Solace Island, Book #3
Author’s Website: megtillyauthor(.)com
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra
When Solace Island gallery owner Zelia Thompson’s close friend Alexus Feinstein of the prestigious art gallery Feinstein & Co. dies of a “drug overdose,” Zelia’s intuition sounds an alarm. The Alexus she knew didn’t do drugs and had everything to live for.
As Zelia begins looking into the circumstances of her friend’s death, what she uncovers will put her life in imminent danger. Will Zelia–with the help of the reclusive crime fiction novelist Gabe Conaghan–be able to unravel the mysterious happenings surrounding Alexus’s untimely death? Or will she become the bloodthirsty artist’s next victim? (Goodreads)
Hidden Cove is the third book in the Solace Island series by Meg Tilly. I have followed this series from the beginning and I must say, I do believe each book has gotten better and better. By far, this title in the series is my favourite. I found the character development as well as the story telling very good. I also found that this story is a tad bit heavier on the suspense part of the romantic suspense spectrum. So this may have played a part in my appreciation for the story. Take note that this book is easily read as a stand-alone, though I appreciated the fact that I did have the background of many of the characters of Solace Island.
Hidden Cove takes place in the picturesque Pacific Northwest with gallery owner Zelia Thompson. One of her best friends Alexus (a fellow gallery owner) dies of an apparent drug overdose. This sets off triggers for Zelia because as far as she knows, Alexus did not do drugs (at least anymore)! So…the wheels are turning. With the help of crime fiction writer Gabe Conaghan (who just happens to be on a quick trip to the island for his parents), they begin to investigate how this drug overdose actually happened. Gabe and Zelia even travel from Solace Island to New York following clues in an effort to find the answers that Zelia so desperately needs.
The road to the truth is filled with many twists and turns. It would be unfair of me to tell any reader these intriguing twists and turns so I shall leave that for you to discover. Suffice it to say, there are a number of storylines which kept the story moving along and added the depth that I so appreciate in romantic suspense novels. And let’s not forget, it did take me until the end to figure out who the culprit was.
Imagery sprinkled throughout the story definitely kept my interest:
“The smell of damp earth and crushed grasses rose like a gentle strand of music, keeping her company as she strode toward the towering sculptures. There was something about the dark, faceless figures that comforted her. Hooded, yet somehow peaceful as they stood patiently with their gently sloping shoulders and bowed heads.”
The romantic aspect of this story was a slow burn. Each protagonist was not really looking for romance. Zelia is still dealing with the death of her husband (I think about 7 or 8 years previously?) and Gabe is on the island only to look at a B&B his parents are considering as an investment. At times, Gabe is not always very smooth (for example – when a seemingly innocent conversation about Zelia’s last meal ended up including comments about weight – but in the end he came off sweet – at least in my mind).
“How long has it been since you’ve eaten?”
“I had a piece of toast this morning.”
“Gabe, I know you mean well, but I can’t just waltz out the door in the middle of my workday.”
“You don’t eat lunch?”
“Are you on a diet?”
“Are you calling me fat?”
“No. God, no. I love your body”.
“Sorry, It’s been a lousy morning and I’m taking it out on you. I know I need to lose a good forty pounds–“
“Are you nuts?” Gabe broke in. “You’re perfection just the way you are. I love your luscious curves, your silky-soft skin, the glorious texture and the creamy color that’s brushed with a hint of peach. If you lost forty pounds you’d be skin and bones.”
With less of a presence of Maggie and Eve (and their men ☺), I did feel a bit lost. I felt the synergy of the first two books in the series were lost as a result of the less involvement of the residents of Solace Island that I had come to know and appreciate.
As much as I enjoyed this final installment of the Solace Island trilogy, I am saddened by the fact that it is indeed the final installment. I will patiently be on the lookout for future writings of Ms. Tilly.