ARC, Books

Book 177: Blessed Isle – Alex Beecroft

Beecroft, Alex - Blessed IsleWhile waiting on another book from the library I decided to request a copy of Blessed Isle from NetGalley. I had luck with the Tucker Springs series and wanted something light and fun to read and I wasn’t disappointed. This is my honest opinion and I received nothing in return.

This is how you write a romance novel! (To me at least.) There’s no rushing into things, there’s no the world is ours after 2-3 months (or shorter) and there’s plenty of conflict and potential heartbreak. Don’t get me wrong, there is a place for the Wham Bam style of romance novel, but they’re just not the type of love story I’m generally drawn to. In addition, there’s a subtlety about Beecroft’s writing and her efforts (and total success) at keeping the sex out of the book. In doing so she created a novel that was much less low-brow than you would assume and the focus was shifted to the love story and the time period, which really only adds to the story.

And to top it off, Beercroft did a good job of building at least one sympathetic character,

“But one day, perhaps, when the world has grown kinder, this journal will be read by less jaundiced eyes. To them I will be able to say there was fidelity here, and love, and long-suffering sacrifice, and joy. To them I will be able to speak the truth.”

Then Beecroft closed with,

“To that end, I am sealing this completed diary and depositing it in my bank, to be released when we are both dead. I think of it as a message in a bottle, cast out into the seas of time. May the future reader know what we have not been permitted to say in the present: that we were happy. And that we were true to one another through the loss of all things. It is important to me that someone should bear witness to our love.”

If your heart doesn’t flutter even a bit, you’ve got a dead soul! Of course you don’t, but me in my hopeless romanticism found these notions completely swoon-worthy.

I only had two ‘problems’ with the novel. The first,of course, is the cover! They’re SO cheesy and if you zoom in on this one (like I did) there’s what looks like a poor Photoshop job of hair on the background person. I will say the models on the cover are much more fitting, to what I imagined, than any of the others from Riptide Publishing so far.

The second issue, was with the epistolary nature of the novel. It wasn’t too distracting and she wrote it quite well, but for some reason it just seemed strange to me. The novel is Harry’s journal and Garnet just starts writing in it. There are a few occasions where this works really great, such as the closing line, or the apologies between the two, but overall it made me build great sympathy with Harry and only sort of half-hearted feelings of some sort toward Garnet.

Recommendation: It was a fun and very quick read (just under 80 pages). I truly appreciated that the sex happened off the page and there were only references to it. There’s something so much classier about a book that hints about what happens in the bedroom than one that goes all out. I mean, I don’t mind reading some of the more explicit ones, but any novel that’s full of insinuations and suggestions to me is harder to write and thus, more enjoyable to read.

Opening Line: “I light a candle and look at the man sprawled face down among tangled bedclothes.”

Closing Line: “And I think…I think I shall grow my hair.” (Whited out.)


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