Book Review: "Chocolate Beach" by Julie Carobini

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I just want to dive into that book cover

Brianna is a beach loving tour guide who is also a happily married mother. She doesn't always see eye to eye with her mother in law, but being with her chocolate loving best friend Gaby makes up for that. Bri thinks she's been living a pretty good life and thinks that her husband would agree with her. But then she starts to worry about her husband being away constantly from his home because of his job, sees him with his young coworker, and finds an email about selling the house. Dealing with her new boss and with a friend who keeps putting her down starts to put a strain on Bri. She decides a complete change is needed and puts both the house and her own self in extreme makeover mode. However she realizes that if this is what is needed to keep her husband, she'll soon lose herself in the process.

I really had a great time reading this book. Bri was such a great character to get to know, and she was very likable and you can easily relate to her. You can understand why she does what she does and why she felt like she had to change. I loved that she's a chocoholic and I enjoyed the bit about the chocolate class, the chocolate chili sounds really good. The setting of the book was great as I too am a beach lover. I could hear the ocean and see the sun reflecting off the sand as I read the book. Reading this book took me away from the yucky cold here and into the warm beach surroundings. I also was glad that while Bri's mother-in-law could be annoying and pushy at times, she wasn't evil. Other books have portrayed the daughter in law losing every single battle and never being good enough for her husband's mom. While Mona was difficult to please at times, she and Bri could stand to be in a room without killing each other.
The Kate issue, however, I felt seemed a little forced at times and I felt she was really rude even though she eventually made up with Bri. Gaby would be such a great friend to have and I hope that there will be another book involving her story. This is Julie Carobini's first novel and I have definitely become a fan. Chocolate Beach in running for one of the best books of 2007 for me. (And I love that cover!) I'm looking forward towards her next book!

Chocolate Beach by Julie Carobini is published by Bethany House (2007)


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