Bank holiday by the beach: five fab British seaside reads

30 May

I grew up by the sea and miss it a lot, so with a lovely long Bank Holiday weekend approaching I thought I’d make a list of sunny seaside reads! All of these books are set at the British seaside and are the perfect reads to escape to the beach with without fear of the traditional Bank Holiday washout :-)

The Beach Hut by Veronica Henry 

I loved this one when I read it a couple of years ago – it sums up everything that I love about the British seaside and I really enjoyed the way the stories of the different beach huts and the families that occupy them linked together. You can read my full review here.

It’s the start of a long hot summer and once again the beach huts are home for the people who return each year …There’s Jane, left only debts by her husband, and forced to sell the beloved beach hut which holds so many happy memories; Sarah, for whom fidelity has lost its appeal; and Harry, suffering from all the anguish of first love when he falls for Florence – who has grown up to be far more alluring than she ever used to be. THE BEACH HUT follows the stories of the families who come to Everdene each year, people who fall in – or out – of love, remembering their pasts, or trying to forget them…

The Beach Cafe by Lucy Diamond

This was one of my favourite reads of last summer and although I didn’t actually get round to writing a review of it, it’s a five star summer read and will have you longing to relocate to the beautiful Cornish coast!

Evie Flynn has always been the black sheep of her family – a dreamer and a drifter, unlike her over-achieving elder sisters. She’s tried making a name for herself as an actress, a photographer and a singer, but nothing has ever worked out. Now she’s stuck in temp hell, with a sensible, pension-planning boyfriend. Somehow life seems to be passing her by. Then her beloved aunt Jo dies suddenly in a car crash, leaving Evie an unusual legacy – her precious beach cafe in Cornwall. Determined to make a success of something for the first time in her life, Evie heads off to Cornwall to get the cafe and her life back on track – and gets more than she bargained for, both in work and in love… 

The Perfect Hero by Victoria Connelly

I’ve had this one on my ‘to read’ pile for a while and am now saving it for my holiday in August as it sounds like the perfect read for a seaside holiday :)

The circus has come to town…

Die-hard romantic, Kay Ashton, uses her inheritance to open a B&B in the seaside town of Lyme Regis and is dumbstruck when the cast and crew of a new production of Persuasion descend, needing a place to stay. Kay can’t believe her luck – especially when she realises that heart throb actor Oli Wade Owen will be sleeping under her very own roof!

Meanwhile, co-star Gemma Reilly is worried that her acting isn’t up to scratch, despite landing a plum role. She finds a sympathetic ear in shy producer, Adam Craig, who is as baffled by the film world as she is. Kay thinks the two are meant for each other and can’t resist a spot of matchmaking.

Then, when Oli turns his trademark charm on Kay, it seems that she has found her real-life hero. But do heroes really exist?

Love and Freedom by Sue Moorcroft

Love and Freedom won the Festival of Romance Best Romantic Read Award 2011 and is another fab read from last summer with a gorgeous cover (read my full review here).

New start, new love.

That’s what Honor Sontag needs after her life falls apart, leaving her reputation in tatters and her head all over the place. So she flees her native America and heads for Brighton, England. Honor’s hoping for a much-deserved break and the chance to find the mother who abandoned her as a baby. What she gets is an entanglement with a mysterious male whose family seems to have a finger in every pot in town.

Martyn Mayfair has sworn off women with strings attached, but is irresistibly drawn to Honor, the American who keeps popping up in his life. All he wants is an uncomplicated relationship built on honesty, but Honor’s past threatens to undermine everything. Then secrets about her mother start to spill out …

Honor has to make an agonising choice. Will she live up to her dutiful name and please others? Or will she choose freedom?

Secrets by Freya North

This book is an absolute favourite of mine and has a special place in my heart because it’s set in lovely Saltburn-by-the -Sea which is where I grew up!

They drive each other crazy.
And they both have something to hide.

But we all have our secrets.
It’s just some are bigger than others…

Joe has a beautiful house, a great job, no commitments – and he likes it like that. All he needs is a quiet house-sitter for his rambling old place by the sea. When Tess turns up on his doorstep, he’s not sure she’s right for the job. Where has she come from in such a hurry? Her past is a blank and she’s a bit of an enigma. But there’s something about her – even though sparks fly every time they meet.
And it looks like she’s here to stay…


6 Responses to “Bank holiday by the beach: five fab British seaside reads”

  1. Rosemary Kaye 30th May 2012 at 7:19 am #

    Could I suggest “The Fortnight in September” by RC Sherriff – recently republished by Persephone? It is one of my favourite books. It’s a very simple story about a 1930s London family’s annual holiday at Bognor; it’s beautifully written and the characters are so real.

    • Amanda 2nd June 2012 at 8:58 pm #

      Hi Rosemary. Thanks for the fab recommendation – I have added it to my list.

  2. Jess Hearts Books 31st May 2012 at 10:13 am #

    Oh I do love my British Beach books to read during the summer! I have The Beach Cafe to read but will have to check the others out! Thanks! :)

    • Amanda 2nd June 2012 at 8:57 pm #

      Thanks Jess -The Beach Cafe is brillinat. I enjoyed it so much that I’ve given copies a presents to two people now :) Happy summer reading!

  3. Julie B. 31st May 2012 at 2:05 pm #

    I LOVE Victoria Connelly and The Perfect Hero is an absolutely gorgeous book. I adore Sue Moorcroft, but haven’t got round to reading Love and Freedom.

    I’m currently reading Freya North’s Chances and I’m enjoying it, so I’ll probably get round to reading Secrets soon.

    • Amanda 2nd June 2012 at 8:55 pm #

      Hi Julie – I’m really looking forward to reading The Perfect Hero – I enjoyed A Weekend with Mr Darcy a lot. I haven’t read Chances so will look out for your revew!

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