Elin Hilderbrand, often hailed as the Queen of ‘beach novels,’ is an American author primarily known for her captivating romance novels set in the picturesque backdrop of Nantucket Island. Her literary world is a sun-kissed realm of love, family, and secrets, where the ocean’s whisper complements the depth of her characters. Elin’s intimate connection with Nantucket, where she resides with her husband and three children, infuses her novels with an authentic sense of place.
Before embarking on her full-time writing career, Elin’s life took her from the shores of Cape Cod to a factory that crafted Halloween costumes after a tragic plane crash claimed her father when she was just sixteen. In 1993, she made Nantucket her home and began her journey as a writer, eventually seeing her first book published in 2000.
How to read Elin Hilderbrand’s Books in Order?
Reading Elin Hilderbrand’s Nantucket Series in Order
- A Summer Affair – In the view of her friends, Claire has everything she wants: a loving husband, four lovely children, even a flourishing job as an artist. She is confident in her abilities, which is why she consents to head the committee for Nantucket’s biggest social gathering of the year. Claire is a formidable opponent. Unexpected sparks start to flare though when organizing the gala puts her in billionaire Lock Dixon’s orbit. Lock is adamant about working closely with Claire, frequently over a bottle of wine, and eventually Claire finds it difficult to resist the gentle touches and longing gazes. She finds that she also can’t ignore how they make her feel. The event, Claire’s life, and even she herself seem to be spiraling out of control.
- The Castaways – One of four well-known Nantucket couples that consider each other their best friends is Greg and Tess MacAvoy. The MacAvoys, Kapenashes, Drakes, and Wheelers are significant to their friends, neighbors, and especially to each other as cornerstones of their tight-knit community. However, Greg and Tess lose their lives when their boat capsizes when they are sailing for their anniversary shortly before the start of another picture-perfect summer. Nothing will be able to prepare the MacAvoys’ closest friends for what will be revealed when the warm season draws near and the island laments their passing.
- The Perfect Couple – It’s summertime on Nantucket, which means that seeing a bride sprinting down Main Street is as typical as seeing the sun set at Madaket Beach. The affluent parents of the groom have spared no cost to arrange a magnificent ceremony at their seaside mansion, making the Otis-Winbury wedding an occasion to remember. Tragically, a body is found in Nantucket Harbor just hours before the ceremony, making everyone in the wedding party a suspect. As a result, it will be remembered for all the wrong reasons. Chief of Police Ed Kapenash learns that every wedding is a minefield and that no pair is ideal as he speaks with the bride, the groom, the groom’s well-known mystery author mother, and even a member of his own family.
Elin Hilderbrand’s Winter Street Series in Order
- Winter Street – Owner of the Winter Street Inn on Nantucket and proud father of four adult children who live in various degrees of disarray, Kelley Quinn is a proud man. The oldest, Patrick, is a hedge fund manager with a dark side. Bartender Kevin is having an illicit relationship with Isabelle, a cleaner from France. Ava, a teacher, has finally found the right man to date, but she is unable to convince him to settle down. And everyone was astonished lately when Bart, the youngest and only child of Mitzi and Kelley’s second marriage, enlisted in the Marines. As Christmas draws near, Kelley is eager to host the family at the inn for some quality time. However, complete anarchy ensues when he enters the room where Mitzi is kissing Santa Claus (or the actor portraying Santa at the inn’s yearly celebration). It could be up to Kelley’s ex-wife, nightly news anchor Margaret Quinn, to preserve Christmas at the Winter Street Inn with the three older children each dealing with their own crises and Bart being unreachable in Afghanistan.
- Winter Stroll – aka Christmas on Nantucket. Owner of the Winter Street Inn Kelley Quinn is reminiscing on the year as he sends a holiday card to friends and family during a second Christmas on Nantucket. Despite the year’s share of disaster and anxiety, the Quinns have much to be happy about. At least Kelley, who is now single, gets along well with Margaret, his ex-wife, who is luring record numbers of guests to the inn with the help of her fame. Their daughter Ava is now dating her loyal coworker, Scott, and their son Kevin has a lovely infant daughter named Genevieve. The Quinn family is now anticipating taking in the cheer of Nantucket’s annual Christmas Stroll. But just when a harmonious family reunion seems to be on the horizon, Mitzi, Kelley’s second wife and estranged spouse, arrives on the island after having soured her connection with the inn’s former Santa Claus. Soon, Quinn will be hosting a surprise visitor from a previous Christmas in addition to Kelley, as loves both old and new meet under the mistletoe.
