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Monday, December 8, 2014

An Imaginary House By The Sea by Cecily Gates (Review)

Title: An Imaginary House By The Sea
Series: A Bridgeport Novel
Author: Cecily Gates
Published: July 2014
Format: Ebook received for review

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.

An Imaginary House By The Sea isn't my normal type of read.  But sometimes you pick up a book, and you just know.  Well, Cecily Gates really wrote a fantastic novel here, and I am so happy I was able to read it.  This book is filled with heart, and you feel it on every single page.

Dawn is a young woman who is about to move from the big city back home to small town Bridgeport.  It's not something that she really wants to do, but it has to happen.  She's lost her job, her boyfriend is married, and her friends are more like accessories than true friends.  In the beginning, Dawn seemed a bit selfish and self absorbed.  She runs into John, the "one who got away" when she returns home.  As it turns out, John is married, too.  Basically, she's a woman who has lost her way from who she truly is.  But in this book, she learns a lot of hard lessons, and is lucky enough to kind of get a reset.  Going home is not always a bad thing.

If you are looking for a romance, don't be surprised when you don't find one, really.  Sure, there are kisses and romantic themes involved.  But this story goes a lot deeper into Dawn and the people around her.  What turns out to be a superficial life turns into something deeper.  And then even deeper.  Bonds are formed in this book.  Dawn grows up immensely.

I just loved this whole story. Marguerite, who at first is very much like the shark that the blurb compares her to, has so much more than meets the eye.  And I didn't like her at first either, but then as I got to know her, I loved her as much as everyone else.  And John is quite complex too. This man gets caught in a bit of a triangle, and it's not hard to put yourself in his place... or anyone's place in this book.

This book really shows you to not just take your first impression... to look deeper and find out what is really beneath the surface.  It's a very touching story, and I can't tell you how much I loved watching everyone grow and evolve.  Cecily Gates writes with passion, and there was absolutely no problem drawing me into the story.  I read this book in one day, and I'm anxiously awaiting the second book in the Bridgeport series.

Buy It

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