Rock the Boat by Beck Dorey-Stein is a coming of age tale that finds three thirty-somethings back for the summer season in their hometown of Sea Point, a quaint and quirky tourist spot along the Jersey Shore. Kate has just been dumped by her wealthy, med school boyfriend of 12 years and is plotting to win him back. Privileged son, Miles Hoffman is back to prove to his mother than he can run the family business and also to help his friend Ziggy bounce back from his father’s sudden death. Ziggy is overwhelmed by the idea of being the “MVP” of Millers Value Plumbing and his surprising feelings for Kate.
“Growing up is just one long effort to course-correct the best you can,” Ziggy’s mom tells him. With a lot of trial and error this trio learns that sometimes even the best laid plans need to be recalculated. A positive work theme is threaded through the story as characters grapple with finding our identity in meaningful work and its greater rewards. A just right summer read with a happily ever after.
Float Plan by Trish Doller is an unexpected romance on a grief-induced sailing trip. Anna has been devastated by her fiance’s suicide. Ben had meticulously planned for them to take a sailing trip together and after ten months of grieving, her phone pings with the reminder TODAY IS THE DAY! WE’RE GOING SAILING! She feels compelled to make the trip alone. After a harrowing start, she seeks a crew to help with the rest of the journey. Keane Sullivan, a professional sailor whose future plans were sidelined when he lost a leg in an accident, joins Anna and the trip becomes a healing process for both of them. Anna and Keane struggle to find a way forward while dealing with the disappointments of the past. Grief issues are handled well without weighing down the story emotionally. Many beautiful island stops in Puerto Rico, Martinique, St. Barth’s and more, eventually anchoring in a happy ending.
Lest you get too comfortable in your beach chair, The Girl in the Mirror by Rose Carlyle is a twisty thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Summer and Iris are rare mirror twins where Iris’ organs are arranged on the opposite side of her body. The twins’ father has died, leaving a stipulation in his will that the first child of his to have a baby would inherit the fortune from his Australian real estate empire. Summer is pregnant and asks Iris to sail with her from Thailand to the Seychelles. Nearly at their destination, Summer disappears overboard. The aftermath will leave you questioning everything, until the last page brings a chilling conclusion to one sister’s carefully plotted long game. A stunning twist on the age-old identity swap set against lush tropical locales aboard a luxury yacht.