Cover Image: The Seaside Café

The Seaside Café

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Member Reviews

Even if it was quite enjoyable I didn't like how the characters related to each other and the story fell flat.
Not my cup of tea.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
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The author describes Coates Island beautifully and transports you there via her beautiful descriptions; isn't that what we all need right now? A nice island getaway? The story follows Kayana, Leah and Cherie. Kayana returned to the island of Coates Island after divorcing her cheating husband and has fallen into a comfortable, peaceful routine of assisting her brother with running the family cafe. In her free time, she spends it reading. The story mostly focuses on Kayana and when not at the cafe it focuses on her meeting and relationship with an island visitor, Graeme.
One day Kayana sees Leah in the cafe reading and the conversation leads to them starting a book club, and Cherie is invited to join as well. I liked that Alers wrote how the issues we have going on in our lives can affect our reading experiences with books.
Sometimes Cherie could be a bit much which would lead to back and forths between her and Leah which would leave Kayana to be the peacemaker between the two. I liked that what started out as a book club, lead to an actual friendship.
This was fun, really well written and book I wish I could read with my girlfriends. It flowed really well, and once I got into it, I didn't want to put it down! Another hit from Kensington! Can't wait to snag a physical copy for my Shelf
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The Seaside Cafe is a delightful novel. It is the perfect summer read set in a North Carolina cafe where the owner Kayana finds friends through a newly formed book club, love with a writer and companionship even though she is not looking for it. Although, the love story is wonderful, I really enjoyed the book discussions throughout the book whether it was with the book club members Cherie and Leah or with Kayana love interest Graeme. Ms. Alers does a great job of using book discusions to as a method of her characters getting to know one another. If you are looking for a light read to take you away from the stresses of the world, then The Seaside Cafe is the perfect book for you.
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This book took me awhile to get into. I found the characters to be rather irritating at times because they were so defensive about the smallest things! I didn’t understand the hostile attitudes from the characters, especially from the book club ladies.⠀
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I did enjoy the book though. It was a quick, easy read that would be nice for the summer season. I also liked how recipes from the story were included at the end of the book. I think readers will enjoy that!⠀
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Overall, it wasn’t my favorite book, but it also was not the worst book that I’ve read. ⠀
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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the advanced digital copy of this book.
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Good book. It has two main storylines; both centered around Kayana. She is a forty-six-year-old woman who returned home to Coates Island two years earlier after divorcing her cheating husband. She has found peace and healing in helping her brother run the family café and spending her free time reading. Part of the book is spent on the book club she started with two female customers, Leah and Cherie. The other part covers Kayana's unexpected connection with Graeme, a visitor who is more than he appears.

The book club aspect was an interesting one. A voracious reader herself, Kayana struck up a conversation with Leah about a book she was reading while dining at the café. Kayana proposed that they get together once a week over the summer to talk about what they are reading. A second customer, Cherie, was also invited to join. All three women have issues in their lives, which color their opinions of the books they read and discuss.

I was a bit put off by one of the women, Cherie, who was somewhat abrasive in her interactions. She was frequently rude and often seemed angry at everything and everyone. Leah also had her moments, especially when dealing with Cherie, leaving Kayana to play peacemaker. Though originally meant just to discuss books, the three women found themselves becoming friends and sharing their personal lives. Leah is married, but not happily, and the mother of grown twin sons. She has stayed in her marriage to provide a stable home for her boys, but living with her husband becomes harder each year. She enjoys the freedom of being on the island and contemplates her future. Cherie is filled with guilt over her affair with a married man, which makes her defensive in many of her conversations, even if they have nothing to do with her personal life. I liked seeing the three women become friends as they shared views on books and life both in general and specifically when it comes to their own situations.

The other part of the book was devoted to Kayana's developing relationship with Graeme. He has come to the island during the summer for a couple of years and was drawn to Kayana from the beginning, though she didn't take any particular notice of him. However, this summer something changes, and Kayana does take note of him. She's not too happy about it as she was burned by her cheating husband and has no intention of getting involved with another man. His betrayal of her trust made her wary of letting another man close. Graeme is a widower of several years who was burned by a spoiled wife. He carries a load of guilt because of the argument he had with her shortly before her death. Besides being a math teacher, he is also a bestselling author, though that part of his life is a well-guarded secret. There are sparks between Kayana and Graeme though Kayana is initially reluctant to acknowledge them. Graeme is more interested but is also patient enough to give Kayana time to get used to the idea. I liked seeing their friendship grow. I loved their cooking lessons, which were fun and relaxing. I enjoyed seeing them grow closer, and the attraction between them becomes stronger. Kayana doesn't look forward to the end of the summer when Graeme will go back to his teaching job. But he hasn't been forthcoming about his plans, and when she finds out about them, she feels betrayed. I liked that both Kayana and Graeme are mature enough not to make too big a drama out of the issue. Graeme gives Kayana the space she needs to process what she learned, and Kayana doesn't write off their relationship. I liked the ending and seeing them come back together.

