Shades of Blue by Dana Tanaro Britt

I feel like this is one of those books where bad things just keep happening, and you wonder why the characters can’t take a 90 minute break to watch a happy Disney movie.

What’s it About? 


Heart-broken and reeling with grief, widowed writer Charlie flees to a far-flung tropical island in search of a safe haven where she can let her treasured memories consume her. Hiding away from the world, she battles nightmares and fresh tragedy while trying to make sense of her new reality. Living his island dream, firefighter-turned-fisherman Gabe Montgomery is determined to be Charlie’s port in her storm of pain and loss. Blindsided by life-changing revelations from his own past followed by the possibility of a terrifying personal loss, Gabe realizes that sometimes letting go is as much a part of love as holding on. When Charlie and Gabe discover a powerful connection and cling to one another for comfort and hope, both face a frightening dilemma: surrender to the past, or face the challenge and promise of a life together. Will the memories and mistakes of the past consume them or can Charlie and Gabe hold fast to each other and the hope that will bring them to a promising future together?

First Impressions

So Charlie has escaped to a tropical island, leaving her family and friends behind, to mourn the death of her husband in total solitude. Does anybody else feel like this is a recipe for some intense therapy sessions? Based on the synopsis, I thought this book would be about Charlie moving on from grief, but intsead she chooses to wallow in it. Sure, I felt bad for Charlie, but I also felt really bad for Gabe. He can tell that she’s hurting, and just wants to provide her with a small amount of solace by speaking to her a little bit each day, but he definitely wasn’t equipped to counsel a grieving widow.


What Else Can Happen? 

Charlie is so heartbroken over the death of her husband, and unfortunately Gabe’s brief chats are too little, too late. Her overwhelming grief causes her to have an emotional meltdown which forces her into a 10 day coma. She then wakes up with no memory of the past 2 months, her husband’s death, or her children. All she knows is that Gabe’s voice comforts her, and she feels safe with him. Gabe then finds out he has a daughter he never knew about from a one night stand years before, and he and his best friend eventually get lost at sea. What other drama can we plop onto these people?! I know! How about Gabe’s daughter Rory falls sick from a deadly illness? Okay!

Again, I thought that this book would provide some kind of lesson about how to move on from intense grief due to the loss of a loved one. Well, it looks like the only real way to start living your life again is to lose your memory. It is only when Charlie forgets her husband that she is able to let go of the sadness and heartbreak she once possessed over losing him. I have a feeling that if she’d never gone into a coma, she probably would have fallen deeper into such a dark depression that she never would have escaped with her life.


Where the Hell is this Island? 

Gosh, this place is harder to find than Gilligan’s island! As far as I can recall, we are never given a name of the island, or its exact location. All we really know is that it’s a tropical island. However, its probable location in the Caribbean doesn’t really make sense with some references to the time difference on the mainland. For instance, at one point it’s 2am on the island, and Gabe makes a phone call to his family in New England, where it’s the early afternoon. This would make for an almost 12 hour time difference, which would actually place the island somewhere near the Philippines. Not exactly the tropics. It might seem silly to harp on this for so long, but the island’s location actually becomes crucial to a key aspect of Charlie’s husband’s death. Even the smallest of details is important to the story.


*A copy of this book was provided for an honest review*

Series: An Island Sanctuary series, book 1.

Should you read it? It dragged on a bit too long for my taste. You don’t find out what happened to Charlie’s husband until the very very end, which was too long of a wait. Then there is this bombshell of a plot point revealed practically on the last page, and it’s just sort of brushed aside. Kind of disappointing.

Smut Level: There are a few love scenes, and many instances of a leg being shoved between her knees, but nothing too graphic.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $3.99 Kindle Price. Published by Booktrope. 230 Pages.

4 thoughts on “Shades of Blue by Dana Tanaro Britt

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