Reading a book by Lise Gold is like going on a vacation. After the last year and a half, I think that’s something we all could use. Welcome to Paradise is the first book in her new resort series, which I’m sure will be another excellent series for her.
Lisa Walker arrives in Benidorm, Spain after losing her job during the pandemic. That also lead to losing her flat and her girlfriend. Things couldn’t suck more, until she checks into the Paradise Hotel, which couldn’t be further from an accurate name. It’s rundown and rather pathetic with even the food tasting like disappointment. But, it’s all inclusive and she can afford it while she searches for jobs back in London. Lisa isn’t exactly warm and fuzzy with the staff because she just wants to be left alone to wallow in her sadness.
Stella Castillo is the poolside manager at Paradise and is thrilled to be back at work after the lockdown. A night out at a co-worker’s brothers restaurant leads her to talking to Lisa, after her overhears the nickname the staff has for her. Miss Grumpy is certainly that after hearing how the staff feel about her. Stella can’t help but want to make Lisa smile as she can see the sadness on her face. The two women strike up a friendship and Lisa feels good having someone to talk to again. Lockdown has made her retreat inside herself but the charming pool manager brings her back to life.
As Lisa and Stella spend more time together Lisa develops a desire to know more about Spain and the beautiful poolside manager. When Stella sees the state of Lisa’s room at Paradise, she insists she come and stay at her place, in the guest room, of course. That doesn’t last long as the chemistry between the two is intense. Will Lisa return to London leaving Stella with a broken heart or will Lisa take a chance on love?
What I love most about a Lise Gold book is how I can truly envision the beautiful locales she writes about. It’s almost like being there and walking around the quaint Spanish villages. In the last year and a half I have traveled to Las Vegas for three days and driven to Texas to take my mother in law home. I’m clearly in need of an escape and I can always do that while I read one of her books. This year alone I have visited Rome, Switzerland, Norway, Bangkok and now Spain. I actually googled some of the places in Spain that are in this book and put them on my list of places I would like to visit while I was reading.
As well as she portrays the locales, her characters are just as memorable. She writes strong women who may not be at their best in the beginning but through their willingness to open their hearts, they find that missing piece that completes them. Lisa is someone trying to piece her life back together after losing everything and although she is down she doesn’t give up. Her inner strength keeps her from completely losing herself and Stella is the perfect woman to help her through tough times. Stella is a bit of a player but is at a place where she’s tired of clubbing is drawn to Lisa immediately. She just wants to bring a smile to her face. I loved the visit with Stella’s family as well as it gave us even more of a glimpse into what makes Stella so lovely.
I haven’t read a Lise Gold book yet that I haven’t loved. I’m glad to see it continue with this one. I can’t wait see what the second book in the series has in store.
ARC received from author for an honest review.