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The Merchant of Venice Beach

(Venice Beach Romance #1)

3.24  ·  Rating details ·  315 ratings  ·  48 reviews
The Rollicking Bun—Home of the Epic Scone—is the center of Suzanna Wolf’s life. Part tea shop, part bookstore, part home, it’s everything she’s ever wanted right on the Venice Beach boardwalk, including partnership with her two best friends from high school, Eric and Fernando. But with thirty-three just around the corner, suddenly Suzanna wants something more—something str ...more
ebook, 230 pages
Published August 1st 2013 by Ekensington Originals (first published January 1st 2013)
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Average rating 3.24  · 
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 ·  315 ratings  ·  48 reviews

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Dec 31, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a brilliant novel. Bonaduce takes to the world of writing with a flare seldom seen. She creates a vivid yet realistic view of LA that doesn’t border on fame & the entertainment industry. Bonaduce uses wit and intelligent conversation to create a captivating, emotional story for her audience. Her intricate descriptions create a very unique feel for the world as a whole. The story itself was entertaining and comedic while remaining realistic and down to earth. The story centers on friends ...more
Sep 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I quite enjoyed this humorous and sweet story of friendships and love in sunny California. I don't normally read romance novels but I met the author, who is really lovely, so thought I would give it a go. I'm glad I did - it's not a romance novel in the traditional sense, with scenes of heaving bosoms, euphemisms for the male organ, and ridiculously passionate sex. In fact, the one almost-sex scene is very funny, not too explicit, and ends in embarrassment for the heroine - certainly more like r ...more
Char (1RadReader59)
Jul 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I truly enjoyed this trio of friends. It’s set in California in towns that I have been in before made it all that much more real to me. The characters were very believable and so fun that you totally became invested in them and what was happening to them. This was mainly centered on the life of Suzanna Wolfe, who met her friend Carla when she was five. The families were best friends since Suzanna’s family moved into the Napa Valley. At the age of fifteen Eric came into the girls’ lives. It was k ...more
Erika Beebe
Aug 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
The Merchant of Venice Beach is a delightful read and within the first few pages, I found myself connecting with the sweet and honest, yet at times hysterical voice, reminding me of the same sort of connection I felt with Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series—minus the paranormal activity of course. Fast paced, yet complicated, much like the footwork in learning how to salsa, I enjoyed the read and appreciated the world she painted very much.

The Good.
Structure. The sentences, the scenes, a
Aug 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Susanna Wolf knew she could never be as smart as her ten year older sister, Erinn, their parents were both professors and she was no where near their level and it seemed her sister got more of the intelligence gene. They had moved into a barn like house, remodeled it in the Napa Valley, and she was instantly liked their neighbors daughter, but Carla was a schemer and got her into trouble the first time they met. All through school they fought over their friend Eric ad even though Carla knew she ...more
Jul 13, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
DNF - I got to 20%, absolutely nothing had happened, and I had no idea where it was meant to be going. It's pretty much a non-stop rambling internal dialogue in Suzanna's head, about nothing that particularly connects together. She doesn't like her best friends! She has a crush on a dance instructor who she has just met by him knocking her off her bike, he doesn't apologise and then acts like a total tool towards her.

It's a shame as the synopsis sounded good, but it really needs to be pared back
Sep 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book was recommended by a friend, who said it was really witty and intelligently written. THE MERCHANT OF VENICE BEACH did not disappoint! I'm not sure why it is called a "romance", because, while there definitely WAS romance in the story, I considered it more one woman's journey into self-awareness. The heroine, Suzanna, is not your typical protagonist - she demands you stay with her and see the story through - you don't automatically say to yourself "Oh, I get who she is, she's just like ...more
Geri Reads
Jan 07, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
DNF at 25%

I thought the blurb was interesting but for some reason I just couldn't get into it. So no rating.

