There’s a quote on the cover of this book that calls it a romantic comedy, but it’s neither comedic nor a true romance. I consider this women’s fiction for a number of reasons, and the overall tone is heartfelt, emotional, thoughtful. There’s no humor. So while it’s well done for women’s fiction, it’s a disappointment for those of us who were expecting what was advertised – a romance. For me, the main issue is that this hero isn’t actually available. He’s married, and while currently estranged from his wife, the status of their relationship is up in the air until the final pages… and this isn’t a slow burn. That made for many uncomfortable moments, and I just couldn’t root for this couple. Perhaps if it had been a slower burn and that element had resolved itself (much) sooner, I could’ve enjoyed the story more, but it definitely put a damper on the whole thing for me. Which is unfortunate, because I loved the premise and I was really getting into the forced proximity before things ventured into a gray area.
The story follows Cleo, a British woman who writes about her dating life for a living. She’ll be turning 30 very soon, and it’s put a lot of things into perspective for her. So when her boss sends her to a remote island to marry herself – acknowledge that she’s okay being single – Cleo isn’t sure what to think. But when she arrives on the island, things don’t go as planned, and Cleo finds herself sharing a room with a stranger. Mack is an American husband and father whose marriage is falling apart, and his time on the island is meant to give him some space and distance. Unfortunately for both of them, they’re stuck together for better or worse, and that puts a wrench in both of their plans.
I actually really liked the premise and the forced proximity combined with the laidback tone was working for me for the first 25-30%. It’s a unique concept, and sticking these two together made them form a bond that neither anticipated. I also would’ve been cool with the story if Mack was recently divorced and learning to be on his own. But… that’s not actually the case here. His marriage isn’t necessarily “over,” and he’s still hoping to make things right with his wife. So having Cleo and Mack jump into bed together so quickly – with so little buildup or resolution of other issues – was very off-putting for me. I wasn’t okay with it. And the final chapters did NOT improve the situation. This romance reader is not at all happy with the direction the book took, but I can acknowledge that women’s fiction readers might appreciate it more. The writing itself is solid, it’s definitely unique, and there’s some good character development along the way. But as a romance? Not a win, and certainly not a rom com. I received an early copy and am voluntarily leaving a review of this emotional story.
From the New York Times bestselling author of One Day in December . . . When a double-booking at a remote one-room cabin accidentally throws two solace-seekers together, it feels like a cruel twist of fate. But what if it’s fate of a different kind?
Spending her thirtieth birthday alone is the last thing that dating columnist Cleo Wilder wanted, but she plans a solo retreat―at the insistence of her boss―in the name of re-energizing herself and adding a new perspective to her column. The remote Irish island she’s booked is a far cry from London, but at least it’s a chance to hunker down in a luxury cabin and indulge in some quiet, solitary self-care while she figures out the next steps in her love life and her career.
Mack Sullivan is also looking forward to some time to himself. With his life in Boston deteriorating in ways he can’t bring himself to acknowledge, his soul-searching has brought him to the same Irish island to explore his roots and find some clarity. Unfortunately, a mix-up with the bookings means both solitude-seekers have reserved the same one-room hideaway on exactly the same dates.
Instantly at odds with each other, Cleo and Mack don’t know how they’re going to manage until the next weekly ferry arrives. But as the days go by, they no longer seem to mind each other’s company quite as much as they thought they would.
Written with Josie Silver’s signature warmth, charm, and insights into the human heart, One Night on the Island explores the meaning of home, the joys of escape, and how the things we think we want are never the things we really need.
About the Author:
Josie Silver is a writer of love stories.
Her debut novel One Day in December was a Sunday Times & NY Times bestseller and has been translated into more than twenty-five languages.
Josie lives in the midlands with her husband, their sons, and an ever changing cast of animals.
Follow Josie on Twitter @josiesilver_
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