Summer at Rose Island (Spoiler Free!) Review

“An endless world of blue stretched out below Darcy. The sandy seabed lay about ten metres beneath her and she smiled as she saw fish of every colour and size swimming lazily between the rocks and seaweed.”

-Holly Martin, Summer at Rose Island

Hey guys! How crazy is it that we’re nearly in August?! I can’t believe it, it feels like 2017 is racing us by! I was thrilled when Bonnier Zaffre offered to send me Summer at Rose Island by Holly Martin, as I needed some good summer reading before we’re suddenly in autumn!

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I thought the blurb sounded cute and summery, check it out:

After a string of disastrous jobs and relationships Darcy Davenport can’t wait to move to the lovely seaside village of White Cliff Bay.

Darcy’s daily swims in the crystal clear waters of the bay soon lead her to the charming Rose Island lighthouse. But it’s not just the beautiful building that she finds intriguing…

Riley Eddison, desperate to escape his past, just wants to be left alone. Yet he can’t help but notice Darcy.

But when his unique home is threatened, they both have to pick sides. 

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

See what I mean? Adorableness all round!

White Cliff Bay was the perfect setting for this adult contemporary, as it was breezy and summery and had gorgeous coastal vibes. I adore the coast and being in water in summer, so discovering that Darcy was qualified in marine biology was fascinating, and added a more interesting layer to her character. In fact, I really liked Darcy’s character as a whole. She was clumsy and disaster prone, but smart and compassionate, which I enjoyed as it’s always good to have a strong, clever female protagonist!

The novel opens with Darcy moving to the small town of White Cliff Bay, after a collection of disasters have her yearning for a fresh start. What I didn’t realise until I picked up the novel, was that Darcy had visited the town several times before, as a young child visiting her beloved older aunt in her summer holidays. Her aunt has passed on before Darcy moves, but the nostalgia Darcy feels for the place remains, and there is an interesting link with Darcy wanting to discover more about her aunt and learn about her past. This sense of nostalgia and curiosity about the past carries nicely through to the main plot point of the impending destruction of Riley’s home; an old lighthouse that has been in his family for generations.

Riley Eddison was the Mr Darcy counterpoint to Darcy’s Elizabeth Bennet, all mysterious and brooding, which made for some great, snappy dialogue between them. This is more of a cuter, fluffier contemporary romance, rather than a steamy one, so if you like your novels more heart-warming than smutty, this is the one for you! Riley is an American, living in the UK, where this novel is set, which lead to some charming scenes as Darcy tried haphazardly to show him the best of British food and culture…. Some of which had me cringing as I don’t particularly like a lot of the food myself… I feel for you Riley!!

The plot was fairly predictable, but as I don’t read these kinds of books for shocking plot twists, it didn’t bother me at all-I picked this book up looking for a lovely summer read that would make me smile and entertain me, and it completely delivered!

One thing that I didn’t expect was to fall in love with the secondary characters in this book as well. From the cute, married couple next door, to the various residents of White Cliff Bay that pop in and out of the plot, all were well conveyed and added to the sense of charm in this small, coastal town that Darcy has moved to.

Overall, I’m giving Summer at Rose Island 4/5 stars as it was a light, fluffy read that I’d definitely recommend if you’re looking for new contemporaries to check out this summer! This one would make a lovely beach read.

Has anyone else read this one? Thoughts? What cute, summery books will you all be reading this summer?

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