"Holly Wilson has landed a dream job but there is one proviso… she must keep it secret, and that means telling lies. Holly hates telling lies.
Her latest assignment has brought her to the paradise island of Mauritius where she meets a British couple, Robert and Rosemary, who share a tragic secret of their own.
The moment they introduce Holly to handsome writer, Philippe, she begins to fall in love, something she hasn’t allowed herself to do for twenty years.
But Philippe has not been completely honest either and when Holly stumbles across the truth, she feels totally betrayed."
The story begins in Maritiaus, following the main character Holly as she reviews the hotel for her blog. The description of the location is brilliant - there is great attention to detail and you can tell Julia has personal experience of being there, you really do feel immersed into that environment. During Holly's trip we also meet Rosemary and Robert, a lovely couple who are enjoying one of the last holidays they can have because of Rose's illness. They are a really sweet couple, particularly the way Robert cares so dearly for his wife, and I loved following them on their journey. My favourite character was Holly's son, Harry. He is a student and is wonderful - very level-headed and easy-going, I loved finding out more about him during the second part of the story, and hope the second book of this series will follow him more.
I want to be as completely honest as possible when it comes to reviews and so I will say that if I'm honest, the storyline didn't grip me or pull me in as much as I thought it would. The pace of the story is hindered by a lot of description which is sometimes too much. Instead of getting to know a characters thoughts and emotions, you instead get a lot of detailed description about other things that aren't always needed. For me, the storyline was fairly predictable with no twist or turns and I didn't get to relate to the characters as much as I'd have liked to.
However, don't let that put you off as there are some really great aspects to the book and it is definitely worth a read. I particularly enjoyed the latter half of the story as it is quicker-paced and more entertaining, but I also enjoyed the Mauritius location - it made me crave a luxurious holiday in a 5* resort!
It will be interesting to see how this works as a series and how the story will develop with book 2.
Following the launch of her first book, Julia needed a well-deserved break and booked a holiday to Mauritius. Her children, now adults, had bought her a notebook with words on the cover that read 'Hold on people… I’m having an Idea'. On the first morning of her holiday, Julia had just that – the idea for her first novel.
Over the course of the ten days she was in Mauritius, she scribbled copious notes, thoughts and ideas. When she arrived home, she started writing.
Life’s a Beach is part one of the Liberty Sands trilogy. Julia has already started writing book two, If He Really Loved Me… , which she hopes to finish in the Autumn.
Blog Tour organised by Jenny in Neverland: