May 23 Top Ten Tuesday: Beach Reads Featuring Complicated Romantic Relationships


I know it seems like all I post are memes lately, I swear I have reviews coming up soon too. This week’s TTT is a Summer Reads Freebie. I really enjoy reading outside during the summer months and my favorite beach reads are ones that hook me from the start. During the summer especially with the nice weather beckoning, there are other things that will grab my attention if the book I’m reading isn’t a real page turner.

What is better than a complicated love story? Love is never easy so it seems more realistic when its that way in books too. It feels like the characters earn their relationships in a way, if they have to struggle and fight to stay together against the odds.

Here is my list of page turners and my hot dog legs from last summer by the lake….

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Top Ten Beach Reads Featuring Complicated Romantic Relationships

1.  Letters to the Lost by Iona Gray

1943, in the ruins of Blitzed London…Stella Thorne and Dan Rosinski meet by chance and fall in love by accident. Theirs is a reluctant, unstoppable affair in which all the odds are stacked against them: she is newly married, and he is an American bomber pilot whose chance of survival is just one in five…He promised to love her forever. Seventy years later Dan makes one final attempt to find the girl he has never forgotten, and sends a letter to the house where they shared a brief yet perfect happiness….

Letters to the Lost became a favorite when I read it. It is both historical and contemporary romance with dual story lines. Keywords in the blurb “all the odds are stacked against them…” So good.

2. Married Sex: A Love Story by Jesse Kornbluth

When a husband convinces his wife to join him in a tryst with another woman, there are unintended consequences in this sharply observed erotic tale about the challenges of modern marriage …

There are some really good books that not many have heard of and this is one of those books. It pleasantly surprised me when I read it. Married Sex: A Love Story was food for thought. The husband suggests a threesome with his wife and another woman, and there is no taking that request back once it is uttered. The book revolves around the repercussions of that request.

3. This Is How I’d Love You by Rachel Woods

It’s 1917 and America is on the brink of World War I. After Hensley Dench’s father is forced to resign from the New York Times for his anti-war writings, she finds herself expelled from the life she loves and the future she thought she would have.

This Is How I’d Love You is a beautifully written love story. There was war, love letters, drama and romance woven into the plot perfectly. I lent this one to one of my girlfriends and she loved it too.

4. The Last Letter from Your Lover by Jojo Moyes

It is 1960. When Jennifer Stirling wakes up in the hospital, she can remember nothing-not the tragic car accident that put her there, not her husband, not even who she is. She feels like a stranger in her own life until she stumbles upon an impassioned letter, signed simply “B”, asking her to leave her husband….

I lost sleep staying up late reading The Last Letter From Your Lover. There’s drama, romance, amnesia, love letters…what more could you want?

5. The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern’s Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure by William Goldman

What happens when the most beautiful girl in the world marries the handsomest prince of all time and he turns out to be…well…a lot less than the man of her dreams?

The Princess Bride has romance and action and adventure. It is a fun read and the romance is definitely complicated.

6. Message in a Bottle by Nicholas Sparks

Thrown to the waves, and to fate, the bottle could have ended up anywhere. Instead, it is found just three weeks after it begins its journey. Theresa Osborne, divorced and the mother of a twelve-year-old son, discovers it during a seaside vacation from her job as a Boston newspaper columnist. Inside is a letter that opens with, “My Dearest Catherine, I miss you my darling, as I always do, but today is particularly hard because the ocean has been singing to me, and the song is that of our life together.”

When a man is still in love with his late wife, it is the ultimate complication for any new love interest. Nicholas Sparks makes me tear up pretty much every time I read one of his books. It is totally okay, I forgive him.

7. The Host by Stephenie Meyer

Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. The earth has been invaded by a species that take over the minds of human hosts while leaving their bodies intact. Wanderer, the invading “soul” who has been given Melanie’s body, didn’t expect to find its former tenant refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.

As Melanie fills Wanderer’s thoughts with visions of Jared, a human who still lives in hiding, Wanderer begins to yearn for a man she’s never met. Reluctant allies, Wanderer and Melanie set off to search for the man they both love.

