What to Read After On the Island – “Stranded on a deserted island” romance books…

by Maryse on December 14, 2015 · 10 comments

in Book Recommendations

UPDATED 10-24-18!!!

When it comes to love stories, there is nothing more fun than two people (strangers, or enemies, or maybe one of ‘em being an unrequited love-secret admirer) to be thrown together and… stuck together for whatever reason.

This is a “genre” that I am SO drawn to and the ones I read, I simply can’t forget. ‘Cause while it “sounds” romantic (escaping the stresses of our fast-paced lives and living in seclusion and “peace” in a tropical paradise), truth be told, in reality? It’s a total nightmare! Especially those where “they” are stuck in some sort of a “deserted” area. Whether it be on a deserted island (plane crash or sinking boat), completely snowed in, in a bare-minimum cabin, or even stuck in an elevator, there has been some exciting, scary and especially STEAMY intensity going on. The whole survival aspect, depending on each other and bonding… what a dynamic!! :D

And that kind of feeling has me on my TOES! It’s no wonder that throughout my whole childhood, “The Blue Lagoon” was my absolute favorite movie.

But before we get the steam, we get to… “get to know each other”. Er… well, the characters do, but if written well, it feel like it’s us, doesn’t it? Like we ARE them. Living it all, and feeling every single emotion. All of those moments, the trepidation, and the eventual bonding, becoming a team, and suddenly life meaning so much more than it ever did. It makes it all worth the drama, the terror and the eventual outcome (hopefully it’s a good one!) ;)

Often, before we to the steamy stuff, we get a ton of the scary stuff to contend with. The initial survival of whatever trauma they just escaped is terribly frightening in itself. The realization that you may never be saved. There are no hospitals. There may not be food or water nearby. There may not even be sufficient shelter. GAH!!! Just scrambling to build a “life”… in survival mode, is intense enough, but then dealing with injuries, illnesses, animal or tribal attacks and maybe even in the simplest cases (*ahem* stuck in a tight space like an elevator)… outright mental anguish and panic.

You go from terrified and confused, in denial to realizing this may be it… forever. To becoming a team, bonding to loving, and throughout it all, survival mode is in full force. But sometimes they find that comfy rhythm that suddenly makes ME not want them to be found, you know? It just seems like paradise, once they have things down. That said, it never works out that way, does it. Eventually… they need civilization for whatever reason, and then the whole story takes a turn!

Since I love reading these so much, I figured it was high-time I made a book-list! Just in case you want to read more like this… ;)

On the Island: A Novel by Tracy Garvis Graves <— PLANE CRASHED & STUCK ON A DESERTED ISLAND!! I absolutely ADORED this one. This is my #1 “stuck in a deserted anything” book. In this case, it’s obviously an island, and believe me, it’s got everything. A bit of a risqué taboo-ness since she’s in her 20′s and he’s a teen she’s tutoring. They face obstacle after obstacle, illness, injury, scary bats! GAH!!! And of course, they bond but try and keep it “innocent”. AND THEN THE TWIST OF A LIFETIME. The author is incredibly clever and I will NEVER forget this book EVER! (my review)

Surviving Raine: Surviving Raine Book 1 by Shay Savage <— CRUISE BOAT SANK & STUCK ON A DESERTED ISLAND!! This too is my other most favorite book in this genre. Maybe even as much as “On The Island” because I fell head over heels with the ultimate alpha-jerk of a lifetime. The ship’s captain is stuck floating on a dingy with one surviving passenger. A youngish sweet woman that is frightened, bewildered and appalled at his jerks mannerisms. And lemma tell you. So will YOU be. But once they finally find land, OMG one of the BIGGES crushes I’ve ever had and we had to work for it BIG time!!! (my review)

Transcendence by Shay Savage <—FEMALE STUDENT ACCIDENTALLY GOES BACK IN TIME TO THE CAVEMAN DAYS and is captured and “kept” by one very solitary caveman. Oh don’t look at me like that!!! THIS ONE ROCKS!!!!! I PROMISE YOU. Another by the fabulous Shay Savage, so amazingly written, and while he’s USED to living in the Paleolithic age, she most certainly is not. They are completely alone, and she is completely dependent on him. His cave, his furs, his hunting skills, his… needs. GAH!!! ;) And throw in some serious language limitations and you have yourself an exciting, hilarious, beautiful, endearing read. And again… this one has the ultimate twist and clever ending that knocked my socks off! (my review)

