Friday, December 8, 2017

A Bella Flora Christmas: Ten Beach Road Novella

Thank you for stopping by today.  Stowed Away by Barbara Ross is the sixth book in A Maine Clambake Mystery series and it will be published on December 26.  

A Bella Flora Christmas by Wendy Wax is a Ten Beach Road Novella (#5.5).  It is almost Christmas at Bella Flora in Pass-a-Grille, Florida.  Kyra Singer is worried about losing Bella Flora thanks to the loan she took out to finance the remodel of the Sunshine Hotel (and get control of their show Do Over).  Kyra will be hosting Christmas for family and friends at Bella Flora before decamping.  She has rented out Bella Flora to a mystery tenant who will be arriving at the beginning of January.  Kyra also needs to decide whether to let her son (Dustin) act in Daniel Deranian’s (Dustin’s biological father) new movie.  The money will be helpful, but it will mean six weeks in the company of Daniel’s wife, Tonja.  Nicole, Avery, Madeline, Kyra, spouses, significant others, children and friends come together for Christmas.    It is a joyful holiday only marred by an unexpected and unwelcome arrival.  What decision will Kyra make about the movie?  Can they save Bella Flora once again?
A Bella Flora Christmas is a very short novel.  I recommend reading the Ten Beach Road books in order.  While details from the previous books is rehashed in A Bella Flora Christmas (unfortunately), new readers to the series will be confused (all the characters, various relationships).  I wish the author had not tried to make it a standalone.   A Bella Flora Christmas was too short, and it left fans of the series disappointed.  I wanted more Christmas and less reiteration. There is more drama between Kyra, Daniel and Tonja along with the Christmas celebration.  Kyra makes her decision and then the book ends (rather abruptly).  The story alludes to the mysterious renter, but readers are not told the persons identity.  We will have to wait for Best Beach Ever.  I was entertained by the names the ladies came with for Dustin’s new puppy.  The book is nicely written, but the pace was a little slow.  Kyra agonizing over decision dominated the book (with characters being introduced in between).  I found myself yelling at my e-reader telling her to decide already (she really needs the money and it is only six weeks) and to quit lusting after Daniel.  The series has well-developed characters that people will like and relate to with the exception of Tonja (every story needs a villain).  While I found A Bella Flora Christmas lacking, it will not keep me from reading the next book in the Ten Beach Road series. Best Beach Ever is the next book in the Ten Beach Road series and it will be published on May 22, 2018.

I will be back tomorrow with my review of Hide and Seek by M.J. Arlidge.  It is the sixth book in D.I. Helen Grace series.  I hope that you have a very special day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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