Review: Summer at Seaside Cove by Jacquie D'Alessandro

Format: ebook, mass market paperback
Pub Date: May 3, 2011
Publisher: Berkley
Length: 368 pages
FTC: Purchased myself

Summer at Seaside Cove is the perfect beach read: heartwarming and hilarious. As a longtime fan of Jacquie D'Alessandro's books, though, I didn't expect anything less.

Mainly known for her historical romances, Jacquie D'Alessandro's unique sense of humor translated well to this contemporary romance. It took a bit longer than normal for her voice to shine through, but once it did, I was smiling my way through the rest of the book.

As with most small town romances, the story begins with an outsider escaping city life for less than cosmopolitan surrounds (in this case, a barrier island in North Carolina.) Jamie Newman arrives in Seaside Cove determined to recharge over the summer from a painful breakup.  Her vacation starts out on a less-than-auspicious note, though.

The decapitated, plastic pink flamingo, standing assfeathers deep in what looked like poison ivy, was Jamie Newman's first clue that doom had followed her from New York.  The pictures of the "cheerful, cozy, inviting" beach house posted on the rental Internet site [...] must have been seriously Photoshopped.
Trapped due to the lack of other rentals in the area (and the fact that she sublet her New York apartment before leaving,) Jamie decides to stay despite the questionable state of the cottage and the presence of her irritating neighbor/landlord Nick Trent. As the summer progresses, Jamie finds herself fitting into the small town and reluctantly growing closer to Nick.

For his part, Nick tries to steer clear of his irritating yet incredibly attractive neighbor. She's a temporary resident with a life in New York. The last thing he needs is to get entangled in her drama (which followed her from the big city) or her life. But the attraction proves too much.
   He need to go home. Now. Instead he took a step closer to her.
   He heard the faint snap of Dorothy Ernst's bug zapper across the street and his lips flattened into a grim line. He knew exactly how those poor fried bastards felt. They probably screamed, Stay away from the light! even as they flew right into it, unable to resist the tempting allure. Even knowing it was bad for them. Even knowing they were headed for doom.
   It really rankled that he was apparently no smarter than a damn insect.

I'm a sucker for romances that are enemies (or adversaries) to lovers. It adds that special spark, the sizzle, that keeps me flipping the pages. And it's a great source of humor in this book.

 Also in keeping with the small town romance trope, the town is filled with quirky residents. But what makes this book special is that every single one of those characters pops off of the page. They are all memorable and so much a part of the story that you don't resent time away from the main story/romance to learn more about them.

Fans of Jill Shalvis or Lori Wilde will adore Summer at Seaside Cove.  I know I did.

Cover critique: I think this is the wrong cover for this book. If I didn't know Jacquie D's writing, this cover wouldn't entice me to buy. It looks very women fiction-ish, when this is 100% romance.

My Grade: A

 The Blurb:
After Jamie Newman's half sister Laurel steals her boyfriend, Jamie leaves New York and the humiliation behind for the island of Seaside Cove, North Carolina. But the cozy cottage she booked turns out to be a rundown bungalow. And she's not alone. Her drama-prone mother, angst- ridden niece and newly dumped Laurel all follow her down. With a cottage this crowded, will she ever have a chance at finding love again?


  1. I have this in my TBR pile. I'm looking forward to reading a nice light contemporary soon because I'm in danger of OD'ing on YA paranormals :) I also was glad to find some of Jacquie D.'s historicals available as ebooks at my local library, and noticed she reissued some of her backlist on the Kindle store.

  2. @Hannah,

    I hope you like it as much as I did! I was laughing out loud at quite a few sections...much to the annoyance of my children.