by J.S. Cooper
Series: Swept Away #1
Genres: Romantic Suspense
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The day started like every other day... Bianca London finds herself kidnapped and locked up in a van with a strange man. Ten hours later, they’re dumped on a deserted island. Bianca has no idea what’s going on and her attraction to this stranger is the only thing keeping her fear at bay. Jakob Bradley wants only to figure out why they’ve been left on the island and how they can get off. But as the days go by, he can’t ignore his growing fascination with Bianca. In order to survive, Bianca and Jakob must figure out how they’re connected, but as they grow closer, secrets are revealed that may destroy everything they thought they knew about each other.
J.S. Cooper introduces the Swept Away series—three new, dark and sexy romances about a woman marooned on a desert island with a mysterious stranger—but is he friend or foe?
- The thriller aspect of Illusions was an interesting premise. We go into the tale COLD, only knowing that Bianca is investigating something about her father. Bianca is kidnapped, along with Jackob Bradley a stranger she met only earlier that day. Mysterious notes and a stranger only added to the suspense. (Confession: I accidentally read the novel Charade numbered 1.5 in this series first and it let me know a lot of what was going on. So I am not at all sure if readers will be intrigued or confused with the mystery angle, since my view has been tainted)
- Seeing these two strangers work together as they try to decide whether to trust each other created an interested dynamic. I enjoyed trying to piece things together. I did figure things out early but not everyone’s intentions are clear. A mysterious stranger created doubt making me unsure.
- There is a romance or perhaps physical attractions which led to heated scenes. All against the backdrop of a tropical island. I think it made sense in that emotions were high and we tend to cling to others in times of stress.
- Twists and a reveal made for an interesting climatic ending, setting the stage for the next novel in the series. As I said, I read Charade first, so I was able to deduce some things, but the motive is still unclear leaving readers with a lot of questions and a major cliffhanger. It will be necessary to read these books in order.
- I did not like the characters. To be fair, I did not like Bianca after reading the novella Charade, but decided maybe reading it out-of-order was unfair to her. Sadly, my opinions did not change. She is a bit of a tease. View Spoiler » I know a girl can change her mind at any time, but Bianca ran so hot and cold even I was confused. « Hide Spoiler I love strong heroines, and Bianca just felt indecisive to me. Jackob was mysterious, but all the sexual innuendos and alpha male personality annoyed me. The most interesting character was the stranger but he had very little page time.
- While there is heat in Illusion, I did not feel the chemistry, despite all the ogling the characters were doing. I need to feel the connection, and sadly it all fell flat for me. Worse it felt awkward and crass.
Illusion just didn’t work for me, but with a rating of 3.89 on Goodreads, I urge you to read a few more reviews before making your decision. As for me, I will not be continuing this series.