Had this novella been told just from the point of view of T.J. and Anna, I would’ve been bored as buggery. Thankfully, they’re a relatively minor part here. The real focus is on Owen Sparks, a young dot-com billionaire getting away from it all by living on a Maldives island, with regular trips into Malé. It’s there in the city that he encounters Calia Reed, a young Englishwoman with a few months spare until she goes off to volunteer in Kenya.
Whilst billionaires are currently all the rage in romance fiction Owen stands out because he’s NOT A DOUCHEBAG. I note this because he’s a rarity nowadays. Calia may be beautiful, but her philanthropic heart keeps her from falling into cliché. It’s totally believable that her brother joins her on the island with Owen, though he did seem like a plot point at the end.
The story needed T.J. and Anna at all – Uncharted would’ve worked better without their involvement, but overall it’s a great tale with a fascinating setting and relatable characters. A brilliant antidote for the gaudy melodramas that clog contemporary fiction.