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review 2018-12-20 19:51
Thrilling Conclusion to Beach House Series (Possibly???)-24 Tasks
Beach House Reunion - Mary Alice Monroe

Spoilers for readers who have not read the Beach House series. You do not want to start with this fifth book since it will spoil events from the prior books.

 

Wow. This was great. I do wish that Monroe didn't feel the need to always have two female characters to focus on in these books. I was fine with just following along with Cara's story personally. Us shifting back and forth between her and her niece  Linnea. Even though I gave this book five stars, I just didn't find myself too engaged with Linnea's romance personally, though I thought it was a nice closing the circle moment for long-time readers. I was just thinking I would love to read a story told from Cara's sister in law's point of view. 

 

It's been three years since Cara Rutledge left Isle of Palms for Tennessee. After the death of her husband Brett, Cara spread her wings to go to someplace that would not have her thinking of him every moment. Now returning home, she has someone new to think about she wants to be around her friends and family. I really can't tell you why Cara returns home, it will end up spoiling things for long-time readers. I can just say though that this was a satisfying conclusion to Cara's story. Cara is a consultant and ends up needing another pair of hands to help her out and thinks of her niece Linnea who is struggling to find a job after graduation.

 

Monroe once again shows us Cara going through a lot of changes (big and small) at the age of 53 and definitely showing she's older and wiser in this one.


Linnea is dealing with family troubles in this one and is glad to be away from her family home. Her younger brother seems to be going through some things, but her family keeps insisting things are fine.


We revisit other characters like Toy and her family (yes) and we even get characters from her other series (Lowcountry Summer) making appearances so that was pretty cool. We also get to see Heather and how her life has changed in three years since the last book. 

 

The love interest for both women in this one were done very well. I want to applaud Mary Alice Monroe for showing widowhood in a romance novel in a realistic way. For once you didn't have the new love interest acting like a jackass that someone had loved again. And we don't have the heroine acting ashamed of that love. We have Cara still struggling to let go of Brett, but she has someone who is patience and understands what she is going through. And they are not asking her to pretend as if she didn't love someone else or was married before. 

 

The writing was very good and honestly made me want to break open some wine and eat some boiled shrimp. Don't read this book if you are hungry.

 

The flow was really good in this one from start to finish.

The Isle of Palms is always a great setting. We do have Cara and her family dealing with another Hurricane that threatens everything (why do people live among the beach????) and how they deal with that. 


The ending was so good though. The way things ends though you have a feeling this is the last book in the series. 

 

ETA: Just realized this fits St. Andrew's Day! Part of this book takes place in Charleston, South Carolina. Cara and Linnea both go there multiple times in this book. 

 

St. Andrew's Day

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review 2018-12-20 19:35
Beach House for Rent-24 Tasks
Beach House for Rent (The Beach House) - Mary Alice Monroe

I do love Mary Alice Monroe. Her books set in the Low Country always makes me want to visit the Isle of Palms. This is book number four in the series. I have read everything so far, except for "Beach House Memories". 

 

This fourth book comes with major changes for the character of Cara Rutledge. Now 10 years after coming home to the Isle of Palms, she is happily married to Brett, but wishing that she had something passionate to be involved with. Doing the books for Brett's eco-tourism boat is okay, but it's not enough for her. Readers know that Cara and Brett tried multiple times to have children, and after multiple miscarriages, came to the decision that they were not meant to have children. Cara and Brett rent out Cara's deceased mother's cottage every summer. Now this year, they need the money more than any other time due to Brett's business struggling. 

 

This brings us a new character, Heather who is being ushered out of her family home after her father's new marriage. Heather is going to evoke a lot of sympathy with readers. Still dealing with anxiety and PTSD after a car accident that left her mother dead, Heather is not good around people. Her father rents Cara's cottage in order to get her away from his new bride (near her age) and to allow Heather time to complete her commission by the U.S. Postal Service to pain shorebirds for new stamps. I have to say that Heather's profession was definitely a new one on me. 

 

Monroe goes back and forth between Cara and Heather. You get to see two strong women in different points in their lives. One of them is dealing with something so huge though that it had me tearing up in sympathy too. Make sure that you keep tissues nearby. What I did like is that both Cara and Heather are going through things that are making them wish for their mothers to be there to comfort them. Instead they eventually start up a friendship that I loved. 

 

I will complain though that I wanted more Flo and Ellie (Cara's long time friends and cheerleaders). I also think that Cara's brother Palmer is annoying. I did love how he stepped up for her in this one though. I wanted to see more of the other characters that we have been reading about for ages though like Toy and Little Lovie (see "Swimming Lessons"). 

 

The writing was like coming home again though. Being laid up I needed a comfort read. I had some books that were not doing a blessed thing for me that I sent back to the library. This one definitely hit the spot. The flow was good too. I just think that after a while I was more invested in Cara's story and Heather's story felt a bit too unfinished to me. 

 

I absolutely loved that my Kindle version showed pictures of the different birds. I just wish it had been in color.

The ending surprised me, in a good way. Due to the changes in Cara's life, she decides a change is needed, and we have her trying something new. Immediately after finishing this, I went and bought "Beach House Reunion". 

 

Human Rights Day

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review 2018-06-05 16:52
Beach House Reunion - Mary Alice Monroe
 
 

Debbie Krenzer's Reviews > Beach House Reunion

Beach House Reunion by Mary Alice Monroe
Beach House Reunion (Beach House #5) 
by 
Mary Alice Monroe (Goodreads Author)
 
12691311
Debbie Krenzer's review 
Jun 05, 2018  ·  edit

 
really liked it
bookshelves: ebooksnet-galley-books 
 

First off, I want to say that this book in the series was much better for me than number 4, it was too morbid and sad. It's a beach and holiday book. Let's not get tied down with sad things.

