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Escape to the Island of Beach Reads

It is difficult to believe that just over a month ago the Southeast was being pummeled by ice, sleet, and snow. Summer has come early to the South, as it so often does, and temperatures are expected to reach the 90’s by this time next week.

Now I don’t know about you, but rising temperatures and sunny days are more than enough to put me in the mood for a trip to the beach. Can’t you just see yourself, sipping on a piña colada and watching the boats go by without a care in the world? But what’s that? It’s only April? The kids are still in school for another three months and your summer vacation isn’t until June?

Well, if you’re itching for an early summer getaway, maybe it’s time to bring the beach to you! The following book titles offer easy, relaxed reading – all with a beach or island setting.

This Spring, let your living room be your vacation destination. Bonus: No sunburns.


Beach Trip: A Novel by Cathy Holton
Laura V. Says: Beach Trip follows a group of college friends, now all in their forties, as they take a week long beach trip to regroup after a series of trials and tribulations.
Amazon Says: Mel, Sara, Annie, and Lola have traveled diverse paths since their years together at a small Southern liberal arts college during the early 1980s. Mel, a mystery writer living more...
Amazon Says: Mel, Sara, Annie, and Lola have traveled diverse paths since their years together at a small Southern liberal arts college during the early 1980s. Mel, a mystery writer living in New York, is grappling with the aftermath of two failed marriages and a stalled writing career. Sara, an Atlanta attorney, struggles with her own slowly unraveling marriage. Annie, a successful Nashville businesswoman married to her childhood sweetheart, can’t seem to leave behind the regrets of her youth. And sweet-tempered Lola whiles away her hours—and her husband’s money—on little pills that keep her happy. Now the friends, all in their forties, converge on Lola’s lavish North Carolina beach house in an attempt to relive the carefree days of their college years. But as the week wears on and each woman’s hidden story is gradually revealed, these four friends learn that they must inevitably confront their shared past, and a secret that threatens to change their bond, and their lives, forever. less...
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Virals by Kathy Reichs
Laura V. Says: Virals is for readers who want a healthy dose of thriller with their relaxation. Tory Brennan, niece to Temperance (of TV's Bones fame) unravels a mystery on the beaches of South Carolina with the help of her friends.
Amazon Says: Tory Brennan, niece of acclaimed forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan (of the Bones novels and hit TV show), is the leader of a ragtag band of teenage "sci-philes" who l more...
Amazon Says: Tory Brennan, niece of acclaimed forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan (of the Bones novels and hit TV show), is the leader of a ragtag band of teenage "sci-philes" who live on a secluded island off the coast of South Carolina. When the group rescues a dog caged for medical testing on a nearby island, they are exposed to an experimental strain of canine parvovirus that changes their lives forever.As the friends discover their heightened senses and animal-quick reflexes, they must combine their scientific curiosity with their newfound physical gifts to solve a cold-case murder that has suddenly become very hot--if they can stay alive long enough to catch the killer's scent.Fortunately, they are now more than friends--they're a pack. They are Virals.Book Details:Format: HardcoverPublication Date: 11/2/2010Pages: 464Reading Level: Age 10 and Up less...
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Folly Beach: A Lowcountry Tale by Dorothea Benton Frank
Laura V. Says: Folly Beach is the story of a woman starting over after a failed marriage. Cate Cooper finds comfort in going home - to the beach of her childhood.
Amazon Says: Folly Beach: A Lowcountry Tale (Lowcountry Tales) more...
Amazon Says: Folly Beach: A Lowcountry Tale (Lowcountry Tales) less...
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Laura V. Says: This is a story of lost love and tragedy set in the 1940's Pacific Theatre.
Amazon Says: A sweeping World War II saga of thwarted love, murder, and a long-lost painting. In the summer of 1942, twenty-one-year-old Anne Calloway, newly engaged, sets off to s more...
Amazon Says: A sweeping World War II saga of thwarted love, murder, and a long-lost painting. In the summer of 1942, twenty-one-year-old Anne Calloway, newly engaged, sets off to serve in the Army Nurse Corps on the Pacific island of Bora-Bora. More exhilarated by the adventure of a lifetime than she ever was by her predictable fiancé, she is drawn to a mysterious soldier named Westry, and their friendship soon blossoms into hues as deep as the hibiscus flowers native to the island. Under the thatched roof of an abandoned beach bungalow, the two share a private world-until they witness a gruesome crime, Westry is suddenly redeployed, and the idyll vanishes into the winds of war.A timeless story of enduring passion, The Bungalow chronicles Anne's determination to discover the truth about the twin losses-of life, and of love-that have haunted her for seventy years. less...
