A Beach Wish by Shelley Noble

A Beach Wish by Shelley Noble

Published June 25, 2019 – William Morrow Paperbacks

Review book provided by the publisher

Description: Zoe Bascombe has never said no to her family. When she blew her Juilliard audition, she caved to their wishes and went to business school. But when her mother dies and leaves instructions for Zoe to spread her ashes at a place called Wind Chime Beach, she defies her brothers and starts out for a New England town none of them has ever heard of and discovers a side of her garden club mother that her wildest dreams hadn’t imagined.

Zoe has another family.

Her first instinct is to run home. Instead she is caught in the middle of her feuding new relatives. With one family fighting among themselves and the other not speaking to her, Zoe must somehow find a way to bridge her new life with her old.

For the first time in her life, Zoe must make a stand for her family—both of them. If only she can only figure out how.

Her answer lies at Wind Chime Beach where for generations people have come to add their chimes to the ones already left among the trees. And when the wind blows and the air fills with music, their secrets, dreams, and hopes are sent into the world. There’s a message for Zoe here—if she has the courage to open her heart. (publisher)

My take:  When Zoe Bascombe’s mother dies Zoe specifically is tasked with scattering her ashes at a place she’s never heard of – without the help of her brothers. Being at loose ends professionally at the moment makes it easy for her to comply with her mother’s wishes even though her brothers are annoyed at not being included at their mother’s request. Zoe isn’t prepared for what she finds when she arrives at her destination. Once she finds her sea legs, so to speak, she’ll be on a path that could be the start of a wonderful journey or a terrible calamity. I liked this novel but it isn’t my favorite of the author’s books (my favorite: Whisper Beach). That said, I appreciated how Shelley Noble left her characters at the end and would recommend to anyone who enjoys a novel set at the beach.


About the author:

Shelley Noble is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Whisper Beach and Beach Colors. Other titles include Stargazey Point, Breakwater Bay, Forever Beach, Lighthouse Beach, and four spins off novellas. A former professional dancer and choreographer, she lives at the Jersey shore and loves to discover new beaches and indulge in her passion for lighthouses and vintage carousels. Shelley is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and Women’s Fiction Writers Association.


Praise for Shelley Noble:

“A novel that offers a beautiful setting and a cast of engaging characters . . . A compelling look at what it means to be a family.”
Booklist on A BEACH WISH

“The Readers will appreciate the uplifting end to a complicated, heartrending story of love lost and anger relinquished at last.”
Publishers Weekly on A BEACH WISH

“The latest beach read from Noble explores the healing power of friendship, appealing to fans of women’s fiction, especially works by Nancy Thayer and Elin Hilderbrand.”
Library Journal on LIGHTHOUSE BEACH

“Shelley Noble’s Lighthouse Beach, with its blue, beach cover promising summer relaxation in a small Maine town, is secretly more than a light read. A broken-off wedding leads four friends to head to the town to sort out their various problems – infidelity, death of loved ones, lost dreams. Along with other residents of this struggling town, they sort through their issues and try – as they heal together – to build a better community than the ones they’ve left.”
CNN Travel on LIGHTHOUSE BEACH


 

Lighthouse Beach by Shelley Noble

Lighthouse Beach by Shelley Noble

William Morrow Paperbacks (May 29, 2018)

Review copy courtesy of the publisher

Description:

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Shelley Noble comes a heartrending and uplifting novel about friendship, love, and what we’re willing to sacrifice for our dreams.

What was supposed to be an idyllic wedding leads to an unexpected journey of self-discovery…

When Lillo Gray pulls up to Kennebunkport’s most exclusive hotel wearing a borrowed dress and driving a borrowed VW van, she knows she’s made a big mistake. She’s not even sure why Jessica Parker invited her to her posh wedding. They haven’t seen each other since they were unhappy fourteen-year-old girls at fat camp. And now they’re from two completely different worlds. There’s no way Lillo fits in the rarefied circles Jessica travels in.

Jess isn’t sure she’s ready to go through with this wedding, but she’s been too busy making everyone else happy to think about what she wants. But when she and her two closest friends, Allie and Diana, along with Lillo, discover her fiancé with his pants down in the hotel parking lot, she’s humiliated…and slightly relieved. In a rush to escape her crumbling life, Jess, Allie, and Diana pile into Lillo’s beat-up old van and head up the coast to Lighthouse Island. Once there, she hopes to figure out the next chapter in her life.

Nursing broken hearts and broken dreams, four lost women embark on a journey to find their way back into happiness with new love, friendship, and the healing power of Lighthouse Beach. (publisher)

My take:  Lighthouse Beach is about the friendship of 4 women in their early 30s. They’re old enough to have endured some disappointments but young enough to have retained some optimism for the future.

