by Elin Hilderbrand
Irene and Russel Steele live a very comfortable life in Iowa. Russel’s job takes him away from home much of the time, but Irene doesn’t mind because he earns plenty of money so she doesn’t have to worry. She spends her time renovating their Victorian home and she never doubts his love for her as he shows it in extreme, sky writing kinds of ways. Although their life is undergoing some changes, their adult sons, Cash and Baker, don’t seem to need their mother anymore, the magazine at which Irene has been editor is pushing her to retire, their life, at least on the outside is idyllic.
This seemingly perfect life takes an odd turn when Irene gets a call to say that her husband has been killed in a helicopter crash on the island of St. John in the Caribbean. Irene was not even aware that Russ was in the Caribbean. She flies down to get things sorted to find that not only has someone already identified Russel’s body and sent it for cremation, but also that Russel had a huge villa and a second family on the island. These events begin Irene’s Winter in Paradise as she, Cash and Baker (each with secrets of their own), try to determine the truth about the life their husband and father has been living.
This is the first book in Hilderbrand’s new trilogy and the first book of hers that I’ve read. It appealed to me as a lighter read in these heavy times and was not disappointed. The story is a good combination of intrigue, romance and tension in a Caribbean setting.
The second book, What Happens in Paradise is just as intriguing and fortunately has been available since October 2019. Be aware that book three of the trilogy does not come out until the end of 2020 and each of the novels ends with a real cliffhanger. I have enjoyed the series so far and will definitely be looking for the third one as soon as it is available. The books are good if you are looking for a distraction that includes a little escape to a Caribbean Island from within your living room.