Castles on the Sand – E.M. Tippetts

Madison Lukas knows her place in the world.  She’s not pretty, not interesting, and therefore easy to forget.

John Britton is serving his mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and has been praying for fifteen years to find the sister he lost in his parents’ divorce.  She is beautiful, talented and makes kindness a fine art.

When John and Madison cross paths, he recognizes her at once, but Madison is certain that he’s got it all wrong.  Even if she is his long-lost sister, she can’t possibly be the exceptional, amazing girl he thinks she is, can she?”

Firstly I’d like to thank the author for sending me a paperback copy of this book to read and review. I previously read, and very much enjoyed, Someone Else’s Fairytale (my review here) by the same author so I was looking forward to reading this.

I really enjoyed it, the writing style was comfortable to read with a storyline that gripped me from start to finish (yes, you’ve guessed it, another one day read).

I was intrigued right from the start when Madison was chased into the library by a Mormon missionary, this raised so many questions that I couldn’t wait to discover the answers to.

My first impression of Madison was that she was a quiet, friendly girl.  As I got further on in the book I realised that she had some pretty serious self-esteem issues which were certainly not helped by her mother and so-called best friend.  When Madison learned that the missionary who chased her was in fact her long-lost brother, she didn’t know what to believe.  When it was confirmed she felt even more confused and I can’t even begin to imagine how it must feel to have your life turned upside down in that way.

On top of all the family drama Madison also had some trouble with the opposite sex, it seemed that after one boy showed interest in her suddenly lots more came out of the woodwork, declaring their feelings for her.  This obviously caused Madison even more confusion, firstly because she had low self-esteem and she couldn’t figure out why they were interested, and secondly because she had no idea who she could trust (being a virgin she didn’t want someone who only wanted one thing from her).

Madison’s mum completely baffled me, just reading about the way she treated her daughter made me feel uncomfortable.  I was keen to find out what had happened to make her leave her husband because I was hoping that maybe it would explain why she behaved the way she did.

John (Madison’s new-found brother) was lovely, he really wanted to be a part of Madison’s life but didn’t push her too much.  I loved how protective and caring he was towards her, something that I really felt she needed in her life.

Kailie was Madison’s (so-called) best friend, to begin with she reminded me of a tornado whooshing around in a hyper, teenage way.  She was bossy towards Madison but it soon became apparent that their friendship was not very healthy, she did lots of things that shocked me and I began to become quite concerned for her – you’ll have to find out for yourself what happened next but I will tell you that it had me on the edge of my seat!

Alex was a very strange, intriguing character – I really wanted to know what his story was and when all was revealed I admit I was quite surprised.

I loved the modern feel that this book had with references to Facebook and a certain Fifty Shades book, the only part of the book that I struggled with was the religious parts – not being a religious person myself I found some of it a bit hard to follow.

This is a real page turner and I would love to read a sequel to find out what happens next for them all.

Castles on the Sand can be purchased from The Book DepositoryAmazon UK, Amazon US,

Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords.

To find out more about E.M. Tippetts visit her blog here.


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