Review: Heaven on Hell Island by Shea Swain


Where does it go from here? Well, I’ve read stranded island stories in romance novels across the board. Some were okay, others not so much. But Swain’s initial approach seemed to be going down the right path. The tragedy of it all is that she wasn’t confident enough to stick to her island nightmare and build it around well-developed characters. Real characters. People with true depth, not manufactured. She relied on the tried and true, neo-Nazi with a heart of gold fall back. A trope that, if I’m being honest, has yet to produce a successful romance story (a close exception being Ankhesen’s The Girl from Cheshire Avenue). In the past, I would hesitate to rate an author in this genre low for attempting to write something outside of the billionaire with a baby trend. Unless it was poorly written beyond redemption, I would not punish it for something as subjective as differing tastes. But at this point, I’m so sick of reading neo-Nazi with Black women romance stories, I’m ready to be a crotchety old hypocrite and state that it has no business in IRR. The trope is insulting and makes for very unpleasant reads. Because most of them are not done well and that’s a topic too goddamn important to play fast and loose with!

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