Sea Witch (Berkley Sensation) Mass Market Paperback – 1 Jul 2008
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"[Her] books are on my keeper shelf." -- Suzanne Brockmann
"Kantra's stories...can make a believer out of the most hardened soul." -- Patricia Rice
"Kantra writes romantic suspense with a dash of humor, a dollop of intrigue, and a heavy dose of adventure." -- Lisa Gardner
About the Author
Bestselling author Virginia Kantra credits her love for strong heroes and courageous heroines to a childhood spent devouring fairy tales, her fondness for kickass women to her daughter, and her knowledge of guys to her husband and teenage sons.
Virginia is the author of over a dozen books for Silhouette Intimate Moments, including her popular "Trouble in Eden" series. Her first single title romantic suspense, Close-Up, will be released by Berkley in July 2005.
A five-time Romance Writers of America RITA Award finalist, Virginia is the winner of numerous writing awards, including the Golden Heart, Holt Medallion, Maggie Award of Excellence and two National Readers' Choice Awards
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
But Sea Witch (Children of the Sea, Book 1) gives the subgenre a nice boost in the right direction.
Caleb Hunter is a former soldier and big city policeman. Understandably, he has returned home to an island off the coast of Maine called World's End. He's come back because he wants a simpler life.
Margred is a child of the sea. Literally. She's a selkie who is 700 years old and she comes to shore in search of sex and she chooses Caleb as her target.
The story opens as simple as that. She wants him, she lets him know, he backs off but can't quite forget her. He searches her out again and they have their tryst. After that, it is she who can't quite forget him.
And that's where the main narrative begins and Ms Kantra does a wonderful job of keeping the balance between explaining the mythical (and making it seem plausible), a believable romance, and a small town murder mystery with distinctive characters.
The story is well paced and never overdone. Events that unfold are described in such a fashion that it never feels rushed or convoluted. Secondary characters are given enough distinction that they don't feel like props to the main characters.
And the main characters are likable without being too perfect. Caleb is no rich man. He lives in a one bedroom apartment. He has issues with his father. He has a limp he acquired from his stint in the Iraq war. He has a few nightmares too. Margred is a selkie who is forced to be a human for an indeterminate amount of time. She's fairly sure she doesn't want to stay that way. She has moments of cowardice and indecision.
But these quirks of theirs never overpower or overtake Caleb and Margred's innate goodness. The quirks just make them accessible and relatable and easy to spend time with.
So easy that I read this novel in one evening. The story flow was simply that smooth and enjoyable.
And already I'm looking forward to more from Ms Kantra and the good news for me is that her next Children of the Sea novel, Sea Fever (Children of the Sea, Book 2), is coming out in August 2008. Based on the quality of Sea Witch (Children of the Sea, Book 1), I can't wait!
Atmosphere is key to the success of SEA WITCH. Virginia Kantra creates a very haunting, almost mystical mood that makes the selkie legends seem alive. One can easily envision both the island of World's End as well as the selkies' island Sanctuary through Ms. Kantra's vivid descriptions.
Virginia Kantra does a great job with character development. Margred is a bit distant initially, as befitting a selkie. The changes that occur in her help propel the story, as she is woman unused to caring for anyone but herself. Caleb challenges all that she knows and believes about herself and her race. Caleb is a great contrast to Margred, a man with deep emotional scars after a life of sacrifice. Whether fighting for his country or looking after his family, Caleb has willingly put aside his own needs. And yet despite their differences, Caleb and Margred share one thing in common... both are lonely and see potential happiness in the other.
SEA WITCH is an unusual story, one that draws the reader into the dark but oh so captivating world of the selkies. I've read other paranormal short stories by Virginia Kantra and am glad to see her style translates well into a full length paranormal tale. Easily recommended!
COURTESY OF CK2S KWIPS AND KRITIQUES
Caleb Hunter is a one-man force. As far as law enforcement goes, he is it. Fielding yet another call from an irate islander complaining of a bonfire on the beach, Caleb is astonished to see the beautiful dark eyed woman staring at him across the flames. Attraction flares in her eyes and Caleb finds himself instantly lured to her side where sparks fly.
Margred and Caleb spend hours satisfying each other but as soon as Caleb's guard is down, Margred disappears, taking Caleb's heart with her. Unable to forget her, Caleb spends the next few days searching the beach looking for the sensuous siren that fills his thoughts and haunts his dreams. The lovers are reunited once again when Caleb rescues her after an assault. Margred states she can't remember her attacker and Caleb knows she is withholding information. He has to earn her trust - he yearns for it. But, he is ill prepared for her story.
I read Virginia Kantra's novella, `Sea Crossing' in the Shifter anthology a few short weeks ago and since that time, I have been dying for the release of Sea Witch. Sea Witch has combined paranormal elements with legend and lore to equal a sensuous, sultry, and suspenseful tale. The epitome of an avenging hero, Caleb's desire to protect Margred was noteworthy and I loved watching them fall in love with each other.
Sea Witch is exactly what I wanted it to be and I have no choice but to Joyfully Recommend this endearing and provocative novel.
reviewed for Joyfully Reviewed
I found this book pretty frustrating. The world idea was interesting, and I wanted to like it just for that--I mean, come on, selkies!--but I found the world building thin and the romance even thinner.
One of my largest problems with this book was the hero, Caleb. He played the role usually reserved for super irritating females that are sweeter than pie and perfect. He was the quintessential martyr throughout the book. He never got truly angry with the heroine (and she did some pretty lame things) and when he did get a little irritated, he would be over it before you could blink. I don't appreciate that character type any more in a man than I do in a woman.
I have future images of him scrambling to pick up the pieces behind her while she plays the lovable "free spirit" and wanders away without telling anyone her whereabouts after she gets tired of waiting for a ride, or something equally irritating that Caleb will just excuse as part of her charm.
I had a really hard time warming up to Margred after the events in the beginning. I don't have a problem with her pragmatic attitude toward sex, but I do have a problem with the shady way she treats her chosen partner. You may not want strings, but that doesn't give you the right to hop off his lap and leave without saying goodbye after round two while he thinks you'll be right back. (FYI: Not a spoiler - it happens in by page 33) That just makes you skeezy, and it infuriates me that the hero didn't have a problem hooking back up with her when she came back.
The relationship felt pretty nonexistent to me. They fell in love, but I can't remember seeing it happen. They weren't ever shown to be having a personal conversation. How could they really? Margred lied about herself, and it's not like she could give him in depth details about her life and personality without admitting all. So, what exactly did he love? The sex? Because that seems to have been all that was really developed.
Margred seemed to go from a stoic, emotionally self contained selkie, to a sobbing quivering mess in no time flat. It happened so fast that I felt I got whiplash from the change.
After I gave up on the romance I stuck it out because I wanted more info on the world. I wish there was more detail about her people running through these pages. I didn't want an info dump, but I was expecting something a little more comprehensive. Hopefully we get more detail in the second book.