Crescent Cove is a secluded small beach community and in it we find a journalist, Griffin, back from Afghanistan suffering from PTSD, an efficient lady, Jane, who helps authors complete their books and has a past of her own. Their former lives are kept somewhat of a mystery as to what has happened, which is a tool to make the reader want to keep turning the pages. Into this mix is dropped Griffin's sister who has left her husband. The reasons for his actions that make her leave are never revealed until the end and then they seem rather trite, stupid and self-centered which is an irritation in the plot. To add to the irritation is an ex-journalist from WWII that Griffin treats with evident disrespect, but of course that is just appearances, but it certainly is irksome.
We have the typical electric touches, shudders and the attraction that of course is struggled against and fought off. Griffin, at times, even with his PTSD appears to be a spoiled brat. There are problems everywhere and it is evident especially if you are a romance fan - what will happen in the end...all that is left is to see is how it happens. If you are a fan of the typical romance novels and like stories from the beach this is for you.
I really enjoyed this book. It was interesting to have a hero with PTSD who wasn't a soldier, but instead was an embedded journalist with the military. I liked that twist and I loved both of the characters of Jane and Griffin.
Jane is a very prim and proper professional. She's been hired to get Griffin back on track, having no idea what she's coming into. I loved how buttoned up she is but that she wears such girly shoes and feminine sexy underwear. I also REALLY, REALLY loved how much those facts threw Griffin off his game, because every time he thought he knew her and what she was going to do, she would do something to throw him off.
Griffin is suffering and trying his hardest to block him off from all the pain in his head. He went through some awful stuff while embedded and it's haunting him. He does things (i.e. constant noise and parties) just to keep things in his head at bay. Having Jane in his life is making him have to face up to some of those nightmares and he's not happy with that. He'd rather just renig on his writing contract than face up to all this stuff he needs to relive to write his memoir.
I liked the way that Christie Ridgway presented these two characters. Griffin is the pirate-like beach bum...completely jaded and unfeeling. Jane is prim and proper and should be scandalized by him. They were great characters and I found that I really was entertained by their story.
There was also a side story of Griffin's sister and her three kids who drop into this idyllic place because she's headed for divorce from her husband who's suddenly had this huge 180 change in how he views his family. I LOVED Tess's story and found myself scouring the pages waiting for their parts just because I was so intrigued with what caused his change. Because there's never any doubt that this guy loved his family.
Overall, it made for a great read. I'm really excited to read the next two in the series and need to go back and read the novella prequel.
I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.
*Beach House Beginnings (#.5)
*Beach House No. 9 (#1)...this review
*Bungalow Nights (#2)...releasing Feb 19
*The Love Shack (#3)...releasing Mar 26
Christie Ridgway is one of the author whose books I assume I am going to like and this one was no exception. I really enjoyed this romance and look forward reading to the next two books in the Crescent Cove series.
The most important thing for a good romance is a hero and heroine the reader can like and want to be happy and in love. Griffin Lowell doesn't come off very likeable at first, but it is because his experience embedded with the troops in Afghanistan have left him wounded in spirit and he's using bad behavior to try to escape his pain. Jane is a little prim but over the course of the book you learn her vulnerability. Together they made a great pair as each one resists falling in love even though they are physically involved.
Speaking of the physical, there is a lot of it but not so terribly graphic as you see in a lot of romances. I'd call it medium steamy. Nevertheless, potential readers should know this is not a chaste romance.
There is a side story in this book involving Griffin's sister Tess who has left her husband and come to the Cove to lick her wounds. Since his 40th birthday, David has been distant and spent all his time working out. I enjoyed what happened with Tess almost as much as Griffin and Jane's story, so I got teary eyed twice in one romance!
The author gave Jane perhaps the best shoe and underwear wardrobe in romance novel history. You'll want to go shopping after reading this book -- the only question is whether you'll start with shoes or lingerie!
I've loved Ridgway for years, and this was no exception. I can't wait to jump on the rest of the books in the series.
Jane Pearson was hired by Griffin Lowell's agent to keep him on track to meet his deadline for his war memoir. Except Griffin doesn't want her help and spends his days partying to seek refuge from memories. But Jane needs this job to save her reputation and will do anything to stay on task. The magic of Beach House Number 9 may just unlock both their guarded hearts.
The only fault, and why the 4 stars, was the substory with Griffin's sister Tess and her husband. I found it irritating and unnecessary honestly. Even at the end when readers find out why he broke down still didn't do it for me. In saying that, this book follows Ridgway's usual wit and charm, with underlying seriousness that keeps us readers vested. Sexy hero, smart heroine, beautiful setting, and a steamy romance make this a winner.
on May 16, 2014
I couldn't finish the book. I just read the first 4 chapters before dropping it. I think it's the first book of this kind I'm not able to read through.
English it's not my first language, maybe that's why i found it difficult to follow the characters and the plot. I should have paid more attention to the subject of the book, as I know now that it doesn't interest me much. So maybe, this is just my fault...
on February 20, 2013
I absolutely loved this story. I loved the humor, the romance, the seriousness, the drama of life we all have experienced. Will definitely read others in the series. During these winter months it was a refreshing read. First time I've read this author and enjoyed this book greatly. Slip away to the Cove.
on April 11, 2013
To say that I liked this book would be a massive understatement. Christie Ridgeway brings to life real characters with many layers and stories all at the same time. While Jane and Griffin are the two main focus characters in this book, you also get other richly written people as well -- and that's what they become to you. Not just characters, but fully formed people. I rarely find a book that makes me cry (or, in this case, come very close to it). But when that happens, I know it's good because it has reached into me and pulled something out that I rarely let out on my own, much less in public.
Griffin was a war correspondent who is suffering from major emotional withdrawal and PTSD. While soldiers bear the brunt of it, there are obviously others involved in wars that carry the same weight of what happens there back with them -- journalists, doctors and medics, volunteers, etc. Seeing what they see, feeling what they feel -- the entire gamut of emotional trauma that is felt... You feel in this book. And this counts for the good times as well. I find myself wishing that I could read Griffin's memoir because the stories that are told as he finds ways to tell Jane, are so rich and vivid that you know it would be an engrossing read.
Personally, I have only ever reenacted war (the Civil War, to be exact) but after the reenactment ends, looking out at all those who have "fallen" can really get to you, knowing that it actually happened and that you can be out there, just fine one moment, and the next your best friend is dead beside you. And it's an almost indescribable feeling -- but you feel Griffin's memories, distant though he tries to keep them, you feel a faint echo in your heart, and it gives you the chills.
Getting back to the story at hand, Jane suffers from severe low self-esteem, but knows her worth in terms of her talent and abilities -- things that have been pounded into her head since she was a child by her distant father, and later, by her just-as-distant brothers. You want to punch them.
But between Griffin, his sister, Tessa and their mutual friend (and key-keeper for the Crescent Cove Cottages), Skye, she develops friendships that she's never before experienced. I enjoyed one particular moment (and highlighted it in my Kindle to remember it) in which Jane confesses to the other women how Griffin claims that the white center of an Oreo cookie is the best part and how she thinks that's absurd -- and the other women just nod their agreement, in a perfectly female moment of understanding.
Another is a moment where Griffin and his old neighbor, "Old Man Monroe" (a war journalist during World War II), are trying to one-up each other on how bad life was when they were overseas during the wars, in half-hearted jibes, when Jane comes out.
"Pardon me for interrupting this illuminating pissing contest." Seriously.. I love it.
This book is filled with so many moments like that, little snippets of real life and humanity and fun and emotion and sadness... they all coalesce to form a fantastic book that honestly think you should just save yourself the trouble and go buy it now.
Read it. Love it like I do. Because it's quite literally fantastic. Five out of Five, and I can't wait to read the next few in this series! Ohh! And REALLY steamy love scenes too... Hoo boy!
I write book reviews for UrbanGirlReader.com with some other pretty awesome chicks. Check out the site for even more reviews!
on March 21, 2013
Jane has just gotten out of a relationship with an author who after the break-up has put Jane's professional reputation at stake. She is determined to make her next project a success by helping her new client's book the best it can be. However, she has her work cut out for her because Griffin Lowell is in no frame of mind to tackle his memoirs.
A journalist who spent a year in Afghanistan reporting on war events, Griffin is fighting the demons that have haunted him ever since he returned from his assignment overseas. The last thing he wants to do is bring those memories and emotions to the page, especially after meeting his partner in this endeavor - Jane. Little does he know that Jane will not give up that easily and that with her quirky taste in shoes and sexy full mouth she will break through his walls until he confronts the events that took place in Afghanistan.
I so enjoyed this story, especially the main characters. I found Jane to be a perfect match for Griffin. With her stubbornness and caring ways she was the only one who could really draw out Griffin from behind the walls he had erected since returning. I loved Griffin! A handsome man with dark edges who closed himself from friends and family emotionally, Griffin won my heart from the start. I loved his sarcastic remarks, his caring side and his passion.
Christie Ridgway did a wonderful job of developing the main characters throughout the story so that I could easily connect to them and cheer them on. I appreciated the fact that although their attraction was immediate and mutual, they developed a friendship based on honest expectations and time spent together before making their declarations of love. Through flirtatious banter and emotional dialogue, Griffin and Jane's connection came across the page in a believable manner. I enjoyed their bickering, their honest exchanges of personal information and their explosive chemistry.
I also enjoyed the secondary characters. In addition to Griffin and Jane's story the author included a side story about Griffin's sister, Tess, and her husband. I usually don't enjoy having another couple's story included within the main one, but Ridgway did a great job of bringing both stories to the page in a way that never made me feel overwhelmed, which I appreciated since there were a lot of characters to keep track of in addition to all the details and emotions that were present in both stories.
A touching and sexy romantic read with a beautiful setting, complex characters and emotions galore, Beach House No. 9, is the first book in the Beach House No. 9 series.
I received this title from Harlequin through NetGalley in exchange of my honest opinion.
Heroine is sent to help procrastinating war-reporter Hero finish writing his war memoir by his deadline. Traumatized Hero is doing all he can to avoid his book, be it immersing himself in loud music, daily parties, alcohol, or his vacationing family. He tries to avoid heroine also but she's as stubborn & creative in getting him to write again. Their fiery exchanges soon turn into a hot affair with both knowing that it'll last only until the deadline per Hero's dating rules. Her feelings become more involved as he treats her with care as no one has ever has. Yet he continues to push her & his emotions away. How much of his rejection will she take?
Like other Ridgway books, I thought this one was light-hearted with some depth. Ridgway writes with her usual whimsical way with her characters, location, & storyline. She also manages to tackle some heavy issues like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the midst of all the whimsy. Hero & heroine engaged me, despite Hero's avoidance & pushing away of heroine & people in his life. I liked how heroine's simplicity & inner strength wormed its way into Hero's resistant heart. Their sexual chemistry was instant, although it was hidden behind their arguments & sarcasm with each other. It made for some passionate sex scenes. Their romance developed gradually as heroine saw behind the angry & rejecting façade Hero was putting out & as Hero couldn't control his growing feelings for her. The main challenge of their romance is Hero's avoidance of deep emotions. It wasn't until he faced some of his deep emotions including for heroine that their relationship had a chance for permanency.
Secondary characters were interesting, especially the minor romance between Hero's sister & her distancing husband. They didn't take away from the main romance & served to help it along & Hero as well in managing his PTSD.
Jane, a book doctor, is sent to get Griffin, a reporter, back on track with his memoirs of time he spent embedded with the military in Afghanistan. Jane is prim and proper; Griffin is well on his way to becoming a beach bum. Griffin sidesteps, back pedals and avoids Jane like a master. Jane, though, is not about to back down, as her reputation and career are on the line following a disasterous liason with her last author.
There are so many layers here. As the story progresses, we learn why Griffin is all about the self-destruction, and why Jane is so buttoned down. Griffin starts out as kind of an obnoxious, self-absorbed jerk. He tries everything he can think of to get Jane to just go away. He is kind of a mess, suffering from PTSD and denying it for all he is worth. To get the memories to subside, he turns to alcohol, parties, TV and music, anything to block the memories from debilitating him. Griffin has a contentious relationship with the WWII era war correspondent who lives next door, with his sister and her brood, and with Jane. We come to understand that the grumpy facade hides a deep caring for all of the people who inhabit Griffin's life.
Jane was brought up in a family where accomplishment and success was foremost, particularly in the area of science, with literary pursuits being disregarded as flighty and silly. Slowly, we see more glimpses of Jane's life before she arrived in Crescent Cove. The story she tells Griff about her rebellion as a teenager was so horribly sad, especially because she doesn't see how perfectly awful it is. Griff does, though, and his heart melts, just a little. As Jane shares more about the men from her past, Griff becomes determined to show Jane how special she is, and that she deserves to be put first.
What worked for me - Griff - When we meet Griff, he comes across as an irresponsible avoider who's biggest worry is when the liquor he ordered will be delivered. Seeing his layers peel back to reveal the deeply caring man beneath the snarl, catching glimpses of his level of emotion in his reaction to Jane's revelations, in his interations with his aged neighbor and his drama queen niece are like perfect shells scattered in the sand. A treasure worth searching for. Griff's story is all too real. The denial he experiences is understandable and the memories that slowly are revealed broke my heart for him.
More than the heartbreaking observer of war, though, Griff is a man struggling to align his view of the world after life changing events. Jane is his light, his "rainbow", his way back to the world. He is so aware of her, without being aware he is aware. He almost unconsciously protects her, challenges her and holds her close to himself. He is very conscious of putting Jane's needs before his, but doesn't allow himself to acknowledge how much he cares for her.
Jane - Jane is like the little engine that could. After a disasterous outcome with her previous client, she is determined to get Griffin to work on his book. Clearly over her head with the likes of Griff, she is not deterred. Even after Griff foists his sister and her 4 kids off on Jane, she doesn't give up. She wears him down, gets under his skin and tries so hard not to fall for this scarred, haunted man. She has been told her whole life not to be silly and romantic. Jane has never had a man put her first, and she is charmed and confused when Griff is determined to not let her take a back seat to his desires. God, how can you not love a guy who thinks you are worth being cared for so selflessly? Jane stands up for herself, and pushes Griff personally and professionally.
I loved Jane because her reactions were so real. At one point, when Griff shares a particularly horrendous memory, she wants to flee. She doesn't think she can handle the reality of Griff's suffering. What makes Jane a heroine is that she sticks, even when it is uncomfortable and horrifying, because she knows Griff needs her.
Tess and David - Griff's sister and her husband provide a terrific subplot. I was as invested in their story as I was in Griff and Jane.
There is nothing unbelievable in Beach House No. 9. It is a story of normal people who face abnormal circumstances, and how they choose to deal with them. Okay, maybe Griff being a reporter in a war zone is a bit, not unbelievable, but far fetched. However, we have a number of real life war veterans returning from the theaters of war every day, and PTSD is all too real for most of them. I thought this was a thought provoking glimpse at the struggles they face when they return to "real life".
There is a tiny bit of foreshadowing for the remaining two books in this trilogy. Gage, Griff's twin, gets mentioned fairly frequently, as does Skye, the manager of the Beach Houses.
What didn't work for me - Not one thing. I loved this book from the first word to the last.
Bottom line - One of the best books I have read in a while. I am a big fan of Ms. Ridgway's from wayyyy back. While the overt humor from her earlier books is not evident, a more subtle humor definitely runs through the book. I love the way the characters are revealed bit by bit, giving the reader exactly the right amount of information at exactly the right time. Just wonderfully done. Time extremely well spent.