- Winter Storms – After a year apart and a disastrous relationship with the old Santa Claus at the Winter Street Inn, Mitzi is back in charge; Patrick is about to be let out of jail; Kevin has a prosperous new business and is finally ready to marry Isabelle; and, best of all, there is good news regarding Bart, who has been captured by enemy forces in Afghanistan. That does not imply that there aren’t any ominous clouds in the sky. Jennifer, who used drugs as a crutch while Patrick was in jail, still struggles with her drug addiction, Kelley recently had a health scare, and Ava is still struggling to choose between the two loves she’s been trying to balance. Christmas, on the other hand, is the day when the Quinn family comes together to express gratitude for the good times. However, a historically significant once-in-a-century snowstorm threatens to hit Nantucket, keeping the Quinns away from the people and place they cherish most.
- Winter Solstice – The whole Quinn family hasn’t been able to spend the holidays together under one roof in far too long, but that’s about to change. The Quinns are getting ready for a holiday that will be the happiest they’ve had in a long time now that Bart has returned from Afghanistan safely. And the family’s happy news isn’t limited to Bart’s safe return: Ava believes she has finally met the love of her life, Patrick is getting back on his feet after paying his debt to society, Patrick is enjoying married life with Isabelle, and Kelly is overjoyed to finally see his family reunited. But if everything happened without a hitch, it just wouldn’t be a Quinn family reunion.
Elin Hilderbrand’s Paradise Series in Order
- Winter in Paradise – Irene Steele lives in bliss with her husband in a stunning Victorian home in Iowa City. Her spouse has a tender, sky-writing love for her. But as she rings in the new year on a chilly, snowy night, she receives a startling phone call informing her that her adored husband, who was out on business, had perished in a helicopter accident, shattering all she had previously believed to be true. Irene and her boys uncover a startling truth once they reach this remote paradise: her husband had been leading a double life. Irene and her boys must confront the truth about their family and their destiny as they unravel a web of intrigue and deceit and become entangled in the lively island culture.
- What Happens in Paradise – Irene Steele had the shock of her life a year ago when her devoted husband-who was also the father of their adult boys and a successful businessman-died in a helicopter crash. But it wasn’t the only shocking revelation Irene received; he had also been living a double life on the island of St. John, where a different lady also had feelings for him. Irene and her boys have since returned to St. John with the intention of discovering the truth regarding the enigmatic life and passing of a guy they believed to be a close friend. They’re going to discover some shocking realities about their own lives and their futures along the road.
- Troubles in Paradise – Irene Steele just moved into the property on St. John where her husband Russ had been leading a second life after uprooting her life in the United States. But when the FBI pays her a visit, it upends everything Irene thought she knew about the guy she loved. Irene and her sons set up their lives with assistance from their friends as evidence that Russ’ helicopter crash may not have been an accident grows. Surprises are in store for the Steeles as a storm intensifies in the Atlantic, including assistance from an enigmatic source and a fresh start in the paradise that has become their home. All the secrets and falsehoods that drove Irene and her boys to St. John will finally be exposed, along with the truth that changed them all.
The Elin Hilderbrand’s Matchmaker Series in Order
- The Tailgate: An Original Short Story – Clendenin Hughes first kissed Dabney Kimball during a Nantucket snowstorm freshman year of high school. Ever since that moment,Dabney has known that she and Clen are an unsplittable unit – essentially the same person in two different bodies. Of course, with Dabney now at Harvard and Clen at Yale, those bodies are 140 miles apart. And traveling is a serious challenge for Dabney, for reasons she’d prefer not to discuss, reasons having to do with her mother (or lack thereof). But with the big Harvard-Yale game coming up, Dabney is determined to make the trek to New Haven to see Clen. Dabney worries about the dissolution of a link that she has never doubted before, a bond that is so vital that she will be lost without it, when she arrives at the tailgate and sees sparks flying between Clen and Jocelyn. Also collected in Endless Summer.
- The Matchmaker – Dabney Kimball Beech, a 48-year-old Nantucketer, has always had a knack for bringing people together. Some people describe her talent as magical, while her husband and her daughter-who is obviously engaged to the wrong man-describe it as meddling. But there is no disputing her findings: Dabney has 42 happy marriages to her name, and every single one of them is still together. Never, that is, with the exception of her and Clendenin Hughes, the green-eyed kid who long ago left the island to pursue his ambition of becoming a journalist and took her heart with him. Dabney has never felt more disoriented or alive as she does right now that Clen is back on Nantucket after spending 27 years on the other side of the globe. Dabney, however, is forced to confront her decisions and reveal difficult facts to her family when catastrophe endangers her own second chance.
