Paradise Bound


Fiction - Inspirational
300 Pages
Reviewed on (not set)
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Born in Paris to a French literature teacher and a physician, Rafaele Desire was raised in the French Caribbean island of Martinique. An artistic child who loved reading above all, she chose science over literature when she moved back to France to become an orthodontist, and soon afterwards, a trip to the United States radically changed her life. She studied fine arts at Otis/Parsons, film production at NYU, and tried her hand at acting and graphic design. Rafaele Desire is a painter, writer, Tai Chi instructor, and she practices orthodontics in Los Angeles where she lives with her two amazing daughters. Paradise Bound is her first novel.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Ray Simmons for Readers' Favorite

Paradise Bound is one of the most balanced and well written romance novels I have ever read. Not only does Rafaële Désiré know a lot about the Yin and Yang of romance, but she knows a lot about life. The characters are so real you expect them to walk out of the pages and introduce themselves. The protagonist is Dr. Natalie Dorel, a beautiful, strong, caring woman just finishing her residency at a Paris hospital. Never have I seen the spiritual and emotional cost of being a physician written so well. Natalie is brilliant and she has attained her lifelong dream. She has it all, including a good man, so what’s wrong? Rafaële Désiré shows us page by page.

Paradise Bound is all the more impressive because it is Rafaële Désiré’s first novel. I am in awe. I love how the reader is shown the value of art. Like Natalie, a lot of us get caught up in things that are concrete and are expected of us, to such an extent that we neglect the spiritual side. This can be costly and very difficult to understand or correct. Everything in Paradise Bound teaches us the value of life and love. When a story can teach so much and be so entertaining, I consider it a success and I look for that author’s name in my future trips to the book store. Great dialogue, realistic people and situations, and a perfect rendition of the fights, misunderstandings, and hidden fears that come between friends, family, and lovers make Paradise Bound a compelling read. If you love romance, pick it up and start it, one Friday night when you’re not working the next day.

Maria Beltran

Paradise Bound by Rafaële Désiré is a story that many women can relate to: Natalie, a beautiful woman from Martinique is doing her residency in Val-Dieu hospital in Paris. Life seems to be perfect for the young surgeon. Her boyfriend, Jean-Marc, is a pilot and he is devoted to her. They have known each other since childhood and are both on the way to accomplishing their individual dreams. Natalie, however, needs a break from the demands of her profession. Her rigid hospital duty is making her feel overtired, unhappy and unfulfilled. Her mother was a frustrated doctor and the young Natalie took it upon herself to fulfill her mother’s dreams. She decides to go on a holiday after her residency and spends some time in Los Angeles with her friend Simone, an aspiring actress. She meets Jerry in LA, a very attractive up and coming artist who has a reputation of being a womanizer. She also meets Michael, a rising actor with whom she feels quite comfortable. With Jean Marc becoming possessive, she finds herself at a crossroads of making very important choices in her life.

Rafaële Désiré’s Paradise Bound is not only a love story. It is also about finding one’s true self despite seemingly insurmountable odds. The novel’s characters are real people living in the real world. And as each of them tries to find their place in this world, they go through a process that many of us are familiar with. When Natalie decided to become a doctor, she was actually following someone else’s dreams. What makes her story interesting is that she is one of the few women we know who has mustered the courage to really follow her heart. And this is in spite of the fact that she is putting a lot of things at risk - a comfortable life, an accomplished career, her relationships with family and friends, and her childhood sweetheart - for a future that is hazy at best. From Martinique, to Paris and South California, and back again to Martinique, Natalie must finally find her real self, and the happiness and fulfillment that elude a lot of people who do not have the courage to be really true to themselves.

Anne-Marie Reynolds

Paradise Bound by Rafaële Désiré is a story of discovery and passion. Dr Natalie Dorel has just finished her last day of residency at a Paris hospital and she’s ready for a break. Accepting an invitation from her friend Simone, she heads off to LA for a month of sun and relaxation. Not before she tells her partner, Jean Marc, that she’s going and he isn’t happy. Natalie needs time out, but she isn’t going to get it in LA. It is here that she discovers a passionate and creative side of herself, a part that she had long hidden away. And now she has two more men vying for her attention. Natalie has to make some big decisions. Does she return to the life she knew, the stresses of working as a surgeon and living with Jean Marc, or does she stay in LA and take a risk on a future that she doesn’t know, a future that is unpredictable?

I really enjoyed reading Paradise Bound by Rafaële Désiré. It is one of those books that you can pick up and just fall straight into it. The story is well written and is easy to follow with very well defined characters. The details about the characters emerge slowly throughout the story, giving you a chance to get to know them better, to see how they fit into the story. Ms. Désiré has a real way with words, a way that draws the reader nicely into the plot, and makes you want to carry on reading because you just have to know how the story is going to end. I understand this is a debut novel and I firmly believe that it will be a winner. It is an intriguing story, a tale of life and love, decisions and choices. Having read this one, I would definitely say this is an author to follow.

Marta Tandori

Paradise Bound by Rafaële Désiré is a book that deals with a young woman’s journey to find herself, set amid the pulsating, vibrant backdrop of L.A. Surgeon Natalie Dorel has just finished her stressful residency in a very busy Paris hospital. She’s emotionally drained and physically weary, and eagerly accepts her friend Simone’s invitation to come out to L.A. and visit her. Natalie agrees to stay for a month, much to the disappointment and resentment of her possessive pilot boyfriend, Jean-Marc, who had been waiting for her to finish her residency so that they could look for an apartment together. Natalie’s unprepared for the pulsating vibrancy that is L.A. and she finds herself eagerly embracing everything the city has to offer. On Natalie’s first night in L.A., Simone takes her to an art exhibition where her cousin Jerry’s paintings are being showcased. Natalie is immediately drawn to sexy Jerry, despite Simone’s warnings that her cousin has a tendency to leave behind a string of broken hearts. Shortly afterwards, Natalie also meets Michael, a gorgeous black actor whose kind and caring demeanor finds a special place in her heart. As one day turns into the next, Natalie finds herself not only attracted to both men, but also questioning where her loyalties lie and what her true career path should be.

What makes Paradise Bound such an enjoyable read is the fact that Rafaële Désiré’s main protagonist is so relatable. While not every woman can relate to being a surgeon and the years of training and discipline that such a profession demands, they can nevertheless relate to Natalie, the woman, and her struggles to come to terms with who she really is and what she wants to be – not what others want her to be. Rafaële Désiré's protagonist came from a broken, albeit happy, home. Her mother struggled so that Natalie could go to medical school and she has more or less followed a path which she knew would make her mother both proud and happy. However, living your life as someone else wants you to live it isn’t necessarily being true to yourself, and the author does a convincing job conveying Natalie’s inner turmoil as she struggles with both her career choice and her future with Jean-Marc. This is the true pulse of the book and it’s what compels the reader to keep reading. There’s a sense of intimate familiarity in the author’s prose as Natalie moves from the eclectic eccentricities of Venice Beach to the fabled streets of New York, and finally to the splendor that is the island of Martinique. Paradise Bound takes its readers on one woman’s eventful journey of self-discovery, a journey well worth taking in my view.