Cover Image: Island Affair

Island Affair

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Member Reviews

Really enjoyed this. I haven't been able to enjoy reading lately due to everything going on. This book was out of my usual mystery genre, but I decided to take a chance on it based on the cover and the blurb. Fun story! Couldn't put it down, read it in one evening. Hot romance! Great story with flawed, believable characters.  Just what I needed to read right now!
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I could see this being the perfect beach read this summer. It's a fun new version of the fake  fiance trope, because it recognizes what a ridiculous set up that is nowadays. It took a cheeky, light tone right from the start.

I really enjoyed the two, very different, families in this story. They were both big and kind of messy, but in a great way.  And the MCs had awesome chemistry. And there was a wonderful mix of sweet and spicy scenes between them.

I think the author did a great job handling the topic of eating disorders. It was discusseded with seriousness, but not shock or judgement. I also appreciated that it was never treated with disgust.

I really loved the use of Spanglish/ Spanish in the writing as well. It didn't feel forced or over the top. However, since I studied Spanish from Spain, I was initially a bit shocked to see how often everyone used the word "coño" until I realized it wasn't used quite as literally in Cuban dialects. So, also a learning experience here!

Overall, a really quick and enjoyable read. I think this would be a great summer reading book.
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**Disclaimer: I was given a free e-ARC in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley.**

Title Island Affair

Author Priscilla Oliveras

Description from Amazon

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 fake relationship fade like the stunning sunset . . . or blossom into something beautiful?

Release Date April 28, 2020

Initial Thoughts

I was excited to read this one on NetGalley. The fake dating trope is always fun and I liked the beachy setting. Social distancing is making me really miss the beach and really just being outside in general.

Some Things I Liked

Banter. I loved the banter between Sara and Luis. I thought their characters were fun and I enjoyed their dialogue.
Luis’s family. I thought they had a ton of sequel potential. I loved his extended family and I hope to see more of them.

One Thing I Wasn’t Crazy About

The timeline. Everything felt a little rushed. This wasn’t exactly insta-love, but it was pretty close and I just thought it felt like everything happened too fast. I think I would have liked it better if the vacation was longer or maybe they had some time apart. I’m not totally sure what I would have done differently, but, this version felt like it went by too quickly for the outcome we ended up with.

Series Value

I could easily see this developing into more stories with Luis’s family. His brother and sister both seem like they would be interesting characters and I can see Sara and Luis being involved as side characters. I would keep reading if this becomes a series.

Final Thoughts

I enjoyed this book. It was a fast, fun, beachy read and I would continue to read if it developed into a series. I had some small issues with the pace of the timeline but in general, this was a cute romance story with a nice ending.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Recommendations for Further Reading

Fake It Till You Make It by Anne Harper – if you like the fake dating trope, try this April release out.
Not That Kind of Guy by Andie J. Christopher – again, if you like fake dating mixed with family vacactions and family drama, try this April release.
Ghosting by Tash Skilton – this one isn’t quite fake dating, but it’s definitely got a lot of the same feelings.
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3.5 stars rounded to 4

Island Affair would make a fantastic beach/vacation read and it helped pull me out of the whole self-isolation problem we're all facing while I was reading it. The story was cute and romantic while still touching topics like eating disorders, cheating, and death in a tasteful way that brought some depth to it. I really liked Luis's personality and getting to know his family, but let me tell ya I would never be able to date a guy who had to go visit his mum's house TWICE a day without her being worried about him. 

I liked Sara's family too - their intelligence, their competitive nature, their parents' strong bond... I wasn't the biggest fan of Sara, though. Well, it's not even that I didn't like her character, I just found that she was strangely written. Her thoughts in respect to stressing about her arrangement with Luis were annoyingly repetitive and whenever the book jumped to describing her social media career it came off more like a step-by-step guide on how to become an influencer. 

There were those couple of things that brought me out of the book but overall I was rooting for Sara and Luis through the whole story and was so happy with the ending! 

Thank you to Kensington Books and NetGalley for providing me an advance e-copy in exchange for this review!
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Island Affair is a fake finace to lovers book about Sara, a NY influencer who stumbles upon a Key West firefighter who just can't help himself tend to a damsel in distress. Sara's boyfriend bailed on her upon arrival to Key West for a fun-family-filled-week celebrating her mother's clean bill of health. Although, she can't show up without her "finace" so she asks, the quick to help anyone in need, Luis to play the role for the week. Little do they know they'd end up falling for each other...hard. 

This was a very cute book. I clung onto the spontaneousness of Sara and Luis' relationship. I enjoyed their playfulness turned fondness turned love affair. The big family present for both parties was a nice touch. It brought some depth and relatability to the story. Big families are always complicated and both Sara and Luis had some type of grudge with a family member that they helped each other work out. 

