Chocolate Beach

Chocolate Beach

3.8 25
by Julie Carobini
     
 

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"Witty beach read ... hits the spot," Publisher's Weekly. E-book is the Recipe & Bonus Content Edition.

Bri Stone has the man of her dreams, a surf-ridin' son, a chocolate-loving best friend, and a job as a Southern California tour bus host. Throw in an intrusive mother-in-law, a flirty new boss, a vocal nemesis, and suspicions that her husband might be…  See more details below

Overview

"Witty beach read ... hits the spot," Publisher's Weekly. E-book is the Recipe & Bonus Content Edition.

Bri Stone has the man of her dreams, a surf-ridin' son, a chocolate-loving best friend, and a job as a Southern California tour bus host. Throw in an intrusive mother-in-law, a flirty new boss, a vocal nemesis, and suspicions that her husband might be bored--and Bri's rose-colored sunglasses suddenly crack.

Can Bri reinvent herself--and recapture his heart?

Editorial Reviews

bookloons.com
Chocolate Beach is a fun mom-lit style novel. Bri's character is interesting .... one definitely appreciates her attitude and the way she is living her life .... the plot is engaging and readers will be able to relate to Bri's desire to improve her marriage and hopefully her life. The spiritual message is present but not overpowering and readers will appreciate the subtle approach. This is the author's fiction debut, and I hope we will see additional books from her in the future.
—Melissa Parcel
ck2skwipsandkritiques.com
Chocolate Beach is a fun, quirky, read that is perfect for a sunny day-whether on the beach or off. Julie Carobini's debut novel is full of energy and a fun-loving style that will warm your heart. With a vibrant cast of characters and humorous episodes, Chocolate Beach is the kind of poignant story that worms its way into your heart .... a fabulous story that teaches us to live life to the fullest, confident in the unique way that God made us.
—Cindy Mealer
roadtoromance.ca
From this book I learned to share my concerns with my husband, unlike Brianna who did not at the beginning. The book was also fun and just an easy read. It seemed like I was just reading about friends of mine and spending time with them.
—Kristy Pelletier
Amy Loos
What I enjoyed most about Chocolate Beach was author Carobini's ability to make me feel as if I was reading about one of my own best friends. Bri Stone is a character who, like her flip-flops may be a little tattered around the edges but are well loved. Bri is a character who isn't afraid to call on the Lord in order to face the challenges laid before her. In fact if challenges means making more brownies, then Bri's mantra could easily be, "bring on the problems."

Chocolate Beach is an absolutely delightful read and could easily become every woman's guide on how to handle some of life's problems...God, family, best friends and best of all, brownies!
armchairinterviews.com

RomanceDesigns.com
A fun read from beginning to end, the cast of characters felt remarkably like lifelong friends. Never a dull moment, author Julie Carobini has penned a charming debut novel in Chocolate Beach.
Christian Book Previews.com
Chocolate Beach is the perfect poolside novel; actually it is the perfect anywhere novel. It is a book about friendship and love, about discovering the "you" God designed you to be. It is a fun, fast read that will leave you craving chocolate for weeks.
—Brandi Webster
Publishers Weekly

Brianna Stone has an idyllic life. She lives in a comfortable beach home in Ventura, Calif., with her handsome, loving husband, Douglas, and improbably mature 13-year-old son, Nathan. She loves her part-time job leading coastal bus tours and has a lifelong best friend with whom she can talk about everything while eating brownies on the beach. Unfortunately, first-time author Carobini never quite manages to give Brianna any real problems, and, as such, this novel's plot is wispy. Perplexingly, despite her happiness and groundedness, Brianna decides one day, based purely on the comments of an unpleasant acquaintance, that her life might need a makeover. She fears, for reasons that never actually compel the reader, that her husband is bored and wants a more stylish home and wife. While Carobini's descriptions of events and characters are often witty and engaging, the series of misunderstandings that she substitutes for actual problems give the novel a contrived feel. Interestingly, Brianna does have some underlying issues, including a difficult childhood and infertility, but these go largely unexplored. Brianna and most of the people in her life are Christians, and at the end, Brianna realizes many of her problems stem from having neglected God. While this superficiality may disappoint some readers, those looking for a light, occasionally witty beach read may find that it hits the spot. (Feb.)

