• A Bittersweet Surprise

  • A Starlight Cove Novel
  • By: Cynthia Ellingsen
  • Narrated by: Kate Rudd
  • Length: 8 hrs and 50 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (509 ratings)

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A Bittersweet Surprise  By  cover art

A Bittersweet Surprise

By: Cynthia Ellingsen
Narrated by: Kate Rudd
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Publisher's Summary

A mysterious, heartwarming tale of small-town intrigue, family secrets, and the possibility of new love from the Amazon Charts bestselling author of The Lighthouse Keeper.

Emma Laurent has always preferred helping others to asking for help. But now, she’s the one in need. Her stepmother is selling her late father’s candy shop, her grandmother’s assisted-living facility has become a financial burden, and the anniversary of her fiancé’s death is quickly approaching.

Rather than face her problems, Emma does what she does best - finds someone else to help by offering a mother and son with nowhere to go somewhere to stay. So when a couple visiting Starlight Cove suddenly offers to pay $20,000 for the old painting that has hung on the candy shop’s wall since Emma was a child, it seems like fate has stepped in to help Emma in return - but the more she thinks about it, the more suspicious the offer seems.

Determined to uncover why the couple is so interested in the painting, Emma begins to investigate, unknowingly wading into a sea of old family secrets. At the same time, a new flirtation has her feeling guilty and confused. As Emma uncovers more about the past, can she find the courage she needs to save the candy shop and give herself permission to open her heart to love again?

©2019 Cynthia Ellingsen (P)2019 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

Critic Reviews

A Bittersweet Surprise is one of those gentle, uplifting stories you lose yourself in, and just keep turning pages. A beautifully drawn world of small-town secrets and misunderstandings, art, and chocolate. I loved it.” —Carol Mason, bestselling author of After You Left

“Ellingsen crafts a heartwarming story filled with charming characters, relatable yet original family dynamics, a hint of mystery, and a lovely dash of romance.” —Tracy Brogan, Amazon Charts and USA Today bestselling author

What listeners say about A Bittersweet Surprise

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WORTH THE READ

There is a great Cozy Mystery intertwined in these pages and it keeps the reader intwined in the story.

You won't be disappointed in the purchase.

3 people found this helpful

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Delightful easily digestible book

Listened during commutes and made it very pleasant drive. Good plot and suspenseful. Characters that engaged and drew you into story. Lovely book. Thank you.

3 people found this helpful

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Surprising

This wasn't what I thought it would be and am happy to say I was pleasantly surprised. It's a terrific story with tons of heart, emotion and characters you can feel. Well done.

3 people found this helpful

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Good Story

I'm glad I took a chance on this title. At first I expected a sugary sweet small town romance with a happily ever after ending. Instead, I discovered a more realistic glimpse into the tapestry of life. Love, grief, challenges overcome, disappointments,-some with happy endings and some that teach valuable life lessons.
The book has a good balance of a story that held my interest without feeling too heavy. I look forward to other reads by this author.

2 people found this helpful

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feel good

Was an enjoyable story. Kindness over evil!
Good light reading with a happy ending. Made me hungry for chocolate!

2 people found this helpful

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Not just a summer read.

This charming book is centered around a candy shop that the daughter wants to own and the stepmother wants to sell. She has dreamed about owning the store and works tirelessly. Unfortunately she doesn't have the money. How is she going to get that money? Randomly some out-of-towners ask to buy her painting that her father left her. The way they go about it sends alarm bells off in her head. While trying to figure out more about the painting and if it will save her, she is also helping a mother and son that broke down in the town during a heatwave.

A very charming story. Worth the read.

Kate Rudd is an excellent narrator and gives each character their own rhythm and sound.

2 people found this helpful

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Enchanting with a bit of mystery

Love Cynthia Ellingsen’s Starlight Cove books! Anxiously awaiting a fourth one, hopefully? As a native Michigander, I know of the charm and beauty some of our towns along our Great Lake shores have. I love the characters and the fact that she brings them in from previous books. This is a great summer book to read on the beach or just when you wish you were there!

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Loved it!

I loved the story. You get lost in it. The characters were so well done. They made me happy, sad, and angry. I wish the book was longer.

2 people found this helpful

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great character dynamics, good mysteries

I am so glad I found this author! heartwarming stories, good values, intriguing mysteries. love, love, love her writing. I have enjoyed all her books listed on audible to date.

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The is something sweet about this book!

I’ve just finished the Starlight Cove series. Wonderful memorable characters, relatable heroines. I highly recommend this series.