“A Line in the Sand” by Teri Wilson | Book Review

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

“When his Uncle Henry retires, Max Miller moves to Turtle Beach, North Carolina, to take over his aquarium and sea turtle hospital. Little does he know the business is struggling, and he’s being called in to captain a sinking ship.

After a recent heartbreak that left her feeling lost, Molly Prince is desperately trying to find her direction in life. That’s easier said than done when you’re distracted by a new puppy named Urusla and overbearing advice from parents who own the beachfront house you’re living in.

Max and Molly meet during a near-drowning incident and feel instant attraction, but their acquaintance is quickly put to the test when uptight Max decides an aquarium is no place for a mermaid and her puppy, with or without the lobster costume. His first day on the job is a disaster, and he realizes his rash decision cost the aquarium its heart and soul. The town points their justified anger towards him, and he almost caves, but there’s something about Molly’s attitude that puts his defenses back up. He sticks by his decision and tries to manage the financial mess in front of him without thinking about the blonde mermaid who happens to be his next door neighbor. When things start to look up thanks to a fundraising idea from Molly and the unique ability of her puppy to sniff out sea turtle nests, the pair realize they might have no choice other than working together. Will they be able to get along and save a business they both love, or has the sun set on their chance at both friendship and romance?”

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

*Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from Sourcebooks Casablanca through NetGalley in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.

I don’t often dive into the romance genre, pun intended, but “A Line in the Sand” spoke to my inner child. As a 90s baby and 2000s kid, I was obsessed with Aquamarine, H2O: Just Add Water, and Lisa Frank. Summers were reserved for waking up early and swimming in the pool for at least three hours. Needless to say Teri Wilson’s romance between a marine biologist and mermaid might as well have been plucked from the imaginations of millenials. 

There were side elements that gave this book potential as a nice summer read. The North Carolina island setting almost made me feel positive towards summer, which is a feat if you know me as the cold-loving November baby that I am. The snippets of the senior citizen activity agenda had me feeling exhausted; that lively group put my sedentary life on blast, and I’ll admit I felt shamed into being more busy. Ethel Banks, Opal Lewinsky, and Mavis Hubbard, known around town as “Charlie’s Angels,” were hilarious, always sticking their noses where they don’t belong and trying to move things along between a certain couple. My favorite part was learning about the day-to-day operations of the aquarium and sea turtle hospital. If the Angels are giving a tour with complimentary frozen Milky Way lattes anytime soon, count me in!

Unfortunately this is where the aquatic fun ends. Even though it was supposed to be the crowning jewel, the romance was a huge letdown. There was a muddle of tropes: several handfuls of enemies to lovers with a dash of fake dating and insta-love. I don’t mind tropes, but pick a lane if none of the scenarios are going to go far enough to be worth the time. Everything felt skin deep and not fleshed out enough to make me feel invested in Max and Molly’s relationship. I was left feeling “meh” which is probably why I felt irrationally irritated by the overuse of Ursula’s breed “Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.” I know that breed is special to the author, but I think Ursula’s adorable face on the cover and the first or second mention of the full name is enough. I also didn’t love Molly as a character, although her love of The Great British Bake Off was a redeeming trait. She came off as petty and whiny at times which annoyed me as someone who’s more like Max, very serious and a little awkward in situations meant to be loose and fun.

I was much more invested in the last fourth of the book and flew through it so my rating is rounding out to three stars. This was not a new favorite, but perhaps it will work for readers more acquainted with the genre. I would recommend this book to romance fans but only those who genuinely enjoy an easy, fluffy read. Think of it as the literature version of a Hallmark movie, and you should be fine. Play an ocean ambience video for extra beachy vibes!

-> -> -> -> -> OUT ON AUGUST 2ND! <- <- <- <- <-

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Content Breakdown: 

*Disclaimer: I read an uncorrected ARC so certain things might change in the final copy.

Alcohol: Rosé, Whisky, Wine, general mentions of alcohol, & one instance of being drunk

Language: Molly uses the term “lady bits” while referring to her mermaid tail.

Ethal, Mavis, & Opal wear sun hats to SandFest, two of which say “Cheers Beaches” & “Resting Beach Face.”

Ethel & Opal argue over a game of Scrabble because one of them wants to use “vayjayjay” as a word.

Steaminess: Ethel Banks remarks in chapter 5 that Max is “even more good-looking dry than he is wet,” referring to his appearance after nearly drowning at the dog beach. 

Max and Molly constantly admire and think about each other’s physical assets (i.e. Max’s abs & Molly in her clamshell bustier & mermaid tail). Their physical contact stays in the realm of hand holding, hugging, almost-kissing, & kissing.

