Book Review: Island of Secrets by Diane Demetre

We are delighted to welcome guest writer Crafty Kirsty to WGN Tower to give us her thoughts on Diane Demetre’s mystery romance.

Set on a remote Hawaiian island, Island of Secrets felt like more of a summer holiday read at first. However, this unusual romance novel turned out to be heart-warming, mysterious, and a bargain to boot. With two love stories for the price of one, it’s a great escapist read for a cold January night.

Although separated by 44 years, both stories are set on Harbor Island, owned and run by the Reginald family, who play an important role in the plot running through the whole book. Passed down from generation to generation, some see it as their duty, and others as their destiny, to look after the environment of the island and to provide employment for the indigenous population. The island itself is almost a central character too, and easy to picture thanks to the beautiful descriptions of it.

Part one, set in 1973, focuses on Cecilia, a rebellious young woman with aspirations to be a professional singer. Having run off to Hawaii with a boyfriend, much to her parents’ dismay, only to discover he wasn’t the man she thought he was. Rather than return home with her tail between her legs, she ends up working as a housekeeper on Harbor Island to earn enough money to pursue her dreams. The island is beautiful, and she meets some fantastic characters, not least Dickie and Victoria, the son and daughter of the island’s current owner Percy Reginald. But even living in such a paradise, life is far from perfect. The locals are keeping secrets from Cecilia, such as what is causing the noises she hears in the middle of the night, and why they seem to have concerns for her personal safety.

In part two the plot jumps forward to 2017, and although Cecilia turns up again this time the focus to one Tina Templeton, Victoria’s stepdaughter. Another strong female character, recently divorced, Tina has decided she needs a break from men, but destiny and Harbor Island have other ideas about that. In her attempts to save the island from an impending environmental disaster she meets hunky coastguard Jack. Will she let him get close? And can she put a stop to her stepbrother Seb’s plans to turn the island into a holiday resort?

Personally, I could have done without the Part Three ending, as it seems to value one type of love over another, and was a bit too schmaltzy for my taste. And unfortunately, possibly because I normally read a lot of crime/mystery novels, there were no twists in the story that I didn’t guess before they happened, but as a twist on the romance genre, I still enjoyed reading this novel.

About The Author

Diane Demetre began her career as a school teacher before moving into the entertainment industry as a choreographer, director, event manager, dancer and actress, working in television and live theatre, and managing multi-million dollar productions. Following her onstage career, she spent many years as a stress & life skills therapist, keynote speaker and presenter, appearing on national radio and television.

When she launched into a writing career, Diane’s debut erotic romance series, the Dance of Love was voted Luminosity Publishing Readers’ Choice Best Books and Best Covers for 2015 and 2016. Her romantic suspense, Retribution won the Romance Writers of Australia Emerald Pro Award 2017 for Best Unpublished Manuscript. Diane loves to write genre-busting stories with a twist. Her works are packed with emotional punch and feature empowered heroines who live life to the fullest, much like the author herself.


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