I don’t normally post on weekends, but I want this to come out before Valentine’s Day–so have a special book review! Disclaimer: I was provided copies of all three novellas in exchange for my honest review.
And hey, a nice tropical romance series is just what a chilly February weekend needs, yeah?
The full trilogy is Hawaiian Heartbreak, Hawaiian Healing, and Hawaiian Homecoming. The first two have been out for a bit, and Homecoming came out on February 1st. I’m relatively knew to the romance genre as a reader, but I’m having fun delving into the genre. As a note in advance, this trilogy is very much NSFW. 18+ is pretty much a necessity, since there’s sex–and a lot of it.
…a LOT of it. *laughs*
The basic premise of the novellas is simple. Kayla is our main character, devastated from the end of her last relationship. She takes her first big trip away from home, going out to Hawaii for some much needed rest, relaxation, and rebuilding of who she is and who she wants to be. It’s time for Kayla to take care of Kayla.
Until Jay shows up. And there’s something about him that won’t let her leave him alone.
The three novellas are all one complete story when you put them together, and to be honest, I think the first two would do best if they were made into one book. While I like the cliffhanger concept, it makes the end of the first book incredibly abrupt and I felt a little lacking. It didn’t feel like a complete story. I acknowledge that I have trouble with pacing in romances anyway (since they all more faster than I think is logical, but I’ve learned to accept that) but the end of Heartbreak was more than just that.
I liked Kayla and Jay. They have a fun dynamic and their banter is priceless. And unlike most other romances, they seem to recognize that they’re moving too fast, and choose to run with it instead of holding back because they know their time is limited. It works for them, and I was interested in seeing their relationship and how it grew.
Unfortunately, the third book felt like a bit of a let-down. It starts with a fairly understandable premise (avoiding details since I don’t want to spoil anything) and then makes strange decisions from beginning until end. It felt awkward and forced, and some of the reactions and decisions from the characters felt completely unbelievable. I came at this series from a similar mindset as Kayla–I’ve always felt I could see myself in her shoes–and so it felt very out of character from what we’d established in the past two books for her.
Speaking of out of character, Jay took leaps and bounds into a different mentality in this book. Some of it had been hinted at earlier, I think, but it seemed very sudden to me, and not like the Jay I’d come to like. (That may just be me.) Also, there are a few places where it felt like both of them had utterly lost all respect for people other than themselves, which was unfortunate.
Overall, I’d give the series a 3.5 or 4 star rating. On Goodreads, you’ll see I rated books 1 and 2 at 4 stars, and book 3 at 3 stars. That seems a fair assessment for the whole of it. It’s absolutely worth reading, and I recommend getting all three at once and reading them together to get the whole story, but I’ll give a caution that the ending may not be what you hope of it. But as always, remember that I’m just one person with one opinion.
Hawaiian Heartbreak: ****
Hawaiian Healing: ****
Hawaiian Homecoming: ***