Cover Image: Royal Coconut Beach Lunch Club

Royal Coconut Beach Lunch Club

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Member Reviews

I was excited when I read the premise of this book. Then I started the book and I didn’t like how the book started off raunchy from the opening paragraph. The book was all over the place and just couldn’t get into it all all.

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The synopsis really grabbed me, and I was very excited to read this one, but I just could not get into it. The writing was choppy, and the characters were pretty unlikable. The premise is great, and some people might like it, but ultimately, it wasn't for me.

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The book felt very long and drawn out for me. I wasn’t super interested in the “society” type people and their entitled lives. The book marketed itself as a mystery but there was very little mystery. This may be enjoyable for some people but I wasn’t really a fan.

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Meet Julia. She's left her job at the legal firm to start work as a fundraiser for The Addison Center - a prestigious performing arts center supported by mega-donations from the ultra-rich in Royal Coconut Beach. As she steps into her new position surrounded by the elite, she starts to lose her confidence in her abilities - is she up to the challenge or is someone sabotaging her?

Pick this up if you like:
- Women Friendships
- Forbidden Romance
- Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous
- Starting Over (Career)

I liked that Julia is in her early 40s and has left her established career as a lawyer to try something completely new. It is fun to read about her learning the ins and outs of the world of philanthropy as she finds her way amongst the wealthy donors and the office politics.

I will say the blurb on the front of this cover was a little misleading for me - I thought a murder mystery would be a big plot point in this book, but it was not. Instead there is plenty of potential scandal and deception to keep the pages turning. I think the biggest mystery was if Julia was being sabotaged or not.

A fun and scandalous summer read while you are relaxing by the pool or on vacation. I think for me, this book had a lot of promise, but ultimately fell a little flat. 2.5 stars, rounded up.

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I picked this book because the name and cover are so appealing. Then I read the description… This was such a cute book with a well paced plot and strong characters. I really enjoyed it. I found that it was fast paced and had me from beginning to end. This debut book from Diane Bergner is a must read. Highly recommend.




Thank you NetGalley and Meryl Moss Media Group, Meridian Editions for allowing me to read this Arc for my honest opinion.

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I really wanted to like this book. I loved the title and the synopsis, but the story just wasn't grabbing me. I just didn’t feel like there was enough build up in the beginning. So I had to DNF.

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The author’s debut novel is a mix of Lifestyles of The Rich and Famous and The Real Housewives. The author’s writing and fast moving plot make this book an enjoyable read. I found it difficult to put the book down.

The main character, Julia Wild, has decided to change careers in her 40’s. She has left her law office to be the Fundraising Coordinator at the Addison Performing Arts Center. Soon after starting her new job, she starts to wonder if she made a mistake changing careers. She’s discovered that her boss is having an affair with a board member. There is work drama. After a few missteps, she thinks one of her coworkers is out to sabotage her. Cracks have started to form in her once solid happy marriage to her lawyer husband, Mark. Throw in some illegal activity and a murder. This book has it all! Here is your summer read of 2023!

“We walk hand in hand in life. I’m grateful that I get to do it with you.”

“He was mine, and I was his. The cement that bound us was true love.”

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Great beach read! It has glamour, romance, and mystery. Julia trades her life as a lawyer for a job as a high-end fundraiser for a prestigious performing arts center. Her boss is having an affair with a donor and someone is trying to sabotage her at her new job. As she navigates her new job she and her friends start meeting regularly for lunch, cocktails, and great conversation. In addition to navigating her new job, her husband is dealing with the downward turn of his law practice. I loved all the characters, especially Julia and her friends as they navigate careers, friendships, and marriage. This was the first book for this writer and hopefully won't be her last.

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Thank you Netgalley, Meryl Moss Media Group, and Diane Bergner for an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review!

This book was not exactly what I expected but in a good way. Julia is a successful attorney when she decides to work in development for a prestigious organization. I loved the women Julia meets along the way & their prosecco lunch club where they talk about everything from love to careers.
I do think the title of this book could be shorter. I’m having trouble remembering it! I also think there could have been more detail about what was going on with Julia’s husband, Mark, but this did keep me guessing!

Overall, I would recommend this book for a nice, easy read, although there are a couple of suspenseful parts, but not too intense!

