Reviews 2018-05-08T09:25:05+00:00

Book Reviews

Pearls: Spirits of the Belleview Biltmore

By: BonSue Brandvik


Solicited Reviews

Blogcritics (Rating: ★★★★★):

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. (Click here to read more)

Caroline Sharp – Goodreads (Rating: ★★★★):

The only way to read this book is in big greedy chunks! I did!!!….An emotional rollercoaster **** Look forward to reading more in this series

Cara Lockwood – (Rating: ★★★★★):
Today bestselling author of I Do (But I Don’t)

After reading “Pearls”, the heartwarming debut of the Spirits of Belleview Biltmore series, I can’t wait for the second book. BonSue Brandvik deftly spins a tale that is part historical romance and part ghost story, which ultimately teaches a very compelling lesson about the strength of love and sisterhood.

Romance Book Club – Reviewed by Joyce (Rating: ★★★★★):

What an amazing love story in the Historical time! I loved reading this book, and can’t help thinking about the two main characters, Honor and Josh.

Honor was patiently partnering with her ex-husband in a family business, despite other personal situations. However, I understand that Honor was wrestling with her feelings of being loved and betrayed. Then she found herself in an interesting place – the Belleview Biltmore Hotel. Spirits put Honor in the memory of the young Victorian woman, Darcy through her dreams. Honor realized that she needed to find her love sought her destiny, but Honor still had to deal with her emotional feelings after that happened with her ex-husband. Josh was handsome and loyal man that Honor finally met. Both of them shared passion and fell in love.

As the reviewer, I must admit that I am not a huge fan of paranormal romance. I used to travel up there in Tampa Bay, Florida. I had no chance of visiting a few historical buildings while in FL. Still, I would like to go to Belleview Biltmore Resort in Belleair, FL someday.

The love scenes were wonderful, the dialogues were very good.

Recommendation this book for +17 and older.


 Unsolicited Reviews

Just finished reading “Pearls” – Fantastic read; I couldn’t put it down. I moved to Clearwater in ’62 and have visited the Biltmore a few times. Also, my father-in-law was the groundskeeper of the golf course for many, many years. Anyway, thanks to BonSue Brandvik for preserving the memory of this great establishment.
~ Joan Weber Chesak

I was delighted to find BonSue Brandvik had written a book on a subject very dear to my heart. I bought the Kindle book as soon as I got home and read far into the night. Belleview Biltmore is a delightful subject and BonSue has done a fine job in getting this fascinating story in print.
~ Shelia

I could not put Pearls down – literally! One of the finest books I’ve read. I am looking forward to the next one.Thank you for a wonderful storyline.
~ Joanne

An intriguing novel by a world-class author. This is a fascinating story set in the historic Belleview Biltmore Hotel in Belleair, Florida. A real page turner; highly recommended.
~ Thomas Weston

I bought this book based on my love and familarity with the Belleview Biltmore. I found I could not put this book down until I had read it in its entirety. Very compelling story!
~ S. Hutek

I am having a hard time getting everything done because I cannot put this book down! You had me from the first page! My Christmas tree may be up until February. Great book!!!!
~ Carolanne Azan

I loved your book and can’t wait for the next one! Several people at work are reading it now! Way to go! (BTW, I do not normally read this genre of books, however, it was such a nice diversion and I couldn’t put it down.)
~ Janis Kury

Thoroughly enjoyed reading Pearls and am eagerly awaiting the release of the second book. Reminded me of how much fun it was to read Hawaii when we lived there. The names of familiar places really enhance the story. I hope all of you working for the preservation of the Biltmore are successful. Again, good book, fun read.
~ Linda Morris

Just finished “Pearls”… it was excellent — mysterious, suspenseful, and satisfying. Enjoyed it VERY MUCH!!! A true page turner!
~ Patsy Payett

I was delighted to read Pearls, cover-to-cover, in one weekend. Brandvik’s well-developed characters entice us to journey with them as they straddle past and present, imagination and reality. After turning the last page of this novel, I was inspired to do some research of my own on the Belleview Biltmore Hotel. I’m rooting for Bon-Sue’s novels to save the grand old building — and all of the memories that live within! Now I’m waiting eagerly for Book Two!
~ L. Price

Historical, some fact, some fiction and even romance. Written in part with the hope of gaining more attention for the beautiful, historic, Belleview Biltmore Hotel. Fact: This century old “Queen of the Gulf” in Belleair, Florida, is facing demolition if someone doesn’t rescue the once billed “oldest occupied wooden structure in the world.” BonSue Brandvik has spun a wonderful tale set in a magnificent, real location where dignitaries, presidents, socialites and celebrities have stayed.
~ Florida Glass Maker

This is a historical novel and a novel about modern people and current events. It makes a good read on a rainy afternoon. In addition to learning a bit about Florida’s past, the book points toward current efforts to save a beautiful hotel. The characters rang true, and were easy to care about. I look forward to the second book in the series.
~ Judy S.

