Today I’m going to tell you about Beatriz Williams. If you’ve been paying any attention whatsoever, you know that Kaylie and I are obsessed with Colleen Hoover. Well, I, Taylor, am also infatuated with Queen Bea.
She writes historical fiction and basically ignited my love affair with the genre. The first book I read of Williams was Along The Infinite Sea…and I was left with this NEED inside me. I needed more. And fast. I logged onto my library’s website and proceeded to place every single book by Williams on hold. Meaning, I read them as they came and didn’t check to see if there was a specific order. Spoiler alert: there was.
Heads up: below is the order I read Williams’ novels. You can read them in any order you please… I might have gone about it backwards but you don’t have to follow my footsteps!
First, I would suggest starting with A Hundred Summers. The story follows a love triangle of sorts, involving Lily, Budgie and Nick. Lily and Budgie used to be best friends and Lily and Nick were engaged. Well NOW, its the summer of 1938, Nick and Budgie are married and the rest is a whirlwind of the best kind and is a MUST READ. The book also features a few characters that will continue to pop up during the Schuyler sister trilogy.
The Schuyler Sister books, in order, The Secret Life of Violet Grant, Tiny Little Thing and Along The Infinite Sea. Now, if you’re like me and don’t always research what you’re reading before you dive in, you will be happy to know that these three books do not HAVE to be read in order. There are a few little nods to the other sisters and their story-lines throughout each book but not HUGE spoilers. Still, I’m here to help so take it from me and read them in order.
Aren’t these covers delightful?
The series follows each of the sisters through her own specific kind of problem-these “problems” also give more insight to the main character herself. I love them because each of the sisters are so different, but still relatable. Each book bounces back and forth between the 60’s and an earlier time frame that has affected their current situation. The character development Williams presents is second to none. I was so immersed in this series, I felt the emotions of every character and poured through the books, only to have a MASSIVE book hangover when I was finished. That’s how you know its great reading. As soon as I finished, I started begging friends to read these books. Luckily for me, my friends are smart and listened and were just as in love with the books as I knew they’d be.
After I finished the Schuyler trilogy, I read A Certain Age. Now, I remember A LOT about the books I’ve mentioned so far. This one, not so much (I had to look on GoodReads). I remember it taking me more than a minute to get into, and then it was kind of confusing-lots of love triangles and switch-ups and it was kind of hard for me to keep everyone straight at first. Still a good book (I gave it 4 stars), but it wasn’t my fav. Either way, it creates a build-up for Cocoa Beach. (If only I’d known that-I wish I’d remembered more of this when I read CB.)
Next I read The Wicked City. This one was different because while still splitting time, it was past and present this time, instead of past and way past. I still really enjoyed it, the way Williams describes the “roaring 20’s” make me wish I’d been born about 80 years earlier. I loved feeling the insider view of Prohibition and bootlegging. I rated this 5 stars on GoodReads!
Now, onto Overseas. This was my most recent BW novel and I read it on my honeymoon! The first novel Williams published (that I know of), this one is very different from the others, but still a great story! It has a bit more of a sci-fi feel, there’s some time-travel and it’s a bit hard to keep up with at first but you catch on quickly. It’s a great love story and different from her other books, but I still really liked it. It’s also pretty long so don’t plan on flying through this one as quickly!
Williams’ most recent novel, Cocoa Beach, was published in June 2017. Cocoa Beach is a sort of sequel to The Wicked City and A Certain Age. The past and present in CB isn’t as separated as in other Williams’ works. I’ve seen a lot of mixed reviews about this one on GoodReads but I still enjoyed it. I was constantly trying to guess the outcome and I was consistently surprised. The imagery provided made me feel like I was sitting in the Florida heat and I LOVED IT. Another win, Bea. Great work!
Beatriz Williams also writes historical romance under the pseudonym Juliana Gray. Williams’ says “So I like to think that Juliana is my clandestine alter ego, scribbling romantic stories at night when the rest of the household is asleep!” Read the full interview with Gray here.
As you can tell, I’m a huge fan. Maybe even a “fan girl”?! I hope to spread the word and make more people happy by reading these gems! Have you read any BW? If so, what’s your fav? Let me know in the comments! 🙂