Welcome to the Beach Reads Book Club…where love is just a page away…
When Lottie Watt is unceremoniously booted out of her uptight book club for not following the rules, she decides to throw the rulebook out the window and start her own club – one where conversation, gin and cake take precedent over actually having read the book!
The Beach Reads Book Club soon finds a home for its meetings at Books by the Bay, a charming bookshop and café owned by gorgeous, brooding Matthew Steele, and as the book club picks heat up, so too does the attraction between Matt and Lottie.
If there’s anything Lottie has learned from the romances she’s been reading, it’s that the greatest loves are the ones hardest earned.
You Can Purchase the Book: Amazon
A former pharmacist, I’m now a medical writer who also writes romance. Some days a racing heart is a medical condition, others it’s the reaction to a sexy hero.
With a husband who asks every Valentine’s Day whether he has to buy a card (yes, he does), any romance is all in my head. Then again, his unstinting support of my career change proves love isn’t always about hearts and flowers – and heroes come in many disguises.
Charlotte (Lottie) Watt is a 27-year old trained electrician who runs her own business, Electric Blonde. After a difficult break-up with her ex-boyfriend, Henry, where they broke up after he was offered a job in California and neither wanted to do long distance nor was Lottie ready to move across the world, she decides it is time to move forward in her life. She joins a book club run by a woman named Eve at the library to re-capture her joy of reading and to interact with fellow book lovers. Her experience, however, is not what she expects and she decides that this book club is not for her. She joins like-minded book lovers and they form their own book club, The Beach Reads Book Club. The only obstacle for them is to now find a venue as the library allows for one book club to be run there at a time. When Lottie heads to the local bookstore, Books by the Bay, to return her unread last novel from Eve’s book club, she decides this would be the perfect venue. Now she just needs to convince the reserved owner.
Matthew (Matt) Steele is 33 years old and recently relocated to the bayside town after working long hours as a trader in London. When his mother passed away, he decided to take along his father, Jim, and 24-year-old younger sister, Amy, to live the slower paced life in a new location. Both Jim and Amy are resistant to the change, so their family dynamic is a little strained at the start. All of them love each other and have good intentions, but there are a lot of communications they all need to work through in order to properly see eye to eye with each other. Additionally, Matt is further dealing with the emotions from his divorce from his wife, Patricia, after being married for six years. When Lottie asks Matt to host the book club at his location, he is semi-reluctant, but there is something about Lottie’s endearing personality that begins to pull him in.
Lottie and Matt each have their own scars from past relationships. Matt is very closed-off after his divorce and is unsure about how to open him up again. Lottie still has some lingering feelings for her ex and wonders if she still wants to be with him or if it is time to move on. The two of them have excellent chemistry that draws them to each other, but there are many obstacles to overcome before they can officially be together in the long run. They are opposites and bring out the best in each other as they take the other out of their comfort zones.
I love how the characters in this novel articulate the job that can come from romance novels as they offer more than just the very basic love story. They can be about hope, joy, handling adversity, self-discovery, and growth. For me, I love when novels include the expansiveness of the genre. I, also, absolutely love the novel choices that are featured for each book club meeting. The novels include: Mount! By Jilly Cooper, The Mister by E.L. James, Beautiful Player by Christina Lauren, The Little Teashop in Tokyo by Julie Caplin, The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang, Summer on a Sunny Island by Sue Moorcroft, The Truest Thing by Samantha Young, The Love Square by Laura Jane Williams, and Happy Ever After by Nora Roberts. I actually sent this list to my own book club and some of these have made the list for our future reads, including this novel! I love how some of the themes within each book club book also corresponds to the situations happening for the different characters. While the situations may not be exactly the same, there are many overlapping elements. I greatly liked how everything was tied together as it added an extra layer of enjoyment to my reading.
After reading, my main thought is to sign me up ASAP for their book club as I loved all of the members and just their general dynamic. No two characters were the same as each had their own backgrounds and internal struggles. They were a wide variety of ages from members in their 20s to those in their 80s. I love how the book club brought them together, but their openness and kindness made them all a found family. There is a lot going on in this story that is very relatable for a person at any point in their life and I loved how realistic it was written where there was not an easy fix for every problem. Although there is some predictability in the story, I did not care as I was highly invested in the story and could not wait to keep reading. This is an excellent read for those that love heart-warming stories with some humor and well written characters weaved together in a fun environment.
**I give a special thank you to Rachel @rararesources,, the publisher, and the author for the opportunity to participate with this enjoyable novel. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.**