This book is unique, believable, and an up-to-date paranormal romance. The characters, both the modern and ghostly are true-to-life and believable. I received it in the afternoon post and read it overnight. It is a page-turner of the first order. I am SO looking forward to the next book in this series, and hope Amazon will advise when it is available.
~ Mary Buehrig

Smashing first novel. Brandvik creates interesting and believable characters I can care about. They captivated me from the first chapter and wouldn’t turn me loose until I finished the last page. Reading about events they put in motion was like taking a joyride in a world I never knew existed, even in fiction. Can’t wait for Brandvik’s next.
~ Michael Kasum

Except in school, my reading experience has been all non-fiction. If it wasn’t real, I wouldn’t read it….just wouldn’t keep my interest. I had a hard time putting Pearls down. This was a beautifully written novel that was certainly a page turner! It would be great to see this story made into a movie. I wish the best to everyone involved in the cause of saving the Belleview Biltmore, and I can’t wait for the next book!
~ Kristi Kasper

I started reading “Pearls” and could not put it down. I have read many, many books but this one tops the list. It was entertaining and inspirational…. most likely has changed my life as I can totally relate to The Circle. I love the Belleview Biltmore and felt that I was there again as I read this book. I sincerely hope that it is restored so that others can share and know how glorious it is.
~ Joy DiVenuti

Just thought I’d let you know I just finished your book and I loved it! Ask my parents, I never read, but I couldn’t put this book down while on spring break with them.
~ Kirsten Brandvik

Just finished reading your book (I told Mom about it and she had our town library purchase it for the library here in Iowa). Mom liked the story line but said the sex was too detailed. It was fun to read about places I’ve been and I was pleasantly surprised how quickly the book pulled me in and kept my interest. I heard that someone has purchased the building and plans to refurbish it. Will have to see it next time I’m in Florida.
~ Donna Stark

Just read “Pearls” – one of the finest written books I’ve ever read and I am an avid reader. I loved it and am anxiously awaiting the next one – I have been to the Biltmore and it’s heartbreaking to think of it being torn down – I do hope someone buys and restores it to its original beauty. So many spirits depend on it!
~ Joanne Graham

I didn’t want to stop reading. I read it in one weekend and really look forward to more reads from this author. I have lived in Florida all my life and the location really hit home. This book made me want to research my family history. And, the hot spots were “spot on.” Way to go…
~ Dorothea

I just finished reading “Pearls” by BonSue Brandvik. I had intended to work on my laptop while traveling but I couldn’t put the book down. I loved the book, it is an easy read and I actually teared-up a time or two. I can’t wait for the next one!
~ Colleen Shibley

I just read *Pearls* and loved it! I can’t wait for the sequel.
~ Sandy Simmons

I am a member of the Bookaneers Book Club where you will be speaking this Monday night! I just read the final page of your wonderful book, and, I must say – I am sad it is over….. I don’t remember when I have had such a hard time putting down a book. This story was so wonderful and I enjoyed every page! The characters were so real and I loved getting to know them all!! I am so looking forward to meeting you and hearing of your journey while writing this book. You are truly a talented writer…
~ Cindy Michalik

Picked up my copy in the shop next door to Frenchy’s Cafe. Was thrilled to see it was a signed copy and couldn’t wait to read it. I started on the plane ride back to Germany and couldn’t put it down. I grew up in Largo and remember the Biltmore well. I was upset by all of the news I read online about demolishing the hotel and tried to stop by to see it while I was home this summer. I was shocked when I was not permitted to even drive by to see it from the outside, as I wanted to share the place and a few stories of my own with my children. About a week after that was when I saw your book and knew I had to read it. I hate the way some places in America are not preserved the way cultures overseas preserve and cherish theirs. Everything is torn down to make new modern places instead. America is still a young country compared to most around the world. Having traveled and lived in Europe and Asia for my job with the DOD, I have had the great opportunity to see some fabulous historical sites that have been preserved for all to enjoy. I wish this for the Belleview, as well.
Just wanted to share my thoughts and ask when the next novel is due out. I can’t wait to read it. I love your mentioning some of my old stomping grounds within your story, as it is like being home when I am actually across the Atlantic in Germany!
~ Maureen McMillan

“Pearls” rocked! I finished it in one night. Less than 9 hours.
~ Christina Muller