Summer at Seaside Cove
Berkley/May 3, 2011
From the back cover ~
The most basic “girl code” states that you never date a friend’s ex—so wouldn’t it be obvious that a current boyfriend is really off limits—especially to your own sister? Apparently Jamie Newman’s half-sister Laurel didn’t get the memo. Leaving behind New York—and the humiliation—Jamie heads to the tiny barrier island of Seaside Cove, North Carolina, for a quiet summer of healing her broken heart and reassessing her sudden disaster of a life. But instead of solace in a cozy beach cottage, she finds a run-down bungalow complete with stray cats and a leaky roof—and of course it’s raining—and the repairman M.I.A.…
Strays and colorful neighbors are nothing compared to her next visitors. First her drama-prone mother barges in. Then her angst-ridden teenage niece arrives. And the grand finale of the crazy storm is the arrival of Laurel, who’s been dumped by Jamie’s ex. And of course there’s the repairman, who’s finally shown his face—and is way too good-looking for Jamie’s own good. It’s clear there’s more to him than meets the eye, and Jamie would like to know what, but with the family she tried to escape now crammed in her ramshackle cottage, she may never get the chance…
Thanks to Hils' review at Impressions of a Reader, I gave Ms. Alessandro's contemporary romance a try. So very happy I did! This was a lovely, witty romance with a heroine I could totally relate to and a hero that I adored. The small coastal town adds just the right amount of sweetness without overwhelming the romance.
Jamie Newman is running away. But that's okay because she deserves to run and take shelter far away from pain and betrayal. The only trouble is, she can't seem to shake her bad luck or her problems. Right from the start I couldn't help but feel sorry for Jamie. She's betrayed by her sister with her boyfriend then she finds the cottage she rented comes "as is" which translates to falling down and stinky. Jamie's first impression of her landlord is not good either but it is funny. It also sets the tone for more of their encounters. Jamie is so use to taking care of everyone and pleasing everyone but when she meets Nick, she has no difficulty telling Nick exactly what she thinks of him and his rundown rental.
Nick Trent doesn't know what to think of the crazy New Yorker that is now his neighbor and tenant. Due to miscommunication and little deception on the realtor's part, Nick now has an attractive but angry woman on his doorstep. Poor Nick, he really doesn't know if he should kiss the crazy woman or close the door in her face. Nick has that sarcastic humor that I love, along with a gruff sweetness that comes through as he helps Jamie settle in Seaside Cover. And he has the best dog in the world! Godiva, Nick's chocolate lab (hehe) makes her presence known in the most delightful ways. She's just as adorable as her owner. For all his adorable sexiness, Nick does have some secrets that he eventually shares with Jamie after they become friends and lovers.
The romance was funny, sexy and sweet. I loved Jamie and Nick's verbal sparing and the underlying sexual tension that continues to increase every time these two are together. They reluctantly become friends and lovers with both thinking it's only for the summer. Even with the interruptions courtesy of Jamie's family and the townsfolk, Jamie and Nick still fall in love with each other and with the setting. By the end of the book, I didn't want the summer to end and Jamie to leave Seaside Cove. She and Nick belonged together, no doubt about it!
The secondary characters as well as the picturesque coastal town all add to the ambiance of the story. Jamie's family show different facets of Jamie's character and what makes her want to please everyone. We also see Jamie becoming part of the community as she makes friends with the locals. Nick gets pulled into Jamie's family drama and thinks Jamie isn't the only crazy female in the family. LOL
The happy ending comes but Jamie really has to work to get there. She use to put everyone's needs first and learns to finally claiming priority for her needs. It takes a long time but she does get there. With her is Nick who has some issues to work through but he's much farther along than Jamie in knowing what he wants and who he is. Jamie is the one who makes the most changes and evolves as a character. The plot did loose some momentum midway through but picked up nicely as Jamie and Nick became more involved as the end of summer neared.
The sequel, Seaside Cove (March 2012) is Laurel's book. I enjoyed the excerpt and look forward to visiting with these characters again. Ms. D'Alessandro has created a charming setting for a delightful romance that is sure to entertain.