Road trips are full of fun, adventure and lasting memories. After over a year of being stranded by the pandemic, many of us are anxious to dust off our traveling boots and head … anywhere. While you’re waiting out the restrictions and making your wish lists, what better way to see the world than through a great read? From traveling cross-country to traveling abroad, or even just immersing ourselves in a glorious location far, far away, we have some great books that help satiate the travel bug.

Embark on a hilarious road trip with I Thought You Said this Would Work by Ann Garvin

A road trip can drive anyone over the edge — especially two former best friends. Widowed Samantha Arias hasn’t spoken to Holly Dunfee in forever. It’s for the best. Samantha prefers to avoid conflict. The blisteringly honest Holly craves it. What they still have in common puts them both back on speed dial: a mutual love for Katie, their best friend of twenty-five years, now hospitalized with cancer and needing one little errand from her old college roomies. It’s simple: travel cross-country together, steal her loathsome ex-husband’s VW camper, find Katie’s diabetic Great Pyrenees at a Utah rescue, and drive him back home to Wisconsin. 

Samantha and Holly are following every new turn — toward second chances, unexpected romance, and self-discovery — and finally blowing the dust off the secret that broke their friendship. On the open road, they’ll try to put it back together — for themselves, and especially for the love of Katie.

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Be whisked away to Paris, Venice and Vienna with Three Words for Goodbye by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb

When estranged sisters Clara and Madeleine Sommers learn that their grandmother is dying, they agree to fulfill her last wish: to travel across Europe … together. They are to deliver three letters, in which Violet will say goodbye to those she hasn’t seen since traveling to Europe 40 years earlier, a journey inspired by famed reporter, Nellie Bly. Clara, ever-dutiful, sees the trip as an inconvenient detour before her wedding to millionaire Charles Hancock, but it’s also a chance to embrace her love of art. Budding journalist Madeleine relishes the opportunity to develop her ambitions to report on the growing threat of Hitler’s Nazi party and Mussolini’s control in Italy. 

Constantly at odds with each other as they explore the luxurious Queen Mary, the Orient Express, and the sights of Paris and Venice, Clara and Madeleine wonder if they can fulfill Violet’s wish until a shocking truth about their family brings them closer together. As political tensions rise and Europe feels increasingly volatile, the pair are glad to head home on the Hindenburg, where fate will play its hand in the final stage of their journey.

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Luxuriate on glorious Elba Island with Lizzie and Dante by Mary Bly

On the heels of a difficult breakup and a devastating diagnosis, Shakespeare scholar Lizzie Delford decides to take one last lavish vacation on Elba, the sun-kissed island off the Italian coast, with her best friend and his movie-star boyfriend. She leaves the yacht owners and celebrities behind and sneaks off to the public beach where she meets a sardonic chef named Dante, his battered dog Lily and his wry daughter Etta, a 12-year-old desperate for a mother. 

While Dante shows Lizzie the island’s secrets, and Etta dazzles with her irreverent humor, Lizzie is confronted with a dilemma. Is it right to fall in love if time is short? A luscious story of love, courage, and Italian wine, Lizzie & Dante demands to know how far we should travel to find a future worth fighting for.

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Set sail with the suspenseful Change of Heart by Sonali Dev

Travel from India to America with Dev’s A Change of Heart. After Nic Joshi’s wife Jen is murdered in the Mumbai slums, he numbs the pain with whiskey, but it just isn’t enough. He needs a new life. When he joins Doctors Without Borders on a cruise ship headed to America, he isn’t expecting to meet a woman he connects with; Jess Koirala, star of a dancing troupe. 

Only, as details about Jess’s life unfolds, he soon learns it is his deceased wife’s heart — donated in her death — that now beats inside Jess’s chest. And there’s more. Jess must uncover Jen’s secrets to save her son and the burgeoning love between her and Nic. 

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Discover Manila, Philippines with Once Upon a Sunset by Tif Marcelo

As a Washington, DC OB/GYN at a prestigious hospital, Diana Gallagher-Cary uses her career to distract herself from her grief over her granny’s death and her breakup from her long-term boyfriend after her free-spirited mother moves in with her. But when she makes a medical decision that disparages the hospital, she is forced to go on a short sabbatical. Never one to wallow, Diana decides to use the break to put order in her life when her mother, Margo, stumbles upon a box of letters from her grandfather, Antonio Cruz, to her grandmother from the 1940s. 