Withering Hope by Layla Hagen <— PLANE CRASHED IN THE MIDDLE OF THE RAINFOREST! No island in this one, and to tell you the truth, I think I’d prefer crashing in the rainforest. Fresh water, completely covered by a canopy of trees (no sunburn – sorry, my vampireness is showing). ;) and yet plenty of animals to hunt and vegetation to eat. Although… everything is toxic in the rainforest, it seems. This poor poor duo. He’s her private pilot and was flying her to Brazil for her wedding, and they went down. So she misses the love of her life, misses her wedding, and then they have to content with their new environment… and each other. Good stuff! (my review)

Christina: Withering Hope by Layla Hagen is one of my all time favorites!!

Robyn: I have read that one do many times! 

Hearts in Darkness (Hearts in Darkness Duet Book 1) by Laura Kaye <— TWO STRANGERS STUCK TOGETHER IN A PITCH BLACK ELEVATOR! Okay COMPLETELY NOT a “deserted anything” book, but THEY DO have panic attacks, do have NO clue when they will be saved (in fact, if I remember correctly… it doesn’t look good that it will be soon) and they have NO idea what the other looks like, as neither was paying attention to the other when they entered the elevator. And now all they have is each other, and one is claustrophobic… and they bond. OMG one of my favorite stories EVER!!!! (my review)

Tempt (Take It Off Book 3) by Cambria Hebert <— PLANE CRASH EROTICA! They crash on a deserted island, start bonding and dealing with dangers but soon enough… they realize the not-so-friendly natives are nearby… and maybe other enemies too. A bit of a love triangle, with this one. Was a bit short and not explored enough for me to love it (characters, environment, etc… as it was more on the super-steamy erotica level) but still had an interesting twist in the end. (my review)

More “deserted island” books (I haven’t read these yet…):

  • Shipwrecked with the Billionaire Rock Star by Victoria Wessex <— CRUISE VACATION TURNS INTO A SHIPWRECK! “When the yacht is caught in a storm, the pair are stranded on a desert island and must rely on each other to survive. As the days pass, the friction between them threatens to ignite into lust…but Hannah’s been hurt before. Can she learn to trust a man with Adam’s reputation”
  • Uncharted: An On the Island Novella: (A Penguin Special from Dutton) by Tracey Garvis Graves <— This one goes with my absolute favorite up there, “On the Island”

Nancy: ..story blends so well with On the Island.

Michelle F: On the Island is one of my favorites! I loved TJ and Anna and the whole evolution of their story. Did you read the follow-up novella, Uncharted? It was really good too. I always wondered about who started the frame of TJ’s shelter on the island and what ever happened to that person. Uncharted gives you the backstory and makes some great connections between the two books. Uncharted is worth the read if you liked On the Island.

  • Illusion (Swept Away Book 1) by J.S. Cooper <— PSYCH THRILLER ROMACE! Two strangers kidnapped together and thrown on a deserted island!! I haven’t read it but it’s labelled as a psych thriller romance and I wanna read it!
  • See You Never by Misty Jae Ogert <— TWO COUPLES TAKE A VACATION TOGETHER AND THEIR PLANE CRASHES… and only one from each couple survive and are stranded together… WHOA!  ”Stranded and grieving they only have each other to turn to. Learning to survive and coping with their loss they struggle with their growing feelings for each other. With time passing they begin to doubt that they will ever be rescued. What would be the harm if they gave into temptation? What if they were never rescued?
  • Love Lost by Patricia Lee Macomber <— SHE TAKES HER DAD’S BOAT OUT LATE AT NIGHT TO HELP SOMEONE AND... “…she lands in the past, she finds a new life, a new love, a new Amanda. The only problem is that she can’t stay, he can’t go, and if the war has anything to say about it, the island they’re marooned on will be wiped off the map.”
  • Girl Underwater by Claire Kells <— RATULA HIGHLY RECOMMENDS THIS ONE!!!

Ratula: “Girl Underwater by Claire Kells is similar to these stories (plane crash) and also amazing. I read it months ago and remember every single part… Omg sooooo goood. I want to reread it now just thinking about it. It just stays with you.”

