In An Imaginary House by the Sea by Cecily Gates, Dawn Campbell had it all: the high profile job, the swanky apartment,  and the hot boyfriend.  In a blink of an eye, it’s all gone and Dawn retreats from the city to her parents home to lick her wounds. When she gets back home,  she discovers her childhood friend and crush, John has moved back home. Despite being married,  John and Dawn have undeniable chemistry but John refuses to do more than kiss Dawn. Deciding to confront his wife, Dawn marches over one day only to discover that perfect Marguerite isn’t so perfect after all. The two women become unlikely friends and that friendship changes the lives of everyone they know.

22565408When I first started reading this book, I assumed this was going to be a sweet romance. Dawn would convince John to leave the shrew known as Marguerite,  and they would get a HEA. The story is about so much more. It’s about friendships,  loss, choices made, and redefining yourself.

Dawn was a difficult character for me to like. I think mainly because it was due to her penchant for married men. She knew John was married (as well as her ex boyfriend in the city) and yet she still kept after him.

Gradually, Dawn grew on me as she changed.  Her friendship with Marguerite, though strained at first,  made her into a better person. Suddenly Dawn wasn’t as selfish and self absorbed and it made her more like able.

My only complaint about this book is that I would have liked to have had more details on the friendship between Marguerite and Dawn. The reader knows they spend time together but what did they talk about?  Did they discuss the secret that John and Marguerite were hiding?

Overall,  this was an enjoyable read for me. Anyone who enjoys women’s fiction should definitely check this book out. It’s perfect for a cold snowy weekend read!

Reviewed by Candy

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About the Book:

Title: An Imaginary House by the Sea (Bridgeport, #1)

Author: Cecily Gates

Release Date: July 14, 2014

Category: Contemporary Romance / Women’s Fiction

Source: Copy received from Author

Book Summary:

“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.

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