Thursday, September 01, 2011
A Perfect 10: SERENDIPITY by Carly Phillips
A Perfect 10
Serendipity Series, Book 1
Serendipity, New York – Present Day
Faith Harrington grew up the privileged only child of the town’s richest man, yet it didn’t stop her from falling for Ethan Barron, the town’s bad boy, after he kissed her one breathless, never-to-be-forgotten night. But when Ethan’s parents were tragically killed in an accident that he blames himself for, he abandoned his younger brothers and left town. Faith never forgot Ethan, even after she found herself pushed into marriage to another man. Meanwhile, Ethan went on to serve his country in the military and to take his love of computers and combine them into a military software business that has grossed him millions.
Faith returns to Serendipity after a hostile divorce, where the tide has turned on the Harrington family, their fortune now gone as a result of her father’s criminal involvement with a Ponzi scheme. Ethan is also back in town where he quickly snaps the Harrington mansion off the market. He’s not sure what he plans to do with it, but one thing he is sure about is that he’s going to flaunt his wealth to prove to others the bad boy has done good. He’s also going to try to repair the fractured relationship with his brothers Nash and Dare, who blame Ethan for leaving them when they needed him the most. But before he can make an attempt, Ethan runs into Faith, and old feelings of desire rise between them. Can there ever be anything between him and the woman he’s never forgotten?
Every so often as a reader, you’ll find yourself caring for the characters in a book. In SERENDIPITY, Ethan and Faith pull you into their lives as surely as if you know them in real life. There is Faith, the society princess who married the man her father chose, yet soon found her life turned into a bad dream when her father turned into a criminal and her husband betrayed her. Can she rise above the ashes and create a new life for herself? Ethan didn’t always have the best life possible, but it got even worse when his parents died on their way to bail him out of jail. How could he look at his brothers knowing he was responsible for their parents being in the wrong place? While Ethan walked away from Serendipity and his brothers, he went on to reform himself and become a millionaire. Ethan’s quest is to now win back his brothers’ friendship, if not their familial love. Right from the start, he learns it’s going to be an uphill battle.
For Faith, she’s trying to make the best of a bad situation, but was it the right decision to relocate in Serendipity, where her father is reviled and her mother has retreated into a shell of denial? Her father might be in prison, but he still makes her life miserable. Faith is living above a bar, certainly something she’s never had to do as the princess raised in the “castle” of her father’s home or the stately life as the wife of a prominent attorney. Her plans include starting an interior design business, and when Ethan offers to hire her, she’s reluctant. There is the fact that she would be redecorating her former home, but then there is dealing with the man himself. She can’t deny the feelings she’s carried for him all these years are starting to rise again. Besides, she has her demons of suddenly being a pariah in Serendipity, just as Ethan has his own of being the one who destroyed his family.
Into the mix, just as Ethan and Faith reach an understanding, is a bit of a surprise which is sure to upend any plans they may have to work out their differences. Certainly Ethan has another reason to reach out to his brothers, so maybe everything will work out for the best? Will Faith ever be accepted by the townsfolk as another victim of her father’s betrayal? Can she help Ethan realize that he isn’t responsible for his parents’ death? Can they ever find happiness with all the obstacles and swirling emotions around them?
Carly Phillips has penned another winner in SERENDIPITY, the first book in the series about the Barron brothers. Ethan is the oldest and the one left emotionally scarred. Faith is his yin to his yang, yet each feels the other is off limits. A wonderful balance of intriguing characters, emotion and sensuality, SERENDIPITY is one book which truly deserves a Perfect 10 award from Romance Reviews Today. Ms. Phillips hits the high notes with this splendid tale.
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