Hey love and a fantastic Sunday to you. I have to admit that this past week has been quite a handful for me, and it is rather refreshing to be able to dive into the world of fantasy for a while and just forget about it all.
So I’ve been pinching out books that I had borrowed from my sister but never really got around to reading until now. This time around my hands fell on this 438 pager by Erica James by the title ‘PARADISE HOUSE’.
I don’t know about you but I think that a title really adds quite the necessary flair needed for a good story. I know how hard it normally is when I’m trying to find just the right title for my works. In fact, I go as far as not to title it at all and continue with the story itself until the perfect title just falls into my lap or reveals itself through the characters or the feel of the story, but, I digress.
About the Author
So just a brief profile of Erica James; she grew up in Hampshire and has since lived in Oxford, Yorkshire, and Belgium. She now lives in Cheshire with her two sons, Edward and Samuel. She is the author of ten bestselling novels, four of which have been nominated for the Romantic Novel of the Year Award. I don’t know about you but I think that is just incredible…right?
To the story then…
Angel Sands is a traditional seaside resort of bed and breakfasts, holiday cottages, and teashops. And with the best views of the tiny beach and surrounding coastline is Paradise House, home to the Baxter girls-known locally as the Sisters of Whimsy.
With their mother taking time out to ‘find’ herself, it’s down to Genevieve to run the family-owned bed and breakfast which is not an easy task given that their father has suddenly become a magnet for the opposite sex. There’s also little help from her sisters as Nattie is too busy offending a long-time admirer and Polly spends most of the time with her head in the clouds or a book.
Then a nearby dilapidated barn is sold and Genevieve finds that a bittersweet trip down memory lane is unavoidable…
Sounds interesting right? Believe me, it is. I was hooked to the story the minute I started and am only more eager to turn the next page with each stroke of Erica’s magic.
I will start off by admitting that I deliberately took a lot longer to read this particular book because I honestly did not want it to end. In fact, when I actually turned the page and realized that it was indeed the very last one, I was genuinely shocked trying to flip through nothingness to see what happens next. Paradise house left me hanging on the ledge and parting was such sweet sorrow.
One thing that I can say about Erica James is that she is in tune with what her readers crave for; emotion. I found it absolutely beautiful how the characters, scenes, and general story reels you in and holds you there, allowing you to feel each moment, each thought, and each dynamic in the conversations without compromising on the individuality of each scenario.
The characters that she created for instance I found were quite relatable, genuine, and loveable in spite of the setting and culture being so different from my own. Why? Well because Erica was simply telling a love story between normal human beings without any hidden messages or agendas. They came out as individuals with vivid personalities and real lives and experiences.
Genevieve for instance who is the heroine in the story comes alive in a perfectly painted and sustained personality. We get to understand it from her past with her deaf love interest, Christian, her present charming Businessman and friend Adam, and her dreams which the writer perfectly and steadily takes us through. We also get tangled up with her in the love triangles, her mother’s frivolous absence, and her entire family’s dependence on her in spite of her own weight of the world on her shoulders and ill-confronted scarring ordeal; this of course not including practically running Paradise House all on her own.
Often times I found myself wanting to put the book down and do something else but then found my hands dragging the book longingly with me, even into the loo; imagine that…haha.
To be honest, Paradise House was a touching heartfelt story with real ‘Jack-in-the-box’ surprises that catch you off-guard and keep you tittering on for more. It was also not distractedly over scandalous, and the very few sex scenes that were there were tastefully muted with a tremendously romantic effect. I think a good writer is one who knows when to use their readers’ imagination by supplying very little details, and Erica definitely did justice to that.
In short, I loved every minute of it from the start to the end. I only wish that I didn’t have to face another book in fear of losing the connection with these characters I met in Angel Sands. It feels so much like saying goodbye to an old friend; gut-wrenching.
As always my lovelies, it was a pleasure having you over. If you’re a hopeless romantic in need of a healthy dose of romance, make sure to sink your eyes into this masterpiece.
Until next time though, read, read, read.