And now my review:

We are back on Isle of Palms and the Rutledge family is in turmoil brought about by previous family influences and a more common destroyer of families.

Cara has big changes in her life and lets Palmer in on a very big secret. One that has plagued him for years.

Hurricane Irma hits the coast.

"Big Girl" revisits the island and causes quite the commotion.

Lovie returns in spirit and I liked it!

A much better read, while still some sad things happen, they are not emphasized over and over and over again. I did enjoy this one and seriously look forward to the next installment.

Thanks to Gallery, Threshold Pocket Books and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
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review 2018-04-16 02:03
Beach House Reunion
Beach House Reunion - Mary Alice Monroe

 

Two women coming home for two different reasons to the place they loved and the place with many memories.

Linnea had finished college, and Cara was coming home to be with family.

Linnea came home from college and had no choice but to return, and really didn’t want to be in her childhood home with all the drama and the rules.

Cara came home because her husband had passed away a few years earlier, she adopted a friend’s baby, and she wanted to have her daughter grow up where she grew up with family and summer beach memories.

Both women needed something, and with Linnea being Cara’s niece, the problem was solved because Linnea was going to be Cara’s nanny.  That would save Linnea from staying with her parents all summer and would be a warm remembrance of her childhood times at the beach house, Primrose Cottage.   Cara would get to spend time with her niece to catch up and have someone to finally help her so she wasn’t alone.

BEACH HOUSE REUNION was a very pleasant, heartwarming read that made you want to for the most part be in the Rutledge family and in Primrose Cottage as well as Sullivan's Island.

Everything about the book was comfy and inviting.

The characters and the beachy setting were quite pleasant.

Learning about loggerheads, surfing, seeing the love between family members and others, and joining in the family fun are some of the reasons you will want to read this book.

I actually want to learn more about the sea turtles (loggerheads). It sounded fascinating, and the excitement the characters had about them had me wanting to learn more.

BEACH HOUSE REUNION is an easy, sweet read that will be a perfect addition to your summer reading list. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher and NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Source: silversolara.blogspot.com
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review 2018-03-26 13:18
May Go Down as My Worst Read of 2018
The High Tide Club - Mary Kay Andrews

Please note that I received this book via NetGalley. This did not affect my review or rating.

 

Warning. This is not a beach read. This is a story of barely developed characters, subtle racism (overt in some cases) a secret child story-line (I hate those) and a plot that zigs-zags from the past to the present repeatedly. I was left 100 percent disappointed with this read and baffled that Andrews wrote this. I have enjoyed her books over the years and this book feels/reads like a rough first draft to me. I think if maybe the amount of characters had been cut out and or just had Josephine and Brooke as the only "voices" maybe the book would have worked out better. Instead we have a plethora of points of view (POV) in this one and random actions by characters that I didn't believe at all. 

 

"The High Tide Club" deals with almost 100 year old heiress, Josephine Warrick calling up Brooke Trappnell telling her she wants to hire her. Josephine wants to do what she can to leave her estate to friends of her that were part of a so-called "High Tide Club". The state wants to buy all of Josephine's land/home and wants to demo it. Josephine wants Brooke to prevent that by seeking out her friends and wants the opportunity to make amends with them.


Seems simple right? It's not. From the first we have Josephine telling Brooke her story in fits and starts. It doesn't work as a narrative device to have Josephine telling a story and then the book flashing back to the past, and then flashing back to the present, then flashing back to the past again. That happens repeatedly while reading. It took me out of the story every single time. And at one point I started to skim in self defense because I just didn't care anymore and wanted to be finished with this book. 

 

And I did laugh though when Josephine lets Brooke know that one of the people she wanted to contact was Brooke's now dead grandmother. At this point we find out that two of the women from the club are dead and only one, her name is living, her name is Varina, but they had a fight related to Josephine not selling back land she bought from her and other Geechees living on the island. 

 

So then the book segues into Brooke contacting the heirs of the dead women and then coming to the island to hear about what they could possibly be inheriting. Instead there is a death, confusion, and just general bedlam of people scrambling around trying to demand land/money from a woman that any barely seemed to care died. And then we have reveal after reveal hitting you over the head with Josephine looking the worst out of all of the characters with some of the others coming in a close second.

Brooke is an idiot and I was so done with her whole so-called plot. I hate secret children in romance novels. It is not believable at all and just once I would love it if the dude in question called the woman out and said no, I don't want to be with someone that would lie and hide the fact that they had my child for so-called BS reasons. 

 

The other characters were secondary and I didn't care for them much either. Varina's granddaughter or grandniece was shown to be grasping and greedy. Varina herself was portrayed as naive. I hated the fact that the book shows the other so-called members of the club treating her like a doll they could dress up and give expensive things to. But she's African American and could not really be a part of their world at all. In fact most of the African Americans in this book don't look that great at all in the end. 


The writing was rough in a lot of places. As I said above, maybe cutting out all of the extra characters and the jumping back and forth in the story would have helped. It was hard to keep things straight. When Josephine dies (not a spoiler, it's in the synopsis) the story loses it's forward momentum. 

 

The setting of the island doesn't feel real at all. I think maybe just telling the story from past to present would have helped it to feel more centered in the book. Instead I didn't get why anyone was killing themselves trying to save the place. 

 

The ending was supposed to be moving and uplifting, I just was glad to be done. 

 

I also read this for the DWS 52 week challenge: This week was read set in your home country. 

 

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