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The Merchant of Venice Beach (A Venice Beach Romance Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Celia Bonaduce
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The Rollicking Bun--Home of the Epic Scone--is the center of Suzanna Wolf's life. Part tea shop, part bookstore, part home, it's everything she's ever wanted right on the Venice Beach boardwalk, including partnership with her two best friends from high school, Eric and Fernando. But with thirty-three just around the corner, suddenly Suzanna wants something more--something strictly her own. Salsa lessons, especially with a gorgeous instructor, seem like a good start--a harmless secret, and just maybe the start of a fling. But before she knows it, Suzanna is learning steps she never imagined--and dancing her way into confusion.

68,000 Words


Product Details

  • File Size: 636 KB
  • Print Length: 230 pages
  • Publisher: eKensington (August 1, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BTG44O2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #710 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
89 of 91 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Story really failed to deliver February 1, 2014
By ysar
Format:Kindle Edition
Suzanna’s life is good in many ways. She has her own business, a great place to live, and her roommates are her best friends in the world. But nearing her thirty-third birthday, she wants something more. Romance.

A chance meeting puts a drop-dead gorgeous dance teacher on her radar, and the next thing she knows, she’s signing up for lessons. Unfortunately, it appears that every other woman in the class has the same intentions that she does, but she’s determined not to let that stop her, even if she feels clumsy and out of place when facing the man of her dreams.

But...If the synopsis has you thinking this is a romance, think again. Despite its classification as one, The Merchant of Venice Beach is simply a long-winded story about a woman who clearly has no idea what she wants and goes about getting it in all the wrong ways. The cover, while not bad at all, is all wrong in context. I’m not sure who that buff guy is supposed to be, and the bikini girl he’s carrying appears nowhere in the story. Really the only correlation between the cover art and the actual story is the fact that it takes place in a beach town.

The Verdict...
I kept reading, first expecting the dance teacher to show a better side and be the dream guy Suzanna wanted him to be. Then I started wondering when she was going to realize what a complete jerk he was and find someone better. Then I wondered if that carpenter guy was going to be the solution to her romance dilemma. And then I just wondered why the hell I bothered reading the whole thing.

I hate to be completely negative about a book, especially when it’s an author’s debut, but I honestly can’t name anything I really liked about it.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Beach Book August 5, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A light and witty read, The Merchant of Venice Beach is less a romance novel than an exploration of all relationships and their evolution over time (romance included). Think “Bridget Jones' Diary” set in Southern California with a stronger set of friends and less “why am I single” angst.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Playful and a true delight ! November 21, 2014
By PC
Format:Kindle Edition
For starters, I'm new to the genre. That said, I found the book playful and a true delight. The lead character, Suzanna, is pretty settled in her life as a bookstore / tea house owner and decides to shake things up a bit in anticipation of her 33rd birthday. The story revolves around her relationships, both personal, and (she hopes) sexual. Her life is deeply entwined in the lives of her three close friends, and yet, she is somewhat of an outcast amongst them. As with most relationships, they are complicated, require fineness at times, as well as cooperation. The business is the epicenter for many of these transactions. Suzanna realizes that everyone else in her life, including her sister, Erinn, has set or achieved goals for themselves thus far, so she begins to take dance lessons from a "hot Latin" to spice things up in her life too.

I would definitely recommend this book and I look forward to the next in the series.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sheer Delight September 7, 2013
Format:Paperback
In all my many years of bachelorhood I learned one thing. If you could make a woman laugh you were halfway home. As it is in romance, so it is in writing. Celia has the ability to "entertain" her audience [translation: "make them laugh"] and that is half the battle. The other half is story telling, and she can do that as well. The story of Suzanna and her friends is a well-crafted look into relationships. If you were looking for a "chick flick," in book form keep looking; this is much more than that. [That said, a little angst and self-loathing never hurt anyone.] If you are searching for a light, fun read with a happy ending, look no further. Do yourself a favor, buy this book, and then armed with your beach chair, sun screen and a cool drink, find a little place in the sand and settle in. Don't live near the beach? No worries, it works just as well in the easy chair in your living room. In any event, you'll be glad you did.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointed. November 21, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was very disappointed in this book. I read the clip on Amazon and thought it would be a good read. I was wrong. It was very slow in places and the ending disappointed me. There was WAY too much back ground information on Suzanna and her friends and how they met back when they were kids. The author could've condensed those chapters and moved the story along. In the book, Suzanna has a crush on Rio, who is a dance instructor, and decides to take salsa lessons in order to get closer to him. As the story goes on, Rio turns out to be a real tool, and Suzanna meets another man in dance class that seems to be a pretty great guy. As I read the book, I thought the author was going to pair the two up and there would be the happily ever after. I was wrong. In the end, this guy impulsively decided to move away to open a B&B with Suzanna's child hood friend/business partner (REALLY???) and Suzanna realizes she's in love with Eric, her roommate and other business partner that she's known for 20 years. Again REALLY??? I don't know too many men that would live and work with a woman they were in love with for all those years without letting her know. I just didn't believe this story and was very disappointed.
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