Book Club Picks/Mini Reviews: Paradise Books 1 & 2 by Elin Hilderbrand

I was excited when I heard my book club had selected Winter in Paradise and What Happens in Paradise, the first two book in Elin Hilderbrand’s Paradise trilogy. Yes, I had already read (or actually listened to) these books when they first came out, but I figured this was the perfect opportunity for me to reread them and be ready for when the third book came out later this year. 

I don’t often have the chance to reread books – there are just so many books out there that I want to read and so little time, right? But, I really enjoyed having this excuse to delve back into these books, and because I did audio, I actually took notes this time around so that I would remember things when it came time for book club. I really do love Elin’s writing and I am so excited to see how things play out in the final book. And it was really fun to get other’s opinions on where they see it going. 

I also found that I picked up on certain things that I probably missed the first time around. Knowing where things ended up, I knew what to look for, and it probably led me to be more aware of certain things that would happen, but it also allowed me to focus more on the characters’ behaviors where I might not have done so the first time around.

Do you reread books? There are definitely a few others I’d love to get to again, and as this experience has taught me, it’s quite enjoyable when I do get to, so maybe I’ll make it more of a priority. 

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Title: Winter in Paradise
Author: Elin Hilderbrand
Series: Paradise, #1
Narrator: Erin Bennett
Published: October 2018, Hachette Audio
Length: 10 hours 11 minutes
Source: Publisher
My Original Review

Summary: 
Spend the coldest days of winter on a Caribbean beach with New York Times Bestselling author Elin Hilderbrand.  

Join New York Times
Bestselling author Elin Hilderbrand on the stunning beaches of St.
John’s for the beginning of her thrilling new winter series-The
Paradise. Winter Paradise, the first book in the Paradise series,
has everything that readers have come to know and love about an Elin
Hilderbrand novel, plus a healthy dose of intrigue. 

Irene Steele’s
idyllic life-house, husband, family-is shattered when she is woken up by
a late-night phone call. Her beloved husband has been found dead, but
before Irene can process this tragic news, she must confront the
perplexing details of her husband’s death. He was found on St. John’s
island, a tropical paradise far removed from their suburban life.
Leaving the cold winter behind, Irene flies down to the beautiful
Caribbean beaches of St. John’s only to make another shocking discovery:
her husband had a secret second family. 

As Irene investigates the
mysterious circumstances of her husband’s death, she is plunged into a
web of intrigue and deceit belied by the pristine white sand beaches of
St. John’s. 

This exciting first book in the Paradise series will
transport readers to a new beach locale-another world that Elin knows as
well as her beloved Nantucket-and have them longing for winter.





My thoughts: I forgot how crazy that ending is…if you don’t know that this book is part of a trilogy, you are going to be so upset! I loved that we get to meet all the main players here, each so interesting in their own right and can see that there will be some interesting pairings happening in this series.




Audio thoughts: I love listening to Erin Bennett narrate these books. She just gets the nuances of Elin Hilderbrand’s writing and brings her characters to life.

Title: What Happens in Paradise
Author: Elin Hilderbrand
Series: Paradise, #2
Narrator: Erin Bennett
Published: October 2019, Hachette Audio
Length: 9 hours 47 minutes
Source: Publisher via Libro.fm
My Original Review

Summary:
Secret lives and new loves emerge in the bright Caribbean sunlight, in the
follow-up to national bestseller
Winter in Paradise


A year ago, Irene Steele had the
shock of her life: her loving husband, father to their grown sons and
successful businessman, was killed in a helicopter crash. But that
wasn’t Irene’s

only shattering news: he’d also been leading a double
life on the island of St. John, where another woman loved him, too.

Now
Irene and her sons are back on St. John, determined to learn the truth
about the mysterious life -and death – of a man they thought they knew.
Along the way, they’re about to learn some surprising truths about their
own lives, and their futures.

Lush with the tropical details, romance, and drama that made Winter in Paradise
a national bestseller, What Happens in Paradise is another immensely
satisfying page-turner from one of American’s most beloved and engaging
storytellers.




My thoughts: I really think you need to read this series in order, and even Elin states that in the beginning of this book in her author’s note. I love how deep we get to know the characters in this second book. I feel some growth happening and cannot wait to see just where it all ends up. The sense of intrigue surrounding Irene’s husband has been building sense book 1 and I have so many ideas and cannot wait to see if any come to fruition.





Audio thoughts: So glad Erin Bennett was the narrator again – I’m a big fan of consistency with narrators for series and Erin Bennett does it so well. She brings the same voices to the characters time and again.

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