Book reviews

Posts tagged ‘Mary Kay Andrews’

Christmas Bliss By Mary Kay Andrews


I never read novels by the same author in succession, or even close together usually, but lately I’ve been reading some really good, big novels and just wanted something light and fun to give my brain a break. Plus it’s nearly Christmas and this book seemed timely.

I read Savannah Breeze by Mary Kay Andrews earlier in the year and enjoyed it, and Christmas Bliss by Mary Kay Andrews, featuring the same group of characters, BeBe, Weezie and their circle, gave me the frivolity I needed. This time BeBe is heavily pregnant and Harry is a happy father to be, while Weezie is preparing for her and Daniel’s Christmas Eve wedding at home in Savannah.

Weezie becomes suspicious of Daniel’s relationship with the glamorous owner of the New York restaurant where he has been working as a special guest chef, so when he becomes sick Weezie hops on a plane to New York to nurse him. Happily for Weezie, Daniel’s boss is lovely and her fears were completely unfounded. Weezie gets to do all of the things she has ever dreamed about while in New York the week before Christmas.

BeBe, in the last month of her pregnancy, is feeling fat and unlovely. Harry gives her a few frights when he comes home late from deep sea fishing. The only other exciting thing to happen in Christmas Bliss is that BeBe learns she may still be married to husband #2, which would make the terrible Richard the legal father of her and Harry’s unborn baby.

Not much else happens in Christmas Bliss.

Weezie’s parents are just as funny as they were in Savannah Breeze, although her father appears to be suffering from dementia. I wish there had been a recipe included for Weezie’s mother’s dreaded cake, which had a massive build up throughout the book before making it to the wedding buffet. Even a description of the taste would have pleased me.

The characters are lovely, but they don’t have any rollicking adventures the way they did in Savannah Breeze. The whole novel has the feel of a leisurely Sunday afternoon, rather than the excitement of frantic preparations for an upcoming wedding and birth, and the anxiety caused by a former husband casting his long shadow over present and future happiness. Every potential drama resolved itself easily and neatly.

I think Christmas Bliss could have been improved by introducing some different characters and relegating BeBe, Weezie and co into secondary roles. I still like the characters, but there wasn’t enough friction or drama for storyline to really interest me. Still, this book suited my purpose. My brain had a rest.

Savannah Breeze by Mary Kay Andrews


Savannah Breeze by Mary Kay Andrews is fun. I’ll admit to judging books by their covers, and I do like this cover. Gelati colours, palm trees near a beach and a slightly retro style. It doesn’t take much to make me happy, but a hint of summer in a book’s cover art will do it.

To sum up Savannah Breeze’s story line, the ballsy heroine with an interesting past gets ripped off by a sexy Lothario, then, with the help of good friends, her elderly grandparents and the true romantic hero, steals back everything the ratbag took from her with interest.

What’s not to like?

The best laugh out loud moments for me in Savannah Breeze were when the heroine and her bestie were comparing their relative’s most irritating habits. “Daddy jingles the change in his pocket until I think I’ll lose my mind. And Mama reads everything out loud. Every story in the paper. Every sign you pass in the car.” 

When I phone my parents of an evening, my mother tells me what housework she has done that day, in great detail. How many loads of washing, if she hung the washing out on the line, or on the little line under the eavesof the house near the back door, or if Dad hung them in the garage, and whether or not she got the loads of washing dry. Mum tells me if she has folded the washing and put it away and if there was any ironing.  It drives me insane. And Dad is really deaf, but won’t get hearing aids, so trying to have a conversation with him on the phone can be just as agonising, in a completely different way. I don’t know what habits I have that drive my family crazy, but I hope to one day make my daughter scream with frustration, because that is how the world works…and maybe one day, my grandchildren-to-be will complain about something my daughter does which will in turn make them want to beat her.

Anyway, back to the book. Savannah Breeze’s heroine, BeBe (pronounced BayBay) is a hardworking woman of 35. She owns her own business, a restaurant and has a string of investment properties, plus a home she loves in a good part of town. She seems to be a sucker for Mr Wrong though, having been married three times, twice to the same man. (Slow learner!) BeBe’s latest Mr Wrong, who presented himself as Mr Right, came to her rescue when she was in need of emotional support and defrauded her of everything she owned except a run down motel at the beach.

BeBe heads to the beach motel to lick her wounds, and meets Harry, who was employed by the previous owner of the motel to make some much needed repairs. After a rocky start, BeBe, Harry and BeBe’s best friend Weezie clean up the motel, re-style it with retro furniture and turn the motel into a going concern with real charm.

BeBe however, will not be satisfied until she finds the man who ripped her off and gets back her home, her investments and her pride. When Mr Wrong turns up in another coastal town, BeBe, Harry, Weezie and BeBe’s grandfather head off on an adventure to steal BeBe’s money back. Somewhere along the way, Harry becomes the man of the hour and turns into BeBe’s real hero.

 Savannah Breeze would be a great book to read on a beach holiday, sitting on a brightly coloured towel under a big hat with the sound of the waves in your ears and the smell of the sea in the air. An ice cream from the beach kiosk would probably go down well too, followed by a swim. (Ignore me. It’s bloody freezing in Melbourne and I’m on the countdown for summer. Reading Savannah Breeze could be considered therapuetic).

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