Book Review: The Inn at Pelican Beach by Michele Gilcrest

Posted May 23, 2022 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Book Review: The Inn at Pelican Beach by Michele Gilcrest

I received this book for free from my own shelves in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Inn at Pelican Beach by Michele Gilcrest
Genres: Cozy Romance
Published by Author on July 3, 2020
Pages: 140
Format: eBook
Source: my own shelves

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First in the Pelican Beach cozy romance series and revolving around the Matthews family. The couple focus is on Payton Matthews and Cole Miller.

My Take

It’s a sweet story that is so stilted in the writing that I almost couldn’t finish it. I plugged on, but I won’t be continuing in this series, as much as I enjoy the concept and characters.

Most of the tension is between the sisters with a bit cropping up with Payton’s paranoia about men cheating. Yeah, it’s fair that she’d be sensitive, but then there is overly sensitive, which could have been improved with a more realistic tension.

What is with that weird segue into the blush pink maxi dress? I thought I’d missed a chunk of text. What was the point of Jack showing up? What is his last name?

Gilcrest primarily uses first person protagonist point-of-view from Payton’s perspective, which is how we learn about Payton’s passion for photography. Gilcrest does a beautiful description of that passion. Very nice.

Gilcrest uses far too many info dumps. Oh, they’re not the usual dumps, just laid out there. Instead the characters dump the info, sounding like they’re reading off a script. What the hell? It works so much better when you incorporate the info as part of the story. As for her erratic use of honorifics, oy. Ya might wanna look into “Peak vs Peek vs Peke vs Pique“, other capitalization issues as well, and “Yore vs You’re vs Your“.

I know, I’m whining about too much description and now I’m going to whine about not enough. It’s all because the characters are dumping information rather than Gilcrest incorporating the background info and descriptions in with the story. Don’t keep telling us how Payton dresses, show us. Make the dialogue between the sisters more realistic when Abby trashes Payton’s dress sense. When telling us about Payton’s day with room inventory, housekeeping, and order forms, turn it into a show instead. Have some interaction with other employees. Get the reader invested in the drama about to befall the inn. All this tell is not pulling me in nor wanting to know what will happen in Sunsets at Pelican Beach. I just don’t care.

The Story

Newly divorced, Payton Matthews moves back home, planning to pull her life back together, and helping with her parents’ business.

Then an unexpected opportunity arises and challenges Payton’s expectations.

The Characters

Forty-two-year-old Payton Matthews is newly divorced from Jack and intends to start up her photography business here.

Cole Miller runs a business, Pelican Renovations. His wife, Laura, died and he’s raising their daughter, Emmie, by himself with help from his widowed mother, Alice. His dad, Frank, died some years ago. Martha is the receptionist. Christen is Cole’s cousin whose wedding to Jacob hit a snag.

The Inn at Pelican Beach is . . .
. . . the family business in an upscale area. Helen, a.k.a. Gram, and William Matthews are their parents who made a success of the inn. Abby is one of Payton’s sisters and married to Wyatt, a lawyer. They have two children, Maggie and Aidan. Rebecca, a.k.a. Becca, is their single sister, a successful lawyer with issues. Susan is a long-time, unthinking friend; Ross is her husband.

Staff includes Shelby in Housekeeping and Nancy who works the front desk. Paul is the new confused accountant. Guests include Jonathan and Samantha Mitchell.

Claire owns Claire’s Fashion. The Cove is a new restaurant in town. David Thompson will be the new, insensitive owner. Carol and Charles Donovan have a daughter, Lexi, who helps her snarky mother at her boutique.

The Cover and Title

I don’t think the artist read the book as the cover doesn’t ring any bells for me. Sure, it’s gorgeous. A peaceful blue sky with dreamy clouds over a a multi-story white beach house at the top of a cliff with waves crashing against the rocks below. There is no easy way down this cliff so how anyone in the Matthews or Miller family gets to the beach, I dunno. Well, there’s no beach to get to, so I guess that’s a moot point. At the very top is the series info in a deep red with the title floating around the roof of the house in the same red. At the bottom of the cover is the author’s name in white.

The title is literal, as the story takes place at The Inn at Pelican Beach.

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