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Book Review: Pearls: Spirits of the Belleview Biltmore by BonSue Brandvik

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Honor Macklin is beginning to realize that she should not be in business with her unfaithful ex-husband. As other betrayals come to light regarding issues with him in the business, she decides to go down to Florida to finish clearing out her deceased mother’s home. Even though her mother had a house there, she spent a lot of time at the Belleview Biltmore Hotel. Since the house no longer has furniture, Honor decides that she will stay at the Belleview Biltmore as well. Shortly after arriving at the beautiful hotel, she meets Josh and his precocious four-year-old son Cody. Cody has an unusual gift of being able to communicate with spirits. Being a rational software developer makes it very hard for Honor to accept this, but when Cody starts giving her messages from her mother and she starts having some unusual experiences herself, she starts to believe. She also finds herself falling for Josh.

When Honor starts reading a journal that she found in an old hatbox, she starts having visions where she travels into the past and is able to see how the author, a woman, lived. She also meets other spirits and starts learning about how things were for them back in time. She wonders why she can communicate with them, but not her mother. As she looks for a connection, she finds herself becoming more and more intrigued with their history. She also initiates an investigation into her ex-husband’s activities. The lessons she learns from the women in her past, one in particular, helps her to develop a strategy to unite honest, hardworking women at her business and in doing so she is also able to gather more information on the illegal activities that might be going on. Honor, Josh and Cody also start seeing themselves as a family. Her friends from the past help her find her true self in the present.

Pearls  is a phenomenal story that combines paranormal elements with history, mystery and romance. Even though some of the characters had endured horrible situations, it was inspiring to see how they overcame whatever happened to them and became empowered to be independent. I also loved that there was a beautiful romance in both times. Looking up the Belleview Biltmore Hotel on the author’s website and seeing the pictures really brought the story to life. The hotel is beautiful and I can totally understand why the author is passionate about seeing this beautiful piece of history preserved. I highly recommend this novel to readers who enjoy mysteries and romances that include paranormal and historical elements. Pearls would also be the perfect choice for women’s reader groups. Pearls: Spirits of the Belleview Biltmore is definitely a novel that will be cherished.

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