Friday, December 9, 2016

Claire Thompson - Island of Temptation

When artist Sam Jamison finds himself stranded on an island with dark-haired, blue-eyed Donovan McNair he knows he'll have to keep a tight rein on his rising passions. Donovan's straight as an arrow-or so he assumes. Survivors of a cruise shipwreck, the two men are thrown together in a desperate struggle to survive. Alone with no idea if they'll be rescued, Sam and Donovan forge a bond far stronger than mere friendship. Donovan discovers sexual attraction and love needn't be limited to the opposite sex. Though afraid of his own impulses, he finds himself captivated by Sam's good looks and quiet authority. Experiencing a freedom not possible back in "the real world," desire boils over, inhibitions melt away and passion burns a clear, loving flame. When rescue throws the cold water of reality on the lovers, Donovan returns to his old life-a life with no place for Sam. Torn and confused by expectations and self-imposed constraints, Donovan must find the courage to go where his heart leads him. Sam can only wait with quiet longing, praying the love they have shared will be strong enough to survive away from their secret tropical paradise. 

Comment: I had this book in the pile for some time now. It's one of the few by the author I have that don't belong to her BDSM collection. As I tend to avoid books with that sub genre, I was quite eager to read it.

This book presents us Donovan, a man who has practically everything he wanted after a not so happy childhood. His on and off girlfriend, however, has dumped him again so he goes to a romantic cruise on his on, instead of with her. Their relationship isn't perfect but he knows how she is and they always come back together after a bad phase.
On the cruise there's also Sam Jamison, a recently "discovered" artists, whose work has been receiving interesting feedback. He was offered the cruise trip and plans on enjoying it now that he knows his career is going on quite well.
What both didn't count on was that the ship where they are would sink and leave them stranded, together.
Nor that they would end up at a desert island. Alone...

I had some fun reading this book, I think it had an interesting take on the castaway scenario.
This is not the first book by the author I read that doesn't have BDSM content. I like that a relationship doesn't have to depend on those things to make sense or to work out. Maybe I'm old fashioned but, in general, I don't like to read about those types of relationships, especially when most times it's just an excuse to write about kinky sex.
Anyway, I haven't read her BDSM work, so I can't really talk. As for her other work, this book, as was the other one I've read years ago, seems to be much more balanced and interesting to me.

This book offers interesting notions, I liked it but yes, it does depend a lot on the main characters. I liked them overall, but I still think they weren't as strongly portrayed as they could. I think one of my biggest complaints about them is how they focused on sex in moments where it wouldn't be very realistic. I guess it's not that bad because readers are able to glimpse their thoughts about how despairing it is to be alone and not knowing help can come. Often they mention how glad they are they have someone else there. But I really think the author could have increased the drama between them with better developed sexual chemistry.
It seems to me Sam is always more aware of himself and has more confidence in his sexuality, so no surprises there. Donovan is too afraid but gives in rather quickly to his need to find out what he is feeling... I suppose I'd have preferred a more gradual passage from unknowns to lovers. Their time on the island had great moments, but the personal relationship could have been done better, could have more drama and romance scenes too.

Eventually, they are rescued and go back to civilization, where, obviously, they must deal with what happened. It was quite predictable how things progressed, in both of their lives. Sam follows the pattern of knowing what you had and lost but still hoping, while going on with his life and Donovan, always more doubtful, faces others' ideas and influence and no longer is confident on what he said on the island.
In a way, of course this is to be expected on a realistic reality, unpredictable situations tend to make us doubt everything and weight in stuff we wouldn't in our daily life routines but... I think the way the plot developed at this point was a little bit boring. I mean, I get it's not easy to follow through with a "under stress" situation and how that affects someone and even later responses, but...well, I don't know what I expected but it certainly wasn't to see the guys so focused on them alone and not on the other as well. Anyway, they ended up having an HEA so that hardly matters in the end.

I think that, in terms of romance, the other book I've read before by mrs Thompson was better, more dreamy, but this one offers an interesting escapism exercise. I think some details weren't well explained or developed but I guess the book has its own balance, not too good but not weak either.
Grade: 7/10

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