Friday 20 May 2016

Reviewed: Summer at Rose Island by Holly Martin

TITLE: Summer at Rose Island
AUTHOR: Holly Martin
PUBLISHER: Bookouture


Amazon - Goodreads

Darcy Davenport is ready for a fresh start. Determined to leave a string of disastrous jobs and relationships behind her, she can’t wait to explore White Cliff Bay and meet the locals.

When Darcy swims in the crystal clear waters of the bay, she discovers the charming Rose Island Lighthouse. But it’s not just the beautiful building that she finds so intriguing…

Riley Eddison doesn’t want change. Desperate to escape the memories of his past, he lives a life of solitude in the lighthouse. Yet he can’t help but notice the gorgeous woman who swims out to his island one day.

Darcy is drawn to the mysterious and sexy Riley, but when it seems the town is trying to demolish his home, she soon finds herself having to pick sides.

She’s fallen in love with White Cliff Bay. But is that all Darcy’s fallen for?

Summer at Rose Island is the third book in Holly Martin’s White Cliff Bay series, the first summery one, and with each book I love the seaside town more and more. White Cliff Bay is a gorgeous setting with lovely characters, beautiful views, a fascinating history and featured in this book in particular, the precious Rose Island Lighthouse.

Sadly for its mysterious occupant Riley Eddison, the council don’t find the lighthouse quite as special as readers will do and plans are drawn to demolish it. With d-day fast approaching, the town’s residents are fundraising and working as hard as they can to save the lighthouse. I loved their fighting spirit and that small-town feeling, how they all come together in the face of adversity and they shared many lively conversations about how they could help which I enjoyed reading.

Darcy Davenport is the main character in Summer at Rose Island. As Holly’s protagonists usually are, she’s very likeable, passionate about something (other than Riley…) and a bubbly character. From the beginning, it was made easy to connect with Darcy and even though I can’t say she’s my favourite of Holly’s characters, I did like seeing her character slowly grow and develop as she begun to stand up for herself more.

Quickly endearing herself to other White Cliff Bay residents – including Libby and George (always like seeing recurring characters crop up!) – Darcy is drawn to one infuriating person in particular in Riley. Riley and Darcy get off on the wrong foot but the chemistry between them is always evident. Riley appears quite moody and he doesn’t speak to the other residents of White Cliff Bay and I was interested to know why. But until we did, and even though I liked him throughout, I found his grumpiness a bit tiresome rather than appealing.

If I’m honest, this isn’t my favourite Holly Martin book. Whilst I did enjoy it, especially as I got further and further into the story, I just didn’t connect with it as well as I would have liked. I found it to be quite a slowburner, and it wasn’t until we really get to know more about what drives Riley and Darcy that I found myself engrossed in their story. They were both heavily influenced by things which had happened to them before the book’s timeline started and I felt like I needed to know what that was before I could get into the book.

I didn’t laugh or swoon as much as I usually do with one of Holly’s books and it took a while for it to reach that unputdownable stage, but it did come with about 20% to go where I felt fully invested in the story and eager for Holly’s trademark happy ending to make its appearance. I loved all the events in this stage of the book and found that I’d really grown to connect with both Riley and Darcy and their romance felt real with true emotions and development throughout.

Summer at Rose Island is a very warm and cosy romance, with plenty of drama throughout the pages and a story easy enough to get caught up in. People who’ve already read previous books in the White Cliff Bay series (which are both gorgeous reads) will enjoy catching up with some memorable characters from those books and seeing where life has taken them. This book is also filled with some evocative descriptions of sea-life, from mermaids to sharks and everything in between which gave the story a different edge to your typical romance. It’s a book that will definitely put you in the mood for summer and have you booking that seaside holiday.


  1. Enjoyed reading your honest review. I'm going to get the first in the series.


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