Saturday, October 18, 2014

An Imaginary House by the Sea by Cecily Gates

An Imaginary House by the Sea
by Cecily Gates

My rating: 5 stars

Publication Date: July 13, 2014
Publisher: Cecily Gates
Genre: Adult Fiction, Women's Fiction
Print Length: 233 pages
Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble


“Love is a messy thing. That hopelessly devoted, deep-in-your-bones kind of love we used to dream about when we were kids—it turns out that it’s hard. It aches. It takes time. Like a house that weathers the ages, it must be built, brick by brick.”

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 (A Bridgeport Novel)My Review
An Imaginary House by the Sea by Cecily Gates

Before sitting down to read An Imaginary House by the Sea may I suggest setting the following items within reach: tissues, about a box should do for the crying scenes and maybe half a box for the laughing so hard you start crying scenes, add some pain relievers for your neck as you will be shaking your head in disbelief at times, then put out the Do Not Disturb sign. Snacks are optional.

Dawn ran from her hometown to the big city, created the woman she wanted to be, beautiful, chic, always seen in the right places, successful at her job, and avoiding serious commitment by having an affair with a married man. Like anything too good to last, wham! The rug was pulled out from under her and she finds herself going home, tail between her legs, trying to regroup and figure out what to do now.

How could she know she would run into the love of her life, all grown up, hot and wearing the bullseye Dawn has placed on his back for cupid’s arrow. Too bad she discovers he is married with children and from all appearances, deeply in love with his beautiful wife, who clearly sees through Dawn and the stage is set for two women to completely dislike each other. What evolves between them changes all that and awakens the good and unselfish side of Dawn that seems to have been in stasis from years.

Cecily Gates has created the ultimate main character in Dawn as her transformation from shallow and selfish to unselfishly giving and big-hearted takes her from “I want to scratch her eyes out,” territory to “Wow, what an amazing person, I’ll put the bat away, now.” Miss Gates has set the stage for her world and placed each character in position to their best effect. I read some parts twice, they were so moving. The touches of snark and humor were priceless and added to the dimension of Dawn’s character. Marguerite was simply amazing, as her personality unfolded like a flower slowly opening.

Ms. Gates’s style is simply smooth as honey, with a few bees flying around to add that little sting of drama. I think we have an author to watch!

I received this copy from Cecily Gates in Exchange for my honest review.

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