Read Serendipity by Carly Phillips Online


Faith Harrington is a classic girl of privilege-until her father is convicted for running a Ponzi scheme. Now she's back in her hometown, where she runs into her teenage crush-dark, brooding Ethan Barron, who's no stranger to scandal himself....

Title : Serendipity
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780425243831
Format Type : Mass Market Paperback
Number of Pages : 283 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Serendipity Reviews

  • Catherine
    2019-05-26 17:43

    3.5 StarsFaith and Ethan knew each other in high school. She was the rich princess and he was the bad boy. One night he gave her a ride home and stole a kiss—and tried to steal more, although he was denied. ;) Fast forward to the present and their positions are almost completely reversed. Faith’s father was caught running an investment scam and sent to jail. Her family is now broke and a social pariah in town. Ethan left town under a dark cloud but made it big after getting out of the military and starting his own business. They both come back to town with a need to prove something. Ethan needs to prove that he’s not that punk kid anymore and to try to reconnect with his brothers. Faith is trying to stand on her own two feet and make something out of herself. She also wants to discover herself after a lifetime spent being who the men in her life wanted her to be. I know this sounds like a pretty typical setup, but the author really impressed me with her take on it. Faith and Ethan were not perfect characters who were able to magically conquer their problems at just the right moment. Neither were they necessarily the ones in the right. They made mistakes, Ethan especially, and they had to struggle to earn back the respect of those around them. They were willing to take their lumps, no matter how much it occasionally grated, and I had to respect them for that. Ethan’s past behavior really made me uncertain about his character—because he was wrong, no ifs, ands, or buts—but he was such a good character that I actually became impatient with his brothers for acting like jerks (more on that later) toward him. I liked Faith and appreciated her desire to make something of herself and her drive to pull herself out of the mess her father left behind. I know that the people her father defrauded were angry at her for benefitting from her father’s income while they lost everything, but I got really tired of her willingness to take their criticism when she had done nothing wrong. She tried to be the bigger person and not spread around her defense, or even an explanation. I can’t fault her for what she was trying to do, but I honestly don’t understand why she would be determined to come back to her hometown when she knew the people there would constantly treat her like crap. One, who thinks they can start a new business in such a hostile environment and have it be successful? Two, maybe it sounds cold, but other than her friends, why did she care so much about winning back the good opinion of the town? It’s not like she was trying to make amends for her father’s actions, she was just trying to get them to see that she was not the princess she used to be and that she was hurt by him too. I was honestly perplexed.I liked the inclusion of Tess. Usually kids are iffy for me, but I thought she mirrored young Ethan nicely. I enjoyed watching Tess and Ethan circle around each other to try to find a way to connect and was pleased that Ethan finally had someone in his family on his side (eventually). Her transformation from a trouble-child into a girl who wants regular hair and clothes happened so quickly that it felt inauthentic, but I suppose the author had to compress the timeline to make it work. I just don’t think she would have gone from such an angry kid to Miss Dyes-her-hair-back-and-wears-regular-clothes so easily. Ethan was my favorite character in the book. He was such a good guy. He had made a lot of mistakes in the past, but he was willing to try again and again to make it right in the present. He took a lot of abuse without flinching and it made me so sad to know that there was a very real possibility that he might never be able to apologize enough to make a difference. I loved that he owned the kind of guy he used to be. He even looks back on his teenage experience with Faith and reflects on how he didn’t take the rejection well at all back then. I loved that the author made a point of saying that, because that felt more authentic to a teenage boy. The fact that I loved Ethan so much made it really hard for me to like his brothers. I knew that they were completely justified in being so angry with him, but it doesn’t change the fact that I found it extremely hard to like them. I had no sympathy for Ethan’s previous actions, but it was hard to get over the fact that they were such complete and utter douches to him. By the end, I liked one brother more than the other, but I’m still not remembering either of them with many fond feelings.Although I enjoyed the book for the most part, I never quite felt the spark that would help suck me into the story. I didn’t feel wowed by the characters and plot, although I did like how the author approached the setup. I found the book pleasant and enjoyed my time reading it, but I doubt I’ll be continuing the series. I just didn’t like Ethan’s brothers enough to care about reading a Romance where I’m stuck in their head. I know I should sympathize more, but they really bugged me. Favorite Quote: The bad boy he used to be would take what she offered and not look back. But Ethan had worked too hard to get past that kid, his cockiness, arrogance, and the devastation he'd caused. He was still working on it. And he wasn't stupid. He knew he could never be this particular princess's Prince Charming. *Review originally posted on Fiction Vixen*