  • Wreckage by Emily Bleeker <— Melissa recommends this one saying: “So good!”
  • The Last Hour of Gann by R. Lee Smith <— Ria recommended this one! And MichelleS absolutely went CRAZY for it! “…it was seriously amazing. I will never forget it. Has “triggers”… But, wow, what a story.”
  • These Broken Stars: A Starbound Novel (The Starbound Trilogy Book 1) by Amie Kaufman <— Ria also recommends this one! And that blurb sure sounds awesome! “…with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help. Then, against all odds, Lilac and Tarver find a strange blessing in the tragedy that has thrown them into each other’s arms.
  • Imagine by Jill Barnett <— Jeannie recommends it! She says:

Jeannie: “Imagine by Jill Barnett is a historical that I recently read with two very different people ending up shipwrecked with three orphaned children. I loved it! Jill Barnett’s books are always fun and heartwarming.”

MichelleS: “One of my favorite “ship wrecked” books (set of two books) was by Kresley Cole. The Sutherland series. Brothers who captain ships and the girls they rescue, that kind of thing. She’s one of my favorite authors and she does not disappoint with these historicals: sexy, fun, saucy girls, alpha males, adventure and tons of love / hate. FUN FUN FUN.”

Dawn: “Elle Casey wrote Reckless and Wrecked–both of these are very good.”

  • Shipwrecked: 1 by Siobhan Curham <— SHE AND HER STUDENTS ARE STRANDED ON AN ISLAND… “Grace Delaney and her fellow dance students are en route to perform on a South Pacific cruise-ship when a freak storm hits and they find themselves stranded on a deserted island. With the tropical heat rising, passions and tensions swell to breaking point. And the island itself is quietly steaming with a terrible secret . . .”
  • Dark of the Moon: A Shipwrecked novel by Siobhan Curham <— and this is #2
  • Shipwrecked <— STRANDED WITH A SUPER-WEALTHY MAN WHO HAS A FIANCEE AT HOME... “…he is shipwrecked on a deserted tropical island with Scott Vanderhorne, a man ten times more rich and powerful than her ex, a man with a fiancée back home. To survive, Katie and Scott must join together, but many dangers await, especially to their hearts.”
  • Island by Richard Laymon <— OMG THIS SOUNDS AWESOME!!! DESERTED ISLAND ALERT!!When eight people go on a cruise in the Bahamas, they plan to swim, sunbathe and relax. Getting shipwrecked is definitely not in the script. But after the yacht blows up they’re stranded on a deserted island, and there’s a maniac on the loose.“ Veronica recommends this one!
  • The Blue Amaryllis: A Love Story by Sonia De Leon <— A TRIP TO THE AMAZON RAINFOREST!! “Leia is among those chosen to go on a quest that is vital to the survival of the natives. The six week quest is fraught with danger, adventure, and unexpectedly: love. A love which is strictly forbidden. Will Leia respect an indigenous law that prevents her from pursuing the only love she has ever known?“ Rachelle found us this one!
  • Wicked Luck by Shannon Maynard <— SOUNDS SCARY AND CREEPY!! “For the past three years, Dax has been stranded on Lamarai Island with his stepsister and two tribes of cannibals. But now a beautiful girl named Ava has washed up on shore. After secretly reading her journal, he believes she is a perfect match to the girl of his dreams.
  • Reawakening (Forever Dead Series, Book One) by Charlotte Stein <— ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE & HE SAVES HER & BRINGS HER TO HIS DESERTED ISLAND! And offers her quite the solution to her problem… “…promising her safety on a little paradise island, she isn’t quite sure she can trust him. Especially when he tells her that it’s just him, and his equally big, burly, handsome friend Blake…
  • ARROW <— TV SHOW but I don’t think they were BOTH on the deserted island… still sounds fun! Katherine recommends it!

Katherine: “You might want to give Arrow on Netflix a chance. The first 12 episodes are so-so, but then the Oliver/Felicity (Olicity) stuff starts happening (she’s an awkward it nerd who says whatever pops into her head, he’s hot, rich and just back from being shipwrecked on a deserted island for 5 years). After that, you can enjoy reading Gina Maxwell’s Tempting Her Best Friend as she based the characters on Oliver and Felicity.”

UPDATED 03-16-2018

  • Unseen Messages by Pepper Winters <— YES!!! Perfect read for this list and quite stressful, wonderful and a tearjerker all rolled into one! I loved it. Four strangers (a man, a woman, and two children) find themselves isolated on a deserted island after their plane crashes on it. Injured, surrounded in dying and dead passengers, and struggling to situate themselves and survive. OMG this one is so intense and had me on the edge of my seat. Here’s my review.

