Cover Image: The Bookstore on the Beach

The Bookstore on the Beach

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Member Reviews

This book was a good, easy read. Parts of the story drug on and were a bit unbelievable. I wanted to yell at each of the characters and tell them to stop being so damn stupid, especially Autumn. Still,  I was captivated and wanted to know how it ended. Reading about her and Nick was painful. That relationship seemed to become controlling to the point of abusive.  I’m a little disappointed in the ending being so abrupt but I’m glad Autumn came to her senses.  Special thanks to the publisher for giving me the chance to read this book and give an open, honest review.
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4.5 stars.

The Bookstore on the Beach by Brenda Novak multi-layered family-centric novel.

 Mary Langford is thrilled her daughter Autumn Divac and her teenaged grandchildren Taylor and Caden are spending the summer with her. Autumn and the kids have been through a very difficult eighteen months due to her son-in-law Nick’s unexplained disappearance.  Her daughter has exhausted every avenue trying to uncover the truth about what happened to him, but she cannot bring herself to stop looking for him. Seventeen-year-old Taylor is struggling more than her sixteen-year-old brother Caden is with their father’s disappearance. She is also keeping a worrisome secret that she knows will upend her plans and upset her family. Will the summer along at the beach be just what the Divac family needs to heal?

 Autumn is worn out with her unending search for her husband and the dearth of any news about him. She is ready to give up looking for him but she feels very conflicted about whether or not she is making the right choice. Autumn wants to do what is best for her children, but she feels like she cannot continue to live the way they have been for the past eighteen months. Easily settling into a comfortable routine, she is finally beginning to relax when she runs into her old crush from high school, Quinn Vanderbilt. Much to her dismay, Autumn quickly realizes she still has feelings for him. How will she react when she discovers Quinn feels the same way about her?

 Taylor is living with regrets about a choice she made that might have lasting repercussions. Trying to push aside her anxiety, she quickly becomes close friends with Sierra. She greatly admires the plain spoken, free spirited young woman and they are soon inseparable. Sierra is very mature for her age and comfortable in her own skin. When Taylor knows it is time to face up to her mistakes, Sierra’s support proves to be invaluable.

  Mary is unexpectedly forced to deal with a period in her life she would rather leave in the past. She has always been very tight-lipped about Autumn’s father and her life before moving to Sable Beach. Despite her reluctance to discuss the past, Mary realizes it is time to reveal her secrets to her daughter. But  will she find the strength to tell Autumn the truth?

  The Bookstore on the Beach is a compelling novel that deals with true to life issues.  The topical storyline is engaging, thought-provoking and fast-paced. The characters are three-dimensional and very easy to like. The seaside town is tranquil and springs vibrantly to life. With a stunning plot twist, Brenda Novak brings this captivating novel to a heartfelt, gratifying conclusion. I thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend this wonderful novel.
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I started The Bookstore on the Beach by Brenda Novak and within 3 pages I was hooked. The stories and the characters are so well done. The stories run concurrently are interwoven so well. There are many twists and quite a few oh no’s and bated breathe moments. Oh, there were some tears as well.
This is a book of family, love and relationships. There are struggles that test the characters’ mettle. I was able to identify with the characters as the book progressed.  
I highly recommend this book. It has it all, mystery, love and family drama.
Thank you #Netgalley and #Harlequin for approving my request. The opinions expressed are solely my own.
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I received a free Kindle copy of this book from Netgalley for review.  The characters are intriguing especially the mother.  The background story is a mystery which gradually comes to light.  I do maintain there are too many stories going in different directions.  Kidnapping...missing husband...cancer...teen pregnancy...etc. However, I enjoyed reading about the women and their lives.  Hope there is a sequel.
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This was a wonderful story that covers three generations of women, a Grandmother, Mother and Daughter, each facing their own challenges.  Mary is the Grandmother with a terrible secret from her past that is threatening to come out.  Autumn is the Daughter who has been searching for her missing husband for eighteen months. Taylor is Autumn's 17 year old daughter who is facing the prospect of growing up too soon.  When Autumn moves home with her children for the summer, the family grows even closer.  The author did a wonderful job weaving the stories of all three women together. It is a wonderful, emotional and touching book to read.
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A summer at the beach, brings more heartbreak and healing than can be imagined for a woman and her family.  Heartfelt, family-focused, and another chance at love fill this latest of the author’s books and challenge the reader to feel so much.


