3.5 out of 5 stars, but I'm rounding up cause I really did enjoy this book.
I got hooked on Denise Townsend’s sexy selkies when I read Ocean’s Touch back in the spring, and I was thrilled to receive an ARC for her second release, Ocean’s Surrender.
Ocean’s Surrender is a lovely adult paranormal fairy tale, with a supernatural seal shapeshifter instead of a white knight in shining armor coming to the rescue. This is a feel-good, romantic story of how a young woman comes back to life with the help of the people around her and a little special magic from a prince of the sea.
The place is Eastport, Maine and at the center of the story is River. She’s suffering the after-effects of an abduction and harboring guilt over the manner in which she was freed from her attacker, not to mention dealing with continued aggression from her attacker’s brother. Her emotional wounds are serious and complicated by a past full of responsibility brought about by her family situation. And River isn’t the only one in pain. Her brother Jason also carries an emotional burden from the events of the previous year, too.
All of that emotional pain acts like a beacon calling to the magical selkie, Fen. He’s an empath, drawn to the troubled heroine by the intense quality of her pain. He is compelled to help her “for to do otherwise would be like leaving a wounded animal bleeding in the forest.” Here’s how Fen describes her emotional state:
“Loneliness vied with guilt, which was currently slap-fighting anger, which had sadness in a rough headlock.”
Fen knows he faces the difficult task of convincing River to trust him, as well as getting her to trust Leo, the paramedic in love with her. River has feelings for Leo too, but the scars from her trauma leave her unable to open herself to that relationship. It’s not going to be easy, but in one of the loveliest scenes in the book, Fen uses both his animal and human forms to break through River’s considerable barriers so the healing can begin. Even then, these four characters face additional challenges on the road to recovery.
No offense to the incredibly sexy selkie, Fen, but the real star for me in this book was Jason. His interactions with Fen, River and Leo are so touching and heartwarming. In many respects, he is responsible for River’s healing just as much as Fen.
I loved the characters in this story and my only comment is that the majority of the book is so emotionally charged, the erotic scenes in this book seem mechanical rather than sensually romantic in contrast. I think I would have liked this book just as much without them, although I do love that sex was part of the healing process for River.
Ocean’s Surrender pulled me in during the first chapter, held my interest throughout, and left me with a smile on my face. It’s a perfect summer read, whether you are at the beach or only get to experience the sand and surf vicariously through the pages of this book. Ocean’s Surrender will take you there, and if you are like me, you’ll be wishing for your own sexy selkie.
This review also appeared on http://theunreadreader.com/2012/08/gu...