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I am so excited! Getting ready for my vacation to Aruba this week. On the agenda? Beach. Read. Eat. Repeat. That’s it. These are the things that my heart and soul desperately need. Life is so busy and we all have so much going on. I don’t know about you, but between that, constant strolling, and my obsessive kdrama binging, I haven’t made the time to do much reading. I have a stack of books by my bed and I’ll read a little before I go to sleep. But it’s nothing like the years when I’ve read 50 to over 100 books. So vacation is the perfect time to unplug and get to all the books that I’ve been meaning to read. Of course, I needed to put together my vacation beach book list.

Now if I were a smart person, I would just take some of the books I already own. But what fun would that be? Like any good book lover knows, just because you have books at home does not mean you don’t need more. Sorry, I don’t make the rules. Lol

Personally, when I’m on vacation I need the most easy breezy books I can find. No heavy lifting for me on vacation. I’ll save those for another time when I really need to concentrate and think. For me, the ultimate vacation book list is full of romance. I want the most swoony, sweet, happy ending romance books I can find.

I recently made a trip to one of my favorite indie book stores, All She Wrote Books, and got some recommendations from the owner Christina. She is the sweetest, very knowledgeable, and always gives me great picks! Another one of my favorite indie book stores is Frugal Bookstore in Roxbury. Clarrissa and Leonard there are incredible and I’ve always gotten incredible suggestions from them as well.

Here are some of my past vacation reads.

I’m starting to pack now, and my books are going to have their own bag. I do have a Kindle, but I’m taking actual books this time. I know I’m going to have to scale it back, but here are the books that are in the running for vacation.

 

  • By the Book by Jasmine Guillory

    By the Book by Jasmine Guillory book cover. Pink cover with flowers and a Black man and woman

    From Jasmine Guillory’s website

    A tale as old as time—for a new generation…

    Isabelle is completely lost. When she first began her career in publishing right out of college, she did not expect to be twenty-five, living at home, still an editorial assistant, and the only Black employee at her publishing house. Overworked and underpaid, constantly torn between speaking up or stifling herself, Izzy thinks there must be more to this publishing life. So when she overhears her boss complaining about a beastly high-profile author who has failed to deliver his long-awaited manuscript, Isabelle sees an opportunity to finally get the promotion she deserves.

    All she has to do is go to the author’s Santa Barbara mansion and give him a quick pep talk or three. How hard could it be?

    But Izzy quickly finds out she is in over her head. Beau Towers is not some celebrity lightweight writing a tell-all memoir. He is jaded and withdrawn and—it turns out—just as lost as Izzy. But despite his standoffishness, Izzy needs Beau to deliver, and with her encouragement, his story begins to spill onto the page. They soon discover they have more in common than either of them expected, and as their deadline nears, Izzy and Beau begin to realize there may be something there that wasn’t there before.

    Best-selling author Jasmine Guillory’s reimagining of a beloved fairy tale is a romantic triumph of love and acceptance and learning that sometimes to truly know a person you have to read between the lines.

  • Reminders of Him by Colleen Hoover

    Blue and purple book cover - Reminders of Him by Colleen Hoover

    From Montlake Publishing/Amazon

    A troubled young mother yearns for a shot at redemption in this heartbreaking yet hopeful story from #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover.

    After serving five years in prison for a tragic mistake, Kenna Rowan returns to the town where it all went wrong, hoping to reunite with her four-year-old daughter. But the bridges Kenna burned are proving impossible to rebuild. Everyone in her daughter’s life is determined to shut Kenna out, no matter how hard she works to prove herself.

    The only person who hasn’t closed the door on her completely is Ledger Ward, a local bar owner and one of the few remaining links to Kenna’s daughter. But if anyone were to discover how Ledger is slowly becoming an important part of Kenna’s life, both would risk losing the trust of everyone important to them.

    The two form a connection despite the pressure surrounding them, but as their romance grows, so does the risk. Kenna must find a way to absolve the mistakes of her past in order to build a future out of hope and healing.

  • Half-Blown Rose by Leesa Cross-Smith

    Gold and Pink book cover Half Blown Rose by Leesa Cross-Smith

    From Grand Central Publishing

    An irresistible story of a woman remaking her life after her husband’s betrayal leads to a year of travel, art, and passion in Paris, from the award-winning author of This Close to Okay.

    Vincent, having grown up as the privileged daughter of artists, has a lovely life in many ways. At forty-four, she enjoys strolling the streets of Paris and teaching at the modern art museum; she has a vibrant group of friends; and she’s even caught the eye of a young, charismatic man named Loup. But Vincent is also in Paris to escape a painful betrayal: her husband, Cillian, has published a bestselling book divulging secrets about their marriage and his own past, hinting that when he was a teenager, he may have had a child with a young woman back in Dublin—before he moved to California and never returned.

    Now estranged from her husband, Vincent has agreed to see Cillian again at their son’s wedding the following summer, but Loup introduces new complications. Soon they begin an intense affair, and somewhere between dinners made together, cigarettes smoked in the moonlight, hazy evenings in nightclubs, and long, starry walks along the Seine, Vincent feels herself loosening and blossoming.