The standalone The Bookstore on the Beach begins when Autumn Divac reaches a decision.  Her husband left on a business trip and disappeared more than eighteen months before and this has been her primary focus at the expense of her two teenage children and herself.  They will leave Tampa and go north to the beach and bookstore where she grew up and spend the summer with her mother Mary after all these years of her mother wanting her back for a visit.

But, if Autumn thought she’d find some peace and enjoyment, her daughter has a huge secret and her mother has an equally big one, but then there is her own complicated situation when her old high school crush returns to town after his own troubled past to be his parents and help out since his mom is dying.  The journey of life isn’t easy for any of the women in Autumn’s family, but their summer on the beach pulls them together and they learn to face the difficulties and find their way through.

The Bookstore on the Beach caught my eye for the cover and title.  Brenda Novak was an author I had read twice before and was happy to pick up another of her books.  I read the blurb and thought, oh good, there will be a suspense element, some women’s fiction, and a lovely second chance romance against a fun summer backdrop.

Mmhmm… about that.  I got something of a surprise once I started reading.  That old aphorism, ‘if it weren’t for bad luck, I wouldn’t have any luck at all’ kept running through my mind. Every single member of that family and Quinn the love interest have some serious hardships and that does not even count having Nick Divac missing and presumed dead.  This was no frolicking light summer read.  I had to adjust, and, I had to go with what I thought was way more drama than any one book should hold.  Right down to the end, the hits just kept coming.  I’m still reeling.

After I got on track with the book and not my preconceptions, I discovered that I loved the little town, the family and friends around them, and I most definitely engaged with the characters.  Autumn was the principal character, but her mom, Mary, her daughter, Taylor, and Quinn got plenty of narration time and had their own strong plot threads as well.  The multiple generations of women facing their trials and relying on each other was probably my favorite part though, yes, I did love the romance of Autumn and Quinn.

There was much to break my heart or leave me unsure how I felt about it, but there were also joyful and beautiful moments, too.  I am choosing not to get specific about these women’s secrets, but Mary’s lead towards the horrific and tragic while Taylor’s are complex between big troubles and confusion that many teens face and try to hide.

The book is full and longer because of multiple storylines, but I never felt it drag though I did once in a while wish that there was less going on in their lives because so much trauma felt unreal after a bit.  The teenage issues particularly with the brother and his best friend was probably least appealing.  I was vested though and had to know what happened once everything was introduced.  I had my suspicions about one last late curveball and I really hoped I was wrong after everything else that had already happened and was happening, but there it was- my least favorite romance trope showed up and I was too invested in the story so had to weather that one through and hope for the outcome I wanted even though either way there would be deep sacrifice.  But, I think what actually dissatisfied me was the end.  Yes, the main threads were tied up and I had a general idea what was going to happen, but I had the feeling the story simply stopped.  I felt it needed more- an epilogue to balance the events preceding.

All in all, The Bookstore on the Beach took me on an emotional trip of the heart through the lives of a strong family of women.  I was glad to get the story and fell in love with the characters and wanted them to find their way to happy.  Those who enjoy Contemporary Romance crossed with Women’s Fiction and want a book with all the feels should definitely give this one a go.

My thanks to Harlequin MIRA for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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As soon as I saw "bookstore" and "beach" in the title, I was interested in reading this book, which features the interwoven stories of three generations of women. 

Each of the women, Mary, Autumn and Taylor is facing a crossroads in their lives, and the decisions they make will significantly affect their own lives as well as the lives of those they love.

A secret from Mary's past has come back to haunt her, and she has to navigate her way through sharing her story with those who need to know.

A tragedy from Autumn's present has held her captive, and she has to decide when it's time to let go and begin again.

The natural consequences of a drunken evening may change the trajectory of Taylor's future, and she has to choose the path she can live with.

I felt the characters and plots were well-developed, with great secondary characters as well. While the storylines were distinct, they were interwoven well, and no single thread ever seemed to dominate the story. I did feel that Nick's storyline wasn't resolved as well as I would have liked it to be. But that wasn't as crucial as the other storylines were.

I will say though that as a reader I'm seeing so many stories include a "gay storyline" that it's beginning to feel gratuitous. Readers are often given no warning when they pick up a story whether a romance is straight or gay, and it does matter to some for reader enjoyment. 

