Groundswell by Katie Lee


14 Critic Reviews

Beach readers may find sand gnats more entertaining.


EAT, SURF, LOVE. A butterfly flaps its wings in New York City . . . and a groundswell forms in Mexico. . . .

Sometimes the biggest ripples come from the smallest events. Like the day that Emma Guthrie walks into world-famous movie star Garrett Walker’s trailer. When she steps through the door, she’s a novice PA who’s just dropped out of college after losing her scholarship. When she walks out, she’s on her way to becoming Mrs. Emma Walker—wife of an A-list actor. Soon, Emma has made the transition from nobody to red-carpet royalty, trading jeans and flip-flops for closets full of Chanel and Birkin bags, swishing past velvet ropes to attend every lavish party and charity gala on both coasts. With her husband’s encouragement, Emma pens a screenplay based on her life, Fame Tax, which becomes a blockbuster sensation. Through it all, Garrett is her ally and her mentor . . . until their relationship is thrown into question by an incriminating text message that Emma discovers on Garrett’s phone the night of the Met Costume Institute Gala.

Devastated by her husband’s infidelity and hounded mercilessly by the paparazzi, Emma must flee New York City to get away from it all and clear her head. Her destination? A sleepy coastal town in Mexico where no one recognizes her and there is nothing but unspoiled beaches for miles. Here, she meets Ben, a gorgeous, California-born surf instructor, who teaches her about the healing powers of surfing, shows her the joys of the simple life, and ultimately opens her up to the possibility of love.

From Manhattan’s hippest restaurants to the yacht-and-celebrity infested waters of St. Barts, Katie Lee’s debut novel is an irresistible insider’s glimpse into a glittering world—and a captivating story about how losing everything you thought you wanted can be the first step to finding what you need.

About Katie Lee

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Katie Lee is the food and lifestyle contributor for The Early Show and has appeared on Oprah, CBS Sunday Morning, The Rachael Ray Show, The Nate Berkus Show, and Iron Chef America. She writes a regular column for Cosmopolitan and has been featured in People, Vanity Fair, Food and Wine, Town & Country, and InStyle. She is the author of The Comfort Table cookbooks. She lives in the Hamptons.
Published June 21, 2011 by Gallery Books. 242 pages
Genres: Romance, Literature & Fiction, Sports & Outdoors, Erotica. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Groundswell
All: 14 | Positive: 9 | Negative: 5


Below average
Reviewed by Kirkus Reviews on Jun 21 2011

Beach readers may find sand gnats more entertaining.

Read Full Review of Groundswell | See more reviews from Kirkus

Publishers Weekly

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly on Apr 11 2011

Her novel deftly combines elements of healing, friendship, and love in a well-crafted, sentimental tale of an unlikely underdog who discovers true love on the beach.

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Denver Post

Reviewed by Alicia Rancilio on Jul 20 2011

Lee, who has made a name for herself as a TV personality and a chef, is also a pretty good storyteller.

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Chicklit Club

Reviewed by AS on Jun 01 2011

Definitely exceeding expectations, it's a fun and frothy summer beach read.

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WV Gazette

Reviewed by Bill Lynch on Jul 04 2011

The novel is something new, even if writing isn't.

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A Musing Reviews

Reviewed by A Musing Reviews on Jun 23 2011

Feel the waves and rise to the occasion. I liked it.

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The Cyberlibrarian Reads

Below average
Reviewed by Mimi on Jul 08 2011

It is a bit sad to me that the power of celebrity can contribute to the success of a novel, while well-written books can languish and fade away.

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Live to Read

Reviewed by Krystal Larson on Jul 13 2011

The first quality of the novel the reader will notice is how likable the main character, Emma, is.

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Toothy Books

Below average
Reviewed by Toothy on Jul 26 2011

My problem with this book is that I felt like too much of it was in the past.

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Charlotte's Web of Books

Below average
Reviewed by Charlotte on Jun 20 2011

If you are desperate for a beach read, go for it. But be prepared to want your $25 and two hours of life back.

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Just Another New Blog

Reviewed by Dina on Jun 23 2011

Groundswell is a fun, engaging novel, and a perfect read for a summer vacation.

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Me, My Book, and My Couch

Above average
Reviewed by Shonda on Jun 23 2011

At times, the story was predictable and I saw the ending long before I finished the book. I still found myself invested in the story and cheered Emma on.

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Taming the Bookshelf

Reviewed by Tara on Jul 20 2011

This is a very cute love story (also YES, FINALLY a book that isn't part of a series) and a great beach read. If you're a fan of Lauren Weisberger or Emily Giffin, I'd suggest taking this one along on your summer vacation!

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Books, Books, Everywhere!

Reviewed by Jill on Jun 23 2011

I really enjoyed this book and had a hard time putting it down.

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Reader Rating for Groundswell

An aggregated and normalized score based on 93 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

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Luana Mitten

Luana Mitten 5 Sep 2013

Added the book to want to read list