Abandoned Paradise

Review by Serena Yates, Rainbow Book Reviews


What a hauntingly beautiful story! Full of mystery and emotions from the first page, it pulled me in and didn’t let me go. The balance between spirituality and respect for the old Hawaiian gods on the one hand, and modern intrigue and machinations on the other is quite delicate but handled well. The link between both is Alessandro, who gets attacked from all angles, but also holds the power to ensure a better future – for more people than his family.

Alessandro is a man who has loved and lost, and his soul-deep need to make up for past mistakes is palpable from the very start. He is ready to do anything to obtain his atonement, even go and live on a deserted island for a month. And not in luxury, mind you. The descriptions of his preparations as well as the stay itself were detailed, felt very real, and made me feel as if I was there with him.

Kem hasn’t been very lucky in the love department, and the feelings he develops for Alessandro totally surprise him. He is very much a family man, spends a lot of time with his sister and her children, and wants the sort of meaningful relationship his parents have. When he finds out about part of the conspiracy that is going on in the background, he comes to Alessandro’s aid without question. His fierce protectiveness was wonderful to watch.

This book is a real treasure. It brings Hawaii to life in my mind, both its past and its present, with descriptions and details that show how much research and effort have gone into writing this book. But beyond all that, it is the flawless interweaving of past and present, old traditions and new impulses that make this story so fascinating.

If you like stories with a mystery to solve, if you appreciate the role that traditions and spirituality play in our lives, and if a passionate love story set in tropical surroundings is what you are looking for, you will love this novella as much as I do.