Member Reviews

First off what drew me to read this book was the stunning cover. It definitely gives the perfect summer reading vibes and I was so happy to pick it up from NetGalley! What I soon learned from reading Malibu Summer was that this went beyond a cheeky summer romance, but delves into second chance love after loss and grief.
Malibu Summer is told from the two main characters’ POV. Ivy Baur, a bright innovator and PhD candidate in soil science and Conrad Reed, a handsome, yet aging producer and struggling TV writer in Hollywood. They are complete opposites, but what ties Ivy and Conrad together is the recent loss of their spouses and trying to grapple with life’s daily demands as they figure out how to manage day to day with the gaping hole they loved one left behind. Also Mak a mutual friend fits into their relationship venn diagram as well and I truly hope we hear more about her story next time!
Overall I enjoyed learning about Ivy’s studies and how she was so invested in her work. I loved the interaction she had with her grief support group, you don’t see that very often in books. It was also a unique experience to sit alongside Ivy as she navigated these uncharted territories of grief. I did struggle with the chemistry that Ivy and Conrard shared on paper. It seemed rushed and I had a hard time with the pacing of their story. I still don’t understand the photogate part of the story and had to keep rereading it to put the pieces together.
I would overall rate this story 3 stars! ⭐⭐⭐
Thank you to NetGalley and Penguin Books for the eARC in return for my honest review.

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This book started out engaging, however certain sections of the book dragged out or were unrelated to the storyline. Many parts of the book were realistic while other parts completely fantastical.

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This is a book about second chances, overcoming grief, and chosen family that I ultimately found to be a bit slow for my liking.

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3/5 stars

Trigger Warnings: Graphic: Death, Gun violence, Grief. Moderate: Car accident.

I went into this book thinking it would be a light summery read because the cover shows it is but that is not the case. This book had grief from the first chapter which you'd read from the synopsis. It is filled with growth between two adult characters and great side characters.

The more I read, the more I grew to like the characters, the setting and was very curious as to how it would end.

If you're looking for a book with heartwarming characters, a very fun and elaborate setting, second chances, overcoming grief and found family, this book is for you. I loved the forced proximity and this book was especially great on audio.

I loved Mak (Ivy's best friend) and Hudson (Conrad's step son) the best and I loved the scenes they were in. The last third was filled with so much drama and overall, I'm glad I read this book.

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Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the e-ARC. All thoughts and opinions my own.

DNF @ 20%. Unfortunately this one missed the mark. While the short chapters keep the story moving, I felt the main characters either very boring (Ivy) or completely unlikeable in every way (Conrad). While I'm sure the book plans to evolve them further, I found Conrad's dislike (view spoiler) and his complete obsession with his work exasperating. The weak writing did not help matters.

The cover is quite misleading for the tone of this book.

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Well, I don't usually read romance. At least not contemporary romance novels. But the snyopsis seemed a litttle dramatic and the Malibu seeting appealed to me.
And I did enjoy the setting and the ambience, and the drama part of the character's stories (I do love characters mourning). The romance, though, didn't captivate me. Porbably my own fault, since I don't put myself into the target audience for this novel.
If you are a romance reader, consider picking this one up.

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This is a heartfelt emotional read. Ivy lost her husband in a tragic accident She meets Conrad who recently lost his wife in a car accident. They bond instantly over their shared loss and trying to figure out how to move forward. These two couldn't be more opposite and Conrad is Hollywood flashy and she is nerdy academic. They felt like good friends but didn't get the romance between them as it felt forced.

I liked the found family, second chances and happily ever after.

My favorite were Hudson and Rory as they added humor and warmth to this heave book.

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I was so excited to read this book based on the cover and title! I really love summery beach reads and this one did not disappoint. The characters were well fleshed out and I really enjoyed the romance plot too. Thank you for the chance to read this book!

