Beach Reads

By Cindy Bilbao

sand dunes by the ocean

Spending time on the shore changes the lives of the characters in these stories in ways they wouldn’t have imagined.

montauk historical novel


By Nicola Harrison

This story immerses readers into the humble, quiet seaside town of Montauk, New York, as the threat of the Second World War looms. Different gender roles and social expectations play a significant role in the life of the protagonist, Beatrice Bordeaux, and we see her bravery as she challenges these expectations. The tension between the locals and the summer visitors and their scandals is one of the most interesting aspects of this historical novel.

It’s the summer of 1938 and the wealthy elite of New York City flock to the quaint village of Montauk, where a brand-new resort has turned into the latest hot spot. Author Nicola Harrison expertly brings to light what it was like for different women at that time. She introduces a cast of characters that will draw you in as much as her descriptions of the undeveloped town of Montauk in the early 1900s.

Beatrice’s husband, Harry, wants to invest in the development of this area and hopes that summering in the town will allow Beatrice to forge valuable relationships with the high-society women. Beatrice hopes this summer will be an enjoyable reprieve from the city and that it will add a spark back into their relationship, which has suffered as they tried unsuccessfully to have a baby. But as the summer begins in this beautiful shore town, it starts to become clear to Beatrice that things are not going to be anything close to what she was expecting.

Beatrice realizes she has little in common with the affluent socialites, and her husband returns to the city for work during the week, leaving her to find her own way, enjoying the unspoiled beauty of the area. As the discrepancy between the high society life she’s a part of and the life of the humble local townsfolk becomes contentious, she realizes that she has more in common with the locals, including the handsome, quiet lighthouse keeper, Thomas.

Readers will cheer on Beatrice as she finds her voice and gains confidence to stand up to the other women and societal expectations. Two men in her life who are total opposites will compete for her heart and the violent storm at the end of the story is a metaphor for the consequences of the past summer the Beatrice must face.


romance novel set in washington on the coast

Cottage By The Sea

By Debbie Macomber

Annie Marlow has suffered through tragedy and needs a change of scenery, so she heads to the one place where she feels the happiest: the little beach town in the Pacific Northwest where she vacationed with her family as a child. The people she meets there help to revive her spirits, especially the quiet painter Keaton who is helping her to fix up the cottage. When the opportunity of a lifetime shakes up the quiet life she’s created at the cottage, she faces tough decisions. This is a heartwarming story about moving beyond the past to make new beginnings. If you’re looking for a fast beach read, this romance novel is the one!

This article appeared in the Beachcombing Magazine September/October 2021 issue.

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