Elin Hilderbrand’s 28 Summers Series in Order
- 28 Summers – Link Blessing, Mallory Blessing’s son, is unsure of what to anticipate when his mother gives him instructions on his deathbed to phone a number on a slip of paper in her desk drawer. He does not, however, anticipate Jake McCloud responding. Jake DeGournsey’s wife, Ursula, is the front-runner in the forthcoming presidential election in the late spring of 2020. Link speculates that there must be a mistake. How are Mallory and Jake acquainted? Back in the lovely summer of 1993, Mallory accepts the invitation to organize her brother’s bachelor party at the beachside property she had inherited from her aunt. Jake McCloud, Cooper’s college friend, also goes, and the two develop a relationship that will last until Mallory hears that Ursula is dying. This relationship will last through marriage, having children, and Ursula’s meteoric political ascension.
- The Sixth Wedding – Jake McCloud returns to Nantucket for Labor Day weekend 2023, this time without Mallory.
Reading Elin Hilderbrand’s Stand-alone novels
- The Beach Club – The Beach Club has employed Mack Petersen, the hotel’s manager, for 12 seasons. The only difference this summer is. Bill Elliot, the hotel’s owner and his supervisor, arrives in the spring with a fresh set of requirements. The African-American bellhop Vance, who has loathed Mack since the day he stole his job 12 years ago, threatens him in a lethal confrontation as Mack’s fiancée Maribel pushes him to be married. Mack is aware that something must change. Love O’Donnell, the newly hired front desk agent fresh off the Aspen ski slopes, is in dire need of a stranger to father her kid. Jem Crandall, the bellhop who used the alias Mr. November in his college calendar, is on his way to Los Angeles to start a career as an agent when he falls in love with Maribel. When a hurricane threatens to destroy The Beach Club and everything it stands for, feelings are at their highest.
- Nantucket Nights – Kayla, Antoinette, and Val have carried out their own unique summer tradition for the past 20 years. The old pals get together once a year to drink champagne, tell tales, and swim naked beneath the Nantucket stars instead of continuing with their separate everyday lives. One of their three, though, swims out from the coast on one of those bonding evenings and never returns. The remaining friends begin to find layers of truths that were never divulged on the beach as they start to come to terms with their loss and realize that its effects extend well beyond their little group.
- Summer People – The Newton family spends three months of sunlight, barbecues, and beach bonfires at their cherished house on Nantucket each summer. However, this summer will be unique from all others. Arch Newton, a well-known New York lawyer, is killed in an aircraft crash while returning from a business trip, and his lovely wife, Beth, struggles to remain calm. But above all, she makes the decision that she must carry on the family tradition of visiting Nantucket while also keeping a promise Arch made to her before he passed away. Beth extends an invitation to Marcus, the son of Arch’s last and most difficult client, to spend the summer with her and her adolescent twins, Garrett and Winnie. Nantucket, which had previously been a tranquil setting, is transformed as Marcus, Winnie, and Garrett encounter grief, first love, and treachery.
- The Blue Bistro – Adrienne Dealey, who was left penniless by her ex-boyfriend, is anxious to get quick cash. She questions if she can get by without any restaurant experience when the attractive Thatcher Smith, owner of Nantucket’s trendiest restaurant, is the only one to give her a job. Adrienne receives a crash education in the industry from Thatcher, and the two are attracted to one another right away. However, there is a mystery surrounding their predicament: what is it about Fiona, the cook at the Blue Bistro, that always draws Thatcher’s attention? And why does it appear like a popular restaurant is about to shut its doors permanently after such a wonderful run? Adrienne must choose whether to open her heart for the first time or keep moving on like she usually does despite her doubts.
- The Love Season – Former Les Parapluies chef Marguerite Beale has not been seen in public for more than ten years. When Renata Knox, Marguerite’s goddaughter, calls, everything changes. Since the passing of Renata’s mother, Candace Harris Knox, fourteen years prior, Marguerite has not seen Renata. And now that Renata is on Nantucket visiting the family of her new fiancé, she takes use of the chance to get in touch with Marguerite against the advice of her father in order to find out the details of her mother’s life-and passing. However, nothing goes as planned as the day’s events for both ladies completely spiral out of control.
