MONARCH BEACH by Anita Hughes
Monarch Beach by Anita Hughes
St. Martin’s Griffin
Reviewed by Vanessa
Amanda Blick believes her life is wonderful. She’s married with a child, and she adores being a stay at home mom and being there for her two men. However, she soon discovers that life isn’t always what you think and that some things are built upon a faulty foundation. Reeling from the discovery that her perfect marriage isn’t so ideal and needing to find her path in life, she accepts her mother’s invitation to get away. As Amanda journeys to regain herself and perhaps find the dreams of her youth, she finds her path is strewn with a few rocks along the way. Will she be able to get back on the right path that she set for herself years ago, or will she settle for what she has always known because it is easier than breaking out of the mold?
Monarch Beach was an engrossing read that had me rooting for Amanda to get her happily ever after with herself first and then others later. I have to admit that I was a little put off at first as this was a first person POV, but Monarch Beach sucked me in and engaged my interests from the beginning until the end.
Amanda’s need to stay with what she knew, and even help out others instead of seeing to her own needs was well explained for me. I kind of hoped for more of a volatile reaction from her when she discovered her husband in a compromising position, but at the same time, I felt that he had warned her from the beginning. She just refused to see that when he had made those telling comments. I never truly believed that Amanda loved Andre in Monarch Beach. It seemed more like she lusted after him.
It was claimed that Andre was a good father, but I can honestly say that I never saw that in Monarch Beach. It seemed that he was hardly on the scene and being told things isn’t always a good thing in a story. I needed to see these things as well. I felt like Edward was a rebound thing and she got involved with him too quickly; he just seemed a little creepy to me as well. Amanda had some great advice from her mother and her best friend, but she chose to ignore that advice to her own detriment. I honestly didn’t see that coming and it was definitely an angsty moment—yet, at the same time, extremely gross! There would be no way in . . . that that could ever be forgiven either!!
The designer name dropping and popular TV shows in Monarch Beach didn’t work for me either. How could the characters watch those shows in the summer when they are both on in the fall and then begin another season in the late winter?
I wanted Amanda to pony-up in her decisions in Monarch Beach, but even towards the end, it sounded like she was willing to settle for something less than what she deserved. Amanda needs to do things for herself, and she needs to learn she doesn’t need someone else to make her happy.
Monarch Beach left me with some unanswered questions in the end. I wanted to know what convinced Andre to give in to the divorce in the end, if he even does, or will they just be separated for a time. Andre’s partner could have taken care of the latest little incident, and yet she didn’t. Also, I’m surprised that no one sued them for sexual harassment because it sounded like an open and shut case to me in Monarch Beach. What happened to Amanda’s friend from the beginning of the story? I kept thinking that she knew something that Amanda wasn’t willing to see possibly because of her grief or blindness to those flaws. Why does Amanda email her plans to Andre when he is just out to breakfast with their son? He had wanted to talk to her that morning, and yet he conveniently disappears and I’m wondering what happened there. I also kept wondering who Erin was and why Amanda thought it was okay to let her son go off with a perfect stranger.
In the end of Monarch Beach, I would have been happy with Amanda just walking away to her new future without any promises of Edward showing up. I just don’t see a HEA with him even with my rose colored glasses on.