Helen of Troy, Illinois

Romance - Contemporary
232 Pages
Reviewed on 01/16/2018
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Author Biography

Love makes the world go ‘round, the saying goes. To Annie, love makes the story go ‘round. The pages of her romance novels beat with the hearts of characters in search of connection. Spirited, flawed, sometimes maddening, ever relatable, they rarely behave as she wants or expects them to. But if their emotional journey affirms the bonds that tie us to each other, she won’t get in their way.
When she’s not expressing her imagination with pen and paintbrush, Annie cooks and gardens with undaunted enthusiasm (if variable success). In possession of a well-worn passport and memories of all the places on the map she’s called home, she shares her life with her husband and two sons. One of these days she’ll weed her collection of books, swimming goggles, and shoes. But not anytime soon.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite

Helen of Troy, Illinois is a very well written story of love and relationships by Annie Sereno. Helen is a young woman who seems to have it all; expensive clothes, a hectic social life in New York and a successful fiancé. However, this picture-perfect lifestyle is slowly shattered when she returns to her childhood home of Troy to sell the home she inherited with her mother, Lena. Lena has already promised the house to Gordon, the local vet and the nemesis of Phillip, Helen’s deceased first love. Throughout the novel, Helen battles her conflicting feelings of attraction to Gordon and loyalty to the memory of Phillip. Whilst in Troy, Helen slowly realises she has been living the life others want for her and not what makes her happy. She finally puts her feelings of guilt and need for approval behind her and embarks on the future and life she actually wants.

Helen of Troy, Illinois takes you on an emotional journey of love, family and relationships. Annie Sereno's descriptive writing of character and situations is compelling and realistic. The dialogue spoken by each character is very well thought out and in keeping with the traits of the character. The main story line examines the love/hate relationship between Helen and Gordon. I enjoyed the subtle hint of comedy within the dialogue as it made the relationship very authentic and something the reader would relate to. The sub plots were also very strong and well written, especially the difficult mother/daughter relationship between Helen and Lena. The twists and turns of the story are compelling and leave questions unanswered with each chapter. It is hard to put this book down once you start to read the first page.

Authors Talk About It

This novel is nothing if not satisfying. Sereno has created a complete world for her main characters to inhabit. The reader knows that behind the main story … a whole town of characters are quietly going about their lives. This book will appeal to any reader looking for a quick, quirky read with a satisfyingly happy ending.

J. Ridgeway

Helen and Gordon are strong, interesting characters bolstered by delightful animal friends. Lots of local color … sex was done with good taste. Definitely a book to recommend to friends and family!

Aspen Gold Reader's Choice Contest

I really enjoyed this book. It was well-written with complex, believable characters, a good mystery, and lots of humor. Gordon and Helen had excellent chemistry, clear motivations, and internal conflicts. I was rooting for them throughout the whole story. The secondary characters added intrigue and comic relief.

Crystal's Cozy Corner Blog

I was engrossed in this story from the first page … couldn't wait to get back to reading when I had to put my Kindle down. The writing is great, good character development and interaction. Love the side characters as well. Definitely 5 stars for me!

Maria Galicia

From the very first page I was hooked. I love the way the author combines humor, love, and drama. Helen and Gordon are strong, interesting characters. I also loved the side characters. Definitely this is a great story. I was engrossed from beginning to the end.

Ramona Rodriguez

I loved this story. It was very entertaining … a clever, modern romance novel.


Great read! The author defines her characters (lead and supporting) so well the reader can feel their needs and desire seep through the pages. Sequel, please!


I loved the book. We need a second one. Read it in one day and couldn't put it down.