Review of The Island Between Us by Wendy Hudson
Since Wendy Hudson’s excellent debut Four Steps, I’ve had this author on my radar and read all her books. It’s been a while since she has published anything so I was happy to check this one out.
Georgia Hamilton is a survival expert running a course on an inhabited island in Scotland. Kelsey Campbell is a famous actress living in LA. Tired of the limelight, she signs up for a two-week survival course, wanting to reconnect with Georgia, whom she met twenty years ago and still regrets how they left things. As both women start to reconnect, a storm leaves them stranded and they will have to fight for real survival.
This is a second chance romance mixed with adventure with the background of an inhabited island in Scotland. Ms. Hudson is Scottish herself and most of her books are set there showcasing the Scottish landscapes and nature. The Island Between Us particularly describes the outdoors with its rough topography and weather challenges. Nature plays a big part in this book and it feels like a character in itself. A complex and challenging character that affects the lives of the rest. As the story progresses, survival transforms from a leisure activity to a life or death experience.
This seems a tough book to write as there are a total of ten different characters who all play an important part in the story. They are all introduced in the initial chapters, along with the past story between the mains which happened two decades prior. For these reasons, the novel starts slow as it presents the day-to-day life of a survival camp. However, I think the plot needs this necessary step for the reader to get to know the budding relationships between the different group members and the potential of conflicts among them. It takes a while until the real action begins but once it started, it’s a complete page-turner.
Romance is hard to pull off while the main characters are struggling to survive. Ms. Hudson was clever to make this a second chance romance in which the leads have already met and had some time to bond if not much. I usually find it hard to suspend my disbelief if the characters are falling for each other while their lives are at stake but I found that, in this case, Ms. Hudson told a believable story as the struggle for survival is always in the driving seat. The intimate scenes were believable and felt authentic because the all-encompassing need for survival was always a priority. For these reasons, don’t expect a lot of romance, but a few sweet stolen moments here and there. For me, the balance was just right.
I think this book is going to be a hit for many readers who enjoy nature, adventure, and a bit of romance at the side. This is my favorite by Ms. Hudson along with her debut Four Steps. 4.5 stars.
ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.