Overall, I'd give this a 3.5, rounded to up 4 in appreciation of the strong writing.
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The title is misleading if you think this is a feel good, typical "summer beach read," it is that, but far more.  The stories of three generations of women, grandmother, mother, and teenage daughter. .Stories of trauma, loss, sexual  identification, teenage pregnancy and much more.  Lots going on with all three of the women...I would have liked a different ending, seemed to end too abruptly Maybe an epilogue one year later would have finished the story. Thank you to Net Galley and the publisher for the opportunity to read an advance copy.
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This was an emotional roller-coaster of a book, a story of three generations of women at crossroads in their lives. Each woman faces a life-changing decision that will impact her and those around her. Though the combination of events stretched likelihood, I felt that each one was handled realistically.

Autumn, the mom, needs a break. Her husband Nick disappeared a year and a half earlier while on a business trip to Ukraine. She spent the time since then using every means at her disposal to find him but with no success. Nick's disappearance has been hard on their son Caden and daughter Taylor also. Autumn feels they need to get away from the memories at home and takes them to her hometown for the summer. Time at the beach and with their grandmother will be good for all of them. She never expected to run into her high school crush and feel the stirrings of old feelings.

Autumn's mom, Mary, loves having her family there for the summer, but this summer, she is on edge. A secret that haunted her for many years could hurt her family if exposed. She doesn't know whether to come clean about it or try to bury it even deeper.

Meanwhile, Autumn's daughter Taylor doesn't know what to do. She loves her father, and his disappearance left her feeling emotionally adrift. In an attempt to feel some emotion, Taylor did something she regrets but can't be undone. A chance to enjoy her summer appeals, but the consequences of her actions make that enjoyment problematical. A new friend both helps and complicates the turmoil Taylor feels.

The last central character is Quinn. After his divorce and his wife's imprisonment for attempting to kill him over imagined infidelities, he returned to his hometown. Quinn helps his parents with their restaurant as his mother battles cancer. Autumn's arrival brings some light to a dark time in his life.

I loved the interweaving of the storylines as the summer progressed. Each character and their problems were vividly portrayed with realistic thoughts and actions. I liked following each one as they slowly worked through their problems, knowing that their family would be there when needed. Mary broke my heart as she dealt with her past. The horror she survived and overcame was devastating and amazed me with what she accomplished. Her overprotectiveness with Autumn and the children made sense. I could feel her fear when she learned about the private investigator and her reluctance to do anything about it. There were some unexpected twists as she faced the past, but in the end, she was stronger than she knew.

Taylor's situation wasn't uncommon for a teenager but had some added complications. Depression over her father's disappearance led to drinking too much at a party and contributed to the mistake of sleeping with her brother's ex-best friend. Now she faces the consequences of that mistake and the potential of hurting her brother in the process. Never one to make friends easily, Taylor is surprised by how quickly she connects with a local girl, Sierra. Sierra is a bit of an outcast, rough around the edges but amazingly sensitive and supportive. It was easy to see where their friendship was headed, and I thought it was beautifully handled. Sierra's support also helped Taylor deal with the boy in question (a first-class jerk) and face her family. I loved how it worked out, though there were a few bumps along the way.

The most significant part of the story belonged to Autumn and Quinn. They saw each other for the first time since high school on Autumn's first day in town. Her memories of that high school encounter still embarrass her, but Quinn tries to put her at ease. She intrigues and attracts him, but her wariness forces him to be patient. Autumn is exhausted, mentally and physically, from long months of uncertainty. She doesn't know if she's still married or a widow, whether she should keep searching or let go and move on. The more time Autumn spends with Quinn, the more she realizes the differences in her feelings for him and her feelings for Nick. Quinn is a nice guy, patient, and kind, but also determined to show Autumn how much she means to him. Autumn's internal battle with herself was hard-fought, but she couldn't deny how he made her feel. I liked watching her slowly let go of her fears and open herself to the possibilities. Not everything was sunshine and roses, as various family issues added to Autumn's stress. Quinn has some great scenes with the kids, a couple of which have the potential for disaster. There was a bit of a hiccup when Quinn confessed a secret, but that was handled quickly. I loved seeing Autumn take hold of the future with optimism while wondering if fate was done with her. The intensity of the ending had me glued to the pages until it was all over. I wish there had been an epilogue as I would like to have seen them a couple of years down the road.
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Don’t let the beachy cover fool you, this one had way more depth than I was expecting based on that alone. This was an emotional, multigenerational story that explores some very timely and relevant issues in a beautiful manner.