Toxic Relationship: There are several mentions of Molly’s previous boyfriend who cheated on her.

Violence: Max has a complicated relationship with his Uncle Henry; in chapter 3, he’s upset & contemplates killing Henry for real, though it’s not a serious threat. 

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

🌟 Find author Teri Wilson here:

Facebook

Goodreads

Instagram

Website

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Subscribe to my blog to receive email notifications, and check out my other links listed below.

– Lauren Michele ❤️

 ⬇️ Important Links ⬇️  

• Previous Post: “Wretched Waterpark” by Kiersten White | Book Review

• Previous VideoCustom Tarzan VHS Jewelry / Keepsake Box From ArtsyxBrown | As Seen on TikTok

• Art Blog

• Bookshop.org Affiliate Link

• Goodreads

• Instagram

• LibraryThing

• Literal*

• Litsy

• Patreon

• Pinterest

• Reedsy Discovery

• StoryGraph

• Tumblr

• Twitter

• Youtube

Be a Goldfish

VandeNoord, Krissie. Be a Goldfish. 2020. https://northstudio.design/products/be-a-goldfish-print.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

I said I would be back with news so here I am. I applied for another promising work-from-home job, only to find out the listing had been on the internet since mid-December; I saw a listing posted at the very end of December which is why I applied. There were 600+ applicants, & the company was already at the end of the interview process so there was a 0% chance my application would be looked at. MAJOR BUMMER! That was my second official rejection which doesn’t sound like much, but it is when you consider the time & energy required for the application alone. I also made two inquiries on social media which both ended with “No.” At the risk of sounding dramatic, my confidence is shaken, & I’m feeling defeated. I’ve cried myself to sleep more than once, & my stress levels are off the charts. The other day I tripped going up a flight of stairs, bruised my knee, & spilled coffee all over me & the carpet. I. BROKE. DOWN.

I know I’m coming off as a huge baby, but two months ago I left a retail job that was a constant source of toxicity in my life. I was mentally & physically ill day after day, week after week, month after month. I couldn’t take it anymore so I took a risk & left. I had enough savings to support me for a little bit so I switched on Vacation Mode for the last two months of 2021. Well, I was supposed to. Being the sick, twisted person that I am, I turned into my very best workaholic self & barely enjoyed the holidays, this being my first chance to do so since starting retail in 2015. I know, I have a problem. Boundaries between personal & professional life are not my strong suit. I would say I’m working on it, but lying is a sin.

Now that you know more about my situation, perhaps my reaction makes a little more sense. I’ve been very picky about where I apply because I REFUSE to get stuck at a job for five and a half years again. I’m two years away from turning thirty. I need a big girl job, a career that’s going to support me long-term. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a “dream job” because to me, that’s my blogs & YouTube videos. However, I want it to be something that fits me as a person, maybe even something that taps into one or more of my interests. I see girls my age with jobs they love. Artists starting successful small businesses. Disney fans working for Disney-centered companies. Readers working for bookish companies. In my head & heart, I know what I’m looking for is possible & not just a pipe dream.

Recently I had to set aside the job search because my part-time side job picked up. I have administrative & blogging tasks to catch up on; I’m also doing some social media work, which I’ve never done before. New experiences are always great for growth! That is consuming most of my time, & any spare minute is going into online content because I’m determined to make something out of my corner of the internet. That is where I currently stand. I don’t know what the next few weeks hold, but I’m doing my best to take it one step at a time with my head held high. After a disappointing finish at the Northern Trust Open last year, golfer Jon Rahm pressed on to his next tournament, the BMW Championship, & told reporters: “I must say, for all those Ted Lasso fans out there, be a goldfish. If you haven’t seen the show, you’ve just got to check it out. I feel like almost everybody knows. Have you seen the show? It’s basically [the] happiest animal in the world is a goldfish. You know why? He’s got a 10-second memory. I played great golf last week, just a couple bad swings down the stretch, and that’s the most important thing to remember.” That’s my motto for 2022. Be a goldfish! 🐠

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_KXqWCLHgHg

“You know what the happiest animal in the world is? It’s a goldfish. You know why? Got a 10-second memory. Be a goldfish Sam!” – Ted Lasso

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Subscribe to my blog to receive email notifications, and check out my other links listed below.

– Lauren Michele ❤

⬇ Important Links ⬇

• Previous Post: “From Shetland, With Love” by Erin Green | Book Review

• Previous Video: Baking Markie the Unicorn Sugar Cookies | Lisa Frank + Pillsbury

• Art Blog

• Goodreads

• Instagram

• Patreon

• Pinterest

• Twitter

• Youtube