Island of Lost Rubies

(No Series)

Eileen had not been back to her island home since childhood, when her baby sister vanished in a storm, her grief-battered mother died, her father took to drink. Now, heartbroken over her father's death and the loss of her great love, she returns to Calayeshi island to claim her inheritance.

Odd things begin to happen the moment she steps off the boat. A strange young visitor asks too many questions about the long-lost family jewels. A familiar old white cat claws her; a hawk shrieks at her; a skeleton is reflected in a mirror. And her handsome step-cousin, Richard, draws her ever more deeply into the life of the island - and into his arms.

Is the planned scavenger hunt more than just a party? And who is the mysterious Anna, whose resemblance to Eileen is so eerie?

Gripped at once by passion and by mystery, Eileen realizes that there is no escape from the Island of the Lost Rubies.

This book took me forever to read. You know why? It was boring. Really, truly dull. Not the best start to my Gothic challenge for the year.

It finally began to get a little more interesting in the last fifty pages, but by then I didn't care all that much.

Gothics aren't known for lightning speeds of action-paced adventure or anything, but this slowly unwinding thing never had much depth to begin with. There wasn't a huge mystery and most of it was spent on her wanting to redecorate the house and fawning over the local island stud. Every small thing was too dramatic. The writing felt a bit stilted and overdone, not adding to the excitement of the story. 

Characters were decent enough, I suppose, but I never felt that attraction to her main guy. To me there wasn't anything sweet, exciting, or stimulating about him. If anything, he seemed to lack personality. There's some unconventional ooh-la-la in this book for the proper time period it's illustrating.

The back cover of the book states:

"Now, heartbroken by her father's death and the loss of her great love..."

Stop right here. This isn't accurate. The protagonist makes it clear from the start she's not grief-stricken over her father. She hates he's dead, of course, but keeps bringing up the fact that they weren't close and that she hadn't seen him in years. In addition, there was no great love lost. She started getting over him minutes within reaching the island. 

The end villain(s) turned out a little obvious. There was a very small cast of suspects to wonder about anyway, and while the reasoning behind it wasn't clear from the start, it was easy to see where the villain would pop up from and why.

Not the best start to my challenge of reading 30 Gothics this year, hopefully the next one is much better. I have to wonder, whatever happened to that precious white cat?

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