Review & giveaway: 'An Imaginary House by the Sea' by Cecily Gates (2014)
Snarky and ambitious Dawn Campbell almost had it all: a job producing lavish celebrity events, a hip downtown apartment, and a studmuffin of a boyfriend. But after losing all three in one fell swoop, Dawn finds herself resorting to the unimaginable: returning home to Bridgeport, an oceanside town where the air smells sweet but not much happens.
When a chance encounter brings her into the sturdy arms of John Brown, her childhood best friend, old feelings come rushing back. As the sparks fly, life finally starts to look up for Dawn...until she meets his wife.
Marguerite Brown has everything that Dawn doesn’t: a killer fashion sense, a breathtaking beauty, and a French accent—oh, and the kind of temperament that makes great white sharks seem docile in comparison. Determined to release John from an unhappy marriage, Dawn turns on the charm and makes a plan to finally win back her one-that-got-away.
But after Dawn stumbles upon a secret that, up until now, Marguerite has meticulously kept hidden, the two women are thrust into an unexpected friendship. An Imaginary House by the Sea follows Dawn’s journey towards self-rediscovery, finding purpose, and building a more complex, steadfast kind of love than she could have ever imagined.
Today I'm really excited to share a book review and giveaway with all of you! Some of you book lovers might know Cecily Gates from her fabulous website The Page Girls. Besides running The Page Girls, Cecily is also an author and she released her debut novel 'An Imaginary House By the Sea' earlier this year. When she asked me whether I would be up to reviewing her book, I straight away said yes and Cecily was even amazing enough to provide me with two e-book copies of 'An Imaginary House By the Sea' to giveaway to some lucky readers, so be sure to scroll down and enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!
Twenty-something Dawn Campell has been working as a successful event planner in the city for several years, but when she suddenly loses her job, she finds herself back with her parents and sister Kayla in her hometown, Bridgeport. While spending her time working in the family business, Dawn also picks up her friendship with her childhood best friend and secret crush John Brown. She doesn't want to ignore the sparks she feels between them, but it doesn't take long before she realises John is now married and has two children. Dawn is still set on getting John to fall in love with her, but then she discovers John's wife, Marguerite, is hiding a big secret and everything changes...
'An Imaginary House By the Sea' is the first book in the Bridgeport series and Cecily Gates has managed to write a compelling and convincing start to this new book series, perfect for romance and chick lit fans. It took me a bit of time to warm to the main protagonist, Dawn; in the beginning she appeared a bit shallow and selfish and she didn’t seem too bothered to hook up with married men. However, as the story progressed, Dawn started to see certain things differently and she was forced to rethink her life decisions and goals, and I really enjoyed joining her on this journey towards self-rediscovery.
Dawn and her childhood best friend John have great chemistry and I especially loved all the memories they share, which the author used to open most chapters with. As a reader I could really feel the connection between the two of them and I personally think that’s one of the most important key elements of a love story. It wasn’t difficult to fall in love with John, who is just a great guy, and out of the other secondary characters I really liked Kayla, Dawn’s sister. The story flowed easily and had my interest from start to finish. Overall, ‘An Imaginary House by the Sea’ is a thoroughly enjoyable and touching read about second chances and finding yourself; a read which I am sure chick lit fans will enjoy just as much as I did!
Thanks to the author for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review.
Giveaway of 'An Imaginary House by the Sea'!
I'm incredibly excited to be able to make 2 readers very happy with an e-book copy of Cecily Gates' lovely debut novel 'An Imaginary House by the Sea'! Just follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter below; good luck to everyone! :)