A love triangle where someone involved doesn’t even have a body. How more complicated can it get? I really enjoyed The Host when I read it years ago, I wonder how it would do on a re-read. Stephenie Meyer surprised me very much, this was a really unique novel.

8. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Gone with the Wind is a novel written by Margaret Mitchell, first published in 1936. The story is set in Clayton County, Georgia, and Atlanta during the American Civil War and Reconstruction era. It depicts the struggles of young Scarlett O’Hara, the spoiled daughter of a well-to-do plantation owner, who must use every means at her disposal to claw her way out of the poverty she finds herself in after Sherman’s March to the Sea….

GWTW is one of my favorite classic, I can’t count the times I have watched the movie. Rhett and Scarlett have a beautifully complicated relationship and I can never get enough of it. Rhett even tells her at one point when he’s proposing to her that he can’t go on waiting all his life to catch her in between husbands.

9. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez

In their youth, Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza fall passionately in love. When Fermina eventually chooses to marry a wealthy, well-born doctor, Florentino is devastated, but he is a romantic. As he rises in his business career he whiles away the years in 622 affairs–yet he reserves his heart for Fermina. Her husband dies at last, and Florentino purposefully attends the funeral. Fifty years, nine months, and four days after he first declared his love for Fermina, he will do so again.

Márquez is king of complicated relationships. I wonder where he came up with the ideas for his novels.

10. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

Audrey Niffenegger’s dazzling debut is the story of Clare, a beautiful, strong-minded art student, and Henry, an adventuresome librarian, who have known each other since Clare was six and Henry was thirty-six, and were married when Clare was twenty-three and Henry thirty-one. Impossible but true, because Henry is one of the first people diagnosed with Chrono-Displacement Disorder: his genetic clock randomly resets and he finds himself misplaced in time, pulled to moments of emotional gravity from his life, past and future. His disappearances are spontaneous and unpredictable, and lend a spectacular urgency to Clare and Henry’s unconventional love story…

I’m kind of cheating with this last one on my list. I haven’t read The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger but it is on my wish list. It came to mind because trying to maintain a healthy romantic relationship while randomly time traveling cannot be easy. Has anyone read this one?


That sums up my list of complicated romance. What books would make it on your list? Happy reading!

16 thoughts on “May 23 Top Ten Tuesday: Beach Reads Featuring Complicated Romantic Relationships

  1. Naida, you are so good at coming up with these book lists! Thank you for taking the time to do this. I have only read or seen a few of these, so I may be back for ideas when the mood strikes. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is an impressive list. These books look to be worth reading.

    I have only read Love in the Time of Cholera which I thought was fantastic. The story was so unique I also wonder about its origins.

    As for beach reading, though I have turned into a frequent beach goer, I never seem to get much reading in there 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Whilst not a fan of the romance so to speak, amongst the books on the list that I have read there are several more that really appeal. As for the Beach Read Featuring A Complicated Romantic Relationships that would make my list …. Do you know not one comes to mind though it might well be a novel by either JoJo Moyes or maybes even Jodi Picoult.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is How I’d Love You has been on my to-read list forever now. Hopefully, I can read it this summer because everyone I know who has read it absolutely loves it! The Princess Bride is one of my all time favorite books, so happy to see it on your list. Great list! Happy reading!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Naida,

    Like yourself, all I ever seem to get the time to do each week, is post to my favourite memes, although lately I have been included in quite a few blog tours, resulting in some excellent guest posts. I have a seriously tall pile of reviews waiting to be written up and published and I have set myself the unenviable task of getting them all done and dusted ASAP!

    I haven’t read any of the books from your “Top Ten” list this time, although as usual, you have featured several titles that I need to add to my own list!

    Thanks for sharing and enjoy your weekend 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Yvonne, so you can relate lol. I know it’s work but enjoyable too. I’m working on my review of Crescendo which was great, it’s hard not to ramble on and on about how much I enjoyed it. Happy weekend too. I’m posting another meme/updates post tomorrow.


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