Cocoa Beach

The New York Times bestselling author of A Certain Age transports readers to sunny Florida in this lush and enthralling historical novel—an enchanting blend of love, suspense, betrayal, and redemption set among the rumrunners and scoundrels of Prohibition-era Cocoa Beach.

Burdened by a dark family secret, Virginia Fortescue flees her oppressive home in New York City for the battlefields of World War I France. While an ambulance driver for the Red Cross, she meets a charismatic British army surgeon whose persistent charm opens her heart to the possibility of love. As the war rages, Virginia falls into a passionate affair with the dashing Captain Simon Fitzwilliam, only to discover that his past has its own dark secrets—secrets that will damage their eventual marriage and propel her back across the Atlantic to the sister and father she left behind.

Five years later, in the early days of Prohibition, the newly widowed Virginia Fitzwilliam arrives in the tropical boomtown of Cocoa Beach, Florida, to settle her husband’s estate. Despite the evidence, Virginia does not believe Simon perished in the fire that destroyed the seaside home he built for her and their young daughter. Separated from her husband since the early days of their marriage, the headstrong Virginia plans to uncover the truth, for the sake of the daughter Simon never met.

Simon’s brother and sister welcome her with open arms and introduce her to a dazzling new world of citrus groves, white beaches, bootleggers, and Prohibition agents. But Virginia senses a predatory presence lurking beneath the irresistible, hedonistic surface of this coastal oasis. The more she learns about Simon and his mysterious business interests, the more she fears that the dangers that surrounded Simon now threaten her and their daughter’s life as well.

My Review

I have read several books from this author and enjoyed them. Yet, this book did not have the same passion of the characters and the storyline that I have come to enjoy from this author.

Yes, I liked Virginia and Simon. Despite the age gap, they were good together. Part of the reason that they worked well together is because Virginia acted more mature for her age. Additionally, I gravitated towards her independence. The only flaw I had towards Virginia is that she did not give Simon more of a chance. He was not perfect but he really loved Virginia. The letters that he wrote to Virginia made him more endearing to me.

I wished that I could have stayed in the past. The present was a bore to me; despite the mystery surrounding Simon's death. Try as I might, I could not connect with the rest of Simon's family. The mystery was fine but lacking in intrigue. Every time that the story switched to the present, I was not a fan. In fact, there was a few times where I would skip just to get back to the past. This book is not one of my favorites from this author.


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