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review 2017-11-08 22:30
A Bella Flora Christmas
A Bella Flora Christmas (Ten Beach Road Novella) - Wendy Wax

Ten Beach Road Novella

By:  Wendy Wax


Publisher: Berkley

Publication Date: 11/7/2017

Format: Kindle

My Rating:  5 Stars  


Wendy Wax returns with her popular Ten Beach Road Series, following (2017) One Good Thing with A BELLA FLORA CHRISTMAS. 

Read all my reviews of the Ten Beach Road Series 

Love catching up with my favorite gals in Florida for A BELLA FLORA CHRISTMAS. This go around Kyra has some difficult decisions to make and the adorable beach cottages at Sunshine Hotel are getting occupied quickly by the ladies for new beginnings. (Enjoy novellas and a fan of cottages).

Things are tense this Christmas season with the approaching deadline of New Years Day. 

Kyra is less than happy with the idea of Dustin (her son), portraying Daniel and his real-life moe star wife, Tonja Kay's son. There is no more time for hedging. She has to commit or refuse by New Year's Day.

She agreed to rent Bella Flora to a mystery tenant for an amount that gives Kyra the option of turning down the million dollars Daniel and his wife offered for Dustin to play their son. She does not want to ruin their holiday. 

The idea of strangers living in the house the women have worked so hard to hang onto is devastating; however, renting it out seems a better solution than losing her completely. 

The anonymity is making everyone anxious. 


If she cannot find a way to pay off the entire loan she took out, it could be the last holiday they would get to spend in Bella Flora.

Love these ladies and totally invested in the series. Best of all, we get a preview of BEST BEACH EVER Coming May 22, 2018 —with more Maddie, Kyra, Avery, Nikki and the crew! (Maddie is still my favorite of the women, even though I love them all.) 

Wendy Wax, "you are killing me!" Talk about tempting . . . I was swiping, dying to find out the mystery tenant of Bella Flora. Talk about a cliffhanger . . . . Could not pre-order this one fast enough. 

Please, someone, grant me an ARC for Christmas. Not sure I can wait until May for the unveiling. Seriously, I LOVE the cover and this series. Please do not let it end! 

Highly recommend (one of my favorite authors) — if you have not read the series, start with book one and read them all. Even though the author does a great job of catching you up, you do not want to miss a thing!

A special thank you as always to Berkley and NetGalley for an early reading copy. Also purchased the e-book and audible book narrated by Amy Rubinaqte.




Praise for Wendy Wax and her novels 


 "[A] sparkling, deeply satisfying tale."—New York Times bestselling author Karen White
"Reading Wendy Wax is like discovering a witty, wise, and wonderful new friend."—New York Times bestselling author Claire Cook
"Fans of Jane Green and Mary Alice Monroe will adore Wax's lively characters, witty dialogue, and heartfelt prose."—Booklist
“Wax’s Florida titles [the Ten Beach Road novels] are terrific for lovers of women’s fiction and family drama, especially if you enjoy a touch of suspense and romance.”—Library Journal
"If you're a sucker for plucky women who rise to the occasion, this is for you."—USA Today
"[Wax] writes with breezy wit and keen insight."—The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/08/14/A-Bella-Flora-Christmas
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review 2017-10-27 12:55
Married to the Sea: A Beach Romance - Norah Wilder

Married to the Sea by by Norah Wilder Book starts with Dr. Bruno Kerrigan and he's just performed a difficult surgery. Next we are years later and the story follow Delsie who's a painter but usually only on canvas. She's been hired to do a mural at the waiting room in the medical facility. After everyone has left for the day a man approaches thinking she's a vandal til she explains why she is there. He leaves and she continues on his way. He hopes to find her there again the next day but she's not... Story follows the both of them as their paths cross. What I like about this story are the careers and how detailed they are explained to get you not only familiar with with technical terms that you can understand. Dr. Bruno is arrogant and it takes a bit of time to become familiar with his traits. He's only every lost one patient. Delsie hopes to one day have enough money to leave her father's house to one of her own. Her mother had died years ago... Love how her father is a shipbuilder and love hearing of the tools of his trade. Love mystery behind the flaming arrows...Men's taking cooking classes and the bantering is priceless! Love sealife interjections throughout the book through the mural and quotes at beginning of the chapters. Jokes throughout are funny, helps move the story along also. Fun learning new things in this book. Love that the author was able to accomplish so much in just 170 pages that would've taken other 300 pages to do. He knows she will be crushed when he tells her but maybe she'll forgive him? Received a review copy from the author and this is my honest opinion.

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review 2017-10-19 17:31
Eternal (Carolina Beach) by Cecy Robson
Eternal: A Carolina Beach Novel - Cecy Robson


Romance resonates with people, because the key element is love. Love is a universal language, we all speak but sometimes forget to feel. Eternal is a conversation of the soul. The feelings are deep. Emotions are clear and the characters are as identifiable to you and me as the soothing sound of the breeze through the trees. There is no need for more than the beauty of the words, the bountiful feelings and the irresistible characters to make for an unforgettably timeless work of heart. Ms. Robson raises the bar and the sets the standard with Eternal.

