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What Happens in Paradise

(Paradise #2)

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  29,661 ratings  ·  2,346 reviews
Spend your winter on sunlit shores in the New York Times bestselling follow-up to Winter in Paradise, where secret lives and new loves emerge under the bright Caribbean sky.

A year ago, Irene Steele had the shock of her life: her loving husband, father to their grown sons and successful businessman, was killed in a helicopter crash. But that wasn't Irene's only shatteri
Hardcover, Large Print, 432 pages
Published October 8th 2019 by Little, Brown and Company
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Eunice Coorlas I agree - as I read each book something kept nudging me. Yes, I too think Russ is alive. Guess will have to wait until October to see if Miss Hildebra…moreI agree - as I read each book something kept nudging me. Yes, I too think Russ is alive. Guess will have to wait until October to see if Miss Hildebrand agrees with us.(less)

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Average rating 4.01  · 
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 ·  29,661 ratings  ·  2,346 reviews

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Sep 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle, netgalley
WARNING: If you haven't read book one, proceed with caution as I have a lot to say!

One of my most anticipated books of the fall. Read it in one swoop, but....and there is a but...

So book two picks up very close to where Winter in Paradise left off. Irene returns home to deal with the legal and personal challenges in making it known that Russ has died. Yet she cannot resist the pull to return to the villa and Huck. Sons Cash and Baker are both changed for the better by their experiences and s
Jasmine from How Useful It Is
This book is yet again a fantastic read! I love that twist on the mystery of Irene's husband. His death has changed course and I'm hooked on wanting to find out what happened. Irene's marriage is such a lesson learned. It's so easy to be caught up in our own interests that we neglect our loved ones. I could say that I sometimes rather read than talk to my husband lol. I love Rosie's view as well as everyone else. I like the reminder to experience more of where you live because I do regret not si ...more
Susanne  Strong
It’s Time to Return to Paradise!

The second book in the Paradise series “What Happens in Paradise” brings us back to St. John.

A year has passed since Irene Steele discovered that her husband died on St. John, now she and both of her sons are back on the island, this time for good. All three are hoping to make a fresh start while also hoping to find out the truth about what happened to Russ.

Not everything goes according to plan however. As soon as they arrive on the island, their hopes are dash
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

When we last met up with the Steele family they had all returned to the United States to recuperate from the shock of dealing with (a) a dead husband/father, (b) a McMansion in St. John no one knew about, (c) a love child (samesies with the no one knew about her part), and (d) various potential romances. In book two it’s pretty much a given there’s going to be a bunch of other crap pop up that wasn’t disclosed in #1. It’s also a given
Book of the Month
Why I love it
by Siobhan Jones

What Happens in Paradise is Elin Hilderbrand’s wonderful follow-up to the first book in her romantic mystery series set on a sleepy—or not so sleepy?—Caribbean island. It’s also the second book that BOTM has featured by Hilderbrand this year, and the one that establishes her as our second-ever “threepeat” author.

Longtime fans of the author and her cozy yet elevated books—and I know there are millions of them out there—are probably delighted to see this as a selection
Debbie Oliphant
Sep 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5 Stars

Great storytelling, could not put down, what a cliffhanger.

Review to follow
Sep 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Escapist, addictive, and downright enthralling!

In this latest novel in the Paradise series, What Happens in Paradise, we head back to the idyllic island of St. John and into the lives of the Steele family who after the turbulent events triggered by the death of the patriarch in the first novel begin to accept, heal, move on, take chances, forge new friendships, and find new love even while the underlying feelings of dread still linger.

The writing is smooth and seamless. The characters are hesita
Nov 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
4 Stars
Mar 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library-2
This was one of my favorite reads of 2018, so of course I was eagerly anticipating the sequel! Irene and her family are back, just days after leaving St John. But the mystery surrounding husband and father Russ’s death and infidelity only continue to deepen. Slowly, one by one, the family returns to the island, where they meet back up with people they met there in book one, and we start to uncover Russ’s secrets.

