Monday, June 27, 2011

Review: Summer at Seaside Cove by Jacquie D'Alessandro

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
Grade: B

Visit Jacquie D'Alessandro here


  1. I've only read her historicals, which I generally really enjoy - thanks for the review! It sounds great.

  2. Oh! I'll definitely be adding this to my list. I haven't read that many contemporaries this year and I'm starting to miss it.

    Thanks for the lovely review of this book.

  3. Lori, this is also the first contemporary I read by D'Alessandro and it was a good surprise. I enjoyed it and will definitely read the next one in the series. :)

    Alex, I know you love your contemporaries! You must miss them... I know I begin craving them after a while when I stop reading them. This one is a solid, fun, summer contemporary romance.

  4. I was sorry to hear about your lost glasses. I missed you and love your reviews. I tried to leave a couple of comments but had trouble getting them posted.I hope this hello gets through.

    I have a question you might be able to answer Hils. Are the publishers fighting with Amazon and ebooks in general?

    My husband gave me a Nook this year. I made a list to start buying my keeper rereads and was given some Kobo discount coupons. The coupons work on some mass paperbacks but for this month( even though they are not past due date) they have been refused and the price of several of my keepers have jumped a dollar or two. (Robb and Feehan) Is something going on?

    Hope your backlog of work has lessened and you have more reading time. Are you going to buy the Chase. I was waiting for a review first, then buy.

  5. Reny, hello! I've missed you too! I'm sorry you had problems posting comments and that you finally got through. I'm still a bit backlogged and overwhelmed since I lost those glasses! I can't usually afford to fall behind... :( And this has been a busy weekend too... but things are looking up. :D

    RE: ebooks. I haven't had any problems with Amazon or buying books for my Kindle, although I there are some publishers whose prices are quite high because they set their own prices, i.e. Berkley.

    But, as far as the Nook (Barnes & Noble here on the States) and the Kobo (a Canadian device?) I'm not sure what's going with them! I will find out for you and send you an email. :D

    RE: The Chase book... I am definitely reading and reviewing it! I've been looking forward to that book for a whole month. ;)

    PS: I was thinking about you last night, Reny. Went to the RWA Literacy Signing in NYC and met SEP. What a lovely, lovely lady!

  6. I had not read anything by this author until I came across an anthology which contained one of her novellas recently and thought it was so good. This sounds like a great full-length novel and who doesn't like a great dog as a secondary character? Thanks for a really nice review.

  7. Dr J, I haven't read Ms. D'Alessandro's works extensively either, but I need to read more. I'd never read anything contemporary by Ms. D'Alessandro, however, and I did enjoy this one. Godiva was a sweetie... one of my favorite dogs so far in a book. :D

  8. Her first book from 1999, Red Roses Mean Love, is on my keeper shelf.

    I read the new Loretta Chase this week. I love her intelligent, witty characters and how they interact. Vivid word pictures!

  9. Reny, I HAVE Red Roses Mean Love and The Bride Thief by D'Alessandro in my TBR pile! I will definitely read those. :D

    You read the Chase already? I haven't had the time to read it yet, but I'm SO glad you liked it... will make sure to read it soon.

  10. Lovely review Hils. That's funny that she likes his dog before him. Adding this to my ever growing list. :)

  11. Ah Leslie, the dog was a scene stealer and a drooler, but then Janie drooled plenty over Nick and vice versa, it was funny. I might enjoy this contemp.

    PS: Ahhh, that ever growing list!

  12. I bought the new Loretta Chase in ebook form when I saw they had it the first day. I haven't seen it in the stores yet.

    I think the update on security for my operating system blocked my reply access to your site. I was able to finally correct it so I have access.

  13. Reny, I will probably get the Chase in ebook format too... didn't buy it yet with all the RWA hooplah and everything.

    It was the security that didn't allow you get in to the blog? That's the way it is with my job's computer... security there is tight... no access to blogs. I'm glad you figured it out! I missed you.

  14. I'm reading this right now, Hils and I totally agree with your review! I love the characters, the setting... and Godiva? She's an absolute treat!!

    I'm a bit wary about Laurel's book, but it can definitively work :) This is the first contemporary book I've read by Ms D'Alessandro. I like her historicals, but so far, I'm enjoying Summer at Seaside Cove a lot more! :)

    by the way... The heroine's name is Jamie, not Janie ^_^;

  15. I'm SO glad you've enjoyed this book Nath! Agree on Laurel's book... I can't wait to see what happens with her and how D'Alessandro makes it all work out -- especially since it's set in Seaside Cove. :)

    LOL on Janie/Jamie... I hit the wrong key at the beginning and went to town with the "n's." Thanks for pointing it out... I fixed it!


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