    In a journey that is both transportive and intimate, Half-Blown Rose traverses Paris, art, travel, liminal spaces, and the messy complexities of relationships and romance, with excerpts from Cillian’s novel, playlists, and journal entries woven throughout. As Cillian does all he can to win her back, Vincent must decide what she wants . . . and who she will be.

  • The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

    Boos cover of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. Woman in green dress

    From Simon & Schuster

    Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

    Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

    Summoned to Evelyn’s luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the ‘80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn’s story near its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

    “Heartbreaking, yet beautiful” (Jamie Blynn, Us Weekly), The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is “Tinseltown drama at its finest” (Redbook): a mesmerizing journey through the splendor of old Hollywood into the harsh realities of the present day as two women struggle with what it means—and what it costs—to face the truth.

  • The Summer Place by Jennifer Weiner

    The Summer Place by Jennifer Weiner book cover. woman in a pink inner tube in the water

    From Simon & Schuster

    From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of That Summer comes another heartfelt and unputdownable novel of family, secrets, and the ties that bind.

    When her twenty-two-year-old stepdaughter announces her engagement to her pandemic boyfriend, Sarah Danhauser is shocked. But the wheels are in motion. Headstrong Ruby has already set a date (just three months away!) and spoken to her beloved safta, Sarah’s mother Veronica, about having the wedding at the family’s beach house in Cape Cod. Sarah might be worried, but Veronica is thrilled to be bringing the family together one last time before putting the big house on the market.

    But the road to a wedding day usually comes with a few bumps. Ruby has always known exactly what she wants, but as the wedding date approaches, she finds herself grappling with the wounds left by the mother who walked out when she was a baby. Veronica ends up facing unexpected news, thanks to her meddling sister, and must revisit the choices she made long ago, when she was a bestselling novelist with a different life. Sarah’s twin brother, Sam, is recovering from a terrible loss, and confronting big questions about who he is—questions he hopes to resolve during his stay on the Cape. Sarah’s husband, Eli, who’s been inexplicably distant during the pandemic, confronts the consequences of a long ago lapse from his typical good-guy behavior. And Sarah, frustrated by her husband, concerned about her stepdaughter, and worn out by challenges of life during quarantine, faces the alluring reappearance of someone from her past and a life that could have been.

    When the wedding day arrives, lovers are revealed as their true selves, misunderstandings take on a life of their own, and secrets come to light. There are confrontations and revelations that will touch each member of the extended family, ensuring that nothing will ever be the same.

  • Book Lovers by Emily Henry

    Blue book cover of Book Lovers by Emily Henry. Man and woman back to back, sitting and reading books

    From Penguin Random House

  • The Last Chance Library by Freya Sampson

    Book cover of The Last Chance Library. Purple cover with various book images and people

    From Penguin Random House

  • Bet On It by Jodie Slaughter

    Purple book cover of Bet on It with two people

    From Macmillan Publishers

    “Jodie Slaughter is must-buy author, and Bet on It is a perfect example of what makes her writing delicious. Aja and Walker’s story is hot, sweet, and utterly unique, with a rock-solid emotional core.” – Talia Hibbert, New York Times bestselling author of Act Your Age, Eve Brown

    The first time Aja Owens encounters the man of her dreams, she’s having a panic attack in the frozen foods section of the Piggly Wiggly. The second time, he’s being introduced to her as her favorite bingo buddy’s semi-estranged grandson. From there, all it takes is one game for her to realize that he’s definitely going to be a problem. And if there’s anything she already has a surplus of, it’s problems.

    In Walker Abbott’s mind, there are only two worthwhile things in Greenbelt, South Carolina. The peach cobbler at his old favorite diner and his ailing grandmother. Dragging himself back after more than a decade away, he’s counting down the days until Gram heals and he can get back to his real life. Far away from the trauma inside of those city limits. Just when he thinks his plan is solid, enter Aja to shake everything up.

    A hastily made bingo-based sex pact is supposed to keep this…thing between them from getting out of hand. Especially when submitting to their feelings means disrupting their carefully balanced lives. But emotions are just like bingo callers—they refuse to be ignored.

    Jodie Slaughter’s Bet on It is a heart-stoppingly fun, emotional romance that will have readers falling in love until long after the last page is turned.

  • Part of Your World by Abby Jimenez

    Light blue and dark blue book cover of Part of Your World by Abby Jimenez

    From Grand Central Publishing

    A refreshingly modern fairy tale and instant New York Times bestseller that Love Hypothesis author Ali Hazelwood hails as “an uplifting, feel-good, romantic read.” 

    After a wild bet, gourmet grilled-cheese sandwich, and cuddle with a baby goat, Alexis Montgomery has had her world turned upside down. The cause: Daniel Grant, a ridiculously hot carpenter who’s ten years younger than her and as casual as they come—the complete opposite of sophisticated city-girl Alexis. And yet their chemistry is undeniable.

    While her ultra-wealthy parents want her to carry on the family legacy of world-renowned surgeons, Alexis doesn’t need glory or fame. She’s fine with being a “mere” ER doctor. And every minute she spends with Daniel and the tight-knit town where he lives, she’s discovering just what’s really important. Yet letting their relationship become anything more than a short-term fling would mean turning her back on her family and giving up the opportunity to help thousands of people.

    Bringing Daniel into her world is impossible, and yet she can’t just give up the joy she’s found with him either. With so many differences between them, how can Alexis possibly choose between her world and his?