I'm looking forward to the next book in the series and learning more about Leah and Cherie.
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Another winner from Rochelle Akers. I have recommended this to my followers on all my Black Fiction Addiction Social media platforms.
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The first book in a new series looks to be a good one. Smooth reading fast paced with a great story line. Three women are brought together at a cafe on Coates islands near North Carolina they start up a reading group and get involved in each other’s lives helping each other to move past problems in their lives nice to pass the time with
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First Book of Exciting New Women's Series
This should be a very good series. This episode ended too soon for me as I wanted to linger in how this couple will lead their lives. I am interested in how the author will expand the series. There are plenty of more characters that we read about their life-expanding experiences. Because this story somewhat centers around a book club, there are many discussions about books. I found that a bit boring, even with the books I had read. There are also some graphic sex scenes that could easily have been omitted. Beyond that, I can't wait for the next book. I received this ARC book for free from Net Galley and this is my honest review.
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A new series on Coates Island, off the coast of North Carolina about three book-loving women, by Rochelle Alers has a promising beginning.
 
Kayana Johnson has returned home to help her brother run his Seaside Cafe after ending her marriage.  While making delicious recipes and reading Kayana uses the time to heal hurtful wounds and make new connections.
 
She forms a book club with Leah, the schoolteacher, who is in an unhappy marriage and Cherie, who has regrets about a long-term affair. And Kayana finds a kindred spirit in a reclusive visitor, that leads to new possibilities for both of them.
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‘ For three decades, the Seaside Café has served delicious meals to locals and island tourists alike. Kayana Johnson has moved home to help her brother run the café—and to nurse her wounds following a deep betrayal. Between cooking favorite recipes—creole chicken with buttermilk waffles, her grandmother’s famous mac and cheese—and spending time reading, Kayana is trying to embrace a life free of entanglements, while staying open to new connections . . .’

I was really excited to read this book as it sounded like my cup of tea. The writing grabbed me into the story from the first pages and it was a very engaging story. Rochelle is easily able to set a scene through her use of descriptive language. Conversations are described in full so you can really grasp a hold of what the characters are trying to express. 

I wasn’t able to give this book 5 stars because personally I was a bit out of touch with certain elements of the book. If you’ve read classic novels like Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice you probably won’t find this to be an issue however. 

The story on the whole is really insightful and does leave you wanting more. Despite not fully connecting with the characters I wanted to read the story and discover what happens. I also found that the ending came too soon and I turned the next page thinking there would be another chapter and was disappointed when I’d reached the end. 

All in all a beautifully written book and story and if you love classic novels then I’m sure you’ll love this to!
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The book started off ok, hoping for a "good summer read". It remained ok, at times, not so much.
Kayana has returned home after a divorce, Leah is there while her husband & sons are traveling, & Cherie appears having been dumped by the man she was having an affair with. Throw in Graeme, recently retired, wealthy teacher.
The reader learns about Kayana's life, some of her family. It's repeated. A lot. Then she becomes friends with the others. The "friends" are quite jerks, no idea why she stays with them. Weirdly escalates to personal issues (Cherie never divulges her issues), & becomes quite unbelievable. Her relationship with Graeme is quite unbelievable as others have posted.
Read if you want, I may or may not bother with the second book. 
Thanks to NetGalley for the preread in exchange for an honest review.
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I was not a fan of this book--characters seem out of sync, story really doesn't take place in the cafe (as one would expect), and it is prime example of the writer *telling* rather than *showing* the story. Many unexplained plot lines that would have been far more compelling than the forced love story that emerges. There are characters that appear for bookclub meetings who have potentially interesting storylines, but are not fully developed, and I believe the story stuffers because of it
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I received an advanced copy of this ARC in exchange for my honest review. 

Kayana Johnson has gone home to Coates Island to work in her family’s cafe during the summer season and live a quiet life the rest of the year. After a divorce from a prominent, controlling surgeon, she wants a quiet life that she is in control of.  Graeme Ogden, raised in wealth, retired from teaching, and a secret best selling author has purchased a home on Coates Island that he intends to make his permanent home. The two meet, and, well....that’s the meat of the book.