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Sea Change by Karen White
Laura V. Says: For Ava Whalen, a new marriage and a move to St. Simons Island means a new beginning. In Sea Change, Ava seeks to find her true identity, and struggles to find happiness in love.
Amazon Says: When newlywed Ava Whalen follows her husband to his family home on St. Simons Island, she discovers a tangled web of dangerous secrets in this enthralling story from the N more...
Amazon Says: When newlywed Ava Whalen follows her husband to his family home on St. Simons Island, she discovers a tangled web of dangerous secrets in this enthralling story from the New York Times bestselling author of the Tradd Street novels. For as long as she can remember, Ava Whalen has struggled with a sense of not belonging, and now, at thirty-four, she still feels stymied by her family. Then she meets child psychologist Matthew Frazier, and thinks her days of loneliness are behind her. After a whirlwind romance, they impulsively elope, and Ava moves to Matthew’s ancestral home on St. Simons Island off the coast of Georgia. But after the initial excitement, Ava is surprised to discover that true happiness continues to elude her. There is much she doesn’t know about Matthew, including the mysterious circumstances surrounding his first wife’s death. And her new home seems to hold as many mysteries and secrets as her new husband. Feeling adrift, Ava throws herself into uncovering Matthew’s family history and that of the island, not realizing that she has a connection of her own to this place—or that her obsession with the past could very well destroy her future. less...
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Summer Rental by Mary Kay Andrews
Laura V. Says: Friends Ellis, Julia, and Dorie take a much needed vacation on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
Amazon Says: Sometimes, when you need a change in your life, the tide just happens to pull you in the right direction…. Ellis, Julia, and Dorie. Best friends since Catholic grade sch more...
Amazon Says: Sometimes, when you need a change in your life, the tide just happens to pull you in the right direction…. Ellis, Julia, and Dorie. Best friends since Catholic grade school, they now find themselves, in their mid-thirties, at the crossroads of life and love. Ellis, recently fired from a job she gave everything to, is rudderless and now beginning to question the choices she's made over the past decade of her life. Julia—whose caustic wit covers up her wounds--has a man who loves her and is offering her the world, but she can't hide from how deeply insecure she feels about her looks, her brains, her life. And Dorie has just been shockingly betrayed by the man she loved and trusted the most in the world…though this is just the tip of the iceberg of her problems and secrets. A month in North Carolina's Outer Banks is just what they each of them needs. Ty Bazemore is their landlord, though he's hanging on to the rambling old beach house by a thin thread. After an inauspicious first meeting with Ellis, the two find themselves disturbingly attracted to one another, even as Ty is about to lose everything he's ever cared about. Maryn Shackleford is a stranger, and a woman on the run. Maryn needs just a few things in life: no questions, a good hiding place, and a new identity. Ellis, Julia, and Dorie can provide what Maryn wants; can they also provide what she needs? Five people questioning everything they ever thought they knew about life. Five people on a journey that will uncover their secrets and point them on the path to forgiveness. Five people who each need a sea change, and one month in a summer rental that might just give it to them. less...
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Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan
Laura V. Says: Meet the Kellehers, a family full of secrets. As three generations of Kelleher women gather at their Maine beach house, each of the women struggles with her inner demons.
Amazon Says: This breakout New York Times bestseller from the celebrated author of Commencement and The Engagements, introduces four unforgettable women and the abiding, often irrational l more...
Amazon Says: This breakout New York Times bestseller from the celebrated author of Commencement and The Engagements, introduces four unforgettable women and the abiding, often irrational love that keeps them coming back, every summer, to Maine and to each other.   For the Kellehers, Maine is a place where children run in packs, showers are taken outdoors, and old Irish songs are sung around a piano. As three generations of Kelleher women arrive at the family's beach house, each brings her own hopes and fears. Maggie is thirty-two and pregnant, waiting for the perfect moment to tell her imperfect boyfriend the news; Ann Marie, a Kelleher by marriage, is channeling her domestic frustration into a dollhouse obsession and an ill-advised crush; Kathleen, the black sheep, never wanted to set foot in the cottage again; and Alice, the matriarch at the center of it all, would trade every floorboard for a chance to undo the events of one night, long ago. less...
