Beach Read by Emily Henry

Romance, 361 pages, published in 2020

January’s life is turned upside down when she inherits her late father’s secret beach house. Moving there after everything else falls apart is her last resort, especially when she discovers that her new neighbor is fellow author and long- time rival, Augustus Everett. Augustus has never believed that January’s romance novel are worth much, but in order to defeat writer’s block, they agree on a challenge – Augustus will will write a novel with a happy ending and January will try to write the next American novel.

Spoiler Free Review:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Content Warnings: Cheating (not main characters), grief, childhood trauma, abuse, & abandonment issues, investigation of a cult, explicit sex

I was initially a little turned off from this book because I feel like the writing started out unnecessarily complicated. However, I either got used to it or the writing improved, but other than that, I loved this book!

I absolutely love the setup of this book! Gus takes January to investigate a local cult to help her with her book, and January takes Gus on rom-com worthy field trips to help him with his book. I think situations like this, where the characters have these things they have to do together, are so good! It kind of starts as a chore for both of them, but then it evolves into something they both look forward to.

Since they live next door, they can see each other through their kitchen windows, so they write notes to each other. Notes is another one of my favorite tropes, so I really enjoyed that detail!

I also really liked that this went a little more into January and Gus’s personal problems, beyond just the romance. January has to come to terms with the fact that her father had a whole part of his life that she never knew about, and Gus is dealing with some issues from his childhood, as well as other things. They both help each other through these things as well, which I loved.

The romance overall was really cute. There was a ton of tension between then from the beginning, first rivalry, then sexual. There were so many small moments between them that were so good. There was a little bit of miscommunication at one point, which I really don’t like, but it wasn’t overdone or anything.

This book was really just great! It’s the first book in a long time that I’ve stayed up late to finish and I read it in like a day and a half.

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