Thursday, July 8, 2021

Book Review: Secrets on the Italian Island


By Sara Steven

Her work has got in the way of relationships before – but never like this

Anna’s job as a geologist takes her all over the world, including to the beautiful island of Elba, where she’s sent to look for precious metals. And the island isn’t the only thing that’s gorgeous – she can’t believe her luck when she meets windsurfer Marco and sparks fly.

But Anna must keep her role on Elba a secret to avoid upsetting the locals, which means lying to Marco even as they grow closer. When her old friend Toby visits, Anna suddenly finds herself torn between the attentions of the two men. However, Anna’s not the only one keeping secrets.

Is Marco being entirely honest with her? And why did Toby really come to visit? (Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads)

T.A. Williams has mastered the art of love triangles. There are moments for Anna when she refers to herself as “Naughty Anna,” particularly where Marco is concerned. But then there’s Toby, a man she’s known through familial channels--their connection evident. And as is often the case, you want to somehow meld the two potential love interests together to remake one perfect character, but ultimately, where’s the fun in that? I loved the back and forth and Anna’s “Will I, or won’t I” attitude as she’s fighting her own inner urges, and as the synopsis indicates, who is being honest, and who can she really trust?

I also enjoyed the uniqueness behind Anna’s occupation. It’s not often that you’ll find a protagonist deep in the trenches of tunnels, attempting to find something rare and unexpected. It was neat to read about her experiences as a geologist, but that later throws a wrench into things. If she were to find precious metals on Elba, what would that mean for the local conservation efforts? It was an interesting conundrum and something I found myself focusing on and thinking more deeply about, considering it’s a real-life issue that is relevant. 

There are unforgettable characters within Elba, like George the dog and his owner Jack. Jack is very familiar with geology, considering that had been his former profession before he decided to retire and delve more into conservation after seeing what mining could do to the environment around it, and it places Anna into this tough spot. It is obvious how much respect and admiration she has for Jack, but what would he do if he knew the truth about her reasons for being on Elba? I felt as though her friendship with Jack, as well as the bond she forms with his dog was a nice balance to the love triangle with Marco and Toby.

This isn’t the first time I’ve cited my love of scenery in a T.A. Williams novel, and I imagine it won’t be the last. As with each and every one I’ve read, scenery becomes another primary character, and this island is no exception. When Anna swims in the warm blue sea, shakes sand from her shoes, or when Jack offers to let her stay in his idyllic guest house on his property, I yearned for my own special guest house, too, surrounded by tall grasses and quiet, and peace. I enjoyed Secrets on the Italian Island, a definite five-star experience!

Thanks to Rachel's Random Resources for the book in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US * Amazon UK

Author Bio

I’m a man. And a pretty old man as well. I did languages at university a long time ago and then lived and worked in France and Switzerland before going to Italy for seven years as a teacher of English. My Italian wife and I then came back to the UK with our little daughter (now long-since grown up) where I ran a big English language school for many years. We now live in a sleepy little village in Devonshire. I’ve been writing almost all my life but it was only seven years ago that I finally managed to find a publisher who liked my work enough to offer me my first contract.

The fact that I am now writing romantic comedy is something I still find hard to explain. My early books were thrillers and historical novels. Maybe it’s because there are so many horrible things happening in the world today that I feel I need to do my best to provide something to cheer my readers up. My books provide escapism to some gorgeous locations, even if travel to them is currently difficult.

Visit me online:
Website * Facebook * Twitter

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