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Jane Pearson has come to Crescent Cover to help Griffin Lowell get back on track – he’s writing a memoir about the year he spent embedded with a troop in Afghanistan.  She needs this assignment to go well, after her last one ended with her reputation tarnished.  When she’s told he’s cut off all communication with friends and family, Jane expects to find a hermit, alone and holed up in his beach cabin.  Instead she finds a very loud and lively party.  Griffin uses any and all distractions to help him forget his time at war and the last thing he needs is for Jane to push him to write about it.  But when Jane starts infiltrating other parts of Griffin’s life too, she may prove too difficult to ignore.

Beach House No. 9 officially kicks off Christie Ridgway’s new Crescent Beach series (although there was a prequel novella called Beach House Beginnings that is fantastic) and it is a sexy, emotional roller coaster.   Jane is smart, quirky and dedicated.  Being a book doctor, she needs to be part English major and part psychologist, but she has a few issues of her own.  The year in the Middle East left some very obvious scars on Griffin, but, as with many difficult things, it is easier to ignore them than to face them.  His adjustment to life after his return stateside is realistic of many who have spent time in a war zone.  Ridgway also gives readers tidbits about the future stories and there’s an extra treat – a side story about Griffin’s sister, Tessa, and the possible demise of her marriage that is just as engaging as the main plot.

As always, Ridgway does a fantastic job of bringing to life complex, conflicted characters – full of deep emotions, heartache and joy.  Seeing them work through their issues and come out the other side was very satisfying, and I’m eagerly looking forward to the rest of the series:  Bungalow Nights due 2/26 and The Love Shack due 3/26.