*I received a free copy of The Bookstore on the Beach from Harlequin MIRA via Netgalley. This has in no way influenced my voluntary review, which is honest and unbiased *The Bookstore on the Beach by Brenda Novak
Published by Harlequin MIRA on 6 April 2021
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
How do you start a new chapter of your life when you haven’t closed the book on the previous one?
Eighteen months ago, Autumn Divac’s husband went missing. Her desperate search has yielded no answers, and she can’t imagine moving forward without him. But for the sake of their two teenage children, she has to try.
Autumn takes her kids home for the summer to the charming beachside town where she was raised. She seeks comfort working alongside her mother and aunt at their bookshop, only to learn that her daughter is facing a huge life change and her mother has been hiding a terrible secret for years. And when she runs into the boy who stole her heart in high school, old feelings start to bubble up again. Is she free to love him, or should she hold out hope for her husband’s return? She can only trust her heart…and hope it won’t lead her astray.
The Bookstore on the Beach is a rather compelling story, with characters that are attaching, and a quirky beach town as the backdrop to all the drama.
The Bookstore on the Beach started out very well, with Autumn going back to her home town for the summer holiday. Seeing her mom, letting her children be free, and possibly stopping her search for her missing husband. Autumn needed to know what had happened to Nick, but she also needed to start living again. After a year and a half of Nick’s disappearing act, Autumn just couldn’t take the uncertainty anymore.
As I said, the story is rather compelling, but there is so much going on. Too much for a single novel in my opinion. Between Mary’s secrets from the past, Autumn’s missing husband and budding romance with her highschool crush Quinn, and Taylor with her own problems could have each made their own novels.
The Bookstore on the Beach was even a bit confusing at times, because of all the different story lines. And while I enjoyed each of them on their own, it became too full when they were all dealing with drama all the time. And while some of those loose threads came to a resolution, it somehow also ended too easily. I was left feeling unsatisfied because I thought there should be some more work to be done for some of those story lines and the way they unraveled.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: