The Imaginary House by the Sea by Cecily Gates

The Imaginary House by the Sea by Cecily Gates

“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 had it all!  The great job, swanky apartment and hot man, but when she loses everything she finds herself moving back home to Bridgeport. It is here that she is reunited with John Brown, her childhood sweetheart. Dawn dreams of romance and happily ever after, but John already has that with wife Marguerite and their two children. But is everything that it seems? 
When I first started reading ‘The Imaginary House by the Sea’ I wasn’t a big fan of Dawn, I didn’t particularly like the set up she had going on. But thankfully I grew to like and understand her. She proved to be extremely caring.
Speaking of caring characters, this brings me to John. The love he has for his wife and children is deep to his core and he will do anything for them, there is no denying that he puts his family first. John is the character I favoured the most and I think that’s because he is true to himself. I have to admit that both Dawn and Marguerite were characters who I found standoffish at times but as the story starts to unfold, I began to understand the reasoning behind their actions and words! 
The women become bonded by a secret they share and it is then that their journey really gets going and their characters start to show who they really are. With that one secret, we find ourselves on an emotional journey that culminates in an epilogue which will leave you ready for more, because Cecily Gates has created a wonderful powerful read that sets up the first in the Bridgeport series, perfectly!

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