  • Lady Heather
    2019-06-11 13:51

    Wonderful story, characters, and writing! 10 years ago...Ethan Barron's was always known as the 'bad-boy' in town, and when he was 18 he was arrested. On the way to the jail to get Ethan out, Ethan's parents were hit and killed by a drunk driver. Ethan blamed himself, running away, leaving his two younger brothers to fend for themselves and be put into the foster care system. Faith Carrington was always known as a 'well off girl' who lived in the big mansion on the hill. She finishes high school and then goes onto college, and marries a man that her parents 'approve' of. Her life drastically changes when her father is convicted of a ponzi scam. With her father in jail, and her recent divorce from her husband who only married her because of her families connections, Faith returns home for a new beginning. She is trying to find out who she 'really' is. Ethan and Faith shared one kiss before he left. He was 18 and she was 16, and he always considered her 'the one that got away'. Faith was always wondered what would have happened had she let Ethan have more than a kiss that night so many years ago.10 years later.... Ethan returns to make amends with his brother's. He also returns an established businessman, and wealthy. Now that Faith's father is in jail, their possessions have been auctioned off to pay some of the restitution to those who lost everything. Ethan buys Faith's old house 'the mansion', thinking it will add to his credibility and his change in character.The first person Ethan runs into when he gets to his new house is Faith. Faith is there to take a look at her old childhood home, and reminisce. Each one has got huge walls up, because of what they've been through, and can't afford to let anyone in too close. They both have plans of a new beginning and their goals have no room for a complication such as a relationship to get in their way...and yet neither one of them can't seem to stop thinking about the other, and eventually they kiss to see if there is any chemistry.[image error]As Ethan tries to make amends with his brother's (who refuse to have anything to do with him because they felt abandoned by him), his 14 year old half-sister (Tess) is dropped off at his doorstep by her half sister in a desperate plea for help. Tess is a stubborn, angry, bitter, teenager who was abandoned by her mother, and has been staying with her older sister. Tess has been spiraling out control, and has now gotten arrested, and is on probation.Ethan feels like his personal life is out of control with only one piece of stability and happiness..and that's Faith.This story is one of trust, redemption, forgiveness, and learning to accept you can't change the past, but move forward the best that you can... and of course Love.Can't wait to read the next installment in the series :)

  • jenjn79
    2019-06-09 18:27

    Rating 4.5 / 5I hadn't planned on reading this book after being so disappointed with Phillips's last series. So I thought I'd pass on this one. But I picked it up at Wal-Mart, read the back and thought it sounded interesting so I decided to give it a chance. It was a good decision. I liked this book quite a bit.Series Note:First book in Phillips's new series “Serendipity” about a small New York town of the same name.Summary:Faith Harrington is returning to her hometown with her tail between her legs. Her father is an admitted Ponzi schemer now in jail, her ex-husband a cheating bastard, and her mom in total denial. So she's returned home to try to restart her life and to for once be her true self, not what everyone else wants her to be. Fate throws a monkey wrench in her plans when she realizes town bad boy Ethan Barron is also back, and he's bought her former family mansion.For Ethan, it should be a proud moment, the bad boy coming home to roost with wealth and a great job. But he's still living with the guilt of inadvertently causing his parents' deaths and abandoning his two younger brothers. He hopes by returning home he can repair his relationship with them. He didn't count on Faith.As soon as the two meet again, the chemistry of a long ago tryst reels its head and the two can't stay away from each other. Neither wanted a relationship, but that seems to be exactly what they got. But nothing is ever simple. Ethan's family issues come to a head and Faith must continue to deal with the fallout of her father's crimes, both of which threaten their relationship.Review:I've been reading Carly Phillips's books since not long after I started reading romance novels. And I've enjoyed most of what I've read of hers...except for her last series. Phillips's books have always been light, but the “Bachelor Blogs” series dipped into silly slapstick comedy that I just didn't enjoy. It made me wary of reading her next book. And I almost decided not to read it at all, but I gave it a chance. Glad I did, this book was really good.It's pretty much standard contemporary romance in that it's all about the characters, the romance, and the generic drama in their lives. The storyline is not complicated; it's pretty simple but it's a story that works and Phillips tells it well.I enjoyed both the hero and heroine a lot. Faith is the rich girl whose life is turned upside down by betrayal. She's loses almost everything and has to start over. I found her very likable. Instead of having a pity party for herself, she picks up and tries to move on as best she can. And she handles the surprises in Ethan's life very well. And poor Ethan. The guy made some terrible mistakes as a teenager and still hasn't forgiving himself. But he's a very caring guy. I loved how Phillips wrote his character. You start off expecting a bad buy Alpha, but then you see he's a genuinely nice guy who handles an unexpected revelation in his life amazingly well. Both characters were great to read about, and they had wonderful chemistry together. They seemed to fit very well together. The progression of their relationship came across very natural. Nothing felt forced or manufactured. And there's some moderately steamy sex to go along. Always a plus ;)As for I said, it's not a complicated story, but I enjoyed it. Phillips really kept me reading wanting to know how things would go with Ethan and Faith, what would happen with Ethan's “family issues,” how Faith would continue to deal with what her father did, etc. I just wanted to keep reading to see who it would all work out. And once I was done, I wanted to move onto the next book...which I'm disappointed to learn won't be out for over a year (winter 2012).So for those of you who read Phillips last series and were disappointed in it, didn't like the sort of slapstick feel, this book is a great improvement. It's much more typical of what Phillips usually writes and I'm glad I decided to read it.

  • Anne OK
    2019-06-21 14:26

    CP's "Serendipity" series begins with Ethan and Faith, a couple who get a second chance at love. Both are back in their hometown after a decade away. Both have obstacles to overcome in their personal lives. When they come face-to-face in front of Faith's childhood home which is now Ethan's home, sparks fly and the flame is once again lit between the two. This is really captivating book that was also lots of fun to read. A great cast of secondary characters will most likely lead us into the next installment and I'll be ready!

