It’s been quite a while since I last read a proper romance novel, but the author soon set me on the right path, reminding me with her very first, fairytale-like chapters, what this genre represents and what its fans expect. This novel ticks all the boxes in that respect. The heroine’s initial chapters were so reminiscent to me of how I would feel when I was that age (17-18), still dreaming of Prince Charming and the excitement of growing up into a woman I wanted to be. The author’s style is light, reading flows easily, and it would make an excellent summer’s read, especially considering its gorgeous African island setting. I know romance fans who would just relish at this story. I loved the authors descriptions of people and setting – never too long, but vivid and easy to imagine, the final runway scenes especially spectacular(fantastic cover to match). The main characters, especially Louise, are so young and romantic, the author makes you wish nothing bad happened to them, although you know it will. The physical, intimate details of their relationship are described in a rather traditional way, with a balance of emotion and sex, just enough to make an eager romance reader feel and see some ‘spice’, but never vulgar or over the top.
When the plot twists come, and they do come down heavy, they change the fairytale into a tragedy. I admire the author not reaching for an easy way out by introducing scandal or a third person. Life just happens to the very young married couple, and somehow, along the way, they lose their direction. Love is grand when it’s all for the better, but when it comes to the worst, everything is put to the test. A long distance marriage, troubled by successful careers, illness of close friends, being parents too soon and lovers before friends… it all comes to an ugly, painful climax, and happiness is shattered. But like any proper romance author, Phoenix Rainez is an incorrigible romantic who proves that redemption is possible where real love is concerned, that time does heal where there is a will, and that open and honest communication, above all else, is the key to a mature, loving relationship. I am sure romance fans will love this story, and look forward to more from Phoenix Rainez.