I gave this 3.5 stars!

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I thought the premise for this book was super fun and it would have been a perfect beach read. I just couldn't connect with the story or the characters. For me, the writing was just too surface level. There wasn't much emotion or development throughout. It was however pretty fast paced.
Can't say I would recommend but I wouldn't warn anyone against it. It just wasn't for me.

Thanks for Netgalley for this ARC

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Julia Wild and her husband Mark end up moving to Florida from New York for Marks job. Julia is a lawyer and decides that she needs a change and starts working in the fundraising department at the Addison Center. Mark is busy with his job and it seems like it’s not going great at work for him. During this time Julia has formed a relationship with a donor JJ. Julia shares her thoughts about her job and her marriage with a group of women that she lunches with who are successful in their own ways.

I wanted to really like this book but there were some triggers for me. Julia seemed a bit whiny about what was going on in her marriage instead of discussing it with her husband.

Thank you #NetGalley for the advanced copy

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3.5 ⭐️ rounded up.
This book is definitely a light and fun read that is perfect for the beach or pool. Filled with drama, gossip, romance and even murder mystery. I do wish the Lunch Club was in the story more.

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This was a light and fluffy beachy type read about an ex-lawyer turned fundraising guru who finds herself immersed in the lives of the filthy rich. The lines of reality are blurred, the cocktails are flowing, the large donations are pouring in, and with it all the drama and gossip of high society. The drama is real, the gossip is fast to spread, and there is even a little murder mystery thrown in. Not my usual pace of a book but it was a nice break from the dark and twisted that is my usual go to. Perfect timing for the summer season coming up. If you are looking for that pool side or beach read, I recommend picking this one up!

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"Money is power."

With a mix of the Real Housewives series, the soap opera Dynasty and the old TV show Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous debut author Diane Bergner takes us into the politics and "affairs" of fundraising with the ultra rich in the often hysterical, mysterious and even murderous Royal Coconut Beach Lunch Club.

Julia never enjoyed being a lawyer and makes a major career change taking a position at the prestigious performing arts center The Addison Center in the fundraising department. She ditches her courtroom suits for high heels and gowns setting up galas for the rich to donate to the arts and pay for a position on their board of directors. What she didn't expect was the backstabbing, stealing, illicit affairs and a murder!

Fortunately to get through it all she has her ladies who meet for lunch, okay it's more drinks, Prosecco is practically a character, and get each other through the drama.

This book is the perfect beach read with enticing characters. There's Julia's boss having an affair with a married donor, Julia's husband spending nights at the office with the new beautiful younger lawyer and then there's the two office girls; at least one of them seems to be sabotaging Julia's work. Let's not forget the older married Argentinian billionaire who has his eyes, and other body parts, on Julia. She is definitely enjoying the attention as she says, "...I wanted to be wanted."

So make a cocktail, put your feet up and read how rich couples are,"...too rich to get divorced," how the more they donate the more they demand, and how fierce smart women who lunch together can outlast them all.

I received a free copy of this book from #katieandbreypa via #NetGalley for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

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A fun and easy read that entertains. A nice escape to warm weather (especially when winter lingers longer than it should). The bond between the members of the lunch club, four incredibly strong women, added to the appeal for me. The world of glamour and money may have a way of turning heads. Big bank balances, power and good looking men had Julia questioning some of her life decisions. Subterfuge, secrets and a death, along with the help of the ladies who lunch, helped Julia put her life into a perspective she would be happy with. Bergner treated this character development and self realization with a hint of reality, sensitivity and a lot of self awareness. Just the type of character that creates a feel-good story. I found the story a little slow to start. Enjoyable, but I would have liked to jump in a little quicker.

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🥂Summary🥂
Julia left the world of law to take in fundraising for the Addison Center, the performing arts center in Royal Coconut Beach. As she is thrust into the lives of Florida’s upper class, Julia navigates someone seemingly sabotaging her at work, a rich, attractive man’s advances, catching her boss sleeping with a donor, and her husband pulling away. Fortunately, Julia has some girl friends to meet with for lunch to help her find her way.