  • Cheri
    2019-06-04 20:45

    Loving this series so far......always a fan of CP's books :)

  • Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews
    2019-06-12 16:47

    DiDi's Review posted on Guilty PleasuresAHHHHH!!!! SERENDIPITY reminds me why I fell in love with Carly Phillps' books and have EVERY SINGLE BOOK she's published in paperback, including her books published as Karen Drogin (except SERENDIPITY it's on my nifty Kindle)Serendipity is a story about going home to a small town and trying to build a life despite your reputation. Ten years ago Faith was the "rich girl" and Ethan was the "bad boy". They've both returned to Serendipity to build lives but the roles are reversed, Faith is no longer the rich girl and because of her father's schemes is now shunned by the residents of Serendipity. Ethan has returned rich and wants to build a relationship with his, estranged, two younger brothers Nash and Dare. Serendipty has a lot going on. Not only are Faith and Ethan falling in love, Ethan has to deal with severe emotional pain and heartbreak from his two younger brothers, who want nothing to do with him and blame him for a devastating accident that ripped apart their family ten years ago. On top of that is an unexpected surprise, the men have an emo teenage sister, they never knew about, dropped on Ethan's door to handle. Which forces them to deal with each other.Ethan is sexy, sweet and very dominant in the relationship with Faith. Faith is strong, many people would give up and try to find a place to live where they weren't treated like a criminal because of the sins of their father. While Ethan and Faith get their HEA in Serendipity, there is A LOT of emotional healing, forgiveness and hurt to work through between Ethan and his brothers and sister, Faith and her mom and Faith and Ethan's brother Nash. I am glad all the strife wasn't tied up with a pretty bow at the end of Serendipity, it makes the series/relationships more realistic. Because, IMO, there is no way that the amount of hurt and resentment between all of the characters could be resolved in one book.As soon as I post this review I am going to start the novella KISMET (Serendipity #1.5) and I have already pre-ordered DESTINY (Serendipity #2) (releases 1/3/12).I am so glad Ms. Phillips has created this new series with the incredible family dynamics and incredible secondary cast, the type that I fell in love with in her HOT ZONE series (one of my all time favorite series).

  • Susan
    2019-05-29 17:35

    Excellent book. I liked Faith and the way she was putting her life back together after her father's and ex-husband's betrayals. She was determined to get her new business off the ground and start her new life. When she ran into Ethan again, she wasn't sure she wanted anything to do with him. She had had enough of losing herself to someone else's desires. But she did agree to decorate the house for him. Just as things were starting to get interesting, Ethan had his previously unknown, troubled 14 year old sister dropped in his lap. He had to get his estranged brothers on board to help. I loved seeing Ethan cope with a sister who is so much like him, and try to keep a relationship with Faith going. I also liked seeing Faith as she came to terms with her feelings about her father, trying to reconnect with her mother and old friends, and retain her independence. There were lots of great characters - main and secondary -- and plenty of real situations and feelings. I just wish I didn't have to wait so darned long for the next one!

  • Michelle the Romance Witch
    2019-06-12 16:48

    wow what a great beginning to a new trilogy cant wait for more of these sexy men.

  • Jennifer Probst
    2019-05-25 14:48

    The start to a top notch series by an author who is a master of the small town contemporary. Loved this book!

  • Jess
    2019-06-19 17:41

    Review posted: Happily Ever After - ReadsEthan’s back in Serendipity, after leaving years ago following his parents fatal car crash. He was young and not able to deal so he took off, leaving his 2 younger brothers and didn’t look back. Well, he’s back now and his brothers want nothing to do with him. Each brother was raised separately in foster homes, Nash on the right side of the tracks, Dare on the wrong, and now Ethan’s back to try and make amends and bring his family back together again. He’s made a good career for himself and as way to reestablish himself in the community, he buys the “mansion on the hill” and needs a lot of help trying to turn it into a home.Faith is also back in Serendipity, her life doing a complete 180 from where she was the last time she lived here. Her father’s in prison for running an investment scam that ruined many residents and businesses in Serendipity and his guilt is put upon Faith and her mother by many in the town. Faith’s not sitting around moping though, she’s determined to make a life for herself and puts out her shingle for her new interior design business. After being caught at her old family home by the new owner, Ethan, sparks still fly between them, proving that their attraction from high school is still there and Ethan convinces her to take him on as her first client and redecorate his new house.This was such a fun, easy read about two people trying to make lives for themselves surrounded by a town, in Faith’s case, and brothers in Ethan’s, that are hesitant to give them a second chance. They find friendship first, rekindling what they once felt for each other as teens, only it means so much more now and the feelings are just that much stronger. There’s no denying they have chemistry and while Faith may be the more skittish of the two, wanting desperately to be independent, something she lost when she was married to her controlling ex-husband, Ethan’s determined not to let her get away again, or ignore what’s building between them.Ethan grinned. He hadn’t realized his little tigress had teeth and he found himself wishing she’d use them on him, not to reprimand him the way she had her judgmental mother, but in bed.I loved this couple – it was a nice slow build up, with a lot of fun banter between them and incredibly sweet and sexy scenes all throughout their relationship. When Ethan gets the shock of a lifetime dumped on his front doorstep, Faith is there for him and helps him deal with this new development in his life. He also has problems relating to his brothers who are none too quick to offer him any forgiveness. I see their side, absolutely. Ethan ran away, he had no other way to deal with the tragedy that happened in their family and at 18 he was as lost as his brothers were, only they didn’t have the choice to run. While I felt for Ethan as he tried to mend their relationships, I couldn’t fault the brothers for being stand-offish and hostile, and it takes a young teenage girl to be the common factor in all their lives that starts to bring them back together.Teenage Tess was really a nice addition when she came on the scene. She’s a smartass, sassy and incredibly vulnerable. She hasn’t had a stable life to this point and when she’s dropped off at Ethan’s, she’s angry, confrontational and wants nothing to do with anybody. She shuts herself off from opening up to anyone until she overhears the brothers fighting about their past and brings it up to Ethan:“Man, you really were a screw up, weren’t you? Guess we have something in common after all,” Tess said, sounding pleased with herself and him.He bit the inside of his cheek. “Does that mean you’ll give me a break and behave from now on?”“Hell, no.” She burst out laughing, taking him off guard.When she realizes that Ethan had issues himself growing up, they find some common ground to build on and she slowly starts coming around. She bonds with Faith and it was charming to see her go from that insecure, covered head to toe in black clothes, hostile girl to acting like a teenager who’s comfortable with her life and not so worried anymore about things outside her control.This was a great start to what’s sure to be a fun series centered around siblings in a small town. I enjoyed the sexy, easy (with a few bumps along the way) romance between Ethan and Faith, and look forward to Nash’s story next, which we get a little taste of at the end of this book.

