I am a big stickler for reading series books in the order the author wrote them in. When I was lucky enough to receive a copy of Beach House No. 9 from the author, Christie Ridgway, I made sure I downloaded the prequel novella from Amazon as well, and read it before I read the book. I was then lucky enough to get the next two in the series from NetGalley, so I decided to review them as a series. And here we are.
I have split the post into two parts, as it was getting rather long. Part two can be found here.
First, Beach House Beginnings….
Two miles of magic. That’s how Meg Alexander remembers her childhood home of Crescent Cove on the California coast. But Meg doesn’t believe in magic anymore—not since heartbreak made her leave at nineteen and kept her away for ten years.
Yet Meg can’t say no when her sister asks her to temporarily step in as the cove’s property manager—and she can’t deny her instant attraction to handsome guest Caleb McCall. He sparks a desire that Meg hasn’t felt in a long time. But even as their incredible, incendiary kisses tempt her into a short-term fling, her head tells her to pull away.
Can Caleb convince her to give love a second chance?
This was a quick read, yet it was a thoroughly satisfying introduction to the series.
Meg, the heroine, returns to her home at Crescent Cove after a decade away. She’s shut herself away emotionally since the loss of her boyfriend, staying away from love and commitment – and to a lesser extent, her family. Caleb has also been through a deeply life-changing experience, and is making an attempt to live life the way it should be lived – with enjoyment and passion.
The relationship between Meg and Caleb really set the tone for the rest of the series for me. They were human, flawed, imperfect people with a connection that seems real from the very beginning. Being a novella, a lot is packed into its 80-odd pages in regard to emotional stuff and there is a bit of a tendency towards instalove. However in the context of this story, it’s something that doesn’t really bother me.
After reading this, I was really looking forward to the rest of the series.
My rating: 4 out of 5
Release Date: 1 January 2013
and now for the first in the series proper, Beach House No. 9….
When Jane Pearson arrives at Griffin Lowell’s beach house, she expects a brooding loner. After all, his agent hired her to help the reclusive war journalist write his stalled memoir. Instead, Jane finds a tanned, ocean-blue-eyed man in a Hawaiian shirt, hosting a beach party and surrounded by beauties. Faster than he can untie a bikini top, Griffin lets Jane know he doesn’t want her. But she desperately needs this job and digs her toes in the sand.
Griffin intends to spend the coming weeks at Beach House No. 9 taking refuge from his painful memories—and from the primly sexy Jane, who wants to bare his soul. But warm nights, moonlit walks and sultry kisses just may unlock both their guarded hearts….
This book may have a light, breezy cover, but it is not all pina coladas and getting caught in the rain. Beach House No. 9 is a romance at its heart, which deals with some hard topics – betrayal by a lover and PTSD among them. Despite the oft-heavy undertones, this was quite a fun book to read.
I love stories where the hero and heroine have no intention of falling in love and then BAM! It hits them over the head like a plank of wood. That’s how I see the relationship between Jane and Griffin in Beach House No. 9. Jane is trying to hold onto her career after she was slated by her former client (and lover), so she is there just to make sure that Griffin gets his memoirs completed. He doesn’t want a bar of her help – he’s just trying to escape the demons from his time embedded in Afghanistan. Her persistence and his resistance in turn is quite amusing to read.
Neither is keen to develop an attachment to anyone, let alone each other. However they have such wonderful chemistry, and to watch these two lost and damaged souls fall for each other against their better judgement was lovely.
The secondary characters and romance in this are wonderful. You meet a number of characters that pop up throughout the series – old Rex Monroe, Skye and Teague amongst them, and who even get their own stories. The other romance in Beach House No. 9, that of Griffin’s sister Tess and her estranged husband, David was both sexy and bittersweet, and could have stood up to its own book. However, you don’t get teh feeling that it is taking focus away from the main romance.
My rating: 4 out of 5
Release Date: 29 January 2013
Note: Book one was a prize from the author (thank you, Christie Ridgway!) and I purchased the prequel novella myself.