When they learn that he lived through the war, and that they have surviving relatives in the Philippines, Diana becomes determined to connect with the family that she never knew existed, though Margo refuses to face her history. But Diana pushes on, and heads on a once-in-a-lifetime trip that challenges her identity, family history and her idea of romantic love and could change her life forever.

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Spend time in China with The Library of Legends by Janie Chang

“Myths are the darkest and brightest incarnations of who we are …” China, 1937. When Japanese bombs begin falling on the city of Nanking, nineteen-year-old Hu Lian and her classmates at Minghua University are ordered to flee. Lian and a convoy of more than 100 students, faculty and staff must walk a thousand miles to the safety of China’s western provinces, a journey marred by hunger, cold and the constant threat of aerial attack. And it is not just the student refugees who are at risk: Lian and her classmates have been entrusted with a priceless treasure, a 500-year-old collection of myths and folklore known as the Library of Legends. 

Lian’s family’s past has made her wary of forming attachments, but the students’ common duty to safeguard the Library of Legends forms unexpected bonds. As the ancient books travel across China, they awaken immortals and guardian spirits to embark on an exodus of their own, one that changes the country’s fate forever.

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Float away to Key West with Anchored Hearts by Priscilla Oliveras

Award-winning photographer Alejandro Miranda hasn’t been home to Key West in years — not since he left to explore broader horizons with his papi’s warning “never to come back” echoing in his ears. The drama of a prodigal son returning to his familia and their beloved Cuban restaurant is bad enough, but coming home to the island paradise also means coming face to face with the girl he left behind — the one who was supposed to be by his side all along. 

Anamaría Navarro was shattered when Alejandro took off without her. Traveling the world was their plan, not just his. But after her father’s heart attack, there was no way she could leave, not even for the man she loved. Now ensconced in the family trade as a firefighter and paramedic, with a side hustle as a personal trainer, Anamaría is dismayed that just the sight of Alejandro is enough to rekindle the flame she’s worked years to put out. And as familia meddling pushes them together, the heat of their attraction only climbs higher. 

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Get lost in Paris and Russia with The Ice Swan by J’nell Ciesielski

Fleeing the murderous flames of the Russian Revolution, Princess Svetlana Dalsky hopes to find safety in Paris with her mother and sister. But the city is buckling under the weight of the Great War, and the Bolsheviks will not rest until they have erased every Russian aristocrat from memory. Svetlana and her family are forced into hiding in Paris’s underbelly, with little to their name but the jewels they sewed into their corsets before their terrifying escape. 

Born the second son of a Scottish duke, the only title Wynn MacCallan cares for is that of surgeon. Putting his talents with a scalpel to good use in the hospitals in Paris, Wynn pushes the boundaries of medical science to give his patients the best care possible. After treating Svetlana for a minor injury, he is pulled into a world of decaying imperial glitter. When Wynn’s life takes an unexpected turn, so does Svetlana’s—and soon Paris becomes as dangerous as Petrograd. And as the Bolsheviks chase them to Scotland, Wynn and Svetlana begin to wonder if they will ever be able to outrun the love they are beginning to feel for one another.

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Explore Egypt with The Collector’s Daughter by Gill Paul

Lady Evelyn Herbert of Highclere Castle leaves behind the world of society balls and chaperones to travel to the Egyptian desert, where she becomes a lady archaeologist, working alongside her father and Howard Carter in the hunt for an undisturbed tomb. In November of 1922, their dreams came true when they discovered the burial place of Tutankhamun. She is the first person to crawl inside for 3,000 years. She called it the “greatest moment” of her life, but soon afterward everything changed, with a string of tragedies that left her world a darker, sadder place. 

Newspapers claimed it was “the curse of Tutankhamun”, but Howard Carter said no rational person would entertain such nonsense. Yet 50 years later, when an Egyptian academic came asking questions about what really happened in the tomb, it unleashed a new chain of events that seemed to threaten the happiness Eve had finally found.

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