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CWAHM.com - Jill Hart
"Carobini takes readers on a journey through Bri's insecurities & assumptions. As Brianna finds her place in God's eyes she's able to find peace. Carobini's stream of conscience writing style gives readers the chance to experience life through Bri's eyes. Strong writing and character depth keeps the reader interested. Numerable mentions of brownies will make you the reader long for chocolate. Maybe the perfect way to relax is to have both. :)"--(Jill Hart, CWAHM.com)
faithfulreader.com - W. Terry Whalin
"Readers will be delighted by the author's use of snappy dialogue and fast-moving scenes. Her characters leap off the pages and are modeled after people who you probably know (and even if you don't, they still are incredibly believable). Chocolate Beach is an excellent book that I highly recommend. Let's hope we won't need to wait too long for Carobini's sophomore effort to be released." --(W. Terry Whalin, faithfulreader.com)
armchairinterviews.com - Amy Loos
What I enjoyed most about Chocolate Beach was author Carobini's ability to make me feel as if I was reading about one of my own best friends. Bri Stone is a character who, like her flip-flops may be a little tattered around the edges but are well loved. Bri is a character who isn't afraid to call on the Lord in order to face the challenges laid before her. In fact if challenges means making more brownies, then Bri's mantra could easily be, "bring on the problems."

Chocolate Beach is an
Jill Hart
"Carobini takes readers on a journey through Bri's insecurities & assumptions. As Brianna finds her place in God's eyes she's able to find peace. Carobini's stream of conscience writing style gives readers the chance to experience life through Bri's eyes. Strong writing and character depth keeps the reader interested. Numerable mentions of brownies will make you the reader long for chocolate. Maybe the perfect way to relax is to have both. :)"--(Jill Hart, CWAHM.com)
W. Terry Whalin
"Readers will be delighted by the author's use of snappy dialogue and fast-moving scenes. Her characters leap off the pages and are modeled after people who you probably know (and even if you don't, they still are incredibly believable). Chocolate Beach is an excellent book that I highly recommend. Let's hope we won't need to wait too long for Carobini's sophomore effort to be released." --(W. Terry Whalin, faithfulreader.com)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780764202612
Publisher:
Bethany House Publishers
Publication date:
02/28/2007
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.00(d)

What People are saying about this

"Carobini takes readers on a journey through Bri's insecurities & assumptions. As Brianna finds her place in God's eyes she's able to find peace. Carobini's stream of conscience writing style gives readers the chance to experience life through Bri's eyes. Strong writing and character depth keeps the reader interested. Numerable mentions of brownies will make you the reader long for chocolate. Maybe the perfect way to relax is to have both. :)"--(Jill Hart, CWAHM.com)
W. Terry Whalin
"Readers will be delighted by the author's use of snappy dialogue and fast-moving scenes. Her characters leap off the pages and are modeled after people who you probably know (and even if you don't, they still are incredibly believable). Chocolate Beach is an excellent book that I highly recommend. Let's hope we won't need to wait too long for Carobini's sophomore effort to be released."--(W. Terry Whalin, faithfulreader.com)

Meet the Author

Julie Carobini is an award-winning writer whose stories often spotlight her family, the sea, and God's timely work in the lives of those around her. She has written more than a hundred articles for all kinds of publications, including Focus on the Family, Decision, Discipleship Journal, Aspire, Catholic Parent, Beliefnet.com and many others. Julie lives near the beach in Southern California, with her husband, Dan, and their three children. Chocolate Beach is her first novel.