A book was gifted to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Jan 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
The Merchant of Venice Beach turned out to be totally different than I expect it to be. But in a really good way. I expected this book to be a fun romance story heavy on the romance and it way more of an adult coming of age story with a hilarious main character/narrator and while romance was a main theme throughout this book, I found it to be so much more about the characters and how they got to where they are in Venice. Celia Bonaduce did such an excellent job letting Suzanna tell her story. I ...more
Sep 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance
This was such a fun, easy read for a summer afternoon. It took me a few pages to be won over by Suzanna's flaws and insecurities (her response to being hit by a car was definitely unexpected), but once I began to understand this quirky heroine I really liked her - and her lifelong friends Eric and Fernando. Suzanna and her friends are engaging, believable characters who are flawed, funny and fun. I liked spending time with them on the page, and only wish that their Tea Shop/Bookstore, "The Rolli ...more
books are love
Suzanna came off as a little petulant and selfish. She felt that as she got closer to her mid thirties she needed change. Her friends of childhood were to close for comfort and she was stagnant so she tried to add something to her life. Something her friends weren't involved in and kept it from them. She added dancing. Why? The sexy teacher.

As she learns to dance, her friends begin to feel her discomfort and don't tell her. They don't want to make her feel bad. Although this is distancing them,
Yvonne Diamond
Sep 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
As someone who’s reading tends toward Legal Tomes, Electronic Manuals, Historical Novels and Nonfiction, I was hesitant to reach into the Realm of the Romance Novel. With not a lot of time to devote to casual reading, I like to be sure my efforts will be rewarded with at least some Knowledge usable in my Daily Life, and never considered the Romance Genre to be a vehicle capable of providing much in the way of residual information.
I found “The Merchant if Venice Beach” to be an enjoyable read,
Sabrina Olteanu
Jan 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received this book in exchange for my honest review. Thank you Itching for Books for letting me join the tour and Celia Bonaduce for giving me the opportunity to read The Merchant of Venice Beach.

This story was written brilliant. It was funny, and with a description that will make you enter the story at the same time with the characters. Even the places where they went were perfectly described. That’s a plus side for me, I always love it when a writer manages to pull that off. Anyway... the ch
Jul 17, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I just couldn't finish this book. I stopped on page 56. So far there had been no inkling of romance. Instead we had a depressing, neurotic main character who just annoyed me. I was drawn to it by the cover and the lure of the sweet-sounding bookstore and teashop. I loved her two friends and roommates. I just can't see why anyone would ever fall in love with her. She was totally self-absorbed and in her own head all the time. It felt stifling living in that character. I imagine that was the way t ...more
Jun 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A light and witty read, The Merchant of Venice Beach is less a romance novel than an exploration of all relationships and their evolution over time (romance included). Think “Bridget Jones' Diary” set in Southern California with a stronger set of friends and less “why am I single” angst. ...more
DNF ~ I'm forty pages in, and I am bored to death. The male "romantic" lead is a jerk. The main female character is crazy. This chick is all over the place! I tried skipping ahead, and it doesn't seem to get any better. ...more
Sep 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I got this book while I was browsing the free section on my Kindle. I liked the cover, I liked the title, I liked the plot, but, most of all, I liked the fact that it was free. This was a solid 4 starts for me, I really liked it, but I didn't love it. I would totally continue on with the series, I just need to find time to read all the books I want to read - this is not a priority, though. It was super a super fun, light, fast-paced read and I would totally recommend it if that's something you'r ...more
Melinda Kaye
May 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Merchant of Venice Beach

This was a good story about a 33 year old trying to find herself. I enjoyed the look into her life, and I liked the HEA, but there wasn’t a lot of romance - it was more of a mystery about who the romantic interest was. More of an ensemble cast, I guess. It was still enjoyable, and I will likely read the next book about her sister.
May 27, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a cute story. If I had read "The Merchant of Venice", I might have known what was coming. I found the story kind of twisting and going off in different directions. But it was a take-off of Shakespeare. ...more
terry johnson
Family means those whom live together not blood related

Humorous and a different view of family relationships . Sometimes the best partner is right under you nose. It is so important to tell someone you love them and want to make a commitment to your relationship .
Feb 01, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Suzanna's life is good in many ways.  She has her own business, a great place to live, and her roommates are her best friends in the world.  But nearing her thirty-third birthday, she wants something more.  Romance.

A chance meeting puts a drop-dead gorgeous dance teacher on her radar, and the next thing she knows, she's signing up for lessons.  Unfortunately, it appears that every other woman in the class has the same intentions that she does, but she's determined not to let that stop her, even
Jan 07, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bonaduce’s Merchant of Venice Beach is part self-discovery and part romance. The story centers on Suzanna Wolf who owns the Rollicking Bun a tea shop and bookstore. She runs the Rollicking Bun with her two male best friends. She’s a bit frustrated and fed up with her life as she approaches her 33rd birthday. She decides to take a bit of space from her friends with a salsa class. The consequences are not what she expected.

