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SheKnows book review: Ocean Beach by Wendy Wax

The feisty women of Wendy Wax’s Ten Beach Road are back in Ocean Beach, but their new renovation project may be the undoing of everything they’ve worked so hard to build.

Ocean Beach cover

In a follow-up to Ten Beach Road, Wendy Wax brings back five very different, but relatable, women as they work to renovate The Millicent, a historic home in Miami’s South Beach.

Following the successful renovation of Bella Flora mansion and owing to Kyra’s masterful videography, Madeleine, Avery, Nikki, and Avery’s mother, Deirdre, are offered the chance to star in Do Over, a new show for Lifetime.

Do Over is much more than a show for these women — it is their chance to reinvent themselves and get back on their feet. Avery, who is managing the renovation, is an architect whose career plummeted when she unwillingly became a sidekick on her ex-husband’s TV show. Deirdre is an interior designer and Avery’s long-lost mother who seeks to mend the broken relationship with her daughter. Madeleine is struggling with a long marriage gone sour and a husband who still sees her as a homemaker and repeatedly suggests she abandon the project. Her daughter Kyra, a single mom, is along for the ride with her six-month-old son, Dustin. Dustin is the result of Kyra’s much publicized affair with married movie star Daniel Deranian (who sounds strangely similar to Brad Pitt). And Nikki is a once successful matchmaker who was left in the dust — both professionally and financially — after her brother’s Ponzi scheme was brought to light.

The site of the renovation is initially a mystery, and as the group arrives in South Beach, they quickly realize that they may be in for far more than they bargained. They thought that the show would focus strictly on their work on The Millicent. Instead, they are filmed around the clock as the network tries to create a sensationalized reality show — with Kyra’s son as the main attraction.

With a laughable budget, a looming hurricane, soaring tempers and cameras following their every move, these women must figure out how to succeed on the renovation or risk losing everything they’ve worked so hard for.

I have not read Ten Beach Road, and while it would have added to my understanding of the characters’ backgrounds and how they were brought together, I did not have any trouble following the sequel. Ocean Beach is the perfect beach read for someone looking for a bit more substance. Readers will quickly become involved with these flawed, yet strong, female characters. With so many different personalities, it will be very easy to find one — or more — to relate to.

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