Fun-loving Isla Waterstone loves her laid-back life on Mariposa Island. She has everything she could ever want…a great job as a journalist for the local paper, amazing friends, and pink sand beaches with stunning tropical sunsets.
The only problem with tiny tropical islands? There are more sea turtles than single men.
So when British billionaire Declan Fox and his aristocratic friend arrive, Isla’s friends know this can mean only one thing. Marriage.
After all, it’s a truth universally acknowledged, when a single billionaire travels to a tropical island, he must be in want of a wife.
But Isla isn’t convinced. Especially because Declan is the most rude, arrogant, prideful man she’s ever met. Or is he?
From tropical Mariposa to England and back again, this playful summer romcom, finds that first impressions don’t always tell the whole story.
|Title:||Once Upon an Island|
|Category / Genre(s):||Contemporary|
Modern Day Retelling
|Point of View:||First Person, Present Tense, Dual Viewpoint (H & h)|
|Location:||Marisposa Island & Yorkshire, UK|
|Release Date:||24th May, 2022|
A tropical Pride & Prejudice
I’m a huge fan of Sarah Ready’s and have especially enjoyed her Soul Mates in Romeo romcom series. This is something different again for her as she adds a tropical, contemporary twist to Jane Austen’s classic, Pride & Prejudice.
Our action starts on Mariposa Island – a tropical getaway that I’m very disappointed to find out is fictional. I mean, an idyllic, sultry paradise with lush greenery, azure blue seas and shenanigans involving British billionaires? Sounds legit! We do end up in the damp and drizzly north of England but there’s tea – so all’s well with the world!
Our heroine is Isla – a local who is more than happy with her ordinary life on the island. She has her house, her friends and the island she loves. As a kind and caring person, it’s amusing to watch her be annoyed by, spar with, and become reluctantly attracted to the brooding Declan. She’s got enough sass to make me like her and reading her internal thoughts was a right hoot.
Declan is a British billionaire that wears his cynicism on his sleeve. Wow is this boy grumpy! We only get the book from Isla’s point of view but you definitely pick up his thoughts and feelings in subtle ways that even Isla isn’t aware of. I’m a sucker for a brooding hero that’s really a big ol’ softie inside and that is Declan to a T. With an added dose of cynicism thrown in for good measure.
I adored Isla and Declan together. They both appeared to be fighting against their feelings and doing a damn poor job of things. I love it when characters are tortured with their feelings for each other throughout a book.
We get a whole host of characters in this book – some that have more page time and are better developed than others. Some I liked, some I didn’t particularly like and some I downright didn’t like at all and didn’t want to have a happy ending.
Buuuut… my feelings are pretty much the same for Pride and Prejudice which this story is based on. This story doesn’t try to do anything too wild or fancy with the storyline and it stays relatively true to the original plot. Well, I don’t think there were any tropical thunderstorms or falling off yachts in the original, but it’s been a while! It also means that there is little to no shenanigans – no, not even kissing – until the very end. And even then, it’s all PG. I would have liked at least some snogs to keep me happy but that’s not the way the author wanted to go and I was fine with that. It was fun to try to marry up the original with this story and found I really enjoyed that aspect on top of appreciating the story on its own merits, too.
As always, Sarah Ready brings her fresh, fun and light writing style that never fails to draw me in. She also somehow always manages to surprise me when I’m suddenly so invested in her characters and her worlds that I find myself unintentionally blubbing with all the feelings. As I said, big fan of Sarah Ready’s work and this offering just cements her as one of my go-to authors for a good time of love and laughter. 5 stars.
* I received this book in exchange for my honest review *
Author Sarah Ready writes contemporary romance and romantic comedy.
Her books have been described as “euphoric”, “heartwarming” and “laugh out loud”. Her debut novel The Fall in Love Checklist was hailed as “the unicorn read of 2020”. She loves to write fast-paced, emotionally compelling romances about quirky, smart women and the men who love them.
Before writing romance full-time Sarah had lots of fun teaching at an Ivy League. Then she realized she could have even more fun writing romance. Her favorite things after writing are adventuring and travel. You’ll frequently find her using her degree at a dino dig site, crawling into a cave, snorkeling, or on horseback riding through the jungle – all fodder for her next book. She’s lived in Scotland, Norway, Portugal, Switzerland and NYC. She currently lives in the Caribbean with her water-obsessed pup and her awesome family.
You can visit her online at www.sarahready.com