Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Ten Beach Road

Ten Beach Road by Wendy Wax
Review by: Melissa J. MacDonald
Genre: beach fiction
Publisher: Berkley
Date: 2011

Three women, complete strangers, have one thing in common, they’ve been duped by a Ponzi scheme. They  have lost everything and they unite to rehab the only asset they now own, third shares in a large but neglected mansion on Pass-a-Grill Beach, Florida. As they work to bring Bella Flora back to its former glory so that they can sell it and hopefully recoup at least some of their catastrophic losses, the women become friends. But the secrets they are hiding from each other could prove more devastating and hard to overcome than the massive work needed on the decaying house.

Madeline is a homemaker who is coping nicely with empty-nest syndrome. Content, if not sometimes bored, with her life she is completely shaken when she finds out her husband has not had a job for months. As he falls into depression she has to hold the family together….which also means taking care of her adult daughter who is pregnant by a married movie star.

Nikki is a renowned successful matchmaker to the stars . Her world crumbles as her money slowly but surely completely disappears. She’s particularly affected by the Ponzi scheme because the maker of the scheme, the one who has run off with billions of dollars, is none other than her brother. Her younger brother whom she raised.

Avery is a beautiful and feisty architect whose skills have somehow become less appreciated over her other….ahem, assets. A co-host with her ex-husband on a popular HGTV show she’s recently been fired and has no money and nowhere to go.

Somehow these three women must work together to get what money they can out of their only asset.  Described as a “perfect beach read” you will most definitely feel yourself transported to the beaches of Florida as you read this story. Bella Flora is described in detail and you’ll find yourself wanting to walk through the house and watch the renovation unfold. The three women have their own quirks and together they are often hilarious. As the story progresses so does a real-life storm and you will find yourself dashing through the last few chapters to find out what happens.

A very pleasant story that is almost, but not completely, ruined by very strong language. I was quite surprised that the author chose to sully a cute story with language you would only find in an R-rated movie. Instead of referring to strong language she wrote every word out and I found it quite distasteful.  Other than that, the story line is intriguing, the characters fun, and the setting idyllic.

Thank you to Berkley Publishing for providing a copy of this book for review.
Rated: R- for content and strong language

Monday, June 13, 2011

A Cowboy's Touch

A Cowboy’s Touch by Denise Hunter
Review by: Melissa J. MacDonald
Genre: modern fiction
Publisher: Thomas Nelson Publishers
Date: 2011

Forced to go on sabbatical in Montana, Abigail Jones is less than thrilled to find herself leaving the city far behind to spend the summer with her aging aunt. Abigail finds herself surprised at how quickly she adapts to a slower pace of life. Her blood pressure drops, she’s finding God again, but this investigative reporter just can’t get a possible story out of her head!

Abigail’s neighbor is the handsome Wade Ryan. He’s got a precocious daughter and did we mention he’s handsome. When Wade’s daughter loses her nanny Abigail is more than happy to step in. Wade can’t help but find himself drawn to attractive Abigail. With Abigail’s care both daughter and dad begin to thrive. However, Wade is hiding a secret of monumental proportions and Abigail smells a story.

Who isn’t a sucker for a good cowboy romance? I mean, honestly! City girl goes to the country and meets a handsome cowboy…sigh. The setting is perfect ,set in Montana where western cowboys still exist and still steal women’s hearts. I found Abigail completely annoying at first. She isn’t very well developed at the beginning and you might find yourself annoyed with her desire to find a story and then to keep digging. Wade has his own issues and isn’t as well developed as I would have liked either.  Maddy (the daughter) is a delight and you’ll thoroughly enjoy her. As the story develops you’ll like all of the characters more and you’ll find layers that you weren’t expecting. The story has a bit of a twist that I won’t reveal and the book ends exactly like you would want it to.  Don’t be surprised if you don’t have the sudden desire to go see a rodeo, buy some cowboy boots, or take a trip to Montana. Denise Hunter transports you and I think you’re going to like it.

Rated: Pg- for adult situations
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