Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Review: Summer at Seaside Cove by Jacquie D'Alessandro

Not much going on with me. Recovering from my week-end :) and trying to get out of my reading slump ^_^; Enjoying the last few weeks of summer as well! I really can't believe we're in August already... sigh. What about you? What are you up to?

Hope you enjoy this review!

Summer at Seaside Cove by Jacquie D'Alessandro
published by Berkley in May 2011

After Jamie Newman's half sister Laurel steals her boyfriend, Jamie leaves New York and the humiliation behind for the island of Seaside Cove, North Carolina. But the cozy cottage she booked turns out to be a rundown bungalow. And she's not alone. Her drama-prone mother, angst- ridden niece and newly dumped Laurel all follow her down. With a cottage this crowded, will she ever have a chance at finding love again?
Genre: Contemporary romance
Series: Seaside Cove series, Book #1

The Story: I don't think I can summarize the storyline of Summer at Seaside Cove better than it was done in the blurb... so I won't try. All I'm going to do is add a few more details LOL. Jamie and Laurel are half-sisters and work at the restaurant their father established, Newman; Jamie as a manager and Laurel as PR. Said father passed away three years ago and ever since then, Jamie's mother has been leaning on Jamie heavily, almost unable to make any decision on her own. When Jamie's boyfriend leave her for Laurel, Jamie is hurt and humiliated... but she also realizes that dating Richard who came from the rich upper world, she lost a bit of herself. That's why she heads for Seaside Cove... to get away from her hectic life in New York and all the hurts, but also to find herself...

What Jamie has realized after her boyfriend dumped her, Nick Trent has figured it all out before. Tired of living the life that other people expect from him, Nick left everything behind to start fresh at Seaside Cove. With his brown Labrador dog Godiva, Nick is living his life at his own rhythm, renovating the cottages. When Nick and Jamie first met, let say they didn't get a great impressions of each other ^_^; Nick thinks Jamie is high-maintenance, princess-y and demanding, while Jamie thinks Nick is a lazy, irresponsible drunk. However, as they get to know each other, they realize how wrong they were... and are interested in seeing where the sparks between them will lead.

My Opinion: Looking back at Summer at Seaside Cove, there's nothing about it that screams wowzer... and yet, it turned out to be a great read :)

I really can't say how much I enjoyed Summer at Seaside Cove. A big part of it were the characters, especially Jamie and Nick. They were interesting and likable characters whom you could relate to and I guess that's why they felt real. I liked the fact that they got to know each other better, amending their first impressions, and appreciate each other before giving to attraction and jumping into bed. I like how supporting Nick was towards Jamie's problems. In a way, he understood what she was going through and shared his experience with her, but never pushed her to take a decision. He definitively was what she needed :) So definitively a good romance here :) Oh and to complete the picture, I thought Godiva was adorable!! :) She was just so fun to read about, vibrant, and really put a smile on my face while I read the book... and I think she set the tone of the book LOL.

While the story of Summer at Seaside Cove was not very original - burn-out heroine going away to find herself, Ms D'Alessandro managed to surprise me with some twists and that was unexpected, but in a really good way :) The twists weren't major or anything, but it made the book stand out for me. For example, the simple fact that Laurel was Jamie's older half-sister. From the blurb, I immediately assumed that Laurel was the annoying, spoiled, inconsiderate little sister... and so finding out that Laurel was actually older was refreshing. Also the part with Jamie's mother - did not expect! I also think Ms D'Alessandro did a great job with these secondary characters, fleshing them just enough to be interesting, but not enough that they stole the spotlight from Jamie and Nick and become annoying.

Finally, kudos to Ms D'Alessandro for striking just the right tone with Summer at Seaside Cove. If I had to describe the book, it'd be fluff with some depth LOL. I know, I know, how can a book be fluffy and deep at the same time? I can't explain it, but that's exactly what Ms D'Alessandro achieved LOL. So I guess it's really a question of balance :) I think it's because all the conflicts that Ms D'Alessandro introduced were resolved and resolved in a satisfactory fashion instead of just being swept aside or tied in a nice knot. I liked that the characters actually communicate, talk to each other to resolve these conflicts :)

I've read Ms D'Alessandro before and this is definitively my favorite book of hers :) True, there's nothing that special about Summer at Seaside Cove storyline, but it hit the right spot :) As such, I highly recommend it as a summer read and if you don't believe me, you can read Hils's review :)

My Grade: B+.


  1. Oh, I love a surprise excellent read!!
    I'm going to get this, :)
    I haven't read Ms D'Alessandro's contemps before, just a couple of historicals, so I'm really looking forward to this!! :D

    Great review,

  2. First Hils really liked this and now you - good thing I've got it on the TBR pile. :)

    I was curious about the Jessica Park book on your sidebar, looked it up on Amazon. Lots of good reviews. Looking forward to yours. :)

  3. this one sounds really cute.

  4. Nath... pheww! I'm SO glad you enjoyed it so much. It was good, wasn't it? I agree with your review all the way. I'll be reading Ms. D'Alessandro's next contemporary, that's for sure. :D

  5. Alex - I know right! It's like finding a gem!! Too bad it doesn't happen more often!

    I think this was the first time I read her contemporary, although I know she's written a few in the past. I like her historicals - they're comforting... but not outstanding. This book though, I really liked :)

    Leslie - Nod nod. Good thing indeed! You should bring it with you to Denver :) Might be the right book to keep you entertained :)

    Yeah, that's why I got Flat-Out Love. Because it got a lot of good reviews - Heather Webber gave it a 5 stars! :) I'll try to review it soon :)

    Isabel - It was cute :) I think you'll enjoy it, Izzy :) Especially since you enjoyed Ms D'Alessandro writing before :)

    Hilcia - LOL, it was a great book :) Nod nod, even if the heroine is Laurel. It'll be interesting I think :)

  6. This sounds like a great book. I had not read anything by this author before reading a novella she wrote for a recent anthology and I was very impressed on several levels. Will have to pick this one up soon. Thanks for sharing . . .

  7. This sounds....good. Surprisingly. I don't think I've ever read the author before and the book wouldn't have caught my eye with that blurb...yet, now I find myself intrigued to check it out. Off to download a sample! haha. I know, I'm so easy! lol. Thanks for bringing to my attention!!

  8. Dr J - It was :) I think you should give it a try, Judith. Pretty sure you will enjoy :)

    Tabitha - LOL, it was ;) Just the perfect summer read really :)

    I think the blurb was a bit misleading. While it was on my radar, I would have been willing to not pick it up because of the blurb. If it wasn't for Hils, I wouldn't have made sure I picked it up at RWA :) It's good and surprising :) Hope you enjoy it as well!