  • Carly Ellen Kramer
    2019-05-27 19:38

    A classic beach read. Nothing terribly surprising, but an entertaining page turner.

  • Helyce
    2019-05-29 18:34

    Previously reviewed at Smexybooks.comFaith Harrington has moved back to Serendipity. She’s hoping to start an interior design business but she knows it won’t be easy. For one, her father was convicted of running a Ponzi scheme which affected many families and businesses in the town causing them to lose their life savings. If that wasn’t enough, she’s recently divorced having caught her husband in an affair with his secretary in her very own bed. All she wants is a fresh start and she hopes that the people of Serendipity will judge her on her own merit and not on what her father has done.Ethan Barron has also come home to Serendipity. Once the town bad boy, he ran away at just 18 when his parents were killed by a drunk driver while on the way to bail him out of jail. He joined the army and after his term he took his love of video gaming and computers and turned it into a successful weapons software development company. Coming back to Serendipity is not easy for Ethan. When he left ten years ago, he left behind two younger brothers, Nash and Dare. Forced into the foster care system, they have not forgiven Ethan for leaving them the way he did. Ethan is carrying around a lot of guilt for leaving his brothers but he’s determined to make amends.Ironically, Ethan is now the new owner of the Harrington mansion, Faith’s childhood home. He arrives home one day to find a woman standing on his front lawn, staring up at the house. When he realizes it is Faith, he’s immediately taken back to the day he and Faith shared a scorching kiss. A kiss that neither he nor Faith has forgotten. But neither of them is looking for a relationship. Faith needs to focus on her business and Ethan wants to rebuild a relationship with his brothers. But Ethan can’t stop thinking about Faith and he knows one sure way he can spend time with her, ask her to take him on as a client and decorate his house. Faith is also attracted to Ethan and even though she thinks it’s a mistake she takes on the job of decorating Ethan’s house. As they spend more and more time together it becomes obvious to both of them that this is more than a fling. But Ethan’s brothers are not making it easy for him. They refuse to accept the olive branch he’s offered and Nash cannot accept Faith because his adoptive father was one of the victims of Faith’s father’s illegal scheme. If that wasn’t enough, the brothers are faced with an even bigger challenge when they learn that they have a half sister they never knew about.This is my first Carly Phillips book and I can’t believe I have not read her before. Serendipity is just the type of contemporary romance I enjoy. A quick, light read, with perfect pacing and interesting characters it’s the type of story that leaves you feeling good at the end. I really enjoyed the character of Faith. While she grew up a pampered princess, when her life changed she certainly did not wallow in her misery with a “why me?” attitude as you might expect from someone who was wealthy. When Faith realizes that she’s always done what other people wanted or expected her to do, she blazes forward, starting her business and letting herself enjoy sexy Ethan. Ethan is the typical reformed bad boy, but it works so well in this book because while his brothers and others in the town still see him as he was, he consistently surprised them in everything he did. The secondary characters were great too, bringing humor and emotion in just the right dose. I felt the ending was a bit abrupt and rushed through once everyone finds their happy place, but I do look forward to reading Nash’s story next. The teaser for book two looks like there might be a little bit of a triangle going on.

  • Marq(ReadingRomanceinColor)
    2019-05-29 14:44

    Oh contemporary romance, how I love thee. Let me count the ways. I love a romance where the sexy hero is searching for redemption and the heroine is there to help him find his way.Ethan Barron (love the last name) and Faith Harrington have returned to their hometown of Serendipity for different reasons. After her father was convicted of spear-heading a Ponzi scheme and finding out that her good-for-nothing ex-husband was using her for her father's connections, Faith is looking to start her life anew in the only place that she could truly call home. Ethan left Serendipity 10 years ago and never looked back. Now that he is rich and successful, he wants to show the town and his brothers that he is no longer the irresponsible kid that left them when their parents died. Ethan knows that it's not going to be easy to gain his brothers trust and love again but he is willing to do whatever it takes to get it back.Ethan is looking for redemption and validation. He has left his Bad Boy persona behind and wants to show everyone that he has changed. Ethan and Faith already have a bit of history. When she was 16, Faith and Ethan shared a passionate kiss. Faith pulled away not because she thought that Ethan wasn't good enough for her but because she didn't understand the feelings that he aroused in her. Ten years later and the teenage attraction has not faded. Faith isn't looking to get into a new relationship. She wants to concentrate on starting her new business, building a new life.Serendipity is a romance that will pull at your heart-strings. I felt so bad for Ethan when his brothers constantly rejected him and bashed him. Faith is the one person who is constantly in his corner reassuring him that he is not the bad person his brothers makes him out to be. Even with her own issues thanks to her dad pilfering money from the residents of Serendipity, Faith did not waver from her determination to start a new life. Serendipity has a great cast of characters that added depth to the story. I liked how the book wasn't just about Ethan and Faith's romance, but about family and reinforcing that familial foundation. Despite all of his career success, Ethan doesn't fill truly successful without his brothers in his life.Ethan and Faith face a few bumps in the road as they try to forge ahead with their relationship but I loved that the conflict wasn't drawn out. Phillips has you rooting for Ethan from page 1. All you want is for his brothers to give him a second chance. There were plenty of times where I wanted to bash Nash over the head.I am a huge Carly Phillips fan. Her Hot Zone series is one of my favorite all time contemporary romance series. If you haven't read it, you are missing out! Phillips does not disappoint with Serendipity. Serendipity has everything that I love about contemporary romance. The romance between Ethan and Faith was believable. They had great sexual chemistry. The cast of side characters added great depth to the story line, especially Ethan's brothers, Nash and Dare. I can't wait to visit them again.Serendipity has heart, romance and a tortured hero looking for redemption. All in all, Serendipity was everything I wanted out of a contemporary romance.B+

