When I first saw this book was available to review, via FIRST Wild Card Tours, I wasn't sure whether it was something I would enjoy reading, or not. I decided to go ahead and request it, since I had enjoyed Denise's previous book, The Will of Wisteria.
Let me just tell you that I am sooooo glad I got my hands on this book -- it is absolutely amazing! There are so many laugh-out-loud moments, but I also found myself almost sobbing at times. Hurricanes in Paradise will most definitely be on my Top 10 list of favorite books for 2010. Yes, it's THAT good!
As you can see from the synopsis, this book is about 4 women who end up at the same resort in the Bahamas. They've all had life-changing experiences that they haven't quite come to terms with, though none of them actually realize it.
Let me interrupt myself, and mention this -- if you don't enjoy reading books that focus on how truly great God is, then this one may not be for you. I, personally, don't enjoy reading a book where I feel like religion is being "forced" on me, but in no way whatsoever did I feel that way with this book. I actually thought everything fit together perfectly.
The first person you meet will be Riley Sinclair -- she is the director of guest relations at the five-star resort, Atlantis, where this story takes place. After her life fell completely apart, and she reached absolute rock-bottom, Riley decided that she needed to get away from everything familiar and try to start over with a clean slate. Even though she feels like she has dealt with the heart-breaking events of her past, she soon finds out that she has a lot of emotional "baggage" locked up tight inside. One huge lesson that Riley has yet to learn is that she can't truly move on with her life until she finally forgives herself for the tragic events from her past -- as her family, her friends, and especially her God, have already done.
The next woman to arrive at Atlantis is Tamyra Larsen, who is a "pagent" girl. A few weeks before her arrival, she decided to sell everything she owned, including her car. She made this extreme decision after receiving the most devastating news of her young life. Tamyra hasn't even found the courage to tell her family what's going on, but she eventually opens up to one of the other ladies staying at the resort. Her story was a real tear-jerker for me!
Dr. Winnie Harris is the third to arrive, and she is the most colorful character in this story. Her crazy sayings had me laughing so hard I had tears running down my face! You never know what's gonna come out of her mouth! She is also one of the most caring women -- always ready to listen whenever anyone needs to talk, no matter if it's day or night.
The most famous guest is Laine Fulton. She is a world renowned author, and has an attitude that just won't wait. Laine was the hardest character for me to warm up to, as she gives you no reason whatsoever to like her. She's rude, obnoxious, and just plain uncaring of other people's feelings -- at least, that's how she first comes across. By the end of the story, she had found a special place in my heart.
There are quite a few more characters involved to help carry this story along, but I don't want to bore you to death, or give away any vital information that might ruin it in any way for someone!
Writing this review, and remembering special scenes, has almost brought me to tears once again. I can't encourage you enough to go out and BUY a copy of this book if you have to! Just get yourself a copy as soon as you possibly can -- it's definitely worth your time!
To find out more about Denise Hildreth and/or her books, be sure to pop over to her website.
***I would like to say a special "thank you" to Vicky Lynch of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc for sending me a review copy, via FIRST Wild Card Tours.***
This book was such a fun read! You will laugh and you will cry. You will celebrate with the characters as they grow closer to God and triumph over their past. You will cheer them on and love them. A very quick and entertaining book.