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Somber Island

3.32  ·  Rating details ·  231 ratings  ·  47 reviews
Phoebe MacIntire, who is a servant to her father and sisters in her own house in Scotland in 1855, is an ordinary girl, with no big dreams for the future. She's perfectly happy in her humble life, with her cot in the basement and her little garden in the backyard. But when her father up and sends her to Newfoundland to be the lifelong servant to Lord Jacobs, she finds her ...more
Paperback, 200 pages
Published December 17th 2010 by Troll Publishing (first published May 29th 2010)
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Average rating 3.32  · 
Rating details
 ·  231 ratings  ·  47 reviews

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Dec 13, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010, ebook-own
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 03, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It appears to me that authors are rushing their work these days. By rushing they leave us with sub standard material that is inconsistent and sloppy. I don't want to be served a hot dog when I asked for steak! What I like about this particular book were the original story line and the gothic era it was set in. That's where my likes begin and end. What I didn't like is a much longer list. First, the main character, Phoebe is Scottish but I never once saw that she spoke like she was. In, fact the ...more
I was overjoyed when the author tagged me as a beta reader for her new book as I had previously read the blurb and watched the moving and haunting trailer.

Phoebe is the youngest daughter of a miserly, mean and selfish curmudgeon. He bitterly blames her for his financial woes. His wife had died giving birth to Phoebe, then, when she was but six years old, Phoebe became gravely ill with polio. Eventually, she recovered from the malady but was left with a twisted leg and severe limp. Her father ha
Sarah Elizabeth
Feb 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2012
Phoebe is the youngest of 3 sisters, and certainly not her fathers favourite following the death of her mother in childbirth. Following Polio as a child she walks with a limp, and because of this, and because he thinks she is plain, her father hides her away in the basement and works her as a slave.

One day her father comes to the basement and informs Phoebe that he has arranged for her to go and work for a gentleman in the Newfoundland (the year is 1850 and Phoebe lives in Scotland). She will re
Jul 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The moment I saw the cover for Somber Island, I knew I had to read it. I fell in love with the cover. The way Phoebe's red hair contrasted with the blue/dark grey background was almost magical. After reading the synopsis, and learning that the book is about a girl with a disability, and vampires, I knew it was the book for me. I loved it. Days after reading it, I still couldn't get the way it ended, or the characters, out of my head.

The thing that really made the book a great read for me was Pho
Michelle Gilmore
Based on the synopsis, I thought Somber Island had the makings of a great historical/ paranormal romance/ Cinderella-ish, gothic tale, but it just fell short for me. I think that if it were longer, the story could've been better developed, and the events flushed out. Things were happening too quickly, without any follow up to some major events that had taken place. Perhaps a prologue giving a back story on the hero, the villain etc, could've added to the mystery; and a little more background on ...more
Emily Lund
Mar 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Firstly I won this novel free from Goodreads First Reads and I am so thankful for such a great book, Thank you, T. Lynne Tolles I really loved the book marks as well as the book!! The art work is amazing on this novel and story was nagging me to continue reading. I sat there 5 in morning reading and looking at the clock saying to myself I know I should go to sleep but it's getting so good!! I was a little disappointed the story was not longer but I enjoyed Phoebe becoming herself, she was no lon ...more
Jacquie Talento
Apr 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This story is a nice hint with the works of Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast kind of feel. Ms. Tolles is a master when it comes to her writing and I am one of her major fans with her works.
Phoebe has been sent away to work as a housemaid for Nathaniel. Her father feels she will never marry since in his own eyes she’s damaged goods. But Phoebe finally fits in and starts to have feelings for her master even though she has awful dreams that should steer her away from the home she now lives in.
Jan 23, 2012 rated it did not like it
Horribly written, no real plot or twists. The "horror" parts were not scary at all. It seems like the author took parts of other books, slapped them together in a rush & called it a book. Would not recommend this book & won't be reading any of this author's other books.
May 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Great book, I read in 2 days the book flowed beautifully. Loved the setting, time frame, and social background. GREAT GREAT read.
James Garman
Feb 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is the story of Phoebe, the third and considered the least desirable, financial beneficial of a middling widower who sees his daughters as a way to guarantee his financial wellbeing in his old age.

Phoebe serves the rest of the family as a sort of slave, doing their dirty work, until she is shipped off to a small island many miles away. She has been "hired" as a servant in a big old and run down mansion in a very deserted area of Newfoundland.

