If you’ve been attempting to start reading books that fall under the New Adult genre listen up, this post is for you. My latest Series Spotlight is on Melody Grace’s Beachwood Bay series, which currently consists of 2 full length novels and 2 novellas.
So before I go into what I thought of the books and the series let me just chat about the reading order. Though the novellas Untouched and Untamed Hearts take place prior to Unbroken and Unafraid, I’d recommend reading them AFTER you read their matching books. I think you ruin certain elements of the big books by reading the novellas beforehand. I liked learning about the history of the couples little by little rather than all at once, as the novellas are written. So, I feel that it would be best to read the series in this order: Unbroken, Untouched, Unafraid, Untamed Hearts.
Ok, with that out-of-the-way, on to my thoughts!
I really enjoyed Unbroken! It’s full of all the angst and drama that I love. Not only that but there is also love that is selfless! Can we get more books like that? A love that allows you to break your own heart, simply because it may be in the best interest of your partner (I know I’m being vague here, but I really can’t ruin Unbroken for you.) Emerson (the hero of Unbroken) comes off as a major asshole at first. However, once you understand his backstory and the true reasoning for his actions, I promise you, you’ll look at him in an entirely different light. And Jules? Jules shows us just what grief can do to a person. Grief stemming from loss and also grief due to lost love. She’s a really thought-provoking character (especially to anyone out there that has experienced loss and has grieved.)
Untouched was the perfect complement to Unbroken. We get to experience Emerson and Juliet’s relationship at its beginning, chock-full of the blush of new love and the difficulties they faced due to the differences in their situations.
Unafraid is the story of Emerson’s sister, Brittany, and her beau, Hunter. Hunter is in Beachwood Bay taking over the horse farm his grandfather left to him (I love him already. Any guy who loves horses? Yee haw!) He comes from a very well-to-do family who expects him to just get a business degree and go to work in corporate America. Be the guy who attends cocktail parties and is always “on.” He has other plans in store, namely running the horse farm, and being with Brit. In a way Hunter also helps us understand the depths of sorrow a person can feel from grief. He and Juliet are similar in that way.
Brit on the other hand has dreams of becoming a fashion designer. She’s trying to escape the small-town life she’s been stuck in, as well as the stigma that having a non-existent father and druggie mom can leave. She’s pushed down every emotion she’s ever felt and tries to hide it all with meaningless sex. She’s one of those characters who appears rough and tough on the outside but inside is broken in a million pieces. Hunter and Brit’s story is all about overcoming the labels that society places on us and allowing one’s true self to overcome all odds.
So, why do I like this series? First, they are great escapes. While they are quick reads guaranteed to make you believe in love, they have some depth to them. Second, I think it’s the characters dealing with grief that struck a chord with me. As someone who has had their fair share of grief in their life, I know the emotions that grief can cause a person to feel. To have stories that allow us to see that you can overcome grief and get beyond it? Fabulous.
In (story) chronological order (with my ratings) the series is:
- Untouched (Novella) – 4 out of 5 Stars
- Unbroken – 4 out of 5 Stars
- Untamed Hearts (Novella) – 3 out of 5 Stars
- Unafraid – 4 out of 5 Stars