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review 2017-10-18 19:11
Manhattan Beach: A Novel - Jennifer Egan
I absolutely loved reading this book and sharing Anna Kerrigan's life journey. A story that was set in pre-war and during World War II. It dealt with so many topics that were current at that time. Men leaving their families because they couldn't handle the fact they could not provide for them was just one. It also dealt with women doing men's jobs and the harassment that those women dealt with on a daily basis.

I really felt like I was living in that era while reading this book. The author did such a great job in so aspects with this book.

A coming of age story that, for me, was excellent, unputdownable and one that I will surely think back to 2017 and consider it one of the best reads that year.

Now, I am certainly driven to read her first major prize winning book "A Visit From the Goon Squad" a copy of which I have, but have never done so.

Thanks to Scribner and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.


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review 2017-09-13 22:10
Historical fiction for those interested in the history of New York, women’s history during WWII, and followers of Egan’s career.
Manhattan Beach: A Novel - Jennifer Egan

Thanks to NetGalley and to Scribner for providing me with an ARC copy of this book (due for publication in October) that I freely chose to review.

I read Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad a few years back and I was fascinated by its language, the stories, the way the story was told, and its inventiveness. When I saw Egan’s new book on offer at NetGalley I couldn’t resist. I have not read any of Egan’s other novels, but this one is very different from A Visit. For starters, this is a historical fiction novel. Both from the content of the novel and from the author’s acknowledgements at the end, we get a clear sense of how much research has gone into it. The novel covers a period around World War II, in New York and the surrounding area, and focuses on three stories that are interconnected, and are also connected to seafaring, the seafront, New York, and to the war era. The story goes backwards and forwards at times, sometimes through the memories of the characters, and sometimes within the same chapter, we get to see how that particular character got to that point. Although the story is narrated in the third person, we are firmly inside the character’s heads, and we can be at sea one minute, and the next at home remembering one gesture, a smile…

Anna Kerrigan is the strongest character and the one we spend more time with. We follow her story and know of her circumstances: a severely disabled sister, a father who disappears, and a mother who decides to go back to her family. Anna is a young woman, independent and determined to live her own life. She has never made peace with her father’s disappearance and remembers a strange encounter, when she accompanied her father as a child, with a man later revealed to be a gangster. Anna’s story was the one I was most interested in. Partly, because she was the character we got to know in more detail, partly because of her eagerness and determination, as she decides to become a diver and does not give up until she achieves her goal (at a time when being a woman severely limited one’s options, even during the war, when there were a few more openings, as she was already working at the Navy Yard). Her relationship with her sister, her training to become a diver (and you feel as if you were with her inside the incredibly heavy suit), and her obsession with finding out what happened to her father make her somebody to root for, although I found it difficult to engage at an emotional level with the character (it was as if she was contemplating herself at a distance and always analysing what she was doing, except for some brief moments when we get a sense of what she is feeling).

Dexter Styles is a strange character: he married a woman of the upper-class, and he has a good relationship with her father and her family, but by that point he was already involved in some shady deals and the underbelly of New York clubs and gambling joints, and he is smart, elegant, classy, but also ruthless and a gangster. I’ve read in a number of reviews that there are better books about New York gangsters of the period, and although I don’t recall having read any, I suspect that is true. I found the background of the character interesting, and his thoughts about the links between banking, politics, legal business, and illegal enterprises illuminating, but I am not sure I would say I completely got to know the character and did not feel particularly attached to it. (His relationship with Anna is a strange one. Perhaps it feels as if it was fate at work, but although I could understand to a certain extent Anna’s curiosity and attraction, Styles did not appear to be a man who’d risk everything for a fling. And yet…).

Eddie, Anna’s father, makes a surprise appearance later in the book and we get to learn something that by that point we have suspected for a while. From the reviews I’ve read, I’m probably one of the only people who enjoyed Eddie’s story, well, some parts of it. I love Melville (and the book opens with one of his quotes) and when Eddie is at sea, in the Merchant Navy, and his ship sinks, there were moments that I found truly engaging and touching. He is not a sympathetic character overall, as he takes a terribly selfish decision at one point in the book, but seems to redeem himself (or is at least trying) by the end.

This is a long book, but despite that, I felt the end was a bit rushed. We discover things that had been hidden for most of the book, several characters make life-changing decisions in quick succession, and I was not totally convinced that the decisions fitted the psychological makeup of the characters or the rest of the story, although it is a satisfying ending in many ways.

The novel’s rhythm is slow, although as I mentioned above, it seems to speed up at the end. There are jumps forward and backwards in time, that I did not find particularly difficult to follow, but it does require a degree of alertness. There are fascinating secondary characters (Nell, the bosun…), and the writing is beautifully descriptive and can make us share in the experiences of the characters at times, but I also felt it didn’t invite a full emotional engagement with them. I was not a hundred per cent sure that the separate stories interconnected seamlessly enough or fitted in together, and I suspect different readers will like some of the characters more than others, although none are totally blameless or sympathetic. An interesting book for those who love historical fiction of that period, especially those who enjoy women’s history, and I’d also recommend it to those who love seafaring adventures and/or are curious about Egan’s career. 

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