She is hardly there any time at all before she s
Oct 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
First, I wanna thank Lynn for sending me a copy of this book in exchange of a review. Thank you so much!!
I have to recognize that the cover made me wanna read this book.It’s simply gorgeous and I loved it from the very first moment when I laid my eyes on it. When Lynn told be that she’ll send me a copy, I was utterly happy!
I read this book very quickly. I mean, I usually read a paperback in one week. But I read “Somber Island” in just one day and I loved it! It’s easy to read and the story hooks
Apr 30, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: own, arc, signed
When I first heard of Somber Island, I immediately thought, "OMG! It sounds like Jane Eyre!" and when I started reading it, I kinda saw I was right. Mrs. Tolles told me that the language was modern, and not the "language" that was spoken during that time period. But aside that, there are quite a bit of similarities in terms of plot. Pheobe is hired by Lord Jacobs, as Jane is hired by Mr. Rochester and they BOTH fall in love with them. Both Lord Jacobs and Mr. Rochester have a secret. There are m ...more
Jan 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Phoebe was a pain in the ass for her father and for her sisters. I felt sorry for her because everybody thought she was a monster just because she was sick when she was younger and she had a limp. One day, her father decided to send her in Newfoundland, to work as a servant for Nathaniel Jacobs. Phoebe was really scared, but she didn't know that her father's decision was the best for her future.

Nathaniel Jacobs was a strange man. He had a sunlight affliction (I mean, that’s what he told Phoebe)
Karen  (EarthAngel2911)
Actual Rating: 2.5 Stars

I thought the description of this book sounded interesting (I enjoy a good paranormal story), so I was happy to receive a complimentary copy to review.

Phoebe MacIntire, plain-looking and crippled by polio as a child, is at the mercy of her father who treats her as a Cinderella. He decides to ship her off to a foreign land to be in the service of Lord Jacobs since there's no chance that she'll ever be able to marry well enough to let him retire in comfort. When she gets t
Mar 13, 2011 rated it did not like it
This was a story of a poor girl, with a father and sisters who didn't like her and whom treated her as a slave. Her father basically sells her as a servant to a man he's never met or seen, and off she goes from her little room in her father's basement to a tiny haunted island to work for a man that she's never even seen before.

I admit that I primarily wanted to read this because the cover is beautiful! Its haunting, and it draws you in. With that being said, I think that's where things also sta
Christy (TheReaderBee)
I won a copy of Somber Island from a First Reads giveaway on A big thanks to T. Lynne Tolles for sharing your book with me.
Phoebe MacIntire was young and sickly. She had polio when she was a child, which caused her to have a limp. Her father, knowing that he will never be able to marry her off the way she is, sends her away to be a servant to a man named Lord Jacobs. After a very difficult journey by boat over the Atlantic Ocean, she arrives at her new home and finds it completely
For a historical tale, this story was a modern fairy-tale retelling. The heroine was Scottish, and she's sent off to the "Beast's" home in Newfoundland. There's no accented speech, no jingo, and modern language usage, which I found pleasant.

Phoebe, our heroine, cries a lot, which is a peeve of mine. If she's ever described, I missed it. Her home life is horrible, but that's about the extent of what we're told of it before she's off to be a servant on the ghost-ridden eponymous Somber Island.

Mar 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
First of all, I love this cover! It’s beautiful, spooky, and quite fitting of the book!

Now on to the review…

I was a little unsure at the beginning; Somber Island begins by giving a small amount of background about Phoebe and then jumps right into the story. I felt as though I wanted to know more about Phoebe before she was sent away. But after reading more, the beginning did not bother me as much because you learn more about Phoebe and watch her develop as the story continues.

Although the book
Apr 27, 2012 rated it it was ok
What starts off as a heart wrenching tale of a girl sent off into virtual slavery by her unloving and miserly father sadly takes a turn somewhere into the predictable realm of been there done that. I had such hope to love this despite Phoebe does not speak in a Scottish dialect, nor do the characters speak with a 19th century vernacular, as the premise was wonderful. The execution, however, left me wanting. I was surprised once the entire time I was reading, and even that surprise left me wonder ...more
Jan 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I got this book as a kindle freebie a while ago and I'm glad I did cause it was a sweet paranormal story with a happy ending that brought tears to my eyes.
A lot of other reviewers seem to mind that the charachters don't speak the language of the 1800's, I didn't mind really. If I want to read something in old english I'll read some classic literature.
I like the writing style of the author, it was fluent and easy to read.
That made Somber Island a more than enjoyable story, although maybe a tad to
Jan 17, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: vampires
I must say that the cover art is gorgeous; kudos to the artist... it's what drew me to read the book description and the description is what drew me to purchase the book.

