grant Shepard in the 13 years since the accident that changed their lives. Now, Helen is a bestselling author. Her most recent gig? A spot in the writer’s room of the TV adaptation of her young adult novels. She tries to shake off new-job nerves and focus on the fact that no one knows her, or her past, in L.A. But years ago, Grant moved across the country to start over and he’s now working as a screenwriter. When Grant and Helen come face-to-face in the writer’s room, they are forced to deal with the past and the present — and all the chemistry crackling between them.

What readers are saying: “My favorite read of 2024 so far! Wow! I absolutely loved this book. It’s as heartbreaking as it is hilarious. The writing is fantastic, from the character building to the expertly written slow burn and chemistry. And the spice was spicin’, y’all!


For more book recommendations and author interviews, check out these stories:

WW Book Club Recommends the New Annabel Monaghan Title ‘Summer Romance’ and More Fresh Reads

5 Star-Studded Celebrity Book Clubs + Their Favorite Picks: From Mystery to Romance!

11 Best Nonfiction Books Guaranteed to Boost Happiness: From Memoirs to Journals + More!

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