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Best Beach Reads of 2021: 12 Fun Books

Get your beach bag ready with this list of the best beach reads of 2021!

Do you love to read fun, uplifting, or steamy books when you’re on vacation? Then, you’ve come to the right book list! 


I, for one, am not one of those people who devotes their beach days to thought-provoking literary fiction, creepy thrillers, or massive tomes that take the entire week to read. I understand the appeal, but I’m looking to have some fun, laugh a little (or a lot), and escape into an unputdownable story.


If that sounds like you, I guarantee you’ll find something in these best beach reads of 2021 to add to your suitcase or beach bag.


This list of the best beach reads of 2021 includes primarily women’s fiction and contemporary romance novels, with a hint of young adult and maybe just one historical fiction or thriller for variety!


I hope you find something new that will delight you this summer!


*Disclosure – I earn a small commission if you purchase any items through the links included below. Please consider using Bookshop.org to support indie bookstores everywhere! 

Best Beach Reads of 2021




under the southern sky

Under The Southern Sky

by Kristy Woodson Harvey

Southern fiction at it’s finest. This novel starts off with a dose of grief, but quickly moves into an uplifting, hopeful story that you will stay with you long after you close the cover.

Set near the waters of Cape Carolina, two childhood friends turn to each other for solace while dealing with their separate tragedies. As they reconnect, they learn more about themselves and what they mean to each other than they ever imagined. 

Amazon | Bookshop.org






that summer

That Summer

by Jennifer Weiner

A few misdirected emails can have life-changing consequences. Daisy is a mom in the Philly suburbs who’s life checks all the boxes but her brain can’t seem to be completely satisfied. When she starts receiving emails accidentally addressed to the wrong person, she longs for the career-driven, purposeful life this woman leads. 

After they meet and start to become friends though, Daisy believes their chance friendship may not be entirely as it appears.

Amazon | Bookshop.org


kisses and croissants

Kisses and Croissants

by Anne-Sophie Jouhanneau

A ballerina’s love story set in Paris? That should be all you need to know to add it to your beach bag 🙂

A young woman heads to Paris for the summer to pursue her dreams of becoming a professional ballerina. Her high hopes of taking the city by storm are slightly dashed when she immediately makes an enemy and can’t seem to impress her instructor. Plus, she’s becoming easily distracted by charming Louis…

I adore stories set in Paris, so this is one of my most anticipated best beach reads of 2021!

Amazon | Bookshop.org

the lucky escape

The Lucky Escape

by Laura Jane Williams

A cancelled wedding, a chance encounter with an old friend, and a spare honeymoon ticket. That’s how Annie finds herself spending her honeymoon with Patrick instead of her hoped for husband. 

This sounds like the perfect escapist beach read, following along as Annie rediscovers her old self with Patrick by her side. 

Amazon | Bookshop.org

borrow a bookshop

The Borrow A Bookshop Holiday

by Kiley Dunbar

When her parents and grandmother move to the next stage of their lives, Jude is left wondering where that leaves her. An unexpected opening at the borrow-a-bookshop vacation will at least give her something to do for two weeks. 

However, a man walks into the bookstore and up to her rented apartment her first night and she’s shocked to learn he’s also been given an invitation. She reluctantly agrees to let him stay and they decide to stay out of each other’s hair. At least for a few days until their attraction takes over…

This is an adorable jaunt into a world of books, small towns, misunderstandings, and finding love!


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best beach reads of 2021
the rehearsals

The Rehearsals

by Annette Christie

Who else loves a good time loop novel?? Jet set off to San Juan Island where a couple are getting ready to be married the next day. They’ve been together for ten years, which means lots of history, a few secrets, and two difficult families. The rehearsal dinner is a disaster and they end up calling it off. But they wake up and find themselves doomed to repeat the day all over again.

The tropical setting and wedding storyline make this a perfect addition to the best beach reads of 2021 list! I always love putting aside a bit of reality to get lost in a Groundhog Day type novel!

Amazon | Bookshop.org

the road trip

The Road Trip

By Beth O’Leary

Beth O’Leary has become an auto-buy author, so I am undeniably excited for her latest addition to the contemporary romance new releases of 2021. In The Road Trip, two exes (plus two others) are forced into a car together for a cross country trip.

This novel takes place in Britain and Scotland, which is yet another reason to read! Pack up and get ready for O’Leary’s signature sense of humor and charming characters! This is a guaranteed hit!

Amazon Bookshop.org

bookstore on the beach

The Bookstore On The Beach

By Brenda Novak

When Autumn’s husband went missing, she never imagined she’d be trying to decide how to move forward 18 months later with no answers still. She decides to take her kids to her beachside hometown and pick up work in her family’s bookstore.

The return home stirs up revealed secrets and long ago love, though. She’s forced to evaluate whether she’s ready to open her heart again.

Amazon Bookshop.org


it happened one summer

It Happened One Summer

By Tessa Bailey

Schitt’s Creek fans – this book is for you! Tessa Bailey’s latest steamy novel is loosely based on the popular TV series. A Hollywood darling is cut off from her family’s wealth and essentially banished to a small beach town. She’s forced to run her late father’s dive bar in the hopes she’ll learn some responsibility, but immediately gets into a spat with a local sea captain.

This opposites attract romance promises all the sexual tension and steamy scenes that Tessa Bailey is amazing at writing! It’s one of my must read contemporary romance books of 2021 too!

Amazon Bookshop.org

if the shoe fits

If The Shoe Fits

By Julie Murphy

A reimagined Cinderella story that features a plus-size shoe designer and a reality dating show! This is giving me One To Watch vibes (which I absolutely adored)!

When Cindy is added to the cast of a Bachelor-type show at the last minute, she’s merely hoping to go on a surreal date or two and use the platform to showcase her shoe designs. She certainly doesn’t expect to actually start falling for the lead…

Amazon Bookshop.org









Heartbreakers and Fakers

By Cameron Lund

Get your teenage drama fix with this summer story of two enemies attempting a fake relationship to get their exes back. After Olivia makes a horrible mistake at the end of school year bash, she’s desperate to win back her boyfriend. There is no way the most popular girl in school is going to spend the summer without her Best Friend and Boyfriend.

The fake relationship trope is always so predictable but I love the progression so I’m excited to see this play out with teenagers!

Amazon Bookshop.org





the lost apothecary

The Lost Apothecary

By Sarah Penner

Travel back to eighteenth century London and explore this unique tale of a women apothecary who became known for dispensing deadly poisons. The most unique addition to this list of best beach reads of 2021!

I was completely captivated from start to finish! Although I preferred the portions devoted to the apothecary, I still enjoyed the back and forth between uncovering the mystery in current day and the developing drama in the past.

Amazon Bookshop.org





What are your favorite books to take on vacation? Will you be adding any of these best beach reads of 2021 to your bag?


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