I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.An Imaginary House by the Sea by Cecily Gates
Series: Bridgeport #1
Published by Self Published on July 14, 2014
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Contemporary Romance
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“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.
Dawn Campbell loses her event planner job in the city and that’s the catalyst for her return home to Bridgeport. She soon runs into John Brown, her best friend from high school and her unrequited love. For a brief moment, Dawn thinks that maybe sparks are reigniting…that is until she sees that wedding band on his finger.
The author uses a clever device to tell the story of their past relationships without bogging down the story. There are snippets beginning each chapter that give insight into their personalities and important events. They’re brief and highly effective.
Honestly? I wasn’t a fan of Dawn’s for most of the story. She had pretty shallow behaviors, far different from what she was before she moved to the city. Oddly, it was John’s wife, Marguerite who forced Dawn to examine who she was and reconnect with the idealist of her youth. The dynamics between these three are the heart the story. Some of it will anger you, others will make you weep.
It’s a touching story with an interesting ending that caught me flat footed. While much was resolved, it opened the door to a new challenge. I’m looking forward to reading the next story in this series.