by J.S. Cooper
Series: Swept Away #1
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
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.
I have to like the main characters or it’s just not a good read. Just too many other good ones to read and I might have just DNf”d it if I were you. Thanks for your honest review 🙂
If it wasn’t for the suspense/mystery angle I would have set it aside
I’m sorry you didn’t like it, but your rating pretty much mirrors some other ratings and thoughts I saw right after its release. I wondered how so many reviews for this one could be so far from each other on the rating scales. I passed on it then and probably won’t pick it up in the future, although the premise actually looked good.
I think it lies with the characters..if you like them you may perceive events differently. I just couldn’t and it made things annoying and awkward. I talked to a few peeps who are enjoying it and they seem to be more into the suspense aspect.
I’m curious about the mystery aspect, it sounds unusual. But the fact that the characters really aren’t likable has me thinking that I probably wouldn’t like this one.
It has an awesome premise, and some folks really seem to love it Candice. I think the sexy time might bother you though.
The Bibliophile Babe
Bianca doesn’t sound like a character I could stand! Thanks for the heads up.
She made me nuts. 🙂
Hmm, it has an interesting premise, but it sounds like it fell flat. I’ll put it on the list, but low priority.
I hope you end up liking it
Sorry you didn’t like this one more. BTW I love that you do heat ratings too. 🙂
Thanks Angel, and I started heat ratings this year, it has been very well received.
I can imagine! I just love that idea. 🙂
Too bad this didn’t work for you but it is really hard when you don’t even like nor relate to the characters.
Agreed, thanks Ali
Bummer. Great review, though. I’m reading this now, and I’m already feeling meh about it. I remember reading another book by this author, and I DNF’d it pretty early on. No connection with the characters is a big uh uh for me. They have to be awesome characters and have chemistry!
I hope you have better luck, but yes no connection for me
I think once you find the characters unlikable its all downhill from there
Sadly with contemporary romance yes…it does!
Sorry this one didn’t work for you. I’ve spoiled myself on series as well, and the first book didn’t interest me because I knew the twists beforehand. Great review!
I could have gotten past that, but I disliked the heroine and it just fell apart for me.
I thought the premise interesting, too, and wish that it had been a better reading experience. Thanks for a really good review.
First, what is up that cover? Sometimes I question how publishers go about thinking that a cover like that is appealing in any way.
I already feel very irritated towards the characters, Kim. Hot and cold characters drive me insane. And I don’t think the plot would work for me either. Sorry this was disappointing, Kim! 🙁
The premise was a good one, I just didn’t connect.
I HATE when I read books that don’t work for me but then I look at the ratings and everyone else liked it. I never know what to do!! So I think you wrote such a fantastically fair review!!!
Right. Thanks I appreciate the feedback.
Nothing worse than having a romance feel flat because you can’t see a connection between the characters, Kim 🙁 Sorry this didn’t work for you, and I hope your next read was much better!
Thanks Lexxie, I was hoping to love it, but it happens to all of us
I’m sorry this fell flat for you, Kimberly, but with your description of the lack of connection and dislike of the heroine, I’m going to go out on a limb and say it’d fall flat for me as well. I’ve read another book from this author and it was a ‘meh’ read for me despite it’s high ratings. Eh, you can’t please us all, huh? 😀
I just disliked her and what a tease.
Tyler H Jolley
I accidentally did that with The Covenant series. years ago. I didn’t even know it was a series until the book ended with a cliffhanger. The series was so good, and luckily reading it out of order didn’t confuse me at all and I went on to enjoy the series.
I am wondering how badly it hurt my perspective. Ah well.
Kidnapped and dumped on an island with a cute guy…should have been a great story. The premise for the story sounded like it had so much potential. Sorry to her it let you down.
I know…it had all of the elements but it just didn’t work for me
yes, thought it looked hot
The cover does and it was but it didn’t work for me
It’s complicated when it’s like that with the characters I confess…
Yes it is Melliane
Lover Of Romance
oh this seems disappointing. So sorry to hear it didn’t work out. I have been tempted to read this one, but still on the fence. And I HATE cliffhangers.
Thanks, I am hearing from some that book two is better, but when you dislike a character it is all so very hard.