As a movie location scout, picture-perfect is the name of the game. But her last project literally went up in flames, and her career is on the verge of flaming out. Greer has been given one more chance, if she can find the perfect undiscovered beach hideaway for a big-budget movie. She zeroes in on a sleepy Florida panhandle town called Cypress Key. There's one motel, a marina, a long stretch of pristine beach and an old fishing pier with a community casino-which will be perfect for the film's explosive climax.
There's just one problem. Eben Thibadeaux, the town mayor, completely objects to Greer's plan. A lifelong resident of Cypress Key, Eben wants the town to be revitalized, not commercialized. After a toxic paper plant closed, the bay has only recently been reborn, and Eb has no intention of letting anybody screw with his town again. But Greer has a way of making things happen, regardless of obstacles. And Greer and Eb are way too attracted to each other for either of them to see reason.
Between an ambitious director and his entourage-including a spoiled "It Boy" lead actor-who parachute into town, a conniving local ex-socialite, and a cast of local fangirls and opportunists who catch the movie bug, nothing is going to be the same in Cypress Key. Now Greer is forced to make some hard choices: about the people and the town she's come to care about, and about her own life. True love is only for the movies, right? Can Greer find a way to be the heroine in her own life story? Told with inimitable heart and humor, Mary Kay Andrews' Beach Town is the perfect summer destination.
Beach Town is a contemporary novel about the movie making business and life in a small town that is struggling to survive economic hardship. Mary Kay Andrews writes with her signature blend of romance, Southern settings and detailed description, in this case of what it's like to work on a movie set.
Greer is the third generation in her family to be in the movie business. Her grandmother acted in films while her mom was on the small screen and her dad was a stunt car driver. She is very devoted to her career and to her grandmother who is all she has left since her mom died and her dad is no longer in the picture. She loves her job even though her career took a hit with a disaster on her last film set. Now she is desperate to salvage things by finding the perfect spot to film Beach Town. While she has found an ideal location in Cypress Key, the mayor has other ideas. Eventually Greer prevails on him to at least allow the shoot to happen even if he still hasn't consented to their plan to blow up the old casino. Eb cares a lot about his town and he has his own plans for renovating the casino and turning it into a community center. Unfortunately the building is in really bad shape and it will take a lot of money to fix it. He is determined to try though in spite of the odds.
While Eb and Greer's chemistry is immediate they start off on the wrong foot with Greer assuming he is just a janitor at the motel she is staying and Eb thinking she is a spoiled brat. Their further altercations over the movie make things even more difficult but the reader knows that eventually they will work things out. The journey to get to that point however is far from smooth. Issues with town politics, trouble on the set with a bratty entitled star and drunk script writer and family drama for Eb and Greer add to the complications. I've become a fan of Mary Kay Andrews's novels. I liked Greer and Eb as the protagonists and the setting. The details of the movie industry were really interesting to me too. I like how Andrews always gives her protagonists interesting jobs. I also liked some of the colorful secondary characters like Eb's aunt Ginny, his teenage niece Allie and the wisecracking police chief, Arnelle. They made Cypress Key sound like a fun place to take a vacation. Greer's dad also seemed like a hoot and I loved that he owned a "General Lee" from his time working on The Dukes of Hazzard. If you are looking for something light with some humor, romance and small town Southern charm, pick up Beach Town. It is the perfect summertime read. Note: I received an ARC for review purposes courtesy of the publisher and Edelweiss