The Oddest Little Beach Shop
by Beth Good
'I love Beth Good's quirky style!' - bestselling author Katie Fforde
From the first day of Annie's arrival in the sleepy Cornish resort of Polzel, next-door neighbor Gabriel seems determined to make her life difficult.
Despite his sexy looks and angelic name, Gabriel behaves like an ogre to everyone and has apparently been that way since losing his wife in a surfing accident. Annie would do far better, her friend Claudia urges her, to focus her attention on Jamie instead. Jamie's the hottest lifeguard in the village - and her co-worker in the Polzel beach shop.
But when Polzel's famous annual pie-rolling contest sees Annie and Gabriel forced together, it turns out Annie might have a thing for big Cornish ogres after all . . .
A feel-good summer novella from popular romantic comedy writer Beth Good and another quirky entry in her 'Oddest Little Shop' series.
‘Hundreds of jolly cyclists are due to pass through town on Wednesday. And if we’re lucky, a few dozen will stop for ice creams and beach fun. So you’ve arrived just in time to marvel at their beefy thighs and calves.’ Claudia winked. ‘And maybe sell them some cute little Lycra outfits.’
It did not seem a very dignified thing to be doing in public, straddling a dry surfboard in a skimpy gold and black bikini. Potentially disastrous too, if anything shifted or ripped. But maybe this was Jamie’s way of getting a proper eyeful of her assets.
She… flung her arms round Jamie, her air-kisses loud enough to puncture his eardrums. ‘Darling!’ she brayed, ‘You look so bloody sexy in your lifeguard clobber. Casanova in shorts.’
Gabriel’s slow smile was both a reward and a provocation. He was so horrid and knowing! And goodness, his abs were spectacular. She could do her washing on them, she thought, they were so flat and muscular. Why couldn’t he have been flabby and repulsive to look at?
‘I have to have some kind of a social life.’ Sarah adjusted her bra quite unselfconsciously, jiggling her large boobs as though to check everything was in the right place. Apparently it was, because she looked down at them with a satisfied expression. ‘I mean, if we can’t get out a few nights every week to boogie-woogie in the night spots or pick up some fresh-faced surfer or big, strapping farmer . . . Well, what’s the point of being single on the Cornish bloody coast?’
We’re absolutely desperate for fresh blood on the committee. We’re like vampires without a victim, I promise you.
Leo’s a teenage boy, darling. They have no room in their brains for anything but their own little problems. Spots and girls and the size of their willies, in other words.
Ms. Good’s delightful sense of humor provided a comfortable balance for a story that could easily have been overly angsty due to the serious issues of sorrow and loss. I am enamored with her humorous storytelling, quaint village way of life, and eccentric and colorful characters. A small and quirky beach village in Cornwall provided the perfect backdrop for a sorely needed new beginning for a freshly minted and struggling family unit of an aunt and young teenaged nephew who were struggling to find their footing together.
Annie’s life had been a series of upheavals after the death of her sister lead to the guardianship of her orphaned and surly thirteen-year-old nephew, Leo. Her cad of a boyfriend wanted no part of that and promptly departed, leaving an additional gap in her life, although that one was a definite improvement. Leo’s self-harming and problem behaviors became of mounting concern, resulting in a change of scenery and new school environment, so why not toss in a few additional transitions with a move from urban London to a small beach village on the Cornwall coast and a new job working in a friend’s beach shop, which just so happened to blossom into a brilliant plan - although they had to work the kinks out first.
New additions to my Brit Vocab List include the comical entries of “tatty-bye” (a form of farewell coined by a comedian) and “get knotted,” which according to Mr. Google is, “a rude way to tell someone to go away,” I plan to use and abuse that one with the pesky phone scammers who so desperately want to talk to me about the viruses on my computer…
Born and raised in Essex, England, Beth Good was whisked away to an island tax haven at the age of eleven to attend an exclusive public school and rub shoulders with the rich and famous. Sadly, she never became rich or famous herself, so had to settle for infamy as a writer of dubious novels. She writes under several different names, mainly to avoid confusing her readers - and herself! As Beth Good, she writes romantic comedy and feel-good fiction. She also writes thrillers as Jane Holland, historicals as Victoria Lamb and Elizabeth Moss, and feel-good fiction as Hannah Coates.
Beth currently lives in the West Country where she spends a great deal of time thinking romantic thoughts while staring out of her window at sheep. (These two actions are unrelated.)
You can find her most days on Twitter as @BethGoodWriter where she occasionally indulges in pointless banter about chocolate making and the Great British Bake Off. Due to a basic inability to say no, she has too many children and not enough money, which means she needs as many readers as she can get.
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