Mary Kay AndrewsBest-selling author (and summer romance specialist) Mary Kay Andrews returns to Fair Haven on Thursday evening for a reading and signing event at Raven and the Peach, sponsored by River Road Books.

It’s got all the hallmarks of the work that’s made her one of the most popular “beach-read” novelists in the English language — the Southern coastal small-town setting; the strong protagonist whose focus has been on matters of career rather than affairs of the heart; the suspense. Not just the kind of suspense found in her earlier mystery novels, but the sexy tension that occurs when a pair of supercharged opposites set off undeniable sparks.

If it’s the start of summer, it must be time for a new novel by Mary Kay Andrews, the Georgia-based author (of Savannah Blues, Summer Rental and Save the Date) whose book tours in recent seasons have always made sure to include a whistle-stop in one of her favorite pockets of fandom: Fair Haven. This Friday, May 29, borough-based River Road Books once again welcomes back the best-selling scribe for a special appearance keyed to the latest Andrews opus, Beach Town.

Just out in hardcover and eBook from St. Martin’s Press — and set in the Florida panhandle, where a movie location scout has seemingly found “the perfect undiscovered beach town” for a big-budget action blockbuster — Beach Town pits its heroine Greer against the community’s mayor, a “born again environmentalist” who “has no intention of letting anybody screw with his town,” but who “finds Greer way too attractive for his own good.”

Having outgrown the more intimate setting of River Road’s indie bookshop, author Andrews will be reading from and signing her new book during a 7 pm appearance at the nearby Raven and the Peach restaurant. Tickets to the event ($30) include light refreshments and a hardcover signing copy of Beach Town (a cash bar is also available). RSVP to (732) 747-9455 or riverroadbooks@verizon.net.