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Swimming Lessons by Mary Alice Monroe
Laura V. Says: Toy Sooner struggles with single motherhood while working to rehabilitate a family of sea turtles.
Amazon Says: Toy Sooner has dealt with enough rough waves in her troubled past. It's only been through the enduring love of a close-knit group of women on this tiny island that she's fin more...
Amazon Says: Toy Sooner has dealt with enough rough waves in her troubled past. It's only been through the enduring love of a close-knit group of women on this tiny island that she's finally started to find her footing. But as new challenges in her career arise for this young single mother, the choices and demons of her past will catch up to her. Soon Toy will learn that, like the steadfast sea turtles she cares for, a mother must find the strength within herself to make it safely to shore. less...
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Laura V. Says: Perhaps a stretch for some theme-wise, Catching Fire is the second book in The Hunger Games trilogy. Much of this book takes place on the synthetic beach of the arena - driving the characters back into the fray of battle throughout the story. An action packed read.
Amazon Says: Suzanne Collins continues the amazing story of Katniss Everdeen in the phenomenal Hunger Games trilogy. Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games wit more...
Amazon Says: Suzanne Collins continues the amazing story of Katniss Everdeen in the phenomenal Hunger Games trilogy. Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. less...
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Summerland: A Novel by Elin Hilderbrand
Laura V. Says: A group of Nantucket high school students take part in a summer tradition, a bonfire on the beach. After a terrible deadly car crash on the night of the bonfire, the survivors must come to terms with their grief in the aftermath.
Amazon Says: A summer's night, a deadly crash, and four lives changed forever--in the page-turning new bestseller from Elin Hilderbrand. A warm June evening, a local tradition: the student more...
Amazon Says: A summer's night, a deadly crash, and four lives changed forever--in the page-turning new bestseller from Elin Hilderbrand. A warm June evening, a local tradition: the students of Nantucket High have gathered for a bonfire on the beach. What begins as a graduation night celebration ends in tragedy after a horrible car crash leaves the driver, Penny Alistair, dead, and her twin brother in a coma. The other passengers, Penny's boyfriend, Jake, and her friend Demeter, are physically unhurt--but the emotional damage is overwhelming. Questions linger about what happened before Penny took the wheel. As summer unfolds, startling truths are revealed about the survivors and their parents--secrets kept, promises broken, hearts betrayed. Elin Hilderbrand explores the power of community, family, and honesty, and proves that even from the ashes of sorrow new love can take flight. less...
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Sullivan's Island by Dorothea Benton Frank
Laura V. Says: Years after her fun and carefree youth, Susan Hayes returns to her childhood home on Sullivan's Island to reevaluate her life.
Amazon Says: Sullivan's Island (Lowcountry Tales) more...
Amazon Says: Sullivan's Island (Lowcountry Tales) less...
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A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams
Laura V. Says: Lilly Dane has returned to Seaview, Rhode Island to escape from her crazy New York City life.
Amazon Says: As the 1938 hurricane approaches Rhode Island, another storm brews in this New York Times bestseller from the author of The Secret Life of Violet Grant and Along the Infini more...
Amazon Says: As the 1938 hurricane approaches Rhode Island, another storm brews in this New York Times bestseller from the author of The Secret Life of Violet Grant and Along the Infinite Sea.   Lily Dane has returned to Seaview, Rhode Island, where her family has summered for generations. It’s an escape not only from New York’s social scene but from a heartbreak that still haunts her. Here, among the seaside community that has embraced her since childhood, she finds comfort in the familiar rituals of summer.   But this summer is different. Budgie and Nick Greenwald—Lily’s former best friend and former fiancé—have arrived, too, and Seaview’s elite are abuzz. Under Budgie’s glamorous influence, Lily is seduced into a complicated web of renewed friendship and dangerous longing.   As a cataclysmic hurricane churns north through the Atlantic, and uneasy secrets slowly reveal themselves, Lily and Nick must confront an emotional storm that will change their worlds forever... READERS GUIDE INCLUDED less...
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Whiskey Beach by Nora Roberts
Amazon Says: Whiskey Beach more...
Amazon Says: Whiskey Beach less...
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