Okay, so it starts kind of like Hart to Hart.
He’s March November, a self-made millionaire and former legendary hitman, who now runs Struthio Security, a wholly legitimate business catering to high-end clients in serious trouble—think being in the cross-hairs of a Nigerian warlord.
He works with Island Chaptal, his girlfriend and partner. She used to be a computer engineer, but a lot of stuff happened, so now she’s his CTO and hacks poorly-protected devices and fiber optic cables for him, which kind of sounds like she slept her way to the top, but no, actually.
Together, Island Chaptal and Mr. November fight crime. Mostly. This time though, they’re rescuing Joy—Island’s BFF—who ended up in a Cancún jail after nearly killing her boyfriend’s side chica with a three-feet tall birthday cake. Ancient aliens somehow get involved in this mess, and also a guy name Angel Somoza, who hates sloths. There’s gunfights, frenetic capering from Cancún to Cairo, passionate sex, Roomba cats, and a lot of questionable science thrown in.
It’s the final chapter of the Spotless series, and just another Monday for March and Island.
Christine Hill on Goodreads –
Island and March Ground a Pretty Crazy Story (I Love It)
Quick Summary: Island Chaptal thought her life was settling into a kind of routine with her boyfriend, March November. Life was never gonna be mundane, not with a security company to run, but when Island’s best friend, Joy, gets thrown in jail and Joy’s ex-boyfriend is killed, Island and March’s plans are thrown out the window and they are once again crisscrossing the world to try to save innocent lives. Aliens, pyramids, and sloths are all involved to one hilarious degree or another.
This has been one of my favorite series, primarily because the brand of humor Camilla Monk has is a unique mixture of tongue-in-cheek and out-of-this-world craziness. Her books are the pinnacle of escapism and this story couldn’t have come at a better time.
The relationship between Island and March is beautifully subtle and it anchors the entire plot. No matter how strange and over-the-top the secondary storylines are, Island and March bring a sweetness to the whole book that make this a pleasure to read.
Joy and Angel are also hilarious and I would LOVE for them to have their own book. According to Twitter, Monk does not have plans for a spinoff, but if enough of us petition her, maybe there’s a chance (hint: go bother her on twitter).
Since this review has been sparse on details, other than I love the characters of this book, I will tell you that the writing is strong, dialogue flows smoothly, and the plot has enough twists that I seriously thought we were going to go off into another subgenre. Sadly, I will never be able to enjoy sloths in quite the same way as before reading this book, but it’s a small price to pay for reading a really good book.
Is it worth buying? (Kindle $3.99)
Yes, you really need to read this book. If it means buying it, buy it. If it means borrowing it, force your library to buy it. If it means stealing it… don’t steal it. Book piracy is very bad and I frown heavily on it (not kidding at all).
Something else you might enjoy:
You need to read the entire series. So, settle in for 5 books of crazy fun, with an emphasis on the crazy.
*I received a free copy of this book, for reasons that are beyond me. It did not influence my opinion and I voluntarily decided to share with you my thoughts on this book.
Celestine on Goodreads –
“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
I can now die happy, with a grin on my face. Manila Clonk, I mean Camilla Monk, gave me the ending to the story that I felt Island Chaptal and March November deserved in books 4 and 4.5, Butterfly in Amber and Apache Strike Force, respectively. Even if she never pens another story featuring my favorite moppet and her hard-bodied hitman, I will feel satisfied. All the gooey feels are exploding all over the place. There is no doubt that March learned well at the altar of the Billionaire Sheikh. I’m guessing he also picked up a few pointers from the other romantic heroes, i.e. recalcitrant dukes, alien warlords, regimented professors and MC bad boys, watching his every move from Island’s nightstand. As we learn at the beginning of every chapter in Island Chaptal and the Ancient Aliens’ Treasure, our heroine has fluid tastes in romantic sub-genres.
Monk has served us a feast of our favorite idiosyncracies from previous books in her series. Evil animals, boys with really big [incendiary] toys, over-the-top villains, exotic locales, and implausible plots all make an appearance. That trademark humor is fully intact, and I was left sputtering on more than one occasion. Dear Husband, of course, was asking, “What’s so funny?” And then I just had to explain. My goal one day is to get him, the guy who only reads the Wall Street Journal and his Facebook news feed, to pick up one of these novels. Manila Clonk, I mean Camilla Monk, has SO MUCH to teach him. Somehow she knows I have a secret fascination with a certain Australian actor who has blades for fingers and a prolific chestnut matte of his own. Dear Husband knows it, too, since a poster of said gentleman with the bouffant hair and the mammal name was tacked to the wall of my walk-in closet wall for years. Like Island, I mourned Logan’s death. Dear Husband knows I was inconsolable.
