Discover the best books about Summer romance for young adults and adults to devour in the season of sun and sand — a whimsical, lighthearted time of year when anything can happen, including a love affair!
This list of books about Summer love is exactly that. It includes books about finding a passionate romance during the fleeting and fun season and seeing whether it can survive by Fall. It includes Summer romance novels that offer escapism in beach towns and vacation spots, as well as YA Summer romance books about first loves that evoke a sense of nostalgia and the carefree spirit of youth. And, it even includes scandalous “same time next year” romances.
Top 3 Books About Summer Romance
Details on All the Best Books About Summer Romance
28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand
#1 New York Times bestseller
28 Summers lived up to all my expectations of a classic Elin Hilderbrand book — preppy Nantucket setting, light but still has substance, well-drawn-out characters, realistic but still clever dialogue, compulsively readable … I feel like I can go on forever!
It’s about two people who decide to have a “same time next year” meeting that lasts each Labor Day weekend over the course o, you guessed it, 28 Summers. Naturally, this becomes more complicated with age, marriage, and kids.
And I would be remiss not to mention my favorite part — each “year” came with a rundown of all the pop culture items we were talking about at the time. It was just a really fun addition to a book taking place over a few decades.
This was a 5 STAR read for me.
Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen
Along for the Ride is a popular YA Summer romance book about a teen who can’t sleep at night. She meets an intriguing loner and fellow insomniac in a small beach town.
During the Summer before college, she decides to stay with her father, his new wife, and their newborn baby, where she’s drawn into the loner’s world. Through their shared nights, she embarks on a quest to experience the carefree teenage life she’s missed out on, while he has his own regrets.
Their relationship helps both of them embark on a coming-of-age journey of self-discovery, healing, and an unforgettable Summer romance.
Beach Read by Emily Henry
New York Times bestseller
Beach Read is easily one of the best books about Summer romance — it was the first massively bestselling adult romance novel by the popular author Emily Henry. With a title like “Beach Read,” it’s fair to say it’s one of the best beach reads for a lazy day in the sand.
It’s the story of two different writers: January, a bestselling romance writer who has stopped believing in love, and Augustus, an acclaimed literary fiction author.
As they spend three Summer months at neighboring beach houses, they challenge each other to beat their writer’s block by writing something different. Augustus will write something upbeat, and January will write a great American novel.
To help each other achieve their goals, January takes Augustus on romantic field trips, and he takes her to interview surviving members of a backwoods death cult.
Meanwhile, they both also must cope with painful pasts and the fact that they are falling for each other.
After a few years, these characters and the storyline remain memorable to me, and I loved all the little “research” dates January and Augustus went on.
The Beach Trap by Ali Brady
The Beach Trap isn’t just one of the best books about Summer romance because I call one of the authors (it’s two women) a friend — it’s also a satisfying Summer story of friendship, love, and family too.
Two childhood friends turned estranged half-sisters reunite after their father’s death. When they inherit their family beach house in Florida, they’re forced to cooperate to renovate it, despite their differing views and plans for the property.
Amidst these clashing renovation ideas are unexpected Summer romances!
The Blue Bistro by Elin Hilderbrand
Going into The Blue Bistro, I only knew that it was a Summer romance novel taking place at a Nantucket restaurant and that it was one of Elin Hilderbrand’s most beloved books. I was not expecting the emotional ride this book took me on!
It begins with a simple sentence that ends up meaning so much:
“Adrienne needed a job.”
After Adrienne lands an assistant manager position for the last Summer the acclaimed restaurant The Blue Bistro will be in business, she lives an entire lifetime in the span of three months. She starts dating her boss and part-owner of the restaurant, Thatcher, but there’s a third wheel in this relationship — Thatcher’s business partner and lifelong friend — Chef Fiona, who is reclusive and hiding a very big secret.
The descriptions of food in The Blue Bistro were nothing short of delectable and tantalizing, from the opening pages, containing a full menu of farm-fresh delights to the daily tomato specials in the month of August.
And the restaurant environment feels so real and alive that you can envision yourself actually working there, from the bustling bar to the melodic piano and the ocean views, along with the regular patrons and lively staff.
