Review by Gabrielle

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“A fat orange sun sank into the horizon like a dropped scoop of mango sorbet. The sky was a riot of lavender and peach, deepening to a violet, then navy-blue. Moonlight alchemized the white sand silver. Absent of any light pollution, the night sky came to life with ancient, glittering stars.”

Georgia Clark has once again knocked my socks off with her latest, Island Time.

The Kellys are messy, loud, loving Australians. The Lees are sophisticated, aloof, buttoned-up Americans. They have nothing in common…except for the fact that their daughters are married. When a nearby volcano erupts during their short vacation to a remote tropical island off the coast of Queensland, the two families find themselves stranded together for six weeks.

With only two island employees making up the rest of their party, everyone is forced to question what—or who—they really want. Island Time is a sumptuous summer read that dives deep into queer romance, family secrets, ambition, parenthood, and a bird-chasing bromance. This sexy, sun-soaked paradise of white sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters, and lush rainforest will show you it’s never too late to change your destiny.

I mean, let’s be honest. I’m not surprised. It Had To Be You made it into my top 3 reads of 2021 so I had high expectations for this book. And Georgia surpassed them. It is everything I hoped and dreamed it would be. I laughed, I cried, I gasped in surprise. I did all the things and it was glorious.

Similarly to It Had To Be You, there is a lot going on with multiple storylines happening between different characters. And what characters they are! I just loved everyone in this book even though they are all so different. They are all so well crafted, complex, at times messy and realistic. I think one of my favourite characters is Liss Chambers, one of the employees on the island. She is fun, sweet and complicated. I also loved Jules, brash and big-hearted, she is a wonderful mom character. 

Speaking of moms, I love how Georgia created three very different types of mom characters. Overbearing but well-meaning Jules, independent and darkly comic Ludmilla, and unsure mom-to-be Matty. She really showed the diversity of motherhood and how there is no one right way to be a mom.

The island of Mun’dai is such a magical location for this book. Georgia’s writing really makes it come alive. There is an incredible amount of detail describing the plants, animals and different sites. One thing I especially appreciated is the inclusion of the Indigenous history, much of which is learned through the character Jarrah, a Butchulla man and caretaker of the island. I was so disappointed when I googled the island and couldn’t find it! Keep reading to the author’s note at the end to find out more about Georgia’s inspiration and research.

There are multiple couples and a few different love stories to follow along with. I don’t want to give anything away but I will say one of them is very steamy. If girl-on-girl action is your thing, Georgia writes a heck of a sex scene. So hot!

I can’t let this review go without mentioning Georgia’s writing overall. There are sentences and paragraphs in this book where you just have to stop reading for a minute to fully absorb their beauty. I can’t get enough of Georgia’s books. She is an auto-buy author for me from here on out.

Island Time is a fantastic read with great characters, an epic setting and all the steam you can handle.

Thank you, Simon and Schuster for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.