Book Review: "Cottage By the Sea" by Carole Matthews

By: Carole Matthews


I almost contemplated NOT reviewing this book.  Only because it wasn't that long ago that I wrote another review on Carole Matthew's books.  You see, I don't know if I'm the ONLY reader who reads this way, but I tend to read one book by an author and get stuck on wanting to read EVERYTHING they've written.  I know, possibly not the best strategy for a "would-be" blogger.  But, it's the truth.

Ok.  For those who know nothing about me and just glanced through the books I've reviewed, would probably think I'm from the UK as my books I review tend to almot all be UK written books.  I cannot describe in words the magic that these UK authors have.  I tend to harp on a few often, but there are quite literally a ton of incredibly fascinating and truly amazing UK authors.  

Carole Matthews is definitely one of them!  With the recent release (In UK) "The Christmas Party on Amazon", Carole Matthews now has 25 books to date.  Clearly, she's doing something right.  Unlike some of her contemporaries, she tends to be a bit more well known in the states.  I can't count the number of times I've found her books in local book stores.

Most authors have a formula and their books can feel a tad similar.  But, I have to say that the books that I have read of Ms. Matthews honestly tend to only have her as the common thread.  Each book feels totally new and different.  Yet, each is wonderful in their own way.  I think it really is incredible to write such a wide array of books with each one feeling different than the last.  I do hope you know what I mean.  Sometimes I feel as if I'm not getting my point across very well.


UK authors tend to write the best books with friendship as a theme.  The Brits truly get how important female bonds are, or at least their books seem to suggest they do...

In "Cottage By the Sea", we meet Grace, Ella and Flick.  They all met at uni and have been friends ever since.  They decide to reunite at Ella's parent's holiday cottage for a fun-filled holiday.  I don't think things are going to go anywhere near what any of them expect...

First we meet Grace who is married to Harry.  She and Harry have been married now for I believe seven years.  As such they appear to be going through and I quote " seven-year" slump.  They seem to rarely speak and just don't seem to be on the same page anymore.  Grace is hoping that this "holiday" will help them to rekindle their passion / flame that seems to be mellowing out or is non-existent.  What she doesn't know is there is much more to their relationship than meets the eye..

Ella, whom is playing hostess during this holiday, is herself going through some things.  She's been with Art now for quite some time, but she too is feeling that they are at different ends of the spectrum.  Excited with being reuinted with her two closest friends, she tries to put her own troubles to bed while maintaining a happy facade.  However, life is funny and sometimes reality is too overpowering to ignore.  Ella will have to face a lot during this holiday and make some choicecs and decide what it is exactly that she wants out of life.

Flick.  Flick is a character alright.  With a past that still haunts her, she's been trying to numb her pain with an endless parade of conquests.  She's played the "party girl" part to a tee.  However, lately she's started taking an inventory of her life and has found shes' lacking the essential things in life, like a soulmate, and family.  She's somewhat at a war with herself.  She is definitely a tad haphazard.  With a dreadful past and a secret, it's no wonder that she finds herself turning to drink quite often.  How many of us find ways to numb the pain when our reality is too overwhelming to face head on?


Oh men....  They are sometimes the bain of our existence.  We love to love and to hate them.  Carole Matthews definitely delivers us some juicy characters we would love to choke.

Harry, Grace's husband, is more than a tad moody.  He at times seems like an overgrown spoiled child who has to have their way.  Although, they don't speak about it, it's clear that Harry is a little too fond of a recreational drink or two or three or....  It's clear that Harry is unhappy, but what is it that he wants?  Things may just come to a boiling point on this what's supposed to be a relaxing "Vacay"

Art.  Art is a fun character, he is in the music industry and has lead a definitely fun filled life of adventure.  He loves his wife, but he also loves the wild life that the entertainment industry provides.  He seems to act as a buffer a lot for Harry, who can at times be irkish.  He is a man though, and as such is completely blind to the changes in Ella recently.  He knows that she's falling in love with the "Cottage by the Sea", but he has no clue just how many changes are currently going on with Ella.  They will find themselves at a turning point during this holiday.

Noah Reeves.  Kinda a last minute addition to the group and clearly unsuspecting.  What he believes is just a nice little getaway with Flick, someone he's known for a brief period of time, turns into a very wild and crazy holiday.  He's the stranger amongst them all, yet finds himself thrown in the mix of all of the chaos that ensues during this holiday.  Yet, even Noah will be forever changed after his visit to the "Cottage by the Sea".

I absolutely devoured this book.  I enjoyed all of the characters and the crazy plots they each had.  Each of their storylines were cleverly developed.  This was a book about friendship, true love, and change and letting go.  I truly enjoyed each and every bit of this book.  There aren't many times that a book can shock me, but even this book had a few twists and turns that I didn't see coming  Which, I ALWAYS appreciate it!

Carole Matthews really outdid herself with this book. I love the way she was able to layer the women's unique stories together and build on them, it had you breathless and hungry for more.  You wanted to know where each woman was going to end up.  I laughed, I got mad and I cried.  With multi-storylined books, you get to really know each of the character's more intimately than when you just have supporting characters.  Each of these were main character's in their own right.  I loved the way she ended each of their storylines!

I cannot wait to read my next Carole Matthew's book.  I know as a blogger, I should be more diversified perhaps in the reviews I publish, but I tend to gravitate to the genre's that I love.  It's really hard for me to "get into" a book that isn't in a genre that I already love.

If you've never read any of Carole Matthew's books, I urge you to do so!  You can find many of her books, including this one, for under $5!!  With Kindle Unlimited ($9.99 a month / FREE Trial) many of her books are free!  So, I really urge you to give her a try today!

Carole Matthew's Books

A Cottage By The Sea

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