Another day, another late ARC review. However, I had such a blast reading The Beach Reads Book Club! I requested this book from Netgalley and Harper Collins UK because I am a sucker for everything book related, and the idea of a fun, kitschy romance book club on a beach is basically me in a nutshell. While I am not normally a romance reader, this hit all the right notes. So without further ado…
From the Publisher:
Welcome to the Beach Reads Book Club…where love is just a page away…
When Lottie Watt is unceremoniously booted out of her uptight book club for not following the rules, she decides to throw the rulebook out the window and start her own club – one where conversation, gin and cake take precedent over actually having read the book!
The Beach Reads Book Club soon finds a home for its meetings at Books by the Bay, a charming bookshop and café owned by gorgeous, brooding Matthew Steele, and as the book club picks heat up, so too does the attraction between Matt and Lottie.
If there’s anything Lottie has learned from the romances she’s been reading, it’s that the greatest loves are the ones hardest earned.
A love letter to chicklit, romance, romcoms, whatever you want to call them!
What I Loved:
- The Female Friendships. When Lottie first starts her book club for the “misfit” women who want to read fun, sexy beach reads instead of serious literature, no one expected the women to become a tight knit group of friend that will help each other out with every facet of their lives. From Aubrey and Heidi, both older and lacking purpose before the book club, to Gira the unhappy wife, to Lottie’s relationship whirlwind and insecurities about not being “intellectual” enough, each of the women have strong personalities and stand by each other through thick and thin. Their conversations are at times raunchy, at times poignant, and at all times exactly what I cherish from my female friend group.
- The Romance. I appear to maybe be in the minority on this one, but I loved Matt and Lottie together! They have a mature relationship barring some shitty miscommunication, and it blossoms organically. Too many romance novels have characters that are way too immature for their age just to push the corny romance narrative, but I really felt like it was well handled here. I love the brooding Matt and the spunky electrician Lottie, and how each of them pushes the other’s boundaries.
- The Book Club. Not to point out the obvious, but the Beach Reads Book Club is a delight. I would kill for a book club that mainly reads light, airy romances. With a stressful job and a crazy world we live in, sometimes light romance “beach reads” are all I want to read, and a book club that supports that would be great.
What Didn’t Work as Well:
- Matt’s Obsession with Dieting. Lottie eats whatever he wants, and Matt is a pain in the butt when it comes down to everything food. I see this too often in cozies, and didn’t think it would be prevalent in romance, but it was frustrating to see here. Matt’s preoccupation with healthy food is annoying to the point of distraction, and it can stray dangerously close to food shaming.
- The Forced Love Triangle. I get it to a certain extent – Beach Reads didn’t have that much conflict, Matt and Lottie were doing well, and drama is generally needed. However, bringing Lottie’s ex into the equation felt forced and random. We meet Henry and there is basically nothing likeable about him, particularly when you stack him up to Matt. I wish that the author had made the conflict something else other than a triangle, but it wasn’t a deal breaker.
The Beach Reads Book Club was exactly what I needed at the exact right time. It was a fun and airy romance, set on a beach, with a slight amount of smut and nothing too dramatic. Four waves for this perfect beach read! Since I am late on this ARC (like usual), go order your copy of Beach Reads here (available as an e-book for $2.99!)