"A novel that cries out to be read by the surf with a cocktail and a cabana boy… Anita Hughes is an author of women’s literary fiction who delivers sex on the beach without insulting the reader’s intelligence."—Thelma Adams, author of Playdate "With honesty and heart, glamour and grit, Anita Hughes tells the inspiring story of an unusual woman discovering life on her own terms and finally spreading her wings. Loved it." —Melissa Senate, author of The Love Goddess’ Cooking School
"Absolutely riveting and brimming with emotion. Monarch Beach charmed me from the very first page." —Jane Porter, author of She's Gone Country
About the Author
ANITA HUGHES attended UC Berkeley’s Masters in Creative Writing Program, and has taught Creative Writing at The Branson School in Ross, California. Hughes has lived at The St. Regis Monarch Beach for six years, where she is at work on her next novel.
Anita Hughes was born in Sydney, Australia. At the age of eight, she won first prize in a nationwide writing contest sponsored by THE AUSTRALIAN, Australia's most prestigious newspaper. She graduated from Bard College with a B.A. in English Literature and a minor in Creative Writing, and attended UC Berkeley's Masters in Creative Writing Program. She lives at The St. Regis Monarch Beach, where she is at work on her next novel. For more information please go to www.anitahughesbooks.com.
When a mom, Amanda Blick sees her sexy French chef husband, Andre, wrapped around his sous-chef, she's heartbroken. When her mother urges Amanda and her son, Max, to get a change of scenery with her at St. Regis Resort in Laguna Beach, she agrees to go to Laguna Beach. She needed to get away from him for the summer and think about her future. Instead of simply relaxing, doing her best to keep her mind off of Andre, Amanda meets a handsome older man who sweeps her away. Also divorced, Edward teaches Amanda that there can be a life after Andre...until his loyalties are to be questioned.
There had been a lot of talk about "Monarch Beach," so I put it on my to-read list. When I was asked to review it I jumped at the chance. From the first sentence to the last, "Monarch Beach" drew me into Amanda's world. Through her ups and downs with Andre and Edward, the book was very enjoyable. With all the twists and turns -- especially at the end, I literally couldn't put this book down. If I wasn't reading it, I was thinking about planning my own getaway to the St. Regis Resort, hoping to create my own journey. The characters were very likable, even Andre tried to fool me, but I loved Amanda. She was a devoted mom who just wanted to do the best for her son after her marriage failed. I liked Amanda's mom and thought that she played a very enjoyable and loving role. Like Amanda's character, I loved how she evolved, too. The ending will leave you aching for more, (I'm really hoping for a continuation with these characters)!
Anita Hughes is a brilliant author who has written a book I loved! "Monarch Beach" is a funny, heartwarming and sexy read, and I recommend it to anyone who wants a delightful, addicting and fast-paced summer read.
Monarch Beach, the tale of a wealthy San Francisco heiress embarking on a journey of self-discovery in the face of her deteriorating marriage, contains enough glamor and smouldering romance in its fast-paced plot to titillate a casual reader, but also offers lush concrete detail, rich characterization and deeper questions about marriage and female empowerment.
The book opens with Amanda Blick taking advantage of a rare respite from her duties as housewife and mother, only to encounter Andre, her sexy French chef of a husband, straddling his sous chef. What saves this set-up from cliche and Amanda from stereotype is the rich back story Hughes deftly weaves in. Amanda's shock and grief upon witnessing her husband's infidelity catapults her back to the pivotal day her dreams for a career in fashion design were dashed as her loving parents made a devastating announcement that forever changed the trajectory of her life. We then learn of her fateful meeting with Andre in his crepe restaurant in San Francisco, which heralds in an unlikely whirl-wind romance between shy and naive Amanda and morally questionable but irresistibly romantic Andre. Amanda returns to present day reality to consult Stephanie, a former bombshell whose sensuality and flirtatiousness once struck Amanda as a threat, but whose secure position of motherhood and marriage to a bland "numbers man" employed at Lehman Brothers now offers a comforting source of wizened counsel.
But it's Amanda's mother Grace who she goes to for legal and practical help. This grieved and widowed debutante looking for a new adventure whisks Amanda and her son away to temporarily escape their problems at the St Regis Resort in Monarch Beach. From the insulated world of Ross' housewives and dog parks to the pristine luxury of the St.Read more ›
St. Martin's Press|June 19, 2012|Trade Paperback|ISBN: 978-0-312-64304-1
Anita Hughes' Monarch Beach is an absorbing debut novel about one woman's journey back to happiness after an affair splinters her perfect marriage and life - what it means to be loved, betrayed and to love again.
When Amanda Blick, a young mother and kind-hearted San Francisco heiress, finds her gorgeous French chef husband wrapped around his sous-chef, she knows she must flee her life in order to rebuilt it. The opportunity falls into her lap when her (very lovable) mother suggests Amanda and her young son, Max spend the summer with her at the St. Regis Resort in Laguna Beach. With the waves right outside her windows and nothing more to worry about than finding the next relaxing thing to do, Amanda should be having the time of her life and escaping the drama. But instead, she finds herself faced with a kind, older divorcee who showers her with attention...and she discovers that the road to healing is never simple. This is the sometimes funny, sometimes bitter, but always moving story about the mistakes and discoveries a woman makes when her perfect world is turn upside down.
Amanda Blick finished yoga class and headed to her husband, Andre's restaurant to get a strawberry muffin. What she found wasn't a muffin but instead Andre making love to his new sous chef, Ursula! This was a Tuesday that Amanda would never forget. She hopped into her car, drove to the post office and parked, then walked to the lake. She was still in her yoga clothes so didn't look out of place.
Sitting on the bench, Amanda just sobbed. She and Andre had been married for ten years and had an eight-year-old son, Max.Read more ›