Beach Town * Mary Kay Andrews

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Greer has been given one more chance, if she can find the perfect undiscovered beach hideaway for a big-budget movie. She zeroes in on a sleepy Florida panhandle town called Cypress Key. There’s one motel, a marina, a long stretch of pristine beach and an old fishing pier with a community casino-which will be perfect for the film’s explosive climax.

There’s just one problem. Eben Thibadeaux, the town mayor, completely objects to Greer’s plan. A lifelong resident of Cypress Key, Eben wants the town to be revitalized, not commercialized. After a toxic paper plant closed, the bay has only recently been reborn, and Eb has no intention of letting anybody screw with his town again. But Greer has a way of making things happen, regardless of obstacles. And Greer and Eb are way too attracted to each other for either of them to see reason.

Between an ambitious director and his entourage-including a spoiled “It Boy” lead actor-who parachute into town, a conniving local ex-socialite, and a cast of local fangirls and opportunists who catch the movie bug, nothing is going to be the same in Cypress Key. Now Greer is forced to make some hard choices: about the people and the town she’s come to care about, and about her own life. True love is only for the movies, right? Can Greer find a way to be the heroine in her own life story? Told with inimitable heart and humor, Mary Kay Andrews’ Beach Town is the perfect summer destination.

I wanted to read a lovely summer romance as I lazied around in my garden, dreaming of sandy beaches. And I thought I had that as Greer, the main heroine of this story, goes on scouting at a lovely sandy beach location in Florida, Cypress Key.

And it wouldn’t be a proper romance if there wasn’t a male lead/hunk.

“You’re Eben Thibadeaux? The maintenance man at the motel? You sell real estate? And you’re the mayor?”

“You left out grocery store owner,” Eb Thibadeaux said. He pointed at the outboard motor. “And failed boat mechanic. To what do I owe the pleasure of this visit?

Eben, or Eb for short, doesn’t want a movie made in his town. He gives Greer a hard time whenever she tries to do make a deal, but there’s too much on the line for Greer and she has no intention of giving up. It’s up to her to convince the stubborn mayor that his town would profit from a movie.

I hated the extra and superfluous detail about filming the movie – completely unnecessary. There were two entire pages dedicated to how Greer solved the portable toilets crisis. What did that have to do with the storyline? I get that it shows how valuable she was to the filming crew and how good she was at her job, but it was a bit too much. There was way too little interaction between Greer and Eb and too much film-making. Boring, repeating, film-making numbness.

The action was repeated six more times, each time with Bryce calling directions over a megaphone.

An hour and a half later, the cigarette boats returned. Adelyn climbed out and promptly vomited all over the dock.

“Cut,” Bryce said wearily.

The fight scene between Kregg and the sheriff was shot next. Again and again, the actors and their stand-ins ran through their paces. Adelyn screamed on cue, Kregg and the sheriff cursed and issued threats. Bryce had the cameras repositioned a dozen times.

Greer wandered over to the air-conditioned tent where CeeJay was packing up her equipment to move to the pier for the afternoon’s shoot.

The whole storyline with the Dad was too forced at the end. And the ending? Pfff… SKIP.

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