by Sheila Roberts
Moonlight Harbor - Book 7
Release Date: April 25, 2023
Reviewed by PJ
Bonnie Brinks and her all-woman band, The Mermaids, are the pride of Moonlight Harbor. They’re the house band at The Drunken Sailor, and that’s just the right amount of fame for Bonnie. A lifetime ago, she went to Nashville to make it big, but she returned home with a broken heart and broken dreams. Now she’s got a comfortable life and a brilliant daughter, Avril, who plays for The Mermaids alongside Bonnie and Bonnie’s mother, Loretta.
Avril has big dreams of her own. Her life in Moonlight Harbor is good—she loves singing and playing guitar with The Mermaids, and she has the sweetest, most loyal boyfriend a girl could ask for—but it all feels so…small. She can’t help wondering if there’s something more out there for her. And she doesn’t understand why her mom won’t support her going to Nashville to find out.
Meanwhile, Bonnie threw in the towel on her love life long ago, but Loretta sure hasn’t. She’s determined to be swept off her feet, and she wants the same for her daughter. When the hunky new owner of The Drunken Sailor turns the tables on the band and Avril announces she’s leaving Moonlight Harbor, Bonnie’s comfortable life seems to be drifting away. Will these three generations of Mermaids find their happy endings on the Washington coast? Or will the change in the winds leave them all shipwrecked?
I've read every book in Sheila Roberts' Moonlight Harbor series. Mermaid Beach is my favorite. I laughed, cried, sighed, and laughed some more. These characters were so easy to root for and all three Brinks women - at various crossroads in their lives - took me on a satisfying, heart-tugging journey I wouldn't have wanted to miss.
The multi-generation family dynamics in this book are realistic and very relatable. Roberts has created these women in such a way that I was able to identify with daughter, mother, and grandmother as well as the challenges looming in each of their lives. I loved their bond, the complexity of their family relationships, and the growth of each of their characters as they stepped out of their comfort zones and forged unexpected paths to new adventures, love, and happiness.
The musical nods in the book - both onstage and behind the scenes - had me tapping my toes and singing along while the scenes in Moonlight Harbor as well as those in Nashville lend an undeniable air of authenticity to the characters' experiences.
Citizens of Moonlight Harbor float in and out of the story, adding texture and richness to the book without taking attention from the main characters. For fans of the series, it's always fun to catch up with a character from an earlier book but for those readers new to Moonlight Harbor, Mermaid Beach is a great place to jump in without feeling lost or confused.
If you're looking for a heart-tugging story of three generations of women with complex, relatable family dynamics, chasing dreams at a variety of ages, humor, emotional depth, romance, and hard-won, happy endings, I highly recommend Sheila Roberts' Mermaid Beach. It's a wonderful book to add to your summer reading list.