  • ♥Jamie
    2019-06-03 16:28

    I love reading Carly Phillips as she has a way with contemporary romance. I fell in love with her Chandler Brothers series, so I knew I had to get in on the Barron Brother love or lack there of as the case may be.Summary:Faith Harrington was always the good girl. The princess from the mansion on the hill. She led a life of privilege, having the best of everything until the day her world crumbled. When Faith found out her dad was nothing like the man she thought she knew and loved, it was only the beginning. After catching her now ex-husband cheating, on the same day, she left it all behind and returned to the only home she's ever had to find herself and rebuild her life. But returning to Serendipity won't be easy, and she'll face contempt and be ostracized by the very people she wants to belong to. Luckily, she's not the only old face to return home, and the long-forgotten flutterings of her heart let her know her plans may be detoured by the bad boy from her past. Ethan Barron hasn't been home in 10 years. When he left the small town outside New York at eighteen, his life was a mess and he couldn't wait to get far enough away from the guilt he felt. Unfortunately, no distance is far enough, and not even a stint in the army can chase his demons away. Coming home to Serendipity is his chance to stop being selfish and put his family back together again. He never expected it to be easy, but he never anticipated having to make up for his past mistakes and battle feelings he forgot he felt only once before. They may not have wanted it or been looking for it, but Ethan and Faith found a connection they can't deny. Despite the easiness and comfort they provide each other, both of their pasts and associations continue to work against them. Will they be able to stand together and battle their demons while finding a nice balance in order to go on with life?I enjoyed this story. Faith's trials broke my heart, and I wanted to shout at those around her if they couldn't see how great she was despite her privileged upbringing. She was giving and sweet, loving and brave. It took so much for her to face others and move on with her life. Ethan was a fantastic hero. The guilt he felt was palpable while reading. But who could blame him for his "mistakes"? He was eighteen, still a kid himself, really. I loved him and Faith together. Their sort-of second chance at love was sweet and sizzling hot with a hint of humor and not a little bit of heartache. Supporting characters were great, too, and I'm excited to read about some of them in upcoming books. The only character I disliked was Nash. I thought he was judgemental and unbending to both Ethan and Faith, so I'm not too hip to read his story. I know that I will eventually because I want Ms. Phillips to change my mind about him, and I need his story to get Dare's. <3

  • Julie
    2019-06-12 15:41

    I got this book as an advanced read copy in a Goodreads giveaway.I really enjoyed reading this book. It's more than just a bad-boy-returns-and-makes-good-and-gets-the-good-girl story. I enjoyed watching the growth of the characters throughout the story, enough that I was glad to see the setup of some additional story lines for more books set in the town of Serendipity. If Serendipity hadn't been good, I wouldn't be interested in reading more about the people and the town, but I eagerly read the preview of the next book that's included at the end of Serendipity and I'm looking forward to its publication.Ethan returns to Serendipity to repair his past with his younger brothers, whom he abandoned when he fled town after his parents were killed in a car accident. He's turned his life around and now he's seeking redemption. He knows it's going to be tough but he's grown up and he's willing to do whatever it takes. When he returns to Serendipity, he buys the biggest, most historic house in town, which just happened to have been owned by Faith's family. When Faith's father is convicted of running a Ponzi scheme, she and her mother lost their life of privilege, their home, their position and the community and the respect of the community. This is what makes this story more than a "bad boy returns" story - the tables have turned on both the main characters, and in a huge way. Ethan is looking to earn the respect he never cared about before and Faith is trying to live without the respect she always had, and it isn't just about money. The decisions Ethan made affected his family deeply. The decisions Faith's father made impacted her and the entire community. Faith returns to Serendipity for a new start after her marriage goes up in smoke along with her father's fortune and position. She's struggling to find out who she is and what she wants. She's going to have to work for in Serendipity, because there's a lot of animosity towards the Harringtons.My favorite monkey wrench in this story is Tess. She's a great character and a perfect foil for what's going on in town, between Faith and Ethan, and between Ethan and his brothers. Her introduction into the story was a surprise, and brilliant.I'm a sucker for a heartfelt story. There's a lot of deep feelings in this book and the author writes it well; it's believable and you want to know more and get to know these people more.My only criticism of the book - and it's not much of a criticism, in my opinion - is I feel the town of Serendipity could have been characterized better. This is a character-driven story and I'm all about the characters, but when I read a book about a small town with a quirky name like Serendipity, I expect the town to be one of the characters. I really didn't get much of a sense of Serendipity and its flavor.Definitely a good read, so thumbs up for this one!

