Posted:  April 30, 2014

Look out, Venice Beach--the Wolf women are all together again. But when 70-year-old Virginia arrives with her teacup Chihuahua and unshakeable confidence, she senses trouble. Erinn is keeping secrets--like being broke and out of work--and Suzanna is paying too much attention to the wrong man--a Latino dance instructor who nearly broke her heart once before. Virginia's ready for the third act of her life, and she intends to make it rousing and romantic. Now she just has to convince her daughters to throw out their old scripts. If life has taught Virginia anything, it's this: there's more than one way to a "happily ever after"...
"The Merchant of Venice Beach has a fresh, heartwarming voice that will keep readers smiling as they dance through this charming story by Celia Bonaduce." --Jodi Thomas, New York Times bestselling author
"Celia Bonaduce writes well rounded, real life characters straight from the heart. I loved this book!" --Phyliss Miranda, New York Timesbestselling author on A Comedy of Erinn
    Virginia Wolf, yes you read that right, and she is use to the shock and the jokes she gets from people.  She is the widowed mother of Suzanna and Erinn, Grammy to Lizzy, and mother-in-law to Eric.  Oh yes, we mustn’t forget mama to a Chihuahua with attitude Piquant.  Her husband, Martin, passed away 8 months ago now she was alone in New York with a crazy dog, it was time for a change.
     Suzanna and Lizzy were visiting Erinn when Suzanna finally mentions her mother was coming to town.  Thinking it was still them against their mother, Erinn makes a snipe which Suzanna doesn’t like.  In her head Erinn makes light of the fact that Suzanna is acting that way because she is one of “Them” a mom  She ask why she’s coming and is told her response is along the lines of “Is there not phones and party lines she can use to talk to us?”
     Virginia coming to Venice Beach worries Erinn so much she right away rents out her Santa Monica guest house in the back, on the same day an old boss comes to her with a job, with a catch or two.  One being they will need her home to house kinda to house the aging child star who that will be making a comeback on their new cable show that Erinn will be a part of.  In the mean time they want her right away in Cambria to film a segment for a new show about wine.  Cary her old boss says she will direct the move in while she is gone.  When she gets back she finds out that all hell has broken loose.  This whole idea of not having a place for her mom to stay so she is not stuck with her has back fired.
     Suzanna picks up Virginia and starts to see her mom in a whole new way as she starts to spend more time with her.  Her mom is full of surprises like speaking Spanish and she starts being courted.   Rio, Suzanna’s old crush and old dance instructor is back kinda of so she’s “floating” again.  Which is not so good since she’s married but she feels Eric doesn’t see her.  He knew about Rio from before and yet Rio is back and he is not jealous or anything or keeping an eye on him or giving Suzanna extra attention, instead paying more attention to Blu, Erinn’s housemate.  Eric is being seen by Blu, which is making Suzanna see red.  Eric seems to be soaking up Blu not leaving much time for Suzanna.  (This is where I would have liked to really seen dialogue between the couple about their feelings.)
     Then, there is Erinn who has a new love interest who is her age, a creative person like her and sought her out and yet the story line only danced around the romance.  Christopher was quirky like her in some ways and I wanted to know more about him.  I do realize it is “Much Ado About Mother” I just had my head set that there would be more romance.
     There were so many funny, funny places in this book, I cannot tell you.  This was blossoming time for Virginia as she finds her place and herself after the death of her husband, as well as finding a new relationship with each of her daughters.  The only problems I had is I am not a huge animal person since I am allergic to most pets.  Although I do have a, wait for it…A Chihuahua: Baby!  That as Celia talked about Piquant and the Angora Rabbits to me it felt after a while it was too wordy.
     I wanted to see more interaction between Eric and Suzanna, Erinn & Christopher, and Suzanna and Blu even for they all had love and at the least conflict.  But, that it is just me.  I am an all or nothing kind of gal, sometimes I'm like Erinn it’s not good. J
     Read this can decided for yourself but I know you will not want to miss the donkey joke Erinn tells Tiffany the assignment up in Cambria.  Not to mention the special mother daughter moments Virginia and her girls have I love the line of comparison between her two girls.  “You and Suzanna are two different people.  You’re like a glass of champagne and your sister is like a glass of warm milk.  Both fantastic but you can’t compare the two.”  Erinn’s response “I just want to be a glass of warm milk sometimes.  And I don’t know how.”  This in response to not ever know how to be social.  What a jewel, there is more dialogue just like this. 
     So worth the read, I give it 4.5 stars.  Provided by Net Galley.  Follow us at: 

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