Breakup Boot Camp

· Firefly Hill Press
33 reviews

About this ebook

“Merlin gives off Sophie Kinsella and Emily Giffin vibes only with an execution of plots that is all her own....Beth Merlin is totally going to grow in popularity. I'm calling it." - Book and Broadway

After weeks of training to whip Joanna Kitt into shape for her big day, her picture-perfect engagement to her high school sweetheart is torn in two, and Joanna is left out on her perfectly toned rear end. To put the past and her heartache behind her, she sets off for two weeks at the renowned Retreat House Breakup Boot Camp in Topsail Island off the coast of North Carolina.

Despite her sadness, Joanna throws herself into the experience hoping surfing, yoga, spa treatments, meditation, and talk therapy will be enough to help her get over the one man she’s ever loved. But she soon learns the Boot Camp is only the first step to healing her broken heart. Joanna will have to come to terms with the career she abandoned, the loss in her life she never fully accepted, and the role she played in the ending of her relationship.

When she meets Todd Aldrich, the handsome and mysterious hotel chef, she has the chance to take her renewed heart out for a test drive and see if she is ready for new beginnings and new love.

Will 12 steps be enough to get her life back on track? Or will her getaway to get over him prove healing the heart takes a whole lot more?
33 reviews
Valerian LeForge
April 3, 2020
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. The title and cover made me expect this to be a run-of-the-mill chick lit novel; somehow whilst slotting in to the category it managed to be so much more and I am genuinely unsure how the author pulled it off. Is it the nuanced characters, the generally realistic situations, the flat out refusal to give us an ending neatly tied up in a romantic bow? Whatever it was I did genuinely enjoy the read and found myself looking forward to grabbing a spare 10 minutes just to get one more chapter in. The overall premise of our heroine Joanna getting ready to marry her School Sweetheart and seemingly punishing herself so she can fit in to the perfect dress made me a little wary at first. However, her love/hate relationship with the Bridal Boot Camp she is attending in the morning before work - seriously up at 5am to intensively exercise before work, no dress is worth that; the "stuck in a rut" nature of her relationship with her fiance managed to feel fairly realistic. Throw in a dollop of over-achieving in her job at a Casting Agency and a snarky (in the best of ways) friend in Becca and you start to get a sense of who Joanna is before you are more than half a dozen pages in. When Joanna finds out her fiance, Sam, has been less than faithful to her she takes the only option and breaks everything off, spiralling in to Depression it is when her Bridal Boutique tell her about a fortnight long retreat in a gorgeous location that she decides to take action. You could be excused for thinking that from her on in it will be filled with over used cliches as Joanna starts her time in idyllic Topsail. Yes, there are a few and some of the treatments on offer sound very "Goop!" but don't be fooled by the title; this may be retreat designed to help people get over broken relationships but the handling of it is excellent. From developing a support network with fellow attendees - one a woman of a certain age whose wealthy husband has upgraded her for a younger model to an almost Kardashian-esque celebrity with a string of failed relationships behind her. It would have been easy to make these characters cliches but they are very definitely fully rounded with their own quirks and foibles and, along with Joanna, they get what they need from these two weeks to improve their lives. You see, that's really what the book is about, learning about who you are and what makes you happy. Not what you think should make you happy because of media and society but what actually makes YOU happy. It has an overwhelmingly positive message and even if we do have to have a little romance thrown in, someone to share your life with does make a lot of people happy. The writing style is fun and with an almost chatty narrative I found myself irresistibly drawn to keep reading. I thoroughly enjoyed my time spent with this book and am eagerly looking forward to reading more from the author.
4 people found this review helpful
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Rebecca W-L
January 11, 2020
Joanna had the life.. man, job, location.. but then sour came and messed up her sweet role. Breakup Boot camp to the rescue along with opening her heart to her real truths. It was awesome how she took on her struggles and found herself.
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Karen Kulla
January 12, 2020
I thought it would be so much more hallmarky. It wasn't at all ....not that hallmarky is bad. I loved the story the inspiration and I felt like I was also at Topsail Beach. Give me more of this great author
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About the author

Beth Merlin has a BA from The George Washington University where she minored in Creative Writing and a JD from New York Law School. She’s a native New Yorker who loves anything Broadway, her beautiful daughter, and a good maxi dress. She was introduced to her husband through a friend she met at sleepaway camp and considers the eight summers she spent there to be some of the most formative of her life. She used her passion about that time of her life to inspire her debut novel One S’more Summer. She went on to develop two more books in The Campfire Series -- S’more to Lose and Love You S’more.

When Beth finds a moment of free time, she loves to read books by the authors who've most influenced her work, like Sophie Kinsella, Emily Giffin, and JoJo Moyes.

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