Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Audio Book Review: What Happens in Paradise by Elin Hilderbrand

Genre: Adult Fiction/Audio Book
Pub. Date: October 8, 2019
Publisher: Little, Brown, and Company
Source: Personal Copy
Other Books by Author:  Winter in ParadiseBeautiful Day, 
The Island and The Perfect Couple
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "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 plane 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 Paradiseis another immensely satisfying page-turner from one of American's most beloved and engaging storytellers."

Baker finds himself a single dad in this second installment of Elin Hilderbrand's Paradise series. His wife has moved on, so why shouldn't he? If you remember from book one, he has a romantic prospect on the island of St. John, not to mention the fact that his father's villa is sitting empty. So, why not go down there with his son? Heck, why not move there? Then there's Cash. His business in Colorado went under and he has a job prospect on St. John; so, he decides to head back down there as well.  There's no reason to head back to Colorado.  Irene is still trying to fill in the blanks regarding her husband's untimely death; plus, all the secrets he has been keeping are starting to unfold.  When she was last at St. John, she hit it off with Huck, so there are many reasons for Irene to also head back to the island.  Then there's the dark cloud that is following the family regarding Russell's business dealings. It appears the authorities will be getting involved, because things aren't what they seem or on the up and up.  This doesn't come as a surprise though, because readers know from book one that Russell was leading a double life. What will happen to the Steeles? Even though they are destined for more sunny days on St. John, things are just starting to get complicated as the truth surrounding Russell unfolds.  What Happens in Paradise is an excellent sequel to Winter in Paradise. I thoroughly enjoyed this audio book and going along for the Steele's wild ride.

It was very easy to fall back into the lives of the Steeles in What Happens in Paradise.  You can't help but feel for each of them, especially as their lives have been blown up thanks to Russell's double life.  Baker is back on St. John and hoping to reconnect with Ayers, who he hit it off with in book one, but she has gotten back with her horrible ex-boyfriend.  So, things there aren't very simple on that front.  Cash is working with Ayers on a charter boat, so cue the drama there.  Irene also takes a job with Huck, so despite the fact that Huck is Rosie's step-father, they also continue their sort-of relationship in this What Happens in Paradise.  But the Steeles were left with a fantastic villa on St. John, so why not take advantage of it, right?  Oh, and they do! Hilderbrand describes the restaurants, the excursions, the fishing trips, the cocktails, the sunshine all very exquisitely. *Swoon* This book is the perfect winter escape.

Readers get a lot more answers in What Happens in Paradise, thanks to Rosie's diary. I thought this was a nice touch by Hilderbrand so we could get things from her perspective as Russell's mistress.  Let's just say things get very interesting as we are able to figure out what Russell was up to.  Plus, FBI agents are getting involved, which brings an added element of drama to the story. Slowly readers piece together more and more info surrounding Russell's secret life.

The narration was done by Erin Bennett in What Happens in Paradise and I enjoyed it.  I thought she was able to capture the various characters very well and I found her voice to compliment the story.

Of course What Happens in Paradise ends with a cliffhanger, so I am obviously going to be waiting with bated breath for the next installment.  I have to say this series is perfect for readers who want a winter time escape to St. John, but also want a side of a mystery to it.  Elin Hilderbrand did not disappoint!


  1. This series sounds so good, I can't wait to start it!

    1. It's a lot of fun! I didn't expect to be so invested. Elin HIlderbrand does a good job with the mystery aspect too. I hope you enjoy it, Michele. Thanks for visiting!

  2. I still don't think Russell is dead (being saying it since book one). Haha, we shall see if I am way off in left field!

    1. I know, right? I have this strange feeling too. I am excited to see where the story goes! Thanks for visiting.

  3. I have to admit, I started listening to the first book yesterday and DNFed it after an hour! Irene's life felt so materialistic, and I couldn't get past the names of her kids, Cash and Baker!

    1. I know. Sometimes Hilderbrand has strange names for her characters, but definitely keep up with it. Irene grows on you! Thanks for visiting, Angela!


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