ISLAND OF SECRETS
TAMMIE CLARKE GIBBS
Primm Rose Press
Romance, Time Travel, Gothic
Rating: 3 Cups
When Lila Fizpatrick steps in to cover a story as a favor to her roommate Cassie, who broke her foot, little does she know she will find herself bouncing back and forth in time between the present and 1796. In the present, Lila’s mysterious disappearance causes a ruckus and eventually becomes the focus of a police investigation.
Shane Alexander’s Island Resort is just days from opening. The family-owed island estate has been extensively renovated. Unfortunately, recent negative tabloid publicity threatens the success of the project. Shane invites a large group of reporters to the island hoping to mitigate the adverse publicity.
Shane has announced that he will choose one reporter for an exclusive, all-expense paid, week-long stay at the resort. Shane singles out Lila (posing as Cassie) for this honor as he feels an immediate tingling and link to her. She, likewise, finds herself irresistibly drawn to him, as well. Soon after, Lila finds an antique ring, and then the adventure begins.
I found this an enjoyable read. The descriptions of the sheer cliffs, pounding ocean waves, and spooky castle, riddled with hidden passages on the private, secluded island were exceptional. The gothic atmosphere is outstanding throughout most of the book, but I felt there were a few scenes that could have been improved by some further tightening and strengthening of the gothic elements. I also found several transitions disconcerting, and it interrupted my enjoyment because I had to stop to re-read the previous passage to figure out what I had missed. In one instance, I noted a key transitional phrase seemed just a bit misplaced. There are enough secondary characters to make the story compelling without so many as to be overwhelming, and plenty of unexpected twists throughout. The imagery is striking, and the story conceptualization is enticing, carefully crafted, and filled with deceit, jealousy, and an enduring, unconquerable love.
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More