January Anderson is out of money, out of her long-term relationship, and rage-grieving her dead dad when she pulls up to the beach house on Lake Michigan. This is the cottage her father left for her after his sudden death, but she’s never been inside.
He bought it for his mistress, a woman January never knew about until his funeral, when a stranger handed January a key to the front door and a letter from him. The cottage was their love nest, and January would burn it to the ground if she didn’t need a place to finish the stalled romance novel she owes to her publisher.
She’s not sure what’s worse: the cottage’s sordid history or the guy who lives next door.
Augustus Everett writes Very Serious Literary Fiction and is currently researching a cult for his next book. Worse, he knows January from their writing program in college, when he was the tortured artist and she was the vocal believer in the power of love. Now they are both struggling to finish their new books and continually running into each other as they procrastinate. They make a bet that the other person cannot sell a book outside of their preferred genre: Gus has to write something with a happy ending, and January has to produce something sad.
Soon Gus is January’s favorite distraction. But does she even believe in love anymore, when her father broke her heart so badly?
Sympathetic characters abound in Beach Read–even January’s cheating dad is complicated and forgivable. I’d recommend this book to readers who like to see funny, damaged people fall in love, or someone looking for a good cry.