This is a follow-up to Beach Road but is easily read as a stand-alone. Wax does a wonderful job of carrying new readers into the story and all the many characters she juggles so well. The women are very sympathetic and readers will want their success, even as some are, at least temporarily, making the wrong choices. The plot raises both questions and deep emotions to keep readers racing to the end to find out what happens to them all.
A group of women arrive in Miami’s South Beach to restore a grand historic house for a restoration TV show. They all need a success, having suffered financial and emotional setbacks in their lives. Nicole had been a very successful matchmaker for the wealthy until her financial planner brother cheated her clients out of their riches. Maddie’s unemployed husband resents her taking this job. Her daughter Kyra will be there with her young son by a famous — and married — film star. Avery worked on an earlier show where she became the “pretty girl” despite her talent and experience. With her is her mother, who deserted the family and now wants Avery's affection. To make everything worse, they all arrive at the project to discover their every move will be recorded by the television network, which has changed the emphasis of the show from restoration to reality TV. (BERKLEY, Jul., 448 pp., $15.00)