Moonstone Beach by Linda Seed
Moonstone Beach by Linda Seed is a contemporary romance about two people living in a small, seaside town. Kate Bennet, owner of a bookstore, is two years post divorce and thinking she’s ready to dip her toes in the dating waters. Her loyal friends decide that the hot tourist they’ve seen walking around town would be the perfect candidate to get her back in the dating game. While sweet, Zach has baggage of his own and Kate ends up helping him with his own love life. In enters Jackson Graham. He’s a fantastic chef, though he has a reputation as a womanizer and a hot head. When he protests her date with Zach and his choice in wine, he finally, after three years of wanting her, asks her out. Will things work out between them? Or will past hurts, bad habits and nosy, but well-meaning neighbors ruin things for them?
So I’m not a big contemporary romance fan. Really, I’m not a big romance fan unless you dress it up with some powerful supernaturals or put the man in a kilt and give him a sexy accent. Give me two regular people falling in love? Yawn. (Let’s not read into that and what it says about me. I am married and neither of us have superpowers.) That being said, I loved this book. The small-town and it’s gang of business owning friends came to life for me on the page. I love the small-town feel and how everyone knows everything the second it happens. The three friends Kate has made me reminisce on girl time with my own best friends, and the author captures the close-knit bond that comes from having lifelong friends. Not only were the characters three dimensional and real, they were flawed and had a whole lot of relatable issues.
Kate, after being emotionally abused by her cheating husband for six years, is unsure of herself. Jackson points out that people walk over her like a doormat and she lets them. I liked watching her get her confidence back and the scene with her father had me cheering for her. When Jackson did something stupid during their date and she walked out on him and left him the check, I gave her a high five. That’s the kind of things I love to see in a heroine. She’s broken, she’s trying to put herself out there, and if you don’t treat her right, you better know how to grovel -or in this case have yummy cupcakes- or you’re out of luck.
Jackson had it a bit easier, in my opinion. Sure, he had anger issues, and the random girls throwing themselves at him while he’s on a date was kinda gross, but he sincerely wants this relationship to work. I feel like he didn’t grow as much as Kate did, but his sincerity was endearing. He’s also surprisingly deep and thoughtful. I was rooting for him… up until the very end. That’s when things got a little predictable for the genre. He had a choice to make, didn’t tell Kate, lied and then she finds out through the small-town grapevine. The ending was also a bit predictable (and that’s all I can say because spoilers!). I will be reading more in this series.
Now to the technical stuff. Frankly, I didn’t have many issues with the writing, nor did I spot any errors, which was refreshing. As I said, the ending grew a bit predictable, but the author had me laughing out loud at least once a chapter, if not every other page, and I may have teared up a little bit when Jane Austen returned. What can I say, I’m an animal person. I read this book in three hours. It would have been less, had I found a quiet spot to hide from the kids. It’s an easy read that transports you to another time and place and is a perfect pick me up that will make your day a bit brighter.
My Rating: 4.625/5
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