I had high hopes for this book when I began reading it. Summer romances make for quick, enjoyable reads, but this one fell just a bit short. There seemed to be a lot os side characters who didn’t really need to be there, as their storylines kind of petered out. I found a LOT wrong with Kayana & Graeme’s relationship, as they spend kind of a lot of time misunderstanding each other’s meanings. The ending felt really rushed...as in everything was resolved in the final 3 pages, almost as if the author just got tired of writing it. It wasn’t the worst book I’ve read, but also not the best.
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The Seaside Cafe by Rochelle Alers is the first book in a new series called The Book Club.  The Seaside Cafe is located on Coates Island off the North Carolina coast.  The main characters are the three women who join together in a book club, however Kayana Johnson is who the book mostly focuses on. 

Kayana Johnson is one of the owners and cooks at the Seaside Cafe.  She handles the breakfast shift and then preps all the sides for lunch and dinner. She loves reading and since she is two years out of her divorce from her social climbing husband, she has plenty of time.  Two of the summer people she meets are also readers and the three of them decide to start a book club reading classics. On top of starting a book club, she also has met a man who interests her, Graeme.  He seems to be another summer person, but he seems intent on pursuing her and she is open to interest.

I liked the premise of the book.  The cafe and small island sounded like a fun place to vacation.  I liked Graeme as a character, but wished he had been more upfront at first.  The three women characters both delighted and rankled me which was surprising.  I liked two of them as people, but found the outright anger of the third one overdone.  I do want to read the other books in this series as I expect their back stories will explain a great deal about why they are so prickly.    

The Seaside Cafe by Rochelle Alers was an interesting read.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Net Galley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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I started out really enjoying this book and had high hopes. Unfortunately, it appears that the author ran out of steam half way through and the second half of the book was a disappointment.
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The Seaside Café by Rochelle Alers was an enjoyable family-oriented story.  Set on an Island off the coast of North Carolina, this story centers around the Seaside Café.  The Seaside Café is a three-generation family business that is now run by a brother/sister team.  The main characters are Kayana and Graeme who are both coming from hard previous marriages.  They both have issues but worked through them together in the end.  We also have additional characters and background stories of their lives, which were all a bit sad.  The pace was slow but steady.  The setting of the book was terrific, but life seemed to kick all the characters and was a bit down to read.  In the end we had our happily ever after which brightened up the story.  Good summer read.
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Kay, Leah, and Cherie are all on Coates Island for the summer licking their wounds and or deciding what to do with their lives,  Kay, who runs a cafe with her brother (yes- there are recipes!) decides they should form a book club.  The only thing is, these women don't seem to like one another.  There's a fair amount of sniping- so much so that you wonder why they keep getting together.  Then there's Graeme, who's got a thing for Kay.  This would have benefited greatly from a strong edit.  Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.  You might enjoy this as an escapist read.
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I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Rochelle Alers is yet another new-to-me author that came to my attention in my conscious effort to diversify my reading and prioritize more authors of color, and I was particularly intrigued by the book club theme for this upcoming release, The Seaside Cafe. The book itself puts equal focus on the second chance romance between Kayana and Graeme, and the book club aspect. 

I found Kayana and Graeme’s relationship really sweet, especially since both have dealt with heartbreak in their past. Kayana learning to trust again is a focal point, given the way her ex betrayed her, and I think this was well done.

While the book club starts off as a group of unlikely people coming together, and they do spend as much time bickering as they do talking about their chosen books, I found that aspect really fun, especially as it allowed them insights into each others’ lives. both Leah and Cherie also have woes when it comes to love, so seeing them bond over that is great, and I can’t wait to see how it develops in the next book. 

I really enjoyed this one, and look forward to trying more of Alers’ work in the future. I recommend this if you like sweet stories with equal emphasis on romance and friendship.
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First time finishing a book by this author.  I enjoyed the book but the ending was predictable.  Would love to read the next installment of this series.
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𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝑺𝒆𝒂𝒔𝒊𝒅𝒆 𝑪𝒂𝒇𝒆 𝒃𝒚 𝑹𝒐𝒄𝒉𝒆𝒍𝒍𝒆 𝑨𝒍𝒆𝒓𝒔
Thank you @netgalley and kensington for providing a copy! ♥️
(🌟🌟🌟 out of 5 stars)

I did like this book. I like how the story is somehow calm and it revolves around family. I also like the background story of Coates-to-Johnson. And my favorite part was the book club, when Kayana met characters who are into books just like her plus the fact that almost all of the characters are bookworm.

However, I did not like it that all of the characters background story is miserable. I don’t know about the others, but for me it became too heavy to read. I did not want to ponder on it too much because of the current situation that the world is in right now, my anxiety can get through to me if i don’t distract myself or at least try to avoid things that will trigger anxieties.

Maybe if i have read this before, and not during this crisis, i would have enjoyed it more. But for now i’m only giving it 3 stars. I’d still recommend this to readers who are into family stories and women’s fiction!

P.S. this book has book recommendations and recipes in it so it’s a plus! Happy reading!! ✨
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