Thursday, June 30, 2016

Sunshine Beach

With the Fourth of July weekend coming up, I thought you might be looking for a beach (lake, backyard, or comfy chair) read!  Sunshine Beach fits the bill!  It will also give you a break from all the cozy mysteries I have been reviewing recently (and I have more coming up).  My plumbing leak is fixed, and I am a few hundred dollars poorer.  The poor guy was sweating buckets after being in our hot attic.  I definitely need to learn how to do plumbing repairs.

Sunshine Beach by Wendy Wax is the fourth book in the Ten Beach Road series.  The story starts in 1952 at the Sunshine Beach Club in Pass-a-Grille, Florida.  A little girl that likes to show off who lives with her parents, older sister, and grandparents at the Sunshine Hotel and Beach Club.  We then return to the present day as the group slowly returns to Bella Flora (also in Pass-a-Grille).  Nicole, Madeline, Avery, and Kyra need to discuss what they are going to do now.  They walked out on the home improvement they were working on after the network made them all look horrible and for the treatment they received.  The group decides to produce a show on their terms, but they need a new project.  They need a local project to save on costs.  Kyra is out walking with her son, Dustin and discovers the abandoned Sunshine Hotel and Beach Club.  It would be the perfect project.  The owner turns out to be Renee Franklin (John Franklin’s wife) and her sister, Annelise Handleman (a real piece of work).  The two sisters inherited the property jointly (which means they both have to agree on the disposition of the estate).  But because of what happened to their parents, the two sisters (especially Annelise) cannot move on.  Renee and Annelise never found out what happened to their mother.  She disappeared and was never heard from again.  They agree to let the four women work on the hotel, if the investigation into their mother’s disappearance is reopened.  Annelise, an avid crime show watcher, is convinced that evidence will still exist in her parent’s cottage (which has not been touched).  Will the ladies be able to make their own show and revitalize the Sunshine Hotel? Can the police figure out what happened to Renee and Annelise’s parents?  You will have to read Sunshine Beach to find out!

I normally enjoy reading the books in this series (there a nice break) and was looking forward to this latest installment.  But Sunshine Beach was a big letdown.  It seemed to dwell more on Nicole and Joe’s relationship and Nicole’s commitment issues (as well as her determined/stubborn attitude); Malcolm Dyer (Nicole’s brother and the person responsible for the Ponzi scheme) wanting to see Nicole (and it would help the FBI), but she does not wish to see him (and dwells on it for many pages); Kyra and Daniel Deranian’s relationship (even though he is married), the press (which are camped out in front of Bella Flora), and their son, Dustin; Avery having trouble dealing with the loss of her mother, Deidre Morgan (they were estranged for more than two decades); and Maddie’s romance with recovering rock-n-roll star, Will Hightower and her insecurities.  I have to admit that the characters (that I normally enjoyed) got on my nerves in Sunshine Beach (too many issues especially with Nicole).  I thought the pace was slow and the renovation project rushed.  This book just was okay.   I give Sunshine Beach 3 out of 5 stars.    There was definitely something lacking in Sunshine Beach.  This book was just not up to Wendy Wax’s usual standards.  Sunshine Beach can be read as a stand-alone novel.  Ms. Wax does a great job of updating the reader on what happened in the previous novels.  I will probably read the next book in the series, but I think it should be the last book.  It is time to put Ten Beach Road series to bed (let it go out with the tides).

The other novels in the Ten Beach Road Novel series are Ten Beach Road, Ocean Beach, Christmas at the Beach (a novella), and The House on Mermaid Point.  I received a complimentary copy of Sunshine Beach from NetGalley (and the wonderful publisher) in exchange for an honest evaluation of the novel.

I hope all of you had a delightful Thursday.  I appreciate you taking time out to stop by and visit.  I am currently reading A Dark and Stormy Murder by Julia Buckley. I am off to eat dinner and, finally, relax.  May all of you have a magical evening!  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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