From the first few chapers of Island Affair, I could tell that the chemistry between our two main leads was undeniable. Fire-fighter with a hero complex after a tragic accident in past Luis Navarro, and up-and-coming social media influencer who feels like the black sheep of her family who is also in recovery from an eating disorder Sara Vance - brought together by the terrible and terrifc circumstance of Sara's ex-boyfriend showing his true colors and abandoning her on a family vacation. Besides the romance, which was obviously an integral part of the story, I thought this book brought along so many messages that readers could take away.
The first time Sara and Luis meet is outside an airport in the Florida Keys. They know absolutely nothing about the life of the other, and have to spend the next week learning what they can and using that knowledge to fool Sara's family into thinking they've been together. Sometimes all it takes to solve a problem is an outside perspective, which means that Luis may be just what Sara needs and vice versa. No problem can be completely solved within the span of a week, but a solid foundation can be laid so things can be worked out in a productive way in the future.
I was afraid going into this book when I realized that Sara's eating disorder was going to be discussed further, because EDs can be a trigger for me if portrayed in a certain way, but I felt that it was handled well here. Sara has an open and honest discussion about her eating disorder with Luis, but is afraid to open up at first for fear of him treating her differently. It's said that recovery can take a while, and can be a daily struggle, but Sara is devoted to making sure she's taking care of herself and knows what to do if she's having a bad day. I just really liked seeing that.
I'm sure this review doesn't make much sense, but overall my thoughts on this book are pretty positive. After not winning the arc here on BookishFirst, and being denied on NetGalley, I heard the author speak at Social Distance Book Fest back in April and decided to give in and myself a copy. I'm so glad I did, and if you're looking for a summer romance, I would highly suggest picking up Island Affair. Hopefully it won't disappoint.