There were some plot issues, and most of the reviews I read reflect that. All three of the main characters had some really unlikable personality traits. And the ending leaves multiple loose ends. That being said, I was still fully immersed in The Blue Bistro and really enjoyed it overall. It’s remained a memorable Summer romance book for several years now for me.
Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman
New York Times bestseller
Call Me By Your Name is about a romance between an adolescent boy and a male Summer guest at his parents’ cliffside mansion on the Italian Riviera. They are unprepared for the consequences of their attraction, as they move toward total intimacy.
Call Me By Your Name has been called an instant classic and one of the great love stories of our time.
The Comeback Summer by Ali Brady
Ali Brady is back again with another satisfying Summer romance novel. What I loved about The Comeback Summer is that it wasn’t just your average steamy romance novel — besides second chance romance and finding real love, it also tackled everything from self-actualization in your career to sister drama.
Hannah and Libby are running their grandmother’s PR agency, and it’s about to close when a self-help guru and potential client challenges them to complete a challenge to crush their comfort zones.
This means Hannah must go out on dates, and Libby must compete in a race. Things get much more complicated, however, when Hannah’s first love shows up, and Libby pretends to be Hannah on a dating app.
And, believe it or not, there’s even more drama and romance to uncover in this witty and charming, multi-layered Summer romance novel.
Every Summer After by Carley Fortune
- New York Times bestseller
- Named one of the Hottest Reads of Summer 2022 by Today, Parade, PopSugar, USA Today, SheReads, BuzzFeed, BookBub, Bustle, and more
Every Summer After has become one of the most popular Summer love books — and deservedly so. It taps into the nostalgia of first love and second chances with characters you want to root for.
Over the course of six Summers in Barry’s Bay, teenagers Persephone and Sam fall in love. Then, one Thanksgiving tears them apart. Years later, Persephone returns to Barry’s Bay for the funeral of Sam’s mother, and she must face how she feels about him after all this time.
This romance novel balances a lot of things just right: friendship, love, angst, conflict, family, and more. And I think you will love it as much as everyone else does!
It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey
As seen on E!Online, PopSugar, CNN, EliteDaily, Vulture, Buzzfeed, Bustle, the Nerd Daily, PARADE, LA Magazine, Country Living, USA Today, and more
It Happened One Summer is one hot and steamy BookTok sensation! It was too steamy for me (I’m more a fan of closed-door romances), but I think fans of steamy, open-door modern romance authors like Lucy Score and Mia Sheridan will gravitate to this one on a hot Summer day since it’s so popular with those types of readers.
Piper is a wild socialite, who lands in jail after a night of partying. Fed up, her stepfather cuts her off and sends her and her sister to manage their late father’s dive bar in Washington. There she meets a small-town sea captain named Brendan, who’s grieving his wife’s death.
Despite their differences, their attraction grows, particularly because he needs to be away at sea for long stretches, which leaves her worried and wanting him all the more.
She’s left to decide between the glitz and glamour of Los Angeles or her small-town romance.
Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch
New York Times bestseller
In Love and Gelato, a teenager’s road trip across Italy is filled with romance, mystery, and adventure with a cute Italian boy. Lina is spending the Summer in Tuscany, as it was her mother’s dying wish that she get to know her father. Upon reading her mother’s journal, she discovers the magic of Italy and unearths a life-changing secret that has been kept from her.
I found this book is a bit To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and a bit My Girl 2. It’s a perfect light YA Summer romance book filled with Italian inspiration.
Same Time Next Summer by Annabel Monaghan
Named a Best Book of Summer by Real Simple, Reader’s Digest, Country Living, The Skimm
Same Time Next Summer is a buzz-worthy novel about a woman whose seemingly perfect life is disrupted when she unexpectedly runs into her first love during a visit to her family’s Long Island beach house.
Despite being engaged to her doctor fiancé and having a career in Manhattan, her surprise encounter stirs up old feelings and memories, including why they parted ways. She grapples with the undeniable connection and is forced to reassess her life.
The Summer of Broken Rules by K.L. Walther
USA Today bestseller
The Summer of Broken Rules caught my attention because it was recommended for fans of Taylor Swift’s songs.
