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This review is from: Rum Punch Regrets (The Abby George Series #2) (Kindle Edition)
I don't know Anne Kemp, although I have exchanged e-mails with her. When I was offered a contract by her e-book publisher for my own novel, I browsed the publisher's web site and selected two writers to contact. Anne graciously responded to my unsolicited e-mail and was friendly and helpful. So I knew that I would read her novel, if just to be polite. Whew!!! RUM PUNCH REGRETS is really, really good. I previously had read some of Anne's blogs and her novella, so I knew that she could write well, but writing well and telling a good story over many pages are different skills. Anne Kemp pulls off both in her first novel. I'm not sure I understand why the Abby George novella is not simply the opening 40 pages of the novel, for knowing the character of Leigh before meeting her late in the novel was helpful. The more important point is that Abby George is a captivating character, as are the islanders - Ziggy, Marie, and Cutty. Having spent a lot of time on an island in Belize, I know that the character of Cutty is dead-on. As for Abby's older sister, Leigh, well, I was hoping for something else ... something like Leigh gets attacked by sharks. And then there is Ben. Apart from Abby, Ben is perhaps the best drawn character in the book. He's complicated, like Abby. The author also does a fine job of capturing the ebb and flow of island life and the way that it changes you when you adapt to island time. With a deft touch Anne also captures the two worlds that exist on islands - the rich and the rest (of the people).
What I've skipped over so far are the characters J.D. and Andrew, the romantic interests. Look, I'm a heterosexual male, so when Abby's tummy starts tumbling and she gets all sweaty and describes Andrew inch by inch - or rather from eyes to biceps to abs - well, okay, I admit, I read a little faster. RUM PUNCH REGRETS is not a guy book, and that's too bad, for the story of Abby on the island of St. Kitts trying to mend a broken life is so well written and so well told that it can captivate even a guy who stops everything each March to watch NCAA basketball endlessly. But I suspect if you're a woman with a flicker of romance alive in her heart that it is this part of the story - the romance - that will have you mixing up tropical drinks with paper umbrellas on top. Whatever your flavor in love, one thing is certain, you'll have no regrets reading RUM PUNCH REGRETS.