As always, the characters are what make an Elin Hilderbrand book, and this cast is
Jan 31, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ugh
Oh, Elin Hilderbrand, what happened here? I was so looking forward to another enjoyable read about beautiful people and their beautiful things even as they wrestled with roadblocks on their way to their HEA (or as happy as could be). And instead I read What Happens In Paradise, which seems like it should have been called Author Has To Deliver A Book and Throws Together A Very Long Recap and then Some Crappy Filler.

I get that second series novels often have their problems but they shouldn't be th
Erica (sand_between_pages)
Unexpectedly, I find myself in a "meh" state of mind.
So, I was a HUGE fan of Winter in Paradise. It was easily a 5-star read for me: entertaining, thought-provoking, compelling, and a cliff hanger to boot.
Well, What Happens in Paradise has the cliff hanger. It's sorta entertaining at parts. It's not very thought-provoking, and the only thing that compelled me to keep going was the attachment I fostered to the characters in the first novel.
Maybe it's me? I'm coming off an 800 page book with lo
Sep 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs-2019
“It was just in the week before, only a couple days after they’d arrived home from St. John, an FBI agent named Colette Vasco called Irene, Cash, and Baker to let them know that the Virgin Islands Search and Rescue team had contacted the Bureau with suspicions that there might be more to the helicopter crash and the lightning. There was lightning in the area, but the damage to the helicopter seems to have been caused by an explosive device.” (paraphrased)

“What now,” thought the three remaining m
Mary Jackson _TheMaryReader
Oct 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
Oh my goodness just like book one this book left me hanging. I had no idea there was going to be another book. I now have to wait until sometime in 2020 to find out what happens.
It’s been a year since Irene Steele received the news that her husband Russ was killed in a helicopter crash. The most shocking part: it occurred on the island of St. John, where he apparently lived a double life with another family. Now Irene and her two grown sons are back on the island, trying to move on—and learn more about the life Russ led there.

I really am loving this series. I worried for naught this book wouldn’t be as captivating as the first! It was, per usual, a delicious Hilderbrand
Oct 10, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I have LOVED all of Elin’s books and this was such a disappointing read. I know this is meant to be a trilogy but the way this book was paced you could tell she only had enough of a story for maybe two books and dragged out whatever she could to fill pages. This placeholder of a book only gave us a couple of paragraphs of new information. There is zero to no characters development and I’m not sure who we are all supposed to root for. Worst book I’ve read this year.
Oct 21, 2019 rated it it was ok
Major let down as the second book in this trilogy. Rather boring and felt as though nothing happened. At least the last book will bring some answers...hopefully
Katie (never.ending.reading.list)
Elin Hilderbrand has done it again!
Since I discovered her books last summer, she has been moving her way up my list of favorite authors.

She is the queen of transporting you into the setting of her stories. It is evident that she has lived in and loves that lands she writes about. While I love her Nantucket stories, I think St. John in the Paradise series is even better!

I loved this first book and was so excited to find out it was series! What Happens in Paradise picks up right where Winter in P
Yesenia Juarez
Feb 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Elin’s writing is so smooth making for a fast and comfortable read. I just don’t like reading a series/trilogy that isn’t finished because I have to wait for the next book and I’m impatient!
This is the middle installment in a planned trilogy.
I like the light, fun, gossipy nature of this series. It's light and the storyline/plot is silly. Still the action is intriguing and I get invested quickly.
My main problem is that this novel is set on Island that is populated largely by Black folks. In the first book the author contrives the plot so all of the POV characters are white. It was annoying but often how white authors write.
That's not the case entirely with this novel. The problem
May 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Your toes sink deep into the silky sand, the sun is warming your shoulders and you lean back to melt into the cotton comfort of your towel. The ocean waves crash before you and the sound is soothing, calming, peaceful.

A cold descends as clouds choke out the sun, the ocean waves turn violent and a torrential downpour soaks you to the bone. That perfect life you were just experiencing? It all gets stripped away to showcase the ugly facade that is the utter truth of your existence. It was all false
Dec 20, 2019 rated it liked it
This is definitely mindless escape reading and there's nothing wrong with that. There's nothing profound or even particularly compelling going on here. Now we're getting the back story through incredibly detailed diary entries that I find completely unreasonable. What grown woman has time to write copious notes about her day in a journal? It's pretty convenient for us though.