Meredith is a teen coping with the loss of her beloved sister when she visits the family’s Martha’s Vineyard island farm for a week that will culminate in her cousin’s wedding.
In the days prior to the wedding, the family plays a competitive game of Assassin and, in an attempt to win it all in memory of her sister, Meredith forms an alliance with a cute groomsman named Wit.
But it’s not all fun and games when their adventures around the island stir up romantic feelings. The question is whether Meredith can still focus on the game… and what will become of this whirlwind romance when the week concludes.
It’s one of the best books for Summer reading for Young Adults, filled with all those warm and fuzzy feelings of lighthearted young Summer love. It left me with a huge smile on my face, and I couldn’t recommend it more highly to fans of YA Summer romance books and/or Taylor Swift.!
Summer Reading by Jenn McKinlay
While overseeing her half-brother’s participation in a library-based robotics competition, she crosses paths with the library’s interim director, who’s searching for his unknown father. A surprising mutual attraction leads her to create her dream cookbook and help him find his father.
While I personally didn’t always love these characters or how their uniqueness was portrayed, I do think book lovers will appreciate how their relationship blossomed around books and reading. I’ll also note that it was fairly low on spice and light overall despite some heavier themes.
A Summer to Remember by Erika Montgomery
A Summer to Remember is one of the best Summer romance books that really keeps you intrigued with a light mystery, and it also has fun movie quotes at the beginning of each chapter.
Frankie is a young woman who sells movie memorabilia in the shop she opened in Hollywood with her late mother. When she received a package containing a photograph of her mother and famous movie stars at a Cape Cod film festival the year before Frankie’s birth, she begins to question her past.
She travels to Cape Cod and uncovers buried secrets amongst friends and family, all while a New England romance heats up.
The Summer of Songbirds by Kristy Woodson Harvey
The Summer of Songbirds is a delightful story with all those nostalgic Summer camp vibes, mixing the depth of real-life drama and conflict with the lightheartedness of a beach read.
Three decades prior, June developed Camp Holly Springs into a summer retreat for girls, including her beloved niece, Daphne, but now its future is at stake.
Meanwhile, Daphne and her old Summer camp friends Lanier and Mary Stuart are still in touch, navigating all of life’s “hard things” together as adults.
Lanier is engaged, but tempted by an old flame, all while Daphne is keen to a business secret about Lanier’s fiance that she can’t tell. At the same time, Daphne herself reignites the spark of an old flame — Lanier’s brother — which is a relationship Lanier has not been keen about.
These conflicts, along with the demons of addiction and the hardships of single parenthood, come to a head when the women unite to save the camp.
It’s not as dark as it may seem, however. The characters and their friendships feel both real and mature. These are women used to coping with “hard things” together, and they will do so as they work on their love lives at the same time.
The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
New York Times bestseller
The Summer I Turned Pretty begins a trilogy of Summer love novels by the popular author of the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before series (a great love story). The story follows teenage “Belly” as she and her mom and her brother visit their shared Summer beach house with her mom’s friend and her two sons, who are both like brothers and crushes to her.
It’s about how a young teen starts to bloom from that awkward stage to that “getting noticed stage.” And as life in the beach house takes a difficult turn, the course of Belly’s teenage life changes.
If you like YA Summer romance books and/or like To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, you are bound to enjoy it (along with the addictive adaptation!).
That Summer Feeling by Bridget Morrissey
- InstanReal Simple’s Must-Reads of Summer 2023
- Book Riot’s Best Romance Books of Summer 2023
- Buzzfeed’s Romance Books To Look Out For In 2023
- Paste Magazine’s Most Anticipated Contemporary Romance Books of 2023
That Summer Feeling is about a divorced woman who embarks on a journey of self-discovery at a reopened adult sleepaway camp. She’s hopeful to find a fresh start, only to find herself unexpectedly drawn to a man from her past, and surprisingly, even more to his sister, a charismatic former park ranger.
Amidst the festivities of Summer and camp, she finds herself torn between her past and a potential new love with a woman. It’s about the unpredictability of the human heart.
Those are the best books about Summer romance to heat up your season in the sun. To recap and help you decide what to read first or next, my top 3 picks are: