Ocean Beach: A Novel. Wendy Wax. Berkley Trade Paperback. June 26, 2012. 448 pages. ISBN #: 9780425245415.
Madeline, Avery, Nicole, Deirdre, and Chase are back from their stint in the novel, Ten Beach Road, with some kinks solved and some still lurking as they embark on another "Do-Over" of a dilapidated home that is an architectural treasure! But you wouldn't know it to read the descriptions of what these fearful but also feisty characters see, hear, smell, and touch on their first exploration of their latest project in South Miami, Florida. Here's the difference - they are now part of a TV program in which their redo job is to be followed like a reality show. But don't realize that all of their lives are to be included this "reality" show. That's their first major shock!
This is the home of Max, a former comedian, who has recently lost Millie, the love of his life. He's still got plenty of pizazz but it's laced with lack of energy and admission of total lack of skills to keep this gorgeous "nautical" home in the prime condition it deserves. Now a bit of zest comes back into his life as he enjoys the presence of these diverse ladies and of course Baby Dustin.
All is not bliss. There's a serious lack of money for this project that not even the TV pay can help. Then there are the personal problems plaguing their daily progress. Maddie's husband wants her to stay home and be the homemaker while he "earns the bread;" Avery and Deirdre are still on rocky road territory with the latter wanting to make up for years of no mothering and the former not buying the efforts one bit. Nicole wants to resurrect her matchmaking business, ruined by her reputation as the wife of a Ponzi-scheming criminal. Avery and Chase are a hot number now but there are some issues there as well. At first one might think this is just a rehash of the last novel, but it's NOT so! For there are secrets lurking that turn this summer (all-year round really) read into a romantic mystery that's even more thrilling than the last novel.
Max and Millie lived with a heart-breaking secret that just might fit into the "do-over" plans with some help from other new characters in this terrific story. The cameramen learn to be a bit wiser about what they film and don't film after some nasty and also funny scenes. To tell more would be a spoiler that would deprive you of hours of pleasure!
Ocean Beach: A Novel is plainly and imply a great and must read!!! Wendy Wax is one very talented writer who knows how to craft a great story with complex characters, a great plot, and plug in just enough steamy romance to satisfy everyone. Finely done!!!