Beach Read Wednesday is back for another summer of relaxing pool/beach book suggestions! As always, I'll feature a matching drink, because what fun is a beach read without a delicious cocktail to accompany it? This week's selection is a contemporary work from Aussie romance author Sarah Mayberry. With Her Best Worst Mistake, Mayberry gives us an enemies-to-lovers tale with some of the best character development I've seen in a romance in a long time.
Synopsis: Stuffy London lawyer Martin and boutique owner Violet have only one thing in common – her best friend Elizabeth is his ex-fiancée. Elizabeth leaves them both behind in London when she takes off for Australia, leaving them angry and confused...and strangely attracted to each other. What starts out as a "get it out of our system" romp turns very gradually into a real, solid and loving relationship. As Martin grows closer to Violet, he sees the hurt she's hidden for years, but the strength with which she's dealt with her problems makes him love her all the more.
My thoughts: That sexy cover is a perfect teaser for the steamy yet touching Her Best Worst Mistake. After years of hearing what a fabulous author Sarah Mayberry is, I finally picked up one of her books and am now kicking myself for waiting so long. In the weeks since I read this book, though, I've read four additional Mayberry books and I've yet to find a bad one. It's rare that an author makes such a quick jump onto my auto-buy list, but Mayberry has done it.
Her Best Worst Mistake is such a successful romance because of the characters. Violet, owner of the cleverly named Violet Femmes boutique, is funky and irreverent and everything Martin despises. Yet over the course of the book, Mayberry very clearly shows how much these two need each other and how much they fill each other's missing pieces.
A Debaser. It's a specialty cocktail from Three Aces, a Chicago gastropub, but I'm sure your bartender would happily make up a drink that closely matches it. The citrus-based drink with plenty of gin, Campari and bitters, and it's a perfect blend of tart, sweet and bitter, just like the development of Martin and Violet's relationship.
Publication Date: May 5, 2012
Length: 170 pages (e-book)