White Sand, Blue Sea: A St. Barts Love Story
by Anita Hughes (Goodreads Author)
Expected publication: April 11, 2017, by St. Martin's Griffin
Olivia Miller is standing on the porch of her mother and stepfather's plantation style villa in St. Barts. They have been coming here every April for years but she is always thrilled to see the horseshoe-shaped bay of Gustavia and white sand of Gouverneur's Beach. This trip should be particularly exciting because she is celebrating her twenty-fifth birthday and hoping that Finn, her boyfriend of four years, will propose.
The only person who won't be here is her father, Sebastian, who she hasn’t seen in twenty years. He’s a well-known artist and crisscrosses the globe, painting and living in exotic locations like Kenya and China. When Sebastian unexpectedly walks through the door and floats back into Olivia’s life like a piece of bad driftwood she never knew she wanted, she starts to wondering if her world is too narrow. She questions the dreams and the relationship she’s always thought she wanted. But there seems to be more to the story than an innocent fatherly visit, and Olivia must decide if love is more important than truth.
Set on St. Barts, the jewel of the Caribbean, WHITE SAND, BLUE SEA is a heartwarming story about romance and adventure, and most importantly, about knowing yourself, and what makes you happy.
My Review: I gave this book three stars. It lost one star because it is supposed to be a romance and it isn't romantic. It lost another star because the characters aggravated me, a lot. They all needed a really good shake. Ms. Hughes wrote really good aggravating characters. Maybe for that, I should give her a star back.
The biological father had shady motivations for being involved after all this time. Where the heck has he been and what is he doing back here now? The stepfather should have shown more backbone on two fronts - the invasion of his house and his marriage. These two make strange friends.
The mother-wife-ex was conflicted and not sure about which way to go or what to do about what was happening. She needed to speak to her husband and lay down some boundaries with her ex. She needed her husband's support to handle the situation and she kept waiting for the right moment. There is no right moment - just ask for it. He needed to know she needed him. Instead, he's playing tennis and loaning out his wardrobe to the ex.
Everyone should have stopped tip toeing around the fiance. He needed to show his support for the woman he's claiming to love instead of whining. Here's a young woman who hasn't seen her father since she was a very young child. She wants to spend time with him and the last thing she needs to be doing is worrying about who else's feelings might be getting hurt. This is a major crisis in her life and she's not getting a lot of support from those closest to her. She's having to handle it on her own! A very strange family situation.
But, I didn't write this book. Anita Hughes did. She chose this family dynamic. She's not new at this either. She's written almost a dozen books and is a well thought of author. So, maybe she's just not my style. Or maybe I just need to read more of her work to get a better feel for her. I think to do her justice, I should read at least one more of her books. I'll let you know what I think once I've done that. Then maybe I'll read this again and re-review it. But right now, I just can't recommend this book when it shows up on shelves in the spring.
This book was provided to me by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I am not being compensated in any way. All opinions are fully my own.
~ Judi E. Easley