Isabel Jolie’s ROGUE WAVE is written in first person and the perspective changes chapter by chapter from Adrian Tate’s to Luna Fishers’. This structure not only lends the narrative immediacy but the reader also quickly gains a sense of who both Tate and Luna are–both their backgrounds and conflicts. At first, their voices are quite similar but, as the story progresses, they become nicely individual.
Tate is a brooding, insightful and slightly damaged character having witnessed some pretty unpleasant things in his ten years at sea. The discussion of his Greenpeace work and his first-hand witnessing of human trafficking and slavery are profoundly disturbing and elevates what begins as a fairly light-hearted will they/won’t they romance, into a more layered and complex story. Tate can appear self-absorbed at times while Luna veers between happy-go-lucky youthful optimism and matured steely determination, which certainly reflects the nature of a woman in her early twenties. Much is made from Tate’s point of view of the fifteen years age difference between him and Luna. It does become a little frustratingly unnecessary and conversely, Luna appears the more grounded and mature. Tate’s relationships with his brother, Greggory and friend, Gabe, are a little glib and one-dimensional but Luna’s friend, Poppy, is more convincingly portrayed, as is the Island’s resident wise woman and oracle, Alice.
ROGUE WAVE excels in the depiction of the chemistry and relationship dynamics between both main characters and in the wonderfully realized setting of Haven Island; it provides a beautifully atmospheric backdrop to the evolving romance which, once underway, sizzles satisfyingly. The lively prose and leisurely tempo complement both the Island environment and the spontaneity of Tate and Luna’s relationship. It is clear that author Jolie is proficient in writing romance and there is a very fresh, contemporary feel to ROGUE WAVE. References to the Covid pandemic and the rise in popularity of OnlyFans online accounts are woven realistically through the novel, which is flawlessly edited.
Isabel Jolie’s ROGUE WAVE is an engaging and readable romance from a clearly accomplished writer that also touches upon some complex and thought-provoking ecological issues.
~Rose Auburn for IndieReader