Serendipity by Carly Phillips
Headline Eternal (April 2013)
Paperback, 304 pages
Serendipity is a really cute, fun contemporary romance and the first book I’ve read by Carly Phillips. Ethan Barron is back in his home town, Serendipity, after running from his problems years before. He’s different now, he has a large house on the hill, large amounts of money in his bank account and a mature heart. He wants to put things right. Faith Harrington is also back in Serendipity, but her family fortune has diminished, her father is a criminal, she’s embarrassed but wants to start again, she just hopes the people of the town will let her.
Ethan bumps into Faith outside his new house, which used to be Faith’s family home. When they were in their teens they had one brief kiss, albeit a very memorable one, but Faith turned him down when he wanted more. Seeing each other again they realise that the passion they felt many years before is still there, and sparks fly.
I loved these two characters. Faith is sweet, a little vulnerable because of what her father did. She’s still finding it difficult to come to terms with it herself and her mother is no help, shutting herself away, still with the allusion that she is a wealthy woman, and better than everyone else. To say these two ladies are like chalk and cheese is an understatement. Faith is a caring woman, with a big heart, and this is shown time and again with things she says and does. I admire her so much for going back to her home town to face all the people her father destroyed by his criminal ways. Instead of hiding away, she lifts her head up high and gets on with building her new interior design business.
I admire Ethan just as much. He was a bit of a bad-boy in his youth, and although he’s older and wiser Faith can see he still holds on to a little bit of that, and it drives her crazy – in a good way. Ethan ran out on his younger brothers when they needed him and he’s never forgiven himself. They haven’t forgiven him either, and their relationship is difficult at the best of times. He wants to put things right, but he doesn’t quite know how.
Faith and Ethan’s relationship starts off as just a bit of fun. They flirt, have a couple of sexy-times, but then they both begin to have feelings for each other and are scared. Especially Faith. She has just left behind a messy divorce and doesn’t want to jump into another relationship.
Then something happens that brings them even closer together. Ethan suddenly finds himself leaning on Faith for strength and support, and Faith finds herself wanting to give it. But there are a few obstacles in their way to prevent it being smooth sailing. They have to deal with a life changing addition to Ethan’s family, Ethan’s brothers, Faith’s mother, her father’s further insult to injury when an interview with him is published, as well as fending off a the people who were hurt by her father. But all this turmoil combined with a steamy romance made a great combination. The relationships between characters felt real and life-like.
Serendipity may be my first Carly Phillips book, but it certainly won’t be my last. I really like her writing style and hope to read more in this series very soon.
A cute romance with substance, Serendipity is a great summer read.
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