Date With the Devil by Olivia Rupprecht
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
1st Reread completed between June 30th and July 17th on Kindle Text-to-Speech.
I read this years ago in the print version from Loveswept, and I still have this copy. This was one of my favorites, and it's an excellent example of the stranded/marooned/survival romance theme.
Sterling and Deidre are stranded on a deserted island in the middle of the Bermuda Triangle. Sterling saves Deidre's life by towing her on the shore and giving her mouth-to-mouth. Sterling is a rough and ready ex-soldier who is experienced in survival and is also aspiring to be a ninja. In this book, ninja principles are a lofty goal for a person, kind of like the bushido principles/Way of the Samurai. Sterling is very attracted to Deidre from the beginning, wages a constant battle between his lusty desires and the higher principles of his calling. Deidre has been very sheltered, living in the shadow of her parent's unattainable aspirations for her, and hiding in books and working in a librarian. Her experience on the island is the first time she's truly loved. As to be expected, living in primal nature brings out the most basic and elemental natures in a person and also hones them into true survivors. In the case of these two people, they find a powerful and intense love that will make an unbreakable bond between them, despite the secrets that Sterling keeps.
I really appreciated the tidbits on survival on an island. Enough to feel realistic. And something that many books don't address but all women under a certain age have to think about every month. The solution was pretty ingenious.
Let me say, if a woman doesn't like a man with, shall we say, bossy tendencies, Sterling would not be the man to be stranded with. However, this man knows his stuff, and he would definitely keep you alive and well.
Rupprecht (who goes by Mallory Rush these days) definitely knows how to write sexual tension. I mean, wow! The buildup between this couple is explosive, and when they do the deed, it's a satisfying payoff. She also deals with the emotional consequences of being stranded with another person, the bonds that form and the fact that it changes you. It's not like you can just go back to a normal life when you are rescued. You are changed too much. When Sterling's obligations come to light, Deidre has to face the pain of knowing that their life on the island can't continue exactly the way she wanted. But she has to believe in the true love between them and trust that a man like Sterling (his name tells you all you need to know) is honor bound to do the right thing, no matter how hard it is.
Although the Text-to-Speech is robotic sounding, it was still an enjoyable experience to listen to this book as I waited to fall asleep at night. I could vividly picture what their life was like on the island, and the passage about the ghost ship was very eerie.
This book stands up to a reread. While there are a few dated aspects, overall, it's still a fantastic book, and definitely a keeper for me.
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