You hear from Autumn, her daughter Taylor and her mother Mary and I loved the various perspectives from all different age brackets. I can’t even imagine how Autumn is dealing with a missing husband and her kids as well, someone in my own circle going missing is my biggest nightmare. Each woman had their own issues they’re struggling with besides the disappearance of Nick and this brought so much substance to the story. It was definitely a multilayered story with some light moments, but overall it’s emotional. I think it could appeal to all types of readers, there’s romance, a mystery and family drama which is such a perfect combination for me.
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The Bookstore on the Beach focuses on three generations of women, each one dealing with life-altering issues and decisions.

Autumn’s husband disappeared eighteen months ago, and she has exhausted every resource to find him. Faced with the need to move forward for the sake of her teenage children (and herself), Autumn returns to Sable Point, the small beachside town where she was raised by her single mother. Once there she reconnects with her first love, Quinn, and is torn between holding onto the past or a promising future.

Mary, Autumn’s mother, made a life for herself in Sable Point years ago and owns a small bookstore. But her past is never far from her mind and she’s still haunted by the events that forever changed her life. She has evaded Autumn’s questions about her father for years and fears that the past is finally catching up with her.

Taylor, Autumn’s teenage daughter, is thankful for the summer escape to Sable Point. Life at home since her father’s disappearance has been stressful and led her to some reckless behavior. A new friend provides a much-needed connection, especially when Taylor is forced to face the consequences of her actions.

It was easy to empathize with each of these women and that helped pull me into the story quickly. I will say that between the three women there is a lot going on. The drama included a missing person, the death of a parent, abduction, pregnancy, sexual identity, a second chance romance… and at times it did teeter on the side of melodrama. But for the most part, Novak kept it reined in and it never felt too over the top. There were a few surprises and although the ending wrapped up pretty quickly it was also completely satisfying. This cross between women’s fiction and romance was a solid read and I wouldn’t hesitate to read more from Novak.
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Bookstore. Beach. That's all I needed to know I wanted to read it. Reading the description made it sound like it would be a sweet, heartwarming second chance at romance kind of story. I really liked that it involved a love interest from a very formative point in her younger life. I was really looking forward to a grown woman coming to terms with a sudden and tragic change to her life and family and finding the courage to open her heart again. At least, that's what the description made me think. Oh, it was sweet, but the best parts were not Autumn's.

The Plot: Three Interwoven Stories

Eighteen months ago, Autumn's husband of almost two decades mysteriously disappeared in Ukraine, supposedly not while working for the FBI as an informant, but, also, quite possibly. No one's telling her. With summer upon her and her two teenage kids, Autumn decides it's time for a change of scenery and packs up her shrunken family to her mother's beach house in the quaint seaside town of Sable Beach, Virginia.

A summer of sun, surf, relaxation, and books in her mother and aunt's bookstore by the beach is just what Autumn needs. And maybe a shot at her first love, who is also back in town after a rather messy divorce from his high school sweetheart. But, while her mother Mary is thrilled to have her family back in town, it also stirs up painful questions about her and Autumn's past she isn't ready to tell Autumn, a past that's finally catching up to her. There's also Autumn's daughter Taylor who was ripped apart by her father's disappearance that resulted in reckless behavior that might have a heavy impact on her future as she looks to college.

The Bookstore on the Beach is, not as the description might have you believing, the stories of three women in one family: Mary, who has a secret, traumatizing past she wants to keep secret; Autumn, who is desperate to find her missing husband, until an old flame shows up; and Taylor, who has her own potentially devastating secret and whose new friend has her questioning her sexuality. Each woman has her own heartwrenching story, and they were interwoven really well. I never actually felt that one took over the others. At the same time, I was a little let down that Taylor's story, which was just as present as the other two, felt a little separate as she chose to spend so much time away from her family. I wish the women had leaned on each other a little more, suffered, grieved, and healed together. But they were all on separate paths that just happened to be woven together quite well.

The description would have me believing this is, overarchingly, a romance. Unfortunately, it simply wasn't my cup of tea. I did love seeing the subtle shifts into it in Autumn, but, at some point, it felt more like a switch had been flipped rather than a full shift. It made it feel a little too sudden. What was probably meant to be heartbreaking and then heartwarming just left me feeling a little cold. I was not a fan of the romance and wish it had been handled a different way. It was, actually, a rather sweet romance, but just not for me.

