Is it hot where you are? The temperatures lately have been consistently in the 101-105 range and that made it a really good time for me to read Summer Breeze by Nancy Thayer, a free book for review from Librarything. I was looking for an excellent summer beach read that would take my mind off of the impending heat and the inability of the air conditioner anywhere but Wal-Mart to keep up with the oppression of the sun. Seriously, where do they get their air conditioning? I need to get some of that. Unfortunately, Summer Breeze was a summer bummer. Ideally, this novel would be about three women who discover each other at the beach and celebrate their differences and talents. Instead it turned into a catty women in heat novel that made me really disappointed that anyone would consider what they had as friendship.

Bella is a martyr of a daughter who has come home to take over her family shop and instead decides to turn it into an antique and art shop. Throughout the book she struggles with knowing if she loves her fiance because…he might take a job in San Fransisco. Really? I mean, he could have leprosy and I can see how that presents a challenge but his dreams are somewhere else and you want to run your shop here? Clearly, I’m not sympathetic to the characters in the novel. Morgan, a new stay at home mom and former scientist presents as unrealistic and insensitive to the demands on her husband as he goes to bring home the bacon and ultimately I think most modern women would just ask her why she didn’t hire an interior decorator and a babysitter and go back to work instead of trying to sabotage her marriage? Sometimes the answer really is that simple. And Natalie…well, she’s a confused artist because aren’t all artists confused?

If I sound patronizing it’s because I’m being patronizing. I disliked how cookie cutter the novel was from start to finish. People are more dynamic than this. The only characters I liked were Bella’s parents. You just cannot pit three protagonists against each other for the four men in the novel and expect it to fly. The ending was trite and I couldn’t finish it quickly enough. I rarely give bad reviews, but I wouldn’t read this one again. It was hard enough to finish the first time. Thayer has better writing in her.