- Barefoot – On a steamy June day, three ladies who are carrying young children, are wearing cumbersome straw hats, and have apparent emotional problems stumble onto the tarmac of the Nantucket airport. Vicki is attempting to make sense of the information regarding her terrible sickness. Brenda, her sister, just quit her job after being exposed as having an affair with a student. And their friend Melanie, who had seven unsuccessful in vitro fertilization attempts, has finally gotten pregnant-but only after discovering her husband is having an affair. They’ve come to escape, soak in the sun, and unwind in the serene atmosphere of Nantucket. Josh Flynn, a twenty-two-year-old, enters the home and their world.
- The Island – Birdie Cousins has devoted all of her time to planning the opulent wedding of her daughter Chess. But despite the fact that Birdie takes pride in planning for every scenario, she could never have foreseen the late-night call from Chess unexpectedly breaking off their engagement. It’s merely the first sign of a turbulent and enlightening summer. Birdie rounds the wagons and enlists the assistance of her younger daughter Tate and her own sister India after reluctantly taking a break from the first new romance she’s started after the recent dissolution of her 30-year marriage. All four of them will soon go to the lovely, undeveloped Tuckernuck Island off the coast of Nantucket, where their family has spent the summers for many years. What could seem like a quiet retreat, however, quickly turns into much more when sisters, daughters, ex-lovers, and long-kept secrets are added to a lonely island. Dramatic revelations of the truth are made before the summer is out, and new and old loves are revealed.
- Silver Girl – Constance Flute, Meredith’s former closest friend, calls when she is in desperate need and on the verge of homelessness. Connie has just had some problems of her own, so in an effort to unwind, the two decide to spend the summer on Nantucket. However, the island is not a completely safe haven, as they continue to experience both new and old problems. When Toby, Meredith’s high school lover, comes, she has to make peace with the disparities between her current life and the life she may have had. Toby is Connie’s brother.
- Summerland – A campfire on the beach with Nantucket High students has become a local tradition on a beautiful June evening. What starts as a graduation party turns tragic as a terrible vehicle accident kills Penny Alistair and critically injures her twin brother. The other travelers, including Penny’s boyfriend Jake and her friend Demeter, are unharmed physically, but the emotional toll is severe. What transpired before Penny took the wheel is still a mystery. As the summer progresses, shocking revelations about the survivors and their parents’ suppressed secrets, broken promises, and shattered hearts come to light.
- The Surfing Lesson – Drum’s ability to pique Margot’s love interest is waning. However, Margot discovers a chance to perhaps rediscover her romantic love for her husband while the family is on vacation in Nantucket in the shape of Hadley Axelram, his ex-girlfriend. Jealousy is her go-to relationship defibrillator, according to her. Margot is forced to reflect on the summer she fell in love with Drum and the unforeseen growth of their relationship after pressuring her surfing-god husband to arrange a surfing session with Hadley and her kid. Will the flame rekindle when she sees Drum and Hadley enjoying time together, and will her marriage survive? Or will she discover that the love in her relationship has completely vanished? Also collected in Endless Summer.
- Beautiful Day– On Nantucket, the Carmichaels and the Grahams have gathered for a joyous event: a wedding that will bring their two families together. The bride’s late mother left The Notebook: detailed instructions for every aspect of her youngest daughter’s forthcoming nuptials, and plans are being made in accordance with her desires. For the lovely celebration, everything should be coming together, but in actuality, things are disintegrating. The soon-to-be newlyweds may be content, but their loved ones are experiencing a crumbling of their life. Love will be questioned, scandals will emerge, and hearts will be shattered and repaired in the days preceding the wedding.
- The Rumor – The timing of Madeline King’s writer’s block in Nantucket could not have been worse. Her deadline is approaching, her debts are mounting, and she is struggling to find inspiration. With the aid of a ruggedly attractive landscape architect, Madeline’s best friend Grace is hard at work making her garden the talk of the island. Before she knows it, Grace is about to make a choice that will forever alter her life. Could Madeline’s plight be Grace’s salvation? Grace and Madeline make a valiant effort to clear the air as rumors circulate and the summer’s explosive events come to a head, but the reality may be even worse.
- Here’s To Us – Only two things unite Laurel Thorpe, Belinda Rowe, and Scarlett Oliver: a fierce loathing for one another and a love for the husband they all wed, Deacon Thorpe. All three of these extraordinary and independent ladies are very different from one another. Over the years, they’ve developed a delicate understanding where they avoid one another at all costs. A scruffy Nantucket vacation home was Deacon’s favorite spot on earth, but his sad death there threatens to shatter their tenuous truce. Deacon’s last request was for his impromptu family to gather on his favorite island, Nantucket, to say goodbye. As they are left to clean up Deacon’s mess once more, as in each of their marriages, Laurel, Belinda, and Scarlett congregate on the island reluctantly. The house they now share in more ways than one, along with the kids they raised with Deacon and his best buddy, is the cramped cottage where they all built their own memories. By the end of the weekend, even the closest of friends will be at odds with one another due to the amount of accusations, lying, crying, and drama.
- The Identicals – Martha’s Vineyard is about eleven miles away from Nantucket. For estranged twin sisters Harper and Tabitha Frost, though, they may as well be on other planets. Harper and Tabitha transfer islands and lifestyles after more than ten years of silence in order to rescue what’s left of their fractured family. The twins rapidly learn, however, that the secrets, falsehoods, and rumors they believed they could avoid may move across islands just as effortlessly. Will Harper and Tabitha be able to put their family rivalry to rest once and for all? This summer will be the most talked-about one that Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket have ever had thanks to enough old grudges, new loves, and incidents of mistaken identity before the final beach picnic of the season.
- Summer of ’69 – Greetings from the turbulent summer of the 20th century. The Levin family is experiencing a change in the times in the year 1969. The kids had looked forward to their summer vacations at their grandmother’s beautiful house in the heart of Nantucket every year. But nothing remains the same in America, like so many other things. The oldest sister, Blair, is stranded in Boston since she is expecting twins and is unable to leave. Kirby, the middle sister, decides to work a summer job on Martha’s Vineyard because she is determined to be independent and is caught up in the exciting vortex of the civil rights rallies. Tiger, the sole son, is an infantryman who was most recently stationed in Vietnam. Jessie, who is thirteen, suddenly feels like an orphan since she is stuck at home with her distant grandmother and her frightened mother, each of whom is keeping a dark secret. Ted Kennedy wrecks a car in Chappaquiddick as the summer heats up, a man leaps to the moon, and Jessie and her family go through their own dramatic upheavals alongside the rest of the nation. Elin Hilderbrand once again proves why she is the queen of the summer novel in her first historical book, which is loaded with information about a time period that molded both a country and an island located thirty miles off the coast. You can find a sequel in the anthology Reunion Beach and a second one in Endless Summer.
- Golden Girl – Vivian Howe, a mother of three almost-grown children and the author of thirteen beach books, was murdered in a hit-and-run vehicle accident while walking close to her Nantucket home on a beautiful June day. As she soars to the Beyond, she is given the responsibility of looking after Martha, who gives Vivi permission to see what goes on below for one last summer. With her daughter Willa experiencing her third miscarriage, Carson staying up late partying, and Leo presently “off again” with his high-maintenance girlfriend, Vivi is also given three “nudges” to alter the course of events on Earth. She will need to carefully consider where to utilize these nudges. However, as unrecognized facts are revealed, Vivi’s family will have to make sense of their past and current errors-with or without guidance from above-while she finally allows them to mature without her.
- The Hotel Nantucket – Nantucket lover Lizbet Keaton is frantically looking for a second act after suffering a horrible split with a longtime relationship. She hopes that when she is hired as the Hotel Nantucket’s new general manager, her local knowledge and the charismatic members of her staff will win over their new London billionaire owner, Xavier Darling, as well as Shelly Carpenter, the hugely well-known Instagram tastemaker who can help them get back on the map. And although while the Hotel Nantucket seems like a tranquil haven, there is a lot of drama going on behind closed doors. The hotel can’t seem to shake the poor image it acquired in 1922 after a devastating fire killed nineteen-year-old chambermaid Grace Hadley. The personnel (and customers) have complicated pasts. Is the Hotel Nantucket destined for success or failure with Grace happily stalking the corridors, a staff holding all kinds of secrets, and Lizbet’s own romantic uncertainty?
- The Five-Star Weekend – Hollis Shaw looks to have the ideal existence. She is the author of the well-known culinary blog Hungry with Hollis and is wed to the enticing cardiac surgeon Matthew. But one winter morning, following a furious disagreement between her and Matthew, he drives out to the airport and is killed in a collision. Hollis’ seemingly ideal life begins to fall apart as her troubled marriage and her difficult connection with her daughter Caroline worsen. Hollis makes the decision to hold her own “Five-Star Weekend” on Nantucket after hearing about a lady who arranges trips for her best friends from each stage of her life: her teenage years, her twenties, her thirties, and midlife. However, the weekend doesn’t end up being a happy Hallmark film.
Don’t forget to bookmark our post on Elin Hilderbrand’s novels and series in chronological sequence if you like it.