Friday, October 20, 2017

Bundle Release Day Review: The Isle of series by Sue Brown (Giveaway)

Title: The Isle of...
Series: The Isle
Author: Sue Brown
Release Date: October 20, 2017
Category: Contemporary
Pages: 596
Love is brewing on the Isle of Wight…
In The Isle of… Where?, after his best friend dies, Liam Marshall heads to the Isle of Wight to fulfill Alex’s final wish, but when Sam Owens rescues him on the pier, he may have found a reason to start living again. 

In Isle of Wishes, Liam has headed back to the States to tie up loose ends before marrying Sam, but when Liam loses contact, Sam sends his brother Officer Paul Owens to find out what happened. There, Paul meets closeted Detective Olaf Skandik, and business soon starts to mix with pleasure.
In Isle of Waves, Wig Tobias and Nibs Tyler are happy in love and in running their business, the Blue Lagoon Restaurant, but when vandals and illness strike, it takes the help of friends to get this couple back on track. 

And finally in Isle of Waiting, read a missing moment of Paul and Olaf’s romance.

*Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by Dreamspinner Press for my reading pleasure in hopes of an unbiased opinion, a review was not a requirement.*

The Isle of... Where?

The Isle of... Where is the first book in Sue Brown's The Isle series and my favorite one! Liam lost his best friend to cancer and promised him that he'd take his ashes to the Isle of Wight. It sounded simple enough but Liam is struggling to let the ashes of his best friend and last person to care for him, go.  With Alex gone, Liam is alone in the world and just unable to move on. Sam notices Liam on the train and follows him, watching his struggle. Sam strikes up a conversation, hijacks Liam's vacation and befriends him. Liam is overwhelmed by Sam, then by Sam's grandma but he just goes along for the ride. Sam wants more than friendship with Liam, and as is normal with him, he's quick to fall in love and want forever.

Sam is a force to be reckoned with. He sees something he wants and he goes for it. Sam is impetuous, and seems to fall in love at first sight quite often. He longs for a relationship and isn't afraid to try for one over and over again. He has a very colorful, loveable family that just added to this story and I loved that Liam was getting them for a family. My heart broke for Liam. Once he came out, through no choice of his own, his family was done for him and it was Alex who helped provide him a safe place. You could feel his sorrow, loneliness and heartbreak through the pages.

Though there's sadness in this book, it wasn't angsty. It really was a very straightforward love story, with two men having to work to have a life and future together. The story is filled with wonderful, likeable characters in what sounds like a beautiful area.

Rating: 4 stars

Isle of Wishes

Isle of Wishes is Book 2 in Sue Brown's The Isle series and could probably be read as a standalone, but why would you do that?? Paul is Sam's younger brother. Paul is bisexual and is not interested in relationships, or hook-ups lasting more than one time. When Sam can't reach Liam back in the US, he and Paul head to Liam's apartment to try and find out what's happened to him since he's just disappeared. Paul's work as a police officer comes in handy as he soon finds himself trying to figure out first where Liam is and then who put him there. But Paul isn't just going to be allowed to investigate a crime in the US and finds himself coming in contact with police detective Olaf. Olaf is hidden in the closet and doesn't ever foresee coming out of the closet. Though he doesn't have hook-ups in the state he lives in, he doesn't want to ignore his attraction to Paul, and he knows it won't last since Paul has to go back to London.

This story had a lot of focus on Sam and Liam, as well as Paul and Olaf. Paul was the typical playboy character, but when he met Olaf he fell just as hard and quickly as Sam did for Liam. There was onpage sex between Paul and someone other than Olaf, but once he met Olaf that type of behavior ended. Paul was insistent he wasn't going to be like his brother and fall for someone from the US, but he did, only it's not going to be as easy a relationship as Liam and Sam's.

As with the first book, the characters are likable and Paul's family continues to shine in this story. This story didn't have the same HEA feel that Sam and Liam's story had, but it was a solid HFN. There wasn't really a resolution, both men lived in separate countries, and unlike Liam and Sam, they weren't able or interested in going broke to live in the same country.

Rating: 4 stars

Isle of Waves

The Isle of Waves is Book 3 in Sue Brown's The Isle series and definitely cannot be read as a standalone, in my opinion. This story is very much about Liam and Sam, Paul and Olaf, and Wig and Nibs. This book we get Liam and Sam's wedding, finally! Liam is still healing from his injuries and Sam and Liam are trying to put their life together after having spent so much money getting Liam's citizenship. We get the break-up and make-up of Paul and Olaf, where there's still only a HFN ending. Then we get the struggles of Wig and Nibs. We met these two characters in the first book. Nibs and Wigs own a restaurant on the Isle of Wight and I felt they were short-changed in this book as it focuses on the other couples. Their story is focused on their struggles to keep the restaurant going while fighting against hate crimes. It helps when Paul and Olaf are staying with them, and they have the support of two police officers.

Though this story has the happiness from Liam and Sam's wedding, it had a lot of unhappiness. The struggles between Paul and Olaf. The struggles between Nibs and Wigs. Nibs hiding medical issues. The struggles of Nibs and Wigs' business. Hate crimes. And the death of a character that I really loved. I struggled with this book. I didn't feel a connection to Nibs and Wigs and felt that their story was overwhelmed by everything else going on.

And as much as I loved Paul and Sam's family through the first two books, they were just a little too much in this one. I still love the family, but there is too much of a good thing sometimes. If you want to finally see Liam and Sam married, this is definitely a book for you, but be forewarned, you're not going to be happy about the death (no, it's not Sam or Liam!).

Rating: 3.5 stars

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  1. I'm less a fan of bundled series now b/c many of the series are on audiobook and they usually only offer the audio of each individual book.

  2. I am a fan only with Dreamspinner usually I've already got the books but I have found some really great bundles on Amazon.

  3. Definitely a fan of bundles. It helps me easily catch up on series that I've missed for a decent price.

  4. Yes I am a fan of bundled series.

  5. Congrats on the bundling, Sue, and thanks for the reviews, Heather. I am a fan of bundling, and try and take advantage, but the problem is I can't wait to get a book, so I already have some in the series by the time the bundle comes out. Oh well. - Purple Reader,
    TheWrote [at] aol [dot] com

  6. I actually never buy a bundle before. So I don't know if I am a fan or not *lol*

  7. Congrats on the bundle. I haven't read it but I've enjoyed quite a few of your other stories =)

  8. I do like bundled series if I haven't already purchased any and I'm it's on my wishlist.

  9. I do like bundled series if I haven't bought any of the individual books.

  10. I am if I have not read the series yet. But often the ones I want to read, by the time they are bundled, I have already read all or most of the books.