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Another beautiful journey to Casa del Mar Azul. It was a pleasure to return to the gorgeous setting the author introduced in Being Pablo. In House of the Blue Sea, the story focuses on Sandra, who was somewhat of a mystery in the first book, and ageing actor Mark, who waltzes into her annual escape to Baja and disrupts her equilibrium while trying to find his own. I loved the clever banter between the characters, and the subtle romance was refreshing when such things seem so overdone these days. The art and horses woven into the storyline were welcome additions. Looking forward to reading what’s next in this series!
Thoroughly Enjoyed It “Really enjoyed this novel. The author is very good and I found myself getting lost in her very vivid descriptions of Mexico….I could really “see” the location where the story takes place. Even had me Googling the area to add to the experience. The Mexico Tourism Board should hire her on. The characters are very believable and I related to all of them in one way or another. The story is realistic and really drew me in. I found it interesting and entertaining but it also has some genuine messages….got me thinking about where I am in my own life and what it is that’s keeping me there…..looking forward to her next novel (and my next trip to Mexico).”
A Subtle and Compelling Story “Preferring historical fiction and murder mysteries, I was tentative about delving into a romance novel. I needn’t have worried. Teresa van Bryce’s debut novel proved not only to be a gentle journey into matters of the heart, but also whispered deeper themes of work, identity, aging and loss. Even the Mexican landscape, described with such vividness, became a character in its own right–making me wish I was there. By the end of the book, I found I had come to care about the two flawed and vulnerable main characters–a hallmark of a subtle yet compelling read.”
“I found myself completely involved in the story. It was a joyous moment. I realized then that ‘Of course! This is like Jane Austen’s stories, and Jane Eyre, which are among my most beloved books.’”
“I thought you didn’t do [paint] people.” Mark called from the back of the boat.
“I don’t really. You’ll just be a shell of a person, without features.”
“Ah … I’m the perfect subject then.”
Mark is an actor searching for himself. This is the kind of funny, insightful moment you’ll find all through this book. Sandra, is the painter, her journey through rebuilding and opening up to the people around her, is set in a beautifully developed Mexican villa, complete with all the colour, smells, and warmth. You start to know and care about these people, they become your friends and the retreat your own. I was right there with them in their struggles and release. Read this book…
“This is a quiet, engaging book that I really enjoyed. Lately, I have read a series of ‘action thrillers’ and this book was a refreshing change of pace. It is the story of a middle-aged widow who vacations yearly in a coastal Mexican resort. Here she meets a troubled aging English actor. Their relationship slowly and haltingly develops into a relationship that strengthens them both. It is a well-told story populated with interesting characters that kept me reading late at night. (I also really liked the beautiful cover art.)”
“I liked this debut novel very much. It’s the story of a relationship that develops between two people approaching middle age. Their meeting is not love at first sight. But both are challenged to step out of their comfort zone as they can’t seem to help the feelings that develop. One of the strengths of this novel is how the reader experiences the course of the relationship through conversations between the characters. Their exchanges are often quite funny. There is also a strong theme of compassion for, and acceptance of, the vulnerability of the human condition. The gradual building of romantic tension and the mystery of Sandra’s loss had me wondering how things would turn out and eagerly turning pages to see what would happen next. This story and all the characters felt very real.”
“An enjoyable easy read, really hard to put down once started. Think I’ve been there done that, kind of read, very easy to get into each of the characters. Most will like this book, as a nice casual read, makes one want to climb on board a plane to a warm sandy beach, now! A great read while relaxing on the beach.”
“An enjoyable read by this new Author … made me feel like I really had taken a trip to Mexico!”
“Just finished reading House of the Blue Sea, just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed it….. It was the perfect book to read lying out by the pool, but it made me want to be lying on a sandy beach in Mexico???”