By: Wendy Wax
Published Year: 2016
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I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This in no way shape or form influenced my opinion of this book.
Summary (Provided by Goodreads): After losing their life savings in a Ponzi scheme, Maddie, Avery, and Nikki have banded together to make the most of what they have left, using their determination, ingenuity, guts, and a large dose of elbow grease. It’s Maddie’s daughter Kyra who stumbles across a once glorious beachfront hotel that has fallen into disrepair. The opportunity to renovate this seaside jewel is too good to pass up—especially when they come up with the idea of shooting their own independent television show about the restoration. What could possibly go wrong?
Everything. With the cameras rolling, Maddie’s second-chance romance with her all-too-famous new boyfriend gets complicated, Avery struggles with grief over the loss of her mother, and Nikki’s reluctance to commit to the man who loves her could leave her to face the biggest challenge of her life. Even the hotel seems to be against them, when their renovation uncovers a decades-old unsolved murder which just might bring their lives tumbling down all over again…
Ahhhh. This cover just whispers relaxation. This is exactly the kind of book I want to pick up to read at the pool or the lake or the beach. The summary also sounded intriguing as it is about a group of female friends working together. I love books that have close knit groups of female friends, as that is what I have in my life. It’s always fun to read about good friendships.
What I thought
This book is the fourth book in a series, which I was only vaguely aware of when I accepted it for review. I had previously read a book that was the 11th in a series without reading any of the others, so I thought that it wouldn’t make a difference. However, with this one, I think the fact that it is a part of a series influenced my reading experience.
Sunshine Beach meets up with Maddie, Avery, Nikki, and Kyra. They are currently living at Bella Mora, a beach house that they renovated in a previous book. They have all gotten together in order to figure out what they’re going to do with their renovation show that they were previously on. Apparently, in the previous book, they quit their reality show Do Over, but are looking to continue doing something similar. In order to move forward, they find a property near Bella Mora to renovate. However, they are met with multiple road blocks and need to rely on each other to push through.
I think the hardest thing for me was to get into this book. Like I said, it is a part of a series and it seems like A LOT of events have occurred in previous books. Because the history of the characters is so essential to the story line, it took me a while to connect and feel like I could get into this specific story.
While it did take me some time to become invested in the story and the characters, I was always enjoying the story. All of the characters are unique and have interesting individual story lines. I do wish that there was a bit more of the friendship within the story, but you can see that these women care for each other. It did seem that, especially towards the end of the book, the only time the friendship occurred was during their sunset beach meetings at the end of the night.
The fun thing about this book is that while it has the light beach story about a group of friends renovating a hotel, it also has a mystery story line. The hotel they decide to renovate is the scene of a murder from about 50 years ago. The story does follow the murder investigation just enough to satisfy the reader, without taking away from the type of book that this truly is.
By: Wendy Wax