Book Reviews, Reflections & Recipes
Show MenuHide Menu

The Guestbook

August 29, 2016
The Guestbook Book Cover The Guestbook
Madrona Island Series Book 1
Andrea Hurst
CreateSpace Independent Publishing
December 30, 2013


Description of The Guestbook

Everyone remembers their first love…
But sometimes its the second love that lasts
“Engaging and highly enjoyable! The Guestbook is a delightful tale of second chance romance. The characters are very likable and well drawn. Readers will find themselves cheering for Lily as she rediscovers herself and the delicious recipes her grandmother left behind. Hurst’s portrayal of this charming community made me want to book a vacation at the Madrona Island Bed and Breakfast.”
-Bette Lee Crosby, award-winning author of the Memory House Series

This book weaves together the heart of Nicholas Sparks, the romance of Nora Roberts, and the charm of Debbie Macomber.

Fleeing her picture-perfect marriage among the privileged set of Brentwood and the wreckage of a failed marriage, Lily Parkins decides to move to the only place that still holds happy memories, her grandmother’s old farmhouse. The lush and majestic setting of the Pacific Northwest calls to her and offers a place of refuge and perhaps renewal. Her grandmother has passed away, leaving the Madrona Island Bed & Breakfast Inn to Lily.

Left with only an old guestbook as her guide-a curious book full of letters, recipes, and glimpses into her family history-Lily is determined to embrace her newfound independence and recreate herself, one page at a time. With the help of the quirky island residents she has befriended, she slowly finds the strength to seek out happiness on her own terms. But as soon as she has sworn off men and is standing on her own two feet, Lily meets Ian, the alluring artist who lives next door, and her new life is suddenly thrown off course. The last thing she wants to do right now is to open her heart to another man.

Ultimately, Lily must decide if it’s worth giving up her soul for security or risking everything to follow her heart in this romantic love story.
“Evocative and heartfelt, The Guestbook is the profound story of one woman’s journey toward hope, renewal and a second chance at love on a lush Pacific Northwest island. Curl up with your favorite cup of cocoa and enjoy.”
~Anjali Banerjee – author of Imaginary Men and Haunting Jasmine said about this women’s fiction romance

The Guestbook is the first book in the Madrona Island Series. TEA & COMFORT – book two is available now

My Review of The Guestbook

I enjoyed reading The Guestbook.
I loved the setting, the ficticious Madrona Island, and the people there. The warm, tight knit community that pitch in and help each other was very well done. Apparenlty this island is the place for second loves. Lily’s grandmother found her second love and it appears the three ladies who will be the main characters in the three book series all find their second love.
The characters were well done. Lily as the naive young wife of a manipulative cheater, developed over the course of the story to become a strong independent woman who re-opened her grandmother’s bed and breakfast.
I loved Betty and Shirley! They are a hoot, and a good addition to the cast of characters. They provided comedic relief and were wonderful neighbors.
I read some of the unkind reviews for this book before I wrote mine. Though some of their points are valid. Some of the criticism about plots that went no where, I think might come out in book two or three. I overlooked some of the flaws because overall  think it was a good story and I liked it.  In the end isn’t that all that matters?

I liked the characters, I liked the setting and I liked the writing style. It was a very nice weekend read. Pick up a copy and let me know what you think.


About the author

When not visiting local farmer’s markets or indulging her love for chocolate, ANDREA HURST is an author and literary agent. Her passion for books drives her to find and write stories that take readers on a journey to another place and leave them with an unforgettable impression. She is a developmental editor for publishers and authors, an instructor in creative writing at the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts, and a webinar presenter for Writers Digest. She lives with her dachshund in the Pacific Northwest, on an island much like the fictional Madrona, with all of its natural beauty and small town charm. Her published books include The Guestbook, Tea & Comfort, Always with You, The Lazy Dog’s Guide to Enlightenment and Everybody’s Natural Food Cookbook, and she co-authored A Book of Miracles. To learn more about Andrea and her books, visit or



About Terry Houchin

Hi, my name is Terry Houchin. I live on the on the Gulf Coast of Texas with my husband of thirty-eight years and our two dogs, Miley and Shadow. I have two grown sons and a grandson. I am a retired teacher who loves gardening and reading. I am currently working on writing a novel.

August 29, 2016 at 4:30 pm

I’m not the target for such books, but I do love the feelings of coziness and warmth that emanate both from the book’s description and your review. It feels like a very positive book.

August 29, 2016 at 6:44 pm

I like how you mention the fact that you read some more critical reviews before you wrote your own. It’s interesting to think about how much (or little) other people’s reviews influence our take on a book. Thanks for sharing!

Terry Houchin
August 29, 2016 at 8:24 pm

I’m glad a read the reviews “after” I read the book. I might have been influenced to find all of the negative things while I was reading.This way, I knew I liked what I read.

Leave a Reply