What sets Monk apart is the sheer cleverness of her storytelling. I’ve always thought comediennes are among the smartest people one will encounter. I mean, Lucille Ball was an influential goddess. Monk is definitely in that class. She keeps track of a lot of details, not only within each book, but between books as well. She manages to script a spoof that feels amazingly original, probably because it borrows from so many genres just like Island’s reading habits. She has the effrontery – and the audacity – to name the Other Woman character, who messes up Island’s friend’s Joy’s life, Cachemire. Not Cashmere. Now stop, think about it, and the repellent image Monk just drew for you. And here I am sputtering again. I also love that Monk rarely bothers to explain her jokes like I just did. She relies on the intelligence of her reader. Thank you, Manila.
Description is off the charts in this book, and another special talent of Monk’s. I literally see the fantastical settings around me. For instance, I can see that glass wall holding back the pool water shattering from bullet holes. Or the fancy car slipping around missiles that have just been spit out of the speeding SUV in front of it. Some places I even look up on Wiki, like Cave Church in Cairo. Monk never fails to stimulate my curiosity and I can honestly admit that I learn something every single time I read one of her books. She is also the queen of similes. “The moment we step out onto the airstair, a muggy ninety degrees engulfs us as if we’d just opened the door to the dishwasher.” That is a description that will hit you in the face, and yet everyone has experienced. Kind of like murderous expressions and assembling IKEA shelves.
Throughout the Spotless series, Island has changed and matured. In Book 5, she has hit her stride. Island is a full-fledged member of Struthio Security. Dare I say she might even be the brains behind the operation? March listens to her, recognizes her strengths and weaknesses, and responds appropriately. The unbalanced relationship is no more. Except when someone needs punched or knifed or a helicopter needs taken down. Then March handles it.
Island and March are partners now, and the book is sprinkled with little gems of how perfect their understanding is of each other. These moments are in glances and body language and occasionally in words. Monk takes time out for the romantic moments amid the chaos of 48 hours on three different continents. In fact, this book is, by far, the most romantic of the series. For March it wasn’t the chase, but the ever after that was important. We finally get a bona fide, super steamy scene, and it is one of the most tender moments I’ve ever read in a romance – between an assassin with OCD and the girl who gave him happiness.
Stacey is Sassy on Goodreads –
By far, one of the best series I’ve ever read…
There is absolutely no way I can do Island Chaptal and the Ancient Aliens’ Treasure, justice. So many times I’ve tried to tell people how good the Spotless series is, and so many times I get that indulgent smirk telling me they think I’m nuts.
For example, (this example is a wee bit spoilerish, please proceed with caution)
Me: Hubby, I’m reading this awesome story.
Me: It’s about this girl, and this guy is in her apartment, and unbeknownst to her, he’s there to kill her. Then, she gets sick and throws up. Instead of killing her he looks after her and cleans her apartment. Turns out he’s OCD and loves everything CLEAN. Isn’t that funny?
Hubby: I guess you had to be there…
Me: What…that’s hilarious. How can you not see how hilarious that is? Maybe, I should read it out loud to you?
Hubby: Ahhh…maybe not. I love you, but no, I don’t want you to read to me.
See, I think it’s in my execution?
Hubby is only one of the times I have tried to share but the responses seem to be really similar.
Before I started reading Island Chaptal and the Ancient Aliens’ Treasure, I thought, there is no way Camilla Monk could do it again. But, she did. This story has EVERYTHING I love in my reads. I love the very original, slightly quirky heroine, Island (yes, that’s her name) with her big brain that she’s not afraid to use. The hero, March (again, yes, that’s his name) is a cross between Mr Darcy (Colin Firth…of course), with his stoic façade, and James Bond (don’t judge but Pierce Brosnan was and will always be my favourite Bond) with his good looks and abilities. But, the pièce de résistance, March has vulnerabilities. Oh, my heart does flutter when a man shows a little weakness. The storylines are captivating, the action makes my heart beat faster, and it is EXTREMELY FUNNY!
Each instalment has been the best thing I’ve ever read. But, I admit, the earlier ones did leave me a little frustrated because low and behold…they were clean… THE HORROR!! Well, things have certainly changed in that respect. Oh, my lordy, I even had a shake and shimmy, shiver up my spine in this one. IT WAS HOT!! I loved the progression from the first instalment to the last, seeing how far Island and March have come.
I really do feel like I would be doing this story an injustice if I was to try and tell you what it’s about and why it was so awesome. Camilla Monk’s chapter intros are the funniest things I’ve ever read, and I’m going to miss getting updates on Kerry-Lee Storm, Cost of Rica #5: Blaze of the Phoenix. It might come across as a little weird if I was to tell you that… I came to really like an arms dealer, find that I’m now scared of sloths, and for about 1.5 seconds considered that aliens might actually be real. I will warn you though, that there is a lot of violence, some kidnappings, psycho baddies and a very weird man who will organise a killing one minute then share cat gifs the next.
