About the Book
Book: Island Charm
Author: Audrey Wick
Genre: Christian Contemporary Beach Read
Release date: May 14, 2021
An imposter in paradise.
When Anna Worthington’s twin sister gets jilted by her fiancé, Anna steps in with a plan for a girls’ Key West getaway instead of a honeymoon trip. Yet when her twin has her own crisis of commitment and doesn’t board the plane, Anna finds herself on a romantic getaway that she’s forced to navigate alone.
A vacation romance with an expiration date.
Gunnar Lockhart, whose specialty is island tourism, is the perfect match for helping Anna complete her vacation bucket list, but time together forges a connection more personal than either anticipate. As they make island memories, Anna has to untangle her mixed emotions. Are her feelings toward Gunnar real? Or like her sister’s wedding day, has this connection been doomed from the start?
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It’s summer and what better way to travel to Key West (which I would love to go to someday) than by reading a book that is set there – besides actually getting to be their in person. Island Charm does just that! While it is a romance novel, the author does a great job of transporting readers to Key West, and includes a lot of the actual landmarks there. Although the characters are obviously fictional, I am also a assuming that there are also a couple of places that are too? Feel free to let me know if I am wrong though!
However, while I loved being transported to Key West, that’s about where it ends. It’s not that it was a bad book, I still liked it. But I found the romance to be somewhat bland and shallow, and the chemistry between Anna and Gunnar was non-existent for a good portion of the book (that’s just my opinion though). Also there were some things I questioned and that seemed slightly unrealistic – for instance, not having a way to communicate with each other besides Anna going to the Information booth, etc. Also, I found the conflict to be somewhat petty too. I would go into more detail, but I don’t want to reveal too much for those who would like to read the book themselves.
I did really enjoy the parts with Gunnar and Jack – and elderly gentleman – because it seemed to add a layer of depth to the novel. I liked getting to know both Gunnar and Anna, but they seemed under-developed. Yes, they had backstories, and yes they are both dealing with stuff, but it did seem somewhat contrived and convenient. Again, that’s just my opinion, and that’s just me, other readers probably will disagree with me on this.
Overall, this was an okay read. It was light, clean and fluffy, and it did transport me to Key West, which I loved. But that’s about it. I do recommend it if you are looking for a light summer/beach read. 3/5 Stars.
About the Author
Audrey Wick is a full-time English professor at Blinn College and author of women’s fiction/romance. Her writing has also appeared in college textbooks, and she is a guest blog columnist with Writer’s Digest. Wick believes the secret to happiness includes lifelong learning and good stories. But travel and coffee help. She has journeyed to over twenty countries—and sipped coffee at every one. See photos on her website audreywick.com and follow her on Twitter and Instagram @WickWrites.
More from Audrey
“The Importance of Setting in Fiction Writing”
My favorite element in writing a novel is setting. Making places come alive through storytelling brings special joy, and I’m fortunate to be able to do that in the pages of Island Charm.
Island Charm is my first beach-read, a standalone contemporary novel set in Key West. Key West is a small island in the Florida Keys, an archipelago that stretches west from the southern peninsula of Florida. The Keys dangle into the Gulf of Mexico like a string of island pearls. Key West is the last on the strand.
I first experienced Key West in the summer, but years later, I traveled back in winter. Whether its July or January, Key West is beautiful anytime of year. What I like best about the island is its walkability. It’s roughly four miles long and one mile across, making it easy to explore on foot. The boardwalk, docks, piers, and public beaches means there is plenty to experience. Fantastic views stretch in all directions.
Additionally, the island has an impressive literary history. Authors including Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, Elizabeth Bishop, Shel Silverstein, Philip Burton, Judy Blume, and Meg Cabot have all called the island their home at one time or another. It’s easy to see why my heroine, Anna, is so taken with the scenery, just like these writers. I hope readers will be as well!
Follow Anna as she explores Key West in Island Charm. Thanks for traveling with me through the pages, and I hope readers enjoy their time on the island.
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To celebrate her tour, Audrey is giving away the grand prize package of a CD that includes a digital copy of Island Charm as well as multiple full-length novels also published by Pelican Book Group!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.