3.75 to 4 stars
After finding out that her husband was cheating on her, Lily Parkins left her comfortable life in Los Angeles for Madrona Island. The island was a significant part of Lily's childhood. It is also where her grandmother lived as a proprietor of B&B, which she left to Lily when she died.
I enjoyed this little gem of a story. This wasn't really your typical romance book, although it certainly has a lot of that. The Guestbook is also about friendship, family, letting go and moving on.
Lily was such a sympathetic character. After spending 10 years of her life with a man who neither loved or appreciated her, she was ready to start anew. You can feel her uncertainty, her insecurities being that her husband has traded her for a much younger woman. Not only that, in the beginning of the book, it seems like Lily herself doesn't quite know who she is.
It took time, with the help of some of her grandmother's guestbook, for Lily to find herself again, to feel comfortable and to accept her new life. Of course, a big part of Lily moving on was Ian McPherson, her artist neighbor.
The romance took awhile to materialize, which was understandable given that Lily just got out of a 10 year marriage and isn't officially divorced yet. And Ian also wasn't quite over the death of his wife. He's a successful painter who comes to Madrona Island to visit his grandfather. Both of them were hesitant to start something but when they did, their love story was sweet and immensely satisfying to read.
There's also a bit of a mystery element to the book, which I feel wasn't really fully developed, which was okay for me since I was really more interested in the people that surrounded Lily and Ian. I was intrigued by Jude and Ryan. I know there's a story there and I'm looking forward to that. I was also intrigued by Kyla and Lucas and even John McPherson's love affair with Lily's grandmother. I thought that was really sweet.
Overall, The Guestbook was a well-written and enjoying read. I especially enjoyed Ms. Hurst vivid description of Madrona Island and the island life in general. I would definitely recommend this for readers who like their romance sweet and without the angst.
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*A copy of this book was provided to Ever After Romance Book Blog in exchange for an honest review.*