See, it’s all weird in a hilarious, original and very entertaining way. I NEED YOU TO BELIEVE ME!! Please, someone, just give the Spotless series a go and come back and tell me I’m not insane for loving it as much as I do.
Camilla Monk or should I call you… Manila Clonk… you are an amazing author. While I don’t know what your first attempt of this story was like, this one was PERFECT! Thank you for sharing your wonderful stories with us and I can’t wait for more in the future. I will miss Island and March, but I’m kind of hoping that one day my dream will come true, and this will be made into a movie.
Seriously, my review probably hasn’t done this story justice, but if you are even a wee bit tempted…DO IT!!
Stacey is Sassy, received an advanced copy of this story. The copy provided is not the final copy and may be subject to edits and changes.
Reads-a-lot on Goodreads –
Camilla Monk has made it to my top 5 favorite authors. Everything she writes is amazeballs
Her Spotless series is now a comfort read that I go back to reread whenever I need a palate cleanser or when I need something that pops me through a reading rut.
This final *sobs* installment wraps it up sooo nicely. I love the absurd plots, the brilliant and funny characters. I love how the circumstances may be zany and off kilter but the characters are clever but often deadpan serious about the situations.
Logan btw was the reason for much chortling and snickering..“Logan likes to take his time”
I loved the peeks into the Still series and even though this is the last entry of Spotless I still hope we’ll see March and Island walking down the street or eating at a cafe with March polishing the silverware while Emma side eyes them.
Ivy D. on Goodreads –
Labeled as the final chapter, this was a delightful way to wrap up the Spotless series. It has all the trademark humor, action and sheer quirkiness that I’ve come to expect from Ms. Monk. March, the OCD hitman and Island, the romance novel loving computer engineer, have a very particular place in my heart. When this story begins, March and Island have been happily cohabitating, and are called to rescue Island’s best friend, Joy, from a Mexican jail, when their past with the Lions comes roaring back into their lives (yeah,I know, I couldn’t resist) in a way they weren’t expecting. Along the way, great action, weird alien treasure, an evil sloth, and some sweet, sweet, loving romance happens.
Yes, I said sloth. *blinks* Anyhoodle…
From beginning to end, each book has some really clever, thrilling action and a race to discover the latest and greatest evil plot, while delving further into the overarching storyline (here I’m being purposely vague to avoid major spoilers) of the mystery surrounding her parents and their complicated ties to several nefarious organizations. This story weaves into that overarching storyline in a way that’s unexpected and yet works perfectly. Special props to several poignant scenes featuring Island’s parents that made me a little misty-eyed.
But what is the major selling feature for me? You guessed it, the romance. This series spent several books teasing their love and giving me the slowest of slow burns, which hurt so good, don’t get me wrong. But what I adored about this book is how fully in love and best yet, how much trust there is between Island and March. Theirs is a true partnership that anchored all the action and gave me several wonderful affectionate moments between them that I simply adored. There is a secondary romance that I wasn’t expecting but would love to see more of -maybe a spinoff? Yes, I’m grasping because I don’t want this series to be over. But if it is, this is a great way to do it.
As a new entry in an existing series, Ms. Monk managed to create some creative illustrations to catch up new (and longtime) readers on what happened before now, so if you were to try to jump in with this book, I think the story could still work.
Long review short (go with it)….I loved spending more time in Island’s interesting brain, and seeing her HFN ending with March turn into a very satisfying HEA. I have no reservations in recommending the entire series. Yes, it’s all first person POV, and yes, it has some soft and sharp cliffhanger moments, but this ‘verse is unique and well worth the trip.
**ARC provided by author for review**
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Bookgyrl on Goodreads –
What a wonderful ride this series has been! I can’t believe it is OVER (crying). I am thankful for Camilla giving us this extra book about March & Island. My only wish is to have some scenes from March’s POV (I am not above begging…)
While working a job with March, Island is alerted to the fact her BFF Joy has flown to Mexico to confront her cheating boyfriend. It results in Joy landing in jail and to help her they ask Antonio to bail her out. Things however don’t work out like they would have wanted and soon they are all involved in a new adventure featuring a murderous sloth, the Concorde and lots of shooting and bombings. YES! I won’t divulge anymore. Just read it and LOVE.
Fortunately there is also time for a bit of romance and I also felt my heartstrings with Island’s dreams. You must read it for yourself. I can’t wait for this one to drop and have reserved my digital copy.