Island in the Sea by Anita Hughes

Island in the Sea by Anita Hughes
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press-Griffin Books
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Contemporary
Length: Full Length (292 pgs)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Stephanotis

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.

I haven’t found many books set on the island of Majorca so I knew I had to read this one. I used to spend summers there when I was growing up so reading Island in the Sea was part nostalgia and part interesting story.

I thought the author did a wonderful job describing the flora and fauna. I imagined myself back there. The story was an interesting one but it never held my interest as much as I would have liked. There was nothing wrong with the pacing of dialogue or even the characters, but somehow I wasn’t able to connect with them, especially the lead character, Juliet, as much as I would have liked.

While a good part of the story does take place in the present and in Majorca, there were constant flashbacks of Lionel and his relationship with a woman called Samantha. While it was interesting to read, it sort of took away from the present story and sometimes the switches were abrupt and short. I did like the storyline with native resident Gabriella and how loyal she was to her family.

All in all, it was an interesting read, and if you’re looking for something with a setting that will be new to you, I’d say give this a try.

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