Ocean Beach by Wendy Wax
I received a copy of Ocean Beach in exchange for an honest review. This was the first book I read from Wendy Wax, and I was excited to tear into it. The story followed characters from her previous novel Ten Beach Road - Madeline, Avery and Nicole. After renovating Bella Flora, the women get an opportunity to fix up another home – this time in South Beach and while shooting a pilot for a television show called Do Over. What they didn’t realize is that the TV show about renovating old homes has actually turned into a reality show. Maddie’s daughter Kyra had an affair with a much-married famous actor that produced a son, and the producers are dead-set on having the baby a feature in the show. Avery’s mother Deirdre is also along for the ride, and trying to mend their broken relationship. Deirdre left Avery when she was a young girl to pursue her career, and Avery is unsure she can ever get past that betrayal. Nicole is trying to overcome a scandal her money-hungry brother put her through and get her matchmaking business back on track, and Maddie is trying to save her own marriage. The women invade the house and meet the sweet old man who owns it, Max. Together, the entire group try to put the once lively house back together – but an air of mystery surrounds why Max is so insistent on getting it “ready” for someone from the past.
I will say, I think you need to read Ten Beach Road before Ocean Beach. When I got the book, I didn’t realize it was a continuation from a previous novel, but I could easily tell right from the beginning that was clearly the case. I just felt like I had missed a huge chunk of storyline, and that feeling never went away. While I enjoyed the story and the characters, I most definitely recommend you read Ten Beach Road first. I really enjoyed the mystery aspect of Max and Millie’s missing son, though I will say that it wasn’t too much of a mystery. I had it figured out right away, and in my eyes it was fairly obvious as to who the child abductor was. Krya drove me a bit batty with her decisions, which were also obvious that they were going to backfire on her, but I enjoyed the dynamic between her and her mom Maddie. One thing that confused me – and this is a really small detail – was the back and forth between Nicole and Nikki. At first, I thought they were two separate people, and I got a bit lost. But Nicole and other characters refer to her as both, and I just didn’t understand the constant switching. Max was such a sweet character, I loved how jovial he was and the love story that happened between him and his late wife Millie was so enchanting. Overall, I liked the book and would recommend – after Ten Beach Road of course!