WITCH ISLAND
by Stephanie Bedwell-Grime

November 2003
ISBN: 1-893896-95-1
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Computer whiz Roxanne Gerik is in a financial bind, and the offer to install and tutor mega-rich Aidan Nevan’s new electronic system comes just at the right moment. The money involved is more than enough to send her on a journey to his home – but perhaps not enough to overlook the fact that he’s residing on an isolated island on which a savage storm maroons her.


Aidan himself is also a shock. Gorgeous and not what she’d expected at all, Roxanne becomes uncomfortably aware of him as a man, not just another client. So the stage is set for romance, but shortly thereafter, Roxanne becomes aware that this is not just another island, but one filled with menace and mystery.


In an interesting twist on the paranormal/ghost/possession genre, Stephanie Bedwell-Grime has given us characters that are appealing, and a plot that will keep her readers guessing. Aidan is everything a brooding and troubled hero should be, and his retainers blend just the right amount of affection and confusion.


The weak link, however, is Roxanne. A determinedly intelligent woman, she begins to experience things that are unsettling, and soon progress to downright scary. Sadly, she behaves in a less-than-intelligent way…not unlike the woman who hears a noise in the basement and goes down to investigate just as the lights go out and when every instinct a reader possesses is slapping its head and screaming at her to at least take a baseball bat!


Certainly Roxanne’s desire to flee is understandable, but occasionally it is just plain stupid! Someone with her brains and technological ability would have been better served with a smidgen more backbone – get dressed before you run outside into a frightening storm, girl, it’s easier on the feet.


It’s a minor point, but one which does drag the reader out of the story and into a level of frustration, resolved only when Roxanne makes the right decisions based on what she wants, rather than what her screaming fears are driving her to do. I recommend this story to lovers of the paranormal, since the plot is well thought-out and definitely different – a pleasant change from the routine paranormal troubles that proliferate so many similar tales.


Reviewed in January 2004 by Celia.

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