The Isle of… (Isle of Wight Bundle)

Title: The Isle of…
Author: Sue Brown
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: October 20, 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary
Page Count: 596
Reviewed by: Maya
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Love is brewing on the Isle of Wight…

In The Isle of… Where?, after his best friend dies, Liam Marshall heads to the Isle of Wight to fulfill Alex’s final wish, but when Sam Owens rescues him on the pier, he may have found a reason to start living again. In Isle of Wishes, Liam has headed back to the States to tie up loose ends before marrying Sam, but when Liam loses contact, Sam sends his brother Officer Paul Owens to find out what happened. There, Paul meets closeted Detective Olaf Skandik, and business soon starts to mix with pleasure.

In Isle of Waves, Wig Tobias and Nibs Tyler are happy in love and in running their business, the Blue Lagoon Restaurant, but when vandals and illness strike, it takes the help of friends to get this couple back on track. And finally in Isle of Waiting, read a missing moment of Paul and Olaf’s romance.

I had a minor freak out when I got the book because it’s bundle, containing three books in series. Normally this would be a happy occasion (more goodies to read) but I had an anxiety attack: what if I don’t like it?
Luckily, my fears were in vain. Let’s go in order:

Sam and Liam:

The writing is…settled. It’s relaxed and comfortable, like an old worn shoe. Just a few pages in and I was inevitably sucked in. The connection between two men is just there and grows by leaps and bounds. They share life stories on the first meeting.
It’s a chance for better life for Liam: a bright ray of happiness in otherwise bleak existence and he reaches for it with both hands. There is no pressure, no sparks just two men finding something worthwhile in each other. The pacing is excellent and I enjoyed reading about their interactions. They are both having a bad patch in life and they have a bit of healing to do. It’s lovely watching them lean on each other.

Considering the time-frame this story should be instalove, but the author so deftly managed their relationship the reader doesn’t get that vibe. A sense of calm permeates the book. I’m not saying the story wasn’t exciting because the plot was interesting but I never once doubted Liam’s and Sam’s connection.

It was a great lead in the series and a fine example of contemporary romance.

Paul and Olaf

The second story is a natural progression of previous book. There is a subtly different flavor as the characters are different. I practically swooned at Paul’s description of Olaf:

“The newcomer, on the other hand, looked like he’d been carved out of ice. He was clad in a tailored suit jacket, with cheekbones that could cut glass, and the iciest aquamarine eyes he’d ever seen.”

Since we already know he is cynical and footloose in his relationships the effect Olaf has on him has a bigger impact. Paul’s voice is grittier than Liam’s and Sam’s but equally compelling. The story is very much invested in Sam and Liam so the books should be read in order.

There are flashes of humor interspersed through the story. Paul and Olaf’s dynamic is different. Olaf is not out and there are responsibilities for him at home. He can’t just up and move to be with Paul. Their story has a more desperate feel than the previous but equally holds attention.

Wig and Nibs:

No, those are not their real names, but that’s how they are referred through the story, are a different kettle of fish. Those two are an established couple. Their life at the moment isn’t all roses and sunshine despite their obvious attachment to each other. They are having business problems at the moment and those problems soon snowball and even their relationships suffers several hiccups. Nibs is the serious one while Wig is the one cheering his partner on. They complete each other focusing on their happiness while world changes around them.
Even the sad moments in the story were handled in a way that seamlessly blended emotions. Nibs and Wig get their deserved happy ending.

This is an excellent piece of writing and I enjoyed reading the book, so it gets five stars easily.

The Isle Series

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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of Isle of… provided by Publisher in exchange of an honest review.