2017 Book #65 – Emerald Coast by Anita Hughes

51BaCBQAllLTitle: Emerald Coast
Author: Anita Hughes
Date finished: 8/1/17
Genre: Fiction, women’s fiction
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Publication Date:August 1, 2017
Pages in book: 304
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: NetGalley
NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

Set on the glamorous Italian island, Emerald Coast is a touching and humorous story about marriage and the difficulty of finding love and happiness at the same time.
Lily Bristol arrives at a luxurious resort in Sardinia for the grand opening of her newest home furnishing store on the Emerald Coast. She’s a successful business woman with an international chain of stores from San Francisco to Milan. Thirty-two and newly divorced, she’s ready to handle things on her own. At least until her private butler, Enzo, escorts her to a beautiful suite where she notices a suspiciously familiar pair of men’s slippers and shaving kit.
Lily is horrified. Her ex-husband Oliver moved out of their restored Connecticut farmhouse six months ago, but they booked this trip when they were trying to save their marriage and never cancelled the reservation. Oliver, a food critic for the New York Times, is here covering Sardinia’s hottest new restaurant. The only other available room is the adjoining suite; and worse, Oliver isn’t alone. He’s brought a twenty-something named Angela with him.
Lily is determined to make do and enlists Enzo to find her a suitable man. But it’s not as easy to find new love as they both expected. When Lily and Oliver find themselves alone on a very important night, they turn to each other. Sparks begin to fly, but can they be together without breaking each other’s hearts?

My rating:  1.0 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. This book is about Lily Bristol and her ex-husband Oliver, who through one of those crazy twists of fate end up both trying to use a reservation after their divorce. Oliver brought his new girlfriend (Angela) and Lily ends up hooking up with a guy named Ricky from Sardinia (where they are) but while all this is happening they both also can’t stop thinking about each other and their shared memories.
Overall I did not care for this book. I’m going to try to be honest here without being (a) cruel or (b) overly dramatic. I found Lily’s character to be a complete mockery of a strong and independent woman. She has random conversations with strangers and just is everything that I would hate to become as a women and as a wife. Oliver has some extreme jealousy issues and may be addicted to sex since he can’t seem to stop having it with his new girlfriend. However (**SPOILER ALERT**) he apparently NEVER THINKS TO ASK HIS NEW GF ABOUT BIRTH CONTROL. Sorry the caps were dramatic I just can’t believe that any logical person in this day and age would overlook that in a new relationship. Anyways moving on the characters were irrelevant and unrealistic, the story line was half-hearted and not at all engaging, and I honestly couldn’t even read most of the conversations they were so awkwardly structured. I did not care for this novel. However, all of that being said I know these are popular novels and that some people do like them so that’s fine. Amazon has mostly 4 star reviews. So maybe its just me.

The bottom line: I did not personally enjoy this book. I cannot personally say that I recommend it, though I know many people who enjoy this author’s books so maybe its just me.

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2017 Book #40 – White Sand, Blue Sea by Anita Hughes

5180-8M3tPLTitle: White Sand, Blue Sea
Author: Anita Hughes
Date finished: 5/2/17
Genre: Fiction, women’s fiction
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Publication Date: April 11, 2017
Pages in book: 289
Stand alone or series: Stand alone I think, its hard to tell from the website if the other books are connected
Where I got the book from: NetGalley NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

Olivia Miller is standing on the porch of her mother and stepfather’s plantation style villa in St. Barts. They have been coming here every April for years but she is always thrilled to see the horseshoe shaped bay of Gustavia and white sand of Gouverneur’s Beach. This trip should be particularly exciting because she is celebrating her twenty-fifth birthday and hoping that Finn, her boyfriend of four years, will propose.
The only person who won’t be here is her father, Sebastian, whom she hasn’t seen in twenty years. He’s a well-known artist and crisscrosses the globe, painting and living in exotic locations like Kenya and China. When Sebastian unexpectedly walks through the door and floats back into Olivia’s life like a piece of bad driftwood she never knew she wanted, she starts to wonder if her world is too narrow. She questions the dreams and the relationship she’s always thought she wanted. But there seems to be more to the story than an innocent fatherly visit, and Olivia must decide if love is more important than truth.
Set on St. Barts, the jewel of the Caribbean, Anita Hughes’s WHITE SAND, BLUE SEA is a heartwarming story about romance and adventure, and most important, about knowing yourself, and what makes you happy.

