Island of Secrets — a review

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Two love stories separated in time. Two women following their dreams. In a paradise littered with painful secrets, will love turn the tide?

  1. Cecilia “CiCi” Freemont has a restless soul and the voice of an angel. Leaving her privileged upbringing behind, she chases her dreams to the sandy beaches of an unspoiled Hawaiian paradise, Harbor Island. But life takes an unexpected turn when she falls for the island’s young heir-apparent and her newfound adventure becomes too much to bear…
  1. Investigative journalist Tina Templeton has dedicated herself to the pursuit of truth. But when she inherits Harbor Island, her career plans take a confusing twist. Managing the sprawling island estate is tough business even with the help of aging cabaret singer, CiCi Freemont. Especially when a massive ecological disaster threatens to destroy her beautiful beaches—and the responding coast guard captain steals her heart.

As the investigation into the disaster reveals a 40-year-old mystery that could change their lives forever, will Tina find love among the secrets, or will CiCi’s painful past dash her dreams on the rocks?

Island of Secrets is an epic love story. If you like generations-spanning drama, characters with hidden pasts, heart-warming romance and intrigue, then you’ll love Diane Demetre’s powerful romantic mystery in paradise.


Island of Secrets by Diane Demetre is a conflicting book for me. There are 2 distinct parts. Part 1 tells a story of star-crossed lovers. It starts out like a promising thriller…but I had to push through. Little felt deep enough to engage me. I knew, almost right away, what the big secret was and the rest of it also followed a fairly predictable path. The conversations felt stilted and the characters felt like they lacked depth. The story itself was well-written, though, and wasn’t a hardship to read. I just had difficulty getting into it. My biggest issue was with Cici. She seemed to be unable to hold character. She starts this part of the story as a feminist with a thing for causes…and by the end, she feels much more like a spoiled rich girl worried about upsetting the powers-that-be. Her reasoning is kind of sound…but I just can’t reconcile her decisions with the character that was initially introduced. It made it very difficult to even like her.

The two parts could have actually been written as 2 separate books. Part 2 follows a second generation of characters, but the characters from Part 1 play a large part. Even though Part 2 was quite predictable as well, but I found myself being sucked back into the drama. It was much easier to read and get pulled into this second part of the story. Demetre seems to have put more effort into this section, as the characters (including those from Part 1) have a bit more depth. Part 2 seemed to follow along the same lines as Part 1, but the story itself was definitely more engaging. The characters were more true to themselves, in a way. I didn’t see the selfish streak of Seb coming about, nor did I really appreciate the near insta-love that occurred, but overall there was a relatability to Tina that was lacking with Cici. I found their interactions a bit more believable and there was a much greater insight into all the characters. However, some of the bigger “mysteries” of the story are still not much of a mystery.

The thing that seemed to be hardest for me to get past was the fact that the story, while taking place in America, was obviously written by somebody who was NOT American. Turns of phrase and vocabulary, as well as simple cadence of speech, brought to the forefront again and again that this story, while set in Hawaii, was definitely not written by somebody from Hawaii or even from America. It was jarring and added to the difficulty in staying immersed in the story.

Demetre, though, has delivered a solid story with an ending that brought tears to my eyes. Island of Secrets is a story of love, lies, privilege and redemption…something light with a bit of mystery, but lacking in the adrenaline that a thriller has and missing the sweetness of a cozy mystery. Click the links below to grab your copy today.

Amazon / Amazon UK / Smashwords / Kobo / Barnes & Noble / Google Play / iBooks /

Luminosity Publishing / Bookstrand


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Diane began her career as a school teacher before moving into the entertainment industry as a choreographer, director, event manager, dancer and actress, working in television and live theatre, and managing multi-million dollar productions.
Following her onstage career, she spent many years as a stress & life skills therapist, keynote speaker and presenter, appearing on national radio and television.
When she launched into a writing career, Diane’s debut erotic romance series, the Dance of Love was voted Luminosity Publishing Readers’ Choice Best Books and Best Covers for 2015 and 2016.
Her romantic suspense, Retribution won the Romance Writers of Australia Emerald Pro Award 2017 for Best Unpublished Manuscript. Diane loves to write genre-busting stories with a twist. Her works are packed with emotional punch and feature empowered heroines who live life to the fullest, much like the author herself.

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