Meet Andy. Andy’s moved to Bermuda after some troubles in New York, and he settles into an idyllic island life with sunshine and cocktails. How could it get any better? Enter Emily…

Bermuda Phoenix, at its heart, is a romantic comedy. Yeah, yeah, I know – I hate romance. How could I possibly find any joy in this book then? Well, I’m not going to lie, I’m still not a fan of romance and this is most definitely a romance, but it’s more than that too. The plot, thank goodness, is more than a simple ‘boy meets girl’. There  were other plot lines that weaved neatly into the main drag of the story, and these plot lines kept me going through the sickly sweetness of the romance (and speaking of other plot lines, I do love a cleverly tied-in title – but I won’t ruin it by saying more).

Don’t get me wrong – if romance is your thing, you’ll definitely like this book. Roderick writes a romance really well (he’s clearly an old romantic at heart), but watching the main characters’ pasts come back to haunt them, and watching the twists and turns that result, was enough to keep a romance-hater going with a decent measure of enjoyment. Add to that Roderick’s brilliant wit that is peppered throughout, and this romance turned from the dreaded to the truly enjoyed.

Roderick’s writing ability is pretty impressive too. I’ve read a number of books by this author and every single one of them has been completely different – and I mean: genre, style, characterisation, everything. His ability to adapt is clear, but what’s nice is that there are certain strings that run through them all. His humour is one of them. The other is that he crosses his characters throughout his books. In this book, for example, we meet Tom and Annie who were the protagonists of the sci-fi adventure Aeonosphere, and who I believe we first met (although I admit I haven’t read it) in the political satire Six for Seven. That’s a technique that definitely makes me smile. It’s like a warm welcome to an old friend you haven’t seen for a while, and it works especially well since these three books are so very different from one another.

Bermuda Phoenix is a light, fun, beach-read. If you’re a romance reader, this book is definitely for you, but if you’re not, why not give it a go anyway? It might surprise you.

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