While her colleagues anticipate the arrival of a mysterious benefactor, Alana remains unimpressed, until she meets him. Chase Malek is not at all what she expects of the philanthropist that has donated so much to help her island’s hospital. Young, handsome, and strangely knowledgeable of their local customs, Alana realizes there's much more to Chase than meets the eye. After a traumatic experience with one of her patients, her suspicions are confirmed.
Alana starts to resurface as she attempts to uncover all of Chase's secrets. As she starts to put the pieces together, she learns more about herself, and the walls she put up after her father's death slowly start to crumble. But now that she's opened her heart and let Chase in, will he even be able to stay? Or will his greatest secret of all keep them apart?
Alana allowed her gaze to roam down the column of his neck to his masculine shoulders before resting on his forearms. They were thick and looked incredibly strong; she had a forearm fetish and admired his immediately.
Sometimes I need a book that is going to take me on a journey of discovery with the characters without that fast paced edge of your seat ride that a lot of paranormal books have. Illumine Her is just that!! It's about the closeness of family and friends, striving to find your place and make a difference in people's lives, falling in love and discovering that there are things in the world that you had no idea existed.
Alana Vilo's journey starts with her graduation from nursing school. Returning to live with her family in Samoa she begins her new job as a nurse. Not long after, the buzz is all about the rich benefactor coming to visit and make a huge donation to the hospital. Alana is expecting an elderly gentleman and is quite surprised when he turns out to be not much older than her. Chase Malek is also incredibly good looking and Alana is impressed with his knowledge of Samoa. There is definitely an attraction between the two but it's when Alana witnesses an incident between Chase and one of her patients that Alana realises that he is much more than he seems. And he is not willing to let Alana in on any of his secrets. But what she witnesses doesn't sit easily with Alana and she vows to find out exactly what Chase is hiding.
What in the hell just happened? What did I just witness? Who is Chase Malek?
One of the things that I loved most about Illumine Her was the richness of family and the Samoan culture. The author weaves it throughout the whole story. From the family get togethers to the use of Samoan words and phrases. There are beautiful descriptions of the scenery and different foods that had my mouth watering every time.
For a big portion of the book the paranormal and romance took a back seat as Alana and Chase each dealt with things in their lives. There was also the progression of their friendship and it was refreshing to read a book where the characters put their own desires on hold. But when that romance picked up Alana and Chase were such a beautiful couple.
He was drawing her in, and Alana couldn't help but feel that she would be okay if he did.
And while I mentioned that Illumine Her isn't an edge of your seat ride, there were definitely twists and turns that I didn't see coming. Those twists and turns along with everything that I've mentioned above and the authors wonderfully visual storytelling made Illumine Her a great read.
I was born and raised in Samoa, moved to New Zealand for university, and am now living in Israel with my husband and two daughters.
My ideal place to read would be in a hammock surrounded by nature. Until then I'll just have to tune out the toy-strewn house and piles of laundry.
Watermelon, Asian food, and uplifting/angst ridden novels make me happy. I've attempted to write one that encapsulates everything I love to read about: a love story and one woman's personal journey.