Ocean Beach by Wendy Wax

Ocean Beach by Wendy Wax reunites readers with Madeline Singer, Avery Lawford, and Nicole Grant on another renovation adventure in South Beach, Miami.  When you don’t know what the house looks like or have its address, but the Lifetime network comes calling for a pilot of Do Over, the cash-strapped friends have little choice but to accept, hoping for reboot to their lives and careers.  Kyra, Deidre, Giraldi, and Chase return as well.

“Avery’s hands tightened on the wheel.  She knew the sinking sensation in her stomach had nothing to do with the dizzying height of the bridge, but everything to do with fear of the fall.”  (Page 19)

From Bella Flora in Ten Beach Road (my review), the women became not only friends, but a YouTube sensation.  Their latest project in Ocean Beach is The Millicent, which is owned by an aging comedian, Max Golden, who has dealt with a heavy loss for many years.  Max is wildly eccentric, but fun, and he takes a shine to the girls and their crew.  Meanwhile, the girls are constantly at odds with the crew from Lifetime that was an unexpected and unwelcome surprise.

As the ladies mix it up with renovation, they are still remaking their lives after losing everything in Malcolm Dyer’s Ponzi scheme, and they are still struggling to rebuild their familial relationships.  Wax also throws in some suspense and a mystery to keep readers turning the pages.  It’s not all fun in the Miami heat as the paparazzi returns when movie star Daniel Deranian re-enters Kyra’s life.  Wax is great at describing the Florida coasts, architecture, and Art Deco homes, making the setting almost a character unto itself.

“Like a patient on an operating table, The Millicent lay open, her guts spilling out, her innermost self put on display.  The kitchen had been stripped down to walls, floors, and windows.  They were down to one bathroom for however long it took to replace miles of rusted galvanized iron pipe and reconfigure an equal amount of cast iron.  Because they were trying to preserve rather than rip out existing walls, tiles, tubs, showers, and sinks, it often took an excruciating amount of time to move a pipe as little as ten feet.”  (page 243)

Even the house begins to stand in as a metaphor for the women who are bared to public view and raw, and as the house is resurfaced and put together, so too are the women.  Maddie must use her new strength to find her backbone where her marriage is concerned and learn to care for herself as well as others.  Nicole must learn to rely on others rather than go-it-alone all the time, just as Avery must learn the same and to forgive past transgressions.  Ocean Beach by Wendy Wax is a great summer read that will take readers to the beach, show them what it means to come together, and triumph over the most harsh circumstances even without creature comforts.

About the Author:

Award-winning author Wendy Wax has written eight novels, including Ocean Beach, Ten Beach Road, Magnolia Wednesdays, the Romance Writers of America RITA Award finalist The Accidental Bestseller, Leave It to Cleavage, Single in Suburbia and 7 Days and 7 Nights, which was honored with the Virginia Romance Writers Holt Medallion Award. Her work has sold to publishers in ten countries and to the Rhapsody Book Club, and her novel, Hostile Makeover, was excerpted in Cosmopolitan magazine.

A St. Pete Beach, Florida native, Wendy has lived in Atlanta for fifteen years. A voracious reader, her enjoyment of language and storytelling led her to study journalism at the University of Georgia. She also studied in Italy through Florida State University, is a graduate of the University of South Florida, and worked at WEDU-TV and WDAE-Radio in Tampa.


  1. I’m liking this one but wonder if I shouldn’t have read TEN BEACH ROAD first!

  2. I loved Ten Beach Road…perfect summer read with strong female characters and a piece of the Florida I love. And I just started this one. I couldn’t wait to catch up with the ladies again. And like Kathy, I love Wendy from the bottom of my heart. She is first class.

    • I really loved Ten Beach Road. I passed it on to my mom when I was done, and I loved this one as well. I cannot wait to share my copy of Ocean Beach with my mom too.

  3. No disrespect to the author but her name… sounds made up! LOL.

    This SCREAMS chick lit to me, but I like home renovation shows. I’d read it for that reason alone.

    • It is chicklit, but in the best way. I love renovation shows and this really feeds into that obsession for me. These characters are just great.

  4. I’ve never read this author, but I think I should start.

  5. I want to read this soon – I love Wendy Wax!