Flora: Unseen Messages is my favourite of the genre.

Nicole: There’s two other people but what an AMAZING read! My 5 star for last year. …Ugh this book had me loving, crying, smiling and mourning. I still get teary eyed thinking about it.

Jill: I still think about this one, even a year later

Angela: I just read one with a young girl who was to be a nanny and a mean photographer who plane crashed on an island and fell in love…..

Ashley: I just finished Uncharted and it was phenomenal! I was completely immersed in it the entire time, it’s so well written. It’s vivid and contains all of the feels….and I didn’t want it to end! I wanted more! So so good!

Jessica: That plane crash scene broke my heart! It was damn intense. Lol

JulieO: Just finished Uncharted and I LOVED IT. All I can say is the author had better be busy writing the sequel very soon or I will be very upset.

Ashley: Omg Uncharted is amazing!!! AMAZING! I’m 1/3 way through and I can tell it’s going to be one of my faves!!

  • The Mountain Between Us by Charles Martin <— PLANE CRASH strands two strangers in a winter wilderness!!! Maria loved it!
Maria: Loved the list about love stories after plane crashes/ boat accidents etc. but you missed… The Mountain Between Us by Charles Martin. Soooo good. ( although the movie adaptation was horrible). …A must read. …Such an amazing story. You all will love every single page and will be thinking about the ending for many moons! Highly recommend it.
Jessica: Orion by Raeah Wilding was really good! He lost both legs in the military and saves her from an avalanche but she’s really hurt and has no memory! Also, he’s a recluse that won’t leave his mountain. Really good!
  • Dane’s Storm by Mia Sheridan <— ONE I’M HIGHLY ANTICIPATING!!!! These are not strangers but ex husband and wife that go down in a plane crash and have to rely on each OTHER. OMG!!!!! MINE!!!
  • Crash by Drew Jordan <— PLANE CRASH SURVIVOR & HE TAKES HER… “...There is blood. There is pain. And there is him. These are the first things I register when I wake up, the lone survivor in an Alaskan plane crash. He carries me to safety over rough terrain and brings me to his cabin in the woods. He has no name. Or none he will tell me…” Nicole suggests this one! “Crash by Drew Jordon. 1st book in a 3 part series.”
  • Into The Storm by Melanie Moreland <— STRANDED IN A CABIN TOGETHER Jessica recommends this one too!

Jessica: Into The Storm by Melanie Moreland. She loses her memory and he has a phobia and won’t leave his house/property.


Ela: HEY JEAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! JUST PICK UP INTO THE STORM! WOO HOOOO! Yep my caps are to indicate how much I’m loving Lev….I already had tears in my eyes, laughed hard, and my tummy knotted!!!!!!!!!!! The heroine is just awesome sauce and Lev is a HAWT damaged Russian alpha male to drool for ;)

  • The Road Back to Us by K. Webster <— STUCK IN A SNOW STORM & FIGHTING TO SURVIVE… Jessica recommends this one too!

Jessica: The Road Back To Us by K Webster. A couple on the verge of divorce get stuck in a snowstorm together and have to survive!

So good.

  • Island Duet by L.B. Dunbar <— DESERTED ISLAND PSYCH-THRILLER… And another recommendation by Jessica! ;)

Jessica: Ohh! Also, Redemption Island duet. Psychological and pretty twisted but really good. Lol sorry! It’s one of my favorite themes.

Jean: Ummm Redemption Island….. just that warning makes me want to read it!

Jessica: This book was super cute and fun!

S.E. Hall: Jessica right??? His answers in speed dating I’d have picked him too

Jessica:  I died laughing from those.

Kathy P: the whole series is amazing
  • The Paper Swan by Leylah Attar <— YES!!!!! FREAKING FANTASTIC! SHE’S BEEN KIDNAPPED… and they are very much stuck together in dire situations. SO FREAKING GOOD! Talon reminded me to add this one (and I’ve reviewed and 5-star LOVED it)

Linda: For you or anyone who hasn’t read it Paper Swan was another of my reads over holiday and still have hangover!

Rebecca: The Paper Swan by Leylah Attar is brilliant on audible.

  • Stolen by Lucy Christopher <— HE KIDNAPS HER FROM AN AIRPORT & TAKES HER TO A DESERTED PROPERTY in the Outback… I LOVED THIS ONE LIKE CRAZY!!!! How could I have possibly forgotten it? Thank you Holly! P.S. Here’s my 4.5 STAR review.

