Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Book Review: Island Affair by Priscilla Oliveras

Pages: 352
Genre: Adult Fiction
Pub. Date: April 28, 2020
Publisher: Kensington
Source: Publisher for review
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "Sought-after social media influencer Sara Vance, in recovery from an eating disorder, is coming into her own, with a potential career expansion on the horizon. Despite the good news, her successful siblings (and their perfect spouses) have a way of making her feel like the odd one out. So, when her unreliable boyfriend is a no-show for a Florida family vacation, Sara recruits Luis Navarro—a firefighter paramedic and dive captain willing to play the part of her smitten fiancé . . .  Luis’s big Cuban familia has been in Key West for generations, and his quiet strength feeds off the island’s laidback style. Though guarded after a deep betrayal, he’ll always help someone in need—especially a spunky beauty with a surprising knowledge of Spanish curse words. Soon, he and Sara have memorized their “how we met” story and are immersed in family dinners, bike tours, private snorkeling trips . . . sharing secrets, and slow, melting kisses. But when it’s time for Sara to return home, will their island romance last or fade with the stunning sunset?"

Sara Vance and her near perfect siblings and parents are headed to Key West for a family vacation.  All of her siblings are very successful, not to mention her parents are successful doctors.  Sara is the odd one out.  She is a social media influencer, which obviously her family doesn't really take seriously.  On this trip, she was supposed to bring her boyfriend whom she was getting serious with.  Her family was thrilled to finally meet him; however, they broke up at the last minute.  In fact, he pretty much stood her up.  So, while at the Key West airport, Sara convinces Luis Navarro, a firefighter paramedic, to accompany her on this trip and pose as her ex-boyfriend.  She really doesn't want to let down her parents by not bringing her boyfriend, not to mention the last minute cancellation is embarrassing. Luis has an unexpected week off and Sara is pretty good looking, so why not help her out and have fun along the way?  But things aren't always going to go smoothly for Luis and Sara.  Sara is hiding some other secrets and Luis, a Key West local, rarely lets his guard down.  Could sparks really fly for this faux couple while on vacation? Island Affair by Priscilla Oliveras is a delightful romance novel that's perfect for fans of the Florida Keys as well as the fake boyfriend trope.

Sara is not my favorite character I've encountered this summer. I mean being a social media influencer really made me roll my eyes; plus, there's the fact that she is recovering from an eating disorder. Ugh.  Nonetheless, I tried to accept her in Island Affair despite her shortcomings.  I did love the family dynamic in the novel and the idea of her family coming together to celebrate her mother's recent good health.  What didn't work for me was the fake boyfriend trope and this leads me to Luis.

Luis Navarro is an interesting character in Island Affair. I loved the dynamic between the two of them, especially since he is a Key West local. I mean it's much harder for him to pull off the "fake boyfriend" plan since he knows half of Key West.  But what didn't work for me was how willing he agreed to be Sara's boyfriend after just meeting her for a few seconds at the airport. I understand he has a forced vacation, much to his dismay, but would a real person actually agree to this? Either way, this part of the story didn't work for me. Once I let the fake boyfriend trope go, I was able to enjoy their blossoming romance, but be forewarned, things do not go easily for them.  Would you really expect it to though?

What I liked most about Island Affair was the setting of Key West. The Florida Keys are some of my favorite places in the world and I daydream daily of Key West.  So, this was a nice escape, especially while during quarantine.  Who doesn't want to armchair travel to the Keys and enjoy a cocktail and a beautiful sunset?  Oliveras brought it to life beautifully.

To be honest, Island Affair was just an ok read for me despite the stellar setting. I think if you like this sort of thing, Christina Lauren's The Unhoneymooners is a much better bet.  However, let me know what you think. Did you read this book? Do you enjoy the fake boyfriend trope or are you over it? Let me know in the comments below.  


  1. I won this book months ago from Goodreads and am still waiting for it to arrive. Glad to hear your thoughts about it. I really enjoyed The Unhoneymooners so hopefully this one will work out too!

    1. It was similar to The Unhoneymooners, but just not as a strong read. It was still a nice escape though- great for vacation reading. I look forward to your thoughts on it and I hope you get your copy soon. Thanks for visiting, Michele!

  2. The premise does sound a little iffy (the fake boyfriend trope has to be done well), but the setting sounds amazing!

    1. Yes! I had a hard time with the fake boyfriend trope, but it's the setting that kept me coming back. I love the Keys. Would love to be there now. :) Thanks for visiting, Angela.


I really appreciate your comments. Thank you!

Design by: Designer Blogs