I typically choose beach reads in the fall or wintertime. As temperatures drop below 50°F, cover images with hammocks and cerulean blue seas become irresistible and I pick them up for escape purposes, to tide me over until I can reach a beach in a warmer clime. It’s like a chocolate indulgence or an extravagant café selection — a little me-time fantasy. Ocean Beach fit the bill this time.
The author’s work caught my eye months ago when this sequel to Ten Beach Road came out so I’ve had it on my to-read list ever since (and enjoyed Ocean Beach without having read the first book in the Beach series). Since then, I’ve learned that Wax was once honored with the Virginia Romance Writers Holt Medallion Award for her debut romance 7 Days and 7 Nights in 2003. Now I’ve just learned that Wendy Wax has joined the Downton Abbey craze — using her fandom as the source of inspiration for her latest novel, While We Were Watching Downton Abbey
The scenario of Ocean Beach made me recall the 80’s television sitcom Designing Women. A group of women friends, assembled in Wax’s typical ensemble-cast style, are collaborating on the renovation of an historic Art Deco home in the dreamy vicinity of Miami’s South Beach. This project shows the promise of promoting the future success of their fledgling enterprise owing to the fact that their remodeling project is to be featured on a reality television show called Do Over. However, they had not anticipated that such notoriety might stem from a camera focused much more on their private lives than their skills with refinishing and refurbishing old houses so they are soon wishing their dirty laundry wasn’t about to be broadcast for all to see.
Ocean Beach readers will find a little romance, troubling pasts and deeply hidden secrets, a bit of amateur detective work, and more than a few strained domestic relationships in this lively, dramatic novel. Fans of chick lit and romance are sure to enjoy turning its pages, preferably while relaxing on a sun-kissed beach.
Check the WRL catalog for Ocean Beach
If you’re interested in starting with Wendy Wax’s earlier books, try The Accidental Bestseller.