Instead, I found the family story driving most of the book to be most interesting. Indeed, I felt Mary and Taylor had the more interesting, more compelling stories. They had all the secrets, and the secrets were slowly let out throughout the book. I was just disappointed when some of it felt more like plot points than a natural evolution of the story. But I loved how all the secrets affected the entire family, especially Autumn's son Caden.

I did liked that this book brought in sexuality and prejudices surrounding it. Actually, as a primarily fantasy reader who is accustomed to inclusive worlds, this was a little jarring, and it made me more than a little sad that it is reality. Honestly, I struggled with it because it broke my heart that these are real prejudices real people face. I do wonder if it could have been handled a little more openly, a little more sensitively especially by the other characters, but I also think I'm glad it was included.

The Characters: Three Women, One Family

The Bookstore on the Beach focuses on the three women, but it also had some fantastic secondary characters. They were well-crafted and had stories of their own, lives of their own, worries and concerns of their own. But there were also some tertiary characters that almost completely muddled together in my mind. I was disappointed that Caden was treated in this manner as I think he could have had an interesting story instead of being such a well-adjusted counterpoint to literally everyone else in the family.

Then there's the love interest for Autumn, Quinn. I thought he was adequately complex and kind of interesting, but he also came off as too much of a good guy, almost too perfect. But I liked that he had his own history that was, admittedly, kind of nutty. Unfortunately, he just didn't win me over, so that might explain why his and Autumn's romance made me feel cold.

But the focus of The Bookstore on the Beach is on Mary, Autumn, and Taylor. I really felt for Mary and really enjoyed her story. I think I kept reading because I wanted to know what she was hiding. It was more terrible than I thought, but it perfectly led to her characterization at that point of time in her life and in the story. I loved that it was coming back to haunt her, but also opened her to the opportunity to face and overcome it and prove to herself and everyone around her just how brave she is and was. Autumn was more of a problematic character to me. I think she was meant to have a heartbreaking story with her husband missing, but I felt like I missed out on most of her anguish, instead getting mostly a sappy Autumn who just jumped into a new romance. Overall, I felt she regressed back to adolescence and was barely functional as a mother until everything just fell on her head. But then there's Taylor, sweet, confused Taylor who cares deeply and is fiercely loyal. I loved everything about her. She was strong, but scared, yet had a strong backbone that a solid, happy childhood provided her. But she is deeply confused through most of the book and dealing with a huge secret that really impacted how she interacted with the other characters.

The Setting: A Quaint Seaside Town

The Bookstore on the Beach is set by the sea in a cute little seaside town called Sable Beach in Virginia. Everything about it is meant to be idyllic and beautiful. The why all comes down to Mary's past, so I found it easy to picture a picturesque town with a beautiful blue, glittering sea. One thing I found interesting, though, was that the characters constantly noted how hot it was, but, as I live close to beaches in Southern California, there seemed to be very little ice cream in sight? Maybe it's just me, but ice cream and summer and beaches usually go together.

Anyways, I loved that much of the story is set on the beach. It felt relaxing and beautiful and made me want to go to the beach. I loved how well it transported me to warm sands and blue water glistening in the sun. Nothing more idyllic than that! I just wish more attention to detail had been given to the town itself as I got a lovely sense of community, but had to make up most of what it looked like. I also wish the bookstore had played a larger role in the story, though it felt like a perfectly lovely place to quickly pick up a book. It felt more like an escape to the main characters than an actual place of business sometimes and I couldn't help wondering what it's bottom line was like.

Overall: The Family Story More Interesting Than the Romance

Overall, The Bookstore on the Beach has it's strength in the family part of the story. Mary and Taylor definitely had the more fascinating story lines that kept me reading while the romance was cute, but definitely not my cup of tea. This book has a lot in it, and I fear it may have overwhelmed the real exploration of Autumn's story and romance. I think I wanted more anguish from her, more conflicted emotions. It was just too neat and perfect, which made the ending not fall on a heartwarming note that made me smile. Honestly, I think there might have been too much packed into this story, but some good things were explored.

