Sun of a Beach is an Audible Original from novelist Mia Sosa, which will definitely fulfill any vacation-related cravings you might have. The novella is about two coworkers, Naomi and Donovan, at a men’s magazine. They are at odds, but forced to work on a shoot together on a beautiful island in the Atlantic. Naomi is frustrated by Donovan’s hands-off managerial style and carefree attitude, while Donovan resents Naomi’s control-freak tendencies and inability to relax. Naomi goes along to babysit Donovan at the behest of her boss, with the promise that she might get to do some editorial work if it goes well. Donovan, frustrated by their boss’ over-managing, throws a wrench into the works that makes Naomi furious. To keep their jobs and please their boss, they must actually collaborate for the first time, and might uncover some hidden passions along the way.
I love the narrators, both are AMAZING. Valentina Ortiz in particular is a real standout. I thought both of the main characters’ voices were distinct and well written. For a short novel, they are well-developed characters and the sexual tension is palpable on the page. The dialogue is also stellar, which made it a pleasure to listen to. I definitely enjoyed it, it’s a really good escape for those of us who haven’t gotten to take a vacation in a long while. The description of the lovely, lush beach environment is tantalizing and adds to the overall decadent feeling.
While the characters were very well developed for such a short novella, I did think there was some room for more from both Naomi and Donovan. Due to space limitations, they end up going from barely friends to prepared for a long-term relationship in the space of a few minutes. I would have preferred them to develop a comfortable working relationship and then break down some barriers, but as it was, despite the groundwork, it felt rushed. There were definitely places where I thought secondary characters could have been pared down a bit to give the main couple more time.
As to the suspension of disbelief, I was a mostly on-board, but some of it did set of my spider-sense. Donovan’s little act of rebellion was intended to throw off the shoot his boss strong-armed him into, but I really don’t know what his plan was. He didn’t seem to have one, and I find it hard to believe that he made a big decision and then threw caution into the wind completely. I get that his character is intended to be kind of careless, but this seems like a career-ender and I don’t think he’d self-sabotage that much.
I did really enjoy listening to Sun of a Beach and I would recommend it to any reader looking for a little levity and second-hand sun.