Once within a song, a music lover and a broken man fell from the sky. It changed their lives forever…
I’m a huge fan of survival romances but they don’t come around too often so when I heard about this one, I couldn’t resist diving in especially after reading the blurb. The heroine and hero are strangers thrown together when they crash on a desert island forcing them to rely on each other for survival… and face the hidden desire they feel for each other!! And the whole concept of these unseen messages fascinated me. These little occurrences that could so easily be dismissed as nonsense, that had no factual basis in reality, and yet were still there regardless of whether you ignored or heeded them were so interesting. Fate, chance, coincidence, luck… no matter what you call it or what you believe in, these elements are definitely something that makes you wonder…
“There is a message for everything. From handwritten to verbal, seen and unseen. Messages exist all around us.”
But what if you don’t see?
What if you don’t understand?
What if, by ignoring the message, your life is never the same again?
Estelle Evermore morphed from nobody to somebody overnight.
Galloway Oak put his past behind him and endeavoured to make his fortune using his trade.
Multiple unseen messages.
From sky to island, they find neither fame nor skills can save them. Stripped from society and left alone to survive the elements, the very task of staying alive outweighs all other needs.
Until survival turns to desire.
And desire turns to danger.
In those beginning scenes in the airport as the many unseen messages passed her by, I got chills and goosebumps as I read. I think your subconscious is aware of things that, while perhaps irrational by our usual standards, may not necessarily always be wrong. But the more logical, educated sides of our minds are tought and conditioned to ignore it. When you get a bad feeling about “I don’t think I should get on this plane”, how many people would actually turn around, sacrificing their airfare and plans to actually not take the flight if there was no factual basis for them not to? Most often we’re likely to dismiss these fears.
There were all these signs warning her not to get on the plane. It was like a hum on the air. You could feel it but not see it. You could easily ignore it, but if you were listening, they were clearly there.
There was so much foreshadowing and mystery that pulled me into the story. I loved that Estelle and Galloway shared this instant connection the moment that they glanced at each other across the airport. In real life, how many people would share that glance but then just move forward with life in separate directions? How many people would follow through to try to get to know that person?
Ahh there were so many things to wonder about!
I didn’t listen, but it doesn’t mean I didn’t live. I lived and breathed and cried and laughed and exited in a totally different tale than the other I’d envisioned. Away from my home. Away from my family. Away from everything comfortable and familiar.
But I wasn’t alone… I was with him.
A stranger turned lover. An enemy turned friend.
I was with him.
And he became my entire universe.
Then came the crash. That terrifying uncertainty between life and death. And then the horrifying realization that even though they were alive, they were completely cut off from the world.
No ambulance to rescue them.
No doctor to heal them.
No internet to research help.
No reception to call anyone.
No food to eat.
No fresh water.
No clothing to protect against the elements.
Except each other.
Every step of their journey as they fought to survive on this isolated desert island fascinated me. How terrifying must it be to be wounded, alone, starving, and cutoff from the world. How would they find food on an uninhabited island, there were plenty of fish, but how could they catch them? How would they get water with no rivers? How would they build shelter with no tools?
Galloway was grouchy, gorgeous, mysterious, and clearly hiding something. Estelle adapted quickly to their situation and her strength of character was admirable in regards to their survival. And even though they tried to fight it, they were undeniably drawn to each other — and had been since that moment in the airport — so it was only a matter of time before a relationship between them began.
This is an incredibly long book — over 700 pages — and it took me two sittings to read it. I really loved the first half of the book, but in the interest of full honesty, I was a little more frustrated with the second half. There was a lot of miscommunication and very poor judgment causing the majority of the drama. While I was rooting for their romance, I also was very frustrated with the way both of them (but more so Estelle) handled many things. And there were other non-relationship decisions that they all made that just didn’t add up to me and could very well have saved their lives earlier if they’d acted differently.
Regardless, I really quite enjoyed this book and especially appreciated how different it was than the usual type of book I read. It was quite an adventure and the way the story was set up with the unseen messages, and them trying desperately to survive on the desert island was captivating! In terms of rating, I have to split the way I look at it. I’d ideally rate the first half of the book 4.5 stars, and the second half 3.5 stars. If you round that out, you get a final rating of 4 stars although I do find this book difficult to rate as a whole as opposed to in sections. I’ve read a few survival stories over the years mostly because I just can’t resist these types of books — On The Island (my all-time favorite), Surviving Raine, Withering Hope — and I don’t regret reading this one at all. It was a welcome chance of pace and an entertaining story to get lost in.
And can we just take a minute to admire how gorgeous the cover is?? I love it and am about to order myself a paperback copy. Since it’s over 700 pages, it should be a very satisfying book to hold in person!
Rating: 4 stars. Standalone
Love your honest reviews. Gonna give this one a try!
Thank you!! Enjoy 😀
Ohhh this sounds different than anything I’ve read!
Awesome!! I love it when they’re different 🙂
Renee Myrman Olichwier says
I’m definitely going to pick up this book!
YAY!! Happy reading 🙂
Emma K. says
I’m reading this now too!
Happy reading!! 🙂
Thanks for your honest review. I bought the book but don’t know if I will ever read it. A friend recommend the book and told me that it was really good. But for the life of me I don’t think I can read a 700 page book.
You’re very welcome! It’s basically like reading the length of 2 books but together. Maybe try it out and see if it grabs you 🙂
You had me at Pepper Winters and over 700 pages!
Haha woohoo!! It’s listed as 714 pages online 😀
I’m reading it now. I’m like you, that I love survival stories. Now that I’ve read your review I’m a little worried that I won’t like it. Does it have an HEA?
Yes it does! My issues with it were purely due to well, essentially stupid choices made by the characters which resulted in their lives being much harder than they would have been (like I have a pretty specific list of issues which I chose not to mention in the review to keep things spoiler free). But the story itself I quite enjoyed. And all my issues were in the second half of the book only. The book has a happy (romance-style) ending though. Hope that helps!
Yes it does help! I worry bout the children in the book too. I hope nothing bad happens to them. I read to escape and if I want that kind of heart break I’ll read a Nickolas Sparks book! (Someone always dies) lol
There’s only one significant death in the book and it’s not one of the main couple, and it’s not a small child. Haha it’s not a NS style book, don’t worry!
Paperback is 587 pages. Pepper wrote a blog and showed a pic of it. I can’t wait to read it.
Yeah sometimes the print pages are different. I ordered a paperback yesterday! 🙂
I’ve started but am already having a hard time with Estelle and is she gets worse later.. not sure I can finish, I mean (spoiler)
Galloway has a broken ankle, much less a broken tibia as well, and she had the nerve to berate him? Maybe the author doesn’t realize the broken ankle was a little much on top of the broken leg.. but it just takes me right out of the story.. Thanks for your review Aestas, but I’m feeling this one is maybe not for me :/
Yeah, there were several specific things in this book that really annoyed me as well (I referenced them without detail in the review so as to remain spoiler free). For me, I was able to look past them but I honestly would completely understand them being too frustrating for a reader as well. I could totally understand this book being a win or a total miss for someone.
I am 84% in and absolutely loving this book. Thanks so much for the recommendation- it is so different from the typical NA that I read. And I personally love a book this long, it gives you a chance to really get to know the characters!
You’re very welcome!! I’m glad you’re loving it 😀