Thank you to Justine Sha at MIRA for a review copy and the opportunity to take part in the book blog tour for The Bookstore on the Beach. All opinions expressed are my own.
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Wow!  I have so many feelings about this book, I don’t know where to start.  This is a big, emotional family story with its viewpoints from three generations: grandmother, mother and daughter being the main protagonist! I loved it!  I became so immersed in the entire story, and was never quite sure how it was as going to end.  Mary is the grandmother who has lived quite a life, and also has suppressed that life for so many years that even her daughter does not know her story. Autumn is Mary’s daughter and her story starts this entire novel.  I had so many feels for Autumn and her challenges, and I was rooting for her to get her HEA the whole book.  Taylor is Autumn’s 17 year old daughter, and her challenges throughout this book were just as well fleshed out.  I think what I love most about Brenda Novak’s books, (and I have read them all) is how well she crafts her characters.  By the time I have finished reading, I usually feel as if every character in the story is a good friend.  What a wonderful, emotional, family story.  Thanks to Netgalley and the author for allowing me to read this book for review.
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Brenda Novak delivers a delightful multi-generational novel that explores the relationships of a mother, daughter, and granddaughter and a story that manages to be part mystery, part second chances, and a part coming of age tale. I was immediately drawn into the story and found myself anxious to get back to it when I was forced to put it down for the sake of sleep.

The story centers around Mary Langford and the life of her daughter Autumn, who has returned home for the summer with her teenage daughter Taylor, and son Caden. The family members are plagued with personal insecurities, secrets, and loss. Mary contemplates her monumental secret as to who Autumns' father is, while Autumn and her children grieve their missing husband and father. Over the course of the summer visit, they are all challenged to face facts, move forward, and take chances. The character arc's in this story are truly outstanding and the way they come together in support of each other is heartwarming. While I clearly loved this read, I was a little conflicted with how Autumns' story was resolved. But Novak wrapped it up nicely and I found that in the end, it made sense and I was good with it.

This book should be on everyone's summer reading list. 4.5 stars and recommendation
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What I thought of this book really had me confused in terms of how to rate it. Normally it would be a 4 as the story was very good but it was so drawn out. It took me 2 weeks to read it because I couldn't get interested enough to finish it but also I couldn't get uninterested enough to drop it. There was too many things going on, too much old history with old people, took much of everything for my taste. The book could only improve by cutting out a lot of pages and streamlining.

Thanks to NetGalley and Harliquin - MIRA and Ms. Novak for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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2021; Mira/Harlequin

Rating The Bookstore on the Beach was really difficult for me. I have sat here for 30 minutes, distracting myself from writing this review. I will state that I have read and enjoyed Novak's contemporary romance and romantic suspense novels in the past. And, I will still try any of Novak's novels. Okay, here goes (deep breath)...

I rated this novel as 2.5 stars rounded down to 2, mostly because I enjoyed the writing but not so much the editing of this book. There is too much going on for one book. This seemed like a great pitch for a trilogy. You have Mary's backstory that really deserves a book on its own. Glossing over the trauma seemed unfair to Mary and readers. Maybe it seemed to be too heavy of an issue for a contemporary women's fiction genre, yet there was so much potential there. The story of Mary and her mother, along with her time after the incident seemed to just be a tease. I am still thinking about it after finishing this novel. That shows what a great storyteller, Novak is. Then there is Taylor's story. At seventeen she is going through many things - all of which seem like spoilers, but you will see coming. Lastly, there is Taylor's mother, and Mary's daughter, Autumn. Autumn's husband has gone missing and she has spent over 18 months trying to find him. For the summer she takes her two teenage children to her mom's home to decompress and figure out next steps. being that this is also a romance novel, you can imagine what is going happen next. This is not even all of it. There is more issues brought up, and not really dealt with. I guess that's life, but I am nosy and I want to know more. 

I also found the ending abrupt. After 12 hours of listening to this audiobook, it just ended. I rewinded it twice to make sure it was really the end. I feel like the novel was super ambitious to touch a lot of different (and difficult) issues, but in the end, I just felt like something was missing. 

If you think the above paragraph is tiring, I am not sure if this novel is the read for you. Do not get tempted by the title having the word "bookstore" in it. While there are some scenes in the bookstore and a book titles or two mentioned, there isn't anything really extra "bookish" about this novel. I did finish the book, and was interested in all the stories, but the missing husband. Maybe read a few more reviews on this one. I

***I received a complimentary copy of this ebook from the publisher through Edelweiss and NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.***
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I just love The Bookstore on the Beach! I thought I had it all figured out, could predict what it was about, and how it would unfold, but boy was I wrong! I was happily reading along and then a twist completely changed the whole tone and I realized that this book was NOT going to be what I thought. The book was even better than I thought it would be, and more intriguing! I had a hard time putting it down and even stayed up until 2:00 AM on a work night to finish it! It was that good and worth the lack of sleep!

