Sunday, November 20, 2011

Beach Rental by Grace Greene

On the Crystal Coast of North Carolina, in the small town of Emerald Isle…

Juli Cooke, hard-working and getting nowhere fast, marries a dying man, Ben Bradshaw, for a financial settlement, not expecting he will set her on a journey of hope and love. The journey brings her to Luke Winters, a local art dealer, but Luke resents the woman who married his sick friend and warns her not to hurt Ben—and he’s watching to make sure she doesn’t.

Until Ben dies and the stakes change.

Framed by the timelessness of the Atlantic Ocean and the brilliant blue of the beach sky, Juli struggles against her past, the opposition of Ben’s and Luke’s families, and even the living reminder of her marriage—to build a future with hope and perhaps to find the love of her life—if she can survive the danger from her past.

Reviewer: QueenBee
This author needs and deserves the hype coming from this review! She has written an amazing debut novel about tragedy and love. Juli is lost in this world, she's working two jobs just to survive and her future is bleak. Enter Ben, her saviour, who rescues her from her pitiful life, to bring joy to his last days on earth. Ben has terminal cancer and was enjoying life until this diagnosis. But now, he has stepped down from his business commitments and wants the rest of the world to think he is okay, letting only a few people into his new world as Juli soon learns. Her heart falls for his situation and she agrees to his wild idea and we are taken on a journey thorough Juli’s perspective. They enter a marriage as a business arrangement but as the months pass we get hints of something more.

These hints are a wonderful inclusion to the novel as we see them go about their daily lives, Juli opens up more and we watch as the once strong and resilient woman becomes a loving happy woman who is taking every opportunity that she's given from this marriage. But they are up against his family who believe that she’s trouble, especially his cousin and best friend Luke and his sister.

The author's writing makes you believe that everything is okay and then we get a tearjerker ending about Juli and Ben. The twist in the novel leaves you heartbroken as two people who are left dealing with pain and loss, look to each other for hope. The novel skips ahead and we are whisked through the next few months as Juli, Luke and the others come to deal with the loss of Ben and the miracle that is happening before their eyes.

I have to give only 4 stars because after Ben’s death, things pick up too fast for my liking, resulting in the last couple of chapters lacking. It's as if the author wanted to hurry up the book and didn’t have enough pages left to make the relationship more believable between Luke and Juli. It's hard to believe that two people who disliked each other, who only called truce in front of Ben to please him, could fall in love in just a couple of months.


Grace Greene said...

QueenBee - Thanks for a wonderful review. I loved it! It was a delightful read!

I've had many requests for a sequel - maybe they wanted more about Juli and Luke, too :-)

Thanks! Grace

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