What starts out as the wedding of one of the four ends up being an unexpected girls getaway. And what better place to spend a girls’ week than Lighthouse Beach, Maine – a place where the town’s welcome sign says “Once you visit Lighthouse Beach, life will never be the same”. New possibilities are found and suddenly the future seems a little brighter for all involved.

I liked Lighthouse Beach. Grab a copy this summer and enjoy a visit to the Maine shore.


Praise for LIGHTHOUSE BEACH:

“Noble delivers another compelling beach read, just in time to pack it in your tote beside your sunscreen and beach towel.” – RT Book Reviews on LIGHTHOUSE BEACH

“New readers and fans of Noble’s previous novels will find much to appreciate in this ensemble drama with fully realized characters and a vivid, enchanting setting. This is a novel perfect for reading on a beach, with or without a lighthouse.” – Booklist on LIGHTHOUSE BEACH


About the author:  SHELLEY NOBLE is the NEW YORK TIMES Bestselling Author of the women’s fiction novel BEACH COLORS, a #1 Nook bestseller, STARGAZEY POINT three novellas, Holidays at Crescent Cove, Stargazey Nights, BREAKWATER BAY and WHISPER BEACH.

As SHELLEY FREYDONT she is the author of the CELEBRATION BAY FESTIVAL MYSTERIES (Berkley Prime Crime) as well and two other mystery series, and the upcoming Gilded Age Newport Mystery series. Her mysteries have been translated into ten languages.

A former professional dancer and choreographer, she most recently worked on the films, Mona Lisa Smile and The Game Plan. Shelley lives near the New Jersey shore where she loves to discover new beaches and indulge her passion for lighthouses and vintage carousels.


 

The Beach At Painter’s Cove by Shelley Noble

  • Title:  The Beach At Painter’s Cove
  • Author:  Shelley Noble
  • Genre:  Contemporary Fiction
  • Pages:  432
  • Published:  June 2017 – William Morrow Paperbacks
  • Source:  Publisher

My take:  The Beach at Painter’s Cove is the story of the Whitakers – a wealthy and eccentric New England family who are on the brink of losing the fabled Muses by the Sea mansion. Through the decades Muses hosted the most notable stars of the art world – a place where artists could practice their craft or just get away and be themselves.

Granddaughter Issy will go down fighting in order to keep her grandmother’s home in the family. That’s not the only issue she’ll face. There are also frustrating family dynamics, intrigue, and general misunderstandings that work into the plot of this multi-generational story. Despite all that, she reconnects with old friends, her grandmother and great-aunt, and a delightful niece who seems to share a lot in common with Issy.

The novel is filled with interesting characters, a lovely setting, and the lesson that change is not always a bad thing. I enjoy a good family drama and that’s exactly what I got with Shelley Noble’s The Beach at Painter’s Cove. A book club guide is included.


About the author:

Shelley Noble is a former professional dancer and choreographer. She most recently worked on the films Mona Lisa Smile and The Game Plan. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, Women’s Fiction Writers Association, and Liberty States Fiction Writers.


 

Forever Beach by Shelley Noble

  • Forever Beach (6:7)Title:  Forever Beach
  • Author:  Shelley Noble
  • Genre:  Women’s Fiction
  • Pages:  432
  • Published:  June 2016 – William Morrow Paperbacks
  • Source:  Publisher

Description: 

One woman struggling to hold on to what she has,

One woman learning to forgive

Their lives entwined by one little girl. 

Sarah Hargreave is anxious to finalize the adoption of her foster daughter Leila. Once a foster child herself, Sarah longs to become Leila’s “forever” family and give her all the love and stability she was denied in her own childhood. When Leila’s biological mother suddenly reappears and petitions the court for the return of her daughter, Sarah is terrified she’ll lose the little girl she loves to the drug addicted mother who abandoned her.

Having grown up in foster care, Ilona Cartwright fights for the rights of children who have no one to fight for them. But to Sarah she is Nonie Blanchard, who grew up in the same group foster home as Sarah. They’d promised to be best friends forever, then Nonie was adopted by a wealthy family, and Sarah never heard from her again. Sarah still hurts from the betrayal. But Nonie harbors her own resentment toward the past. 

Mistrustful of each other, the two women form a tenuous alliance to ensure Leila’s future, but when Leila’s very survival is on the line, they’ll have to come to terms with their own feelings of hurt and rejection to save the child they both have come to love. (publisher)

My take:  Sarah is on track to adopt Leila, her four-year old foster daughter, when she receives a letter stating the girl’s birth mother is contesting the case. Supervised visits will begin soon putting Leila back in harm’s way for sure unless Sarah and her support team of friends and professionals can stop it.

Shelley Noble takes readers inside the world of Child Protection services that attempts to save children from horrible circumstances. My heart breaks thinking about the defenseless children caught up in a legal system. Noble’s story made me feel the frustration of the people who only want to help them, save them – each one a hero.

I loved Sarah’s friends who became her family and stood by her when life got tough. I was bothered by the emotional drama between Sarah and the ad litem attorney caused by a misunderstanding when they were girls (in the foster care system). But, perhaps the insecurity experienced by both when they were young was the cause for the drama. That issue aside, I liked Forever Beach and recommend it. Book club questions are included at the end. I think this would be a good choice for book groups.


Shelley Noble ap1Shelley Noble is a former professional dancer and choreographer. She most recently worked on the films, Mona Lisa Smile and The Game Plan. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, Women’s Fiction Writers Association, and Liberty States Fiction Writers. Shelley lives in Spring Lake Heights, New Jersey.

Whisper Beach by Shelley Noble

  • whisp beach 6:16Title:  Whisper Beach
  • Author:  Shelley Noble
  • Genre:  Women’s  Fiction
  • Published:  June 2015 – William Morrow
  • Source:  Publisher

My take:  When Vanessa Moran comes home for the funeral of her cousin’s husband she plans to stay for the service and then continue on to the shore for a well-deserved vacation. But things don’t go as planned. 

Van left 15 years earlier and never looked back. She worked hard, studied hard, and found a career organizing and managing other people’s homes and lives in Manhattan. What she left behind was her old life: an alcoholic, unforgiving father; a ruined relationship with her boyfriend; and school friends who seemed to be going nowhere. Now she finds some things have changed and a few haven’t. As her plans change and she starts to get to know people again will she be open to changes in her own life? 

Shelley Noble’s characters might seem a little familiar to anyone who grew up in a small town. I enjoyed them all. My favorite character was Dorie, the owner of the Blue Crab restaurant. More than that, she was a mother figure to more than a few kids in town. Her house was the safe place to go no matter what the circumstances. She was a good sounding board and also the voice of reason. I also liked Van’s friend Suze. Everyone needs a BFF like Suze. 

Themes of forgiveness and second chances run through Whisper Beach. The novel wasn’t tied up neatly at the end which is why I hope Noble will return to Whisper Beach in the not too distant future. Recommended to fans of the author and Women’s Fiction.

Breakwater Bay by Shelley Noble

breakwater bay July8

  • Title:  Breakwater Bay
  • Author:  Shelley Noble
  • Genre:  Women’s Fiction
  • Published:  July 2014 – Wm. Morrow
  • Source:  Publisher

Synopsis:  Preservationist Meri Hollis loves her latest project, restoring one of Newport’s forgotten Gilded Age mansions. And with summer approaching, she’ll be able to spend more time with her Gran on the Rhode Island shore. She has a great job, a loving family, and she’s pretty sure her boyfriend is going to propose on her thirtieth birthday.

But everything Meri believes about family, happiness, truth, and love is shattered when her family’s darkest secret is exposed.

Thirty years before, Meri’s neighbor and friend, Alden Corrigan, took his father’s dinghy out to fish. In a sudden storm, he rushed to help a woman stranded on the breakwater. She was just a girl . . . a very pregnant girl who disappeared soon after they reached safety—But not before she left behind a very special gift.

Now that the truth it out, life will change for everyone in Breakwater Bay, and Meri and Alden will have to make decisions that could ensure their future together . . . or separate them for good.   (publisher)

My take:  I loved the atmospheric feel to this novel. Very gothic – although not really dark –  with the huge, drafty house on the shore; the almost reclusive, handsome man (Alden) who owns the house; and the young woman (Meri) who suddenly needs him more than she ever realized. It’s a tale of honor, responsibility, and what exactly constitutes a family. In the end, family is not determined solely by blood but, more than that, the people who will do anything for you – the people who want to be a part of your life.

Shelley Noble included a good amount of detail of Meri’s preservation work in the story. I loved reading about it and could envision the beauty of the Newport mansion her team was restoring.

I would have liked the end of the novel fleshed out a bit more than it was but I was nonetheless pleased with the conclusion. Breakwater Bay is a good summer read – take it to the beach or read it at home and imagine yourself reading at the Rhode Island shore.

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Shelley Noble is a former professional dancer and choreographer. She most recently worked on the films, Mona Lisa Smile and The Game Plan. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and Romance Writers of America.

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One more thing . . .

The publisher sent a finished copy so I decided to share it with one of my US readers.

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