Beach House No. 9 by Christie Ridgway
Series: Beach House No. 9 #1
Published by Harlequin
Publish Date: January 29, 2013
Find it here: Goodreads / Amazon / B&N
When book doctor Jane Pearson arrives at Griffin Lowell’s beach house, she expects a brooding loner. After all, his agent hired her to help the reclusive war journalist write his stalled memoir. Instead, Jane finds a tanned, ocean-blue-eyed man in a Hawaiian shirt, hosting a beach party and surrounded by beauties. Faster than he can untie a bikini top, Griffin lets Jane know he doesn’t want her. But she desperately needs this job and digs her toes in the sand.
Griffin intends to spend the coming weeks at Beach House No. 9 taking refuge from his painful memories-and from the primly sexy book doctor who wants to bare his soul. But warm nights, moonlit walks and sultry kisses just may unlock both their guarded hearts…. -(from Goodreads)
My Thoughts: I first saw Beach House No. 9 when I was browsing my library’s online catalog. I was very new to the adult contemporary romances at the time and noticed that the wait list was miles long for this one. Despite never having heard of the book nor the author, I put it on hold for myself since everyone else seemed to be reading it too – I figured I’d see what all the fuss was about. When my turn came up and I began reading, what I found was a fun summertime romance that is a lot different than this one and this one, but I still enjoyed it.
Jane Pearson aka the Book Doctor is sent to Beach House No. 9
to help Griffin Lowell finish writing his war memoir.
Jane arrives to Beach House No. 9 in the midst of a party and can’t seem to get Griffin’s full attention as he is too busy being host and seeing to his guests. Frustrated, she comes back the next day – only to find another party. It seems that Griffin is so uncaring about his deadlines and basically everything else that people generally walk all over him and use his Beach House as “Party Central” because they know he just won’t care.
Somehow Jane snaps him out of it – she decides to join the party. If you can’t beat them, join them – right? Griffin makes everyone leave and just like that – SNAP! – no more parties. The book does mention a time or two or twenty that both Jane and Griffin are very attracted to one another.
It takes some BIG WORK on her part to get him to do his work.
As Jane and Griffin begin to pour through Griffin’s old journalism work from when he was embedded with the military during wartime, Jane begins to understand exactly why Griffin is having such a hard time and why he is exactly how he is. Griffin has some issues resulting from his time spent over there that he hasn’t dealt with properly and this is affecting his entire life, including his interaction with everyone. Still, Jane is determined to meet those deadlines. And with her help, Griffin is able to work. He battles his demons and begins to produce the memoir that he is supposed to. It isn’t easy, but that’s what Jane is there for – it’s her job to help him. And good grief, it takes practically everything she has to get the job done.
between Jane and Griffin.
Jane is really no different. She is so very attracted to Griffin because he is so very handsome. To tell the truth, she was taken aback by his good looks from her first glimpse of him – acting goofy at his party – but she’s a professional and would’ve never let him know it. But man, she thought it!
After working closely together for a little while, the walls start coming down and the little jokes begin between the two of them. They become more comfortable around one another, which is saying a lot where Griffin is concerned. They start standing closer together and there is a brief touch to an arm here, and a hand on the small of a back there. And there are walks and she attends a function with him and so on. The attraction grows and good gracious, so does the talking and the thinking of what one wants to do to/with the other one. It basically just never ends with these two once it starts. (It made me giggle.) But I promise there is a ton of good story in there.
Jane Pearson is a funny character, in my opinion. She’s a bit wound-up. She’s so wound-up that it’s actually good that she ended up coming to Beach House No. 9 – so she could learn to let loose a little bit, let her hair down and have a little bit of a good time. She’s been brought up by a father that expects no less than absolute success at all costs, so that’s what her goal has always been as well. When she meets Griffin 1) she realizes that she may not actually achieve success this time and 2) she begins to question the importance of all success, all the time as she learns more about him – why he is the way he is, how difficult meeting his deadline will be for him, how she might prefer a personal relationship rather than a professional relationship with him – and she begins to re-evaluate everything her father taught her, which is actually a really good thing. As Jane helps Griffin with his work, she falls for him. She falls HARD.
This could be a problem, you see.
The problem with falling for a guy like Griffin Lowell is that he does everything in his power to push everyone away and keep them there. He holds everyone, everyone, everyone at arm’s length to keep from getting close to them – even his own family. He just can’t deal with another loss like he endured once before, first of all, and he also has never even coped or dealt with the tragic things that happened to him when he was embedded, so there are some definite post-traumatic stress issues going on – Griffin is almost unable to care about and love. Almost. Slowly, slowly as he finds himself having feelings for Jane that go beyond purely sexual, he also finds that he is experiencing feelings for other people: love for people in his family, respect for his neighbors, etc. This is such a shock for Griffin and so incredibly uncomfortable that he kind of flails a bit, and I love this vulnerability in him as a character.
I love Griffin’s character. I know people in life like Griffin – scared to open their heart up to people for fear of getting hurt. I found that while Jane almost seems to be written as comic relief (I said almost, when compared to Griffin), Griffin felt very real and had much more depth, and I just loved him and connected to him and felt for him.
This book has an amazing setting – right on the beach, couldn’t be any better! – and a great, great secondary cast. I love the great neighbors, and Griffin’s sister and her bunch of children end up coming to stay at the Beach House unexpectedly when they have some issues at home. (This story line is really great as well and weaves into the Jane/Griffin story line perfectly.)
It’s true that I felt like Beach House No. 9 is a little bit cheesy throughout the book because for some reason the sexytime/steam factor made me chuckle. But I also loved the indulgent fun-ness of the story. In fact, all of the story lines were good. At the end, each plot line had good resolution but there is just enough left open to make me want to pick up the next book at some point fairly soon, since it is summertime and these books take place on the beach.
I recommend Beach House No. 9 to fans of adult contemporary romance, great settings, and good family relationships. This series continues with companion novels, I believe, so I’ll be checking out the next one in the near future.