  • Christi Snow
    2019-06-25 19:40

    Full review reposted from my blog, Smitten with Reading...My Review:It's no secret that I am a huge fan of fun, contemporary romance and this one was right up my alley. In this book, Carly introduces us to her new series set in Serendipity. The three books in the series are going to feature three brothers. This first featured Ethan, the oldest, and most hated in the family. When he was 18 years old, he was arrested. His parents were on the way to pick him up from jail, and they were hit and killed by a drunk driver. Filled with guilt, a life going downhill fast, and two younger brothers needing his support, Ethan ran and joined the army. This left his two younger brothers to the foster system and they have never forgiven him for that. He hasn't forgiven himself either. Now he's home and is hoping to make amends and find some common ground so that he and his brothers can be a family again.Faith is the heroine in this novel and she is dealing with her own trials. Her father has just been convicted for creating a Ponzi scheme which has left half the town in dire straits. Neither Faith nor her mother were aware of what he was doing, but in the eyes of the town, they are guilty by association. She is trying to get an interior design business going in the town that now loves to hate her.There were a lot of little details about this book that I really loved:*Dane & Nash, the brothers- although they were complete jerks in this book, you could see that they were simply really hurt when they were abandoned after the shocking loss of their parents. I cannot wait for their stories...they are sure to be fabulous.*Tess, the surprise 14 yo sister- I loved the addition of Tess to the story. She is just as troubled as Ethan was when he was 18, so he can relate to her issues and I loved that. I love how she bonds to him and has issues with the other brothers because they give him a hard time. Just a FABULOUS story line!!*Faith- I loved that Faith has always stood up for Ethan and been able to see the good in him since high school. He may only remember their high school interaction as a rebuff, but she truly liked him then and now.*Faith's mix of girlfriends- women can be truly cruel. I loved how Faith handled and earned the respect of the women around her in this book. There is lots of female interaction in this book at the bar, at the stores, at the mall...I love it all.*Ethan- Loved how Ethan made his money and then how he and Tess bond over video games. Such a classic guy thing, but he was smart enough to make it a serious career.Overall, this was simply a fun, entertaining book to read. I enjoyed it a lot and am really looking forward to the next 2 installments in the series, Destiny coming January, 2012 and Karma coming summer, 2012.

  • Book Reading Gals
    2019-05-25 13:42

    I have enjoyed all of Carly’s previous books but I have never been able to choose a favorite book and while I have liked them all I haven’t found that one book. That is until this book. From the moment that I picked this book up I knew that this book would be my favorite book. There is just something about this story that I loved.Ethan is a man that has made mistakes, some of them small and some of them so big that they effected not only his life but that of his siblings as well. When his parents are killed by a drunk diver on their way to bail him out of jail he can’t face his brothers and so he disappears. Now he is back to fix what he broke, his family.I have to say that from the moment that I started reading Ethan I was in love with him. He is the tortured hero that wants to fix his mistakes with his family. He will take the punches and insults that are flung at him. So long as they eventually let him back in to make amends and to become a family again.Faith is back in town to start her life over after what her father did to ruin not only her life but countless other lives. What she never expected was to find Ethan her teenage fantasy back in town.When Ethan and Faith meet again the chemistry that they had as teenagers is still there, and them some. Because they are no longer teenagers, he the bad boy and she the good girl. Now they are adults and can act on the feelings that they have for each other.These two come together when they have no one that they can turn to and need each other. Their slide into love is so sweet and natural. It felt like you were in the book watching it happen. There was no major angst just two people that wanted the best for each other.Watching Ethan and Faith discover who they are as a couple and as a family is a pure joy to watch. I really liked watching Faith take back her life and live it the way that she wanted to.The issue with Ethan and his brothers is a continuing arc of the series so I won’t give anything away about that, especially as I think that it is one of the best parts of the story.If you like Carly and have read her other books this is nothing like them and yet exactly like them if that makes any sense. I for one can’t wait for the next book to come out.Grade AThis review was also posted on our site

  • (Tori-Smexybooks) smexys_sidekick
    2019-05-28 21:40

    Mini review:Serendipity by Carly PhillipsFaith Harrington had it all growing up until her father is convicted of defrauding his clients and Faith’s marriage crashes and burns. She heads back to her hometown for a fresh start but not everyone is happy Faith is home. Her father’s crime carries a long shadow that tries to eclipse Faith’s homecoming. Ethan Barron has also come home. A local bad boy made good, he has come home to try and make peace with his brothers that he abandoned years ago. He and Faith once shared an electrifying kiss but the timing was all wrong and they went their separate ways. When Ethan purchases Faith’s old home, a chance meeting between them shows that the chemistry is still sparking hot. As Faith and Ethan each try to regain what they lost, they both think that getting involved will cost them too much. But the heart wants what the heart wants and they learn that forgiveness cost nothing. Serendipity is heartfelt romantic contemporary that twists up a classic storyline; good girl falls in love with the town bad boy. Well written; this compelling book leads us through the intricate relationship of Faith, Ethan and their connections to their town. Ms.Phillips has created memorable cast of witty flawed characters that tug at your heart and have you following their lives with rapt attention. With superb world building, Ms.Thomas paints a vivid and compelling picture of the town and it’s residents. We have four story lines that intersect, overlap and run parallel to the main plot. Each story is a study in relationships and learning to forgive the past and embrace the future. It was fascinating watching Ms. Phillips develop and take these people through their lives. Through the good and the bad she pulls no punches and shows a vivid and accurate portrayal of life and love in a small town. The underlying main plot was interwoven flawlessly into the fabric of the story and built up gradually to a grand finale that gives us our happily ever after and sets up the storyline for the next in the series, Destiny, due to release January 2012.