I also think I would have liked it better had I been able to read this book right after the first. Honestly this whole th
This was an easy read with a fairly predictable cliff-hanger ending but that didn't stop me from enjoying it. A word of caution, though: the story continues where Winter in Paradise left off and there are very few backstories as to what happened in the previous book and who is who. If you can wait until the third book is published next year, binge by reading all three in one sitting.

Thanks to the publisher for the advance digital reading copy. To be published October 2019.
Cynthia W
Oct 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: chick-lit
Really struggled to finish this one. Honestly, I could see what was coming at the end of the book by the end of the 1st book of the trilogy. This seemed like filler to me - just a "place-holder", until we get to the last book to find out what happens. Although I have a pretty good idea, I think. We'll see when #3 is published.

Ms. Hildebrand is usually a favorite of mine, but this book fell short, in my opinion.
Kathryn in FL
"What Happens in Paradise" is the second installation of a series by Elin Hilderbrand. True to Ms. Hilderbrand's talent as a writer, she creates a distinct setting full of color and the smell of suntan lotion in the air. Her interesting although somewhat flat characters, travel on a journey toward wholeness. Though this is part of a series, it is not necessary to read the prior book since the reader gets all relevant details to engage with the current drama, which is set on a lovely Caribbean is ...more
Vicki Willis
Apr 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audible, 2020
This is the second book in the paradise series. It picks up right where the first one left off and was just as engaging. The setting is an island in the Caribbean and the author get the mood just right. It is part romance, part mystery and has a good balance. The characters continue to develop from the first book and are very well done. This would be a perfect summer read, but now that we are all socially distanced in our homes it is also perfect for that. I recommend this book. I am new to this ...more
Oct 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reading Elin Hilderbrand is like coming home and putting on a favorite sweatshirt. It's very comfortable and you know exactly what you're going to get. In this case; a great story, an amazing setting and interesting characters that instantly draw you in.

What makes What Happens in Paradise even better is that we're coming back to the U.S. Virgin Islands and the same characters from Winter in Paradise. We pick back up with Irene, Huck, Cash, Baker and Ayers in sparkling (what better adjective can
Cheryl S
Oct 25, 2019 rated it it was ok
After waiting a year to read the second book of this series I am extremely let down. I am no closer to knowing anything more that at the completion of part 1.
I really enjoyed part 1 which is what landed a 2 star review. It is merely a continuation with nothing new or exciting.
I feel I just read 319 pages of nothing.
Oct 13, 2019 rated it liked it
I love Hilderbrand's books. I just wish she would stick to what she does best - Nantucket and chick lit. Murder mysteries are not her forte.
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps

WHAT HAPPENS IN PARADISE, the second of Elin Hilderbrand’s series set in the Caribbean islands, kept me engaged in most of the story. Unlike most series I read, I wasn’t able to go back and read book #1. Still, I fell right back in with the characters and plot.

Few writers create multidimensional characters with sympathetic backstories as well as Hilderbrand. My favorite is family matriarch Irene, who is not without flaws.

WHAT HAPPENS IN PARADISE didn’t have a stand alone plot. Mostly t
Jan 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Hit the spot. And so fun to read while in the Caribbean. As always with this author, I had editorial issues, in this case mostly within the journal-entry portions even though those were my favorite. Oh, well, I'm still finding this Caribbean series more enticing and better written than her more recent Nantucket novels, and she is hands-down addictive reading at its best!
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Book of The Month: What Happens in Paradise 1 22 Oct 04, 2019 04:51AM  

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Elin Hilderbrand lives on Nantucket with her husband and their three young children. She grew up in Collegeville, Pennsylvania, and traveled extensively before settling on Nantucket, which has been the setting for her five previous novels. Hilderbrand is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and the graduate fiction workshop at the University of Iowa.

Other books in the series

Paradise (3 books)
  • Winter in Paradise (Paradise, #1)
  • Troubles in Paradise

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