Everything I disliked about Island Peril can be summed up in one phrase “I grew up in South Florida in the 70’s and 80’s.” But we can get to that. Jill Sorenson tweeted a link to Island Peril as a free read so I decided to give it a shot. My expectations were low. I thought she wrote Navy Seal type stuff instead of Elizabeth Lowell type stuff. Overall I loved it. I’m going to read one of her full length books as a comparison.
Ella is a science nerd with extremely controversial thoughts on the Star Wars films. She’s also a physically active woman who has taken the place of her ex-brother-in-law on a family trip with her adult niece. Ella is the too busy to date type. Paul works for the outdoor adventure company running the trip. He looks good in very little, which catches Ella’s attention. When he turns out to be a teacher, she’s even more intrigued. Events conspire to leave them alone and in danger because this is a romantic suspense and that’s how we do it.
View Spoiler »Paul sees a marijuana bale and assumes it’s abandoned. He tugs it to shore with the thought that he’s going to turn it over to the Coast Guard at the end of the day. Paul. Paul. Paul. You poor naive bastard. I don’t know how they do it on the west coast but every pre-Miami Vice child of Florida knows better than to touch that shit. You want your Dudley Do-Right badge? Pull it to shore as part of getting the hell out of there. Call it in and call it a day. Do not touch the ruthless drug lord’s money bag just because they’re not looking. No. No. No. No. « Hide Spoiler
At the end of the session, he lowered his paddle and turned around to face them. “Any questions?” “Are there speleothems inside the caves?” Ella asked. His gaze sharpened in appraisal. She knew how nerdy she sounded; Abby was practically groaning beside her. Ella had tried to dial it down on the science terms, but they popped out whenever she was nervous. “Stalagmites, stalactites, that sort of thing,” she said, blushing. “Those are more common in limestone caves,” he said. “The ones we’re visiting are mostly volcanic.” – Jill Sorenson, Island Peril
Anyway, once that went down I knew Paul and Ella were in for some difficult times. I liked the way their attraction was not based solely on proximity, but arose during peaceful discussions about their normal lives. Ella was a complex character (for a novella) with a full history. Paul had more nuance that he needed, which is a welcome change from And Then A Hot Guy Arrives. Overall it was a very enjoyable look at Sorenson’s style that made me interested in reading more.
*This post originally appeared at Love In The Margins.