Island Promises: Hawaiian HolidayHawaiian ReunionHawaiian Retreat - RaeAnne Thayne,  Marie Ferrarella,  Leanne Banks

Hawaiian Holiday by RaeAnne Thayne


The Ex-Wife  — Megan McNeil is genuinely happy to escort her little girls to their father's wedding in Kauai, Hawaii-even though she feels like a third wheel. One gorgeous groomsman definitely disagrees. But are they both carrying too much baggage to begin a new romance? 


Very good story. Megan is on her way to Kauai, taking her two little girls to be in their father's wedding. She feels a little awkward, attending as the ex-wife, but she's willing to put that aside for the girls. On the plane she is introduced to the bride's brother Shane, who turns out to be the injured cope she had flirted with in the ER the month before. She's a little embarrassed about her actions that night, but after a sincere apology, she and Shane seem to hit it off.


I loved the quick connection between Megan and Shane. There's some pretty strong attraction, but both of them try to resist. Megan's hands are full as a nurse and single mother of two girls, one of whom has special needs. She doesn't have time for a relationship. Shane's reasons are even stronger. He and his sister grew up as children of parents who have had multiple marriages. He remembers the unhappiness of being caught in the middle of custody battles and responsibility fights and has sworn to stay away from women with children. He never wants to put a child through what he suffered. 


Shane falls hard and fast for both Megan and her girls. I loved seeing him step in to help when Megan needed it, but he also found himself wanting just to be with them. I loved seeing him playing with them in the water, on the beach, and how sweet he was when he took them all on a tour of the island. My heart just melted when he danced with both girls at the wedding. I wanted to shake him when he was telling his sister why he couldn't pursue the relationship. Megan fell for Shane, too. Besides the attraction that was there, she just couldn't resist when she saw how wonderful he was with the girls. But can she overcome his reluctance to get involved?


I really liked the fact that Megan and her ex had such a good relationship. It's always nice seeing divorced parents acting like adults. I also loved the two little girls and the realistic way that life with a special needs child was portrayed. Grace wasn't shown as being pitiful, but as a real kid. Megan didn't whine about how hard life was, she just dealt with her reality.


5 stars





Hawaiian Reunion by Marie Ferrarella


The Best Man  — Devlin Marshall won't let anything spoil his buddy's big day-not even his own rocky marriage. Secrets and mistrust have divided him from his Amy, but the love  in the air seems to be catching...


Devlin is best man at his friend's wedding and is expected to bring his wife along. No one knows that he and Amy have been having problems and are on the brink of divorce. He talks her into coming along and pretending that everything is fine. What he's really hoping for is a chance for them to make things right.


I loved Devlin. He is a really nice guy who deeply loves his wife. He is hurt and frustrated at her constant accusations of infidelity. I could not believe how much patience he had to put up with everything she says and does. I liked his comments about marriage at the rehearsal dinner and how it showed how committed he is to his own marriage.


I had a hard time liking Amy. Her constant belief that Devlin was being unfaithful was totally irrational. It might have been easier to be sympathetic to her if there had been some explanation of why she expects it of him just because he's good looking. As it is, she expects to see it, so she does. I hated that she didn't trust him to resist what other women were doing. Trying to keep her pregnancy a secret was just as bad.


I was glad to see that love prevailed at the end, but I really hope Amy gets some counseling for her issues before it starts to happen all over again.


3 stars




Hawaiian Retreat by Leanne Banks



The Sister -- Family comes first. Deep down, Gabi Foster knows it, but this holiday is hurting her career. Can a sweet, sexy surfing instructor convince her that love is worth more than a business deal?


Gabi is the groom's half sister. She loves Nick and is happy to be going to the wedding, but the timing is terrible. She's got an important deal in the works that, if she can make it happen, just might convince her boss father of her commitment to her job. But a funny thing happens on her first day on the island. She meets a man who can actually distract her from working all the time.


I liked Gabi a lot. She determined and focused, but she's also sweet. She loves her brother and is worried about whether his second marriage is the right thing. She still loves her ex-sister-in-law and feels a bit awkward about the divorce. Although she's cautious about her brother's fiancee, by the end she knows she has noting to worry about. Gaby is also a bit competitive, which gets her sucked into a surfing lesson with Nick and his friends, including her ex-boyfriend. It's there that she meets Finn, the surfing instructor. There's an instant attraction between them, and when her date for the wedding gets snowed in, Finn offers to step in. 


Several years earlier, Finn had been a busy Wall Street executive. When his sister died, leaving him as guardian of her son, Finn left it all behind to come to Kauai and raise Kai. He set up his surf instructor business with the realization that he needed to have the right balance in his life to do well by his nephew. Staying in Hawaii, where Kai also has his extended family is the right thing for him to do. When he meets Gabi, there's something about her that he can't resist.


I loved seeing Gabi and Finn together. She's so focused on her work that she's forgotten how to have fun. Finn, having been in her shoes, is determined to show her a good time. Neither of them expects the strong attraction that grows deeper very quickly. I loved seeing the way that Finn supported Gabi, such as helping her with the project, but also showed her that there was more to life. I adored little Kai and the way that he bonded so quickly with Gabi. I loved seeing how happy Gabi was whenever she was with Finn. Neither of them could see any way for a future, with her in Chicago and him in Hawaii. I loved Gabi's last minute visit to Finn and what happened after it.


5 stars