  • Cocktails and Books
    2019-06-07 14:44

    Ten years ago, an eighteen year of Ethan Barron dared sixteen year old Faith Harrington to take him up on his offer for a ride home. For Faith, it was a chance to step outside the expected and be with the bad boy she was drawn to. For Ethan, it was to prove something. That he was good enough. Fast forward ten years and we find Faith and Ethan in very different places. Faith's world have fallen apart with the conviction of her father in a Madoff style ponzi scheme and the end of her marriage to a man who was too much like her father. She's moved back home to Serendipity, NY hoping to rebuild her life and prove to people she's not at all like the two men who let her down. As a start, she's going to open her own interior design business and hope that she can get customers despite what her father's done.Ethan moved back to Serendipity to prove a point. He was back to put down roots and rebuild the shattered relationship with his brothers. When he'd left town ten years ago, it was with the knowledge that if he hadn't been desperate for attention and doing all he could to get it, his parents wouldn't have been on their way to pick him up when they were hit by a drunk driver. If that hadn't have happened, he wouldn't have run off, leaving his younger brother behind.Carly Phillips creates beautifully flawed characters and she doesn't disappoint with Ethan and Faith. Both of them seem stuck trying to make up for past mistakes, some of which they truly don't own, in hopes of getting the acceptance they both want. In the end, they find it's accepting themselves that makes all the difference in the world.Fortunately for us, them finding this acceptance comes with a great story and secondary cast of characters (which set up the next books perfectly). It was a great read which had me turning pages as fast as I could read them to see what kind of HEA Faith and Ethan would have. You will not be disappointed!4 Cocktails

  • Kiwi Lloyd
    2019-05-25 14:28

    “Serendipity." "Look for something, find something else, and realize that what you've found is more suited to your needs than what you thought you were looking for.” Lawrence Block She used to be a good girl....... Faith Harrington, like any other rich girl, was born with the proverbial silver spoon between her lips. Unlike any other rich girl, her world was torn apart when her father was caught running a Ponzi scheme and she lost it all. This included her husband, whom she found out only wanted her for her name, and was sleeping with his paralegal.He makes them good girls go bad....... Ex-military man and successful weapons software developer Ethan Barron still carries the label "Bad Boy". No one has plans to forget or forgive him for his part in the scandal that was his reason for leaving town 10 years prior, especially his younger brothers. Surprise!! It's A ...... Sister??? Both Faith and Ethan have come home to Serendipity, NY, souls wounded, hoping for a chance to start over. Neither are exactly welcomed home with a parade. Just when the two of them rekindle their past flame, Ethan is gifted with a foul-mouthed, pot smoking, teenaged half-sister, a product of his traveling salesman father's affair with his secretary. Now Ethan must team up with his brothers who still hate him, and a gun shy Faith, to save Tess from the same fate that Ethan himself suffered way back when. Love conquers all. And in this book, it really does.Carly Phillips and her books sometimes make my world go round, they really do. Today was a 2 tequila kinda day, and winding down with Serendipity was exactly what I needed. A bit of Matthew McConaughey never hurts either.Great start to a new series, and I can't wait to read Destiny when is comes out.Kiwi

  • Marilyn Rondeau
    2019-06-05 13:29

    Ms. Phillips has continued to entertain me with her lively and dynamic characters dealing with everyday live and love. With her two protagonists Ethan and Faith, Phillips shows first of all that they had a history from ten years prior. Faith was the girl that got away; Ethan was the boy she could have, and would have if she had not been brought up as a nice, respectful girl. So right from the get go, you knew these two were going to have to settle up those long ago forgotten years, and feelings with the one caveat that their positions were now reversed. Ethan was the guy living in the mansion on the hill; Faith was the one who was learning to live over the local watering hole with less and counting pennies.The cast of characters Phillips created were extremely likeable, most of them, however, most had issues to deal with now that they were adults. Ethan who was still attracted to Faith; Faith whose marriage had been a lie which and went south very quickly after the scandal her father created. Ethan had his issues of trying to repair a relationship with brothers and to establish a relationship with a new sister. Faith had to redefine her life and discover who she was – no longer daddy’s princess, or the trophy wife. Faith had to find out just who she was and learn to fend for herself, while trying to help her mother deal as well.Bottom line: This was an exceptional read that dealt with complicated relationships and coupled with a very sensual and lovely romance. This was an immensely satisfying initial entry that promises to continue the suspense with Ethan’s two brothers Nash and Dare. Definitely a recommended read!

  • Liza
    2019-06-07 18:42

    Carly Phillips gives her readers another winner with Serendipity. I fell for Ethan from the start. He is a bit of a smartass, but really has a heart of gold. He still carries guilt for mistakes he made as a teenager, especially how it affected his brothers Nash and Dare. When half-sister Tess is dropped at his house, Ethan has yet another person to feel guilty about. Faith has never , who has finally stepped out of her shell and taken control of her own life. Of course she meets Ethan again pretty much the first day she comes home to Serendipity. There is still something there between them that hasn’t gone away since high school. When Ethan hires her to help decorate her childhood home, the sexual tension continues to build. Not even the arrival of Ethan’s half sister can put a complete damper on their attraction.Carly also gives us some amazing supporting characters with this new series. Ethan’s brothers Nash and Dare are pretty much buttheads to Ethan when he first comes back. Both thaw a bit towards him as the book progresses, Dare more so than Nash. Really just makes me want to know more about each of these men. Can’t wait to see what happens to Faith’s best friend Kate, her friends April and Lissa, and her ex-boyfriend Nick in future books. The town of Serendipity kind of reminds me of Robyn Carr’s Virgin River. As I met each new character, I couldn’t wait to read his or her story. The next book in the Serendipity series is Destiny and it is currently set for release in January 2012.

