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Found at sea

Book Review: Found at Sea, by Jaclyn Osborn

I picked up a copy of Jaclyn Osborn‘s Found at Sea (Tales of Fate #1) as a freebie on Amazon.

They call me the demon of the sea. A pirate captain so cruel that not even death will claim me. They aren’t wrong.

Any humanity I once had is gone. I’m cursed. A curse that will someday consume me, unless I find the key to breaking it. Just when I’m beginning to lose hope, I meet an auburn-haired beauty in a tavern who captivates me like no other, and my cold heart starts to beat again.

He’s innocent. Pure. And I’m so very wicked. But I still crave him.

I crave adventure. Listening to sailors weave tales of their exploits makes me long to see the world as they have. But my life is ordinary. Then, pirates enter the tavern one night and press-gang me to join the crew.

I’m both afraid and excited by what awaits me aboard the legendary pirate ship. Captain Kellan Flynn is dangerous. However, he awakens a desire I’ve never felt before. The cold, hard stare he gives others softens when he looks at me.

If he’s as horrible as they say, why do I feel so drawn to him?

*Found at Sea is a fantasy romance featuring a grumpy pirate, sexy times in the captain’s cabin, and swashbuckling adventure. HEA guaranteed.*

my review

I quite enjoyed this. It wasn’t flawless. The writing gets a little jinky at times (the descriptors in the sex scenes seemed to especially make me cringe), it’s super sappy, and the plot is really predictable. Plus, there’s the disconnect between the DREADED PIRATE and the fact that the character is actually really sweet. I realize that his growth from a bad man to a good man is one of the primary plots of the book, but he kind of feels like he starts as a good man. So, I never really believed him as this blood-thirsty, horrible, feared pirate.

Having said all that, I just enjoyed reading the story. I liked the characters. I liked the platonic friendships and that there were straight, bi, and gay characters. I’m curious enough to see what happens to Alek to seek out the next book. And doesn’t that really say more than anything else? I’m ready for more.

lava red feather blue title

Book Review: Lava Red Feather Blue, by Molly Ringle

I didn’t think I’d squeeze one more book into 2020. But I did…just barely. In fact, I’m cheating a little. I read ~75% of this in 2020 and the last ~25% (roughly 2 hours worth) past the midnight deadline. (I’m sure it was still 2020 somewhere though, right?)

lava red feather blueI received a copy of Lava Red Feather Blue, by Molly Ringle, through Netgalley. I’ve actually held on to it a surprisingly long time, waiting to review it a little closer to the 2021 publication date. It felt like a good book to end the year on.

lava red feather blue logo

Awakening the handsome prince is supposed to end the fairy tale, not begin it. But the Highvalley witches have rarely done things the way they’re supposed to. On the north Pacific island of Eidolonia, hidden from the world by enchantments, Prince Larkin has lain in a magical sleep since 1799 as one side of a truce between humans and fae. That is, until Merrick Highvalley, a modern-day witch, discovers an old box of magic charms and cryptic notes hidden inside a garden statue.

Experimenting with the charms, Merrick finds himself inside the bower where Larkin lies, and accidentally awakens him. Worse still, releasing Larkin from the spell also releases Ula Kana, a faery bent on eradicating humans from the island. With the truce collapsing and hostilities escalating throughout the country, Merrick and Larkin form an unlikely alliance and become even unlikelier heroes as they flee into the perilous fae realm on a quest to stop Ula Kana and restore harmony to their island.

lavea red feather blueReview:
On the whole, I enjoyed this. I thought it was a sweet story with several important themes and moral quandaries to consider. I very much liked both Larkin and Merrick (as well as Merrick’s family). There was admirable representation and little angst about any of it, letting human/fae relations stand allegorically in place of some important human/human biases. It worked and was a pleasure to read.

I did think the whole thing too long and the Hero’s Quest plotting a little too apparent. There is a certain plodding, first we do this, then we do this next thing, and then we do the next thing, each progressively harder; the villain only showing up at the beginning or end of each stage, such that they never felt truly threatening, etc.

I did read a per-publication ARC, which means the book hadn’t had it’s final edit. So, I can’t speak to editing. All in all, however, I’d be more than happy read more of Ringle’s writing.