Book Review - Seaside Embrace (Love in Bloom / Seaside) by Melissa Foster

"After working hard all day creating his beautiful metal sculptures, sinfully sexy Hunter Lacroux likes to unwind with a hot, sexy babe–or two. But after spending a handful of naughty nights with seductive and beautiful Jana Garner, the woman who challenges everything he does and says, Hunter wants more.

As a dancer, boxer, actress, and waitress, Jana is tough, organized, and as dedicated as she is committed. She has to be to maintain her crazy schedule. But when it comes to men, Jana’s had a string of bad relationships, and there’s only thing she’ll commit to–not committing.
White-hot passion ignites every time Jana and Hunter are together, but the closer Hunter gets, the faster Jana runs. When Hunter lays on the charm, Jana throws out a challenge she’s sure he can’t meet, and Hunter steps up to the plate, forcing her to face her hurtful past or let go of him forever."


Jenn is off having a well deserved vacation, so the task of reviewing Melissa Foster's newest book in the Love in Bloom series falls to yours truly.

Seaside Embrace brings into focus Jana, a 25-year-old hot mess of a dance instructor, and Hunter, a tall dark unicorn of a man who has the heart of an artist and craftsman and owns his own business making custom iron work with his brother.  Melissa Foster does too good of a job making Hunter thoroughly unlikable in the beginning stages of the book.  When he eventually has his transformation into the man who will do anything for the right girl, it is such a 180 that I know I am firmly in a romantic fantasy.  The intent is to make a mirror image of Jana and create the "will they or won't they" dynamic we expect in a romance, but the intense dislike I have for the character (and his pet nickname for Jana and his "challenge" to her) pulled me out of the story.  The only bodily contact I can imagine anyone wanting with this guy is to punch him in the face, and you can avoid that entirely by just hitting him with a chair.  I just kept waiting for Jana to do that, but nooo... Melissa Foster has other plans.

The love scenes are steamy for sure, but the story is at it's best when focusing on the heroine's struggle with commitment.  Anyone who has been hurt and questioned whether or not to keep a romantic interest at arm's length is going to see a piece of themselves in Jana as she tries to make the decision to love and open herself up to life and opportunity in a host of other ways.

Seaside Embrace is part of a larger book series.  Fans of the series will be happy to see their favorites come back as supporting characters, like an endlessly supportive girl gang with husbands and babies in tow.  For a newbie, the scenery did get overcrowded. 

Lobster rolls all around!

MATURITY RATING - 18+ graphically depicted love scenes and Taylor Swift karaoke may make this inappropriate to read on your community center elliptical (but who doesn't love scandalizing those septuagenarians)


Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes contemporary romance, new adult, contemporary women’s fiction, suspense, and historical fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page.

You can contact Melissa via her website at


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