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.
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)
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” and Nancy says: “…story blends so well with On the Island.” and MichelleF agrees! “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 <— 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!!! “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: “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.”
- Sutherland Series by Kresley Cole <— MichelleS LOVED these! “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.“
- Wrecked Series by Elle Casey <— Dawn recommends these! “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! “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.”
Any more recommendations or great-looking finds?
➔➔➔ Looking for more of our favorite recommendations? Browse our “Ultimate Favorites Lists” here. Are you in the mood for a certain kind of story? Browse our favorite “genre/trope categories” here and our reader favorites lists too.