Friday, May 26, 2017

Book Review: White Sand, Blue Sea by Anita Hughes

Pages: 288
Genre: Adult Fiction
Pub. Date: April 11, 2017
Publisher: St. Martin's
Source: Publisher for review
Other Books By Author: French Coast
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "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 walks 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."

Olivia is celebrating her twenty-fifth birthday with her family at their St. Barts vacation home. It's pretty much heaven there with its gorgeous views and perfect beach.  To top it off, Olivia is expecting her boyfriend, Finn, to propose, which only makes her life even sweeter.  All of her family is here, except for her vagabond father, Sebastian, who is an artist that travels the world. Olivia and her father don't have a relationship (she hasn't seen him for twenty years!), but she has always wondered about him.  Her perfect calm world starts to have ripples in it when an unexpected visitor shows up knocking at the door. It's her father.  Not only does his presence upset their family trip, it also makes Olivia start questioning things about her life.  White Sand, Blue Sea by Anita Hughes is an enchanting and fluffy beach read. It's filled with family secrets and drama all set to the gorgeous backdrop of St. Barts. 

Olivia is just an ok character in White Sand, Blue Sea. She's the quintessential "rich girl" and quite frankly her "rich girl" problems got quite old.  I mean she is only twenty-five years old, so I don't doubt her second thoughts about getting engaged, especially once her father returns.  With her father's unexpected arrival, she starts thinking about her life and where its headed thanks to his influence. Plus, there's the issue of her father's return and its impact on Olivia's family. This doesn't just send ripples through Olivia's life, but also her mother's. 

I did expect a bit more romance in White Sand, Blue Sea, but that's not the focus of this novel. It's more about the family dynamics as well a Olivia's life choices.  Her relationship with her father is interesting and I was glad to see him break out of her comfort zone a bit.

Hughes does know how to set the stage when it comes to exotic locations. Her descriptions of the striking beaches, the Caribbean food, and the high-end way of living are all spot-on in White Sand, Blue Sea.  This is what Hughes does best. When I read her novels, I am also transported to a perfect beach with champagne in my hand watching a breathtaking sunset.

White Sand, Blue Sea didn't wow me by any means, but it does make for a good vacation read if you like a book that has a Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous type of vibe.  Sometimes you just want a taste of how the other half live and be transported to your own private Caribbean villa. But if this isn't your type of thing, then look elsewhere this summer. 


  1. While the setting is intriguing, I'm not sure I'd enjoy this one. I read one of her other books that was inspired by Roman Holiday and while I love that movie, the book lacked the same charm (though the setting was fantastic).

    1. Yes, Hughes is great at creating a really vivid and extravagant setting. I find that to be the best part of her novels, so this one is perfect for the beach in that way. Thanks for visiting, Christina!


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