Wow. Beach Read was so good. Like, 5 star rating on Goodreads good. It was supposed to be a light read; a romance author helps a modern fiction author believe that love is real. But it was also so much more. Hope and discovery and vulnerability and loss and family and truth. And I was so in love with the characters. Henry did an amazing job.

But let’s talk about how I got here. I’ve had a lot of time to read thanks to being mostly confined indoors, alone. I know there are people who are having a hard time focusing on books during this uncertain time but I’m kind of having the opposite problem. I’ve read roughly 4 books a week for the past 5 weeks. Which I know makes me the luckiest book nerd on earth. I don’t take that for granted.

And of those completed, I would say about half those books have been romance. Which honestly, surprises me. Before this I would have said that genre wasn’t really my scene. But I have really turned to the genre and the comfort it provides in all this uncertainty. Which means you have A LOT of reviews coming your way. Starting with Beach Read!

That’s what you’re here for, right?

Our lovely main character, January, is a romance author that used to have it all. Perfect family that overcame everything together, boyfriend who was a walking super hero, and artistic inspiration galore. She’s got several published books under her belt and life is good. Until it isn’t. After her Dad dies, everything unravels quickly.

Boyfriend didn’t like ‘this version of her’ and bails, turns out her Dad had been cheating on her mom and her mom knew but didn’t tell January. And all this disillusionment means her creative juices have dried up and she can’t put words on paper. The timing is particularly unfortunate because she’s got a deadline approaching fast.

I miss reading at the beach 🙁

With roughly $20 and a prayer, she moves into the beach house her Dad left her. The beach house he had shared with ‘the other woman’ and never told her about. Which isn’t ideal but she needs to get the house ready to sell so she might as well write there. Then she’ll pick up the rest of the pieces. Perfect plan.

Except her arch nemesis from college lives next store. Successful contemporary fiction author Gus Everett.

And what follows is a wild, incredible journey about life, and all it entails.

Honestly, the back of Beach Read only talking about the bet the two make, to write in the other person’s genre, doesn’t do it justice. There are some well meaning aunts, some confrontations, some deep soul searching, ex’s, visiting an old cult camp, wine, and some notes traded a la Taylor Swift “You Belong With Me.”

No, I’m busy feeling emotions, thanks

For me, it perfectly captured a realistic romantic emotional journey. January doesn’t want to tell anyone about her Dad, doesn’t want to admit the truth to her self. Gus is hiding some deep scars. January wants to know what put them there. And through everything, they can’t fight the pull to draws them together.

Are they brave enough? Can they find their way together, these two hearts?

And that was the core of it all. January and Gus. Who I loved and rooted for and wanted desperately to see happy. They were both real and interesting and so well done. The writing was good, the plot was well done, but it was really these two characters that stole the show. Which is why it was my first 5 star book of the year.

Am I hyping it up too much? Raising your expectations to unattainable levels? I don’t think so. I really think this book stands up under the weight. So read it! Pre order it, put it on hold, find out which local bookstore is selling it and get a copy. ASAP!!

If, while you’re waiting for Beach Read, you need a romance to read- I recommend The Flatshare. It’s seriously so cute and had a great emotional journey as well!