5 romance novels perfect for beach reading

These five novels are shaped by secrets that come close to destroying relationships – and in some cases, lives – and yet honesty wins out.

5. "Summer Rental," by Mary Kay Andrews

If the other novels on this list have circled around a secret, Mary Kay Andrews' A Summer Rental offers a whole circus of them. Friends Ellis, Julia, and Dorie rent a run-down house in North Carolina's Outer Banks. But even though they're best friends, it turns out that they're keeping secrets… from each other and from their spouses. Mr. and Mrs. Perfect are getting a divorce; there are secrets to do with babies and jobs… In fact, everyone they meet – from the gorgeous Ty Bazemore next door, to the runaway Maryn who joins them in the house – is hiding something: "I have a confession to make" is the most often-repeated sentence in the novel. Just like the other novels in this column, unraveling secrets makes for fascinating reading. This is a perfect beach book: the tale of a sandy, flea-bitten summer house and one month in August in which honesty triumphs over silence, and love over lies. Ellis falls in love, and Dorie meets a new guy, and Julie makes a big decision, and Maryn breaks free… and the readers of "Summer Rental" will stay glued to their sandy beach chairs waiting to see what happens next.

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