When packing for holiday, a beach read is essential.
But, in our opinion, you can’t just take any old novel. No, a summer book is has to be the perfect cocktail of sex, steam, secrets and gossip.
After all, you’re getting hot and sweaty in the sun regardless, so no one will notice if you get a little hot under the collar.
You can always take a dip to cool off.
We’ve rounded up the six best beach reads for summer 2023 from thrillers to romance – either way they’ll have your heart racing.
Whether you like feel good sexy reads or something slightly darker there’s something for everyone on this list…
Simply put, this book is a perfect summer storm of escapism and scandal set over the course of one fateful day and night.
It’s August 1983 in Malibu and Nina Riva’s annual party is about to take place after her recent divorce from her tennis star husband.
She and her siblings are famous because of their father, legendary singer Mick Riva and they all have their own secrets.
But by morning the Riva mansion will have burned to the ground after sex and secrets spill out in the glamourous star-studded event of the year.
We couldn’t put it down and we bet you won’t be able to either.
Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid, £5.00
It’s literally summer in a book.
This young adult novel is certain to be a smash hit with younger readers looking to dip their toes into a good book on holiday.
Think beach parties, privileged teens, lies and gossip. But for Linden his concern of fitting in at his friends vacation house party fades to the background when a body is discovered in the pool.
It’s dripping with danger and secrets and it’s perfect for fans of Gossip Girl but with a dark twist.
It’s fast-paced and will have you hooked. You’re in for a killer summer.
Liar’s Beach by Katie Cotugno, £8.27
Think We Were Liars meets Gossip Girl.
Honey & Spice
It’s sexy, it’s delicious, it’s fun. But did we expect anything less from Bolu Babalola? Nope.
This BookTok sensation and deliciously hot novel follows Kiki Banjo, a student and radio host, who is forced to enter into a fake relationship with handsome ‘player’ Malakai Korede.
But tension starts to sizzle between the two and everything Kiki thought about love is in danger of being completely undone.
It’s the perfect inclusive and addictive rom-com with just the right amount of spice.
Honey & Spice by Bolu Babalola, £6.29
It’s sexy, saucy and inclusive.
If you haven’t read one of Emily Henry’s books by now then, to be blunt, you’ve missed out.
But fear not because Emily’s Happy Place is ready for you to pop in your basket and find out why she’s one of the biggest authors around.
We love a forced proximity trope and a fake relationship and that’s exactly what you get when following Harriet and Wyn who are supposedly the perfect couple.
Each year they holiday with friends and everyone marvels at how amazing they are, but this time it’s different because they broke up six months ago.
The catch? No one knows, so they fake it and pretend they’re still together – but will they get away with it or will their hearts break all over again?
Happy Place by Emily Henry, £7.00
Her other novels Book Lovers and Beach Read are equally as perfect for summer.
The Nail Salon
Fancy something a little darker? Well this disturbingly-brilliant thriller by Natalie Tambini is chock full of lies secrets, cheating husbands and nosey housewives.
In a perfect and tightly-wound community in a London suburb everything seems as it should be. But then a teenage girl goes missing.
The investigation that follows will have that perfect facade tumbling down as people are brought to their knees.
We should warn you though the book discusses themes of domestic and child abuse, animal torture, self-harm and suicide. Please read at your discretion.
The Nail Salon by Natalie Tambini, £7.91
Pre-order this for a disturbing read if you like your books a little darker.
This Summer’s Secrets
Senara has never been in love and her life has never really been that exciting.
But at Cliff House that all changes when she begins to fall for someone and is pulled into a different world of glamour and wealth.
However, there are secrets ready to spill out and the implicate Senara, her friends and her family in ways she could never ever have imagine.
This is another young adult novel that will have younger readers transfixed.
This Summer’s Secrets by Emily Barr, £7.49
A hot summer, a first love and more secrets than you can count.
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