My go-to authors for never-fail historical romance pleasure include Julia Quinn, especially her Bridgerton series, starting with The Duke and I, and Teresa Medeiros, who can take a fairy tale myth, stand it on its head, and shape it in to historical romance like no one else. Among her best is A Kiss to Remember, because it not only plays with fairy tales, but also with some of the most hilarious romance plot clichés to ever hit the printed page.
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If you want laugh-out-loud reading, look no further than Jennifer Crusie, specifically Bet Me, which features, among other things, a clever and funny romance, chicken marsala, a perfect marvel of a hero, and a curvy, self-aware heroine with a serious shoe habit who manages to never cross the line into cloying and annoying. Other Crusie novels that stand up to some dig-your-toes-in beach reading are Welcome to Temptation, Faking It, and her latest co-authored effort with Bob Mayer, Agnes and the Hitman.
If you prefer witty, sudsy fun books to ride shotgun next to your sunscreen, look no further than Meg Cabot and Rachel Gibson. Cabot is known for her young adult books, like The Princess Diaries, but her contemporary novels are fantastic vacation fare, especially The Queen of Babble series and the Heather Wells series. Gibson is capable of the one-handed comedic smack down with her breezy and unquestionably hilarious style, especially in True Confessions and the award-winning Tangled Up in You.
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Wherever you're going this summer, guaranteed merry, clever, and funny books give your brain the vacation it deserves. Happy reading and even happier summer.