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Explore this quick and easy guide to the Elin Hilderbrand Nantucket series for everything you need to know about this popular book trilogy by the New York Times bestselling author known as “Queen of the Beach Reads.”

I’ve always been a big fan of author Elin Hilderbrand’s books (who doesn’t love a good beach read?!). However, to my surprise, I only recently learned that three of her novels are part of an Elin Hilderbrand book series called the Nantucket series. Since I read them all, I thought it would be helpful to others if I wrote a full post about them.

Elin Hilderbrand’s Nantucket Series in Order

  1. A Summer Affair (2008)
  2. The Castaways (2009)
  3. The Perfect Couple (2018)


  • I read the Nantucket series out of order myself, and I didn’t even notice it was a series, however, that may be because there was a lot of time between my reading of each book in the trilogy. That being said, if you don’t want any spoilers and/or want to totally understand any crossovers, then you should read these three books in order.

A Summer Affair (Nantucket series, 1 of 3) (2008)

I loved the premise of A Summer Affair: the drama behind planning a charitable Summer Gala. The setting is just so ripe for lighthearted conflict!

But, the Gala isn’t the only “affair” in this book, as long nights of planning lead to an illicit romance between Lockhart Dixon and Claire Danner Crispin, a glassblowing woman married to a loving and successful husband, Jason, as well as the mother of four children.

The affair is the physical manifestation of the feelings of inadequacy about a car accident she caused years ago, the pressures of adulthood, and her unresolved romantic feelings.

It will be tough to read if you have a hard time getting based storylines involving cheating, but at the same time, it’s so compulsively readable, and it was hard for me to put it down.

The Castaways (Nantucket series, 2 of 3)(2009)

The Castaways is a beachy mystery and a very guilty pleasure about a group of Nantucket couples who are friends holding secrets involving their relationships with each other.

When, at the outset, one of the couples, Greg and Tess Macavoy, drowns and dies on a sail to Martha’s Vineyard, the friends cope with their grief and question the circumstances surrounding these deaths.

The group includes Tess’s twin sister, Andrea, who might have been secretly in love with Greg, free spirit Delilah, whose marriage to Jeff has trust issues, secretive Addison, and outsider Phoebe.

More mysterious than thrilling per se, the interconnectedness of this group is as juicy as a reality tv show, as they discover unexpected secrets and begin to look at love and loyalty differently in the wake of their grief.

The Perfect Couple (Nantucket series, 3 of 3)(2018)

The Perfect Couple is one of the best Elin Hilderbrand books because it truly transported me to the island of Nantucket while indulging in this “death at a wedding” mystery.

As you try to figure out whether the death of Merritt Monaco, the bride’s best friend and maid of honor, was an accident or murder (and if so, whodunnit?), you learn that all the major players have secrets making them darker than their glossy exteriors. Oh, the drama and intrigue!

The bride and groom are Benji Winbury, from an affluent Nantucket family, and Celeste Otis, a woman of a more modest background. And, they may not be the “perfect couple” after all.

Led by chief of police, Ed Kapenash, the investigation soon reveals that secrets lurk under the surface of everyone involved, from the bride and groom, to the groom’s family, including his mystery novelist mother, Greer, and flirtatious father Tag, as well as the bride’s ill mother, Felicia, as well as the community of Nantucket.

This is quite literally the “perfect” book for Summer and/or a beach and/or an escape and/or all of the above.

And, by the way, while I have been correctly guessing the ending of the recent thrillers I have read, I did *not* correctly guess this ending of The Perfect Couple, so it gets bonus points from me! 

Frequently Asked Questions

What book series takes place in Nantucket?

Elin Hilderbrand’s Nantucket series takes place in Nantucket. It is a trilogy of three books: (1) A Summer Affair, (2) The Castaways, and (3) The Perfect Couple.

Do you have to read the Nantucket series in order?

While it is best to read Elin Hilderbrand’s Nantucket series in order, it is not absolutely necessary.


Elin Hilderbrand’s Nantucket series of three books: (1) A Summer Affair, (2) The Castaways, and (3) The Perfect Couple are a great trilogy to transport yourself to the island of Nantucket and all of its rich people problems. But, if you only read one of these three, I actually recommend the last in the series, The Perfect Couple, which is one of my personal favorite Elin Hilderbrand books.

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