Summer at Seaside Cove by Jacquie D'Alessandro is the perfect summer read... at least it was for me. I was dreaming of a day, if not a long retreat, at the beach during and after reading this book!
Jamie leaves Manhattan for a month at Seaside Cove in North Carolina after her boyfriend leaves her for her half-sister Laurel. She hopes the time will afford her the opportunity to make important decisions about her future, but when she arrives at the island instead of finding a resort, she finds a rundown, smelly bungalow. And, she is stuck!
Her landlord Nick is both gorgeous and drool-worthy, but Jamie is more taken with his dog, Godiva, than with Nick's personality. They're attracted to each other, but initially develop a antagonistic relationship. Throughout the summer that attraction grows by leaps and bounds, and slowly a relationship grows between the two.
Jamie also gets roped into becoming involved with the community at Seaside Cove and loves every minute. She even begins to appreciate her little bungalow by the sea. However, just when things are getting interesting, Jamie's mother who is very dependent and needy shows up with a whopper of a problem, her mother's boyfriend follows later on, and soon after her niece, and finally sister Laurel interrupt Jamie's retreat.
I really had fun reading this contemporary romance. The protagonists are likable, plus the setting and atmosphere are a perfect foil for the romance. The snappy dialogue that made the initial meeting between Nick and Jamie antagonistic and fun is maintained throughout the story as their relationship becomes friendlier and then moves to passion. And there is passion! D'Alessandro uses sexual tension that builds and makes you wonder when the yummy Nick and the beleaguered Jamie will finally go for it!
D'Alessandro's descriptions of the beach, the island, and the sense of community she develops give the story that excellent atmosphere that makes the reader feel part of the setting. The couple remains the focus of the story, even though there are those extraneous characters that are part of Jamie's life. As secondary characters, Jamie's family do make an appearance and make an impact in her life, but they don't really become central, although they do interrupt the flow a few times. The pacing is excellent throughout the first half with a lulling, slow middle and what I thought was a great ending.
Oh and how can I not mention Nick's dog Godiva! Godiva was the best secondary character in this book... gorgeous, friendly, drooling, Godiva! I fell in love with an imaginary dog, but who wouldn't? Ms. D'Alessandro is writing another book set in Seaside Cove featuring Laurel, Jamie's boyfriend-stealing half-sister. I can't wait to see what happens to her.
Summer at Seaside Cove is a solid contemporary romance. I definitely recommend it for a hot, summer day... or even for a rainy day when you need to be transported to that imaginary sunshine. Enjoy.
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Seaside Cove, #1
Publisher/Released: Berkley/May 3, 2011 - Kindle Edition
Visit Jacquie D'Alessandro here