Monday, November 13, 2017

Book Review: Emerald Coast by Anita Hughes

Pages: 296
Genre: Adult Fiction
Pub. Date: August 1, 2017
Publisher: St. Martin's
Source: Publisher for review
Other Books By Author: French Coast
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "Set on the glamorous Italian island, Anita Hughes's Emerald Coast is a touching and humorous story about marriage and the difficulty of finding love and happiness at the same time.  Lily Bristol arrives at a luxurious resort in Sardinia for the grand opening of her newest home furnishing store on the Emerald Coast. She's a successful business woman with an international chain of stores from San Francisco to Milan. Thirty-two and newly divorced, she's ready to handle things on her own. At least until her private butler, Enzo, escorts her to a beautiful suite where she notices a suspiciously familiar pair of men's slippers and shaving kit.  Lily is horrified. Her ex-husband Oliver moved out of their restored Connecticut farmhouse six months ago, but they booked this trip when they were trying to save their marriage and never cancelled the reservation. Oliver, a food critic for the New York Times, is here covering Sardinia's hottest new restaurant. The only other available room is the adjoining suite; and worse, Oliver isn't alone. He's brought a twenty-something named Angela with him.  Lily is determined to make do and enlists Enzo to find her a suitable man. But it's not as easy to find new love as they both expected. When Lily and Oliver find themselves alone on a very important night, they turn to each other. Sparks begin to fly, but can they be together without breaking each other's hearts?"

Lily Bristol has it all. She has a beautiful daughter, an amazing career, good looks and boatloads of money.  She is newly divorced, but she isn't going to let that bring her down.  She is on a luxurious trip to Sardinia for not only pleasure, but also to supervise the grand opening of her latest store. While at her five star hotel, she tries to unwind in her suite, but comes to find that there are random items in her room already and not just any items; there's a men's shaving kit and other personal items.  Lily comes to find that her ex-husband, Oliver, who helped planned this trip with her prior to their divorce, never canceled his reservation. And is there! In her room! Lily promptly requests a new room and of course all they have available is a connecting room.  To make matters worse, Oliver has brought his new and much younger girlfriend on this trip. Before Lily throws in the towel as this being the worst trip in the history of the world, she asks her butler, turned friend, to help her find a decent guy on the island that she can date. Of course, Enzo, the butler, knows the perfect Italian gentleman! Maybe this trip won't be as horrible as she imagined? Anita Hughes's Emerald Coast is like a lazy day at the pool sipping your favorite drink without a care in the world. It's a great book to read when you want an escape.

I never really connect with Hughes's characters, but that's not why I read her novels. I read them when I want a gorgeous setting with great descriptions of five star hotels, fashion, delectable food, and of course tons of drama set against an exotic location.  I really felt transported to the beautiful island of Sardinia, which was exactly what I wanted on such a dreary fall day.  The people, the food, the fashion....definitely loved being lost in Lily's dazzling world.

With that said, the characters are sort of despicable in Emerald Coast.  Although I could sympathize with Lily's situation, she also has made some horrific choices in the past.  The flashbacks to her marriage with Oliver were both simultaneously sweet, but also full of red flags. Essentially, it was rich people behaving badly and while that is very entertaining, it gets old quickly. Plus, they are extremely shallow. Yes, each and every character, with the exception of Enzo, is straight up shallow.

But don't get me wrong, I still was entertained by Emerald Coast. I wanted something light, something glamorous, something with a Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous vibe, and this novel fit the bill. My only regret was that I didn't read it this past summer on vacation, because Emerald Coast would make for a fun beach reach as long as you don't mind your characters chock full of rich people problems.


  1. Great review! I DNFed this one after only a few pages (the dialogue was kind of driving me crazy), but I would have loved to read about Sardinia and get a better feel for the setting.

    1. Thanks, Angela. You have to be in the mood for her novels as it's quite light reading, but the locations are fantastic. Sorry this one didn't work for you! Thanks for visiting!

  2. I was worried that the characters would be awful, and it seems I'm right. :/

    1. Haha. Yes! They are a bit despicable, but that did keep me entertained for the most part. Thanks for visiting, Joy!

  3. Great review !


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