5 Rom-Com Novels in My Beach Bag This Summer

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Angie Hockman is a 2019 RWA Golden Heart Winner. She is the author of Shipped and Dream On. To learn more, visit AngieHockman.com or follow Angie on Instagram and Twitter.

I don’t know about you, but nothing gives me maximum summer vibes like stretching out on a lounge chair with a cool drink and a heartwarming rom-com. Give me all the fun, lighthearted love stories as I sip lemonade and bask in the sunshine, please! Bonus points for escapist reads that whisk me away to exotic locales or thoughtful stories that explore family dynamics alongside a happily ever after.

From tropical beaches, windswept safaris, cozy lakeside cabins, big family weddings, and treasure hunts in the American West, here are five books I’m tucking in my beach bag this summer. Enjoy with sunscreen, the beverage of your choice, and a hefty helping of starry-eyed delight.

Something Wilder
by Christina Lauren

If the movies Romancing the Stone and National Treasure had a book baby, that baby would be SOMETHING WILDER by Christina Lauren, the latest contemporary romance from the dynamic writing duo. This second chance love story set in the red-rock wilderness of Utah is the perfect book to snag if you want a dose of adventure with your romance.

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Something Wilder
Christina Lauren

The “reigning romance queens” (PopSugar) and New York Times bestselling authors of The Soulmate Equation and The Unhoneymooners present a charming and laugh-out-loud funny novel filled with adventure, treasure, and, of course, love.

Growing up the daughter of notorious treasure hunter and absentee father Duke Wilder left Lily without much patience for the profession…or much money in the bank. But Lily is nothing if not resourceful, and now uses Duke’s coveted hand-drawn maps to guide tourists on fake treasure hunts through the red rock canyons of Utah. It pays the bills but doesn’t leave enough to fulfill her dream of buying back the beloved ranch her father sold years ago, and definitely not enough to deal with the sight of the man she once loved walking back into her life with a motley crew of friends ready to hit the trails. Frankly, Lily would like to take him out into the wilderness—and leave him there.

Leo Grady knew mirages were a thing in the desert, but they’d barely left civilization when the silhouette of his greatest regret comes into focus in the flickering light of the campfire. Ready to leave the past behind him, Leo wants nothing more than to reconnect with his first and only love. Unfortunately, Lily Wilder is all business, drawing a clear line in the sand: it’s never going to happen.

But when the trip goes horribly and hilariously wrong, the group wonders if maybe the legend of the hidden treasure wasn’t a gimmick after all. There’s a chance to right the wrongs—of Duke’s past and their own—but only if Leo and Lily can confront their history and work together. Alone under the stars in the isolated and dangerous mazes of the Canyonlands, Leo and Lily must decide whether they’ll risk their lives and hearts on the adventure of a lifetime.

From the author of the “heartfelt and funny” (Publishers Weekly) sensation The Unhoneymooners, this page-turning adventure full of second chances, complicated relationships, and the breathtaking beauty of the American Southwest will take fans on one wild ride.

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MENTIONED IN:

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From the Jump
by Lucie Waldon

From a South Africa safari to the sun-soaked streets of Los Angeles, FROM THE JUMP captivates with its true-to-life friendships, empowering journey of self-discovery, and a slow burn romance that will leave you grinning for days. In this follow-up to THE LAYOVER, Waldon delivers rom-com gold yet again—best enjoyed on a sultry summer night.

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From the Jump
Lucie Waldon

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Island Time
by Georgia Clark

A remote island off the coast of Australia serves as the backdrop for this steamy, thoughtful ensemble romantic comedy from Georgia Clark, author of IT HAD TO BE YOU and THE BUCKET LIST. If you like messy family relationships, unspoiled tropical landscapes, and swoony sapphic romance, pick up this escapist read for your next getaway or staycation.

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Island Time
Georgia Clark

Love is in the salty sea air in this smart and steamy ensemble romantic comedy set in a tropical paradise, from the author of the “sparkly and entertaining” (Oprah Daily) It Had to Be You. This is one island you won’t want to be rescued from.

The Kellys are messy, loud, loving Australians. The Lees are sophisticated, aloof, buttoned-up Americans. They have nothing in common…except for the fact that their daughters are married. When a nearby volcano erupts during their short vacation to a remote tropical island off the coast of Queensland, the two families find themselves stranded together for six weeks.

