Beach Reads

By Cindy Bilbao

st thomas usvi 

novel about st. john usvi

Winter In Paradise

By Elin Hilderbrand

Author Elin Hilderbrand begins this three-book series with a story of a family whose lives take a sharp turn after a tragic helicopter crash in Caribbean waters. Russ Steele, husband of Irene and father of two sons, Baker and Cash, dies in the crash, and when the family heads to St. John to find out what happens, they find out he has been living a double life on the Caribbean island.

Irene has been renovating a Victorian house in Iowa City to create her dream home with money she now has, thanks to Russ’s new job. Baker and Cash’s opposite personalities clash as they head down to the island with Irene and move into Russ’s multi-million-dollar mansion they had no idea existed.

Cash and Baker both fall in love with a woman named Ayers, but neither have been truthful about who they are because her best friend, Rosie, was involved with Russ and died with him in the crash. Russ has been living a lie—will his two sons end up being like their dad?  Will they eventually tell her the truth about why they are on the island? As the family learn more about Russ and Rosie the mystery gets deeper. Where did Russ get all this money? Was the plane crash an accident or something more sinister?

elin hildebrand novel in virgin islands 

What Happens In Paradise

By Elin Hilderbrand

As details surrounding Russ and his shady business affairs come to light, romance blossoms and love triangles emerge to make things interesting. Ayers finds Rosie’s diary and as she reads, she finds out about her best friend’s secret life with Russ. It seems likely that the plane crash may not have been an accident. With FBI agents watching the Steele mansion and romance in the air, we are left with another cliff-hanger. You’ll want to get through this second book quickly because of the suspenseful story line and Elin’s descriptive island writing. Grab book three in the series to see how it all plays out!

series of novels about usvi

Troubles In Paradise

By Elin Hilderbrand

As you read the final book in the Paradise series, your eyes will be glued to the pages to finally learn what happened to Russ and Rosie’s plane and find out how each of the relationships between the Steele family and the friends they’ve met in St. John turn out. Storm clouds gather as the FBI makes a move, leaving each of the Steele family members with real challenges in their business, home, and love lives. As a literal storm heads toward the island, no one knows if the danger will bring the characters together or break them apart.

Elin Hilderbrand has spent lots of time in the Virgin Islands, so her writing is full of luscious details such as a snorkeling trip to the British Virgin Islands, hiking on the Reef Bay trail where there are ancient petroglyphs, eating at the best local restaurants, and visiting all of the hidden beaches on the island. Through her descriptive writing, you will come to know and love the island paradise of St. John. By the time you are finished with this series, you’ll know which restaurants and hotels to visit, which sights are not to be missed, and you’ll feel just like a St. John local.

This article appeared in the Beachcombing Magazine January/February 2022 issue.

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