Anita Hughes - Emerald CoastPublished: August 1, 2017 by St. Martin's Griffin
Genres: Romance, Realistic Fiction
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Set on the glamorous Italian island, 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?
As I've read a few of her books already, and they literally contain all the best things, scenery and food porn, so it's a pure given that I absolutely love Anita Hughes's writing, but Lily is probably one of the intolerable, tiresome MCs in Anita Hughes's novel history. Of all the protagonists, she should've just stayed home.
Lily is soon-to-be happily divorced. But when she arrives at the Sardinian resort, she notices male bathing products and realizes, of course, they couldn't belong to her. Her soon-to-be ex-husband, Oliver, happens to be vacationing in that very suite along with his new girlfriend, Angela, who is in town as a food critic. Best job ever, IMO.
Oliver and Lily literally have a child together. So the fact it's impossible for them to share a hotel room or a suite, whatever, ala Lisa-and-Lenny, like normal fucking co-parents is astounding. (They literally had the cutest backstory, though.) And she has a butler, Enzo. This novel should literally be renamed to Enzo on the Emerald Coast, in commemoration to this undeserving soul. Lily told all her divorce troubles, constantly asked about this lovely man's life, asked for bread, and still wasn't satisfied with her vacation.
The ever-amazing bits from Anita Hughes's previous work have remained, ala food and scenery porn, which I've just said. Lemon gelato, buffalo mozzarella, spinach calzones, yachts and oceans. Oliver is super sweet, which is bound to yank at the heartstrings of many. He's such a dedicated, serious father and he feels horrible about the divorce.
Honestly, Anita Hughes's work has swiftly raised in the ranks as one of my favorite authors, so I think I might always be on the lookout for one of her books. Her next one publishes in October and the MC is a baker, so I'm sure you can already hear my squeeing.