My first impression of Angela Aaron’s sizzling novella PLEASURE ISLAND stemmed from a smokin’ interview excerpt which left me more than a little weak in the knees. After I won and subsequently devoured a copy of her book, I’ve got to say my initial impression wasn’t a fluke. PLEASURE ISLAND is so aptly named—and deliciously portrayed—that I suspect Ms. Aaron will have readers hounding her for the airport code of her sexy island hideaway. But for those of us slightly less adventurous, the pages of this novella provide a most gratifying escape.
The moment Cassie Douglas steps off the plane onto the remote Pleasure Island, the reader is immersed in a sultry tropical atmosphere full of fragrant flowers, blue skies, and stunning views – not the least of which include a nearly naked body of men who are there for the unadulterated titillation of island guests. Cassie wants to get right back on that plane and go home, but the rest of us are most content to enjoy the, er, atmosphere, which receives rich, vivid portrayal from the first page to the last.
Cassie’s initial reluctance is something many readers will be able to relate to, whether they’ve outgrown the wilder days for have simply had them swallowed by the responsibilities of being a grown-up. And it’s that connection that will leave readers cheering—or otherwise panting, salivating, or on the phone with their travel agents—when Cassie manages to step out of those self-imposed boundaries and into something sexy.
Enter Ryan MacKenna. The bossman had a set of rules for interacting with guests—namely, don’t—and every one of them flew south when he laid eyes on Cassie. Their first encounter is HAWT. He may appear to be in control—and oh, can he ever work those controls—but he’s doing that to-die-for inner tremble that makes for some mighty fine fantasizing. And as things heat up, it only gets better. Ms. Aaron’s ability to place her readers in the scene and keep us there is probably illegal in some states.
One thing I really loved about Cassie and Ryan’s affair—aside of some screen-melting sex—is the way Cassie relates her feelings to the whole island experience. In a show of level-headed maturity that’s very much supportive of her initial ain’t-gonna, she chalks up that thrumming in her heart—and the one down below—to the fantasy the resort sells. It’s a small point, but it lends an air of authenticity to the story. It also serves to set up an awesome, climatic ending that *might* have made me sniffle a little. (I’m not one to cry after sex, so don’t let that part get out.)
You don’t have to love the tropics or the idea of sun pouring down over glistening hot bodies to find an escape in PLEASURE ISLAND. You just need to take a cue from Cassie and show up—author Angela Aaron is a masterful tour guide for the kind of gratification readers crave, making this trip one you simply cannot miss.