Blogger Wife Chat Review ~ Island Side ~ Michelle Mankin

Posted 16 July, 2019 by Brandee @ (un)Conventional Bookworms in Reviews / 2 Comments

Warning: This book includes mature content such as: sexual content, and/or drug and/or alcohol use, and/or violence.
Blogger Wife Chat Review ~ Island Side ~ Michelle MankinIsland Side by Michelle Mankin
Series: Rock Stars Surf and Second Chances #5
Published by Selfpublished on 8 July 2019
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Pages: 291
Format: Kindle
Source: Kindle Purchase
5 Stars

Hollie Lesowski is a beautiful young actress locked in a legal battle with one of the most powerful and feared directors in Hollywood, a man who betrayed and hurt her, a man she mistakenly believed was her father.
Maximillian Cash is her bodyguard, a blond, blue-eyed giant sworn to protect her. Gentle despite his imposing presence, he seems to be just right for her. But can she trust him with her deepest secrets?
Diesel Le is a rock star in her sister’s band. Devastatingly sexy and annoyingly arrogant, the former pro surfer from Hawaii delights in driving her and everyone else crazy. So, why does she have to continually remind herself to stay away from him?
Two uniquely handsome men tempt her. Both want to make her their own. But one is her employee, and the other is a confirmed player.
Will she be swept away by temptation?
High Tide and Island Side is a heart-twisting, gut-churning, page-turning, coming-of-age duet. It is a triangular second-chance love story with two compelling alpha males but no cheating. Romantic and suspenseful, it sparkles with the glitz of Hollywood, sizzles with the tropical heat of Hawaii, and steals your breath at times, but it will also make your spirit soar.

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Wow! I couldn’t have asked for a better ending for Hollie & Diesel or for this series. Mankin has a way of developing these complex, genuine, and flawed characters that you can’t help but root for. And watching them grow as they struggle to overcome or dig deep to find their inner strength…it’s beautiful. Mankin is also gifted at sharing her love of the ocean, surfing, rock music and the musicians who make it through her lovely prose. Her words paint vivid images of the landscape as well as visceral emotions. I’m sad to see this series end because I’m going to miss these characters!

I’m sad it’s over, too – and I think I’ll do a re-read before BookBonanza, now that the whole series is out and I can just binge-read the whole thing 🙂 I loved the growth Hollie and Diesel went through in Island Side, it made them even more likable to me, and I especially enjoyed Hollie finding her inner strength once more.

I know we had a slight difference of opinion about Hollie after High Tide. I think Mankin did an even better job at illustrating where Hollie was coming from in that installment via Island Side. And she allowed her to grow so much. Did you opinion of Hollie change in this final installment?

I agree, the growth was awesome, and yes, my opinion of Hollie changed back to the way I thought of her in Oceanside. She truly found herself and her inner strength again, and that was totally awesome to live through with her.

I floved all the back story about Diesel. Getting to know all that he’d been through and also getting to meet his dad gave such incredible insight into who he is and why. Did getting his back story make you love him more?

Oh my gosh! Diesel’s backstory was tragic! And his ex wife was such an asshole. I loved how Hollie talked back to her, though – it was when she finally showed me that she had this. And yeah, it did make me love him more, wifey. *sighs*

I liked how Mankin conveyed Hollie and Diesel’s commonalities – like the guilt they each carried. They had strengths and weaknesses that they shared as well as those that were different. Combined, it made them stronger. Their growth – personal and emotional – was amazing to witness because although it was spurred by the other, they did it for themselves. Did you feel the same way?

I didn’t really think about that while reading, but now that you’ve mentioned it, you’re absolutely right! They did have a lot in common, and the way they helped each other deal with the past and their grief made both of them stronger. 

Mankin drew parallels between meditation and surfing – and she did it well. Unfortunately, I don’t surf but it kinda made me wanna. 😉 I guess what I liked was what she said about both – being in balance, etc. Did she make you want to take up one or the other?

I don’t surf either, but I love being by the water. Even slowly swimming feels kind of like meditating to me. The sea is like being in another world, where things are more quiet, and so it’s easier to reflect on different things, or just empty my mind. I’m not very good at meditating – but I do love yoga, so yeah, I can totally see the parallels. I would love to learn how to surf. Should we make a date on a Hawaiian island one day?

I’m speaking for you here wifey, but I think we both always knew how it was between Hollie and Diesel. But I think Mankin deftly fleshed it out. Despite them both having doubts and secrets, I saw the writing on the wall. And Mankin made me feel it. How about you?

Yeah, we definitely knew how it was between Hollie and Diesel. And I think they were both afraid of how big it could be, which is why we didn’t get them together straight away. And I think Mankin did very well at showing us readers how deep their connection was – and how it was necessary to have some common ground for them away from all the eyes that were usually watching them due to their careers.

I wished that Hollie had shared her secret sooner but I also understood her logic. Diesel’s reaction pissed me off even if it was expected. You?

In a way, I didn’t understand her logic – what would it have truly changed if she’d told him straight away? It might not have changed anything at all. I totally got Diesel’s reaction, and he didn’t piss me off. Plus, he got over it real quick, understanding her much better than anyone else did.

I loved everything about the way things were wrapped up. Especially how Diesel went about winning Hollie. Of course, he already had her but the gestures were awesome. And I loved the family element because it was so important to both Hollie and Diesel. And Fanny, too. Did you appreciate the final chapters?

I agree! The way he showed her that he wanted to win her was beautiful. I loved the ending SO much! Finally, some good for Fanny and Hollie, even if they didn’t get everything they had hoped for – they did get something. 

The epilogue was bittersweet. It left me wanting to throat punch someone and swooning! I hated that one outcome even it if was unfortunately realistic. But baby surfers? Aww!!!

This is so true. It was realistic, which made it even sadder. Even if Hollie was OK with it – it’s still wrong on so many levels. The baby surfers were the cutest! And I’m sure you’ve seen some in real life, too – that’s one of the things I loved the most when Mr. Lex and I went to Oahu – the fact that everybody surfs. Island Side really made me think of Hawaii, I could almost smell the fresh fruits they had for breakfast.

I kinda hate that this series is over. I’ve become quite attached to these characters and want to keep up with their lives. Sigh. However, Mankin gave us an epic ending. 😀 Yes to all of that, wifey. We still have re-reads, though 😉 



Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

Brandee @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

About Brandee @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

Brandee is a mom of 3 and a soon-to-be empty nester. She is also an avid reader, a genre omnivore, and a compulsive one-clicker - but she's in recovery. Besides being a reader, she's also a writer and hopes to divide the vast quantities of spare time she'll soon have between reading and finally publishing her first book.

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2 responses to “Blogger Wife Chat Review ~ Island Side ~ Michelle Mankin

  1. This sounds like such a winner of a read and happy to see you both loved it so well. I really love stories that implement those complex characters, they bring so much more depth to a story.

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