I really hadn’t a clue about the plot of Blessed Isle when I requested it from Netgalley. It caught my eye and was published by Riptide and that was enough for me to get trigger happy with the “request” button.
Turns out it wasn’t really my thing and it took me almost a month to finish. I’m not a huge fan of adventure-type novels and, well, this was one of those. It’s also a tale of forbidden love set on the high seas in a time when men were not allowed to openly show affection for one another.
It’s told in journal form and is written by both of the main characters. This format makes the read very appealing and charming at times. The two recall the very beginning of their romance and get in funny, snarky little jabs at each other that show how well they know each other. These bits were the best parts for me. I was more interested in their secret romance than I was the danger aspect of the book. But danger and excitement is what the story is mainly about.
Here’s a small snippet so you can get a feel for the way the story is told.
“I suppose I should cease this drivel and pick up the account where Harry has left it off. That momentous instant when Cupid’s arrow pierced us both. Straight through one heart into the other it flew. Metaphorically speaking, you understand, though at the time, had I looked down and seen blood, I would not have been surprised. The rosy-dimpled boy, having done his worst, clapped his bow back between his wings and flew off, chuckling. I was left trying not to smile, trying not to flirt or to stare. Trying not, in short, to get the pair of us hanged.”
Harry is in charge of transferring a ship full of convicts and a backup fleet carrying supplies and crew. This is his first job as captain which is why he is very wary of expressing any emotion towards Garnet who is a hopeless flirt and far too daring for his own good. As they dance around each other they also must face down illness, a revolt and ship destroying storms. The action never stops so if you like that sort of thing this is your kind of book.
The romance is sweet and well developed but strictly behind closed doors. This is not an erotic tale by any stretch of the imagination. I guess I was expecting one because I found myself more than a bit disappointed to read this:
“When we woke, that first morning, we made love. Nothing needed to be said; we both understood it would happen as soon as we had the physical resources to allow it. It was sweet and weary and gentle, just kisses and the stroke of calloused palms. Afterwards I held Harry tight”
That’s it! Though I appreciated the beauty in the writing I’d be lying if I said this was a fabulous romance for me. I finished it feeling slightly disappointed at the abrupt ending and wishing it had more of an emotional impact on me.