It was a fast moving book although the beginning was a big strained. I was confused for the first few pages of what was happening and where the story was going, but when we were introduced to Sara I knew it would pick up. However, the proposition by Sara to Luis seemed so totally random and desperate that I found it kind of hard to believe. But they made it work and it ended cute. Can't wait to read more about the family affairs to come!
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Fake dating. Island romance. Body issues triggers. Family drama. This book packs a lot into it, but does it well. I loved this book, once I picked it up I barely put it down and read it all in a day. I cannot wait for the next book in the series as I will definitely be picking it up. Highly recommend!

I was given an arc of this book from netgalley in exchange for a honest review.
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Sara and her family have planned a trip to Key West to celebrate her mother's successful battle with breast cancer. Sara has always been the odd one out of the family, choosing to pursue a self made business in social media influencing rather than becoming a doctor like the rest of her family. Sara simply wants to impress her family, but when her boyfriend that everyone is expecting to meet, bails on the family trip the second Sara lands in Key West, she panics. 

Luis Navarro happened to be at the right pace at the right time to meet Sara. Luis, a firefighter that has been mandated to take a week off of work, struggles with his own insecurities. In a spur if the moment decision, Sara asks Luis to be her stand in boyfriend for the week, and Luis naturally agrees. As the story continues, Sara and Luis inevitably develop real feelings for each other.

I really enjoyed this book. While it was rather predictable (although it did have a slight twist at the end), the growing love story between Luis and Sara is too sweet not to love. I enjoyed discovering the backstory of each character and seeing why the characters interacted with each other the way they did.

I also enjoyed the slight mix of family drama thrown in there and how they became cohesive.
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When his captain orders him to take a week off, Key West firefighter Luis Navarro's plans for spending that time include complaining to his family about the mandatory time off, binge-eating his Mami's Cuban cooking, and sulking on his boat. Fate has other plans...

Social media influencer Sara Vance arrives in Key West in a panic and angry when her lousy long-distance boyfriend stands her up. In Key West to celebrate her mother's remission from cancer, Sara doesn't want to cause any stress for her family--especially when they already hover over her because of her eating disorder, and she has spent years being the black sheep.

When Luis happens to come across a distressed Sara in the parking lot of the airport, his desire to help her leads to them putting together a plan: Luis will stand in for Sara's no-good ex, they'll spend the week together in a fake relationship, and Luis will show the Vance's around his island home. What could possibly go wrong?

This amazing first book in the 'Keys to Love' series is rich, atmospheric, and full of everything you love in a fake dating trope. Sara and Luis are both fantastic characters, with tantalizing chemistry. Both have room for growth, and take those long over-due steps in that direction--as do members of the supporting cast. Speaking of supporting cast, Luis' family is the best. You want them to be your familia.

Very eager to see what will come next in this series (and fingers crossed that the next book will prominently feature Luis' sister, Annamaria).
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This light romantic comedy was a fun escape and quick and easy read. The characters were fun and enjoyable. The book called out the similarities to romantic comedy movies with similar plots. As an added bonus the book had a great setting, Key West, and it was fun to revisit locales I'd been to before. Sara comes to Key West to take a vacation and help her mother who recently was declared cancer free relax and enjoy herself. Sara's boyfriend had promised to come and canceled after she had already arrived. Luis is a fireman who has been struggling with letting go with some past trauma and it's impacting his job as a fireman at a local Key West firehouse. Together they agree to spend the week together and Luis will pretend to be Sara's boyfriend so Sara's family will not know he ditched her. Hilarity ensures.
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This was a great book that explored both a new romance and fitting the romance into two loud and crazy families. It was also a great vacation read (where my vacation was reading this to try and forget what's currently happening in the world). The characters were fresh and fun - I loved how the author added in Florida/Cuban culture - and the chemistry between Sara and Luis was 100% believable!

My only qualms with it were, obviously, it was kind of insta-lovey (though it wasn't so apparent since the pacing was on point) and that some of the smaller side plots (i.e. her past eating disorder, his job as a firefighter, her mother's remission, etc.) weren't as fleshed out as I expected. Though these didn't take away from my overall enjoyment of the story.
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Quick read. Characters were well drawn. Plot was a bit over the top. Background on both Luis and Sara’s past ‘skeletons’ was a tad confusing until about 2/3 through the book.
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This was actually a really cute romance. It’s not your typical obsessive, steamy, lust filled rom com that we are used to. This one is lighthearted, but it also has some depth and dealings with person issues. It has a great classic “fake dating turned real” plot. It brings together the importance of self, family, love, confidence. Sara and Luis felt relatable. Felt real. Felt raw. This is the first book in a new series so I can’t wait to see where it goes from here. I did feel like the details were a little too forced and drawn out at parts, giving me a desire to skip instead of investing my energy into every word. It was very real to The Keys and at points you felt like you were on vacation with them. The ending seemed very abrupt and, which was okay. In a matter of like 6 pages you had the climax/drama, and then the resolution/ending. But it was cute and romantic and honestly a realistic love. The feelings were realistic and honest. I loved that.
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First time reading this author but it won't be the last!

What a great story! I loved the setting, the Cuban flavor, the secondary characters, and especially Luis and Sara.

