Review: Summer at Rose Island by Holly Martin

Saturday, 11 June 2016
Title: Summer at Rose Island
Author: Holly Martin
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date: 13th May 2016
Pages: 336
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 3.5/5
Purchase: Amazon
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.

I was originally on the blog tour for Summer at Rose Island but had to delay my review for personal reasons and so I am very happy to finally be sharing it today. I absolutely adore Holly's books as you can see in my reviews of them and I am so glad to report that this latest instalment in the White Cliff Bay series is just as gloriously enjoyable as the previous two. They can all be read as a standalone but the fact that they exist within the same world I'm finding helps me to enjoy the story more because I feel at home in this quite magical place that Holly has created. I wanted to visit when I read Christmas at Lilac Cottage but now I just want to pack everything up and go and live there.

Despite the fact that each book and its characters are obviously brand new to me, there's still something incredibly comforting about picking up a Holly Martin book, and not in a boring, cuddly way but in a really good way. Holly has a really distinctive writing style, and she's one of my instantly recognisable authors whereby I would know for sure that I was reading one of her books if the author's name wasn't on the front (or if she was writing under a pseudonym which I worked out in no time when she actually did).

As with my other most read genre (crime, the complete opposite of this), there's a lot of books out there now that are just incredibly similar that I'm actually becoming quite tired of the romance genre because it just seems like every other book that's coming out isn't actually that much different. So, it becomes a case of looking for something that, whilst containing everything you want from the genre, romance, comedy, believable characters etc, also contains that something different and I think here we will call it the Holly Martin touch. Holly's books do mostly have a male and female character that will eventually fall in love. The male might be a little mysterious, the female might be a damsel in distress at times but what really stands out for me, and what leaves such a lasting impression is the love stories that Holly creates. They are just made for the big screen and it's just impossible not to fall in love with the characters yourself and I'm normally always jealous of their lives by the time I read the final page.

In Summer at Rose Island we meet Darcy and Riley. I especially like that in most of Holly's books she gives her characters jobs which you would rarely see done anywhere else in the genre and whilst those jobs don't always become a huge part of the story, they add something unique to the overall reading experience and I enjoyed reading about Darcy's job as a marine biologist. But, what I think stood out to me most was the lighthouse that Riley was restoring. Growing up as a child I watched numerous TV shows that featured a lighthouse and I always wanted to go in one but sadly to this day I never have. This book only made me want to even more, the whole thing just sounded fantastic. Add in the setting of White Cliff Bay and it's just such a wonderful place and I think I'm actually genuinely disappointed that it isn't a real place.

Overall I am going to have to admit that this wasn't my favourite Holly Martin book, but readers of her previous work will know that she does like to set a very high bar for herself. Her standout book for me and still my absolute favourite is One Hundred Proposals and anyone who has read that book will know exactly why. I still think about Harry and Suzie even now and constantly wonder how they are getting on! (Yes, they are real in my head...) But Summer at Rose Island is still a very enjoyable read and one that I have no hesitation in recommending and I can't wait to read more from Holly, whether that be in another return to White Cliff Bay or something totally new. If you are yet to read one of Holly's books then I highly recommend that you do.

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