4* Review: Caribbean Dreams – Karen Klyne

Rating: 4 out of 5.
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You’ll literally cruise into Christmas with this sun-drenched, exotic romance.

Caribbean Dreams has just the right mix of Christmas and vacation vibes. If you’re reading from the wintry northern hemisphere (like me) there’s just enough Christmas to go with the Caribbean island hopping. Fast forward to post festive season and there’s not too much Christmas to spoil your imaginary cruise in warmer climes. Kylne gets the balance just right, resulting in a story that is perfect to read in the run upto Christmas or indeed all year round.

I enjoyed how accurate the details were with regards to cruising and being on a cruise ship. If you happen to have been on a ship before, this is sure to have you reminiscing about your own adventures. From the speciality restaurants, to disembarkation, it’s a whole other world. As a reader you can’t help but be transported to a ship’s balcony, with the Caribbean sun at your back and a vast expanse of ocean in front of you, stretching as far as the eye can see.

Cruising aside, the story features two main characters – Cori and Steph, who are both looking to escape or overcome their current situations. Their romance progresses naturally whilst on board and we get to see different sides to each of them once in Jamaica.
Klyne does touch on the topic of domestic abuse in more emotional sections of the book. This is done with grace and sensitivity whilst still highlighting how covert psychological abuse can be. The lasting emotional and mental impacts that a survivor may suffer from, long after the abuse has stopped, is gently depicted by Cori’s present disposition and mannerisms.
Klyne also utilises Cori’s mixed race heritage to incorporate conversations regarding race, showing the prevalence of racism and prejudice in society. 

That being said, inspite of what would appear to be some potentially heavy topics within the plot, i actually found Caribbean Dreams to be a vibrantly light, feel good read. There are some brilliant visual imagery sentences throughout – my personal favourite being – ’emotions are messy little gremlins’.
I finished the book genuinely feeling like i’d been along for every minute of Cori and Steph’s vacation – the visual story telling is so strong. Now if only i had a suntan to match my imagination!

I received an ARC of this book for review from Butterworth Books, in exchange for an honest review.

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