Friday, March 14, 2014

First Chapter Review: The Guestbook by Andrea Hurst

I recently downloaded a free copy of The Guestbook by Andrea Hurst to my Kindle. The digital version of this novel currently costs $2.99.

BLURB:  This book weaves together the heart of Nicholas Sparks, the romance of Nora Roberts, and the charm of Debbie Macomber.

Fleeing her picture-perfect marriage among the privileged set of Brentwood and the wreckage of a failed marriage, Lily Parkins decides to move to the only place that still holds happy memories, her grandmother’s old farmhouse. The lush and majestic setting of the Pacific Northwest calls to her and offers a place of refuge and perhaps renewal. Her grandmother has passed away, leaving the Madrona Island Bed & Breakfast Inn to Lily.

Left with only an old guestbook as her guide–a curious book full of letters, recipes, and glimpses into her family history–Lily is determined to embrace her newfound independence and recreate herself, one page at a time. With the help of the quirky island residents she has befriended, she slowly finds the strength to seek out happiness on her own terms. But as soon as she has sworn off men and is standing on her own two feet, Lily meets Ian, the alluring artist who lives next door, and her new life is suddenly thrown off course. The last thing she wants to do right now is to open her heart to another man.

Ultimately, Lily must decide if it’s worth giving up her soul for security or risking everything to follow her heart in this romantic love story.

The Guestbook is the first book in the Madrona Island Trilogy.

COVER: Though the book blurb is what ultimately made me download this novel to my very overloaded Kindle Fire, it was the beautiful cover that attracted me. Meant to look similar to a guestbook, the blue and gold work nicely together; and who can resist that lovely farmhouse surrounded by colorful flowers?

***BONUS MATERIAL - First chapter of Always with You included

FIRST CHAPTER: Lily's marriage has been falling apart for years now. She doesn't know why she stays. When she discovers her husband's secret, she flees her picture-perfect life and heads to Washington State, where she has inherited her grandmother's old farmhouse that had been turned into a bed and breakfast.

KEEP READING: Definitely. The prologue and first chapter both pull at your heartstrings. The prologue puts into motion what will eventually draw Lily back to her grandmother's farmhouse. The reader meets Margaret, Lily's grandmother, who has recently drawn up her will. The first chapter then brings Lily and her husband Brad into the picture. From the moment you meet them, you sympathize with Lily for being saddled with such an insensitive guy. And once you learn his secret, you're happy Lily is leaving him far behind.

Hurst immediately draws you into this story. She quickly sets the stage in this opening chapter for getting Lily from California to Washington State, where she will take over the running of the bed and breakfast. There's a female neighbor introduced in this chapter as well. I hope we'll see more of her as the novel progresses. It also looks like food will play a significant role in the book. Hurst's descriptions of Lily working in the kitchen were enough to make my mouth water.

File Size: 1049 KB
Print Length: 336 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (December 30, 2013)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
Text-to-Speech: Enabled

This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

1 comment:

Katherine P said...

This one sounds like my kind of book! I'll have to give it a try.