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The story centers around Ivy Baur, a PhD candidate in soil science and inventor, and Conrad Reed, a producer and writer for Hollywood. Ivy and Conrad have both recently lost their spouses and are struggling through their grief surrounding the losses of their great loves. When a mutual friend recognizes how much Ivy is struggling, the suggestion comes that Ivy move to Malibu and help Conrad tend to the garden on his property.

I was expecting this story to be filled with the darkness that grief has, as well as the guilt for moving on; however, I was also expecting this story to have banter and the progression of our MCs falling in love. Libby GIll does a fantastic job of showing our characters learning how to cope with their grief and guilt as they try to pick up the pieces of their lives.

Overall the story felt slightly disjointed, and it was very much told and not shown that these characters were falling for each other. So much so that I had to go back and re-read pages to make sure I didn't miss something. This book is not a "light" summer read, but I would still recommend it for anyone who is wanting a different take on the second chance romance.

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Overall, an emotional read perfect for those who enjoy a “finding love again” romance story and more mature characters. That being said, The pacing was a little off and the chemistry was lacking a bit, but the emotion was still there. The setting was good and worked well for the plot, but I also felt the side characters could have been more developed. Ultimately, I settled on 3 stars but would still recommend this book to the appropriate audience.

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Such a good read!! The setting was absolutely perfect. I'll be recommending this one to anyone going on vacation who wants a juicy, sun-soaked read :)

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This was such a heartwarming story. Both characters came with baggage in their past and together began to heal and work through it, making their relationship stronger. I loved the setting and tropes (forced proximity, former celebrity). Sweet summer romance.

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Loved this one! Great and fun read. Highly recommend.
Many thanks to the publisher, Netgalley, and the author for my ARC.

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This book was heartbreaking learning how to move on from a loved one's death. I really enjoyed the story line between the two main characters, who have chemistry but also learn to overcome obstacles. I thought the writing was easy to follow and the chemistry was great. I felt for both characters going through traumatic events but also learning to live and work with each other to find a love with one another without forgetting about their previous love's. I think there was just enough drama, life events to satisfy anyone's needs. I also, loved the story of adoption and allowing others into your child's life and learning how to keep trying and make an effort for what you want.

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This was a really sweet romance for second chance love. It's definitely a slow burn, frienemies-to-eventual-lovers type story. I loved the journey they took to get to the end together.

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This book is so heartfelt and I really appreciate the heaviness associated with loss these characters go through. Second changes, grieving, and rebuilding these characters have a lot on their plates. I did not expect the depth looking at the cover.

New to this author but would read more.

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I wanted to like this book much more than I did... unfortunately, there were too many missing plot points and just not enough chemistry between the MCs to really capture my interest. There were definitely some interesting elements - like the FMC job and research - but I felt like the romance between the characters was really lacking. No sparks. Thank you to NetGalley and PENGUIN GROUP Penguin Books | Penguin Books for the ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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2.5/5 It was ok I guess, it lack depth, chemistry within the main characters and a connection with the reader. Many times I felt like going on a slump.

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Ivy's a northern CA soil scientist who's grieving the loss of her husband Will. To try to get away from the constant reminders of him, she takes a job as a gardener for Conrad, a Hollywood writer/producer in Malibu. Conrad has recently lost his wife Dawn and wants to fix the garden as a tribute to her before selling the house. I found the two jobs to be interesting-I especially was hoping for Ivy's research product Hydrahold to be a real product as it sounded like it would be very helpful for drought persistent climates! That being said, the romance between them didn't have any chemistry and the plot was disjointed. Some chapters ended in cliffhangers and then the next chapter would jump ahead in time and would basically say "oh and then THIS happened". There is only one sex scene and it ends with a preposterous climax that made me laugh out loud.
That being said, it was an entertaining read and I finished it just to see where it was going.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC in return for my honest review.

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i wanted to like this book more than i actually did. i am so thankful to netgalley for letting me read this one before its release date!!! what an absolute fun experience.. i think this will find its audience and I'm so excited for that!!!

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