Mmm... Chocolate Beach
The past couple of weeks, I’ve been taking little mental vacations. (Aha! you're saying to yourself, I knew she wasn’t all there.) I’ve been lounging on Chocolate Beach, and it’s been the perfect getaway.
Chocolate Beach happens to be the first novel of blog-friend Julie Carobini. Way to go, Julie! Look right here for an interview with Julie next Thursday (Feb. 22), when my humble blog is part of Julie’s book blog tour (or “blour,” as she calls it).
With a name like Carobini, it’s a wonder she didn’t write Carob Beach. But chocolate is sooo much tastier! Julie’s characters indulge themselves quite often throughout her novel -- and what two things could be better than chocolate and the beach?! My kind of novel!
That’s definitely the mindset of the novel’s heroine, Brianna Stone. She’s a happy-go-lucky California beach bunny who is blessed enough to have a hot lawyer husband, an empathetic surfer-boy teen, a fun-loving best friend, a great job as a tour guide and a house right on the beach. One comment made by a snippity “friend” during a bunko game, though, and Bri starts to have her doubts about her life. Why does her husband, Douglas, seem too busy for her lately? It seems to be one big case after another. How does she mother her son, Nathan, who is growing up so fast? Brianna begins to think it’s time for her to change into a more “mature” person. She sets out to make some adjustments.
These changes aren’t lost on Brianna’s best friend, Gaby, who always comes to Bri for brownies and sympathy when her relationships don’t work out. When Bri’s boss turns over the tour company to her golden-boy son Ty, Bri sets him up with Gaby. But Ty’s odd behavior makes Bri think that was a huge mistake.
And then there’s Brianna’s sourpuss mother-in-law, who seems to show up when Bri least needs the intrusion. Not only that, but she’s trying to get Douglas to move away from the beach and into a home that’s more country club chic -- behind Bri’s back!
Brianna takes these waves of life day by day with her faith and the words of wisdom taught to her by her aunt, who raised her. Like ocean waves, though, they eventually crash -- and for Brianna, everything seems to collide during her first dinner party after she takes a cooking class.
Even though I’m a new mom with little time for reading (exhibit A: all those unread newspapers ready for the recycling bin), Chocolate Beach hooked me from the first page, so I had to keep reading. And reading and reading. Julie’s writing style is as breezy as a Pacific Coast zephyr, so devouring her book was as easy as eating one of the oft-consumed brownies in her chapters.
Can’t wait for Julie’s next novel!