REVIEW: ONE GOOD THING, BY WENDY WAX

 

Before you can fix it up, you might have to tear it down…
 
Embroiled in a battle to regain control of their renovation-turned-reality TV show, Do Over, Maddie, Avery, Nikki, and Kyra find themselves holding tight to the frayed ends of their friendship and relationships.
 
Maddie must face the realities of dating a rock star once again topping the charts and dealing with her hapless ex-husband, while Avery is caught up in family drama even as she attempts to transform a tiny cottage into a home for the newly impoverished heiress who helped bankroll their last renovation. Put on bedrest, a hugely pregnant Nikki can’t quite believe love can last, or trust in her own maternal instinct. And Kyra, who has secretly put Bella Flora at risk in an attempt to salvage Do Over, must decide whether to accept a desperately needed bail out from her son’s famous father that comes with far too many strings attached…
 
But friendship is made for times like these, to keep each other—and their dreams—from crumbling.

My Thoughts: I have been a fan of this series from the very first book. An assorted cast of characters have remained at the core of these books, including One Good Thing. Supporting characters come and go, but the basic ones who were there from the beginning have kept me coming back for more.

Maddie is my favorite. For me, she is the glue that holds them together. Avery and Nikki each have their unique talents, and Kyra is good with the camera and the production end.

They have their men, although there are issues and conflicts threatening those relationships. Then, for Maddie, her newest man brings out a part of herself that she thought was gone. But he also taps into her insecurities. Not because of anything he does, but because of who he is. A handsome and famous rock star.

Kyra’s former relationship with a celebrity, who fathered her son, is never completely over, since he is in and out of their lives, despite his marriage to his co-star. Kyra sends mixed messages, allowing him to pull her strings, while vacillating between wanting him and rejecting him. I could understand her frustration and the pull she feels for him. But her behavior veers toward selfish and narcissistic, in my opinion, but perhaps she is simply too young and inexperienced to make good choices. She is keeping secrets and putting the others at risk by some of her decisions, which made her hard to like.

No matter how I felt for the characters individually, though, I was rooting for them in their attempts to turn their business and their lives around. I could not stop turning the pages, and while I had my eye trained on what I hoped would happen, there were still some surprises, which made the story another good thing. 5 stars.

***
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REVIEW: SUNSHINE BEACH, BY WENDY WAX

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As our old friends gather once again to plan another renovation, I was all set to curl up and enjoy the adventures in Sunshine Beach. The characters have tentatively landed a renovation of an old mid-century beach hotel.

I loved reviving old friendships with the characters while they planned the new project. They settle in at Bella Flora, the home Kyra, Maddie’s daughter, now owns, thanks to her son’s father. As usual, Avery is all set with her construction crew; Kyra is ready to film, and eager to do the project independently after the disaster of the Do Over show. A wrinkle in the production had morphed that experience into a reality show.

Nikki has some issues with her boyfriend, FBI agent Joe Giraldi, while her brother Malcolm, the one responsible for all of their financial worries, has reached out to her.

Maddie is still feeling bliss about her new romance with the rock star William Hightower…but insecurities threaten that bliss.

When Maddie’s ex, Steve, shows up and seems ready to make himself at home, they all feel the irritation born from his laziness and his inability to effectively help them.

What will happen to threaten the project? How will a mystery from WWII add conflict? How will they rise above the threats of their former bosses? Can they move beyond the challenges and find gratification once again? A very satisfying new chapter in the life of the characters, and enjoyable to this reader. 4.5 stars.

ratings worms 4-cropped***