With only two island employees making up the rest of their party, everyone is forced to question what—or who—they really want. Island Time is a sumptuous summer read that dives deep into queer romance, family secrets, ambition, parenthood, and a bird-chasing bromance. This sexy, sun-soaked paradise of white sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters, and lush rainforest will show you it’s never too late to change your destiny.

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MENTIONED IN:

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Sari, Not Sari
by Sonya Singh

Looking for a book to toss in your suitcase for a destination wedding this summer? SARI, NOT SARI by Sonya Singh is it. A kickass young CEO reconnects with her South Asian roots by fake dating a client at a big Indian wedding, and readers are treated to a feast of colorful traditions, compelling characters, and delicious romance. Yes, please!

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Sari, Not Sari
Sonya Singh

This delightful debut rom-com follows the adventures of a woman trying to connect with her South Asian roots and introduces readers to a memorable cast of characters in a veritable feast of food, family traditions, and fun.

Manny Dogra is the beautiful young CEO of Breakup, a highly successful company that helps people manage their relationship breakups. As preoccupied as she is with her business, she’s also planning her wedding to handsome architect Adam Jamieson while dealing with the loss of her beloved parents.

For reasons Manny has never understood, her mother and father, who were both born in India, always wanted her to become an “All-American” girl. So that’s what she did. She knows next to nothing about her South Asian heritage, and that’s never been a problem—until her parents are no longer around, and an image of Manny that’s been Photoshopped to make her skin look more white appears on a major magazine cover. Suddenly, the woman who built an empire encouraging people to be true to themselves is having her own identity crisis.

But when an irritating client named Sammy Patel approaches Manny with an odd breakup request, the perfect solution presents itself: If they both agree to certain terms, he’ll give her a crash course in being “Indian” at his brother’s wedding.

What follows is days of dancing and dal, masala and mehndi as Manny meets the lovable, if endlessly interfering, aunties and uncles of the Patel family, and, along the way, discovers much more than she could ever have anticipated.

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The Suite Spot
by Trish Doller

In THE SUITE SPOT, the delightful standalone sequel to FLOAT PLAN, Trish Doller envelopes readers in a heartwarming, lakeside love story between a single mom looking for a new life and a grumptastic brewery hotel owner working to keep his business dreams alive. Come for the Lake Erie Islands setting, stay for the romance, and enjoy the coziest of beach read vibes.

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The Suite Spot
Trish Doller

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MENTIONED IN:

5 Rom-Com Novels in My Beach Bag This Summer

By Angie Hockman | July 18, 2022

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Dream On
by Angie Hockman

DREAM ON is out now!

When law grad Cass Walker wakes up after surviving a car accident, she is flooded with memories of a man named Devin. The only problem? Devin—as confirmed by family, friends, and doctors—doesn’t exist. Everything about him, from his coffee-brown eyes to the slightly crooked angle of his pinkie to his high-wattage charm, is a figment of Cass’s coma-addled imagination. Still, she can’t get him out of her head. So when she happens upon the real Devin a year later in a Cleveland flower shop, she’s completely shocked. Even more surprising is that Devin actually believes her story, and despite his protective younger brother’s doubts, they soon embark on a real-life romance. With her dream man by her side and a new job at a prestigious law firm, Cass’s future seems perfect. But fate might have other plans...

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Dream On
Angie Hockman

In this fresh romantic comedy from the author of Shipped, heralded as an “absolutely sparkling debut” by Entertainment Weekly, a woman wakes up from a car accident with memories of a boyfriend she’s never met...only to run into him a year later. Perfect for fans of Christina Lauren and Rebecca Serle.

What would you do if your dream man turned out to be real?

When law grad Cass Walker wakes up after surviving a car accident, she is flooded with memories of a man named Devin. The only problem? Devin—as confirmed by family, friends, and doctors—doesn’t exist. Everything about him, from his coffee-brown eyes to the slightly crooked angle of his pinkie to his high-wattage charm, is a figment of Cass’s coma-addled imagination. Still, she can’t get him out of her head.

So when she happens upon the real Devin a year later in a Cleveland flower shop, she’s completely shocked. Even more surprising is that Devin actually believes her story, and despite his protective younger brother’s doubts, they soon embark on a real-life romance. With her dream man by her side and a new job at a prestigious law firm, Cass’s future seems perfect. But fate might have other plans...

From the beloved author of Shipped comes a magical and witty romantic comedy that explores what happens when our dreams come true—even when they’re not the ones we expect.

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MENTIONED IN:

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