Luis meets Sara near the airport. Her boyfriend (very soon to be ex) had promised to come with her on her family vacation, but he doesn't show up. On a daring impulse, she asks Luis to come with her as her fake boyfriend.

Luis is a firefighter, from a family of firefighters, and his captain has forced him to take a week off. As he has the time off, he agrees to Sara's proposition.

Of course, the more they get to know each other, the more they begin to like the other, and they fall in love. But, of course, there's also plenty of problems.

I wouldn't mind to see more stories in this setting.

I received a copy from the publisher via NetGalley and this is my honest opinion.
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This is a fun, sweet romance that made for an easy breezy read. It's a pretty straight forward take on the fake boyfriend trope. I found it entertaining from start to finish, thanks to the immediate obvious physical attraction between the two lead characters. They each had enough of a back story to give them a little depth but not bog down the current storyline. Besides the romance, this is also a story about family and forgiveness of the past. My only complaints are it ended too abruptly and there wasn't enough sex!
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This book pulled me in from the first few pages. I couldnt and didn’t want to put it down!  

Luis is a firefighter in Key West, and his boss just told him that he needs to take a week off and take a break after a rough call. Hardworking Luis is extremely unhappy about this decision, he feels that his work is a good distraction and doesn’t want to take the time. 

He meets Sara who is in key west for the week on vacation with her family. Her parents are expecting to meet her and her boyfriend Ric, but wouldnt you know, they just broke up, hours before they are supposed to meet up with her family. After chatting with Luis for a few minutes, Sara comes up with a plan for Luis to be her fake boyfriend. We all know how this is going to go! Can they keep it a secret? What happens after the week is over? 

I really liked Sara as a female lead. She’s spunky, caring, and overall a well written character. Her and Luis fit well together and from the moment they meet, their chemistry has you wanting them in a relationship immediately! 

And Luis...mmm mmm MMM! He may be one of my favorite male leads, especially this year. He’s caring, funny, AND a great dancer. Uh YES PLEASE! 

I found myself wanting to read it quickly, but also wanting to take my time, enjoy it and didn’t want it to end. Anyone who likes fake relationships/dating troupes needs to read this right away!!
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Island Affair has two of my favorite romantic comedy story tropes. It's got a fake relationship turned real and an adorable meet cute plus some family DRAMA. Luis is a firefighter dealing with some issues in his personal and professional life. Sara Vance is a famous instagram influencer on the first family vacation in years when her boyfriend bails on her and she turns to local good guy, Luis, to help her out of a jam. 

Oliveras did an amazing job of showcasing the beauty of the Florida Keys. I loved getting the feeling I was getting a tour of the town from a local. Sara and Luis relationship was wonderful and honest even in their difficult circumstances. Sara and Luis' personal issues made them feel real and relatable. I loved their families who sounded like people I actually knew and would love to hang out with.
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Aww, so cute! This is very much in the vein of Helen Hoang or Tessa Bailey’s books! Smouldering heat without going into graphic detail; a nice burn that leaves it all up to your own imagination. Fun meet cute, both boy and girl have issues, both reasonable adults who work through their issues and help the other work through theirs; love!
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In Island Affair, Sara is an Instagram influencer who feels out of place in her family - her parents and siblings are all doctors and she doesn't think she can ever live up to their expectations. Her mother has gone into remission from cancer, and so they plan a family trip to Key West. Sara figures it's the perfect time to introduce them to her boyfriend and to prove that she has it together. Unfortunately her boyfriend decides to stand her up at the last minute, so she convinces a local, Luis, to be her pretend boyfriend for the week. I love a good fake relationship trope, so I was really excited for this book. Overall it worked for me, but I think what I like best about the trope is the difficulty in pretending, as well as not knowing what feelings are real and which are pretense. In this book Sara and Luis hit it off so instantly and mesh so well that they are basically just immediately in a real relationship. I would've preferred a longer will they/won't they period, although since Sara's trip is only a week there was always going to be a rushed timeline. The characters in this book are lovely, though. Both Sara and Luis's families were wonderful, and I liked that they both had issues they needed to work through. (I should point out that Sara has an eating disorder, and I was a little uncomfortable how much emphasis there was in the book with how "slim" and "slender" she was, equating those words with her attractiveness. It just rubbed me the wrong way.) In general though this was an enjoyable read and I look forward to future books in the series. Luis's sister in particular was awesome and I hope the next one is about her.
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Fun read just perfect for a rainy day, a beach vacation or a lazy weekend (me!) I've been to Key West islands, where this story is set. Hence I totally agree that this gorgeous location is the perfect backdrop for a sudden romance! The story was amazing too, presenting a family drama without making it too sordid or glum. The primary characters were believable, and even the secondary plots between the heroine and her siblings were interesting enough (something I don't often see in romance novels), that I read the book from cover to cover. 

This was an excellent read. Plus, with all the fears and uncertainty from the corona virus pandemic, honestly, we need more books like this which allow readers to escape from our real-life chaos.
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Could not get through the first few chapters. Just was not for me. I do love this cover though so it was a cover "buy" for me that I didn't end up loving.
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