5 Stars / Contemporary / Review

Review: Serendipity by Carly Phillips

Now their fortunes have reversed…but their long-ago attraction still burns.

From high school golden girl to wife of a high-powered New York attorney, Faith Harrington lived the dream. Until divorce and her father’s imprisonment for fraud left her with almost nothing. Now she’s back in her hometown to redesign her life, and not every face is friendly. Least of all the town rebel, whose memory lingered long after they shared one searing teenage kiss.

Ethan Barron is a bad boy. Was. Was a bad boy. Now a man—a very rich man—he quietly buys the old Harrington mansion to thumb his nose at Serendipity and the people who looked down on him. But until he reconciles with his brothers and builds a life, the victory rings hollow.

Faith had been a rich girl ripe for rebellion, and his shamelessly stolen kiss still burns in his dreams. Only a fool would risk feeding town gossip by asking her to redecorate the house she grew up in. But Ethan never did choose easy. Not when the hard way promises a much sweeter—and hotter—reward.

Author:Carly Phillips
Series:Serendipity (Book 1)
Trope(s):Second Chance Romance
Small Town Romance
Point of View:Third Person, Past Tense, Dual Viewpoints (H&h)
Location:Serendipity, New York, US
Release Date:3rd February, 2023
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Sweet, hot and satisfying – classic Carly Phillips

5 stars

This is a classic Carly Phillips story – both in the fact that it’s exactly the kind of story that I expect and love from her and also because this is a re-release of a story originally published in 2011. This is also the first book in a series of connected standalone stories all set in the small town of Serendipity, New York.

Our couple in this story are Ethan, the classic bad-boy from the wrong side of the tracks and Faith, the rich girl princess cheerleader. At least, that’s who they both were in high school when they first met and sparks flew.

Ethan left town due to a scandal and never looked back. But now he has returned to his home town, ready to make amends for his wrongs and show everyone that he’s done well for himself. He definitely had that bad-boy turned good vibe going on and I liked how he still felt alpha and strong despite having a lot of emotional baggage. He gave himself a hard time and I did feel sorry (and angry) for him on several occasions. But Faith balanced him out and to that, they were the perfect couple.

“As I said, this is a classic Carly Phillips story… a fun, sweet and hot romance with… a happy ending that will leave you satisfied.”

I probably can’t say I have much in common with a rich girl who lost it all when her daddy went to jail – but it was still surprisingly easy to relate to Faith. She was determined to start afresh, make something of herself and find out who she really was. She was the perfect blend of vulnerability and kick-ass that made me like and root for her.

Ethan and Faith have superb chemistry helped, unsurprisingly, by Carly Phillips’ always exemplary way of writing with steam. So there was definitely enough heat to give an added boost to a fun and enjoyable story.

We also get the added bonus of several secondary characters who help give depth to Ethan and Faith’s romance. Tess was a surprisingly delightful addition and who knew I could so easily take to a snarky, emo, juvenile delinquent? We also get Faith’s best friend, her best enemy and, of course, Ethan’s brothers. I have to say that I had little love for either of them and, despite much willing on my part, only one of them came around by the end of the book. Imagine my surprise when the worst of the brothers was the main focus of the epilogue and I actually felt sorry for the guy. How Ms Phillips got me from hate to sympathy in the space of one chapter is beyond me. And now I can’t wait for Nash’s own story – dammit.

As I said, this is a classic Carly Phillips story. It’s not too demanding, not very heavy but is a fun, sweet and hot romance with characters that you’ll root for and a happy ending that will leave you satisfied. If you’re a fan of the author or just want to be whisked away for a couple of hours, I would recommend this story to you.

5 stars

*I received this book in exchange for my honest review*

Carly Phillips gives her readers Alphalicious heroes to swoon for and romance to set your heart on fire, and she loves everything about writing romance. She married her college sweetheart and lives in Purchase, NY along with her three crazy dogs: two wheaten terriers and a mutant Havanese, who are featured on her Facebook and Instagram. She has raised two incredible daughters who put up with having a mom as a romance author. Carly is the author of over fifty romances, and is a NY Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestseller. She loves social media and interacting with her readers. Want to keep up with Carly? Sign up for her newsletter and receive TWO FREE books at

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The Serendipity Series:

Book 1
Kismet Carly Phillips Serendipity
Book 2
Destiny Carly Phillips Serendipity
Book 3
Book 4
Karma Carly Phillips Serendipity
Book 5

1 Comment

  • […] the second book in the Serendipity series. Lissa first appeared in the previous book, also called Serendipity but just briefly and, well, she was wasn’t that nice in that book. So this is a fresh start for […]


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