I will admit, the title of this book made me a bit weary at first. I figured it’d be about a creepy mental asylum on some remote island in the middle of nowhere. I don’t do mental institutions! Happy to say, not a single one in sight in this book. Although, come to think of it, a few of the characters were crazy enough to be in one. Guess my initial thought wasn’t completely out of left field.
What’s it About?
Trouble is the last thing Devon Brown needs when she leaves the painful memories of her past behind and heads to Shell Island. As the Salty Dog’s new bartender, she finds herself drawn to Kerr, the Shell Island harbormaster. But finding her happily-ever-after is difficult when dealing with an obnoxious bootlegger who supplies the bar with illegal liquor and a jealous coworker.
A standoffish loner with damaged emotions, Kerr avoids relationships like the plague. Things change when Devon catches his eye. As a simple flirtation grows serious, the coworker and bootlegger quickly become obstacles to any future Kerr and Devon may have together. As the situation worsens, Devon realizes that even the still waters of Asylum Harbor are no refuge during a storm.
Devon has escaped her troubled past and family to this small island, and although there might not be a mental asylum on it, it sounds like an island you’d never want to visit. There is only one bar in town, which doubles as a strip club, there are no decent hotels even though it’s supposed to be a tourist town, and overall it doesn’t sound too quaint. Personally, I’d rather take my chances on Amity Island where Jaws is set. Put me up against a killer shark over the nutballs in this town any day.
There were some interesting dynamics between all of the characters in this book, as well as a bit of drama, but in the end I felt like some aspects of the story weren’t explained in full detail. For example, we were offered bits and pieces of why Devon ran away from her family, but we never got the full back story. There’s also some tension between Kerr, his brother who is mentally slow, and Kerr’s ex, Diane, who is now dating his brother. Again, certain aspects were intriguing, but I felt like their whole story wasn’t explained completely. Maybe there is more explanation in future books?
Another area of the story which had some holes was the relationship between Devon and Kerr. She literally bumps into him upon first meeting, and it seems like they really don’t like each other, with bad attitudes all around. Then suddenly something switches and they’re flirting with each other and going at it like bunnies. I wish there would have been more development on why her feelings changed so quickly from loathing to flirtation. As it stands, it sounds like she thought he was arrogant, and then realized he looked really good in his T-shirt. More connection please!
*A copy of this book was provided for an honest review*
Series: The Salty Dog series, book 1. If a future book focuses more on Kerr’s brother, who was undoubtedly my favorite character in the whole novel, I’d probably give it a go.
Should you read it? There was definitely a build up of tension throughout the book, but the end left me feeling a bit disappointed. The ending was climactic, but a tad unrealistic, and I felt like all aspects of the story didn’t necessarily come full circle.
Smut Level: Devon and Kerr may not have had the most emotional connection, but they had no problem connecting sexually. They have some nice shower sex, and he growls a few times. They also like to fight for dominance, which is interesting.
Get in on Amazon: Click Here. $3.99 Kindle Price. The Wild Rose Press, Inc. 194 Pages.