But, like many of the other negative reviews, I did find misspellings and sentence structure that could have been rewritten. That only means that this writer should get a better editor. The writing is rather flat and one dimensional but I could see glimmers of a great imagination in the storyline. Unfortunately, this book appear
Jan 17, 2013 rated it liked it
1 star for the writing and 2 additional stars for the story.

Story is different than most (view spoiler) stories.
I especially liked that the heroine is (view spoiler), that´s not something you find in today´s books, definitely not in young adult ones. I didn´t actually have a feeling I´m reading about teenage girl at all. Phoebe is quite strong.
And I liked that males are those in a need of saving,
Leilani S
Apr 08, 2011 rated it liked it
It seems that this is one of those books that people hate or love. I think this will be one of the few reviews that are stuck in the middle. I give this book a 3.7 rating. I got the book in one of the giveaways and was really excited to read it. I found the whole story just "ok." I liked the story and I found it entertaining, but for some reason I found it to be lacking. Lacking in what, I'm not too sure. It wasn't absolutely terrible, but I didn't love it. I would probably read it again if I go ...more
The cover is beautiful, but sadly I cannot rate the novel solely on that alone. The story was somewhat interesting, I was just hoping for something a bit more detailed and beautiful like the cover. Sadly, the writing was a bit too simple for my taste, although there was a few things I did like. I loved the characters of Samuel and Johnathon. I liked the romance between Nate and Phoebe. Of course I hadnt realized this was a vamp book, if I had I probably wouldn't have read it now, seeing as I am ...more
Apr 07, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: first-reads
I think this book was ruined for me by a confusion I had about the main character's age. In the beginning, I had the impression that she was young, perhaps 13 or 14. As the book progressed, it became clear that this was no child. It was a quick read, but at times it felt like the characters were lagging behind. I thought to myself several times, "How can he/she not know this by now?" I think the author is a talented writer, but it read like this book was originally 500 pages shrunken down to les ...more
Jan 20, 2012 rated it liked it
Reading along I thought of this story to remind me of another -Beauty and the Beast (I believe another reader mentioned the relation as well). It was an easy read. I felt that this story wasn't given the time and energy it diserved and seemed to be either written in a rush or chopped short, there wasn't the details a great story needs. I would think this is a debut author...but it's not.
I liked the story but wished the author hadn't held back on the characters and interesting detail
Feb 07, 2012 rated it liked it
I enjoyed the story and the characters. It was a quick and easy read that held my interest. However, it wasn't edited very well (grammatical errors, wrong word usage, etc.), and had a lot of unnecessarily repeated exposition. Take out all the redundancy and you would have had a novella, which would have probably been a little better. I also didn't appreciate the way the author glossed over an incident that is incredibly serious and traumatic in real life, and deserves to be treated as such if yo ...more
Feb 22, 2012 rated it liked it
I got this book as a free download from Amazon. I wasn't quite sure about it at first and decided to take a chance. in the end, I was surprised. I enjoyed it but I thought that it was a little bit rushed. I didn't really enjoy the lack of interaction between Nathaniel and Phoebe. It seemed like they first met, and then they had maybe 2-3 conversations and then BAM! you were at the peak of the story and then BAM...You're at the end. It was a good read. I believe that it needed a little bit more i ...more
Cheryl M-M
Sep 21, 2012 rated it liked it
Having read TL Tolles Blood series Bloodstone Heart (Blood Series)I was expecting a little more from this book. It was missing the witty dialogue and the multitude of quirky characters that Tolles likes to create. This was very dry and drawn out in comparison.Which is a shame, because the idea was a good one, done before, however that doesn't mean it can't be done again. For me it missed the mark and lacked the spontaneous oomph and the sense of adventure her books usually contain. I received a ...more
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 23, 2015 05:46PM  

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T. Lynne Tolles can be found most days, juggling one of two cat muses and a laptop, tripping over a Newfoundland puppy and washing a never-ending pile of laundry. When life doesn’t get in the way, she writes sweet paranormal romances for new adults.
Her passion for witches, ghosts, and vampires together with a light-hearted wit are reflected in her loveable characters and the adventures of mystery

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