Best Beach Reads With a Bit of Romance and a Lot of Thriller
There's nothing more relaxing than laying on a beach chair, feeling the soft wind in your hair, and reading about love and murder.
Sure, it's a bit morbid, but sometimes simple romance novels are too cheesy and boring, while pure thrillers can put a damper on your vacation mood. The solution is pretty simple: Combine both genres and get the best of both worlds.
These are the best beach reads for those who want some romance mixed with their thrillers, ranked.
5. The Guardian
Author: Nicholas Sparks
Best for: Vacations in the Outer Banks
Why 'The Guardian' Is So Thrilling
Nicholas Sparks has made a name for himself with dramatic romance novels like "The Notebook" and "A Walk to Remember." Usually, someone dies, but it's normally because of an accident or cancer.
In "The Guardian," however, Sparks takes his penchant for killing characters and uses it to write a thriller. The story unfolds when a widow meets a rich, handsome man who is very into her.
A semi-love triangle forms as she realizes she has feelings for a close friend. But just when you think it's all going to be one giant cliché, someone turns out to be not who we think they are.
If you're a fan of Sparks, you have to pack this fun beach read in your suitcase.
4. A Deadly Inside Scoop
Author: Abby Collette
Best for: Month-long vacations in Europe
Why 'A Deadly Inside Scoop' Is So Thrilling
Sometimes you want a thriller that gets your pulse going without forcing you to leave the lights on at night. This is a beach vacation after all. You're supposed to be relaxing.
This is why we love "A Deadly Inside Scoop." Abby Collette gives us a twist on the trope of the overachiever who goes back to her small hometown to save the family business.
In this case, such a business is an ice cream shop (we told you it's perfect for a beach read). Things don't turn out as planned when a body is found near the shop, and the protagonist's father is framed for it.
Described as a cozy mystery, the stakes aren't too high here, but you'll always be entertained, especially as a slow-burn romance begins as it must always do when a girl from the city goes back to her roots.
This is the first in a series, so you'll have enough reading material for the entire summer.
3. Naked in Death
Author: J. D. Robb (aka Nora Roberts)
Best for: Relaxing weekend at the beach
Why 'Naked in Death' Is So Thrilling
New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts penned the first of her famed "In Death" series under the pseudonym J. D. Robb.
While it's over 25 years old, "Naked in Death" continues to be one of the most successful mystery romance novels. If you're into the genre, you can't neglect this title. Sure, the premise is a little cheesy: a New York detective living in the future gets tangled up romantically with one of the suspects of a murder investigation she's conducting.
But Jones manages to take this somewhat tired trope and actually makes it engaging. Trust us, you'll probably finish this in one weekend. Good thing there are many (as in over 50) books in the series.
2. Mr. Perfect
Author: Linda Howard
Best for: Girls' city beach break
Why 'Mr. Perfect' Is So Thrilling
Linda Howard is a prolific American writer known for her mystery novels, her romance novels, and her mystery romance novels. "Mr. Perfect" falls in the latter category and is one of her most fun books.
The premise begins with a scene that could fit the opening of a "Sex and the City" episode: A group of four friends jokingly come up with a list of things necessary for a perfect man. The list goes viral, and not everyone is thrilled with it.
In fact, someone is so displeased, that they start going after each of the friends with murderous intent. As the protagonist tries to Nancy Drew her way out of almost certain death, she falls for an undercover cop that wants to help.
Yes, this book is as fun and whimsical as it sounds, which is why we love it as a book to take to the beach.
Author: Colleen Hoover
Best for: Beach house vacations in a small town
Why 'Verity' Is So Thrilling
Perhaps the darkest beach read on here, "Verity" is for those who don't like light books, even when soaking up the sun.
Colleen Hoover has written over 20 books, many of which are romance novels that will have you in tears. But "Verity" will most likely have you sweating as you follow the story of a ghostwriter who realizes the famous author she's working for has some blood-curdling secrets. Oh, and she starts falling for the writer's husband, of course.
You'll probably come out of this not trusting people, but at least you'll have a fun beach vacation.