Cover Design: Shanoff Formats
Release Date: October 13, 2017
The Island awaits your return
Ties severed too soon.
What was real?
What was fantasy?
Two lost souls.
Two broken hearts.
One deserted island.
I’ll find you, she said.
I’ll be waiting, he replied.
Return to the island to discover the truth.
The island is waiting for you.
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Reviewed by Klaire on behalf of KFF
Return to the Island is book two of The Island Duet, you cannot read this is a standalone in any capacity. I really loved the first book, but coming away from this one has left me with very mixed feelings. The story is different from that of Redemption Island (book one) and on reflection I understand why. The scenery moved – in a big way; a huge pivotal shift in location. Outside influences that were never there really in book one, come into play in book two. Obviously, the whole tone of Return to the Island is going to shift. I’m not sure if it worked for me.
Tack bothered me. I wasn’t a huge fan of his in the first book anyway, he took some warming up for me to like him. In Return to the Island I wasn’t a fan again. This time, however, there was no warming up. I still didn’t like him at the end of the book. He’s pushy and arrogant and not in a very endearing way. Yes, he mellows around Juliet, but he still held that air of control I wasn’t all that sure about. Many a time I questioned him and his actions. I did like Juliet more in this book. I felt she had found herself a little more than she had in the first.
Balance – it’s crucial to keep a plot going. I found Return to the Island veered more toward plot driven than character driven. Not sure if this was the author’s intention or not. I felt I didn’t particularly learn anything more about the two main characters in all honesty. Once they had reconnected I felt a slide. As in the plot seemed to be – scene, sex, scene, sex for a little while. Some of the sexual scenes were unnecessary. It often felt like Tack wanted to get his jollies off ALL the time. It kind of ruined it a little for me. And Juliet ‘purred’ far, far too much. It’s a word you notice a lot when it’s used repetitively.
Abby’s contribution to the story was not enough. Yes, she created friction and conflict but it didn’t feel convincing, and I found this sub plot quite weak. I kept waiting for Abby to do something big and drastic and well…no, kind of petered out and left me scratching my head a little as to why the author didn’t capitalise more on the character and that particular sub plot.
So, for about half the book I was enthralled and loving it and lost in these two characters trying to reconnect. Then, I don’t know. Return to the Island seemed to lose its pizzazz. I had been oohing and ahing to a reader friend about the book in one breath then feeling some disappointment in the next.
LB Dunbar’s writing is astonishing in places. I was absolutely bowled over with some of her descriptive narrative. Lord, when Juliet is in the shower and her soapy suds are hitting the shower floor – I could imagine it, hear the noises in my head – all down to the way the words were written. I love that kind of writing and this author can take scenes and inject a little magic into them no problem. Initially the dialogue was engaging and holding my attention. LB Dunbar uses a lot of dialogue tags and at times they spoiled the natural flow of the dialogue for me, and was less engaging.
Return to the Island is still a great book. A highly anticipated conclusion to Redemption Island, but it reads very different. I didn’t think it packed the same breath-taking punch as book one for a myriad of reasons. However, I’d still very much recommend this book. LB Dunbar’s storytelling skills are second to none.
~ 3.5 – 4 Stars ~
Signed Paperbacks of Redemption Island & Return to the Island
Redemption Island (Island Duet One) by L.B. Dunbar
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About the Author
Avid drinker of Coca-Cola, L.B. Dunbar loves the sweet things in life. Her affair with all things romantic began with her first book at the tender age of six: Goldilocks and the Three Bears. One can never forget her first! From there, the reading journey includes a deep love of fairy tales, medieval knights, regency debauchery, and alpha males. She loves a deep belly laugh and a strong hug. Occasionally, she has the energy of a Jack Russell terrier. Accused, yes, that’s the correct word, of having an over active imagination; to her benefit, such an imagination works well. Author of over a dozen novels, she’s created small town worlds, rock star mayhem, and MMA chaos. Her other duties in life include: mother to four growing children and wife to the one and only.
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