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Chocolate Beach 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
MrsMcB More than 1 year ago
I bought this book for cheap on my way to the beach. This book does not disappoint. However, I felt I would enjoy the book more in a few years when I could relate more, as I am fairly young and do not have any children. However, I still found myself involved in the book and wanting to know what would happen next. I was really happy with the book and would recommend it to any woman.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'll admit, I'm a chocoholic, so I was first drawn to this book by the title and cover. But from the very first page, I was hooked by the story. Bri Stone is a woman I completely relate to. Bri loves her family and has a great life. But she's also got that little voice in her head, the one that asks 'Am I good enough?' When Bri decides she needs to remodel not only her home, but herself, the results are hilarious, and touching. Who among us hasn't thought that a new hairstyle or wardrobe might make everything better? I know I have. Carobini's writing style is warm and breezy, like an afternoon at the beach. She does a wonderful job evoking the mood and feeling of seaside life. You can tell how much she loves the beach herself, because it shines so passionately through Bri. As for chocolate, well, my only complaint about this book is that I kept wanting to run out and buy some! And after reading about chocolate chili, silky chocolate soup and chocolate-cherry fondue, I was really sad there weren't recipes at the end. But that's probably for the best? Bethany House, my hips thank you for the lack of recipes! If you're looking for a fun book that will make you feel good all over, grab a copy of Chocolate Beach!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was a nice relaxing book to read, you can pick up or put down anytime without taking away from the book.
Kathy Mikulski More than 1 year ago
Really enjoyed this book. Fun easy read.
Anonymous 26 days ago
To many times I read christian romance and it is kind of weak. It was wonderful to read this story and laugh too. Wonderful writing, now I'm off to the next book. (Which is inexpensive. Very nice and unusual.)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a very heartwarming story that made me want to continue reading and not put it down. The third in this series was just as great as the previous ones.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed the story. Just one thing, Tammy Wynette sang "D I V O R C E", not Dolly Parton.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a fun read and I will look forward to reading the next books as I can afford them. If you want a wholesome book I recommend this one.
AuntMaryMJ More than 1 year ago
It was ok, kind of a flat storyline. I ketp waitng for something to happen.
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katia60 More than 1 year ago
Haven't had time to read this one yet.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The story justhat drags along. I finally skipped to the end for the expected ending. It could have been a fun short story. Too bad it wasn't.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was dumped in the first chapter. Characters we horrible. Thank goodness this was free!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
In Julie Carobine¿s debut novel, Chocolate Beach, readers and fans of chick-lit are entertained in delicious fashion! With protagonist Bri Stone, the quintessential California beach girl now grown up and married with a life of her own, having doubts about her successful husband and the otherwise ¿perfect¿ life they shared with their teenage son, the wind and waves of this So Cal novel will captivate the reader from first page to last.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Bri Stone's blissful fourteen-year marriage to Mr. Incredibly Handsome Douglas has suddenly drifted into murky waters. Friends are dropping hints that Douglas is looking rather 'too single' lately while zipping around Ventura in his new sports car. Bri longs to ignore her friends' concerns, but Douglas has been missing their dinner dates and keeping unusually long work hours at the law office. To further muddy the marital waters, Bri has found evidence that Douglas is shopping for a new home, without discussing the matter with her. Is Douglas becoming bored with Bri's carefree ways and with their beach-kitsch-deco oceanside home? When Bri is unable to confront Douglas about the state of their marriage, due to schedule conflicts and illness, she decides to polish her casual image and her beloved house to regain her husband's interest. As friends, relatives, and a new boss advise, patronize, and sympathize with her efforts, Bri frequently consoles herself by eating delectably described brownies on the beach¿leaving this winter-bound reader happily soaking up the sunny descriptions, while being tempted to wake the family by baking brownies at midnight. Bri, where is the recipe? Author Julie Carobini's characters are lovingly described and the well-paced plot balances humor, lessons in faith, and some gently explored sorrows, making Chocolate Beach a delightful read. Enjoy!
Deborah_K More than 1 year ago
Brianna is a beach loving tour guide who is also a happily married mother. She doesn't always see eye to eye with her mother in law, but being with her chocolate loving best friend Gaby makes up for that. Bri thinks she's been living a pretty good life and thinks that her husband would agree with her. But then she starts to worry about her husband being away constantly from his home because of his job, sees him with his young coworker, and finds an email about selling the house. Dealing with her new boss and with a friend who keeps putting her down starts to put a strain onBri . She decides a complete change is needed and puts both the house and her own self in extreme makeover mode. However she realizes that if this is what is needed to keep her husband, she'll soon lose herself in the process. I really had a great time reading this book. Bri was such a great character to get to know, and she was very likable and you can easily relate to her. You can understand why she does what she does and why she felt like she had to change. I loved that she's a chocoholic and I enjoyed the bit about the chocolate class, the chocolate chili sounds really good. The setting of the book was great as I too am a beach lover. I could hear the ocean and see the sun reflecting off the sand as I read the book. Reading this book took me away from the yucky cold here and into the warm beach surroundings. I also was glad that whileBri's mother-in-law could be annoying and pushy at times, she wasn't evil. Other books have portrayed the daughter in law losing every single battle and never being good enough for her husband's mom. While Mona was difficult to please at times, she andBri could stand to be in a room without killing each other. The Kate issue, however, I felt seemed a little forced at times and I felt she was really rude even though she eventually made up with Bri. Gaby would be such a great friend to have and I hope that there will be another book involving her story. This is Julie Carobini's first novel and I have definitely become a fan. Chocolate Beach in running for one of the best books of 2007 for me. (And I love that cover!) I'm looking forward towards her next book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is a fresh breath of air in the mom-lit genre. It starts with a classic chick-lit scene. Guy meets girl, who is a crazy barista. They fall in love even though they are extreme opposites. Fast forward about fifteen years to the first chapter. That young man is now an attorney who rarely makes it home, and Bri wonders if it's her. Have their differences finally reached the point where they've driven them apart? Maybe the pressures of being the parents of a teenager are too much for them? Could there be someone else coming between them? The rest of the book frolics through her attempts to change and recapture her husband's attention. Some of her attempts are more successful than others, which left me groaning even as I knew I¿d try the same things. Throughout it's a fun read. This is the author's first book, and it has a light, fun voice. I don¿t read a lot of mom-lit, I guess I¿d call it, but I loved the voice! Bri is a fun character and someone that I imagine I¿d love as a best friend. The whackiness in her life is fairly true to life but just enough away from mine to make it fun to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The overall storyline was good, albeit a little long winded. I liked the clean and Christian read, however I kept finding mistakes. One or two I can overlook, but it seemed like atleast one in each chapter. I'm curious of Bri, Doug and Gaby's future though, just hoping the editing is better in the second and third books.