Saturday, June 4, 2016

Island in the Sea by Anita Hughes

3.5 Star

Juliet Lyman is a senior executive at Yesterday Records. Music is her passion and she's very good at her job. That's why her famously philanthropic boss Gideon sends her to Majorca, Spain to work with a very tortured, but talented client. Lionel Harding is one of the best song writers of the 20th century, the multi-Grammy award-winning lyricist of the third most recorded song in history. But now he's 42 and six months overdue on the his latest paid assignment. Juliet is not leaving Majorca without either new lyrics or a very large check.
To Juliet, business comes first. Emotions are secondary, and love isn't even on the menu. But to Lionel, love is everything, and he blames Gideon for his broken heart. He's determined to show Juliet that nothing is more important than love, but Juliet is just as determined to get Lionel to create the music that made him famous. If she can sign up local talent, even better. Her new friend Gabriella has a voice like an angel, but she's not interested in fame. Her grandmother, Lydia, wants the world for Gabriella, and she wants Juliet's help to give it to her.
As her professional and personal lives start to mix for the first time, Juliet is forced to reevaluate her priorities. Gideon hasn't been totally honest, and love may be the only thing that gives them all what they need.

Kathryn - 3.5 Star

The first thing that struck me while reading Island in the Sea was the warmth of the description of the island. Sometimes I find it a bit difficult to get into Anita Hughes’ writing because she has a unique style that often includes shorter sentences with the word “and” in them. I know this is a ridiculous thing to point out but I find it noticeable at first as it makes the description a little halting.  I’m quite certain that this is unique to me as Anita Hughes is a popular author and her novels are always intriguing.

Island by the Sea brings us Juliet, a young woman in the music industry who has perhaps spent the last few years focussed entirely on her career (which she loves, which makes us love her too) but she’s pushed the concept of a relationship, or even love, to the side.  The novel explores this part of her while she, in turn, explores the island and meets interesting new people. Most interesting is perhaps the song writer who has become a partial recluse while he tries to produce hits to match those of his youth. I was also delighted with Gabriella’s grandmother Lydia, who was warm and so very lively.

I was entirely surprised by the love interests and plot twists. I actually want to keep that entire part of the story to myself so for now I will only share that I was surprised and somewhat touched by them.
Island in the Sea is a warm and summery story with unusual characters that had me reading well into the night.

Thank you to St Martin's Press for our review copy.  All opinions are our own.

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