Set at the Kalua Royale, a resort owned by the three Royal sisters, this Christian romance brings readers into the tropical beauty of the Hawaiian Islands. Marisa, the oldest sister and an attorney in Honolulu, comes home after an urgent phone call from her youngest sister, Sissy. Vanda, the middle sister, has developed a clumsy streak that has caused multiple “accidents” in the past few months. Sissy believes these accidents are murder attempts by Vanda’s new boyfriend, Kerwin.
Together Marisa and Sissy must discover if foul play is involved. Vanda, smitten by Kerwin’s charm and attention, refuses to listen to her sisters. Kerwin uses his devious charms to win over Vanda to his schemes, while he is involved in an affair with her best friend, Electra.
Still cautious after a recent failed relationship, Marisa meets local playboy Stephen Armstrong when she has a flat tire on her way to the resort. Although she admits an immediate attraction, Marisa is wary of her feelings. She doesn’t realize that Stephen is captivated from the moment he sees her. For the first time in his life, he believes he may have found his dream girl.
The sisters lost both their parents and grandparents. Each craves the security of family. Although sibling rivalry creates friction, the sisters always seem to come together during times of trouble. With Marisa away, Vanda and Sissy developed the resort into a beautiful complex and a successful business. Its stunning beauty and well-planned activities draw visitors and locals alike. Marisa recognizes the dedication and work that her sisters have given the resort. The three of them learn to appreciate the difference in their skills and personalities.
In Betrayal in Paradise, Avis Lawrence has created a believable plot that flows smoothly. The lush Hawaiian setting and vivid descriptions draw readers into this contemporary faith-based tale of romance set amidst a background of greed and betrayal. Her leading characters are likeable and real. Her villains generate immediate distrust and dislike. Moreover, Lawrence gives readers insight into the multicultural society of the Hawaiian Islands. Unfortunately, the story is marred by multiple grammatical errors and typos, which decrease the overall power and impact. An editor’s able eye would resolve the mistakes that detract from the story.
With editorial corrections, Betrayal in Paradise could give readers a Christian tale with true-to-life dilemmas requiring trust and faith.
Pat McGrath Avery
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