The Love Scribe by Amy Meyerson, Julia Whelan (Narrator)

Published February 7th 2023 by Harlequin Audio, Park Row Books

4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I really enjoy a story about books, bookstores or authors and this one fit the bill. It is also very different from anything I have read before. Alice’s best friend Gabby is devastated after a breakup. To cheer her up, Gabby writes her a story about meeting someone new. Once Gabby reads the story, she meets someone similar to the events in the story and she tells friends about Alice’s magical talent. Alice begins to write stories for friends and family and they all find love. Through word of mouth, Alice stumbles upon a new calling—to be a love scribe. She begins to advertise and charge for her stories. When a reclusive woman, Madeline Alger, commissions a story, Alice is stumped. She doesn’t know much about Madeline and she is unwilling to share. Alice snoops around and finds out that Madeline is also a Love Scribe, but her books are changing colour. Alice and Madeline begin an odyssey to find out what happened to the couples in Madeline’s books that have changed colour. While this is all happening, Alice, who had no intention to find love, meets and falls for the book binder who binds her stories. Will Alice find her own happily ever after? What will happen to the couples that both Madeline and Alice have helped meet?

This was a very interesting story and very different from what I was expecting. I enjoyed both storylines, and was rooting for Alice to find her own love story. The magic was inferred as the stories Alice writes come true, or cause the reader/recipient to find love. As Alice begins to doubt her stories, I wanted Madeline to just go away and leave her alone. I was so drawn into the stories and would have liked more time to be spent on the ones that Alice wrote, perhaps some vignettes. As they investigated to find out what had happened to Madeline’s couples, there was some mystery, twists and turns in the lives of the recipients of the stories. As the description says, The Love Scribe explores love, fate and the power of stories when we choose to believe in them. I enjoyed this book and will watch for more by Amy Meyerson. The narration of this audiobook was performed by Julia Whelan. As always, I enjoy the books she narrates and this one added to my enjoyment of the story. I was able to do a read/listen, but I definitely enjoyed the narration more. I recommend this book to those who enjoy some magical realism, love, books about authors and romance.

The Beach Club by Elin Hilderbrand

Published May 13th 2008 by St. Martin’s Griffin

4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Once again, I have to thank Susan at SUSAN LOVES BOOKS for this one. This was a book from the bag that she gave me last year, and I finally got to it. I am glad I did as not only do I enjoy Elin Hilderbrand’s books, but this one was an enjoyable, complex story.

I love Elin Hilderbrand’s beach stories, but I never read The Beach Club, her debut book, until now. The Beach Club the story of the Nantucket Beach Club, a beachside hotel, and the people that own it, work at it or visit. There are several dramas unfolding throughout the book and I am not going to list them all. The main character is Mack Petersen, the manager of the hotel. He has been working for Bill Elliot, the owner, and his wife for twelve years. He has been living with beautiful Maribel for the last six years and wants to get married. Bill’s health isn’t good and he is ready for his daughter Cecily to take over, but she is in love and wants to head to Rio to meet up with her boyfriend. Love O’Donnell, the new front desk person and is on the island to find a hook up. She wants a child, but not a relationship. Vance, the African-American bellman, has hated Mack since the day Mack stole his job 12 years ago. All of this and more comes to a head in one summer.

I really liked this story and was impressed that this was her debut. There were times I liked various characters and then disliked them in the next chapter. There were a lot of characters in the story that played a part in the mess that was that summer, but it was realistic. Throughout the book, there are letters passing back and forth between Bill and the mysterious SBT about the selling of the hotel, but Bill won’t budge. We do find out who SBT is at the end of the book. There is a lot of soul searching and decisions to be made. There is love, romance, angst, lies, secrets and more that all pull together to create a great story. I’m glad I finally read this debut novel.