🥂Review🥂
A mix of mystery and women’s lit, Royal Coconut Beach Lunch Club has the makings of a perfect summer beach read. It’s light and fun.
The premise was good, and definitely hooked me. I do feel like it was written in a very matter of fact tone. The story was layed out but didn’t have any strong emotion. The book felt like an example from writing classes of telling when they should have shown. It was factual with no feelings behind it. The mystery felt a bit anticlimactic. It was pretty straightforward while also being totally crazy. I wish the Lunch Club had a bigger role. I would have loved more of the female friendships on a deeper level.
Overall, a fun, easy breezy read, perfect for a day at the beach or poolside. I would have given it 2.5 stars, so I rounded up for this review.

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Julia Wild needed a change, so she turned in her lawyer briefcase for stilettos and fancy galas. She didn't realize that the change would have such an effect on her life, becoming one of the hob-nobbers of Royal Coconut Beach. When things in her life start spiraling, she gets some of her closest female friends together for the Royal Coconut Beach Lunch Club to talk and get advice.

This was a very slow book for me, and I'm not sure I ever really knew what the plot was. There may or may not be someone sabotaging her at work. Her husband may or may not be having an affair with his younger co-worker, although Julia herself is spending time with another man. For the entire first third of the book nothing happened. There was description of her job every day and her husband pulling away from her, that's it. The entire book was boring, and I don't know what the point of the story was.

As for the characters, Julia is okay, but not the most loveable character. Her husband gets annoying, and her coworkers are fickle. I don't know that there was anything that made me root for Julia and her husband to work things out. The writing wasn't bad per se, I just didn't enjoy the story.

All in all, I don't think I'd recommend this book.

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This was such a fun mix of women's lit and mystery. It definitely would make a great summer beach read. It's light-hearted and fun.

It definitely Went more towards mystery than women's lit for me. I was expecting the lunch club to be a larger part and to really delve into the relationship between the women.

The mystery itself was very cute and light. I wouldn't recommend it for people who are hardcore mystery fans, but for a starter mystery. This is definitely a fun one to pick up.

The characters were really fun to read about. It was great to delve into the lifestyle of the very rich. I've always been intrigued by it and find it fun to read.

I would say overall this is definitely just a fun book to pick up and you can breeze through. It's great to read when you want something fun and easy to take with you to a beach day or to the pool.

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Rating 3.2

I picked this story up off of Net Galley as an Advanced Readers Copy (ARC) and I loved the premise of the story but at times really struggled with it too. This is totally my own feelings on stories (I'm not big into any story line that involves 'happiness' around cheating wife / husband - main character or otherwise etc.) but it was a good read and really dived into a world that I have ZERO connection to - high rollers and major donors into the arts world and all kinds of drama that comes with it.

After reaching a breaking point in her law profession, Julia Wild took on a new career path and has decided to blend her law background into fundraising for the Addison Center (the local Performing Arts Center) where she focuses on securing donations from the local rich and wealthy. Royal Coconut Beach is filled with plenty of wealthy socialites! But wining and dining the wealthy isn't all that Julia experiences in this new role including sabotage, insider trading, crimes, divorces, fundraising and sucking up, wealthy rich men who like to swoon partners, and a husband whose new work partner may be more than a colleague.

Thank goodness for the women she does meet that invest in her and take the time to be with her though - without her ladies in the lunch club, Julia could have fallen apart. They help work through the tricky and new situations that arise and the different insights these women supply truly show that they are good friends and are always there for each other.

This story had so much potential for me, but it felt really choppy at times. I enjoyed reading about fundraising and the world of the rich and wealthy, but it also was hard to connect to anyone in the story - although I did enjoy being able to pretend, I owned a pair of Christian Louboutin and would pay CRAZY amounts of money for an outfit! For some this story will transport you to a life of luxury while still being on the outskirts of the true rich and famous. For me, I struggled a little with understanding the timeline and the focus of the things, I almost wanted more lunch group content than we got!

Thanks to NetGalley and Diane Bergner who, in collaboration with Meryl Moss Media Group, released this copy early so that I could provide a review prior to publish date!

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I felt like I don't really know what point this book was trying to get across. The timeline would move super fast at times just glossing over some things. It also felt very repetitive with Julia and her husband. I'm not sure I would have finished this book if it wasn't for the tour I was on.

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