My rating:  1.25 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. This book tells the story of Olivia Miller and her family during Olivia’s birthday week vacation at her step-father’s home on St. Bart’s. Olivia is soon to turn 25 and she has been waiting for 20 years for her biological father to come to one of her birthday parties. So when he turns up at the door about 4 days before her birthday, she is ecstatic. Sebastian is a charmer and in no time has everyone eating out of the pal, of his hand. But is there really room in Olivia’s life for someone like Sebastian after all these years?
Overall I didn’t care for this book. I found the characters to be flat and emotionless and unrealistic. After 20 years of not seeing her father, Olivia is overjoyed to have him show up? I find it hard to believe that she wouldn’t have been a little more angry at him. And the “arguments” in the book as well as most of the conversation felt forced and unbelievable. The narratives would jump from flashbacks to present tense with almost no transitions, which made it really confusing to read. I didn’t really like or connect with any of the characters. There didn’t seem to really be a particular plot and most of the narratives about flashbacks didn’t add any value to the story line and seemed irrelevant.

The bottom line: I really didn’t care for this book.

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2015 Book #29 – You’re So Fine by Kieran Kramer

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Title: You’re So Fine
Author: Kieran Kramer
Date finished: 4/8/15
Genre: Contemporary romance
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Publication Date: December 30, 2014
Pages in book: 395
Stand alone or series: Stand alone

Blurb from the cover:

CAN THE ROLE OF A LIFETIME…
Lacey Clark’s dreams of Hollywood stardom didn’t turn out quite the way she planned. Instead, her life is more of the daytime-drama variety: One of her actor ex-boyfriends fathered a child with another woman, and now, long story short, Lacey is the adopted single mother of his son. She takes little Henry with her to South Carolina to escape the film business but winds up working at a small movie studio, determined to do a good job both on set and at “home.” Only problem is she ends up sharing a house with movie star Beau Wilder, who is no role model for Henry—and only spells trouble for Lacey…
LEAD TO A HAPPY ENDING?Beau is arguably the most gorgeous man on the planet—and a known ladies’ man. His wealthy Lowcountry pedigree is rivaled only by his bad-boy charm, a combination that proves irresistible for Lacey. And he adores Henry! If they weren’t both on a movie set, their lives would seem too good to be true…unless the chemistry—not to mention the burning attraction—between them is real, and Hollywood’s golden boy is actually falling for this sassy single mom? When it comes to love, sometimes you just have to throw out the script…

My rating: 3.25 stars out of a scale of 5
My review: This book will count for the challenge I am participating in for April, the #ReadingMyLibrary reading challenge. I saw this book at the Bristol Library and I had added it to my TBR list in January (this book was one of my featured “Friday Finds” on Jan 23. At first I found it difficult to really get into the story of this book. I ended up liking it overall but there were a lot of things that I wasn’t a huge fan of. Some of the scenes were hard to follow along with and honestly some of them I thought didn’t really fit. The flow was a little off with some of the book and it made it hard to fully connect with the characters I think. Also, I thought it was a little wordy, it was a pretty long book.
There were also a lot of things about this story that I liked, Henry was a total sweetheart and I found it really touching how amazingly devoted Lacey was to him even though she wasn’t his birth mother. I wasn’t really feeling Beau’s character at the beginning (he was honestly kind of an ass) but by the end I was more fond of him.

The bottom line: Story was ok, not sure I would necessarily recommend but I wouldn’t discourage anyone from reading it either.

Link to author website
Link to Amazon