High atop my summer reading list is The Golden Lily, Book #2 of Richelle Mead's new series, Bloodlines. A spinoff of Mead's wildly successful Vampire Academy series (which I devoured), this new set of books had me at Adrian. Even if you're not into vampires or paranormal I think that these novels work because of the characters, ie: a kick ass heroine in Rose, and relationships I actually found myself caring about.
Lindsey Kelk, author of the I Heart books (I Heart London out now) is pretty much hilarious, so her books are snappy and a breeze to read. While I enjoyed the I Heart series, I think my fave Kelk creation is the stand alone The Single Girl's To-Do List. Recently dumped Rachel is likable and relatable, while the supporting characters--namely Rachel's two best friends--are great fun.
I love Meg Cabot books because they're funny and have heart, not to mention a little romance thrown in for good measure. (And, really, is a beach read complete without some kissy-kissy?) If you're an anti-vampirite then Insatiable is the book for you, as Meena Harper is also against all the love for misogynistic vamps. Until, of course, she meets Prince of Darkness Lucien. This book wasn't perfect--I thought Meena sure fell for Lucien lickety split--but it was entertaining and a good choice among the Cabot pantheon for a summer read. Book Two in the series, Overbite, is also out now, although I haven't read it yet.
Confession time: I adore Nora Roberts. I could eat her books up for breakfast and then go buy more for lunch--and a couple more for snack. As trilogies go, I think her Sign of Seven series is probably number one on my list, but Public Secrets deserves a mention because I'm pretty sure it was the first Nora book I ever read (a loooonnnng time ago). Public Secrets isn't a romance novel in the traditional sense--it's a little Led Zeppelin, a little Lindbergh kidnapping, a tiny bit Sleeping with the Enemy--but is definitely an oldie but goodie as far as I'm concerned.
Victoria Dahl's Donovan Brothers Brewery series consists of three funny, warm, and sometimes downright steamy books about the Donovan siblings--Tessa (Good Girls Don't), Jamie (Bad Boys Do), and Eric (Real Men Will). I think these books actually get better as you go along, probably because I was really rooting for straight laced Eric to come out of his shell. Not that I wasn't interested in Jamie's story too, I mean, who can resist a born charmer looking to reform?
If you like a little history and mystery mixed in with your romance (not to mention some dark, brooding Europeans) then Anne Fortier's Juliet is the ticket. If you're not on vacation while reading this one it will make you want to book the next plane ticket to Siena.
Perhaps a little more melancholy than I like my beach reads, I've nonetheless decided to throw One Day in for good measure. Em loves Dex, Dex is a self centered jerk, life gets in the way. Overall it was a book I enjoyed as I love me some unrequited and lifelong love stories.
I hesitated to include this series on my list because while I thought Anna Godbersen's The Luxe books were great fun with their historical Gossip Girl vibe (and, really, who can resist those covers?), I hated on the ending of this series something fierce. Perhaps it's better if you judge for yourself.
Have you read any of these? I'd love to know what you think!
What are you recommendations for great beach reads?