Saturday, 14 April 2012

Return to Pleasure Island

I know authors aren't supposed to mention bad reviews or have a go at reviewers for expressing their opinions, but what about good reviews?

I've recieved the following review for my novel Pleasure Island from Mrs Condit Reads Books and I really don't want to keep it to myself.

Thank you Mrs Condit, you have made my week!

MRS CONDIT’S OPINION: Francene Carroll’s PLEASURE ISLAND is a delightful story about opposites and compromises. A new reality show has been hatched that proposes to pair two people with opposite personalities on a deserted island in the Pacific and whoever can stand to stay the longest wins $5 million.

Jack is an actor who is on his way out of the spotlight due to his inability to control his addictions to alcohol, cigarettes, and women. He reminded me quite a bit of Charlie Sheen, as a matter of fact. Allie is a documentary maker who is a vegan environmentalist. People just don’t get much more opposite than Jack and Allie. The back story on Jack is he needs the prize money to get out of debt because he has squandered all of the money he made in the movies. Allie’s friends have urged her to go on the show because they think it would be fun for her and fun for them to bask in the near-celebrity glow.

PLEASURE ISLAND could have been a clich̩ Рenemies to lovers. However, Ms Carroll created a character-driven story that is so much more than that. Jack and Allie both evolve while marooned on the island, and like a pendulum their swings move closer and closer to the middle. This is a reality show, though, and there are cameras everywhere to record every movement, every whisper, and nothing is as it seems. While Jack and Allie are tentatively deciding whether to trust each other, they really should be focusing their questions about trust on the greedy producers of the show.

When the show abruptly moves back to Los Angeles to liven things up, the producers throw temptation in Jack’s path. I was shouting, “No, Jack!” at a Kindle, for goodness sake. I was so wrapped up in the story and characters I not only couldn’t put the book down I couldn’t distance myself from what was happening.

I loved the twists and turns that in hindsight were as they should have been but surprised me at the time. There were no easy answers for either Allie or Jack, and the end is less HEA and more HFN. I would really love to read more about Jack and Allie, and I hope this becomes a series of their stories. We need to hear more about Danny, Pam, and Ty, too. Stories about other people who come to the island to change their lives would be great, too. PLEASURE ISLAND is a fun read but it might kick your butt with lessons learned, too.

MRS CONDIT’S RATING: 5 blissful sweet peas!

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