Lori’s Summer Beach Reads

I just got back from our annual family summer getaway at the beach, and it is always such a great time. I feel refreshed and rejuvenated from playing in the surf with my gorgeous grandchildren, relaxing and grilling with my children and their spouses, and spending plenty of time walking barefoot in the sand with Eddie. There’s just something about the fresh, sea air and those gorgeous Florida sunsets and sunrises, that makes you appreciate all your blessings in life.

Besides plenty of sand castles with Jack and digging lots of holes with Caroline and Charlotte, I devoured a couple of great books while relaxing at the beach! I’m fortunate that Mollie, Becca, and I have very similar tastes in authors, so we were able to swap our reads, and then we spent some time over pina coladas discussing the highlights. It was our own little summer beach book club, which is really one of my favorite activities.

I’m not just a published author, I also love to read when I have time, and summer doesn’t feel complete without a couple of well-worn books next to my bedside table. It might feel like summer is just ebbing away, but there’s an entire month full of prime reading hours! I know so many folks like to get away for one last trip before school starts in August, and if you’re on the fence about which books to take with you, check out some of my favorite summer beach reads below:

The Last Thing He Told Me

by Laura Dave – It’s not surprising that this book is also a Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick and has been reviewed – and lauded – by Vogue, USA Today, Entertainment Weekly, and much more. I could not put down this thriller, it was page-turning good and told the story of love and family, and how the past can come back to haunt us. Add this one into your beach bag!


The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave
Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Malibu Rising

by Taylor Jenkins Reid – If you’re unfamiliar with Taylor Jenkins Reid’s novels, go out and buy Daisy Jones and the Six and I promise you’ll be hooked! Malibu Rising is another family drama that just sucks you in as you struggle to align yourself with just one member of the intriguing Riva family. Sometimes a lifetime of drama can be masterfully told in just one night.

The One You’re With

by Lauren K. Denton – A fellow Thomas Nelson author and skillful Southern fiction writer, I loved the plot and the relatability of the main characters, Mac and Edie. This book explores past choices, long-term relationships, and the pressures of keeping up with appearances and established reputations. I especially loved her writing style and highly recommend the audible version while you’re driving down to your vacation destination this summer!


The One You're With book cover
It Had to be you book cover

It Had to Be You 

by Georgia Clark  – Y’all know I cannot walk away from a wedding-themed work of fiction, and this one did not disappoint! A successful wedding planner suddenly passes away and leaves half of the business to his wife – and his mistress! As an industry insider, I thoroughly enjoyed the authentic portrayal of wedding planning, with some of the other quirky and thought-provoking aspects of this book. I’m going to share a copy with Monte and my girls at Bridals by Lori!

Say Yes to What’s Next

by Lori Allen – I had to add my first novel to your list, especially since vacation is the perfect time to take stock and reassess your life. If you’re feeling stuck and, in a rut, pick up my first novel to really hear my story. You’ll journey with me as I built my business, battled breast cancer, and learned a lot of important lessons about life, family, and the future. I promise this book will have you laughing through your tears, and hopefully, it will force you to think about your life and the improvements you can make at every age.



London's Number One Dog-Walking Agency book cover
Book jacket for Lori Allen's Say Yes to What's Next

London’s Number One Dog Walking Agency: A Memoir 

by Kate MacDougall – I love adding a memoir or work of non-fiction to my summer reading list this, and this book combined two of the things I hold dear to my heart. Dogs and women-owned businesses! Kate MacDougall left her job at Sotheby’s to start a dog walking business, pulling herself up by the bootstraps to turn solo dog walking into a successful agency. This book was insightful, hilarious, full of great anecdotes, and inspiring; a must-read no matter where you are on your career path.

What book is in your beach bag this summer? Share with us your must-read picks in the comments.

Tell Next Time,

Lori Allen

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