Holly: there was a book I read yeeeeaaaars ago called Stolen. It was a YA book but I can’t think of the authors name without having a search through my books

Maryse: GASP!! How could I have possibly forgotten to add THAT one? One of my FOREVER favorites!!!!! LOVED THAT ONE!

Holly: Wasn’t it just so fantastic?? I think I’ll need to do another re-read soon!!

MichelleS: Beyond the Sea is like On The Island, except m/m, so if that doesn’t bother you, it’s fabulous! They get stranded on an island!… and it’s May-December, and one of them is in a boy band!!! Sounds so so cheesy – but it’s not. It was really really good. That’s my rec for you.

Fabi: 5-star shipwreck. ;)   It’s an mm gfy romance that delivers a beautiful message. I loved Beyond the Sea. I agree, very much like On the Island but with two straight guys instead. …A huge age difference, dependence on each other for survival, the falling away of society’s stigmas, a very slow, gradual and naturally developing love. THIS is a FANTASTIC book. 5 stars, hands down

  • Wrecked by Alla Kar <— Kathy found us this one!
  • Wreckage by Emily Bleeker <— Jodie found us this one! They have to lie about their ordeal!! “On the surface, she looks like a brave survivor of a plane crash. But she’s been lying to her family, her friends, and the whole world since rescue helicopters scooped her and her fellow survivor, Dave Hall, off a deserted island in the South Pacific. Missing for almost two years, the castaways are thrust into the spotlight after their rescue, becoming media darlings overnight. But they can’t tell the real story—so they lie…”
  • Stranded with a Billionaire (Billionaire Boys Club series Book 1) by Jessica Clare <— Shelly found us this one!
  • Unloved, a love story by Katy Regnery <— A RECLUSE SAVES HER AND TAKES HER BACK TO HIS CABIN... so much love for this one!! She’s overcoming an attack and finds herself in a remote area with someone that is literally living OFF the grid.
Nancy: I think this was the earliest I started crying in a book. In my humble opinion the best book the lady has ever written.

Any more recommendations or great-looking finds?


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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Dawn December 14, 2015 at 10:40 PM

Elle Casey wrote Reckless and Wrecked–both of these are very good.

Michelle F December 14, 2015 at 11:39 PM

On the Island is one of my favorites! I loved TJ and Anna and the whole evolution of their story. Did you read the follow-up novella, Uncharted? It was really good too. I always wondered about who started the frame of TJ’s shelter on the island and what ever happened to that person. Uncharted gives you the backstory and makes some great connections between the two books. Uncharted is worth the read if you liked On the Island.

Pia December 15, 2015 at 2:37 AM

Thank you Michelle F – I wasn’t aware that Tracey Garvis Graves wrote a follow up novella to On the Island – an all time favorite of mine.
I wondered that myself – about the frame – so I guess this book will be my next read :-)

Lee Allen December 15, 2015 at 5:33 AM

I remember reading one day that would fit right in to this list, I read it about 15-20 years ago and can’t remember what it was called, the h was on a plane with a rich hot guy who was pretty dismissive of her and a bit of a jerk, she was overweight and had an awful mother, when it crashed only the two of them survived….. If anyone recognises it I’d be really grateful, I would like to read it again.

MichelleS December 15, 2015 at 6:43 PM

One of my favorite “ship wrecked” books (set of two books) was by Kresley Cole. The Sutherland series. Brothers who captain ships and the girls they rescue, that kind of thing. She’s one of my favorite authors and she does not disappoint with these historicals: sexy, fun, saucy girls, alpha males, adventure and tons of love / hate. FUN FUN FUN.

Jeannie Smith December 16, 2015 at 11:19 AM

Imagine by Jill Barnett is a historical that I recently read with two very different people ending up shipwrecked with three orphaned children. I loved it! Jill Barnett’s books are always fun and heartwarming.

Tilly December 16, 2015 at 3:55 PM

LOVED Hearts in Darkness and am SOOO happy that there will be a sequel in January.

Jen December 16, 2015 at 4:08 PM

After I finished Uncharted I walked around the house for weeks singing ‘Un-break my heart, say you love me again’! Drove my husband crazy! Lol! I can not carry a tune to save my life.

Flora January 16, 2018 at 10:45 PM

Unseen Messages is my favourite of the genre.

Maryse January 17, 2018 at 12:54 PM

That one was so good, Flora!!!! I read and reviewed it too.

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