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Source: Review copy from Hallmark Publishing

Love at the Shore by Teri Wilson, based on the Hallmark movie of the same name, was the perfect summer read. (Yes, it’s time for my annual catch up on reviews before the end of the year.) Set on Tybee Island, Georgia, the novel follows YA author Jenna Turner — who is staying at a beach house for the summer with her children, Nick and Ally — and the surfer next door Lucas McKinnon. Jenna is expecting quiet summer days where she can finish her second novel while her kids are at camp, but she quickly realizes that Lucas, with his loud music, his rambunctious dog Tank, and, of course, his good looks, is going to be a major distraction.

Of course, Jenna and Lucas are complete opposites, which causes plenty of tension, and of course, they can’t stand each other. Of course, Nick and Ally want to get to know Lucas and play with his dog, and of course, Lucas doesn’t really know how to handle children and Jenna doesn’t want them getting too attached or picking up his “lazy surfer” ways. Just like the movie, the novel is predictable, but that’s to be expected, and it doesn’t really matter with these kinds of stories. I was a bit apprehensive about reading the novelization of Love at the Shore, mainly because I’d already seen the movie several times, but having loved Wilson’s Unleashing Mr. Darcy (which was way better than the Hallmark movie version of the novel), I had to give it a try — and I wasn’t disappointed.

Wilson gives a depth to the characters that isn’t in the movie. Sure, you see the characters evolve over the course of the two hours, but Jenna still grated on my nerves at times. In Wilson’s novel, Jenna is still the same Jenna as in the movie, but you get to see into her mind and her heart and feel for her in a way that you might not while watching the movie. Moreover, the decision Lucas makes in the movie that hurts Jenna and her kids is still disappointing but more understandable when fleshed out by Wilson. Ultimately, despite having seen the movie multiple times, it felt like I was experiencing the story for the first time, and the epilogue set after the movie ends is a nice treat.

This is the second book I’ve read from Hallmark Publishing that is based on a Hallmark movie, and now I just have to give their original novels a try.

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