The book is a quick, easy read. The writing is witty and at times laugh out
Susan James
Mar 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I went to a romance book panel at Flintridge Bookstore in La Canada and Celia Bonaduce was a panelist. I was impressed with her humor and the problem she had with her first cover. Celia insisted the cover had nothing to do with the story and readers, who looking for a hot romance were disappointed. Her humor impressed me and I bought the book. The Merchant of Venice Beach has nothing to do with that cover. It’s wonderful, wry, chick lit/women's fiction and I loved it.
Susannah runs the Rollicking
Apr 05, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Gee, I really tried to like this book but it was so boring to me.

The main character, Suzanna, gets the hots for this dance instructor, but the way she even learns of his existence was silly & improbable. Okay so then she goes to this dance studio to check him out and the author goes on and on about some chick who works there. It just droned on. Then she goes on about how she looked on eBay for dance shoes. Enough!! Get to the story.

Then she goes on about how she finds beige dance shows because t
Dec 31, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs
The Merchant of Venice Beach by Celia Bonaduce is the first book in the Venice Beach Romance series. This book focuses of Suzanne and her two business partners/roommates/best friends with special guest appearances from her sister (Erinn) and her other best friend Carla.

This book is NOT a steamy, visceral tale of love between the sheets. It is a sedate, humurous tale of friends living a (sorta) laid back life in Venice Beach, remodeling their shop and living life.

An enjoyable read when you want s
Jacquelyn Smith
Jan 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This story was on it game when it came to a woman trying to find herself and romance.
It will take you on a journey like no other thru a woman needs for self-awareness and for fullness. Suzanna will take you places that will have you questioning your chooses in life.
I am giving the book cover 4 dreams because if you know me a pretty draws me in every time.
5 dreams for the writing style because she bought it with this book and it was entertaining to boot.
4.9 dreams. for the characters they made me
Cassandra (Thebookishcrypt)
Okay, I didn't like this book at all unfortunately. I didn't really have any hopes for it so it's probably the reason why I'm not so let down by it. I didn't believe anything I just read. From Suzanna's ''attraction'' to Rio to the ''plot twist'' at the end. The author did give us a pretty detailed description of their house but other than that I couldn't even place a finger on everybody's personalities. They all seemed so boring to me, there wasn't,t a character that stood out to me. Suzanna's ...more
Mrs. Garen L. Herd
Good read.

I picked this book up because it was free on Book Bub and looked cute. But it was a major surprise. It was funny and poignant. It took me a couple of chapters to warm up to the heroine, but she was a charm. The surrounding characters were loving, but knew all her faults and loved her anyway. The hero was pretty silent, hovering in the background for the most part. It was, basically, about a near 33 year old, having a crisis of "is this all there is" and finding what really matters. Of
LA Lisa
Sep 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The Merchant of Venice Beach is so enchanting, I got swept up in it and felt like I was a secret observer of the trio and their lives and intertwining relationships. I loved all of the details and descriptions and the integration of Suzanna's narration of her innermost thoughts and observations -- overthinking almost every situation -- a product of her imagination and insecurities also found in most women(and men). She takes the reader on a fun journey that I didn't want to end. I want more of S ...more
Dorothy Gagnon
Apr 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
California Here We Come

Graduation over, Susanna and her 3 hometown friends move to Merchant Beach. Obtaining financing from her sister, Suzanna bought a tea shop and bookstore and ran it with her partners for the last few years.

Bored, and needing a change in her life, she had a chance encounter with an amazing man, a dance instructor that led her to taking dance lessons and more. Although secretly she yearned for Eric and had for quite sometime.

Heart catching story with humor, loneliness, romanc
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Celia Bonaduce has the coolest day job – a field producer on HGTV’s House Hunters. Her credits include other HGTV shows, including Tiny House Hunters, Where Are They Now and ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.

If you’re sensing a theme – a love of houses – so did she. After her mother moved into a tiny house of her own, it seemed like a new book series revolving around what it’s like to live in a

Other books in the series

Venice Beach Romance (3 books)
  • A Comedy of Erinn (Venice Beach Romance, #2)
  • Much Ado About Mother (Venice Beach Romance, #3)

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