Book Review: Brynn Kelly – Deception Island

I’ve never written a book review before, so I’m following a template I found on the UK Book Trust website. Bear with me, I hope I’ll improve with time.

Last year I was fortunate enough to participate in a workshop at the Romance Writers of New Zealand conference run by Brynn Kelly. The result of which saw my purchase a copy of her award-winning novel: Deception Island. With a reading list a mile high, it sat on the pile, but this weekend I finally picked it up and boy am I glad I did!

Brynn Kelly.jpeg

Brynn Kelly’s Deception Island is a roller coaster read for anyone who loves a romantic suspense.

Three days later I’ve finished and found it was one of those books that kept me hanging in from beginning to end. Based in the Southern hemisphere it’s a gripping story of a woman kidnapped whilst sailing a luxury yacht solo. The story sees her imprisoned on a honeymoon island with her captor. It’s difficult to go into detail without giving away spoilers, so I’ll leave that for you to read.

What did I like about the book?

I could say everything. I don’t actually think there was anything I disliked. I loved the two main characters. Their flaws made them believable. The fact both were so badly damaged and their journey together left that warm fuzzy feeling that I love in a romance novel. But it was the over-arching tension of their story that kept me gripped. A part of me knew they’d find their happy ending, but the sheer number of disasters that hampered that found me aching with frustration, whilst wishing the bad guys the worst possible ending. I loved the description of the jungle, of the coral reefs, the sounds, the smells. In one scene the gulls are described as screaming. Having lived by the coast my entire life I could hear them in the way they were described. The color of the tropical sea, the white sand of the beach, the sound of monkey’s screeching in the jungle. All gave the book an entirely new dimension, transporting the reader into it.

What didn’t I like?

I could say that the journey to the HEA took forever, but I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. All the way I found myself rooting for them, wishing them past the tragedies they’d both befallen. With every obstacle I wanted them to just find that HEA, and each time the story continued. So whilst I didn’t like it, it was necessary for the story and made it so much better. How contradictory does that sound?!

What was my favorite part of the book?

Without spoilers, I can’t elaborate on any specific part of the book that was favorite. There were several scenes that stayed with me, and I think perhaps the best was the realization by both main characters that they were a team, not separate entities working as individual units. It pulled the story together and actually brought tears to my eyes.

In closing

Brynn Kelly has a beautiful style of writing that comes across in both the character development, and the plot and setting of the book. It’s a definite must-read for anyone who loves a truly gritty suspense romance. I’m looking forward to reading more of her novels.



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