Every year it amazes me - the number of beach books that come out for the summer season. I have such good intentions of reading them when they come out, so that I can truly appreciate these great reads while sitting at the pool. However, what usually happens is that I read a few and then stack a bunch on a TBR pile to be pulled out in October (of the same year if I'm lucky. Realistically they might not even get read within a year) when beach reads aren't in so much demand.
This year I am trying to read at least some of the ones I have been looking forward to for a long time during my summer break. Mary Kay Andrews is one of those authors. I have read every single book she has written and generally love them. I'm not sure how she does it, but somehow Andrews creates fun characters that I can instantly relate to and before I know it half the book is finished.
Summer Rental, Andrews' latest is a beach read. Set in the South (I love the Southern settings of her books) three friends come together to spend a month at a rented house on the beach. Ellis is in-between jobs after having been downsized at the bank where she worked. Dorie, who is newly married comes without her husband who had planned on spending the month with this group of women. And Julia, a model, is trying to decide what to do with her life since now at the age of 35 she feels as though modeling isn't really her thing, and she can't seem to commit to her longtime boyfriend. Although Ebbtide, the house they rented, looked promising from the pictures Ellis saw, there is much that is left to be desired, and Ellis is constantly emailing the owner, Mr. Culpepper. There is also an extremely attractive gentleman living above the garage that one of the woman finds quite appealing. Andrews little romance in Summer Rental is a good one - a perfect part of a beach read. In addition to the romance, Andrews throws in a little suspense as well with the addition of Maryn, the fourth woman who comes to Ebbtide. Maryn has left her abusive and criminal husband and is hiding out from him. She assumes a new identity and tries to stay out of sight, and decides to take Dorie up on her offer of a room at Ebbtide. Although at first she doesn't share any of her past with these three women, eventually she opens up and the four women work together to try and keep Maryn safe from her husband who might show up at any time.
Andrews knows how to write a great women's fiction novel. I had a wonderful day at the pool today sitting back tanning while turning the pages of this book. By the time we left, the book (sorry, public library) felt like a book that had been at the beach- the moist, now crinkly pages were turning quickly so as to avoid the splashes of the kids jumping in off the side.
I'm off to find another beach read. I've got quite a stack here, so I won't have to look too far.