  • Kezermezer
    2019-06-20 17:51

    When her father is convicted of running a ponzi scheme and her marriage implodes, Faith Harrington heads back to her hometown of Serendipity to regroup and find herself. Along the way, she also finds Ethan Barron, the sexy bad boy from her past who has a few skeletons of his own in his closet. Serendipity has a decent enough plot (even if things with a certain teenager are resolved a little too easily). It has pretty likable characters. It has some nice sex scenes (aside from the use of the words 'penis' and 'member', which are just not sexy to me at all). What it does not have is good writing, and the problem can be summed up in this simple statement: Show, don't tell. God, it was frustrating! This book could have been so much better. Why did Phillips' editor not sit her down and tell her? As Anton Chekov once said, don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass. If you like having everything artlessly shoved down your throat, this is the book for you. Such a shame!Phillips and her editor also would have done well to pay closer attention to grammer. Too often we were confronted with mistakes like turning two sentences into one, i.e. "Though hopefully Nash and Dare would bury their real feelings for Tess's sake, he was about to find out." Phillips can do better.

  • Bibek Thapa
    2019-06-15 20:48

    Rating: 3.5After reading so many contemporary romance novels by authors such as Susan Mallery, Susan Andersen, Debbie Macomber, Nora Roberts, Rachel Gibson, Jessica Bird, Barbara Freethy, Jennifer Probst, and many many other authors I have completely given up expecting a new, fresh story in the genre. The same clichéd story line, the same meet-fuck-love romance storyline. That’s not to say that I hate the genre, or the authors. Au contour this genre is my fail-safe. Whenever I’m in need of a good-enough read I fall back to romance. I picked up Serendipity as a fail-safe after some not-so-good reads. And I have to say, Serendipity and Carly Phillips did not disappoint.This is the second book that I’ve read by the author and I love her writing style. Her story always have a secondary storyline in them along with the main romance between the MCs which helps to keep you glued to the book. Serendipity was full of romance, family drama and some good tidbits here and there.However, this wasn’t a five star read for me, since novelty was very rare in this book. Serendipity is a good book if you’re looking for a nice escape and a decent story, but do not go into it looking for something mind-blowing.PS I love the cover!

  • Hope Frost
    2019-06-18 20:47

    I really enjoyed Serendipity. I thought the teen brought a huge element to the book and made Ethan seem more....human. There were several relationships to the story. One the friendships that people make throughout their lives, the friendship between Kate and Lissa which are very different, but very dear to Faith. The relationship between mother and daughter. It was interesting to see their interaction and watch Faith stand up for herself. The relationships between brothers. As Ethan tries to put his family back together after tragedy. It was almost heartbreaking to read, to know so much pain existed. The relationship between brothers and sister. That was an interesting dynamic. Watching Tess bounce off each and every one of them, and then bonding to tightly with the one everyone swore had no heart. Finally the relationship with the town. As much as both Ethan and Faith hated what home represented, they both wound up there to heal. I am VERY interested in Nash and Kelly's story. The spark almost made my Nook burn up when she appeared.

  • Sherie
    2019-06-07 15:41

    I liked this story. Ethan was the bad boy turned good. He abandon his family in a time of need but turned his life around. He really showed promise in becoming a better man from the start. Especially how he related to his sister, you can see how far he had come in the ten years since the fateful kiss. A kiss he shared with Faith, the princess. The princess who lost everything in those ten years. Now trying to live and do things on her own, you could see the independence she craved and achieved and the freedom Ethan gave her when he wanted to do more. Ethan and Faith developed and grew together throughout the story. I was glad that Ethan developed a better relationship with his brothers and cannot wait to see it grow more through out the series. I loved how Phillips ended the book. The glimpse of the future was a great way to end the book. Cannot wait till Nash and Dare's stories hit the shelves.

  • Holly
    2019-06-21 18:51

    This was a sweet contemporary romance. Ethan was a bad boy in high school. When his family needed him most he disappeared. Now he's back and looking to make amends. Faith was the golden girl growing up but the mighty have fallen..hard. She's looking to rebuild her life. Together they have enough issues to fill a warehouse, but they just might be what the other needs...I really liked how well Ethan and Faith fit. I also liked that they didn't gloss over or make light of their issues. I did think Faith took things a little too far in the end, but overall I enjoyed the story and the romance.

  • Jim son of Jim (formerly PhotoJim)
    2019-06-25 19:41

    Rich girl, fallen from grace, hooks up with bad boy made good. Nothing you haven't seen before. Tess, the half sister is the best part of the book. Still light and fun but utterly forgettable. I think the story is a solid 3.5 story with a 1.5 execution. I'm not sure what I didn't like about Carly Phillips writing I didn't like this time around. Maybe the writing seems lazy? I think an editor with a stronger hand would have done a world of good.

  • Danielle Calabrese
    2019-05-28 16:28

    A great start to a new series by Carly Phillips! As always Carly Phillips does not disappoint with Serendipity...with a sophisticated writing style, great characterization, and some hot scenes you really cannot go wrong!

  • TJ
    2019-06-15 20:43

    A thoroughly enjoyable read for a quite afternoon or foray at the beach! The characters are well written with depth and flaws. They make mistakes, clean them up and do their best to move on - all while wrapping readers right around their fingers and making us fall in love!