Serendipity by Carly Phillips (Serendipity #1)
September 6, 2011
Reviewed by Helyce
Faith Harrington has moved back to Serendipity. She’s hoping to start an interior design business but she knows it won’t be easy. For one, her father was convicted of running a Ponzi scheme which affected many families and businesses in the town causing them to lose their life savings. If that wasn’t enough, she’s recently divorced having caught her husband in an affair with his secretary in her very own bed. All she wants is a fresh start and she hopes that the people of Serendipity will judge her on her own merit and not on what her father has done.
Ethan Barron has also come home to Serendipity. Once the town bad boy, he ran away at just 18 when his parents were killed by a drunk driver while on the way to bail him out of jail. He joined the army and after his term he took his love of video gaming and computers and turned it into a successful weapons software development company. Coming back to Serendipity is not easy for Ethan. When he left ten years ago, he left behind two younger brothers, Nash and Dare. Forced into the foster care system, they have not forgiven Ethan for leaving them the way he did. Ethan is carrying around a lot of guilt for leaving his brothers but he’s determined to make amends.
Ironically, Ethan is now the new owner of the Harrington mansion, Faith’s childhood home. He arrives home one day to find a woman standing on his front lawn, staring up at the house. When he realizes it is Faith, he’s immediately taken back to the day he and Faith shared a scorching kiss. A kiss that neither he nor Faith has forgotten. But neither of them is looking for a relationship. Faith needs to focus on her business and Ethan wants to rebuild a relationship with his brothers. But Ethan can’t stop thinking about Faith and he knows one sure way he can spend time with her, ask her to take him on as a client and decorate his house.
Faith is also attracted to Ethan and even though she thinks it’s a mistake she takes on the job of decorating Ethan’s house. As they spend more and more time together it becomes obvious to both of them that this is more than a fling. But Ethan’s brothers are not making it easy for him. They refuse to accept the olive branch he’s offered and Nash cannot accept Faith because his adoptive father was one of the victims of Faith’s father’s illegal scheme. If that wasn’t enough, the brothers are faced with an even bigger challenge when they learn that they have a half sister they never knew about.
This is my first Carly Phillips book and I can’t believe I have not read her before. Serendipity is just the type of contemporary romance I enjoy. A quick, light read, with perfect pacing and interesting characters it’s the type of story that leaves you feeling good at the end. I really enjoyed the character of Faith. While she grew up a pampered princess, when her life changed she certainly did not wallow in her misery with a “why me?” attitude as you might expect from someone who was wealthy. When Faith realizes that she’s always done what other people wanted or expected her to do, she blazes forward, starting her business and letting herself enjoy sexy Ethan.
Ethan is the typical reformed bad boy, but it works so well in this book because while his brothers and others in the town still see him as he was, he consistently surprised them in everything he did. The secondary characters were great too, bringing humor and emotion in just the right dose. I felt the ending was a bit abrupt and rushed through once everyone finds their happy place, but I do look forward to reading Nash’s story next. The teaser for book two looks like there might be a little bit of a triangle going on.