Nom de Plume Rating: ★★★★★
Reading Time: 5 minutes
*FTC Disclaimer: I received a copy of Under the Legend from Carolina Carter in exchange for an honest review. I have in no way been influenced by the author and/or publisher's generosity. You can't fake these stars, baby!
Pilot and investigative reporter Nola Mitchell is on the assignment of a lifetime when she stumbles into a story more sensational than anything she’s ever covered.
Forced to crash-land on an uncharted island in the South Pacific, she discovers a hidden paradise, a last resort for those wealthy enough to leave the world behind—forever.
Actors and aristocrats, politicians and musicians… All supposedly dead, all very much alive, and all under the protection of an elite security force that will do anything to protect their shared secret.
But Nola can’t let her mother live with the heartbreak of her imagined death, and she searches for an escape through unlikely allies as desperate as she is.
When she starts falling for the man who must kill her if she tries to leave, she’s faced with an impossible decision: turn her back on true love, or face a menacing director hell-bent on exterminating her.
First Line: "Nola noticed a bird hanging in the air above the uneven runway. Its ragged red wings were dark fingers against the sea-green sky... She shut the images from her mind of what might happen if one of the props sucked in a bird that size..."
Fly me to this deserted island and give me some of dat sweet LOVIN'!
Say it with me: Cabe.
Aye aye soldier! This Major can imprison me, lock me up, and feed me fruit from a rusty iron bowl as long as he'll give me that wickedly handsome smile. Shackle me!
Under the Legend is riveting. I was taken on a journey through limbo, straddling life and death; evaluating what is really important to me. This book. THIS BOOK! Caroline Carter is not holding back in this romantic thriller.
We are first introduced to pilot and reporter Nola Mitchell. She is about to embark on a journey similar to Amelia Earhart's famous attempt at circumnavigating the globe (where she went missing).
Ok... I know we're only on the first page, but let's pause and take a moment to address how stunning author Caroline Carter is right now.
Being a backcountry pilot, I'm pretty picky when it comes to aviation in novels. Here?... yaaaaOK I was blown away! Aviation emanates from this book in the purest form: What it feels like when all the instruments in the cockpit die, how a plane buffers right before it stalls, the use of checklists for pre-flight, the fact that in an emergency a pilot always (and I mean ALWAYS) sets the plane for best glide speed. Carolina Carter, you are ingenius. ALL of this was perfectly encapsulated.
Fiction? 🙄 Be prepared to have your gut wrenched in the most realistic depiction of an emergency landing ever.
Did I get sidetracked?... Oh yes... Nola. Nola decides to embark on this worldly journey alone. She's supposed to have a partner in this, but the douche lord is too busy complaining about how he'd rather cover the illness of some Prince than follow an amateur pilot.
Who you callin' amateur, saan?
The truth is: Nola Mitchell became semi-famous by backstabbing someone. Yes, she wrote an article on a Doctor - well, HER version of the article - which resulted in everyone's loss and her gain. Selfish, eh? No wonder why people are bitter towards her. Girl can't seem to keep her mouth shut even if the truth hurts others.
But Karma is a mean grumpy bi-atch going through menopause. Nola lands crashes her plane on what seems to be a deserted island somewhere in the Pacific. With her eyes still open, she feels lifeless. She's obviously dead. Or hallucinating... This place is certainly inhabited.
What was this place? From the men in black BDUs, she might have thought it was a military installation.
Nola has died and lost her mind in a hell!
Nola (of course) is not dead, but everyone sure does want to kill her! She's disturbing the peace in this calm place flying in like some bandit from the future.
I'm not about to start providing refuge for whoever happens to land on my island... I say we give her some time to become less of a novelty. We can be rid of her through an accident later.
Looks like our girl isn't off to a good start, here.
Entering: Major McCabe (i.e. Say it with me: Cabe)... Our dreamy, saucy, devil of a man.
Cabe is a soldier, and in charge of the military on this island that's suspended in time. Nola is given two options: to die, or live on the island peacefully (only to die in a few days). Lucky her. Cabe is the one who has been instructed to dispose of Nola... no matter what. Unfortunately, this barbarian of a man is very good at following orders.
Is that all this man can say?? Ehh... Ok maybe don't serve me up a dish of that in prison. Get. Me. OUTA. Here!
How is Nola supposed to get off this godforsaken island? Perhaps the boats that come and go at random times? That's a good idea, but who would know the time these boats arrive?... Oh... thats right, Cabe knows. The same man who wants to kill her. So how does a woman cajole information from a man?
Seduce him, of course!
And here is where our story begins.
What is Cabe going to do when he finds out Nola is using him (just like the women from his past)? WhooEEE and it's inevitable that Cabe finds out her plan. When Nola escapes - if she doesn't get killed first - is she going to expose all these people and their secrets just like she did with her Doctor friend? Our Nola is a good backstabber, remember. Intentional or not, in her heart she's still a reporter.
Is Cabe going to choose to help Nola even though he's adamant about ending her life?
Friends. Stop the torture! Can't these two just fall in love and live happily on this paradise? No.
Carolina Carter is going to send your stalling heart into a spin. Under the Legend is captivating, invigorating, and will absolutely Bunsen burn your heart. We have two people from two very different backgrounds. As we all know, fate works in miraculous ways, but Cabe's military mind will always do what he's told. Nothing is going to save Nola from this island except Karma's change of heart (and some help from the unexpected).
Manipulation, forgiveness, and a romance unlike any other. Carolina Carter presents us with an unparalleled story of a young woman's drive to survive.
Survive. *snort* God forbid Nola get close to Cabe, because this man is absolutely going to be her undoing.
Too hot for you?
Yes, SIR 😏