Tuesday, May 24, 2016

What makes a good beach read?

Congratulations to Anita S., the winner in Brynn's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!

Debut HQN romantic suspense author Brynn Kelly shares her summer reading wish list...

Do you find that reading on summer vacation or a day at the beach is a whole different thing from everyday reading? With lazy days and (perhaps) long flights, we have more time to get lost in a story, but we want something that suits our elevated, carefree mood. (And those of us with young kids need a book we can pick up and put down without losing track of the action.) Here’s what I look for in a beach read. How about you?

1.       Plot, and lots of it. Anyone who’s read DECEPTION ISLAND will guess that I’m sucker for books where plenty of stuff happens and the characters are challenged to respond. Even more so when I’m chilling out on vacation. Just because I’m lying back, drinking a cocktail, I don’t want my characters to be. Take them on a thrill-ride, make life difficult for them, make them work for their HEA even if I’m sitting in mine.

2.       Atmosphere. Crack out those exotic settings. Make me shiver with an Arctic chill while I’m sitting on my tropical beach. Whisk me to the glamor of a European city or the isolation of a cabin in the woods. Have me looking over my shoulder to check that’s really a palm tree and not a serial killer. Scare me a little, and make me feel like I’m on a round-the-world ticket even if I’m a ten-minute drive from home.

3.       Beautiful writing. Give me those eloquent, lyrical paragraphs I want to read over and over—because today, I have plenty of time to relish them.

4.       A takeaway. I like a lighter, escapist read when I’m at the beach, but I also love it when the book sticks in my mind long after I’ve finished it. With the luxury of time, I can ponder themes, sift through layers of meaning and chuckle about the funny scenes, so books with hidden depths are perfect.

5.       A happy ending. Bad stuff can (and should!) happen, hard lessons can be learned, but I don’t want to arrive at happy hour feeling glum. I want to be uplifted and inspired. I want to see that book in my bookcase or on my Kindle for years to come and remember the wonderful vacation it took me on.

What books do you take on vacation, and why? What books are you looking forward to reading this summer? Respond in the comment section to be in to win a hard copy of DECEPTION ISLAND!

ABOUT Deception Island

A rogue French Foreign Legion officer and a Californian con-woman become unlikely allies—and lovers—in a life-and-death battle against 21st century pirates and slave traders, in the steamy jungles and azure waters of an Indian Ocean paradise.

As their lives are plunged into danger, their damaged hearts and minds reluctantly begin to open to the possibility of finding love in the most unexpected of circumstances. When loyalties are tested and damning secrets revealed, will their fledgling trust in each other hold strong enough to pull them through?

PRAISE FOR Deception Island
Nonstop action and romantic tension sizzle, and readers will eagerly follow Rafe and Holly’s quest to discover whether they can elude their pursuers and build a future together.” –Publishers Weekly

"The romantic suspense genre just got a hot new talent with the release of Kelly's debut book, DECEPTION ISLAND.... one truly unforgettable tale." –RT Book Reviews

Vivid and unrelenting action and danger…. thoroughly enjoyable, this tale of peril and love, New Zealand journalist and writer Kelly’s debut romance novel and a Golden Heartfinalist, will delight fans of M. L. Buchman.” –Booklist

“DECEPTION ISLAND is a brilliant thriller that will have you begging for more. The plot is a maze of surprising and harrowing twists and turns that lead to a dynamic conclusion.” –Fresh Fiction

“This novel is sure to be a winner, as the reader will be hooked by the end of the first paragraph. It is action packed from the start!” –Portland Review of Books


It took award-winning journalist Brynn Kelly only two decades to realize all those stranger-than-fiction news reports (pirates, mercenaries, murders, conspiracies…) provided the perfect training for a new career: as a writer of larger-than-life novels.

She’s delighted that HQN Books is publishing her Golden Heart® Award– nominated debut novel because it gives her an excuse to spend her days in a bubble of delicious words and fiendish plots. Still, after all those years writing about the real world, she’s secretly terrified someone will realize she’s making it all up.

Brynn has a degree in communications with a journalism major and has won several prestigious writing awards, including the Valerie Parv Award and Pacific Hearts Award. She’s a bestselling author of four nonfiction books in her native New Zealand.

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST May 25th. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email maureen@justromanticsuspense.com with a subject title of JRS GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway.


  1. I like romantic suspense or straight romance for vacation reading..easy and quick reads that leave you feeling good

  2. I like my vacation reads just like my actual vacation. Take me away someplace exciting and leave me feeling happy. Win-win! Thanks for the chance to win a copy of the book. Sounds like the perfect vacation read! trishleroy49 at gmail dot com

  3. I enjoy whatever calls to me from my TBR pile! I have a nice range of books within the Romance genre to read!

  4. I usually choose something light and short (maybe an anthology) because I need my mind to rest and I don't want to think too much.

  5. I'll usually just grab books from my reading list. Whatever I feel like at the time.


  6. don't read on vacation

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  7. Depends on my mood.

    jtcgc at yahoo dot com

  8. I like to read an action packed suspense romance. It has to be something where I'm so involved in reading that I don't realize what time of day it is.

    sillymeemaw AT YAHOO Dot com

  9. I like to read a good romantic suspense when on vacation!

  10. I love to take Danielle Steel novels on vacation with me. They are always something fun to get lost in while I bask in the sun. :)

    RLR888 @ aol.com

  11. Depends from my mood :)


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