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Learn what you need to know about Elin Hilderbrand’s Nantucket series here. This post shares the order, summaries, reviews, tips, and more. If you love a good beach read, you’ll love this guide to Elin Hilderbrand’s books, so let’s get literary!


Elin Hilderbrand’s Nantucket Series in Order

This Elin Hilderbrand book series has four books:

  1. A Summer Affair (2008)
  2. The Castaways (2009)
  3. The Perfect Couple (2018)
  4. Swan Song (2024) (Elin Hilderbrand’s last book)


While it’s technically best to read the Nantucket series in order of publication to avoid spoilers, you don’t “have to.” I read it out of order myself, and I didn’t even notice it was a series! The series has many character crossovers, but it does not follow one continuous plot.

Also, if you’re looking to read Elin Hilderbrand’s last book, Swan Song, as a standalone, you can definitely do so. She catches you up on who the characters are in the book.

Details of Elin Hilderbrand’s Nantucket Series

A Summer Affair (Nantucket Series, 1 of 4; 2008)

My Review: ★★☆☆☆

I initially loved the premise of A Summer Affair: the drama behind planning a charitable summer gala. The setting is just so ripe for lighthearted conflict!

But, the gala isn’t the only “affair” in this book, as long nights of planning lead to an illicit romance between a married man and a married mom of young children.

It will be tough to read if you struggle to get past storylines involving cheating. But it’s also compulsively readable, and it was hard for me to put it down.

The Castaways (Nantucket Series, 2 of 4; 2009)

My Review: ★★★☆☆

The Castaways is a beachy mystery and a very guilty pleasure about a group of Nantucket couples, including Chief of Police Ed Kapenash, who are friends and hold secrets about their relationships.

When one of the couples drowns and dies on a sail to Martha’s Vineyard, the friends cope with their grief and question the circumstances surrounding these deaths.

More mysterious than thrilling per se, this group’s interconnectedness feels as juicy as a reality TV show.

The Perfect Couple (Nantucket Series 3 of 4; 2018)

My Review: ★★★★★

The Perfect Couple truly transports you to the island of Nantucket while indulging in this “death at a wedding” mystery.

As you follow Police Chief Ed Kapenash’s investigation and try to figure out whether the death was an accident or murder (and if so, whodunnit?), you learn that all the major players have secrets that make them darker than their glossy exteriors.

While the bride and groom may not be the “perfect couple” after all, this is quite literally the “perfect” book for summer.

And, by the way, I did not correctly guess this ending of The Perfect Couple, so bonus points!  It’s easily one of Elin Hilderbrand’s best books.

Swan Song (Nantucket Series, 4 of 4; 2024)

My Review: ★★★★★

Swan Song brings an extravagant new couple, the Richardsons, to Nantucket, but before summer’s end, their flashy multi-million dollar estate burns to the ground and their personal concierge goes missing.

This swiftly thwarts longtime police chief Ed Kapenash’s retirement plans, who becomes embroiled in the investigation one last time.

I always find stories that begin with a house burned to the ground immensely propulsive, and this one certainly did not disappoint. Elin Hilderbrand blended everything her readers crave into one final narrative: characters we know and love (including The Castaways‘ friends group), Nantucket references, pop culture references, summer fun, drama, romance, mystery, and “rich people problems.”

In addition, she incorporated the most extravagant parties I’ve ever read about. The pink and white party absolutely blew me away as a reader!

While the loose ends of the mystery tied up a little too quickly and neatly for me, the final chapter was exquisite. I’m tearing up just thinking about the last few sentences!

Related Post: Book Club Questions for Swan Song

About Elin Hilderbrand


Elin Hilderbrand is one of the most famous book authors today. A Pennsylvania native and graduate of Johns Hopkins University, she also attended the University of Iowa writers workshop and earned a Master of Fine Arts degree.

Notably, she has three children, lives on Nantucket island (which often serves as the setting for her beachy romance novels), is a breast cancer survivor, and has a twin brother.

She planned to retire after her 30th book, Swan Song, is released on June 11, 2024. However, she has already signed a deal to co-author two books set at a New England boarding school with her daughter, Shelby Cunningham.

Frequently Asked Questions

What book series takes place in Nantucket?

Elin Hilderbrand’s Nantucket series of four books takes place in Nantucket: A Summer Affair (2008), The Castaways (2009), The Perfect Couple (2018), and Swan Song (2024).

What is the order of the Nantucket series?

The order of Elin Hilderbrand’s Nantucket series of four books is: A Summer Affair (2008), The Castaways (2009), The Perfect Couple (2018), and Swan Song (2024).


Elin Hilderbrand’s Nantucket series of four books (A Summer Affair, The Castaways, The Perfect Couple, and Swan Song) transport you to the island of Nantucket and all of its “rich people problems.” While reading them in order is technically best, it’s not necessary. Particularly, The Perfect Couple and Swan Song are both five-star reads.

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