A romance writer who no longer believes in love and a literary writer stuck in a rut engage in a summer-long challenge that may just upend everything they believe about happily ever afters.
Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast.
They're polar opposites.
In fact, the only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they're living in neighboring beach houses, broke, and bogged down with writer's block.
Until, one hazy evening, one thing leads to another and they strike a deal designed to force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the next Great American Novel. She'll take him on field trips worthy of any rom-com montage, and he'll take her to interview surviving members of a backwoods death cult (obviously). Everyone will finish a book and no one will fall in love. Really.
January Andrews once believed in romance so much that she wrote books about it. That was before her boyfriend dumped her, her father died suddenly and everything she thought she knew about happiness turned out to be an illusion.
Now she left with nothing but an old house on the lake and a rapidly approaching deadline to deliver her next book, she packs up her entire life and heads to wilds of Michigan. She mistakenly thought she was buying herself time to come to terms with who her father truly was. The very last thing she needs is to discover that she’s now living right next door to her infuriatingly handsome college nemesis.
There, on the abstract black-and-white cover, in square red letters, beneath The Revelatories, was his name. It was all coming together in my mind, a domino trail of realizations. I didn’t mean to say it aloud, but I might have.
January remembered Augustus Everett as Gus or Sexy, Evil Gus depending on her mood. Even back then, his writing was lauded by staff and students alike. Their artistic clash fueled both her imagination and her passion. Until the night when she almost (but not quite) surrendered to his charms. Saved from diving headlong into a sea of humiliation by her best friend, she could never forget the chemistry that sizzled between them.
When their old rivalry sparks a bet that will have both stepping out of their comfort zones, the result will either culminate in the salvation of her writing career or the breaking of her heart. And the odds aren’t in her favor.
It was an unabashed moment, a comfortable silence. The kind of thing that, if I had been writing it, I might’ve thought I could skip right over.
Beach Read isn’t the light summer romance that it appears to be at first glance. It’s a story that’s far deeper and more profound. With characters that light up the page, Emily Henry fashions each one with a rare combination of sharp wit and vulnerability. They made me laugh out loud, fight back tears and revealed a strength that was inspiring beyond words.
With everything from purse-wine to farting Labradors and one of the best arguments against the term “Women’s Fiction” that I’ve ever encountered - Beach Read is that special kind of perfection that the world could use a lot more of.