Being a mom to a teen and a tween, I am starting to face different types and levels of issues, and this book reminds me how many more there still are. I did appreciate seeing things from the teens’ perspective as well as the mom’s, it is good to see both sides and I hope to remember that myself during times that I am facing situations with my own kids.

Being a book lover myself, and one who has always treasured going to the library and book stores with my mom since I was a little girl, I could completely relate with Autumn when she talked about books. She said she “once hoped to read every book in the store. She hadn’t quite made it, thanks to new releases and fluctuating inventory, but she’d read more books than most people. She still considered books to be a big part of her life.” I had the same goals one day and also feel like I will never make a dent - there are so many fantastic books being written all the time! Thank you Brenda Novak for keeping us busy! You once again have written what I know will be a bestseller!

Publication Date: April 6, 2021

#thebookstoreonthebeach #netgalley #harlequin @brendanovak
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Bookstore on the Beach is a powerful story of survival on so many different levels. From growing up, to finding love on a different path, to the ability to face your monsters and too know you can survive.

Mary Langford relives her past every day, but she never thought it would reach her in her small town of Sable Beach. Autumn (Mary’s daughter) returns to her home town of Sable Beach after needing something familiar as her search for her husband goes cold after two years of searching. Taylor (Autumn’s daughter) learns that even at a young age life can change fast, and that that heart wants what the hearts wants.

Three amazing women who tell their story, and show that even in the darkest times love, family and friendships are powerful things. Brenda Novak pens such amazing characters who can work through conflicts and emotional moments and keep you glued to the story till the very end.

Bookstore on the Beach was a wonderful story to get lost in on this cold winter day here in Northern Michigan. I truly enjoyed every description Brenda Novak provided, it made me think that I was right there in Sable Beach and worked at the bookstore. In all the healing these three women go through I just want to say that there is a romance or two brewing within the pages as well as some pretty amazing men. So come get lost at the beach.

Rated 5 Stilettos and a Recommended Read by Deb!
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The Bookstore on the Beach by Brenda Novak is a multifaceted novel.  Autumn’s husband disappeared eighteen months ago, and she has exhausted every avenue trying to locate him.  Autumn along with her two teenage children are heading to her mother’s beachside town for the summer.  It will give them a chance to relax, be together, and heal.  Autumn’s oldest child, Taylor is having a tough time.  Taylor feels emotionally unconnected plus she has a secret she is keeping from her family.  Mary, Autumn’s mother, has kept something from Autumn her whole life.  Mary is afraid her daughter will learn the truth, but she does not feel it is the right time to share.  Autumn reconnects with her high school crush and old feelings resurface.  What should happen, though, if her husband returns?  The novel contained good writing with realistic characters.  The author packed a lot into the book with a missing husband, a teen questioning her sexuality, a woman with cancer, a woman with a hidden past, a second chance romance, a teen pregnancy, a criminal ex-wife, and expansion of the bookstore.  It was easy to follow the various storylines once I got into the book.  I did feel the ending was abrupt and needed an epilogue to make it feel complete.  I enjoyed the descriptions of the bookstore, the beach, and Mary’s cottage. This story allows us to follow one family and the issues they are encountering over the course of a summer.  This is a dramatic tale about one family’s drama.  The Bookstore on the Beach is a good book to read while sitting beside a pool.
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I am not sure where to begin with my review for The Bookstore on the Beach by Brenda Novak. The story was about grief, loss, family, second chances and so much more. Autumn’s husband has been missing for over a year. I can’t even imagine how that would feel. In her case, she felt as if she was in limbo, but in the end, she has to think of her children. So she goes to visit her family and the bookstore they run to find some peace. And yet, life seems to throw more at her at every turn. Now she is dealing with secrets and life-changing events as she also reunites with an old love, what does it all mean?  

The Bookstore on the Beach by Brenda Novak was emotional and touching about three generation of women in the family. There is a lot going on with the characters that keeps you wondering how it will all end. 

Happy reading!
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