BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Review & Excerpt of Seal the Deal by JoAnne Kenrick

Publisher: Decadent Publishing
Format Read: Kindle
Source: the author in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: October 25, 2013
Buying Links: Amazon* | ARe* | Barnes & Noble | Decadent
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission for purchases made through these links.

Blurb from the author:

After being ditched at the altar, Finn Kneale isolates himself at Port St. Mary’s magnificent lighthouse. A violent storm ravishes the coastline, pitching the maritime tower into the Irish sea and transforming Finn into a seal. Carefree at first, he soon longs to walk as a man again. When leap year arrives, bathing land and sea in magic, Finn temporarily regains his human form. If he can’t find his soul mate in twenty-four hours, he’ll be back to cavorting among the waves.

Anne Ward—resident midwife and newcomer to Port St. Mary, Isle of Man—guards some wild secrets of her own while avoiding entanglements with married doctors. A believer in fate, she seeks out Madame Eve’s exclusive agency to help find her destined mate. 1Night Stand matches these two lonely souls. But will their extraordinary date allow Finn and Anne to open their hearts to magical possibilities and Seal the Deal?

Bea's Thoughts:

I snarked all over this book while I was reading it. Finn is impatient, overbearing and occasionally obnoxious. He's on a deadline to find a mate and that makes him obnoxious at times:

The temptress had said slow down but her almond-shaped eyes and her pout begged him to keep trying. No retreat, this is it. Giving up is not an option...."Moving too fast," she gasped. 
Rejection? Again?...It was always the shy ones, the women who played hard to get, who were the most surprising.

Seriously dude? A woman responds to your flirting and that makes her a temptress? She says slows down and you're thinking you'll keep going anyway cuz you think her words are less important than her body language? Since when is a request to go slow a rejection? And a big pet peeve of mine - the presumption that shyness = hard to get. As a shy person myself, I get irritated when people mistake my shyness for being difficult or "playing hard to get". Yeah, his behavior raised some red flags for me. Happily, he puts the brakes on and listens to Anne before I needed to call the cops on him. I was sharing the snark on facebook and a friend commented that "the author knows how to be manly obnoxious" and "she does good on the narrow minded a***ole character then". She has a point; Kenrick really did a good job on the one hand making him obnoxious and yet on the other hand showing Finn as sweet and thoughtful. Anne describes him as "crass, Peter-Pan- like, and way too evasive. But also gorgeous, considerate, and a fellow believer in fate. Not to mention his sexual magnetism."

Still, I preferred Anne. She was more relatable and not at all obnoxious; she's compassionate, funny, smart, and when she's comfortable, a flirt. She has a secret which I didn't get completely right but I wasn't far off. Anne has been burned romantically and now is cautious; Finn has also been burned though he puts it more colorfully:

Anne: "Let's just say there's a reason why I'd like tae take us slow." Finn: "I've been deep fried, twice fried, and totally burned," he offered, hoping to get her to open up. 

 I loved the mythological parts of the story and look forward to learning more as the series progresses. There's a twist at the end that completely surprised me and promises interesting developments. I hope we learn more about Finn's curse and exactly how and why it came about. I also loved the Scottish setting and that Kenrick didn't, as far as I can see, water it down for her American audience. "Seal the Deal" was emotional, sexy, and a good read for a chilly winter's night. 



PG/13 excerpt from Chapter One.

Finn Kneale slid from his watch-point rock a few miles out from the little tourist trap where he had lived for most of his life. Under the miraculous February 29th lunar eclipse, he delved into the depths of the Irish Sea. The orb hanging over the ocean like a dimmed lantern held his last chance to undo the spell shrouding him in misery. Water lapped, and he twisted, clapping flippers over the sea foam. Waves crashed over his mottled gray-and-black seal self. Excitement rushed through him and exited in a loud, brassy roar. Then he unleashed another and another, each increasing in volume for the benefit of his aquatic friends. The barked announcement told the world Finn hoped to meet his mate tonight.

He floated in the shallows, waiting, watching as the old, white lighthouse fluctuated in and out of existence. The sliver of moonlight cast a silvery glow over the once-in-ruins building sitting proud again, high on the cliff’s edge. Its beacon shone bright, yet the gray sky pitched gloom below. He had all of twenty-four hours to seal the deal—as long as the lighthouse stood—then the energy balance would return to normal along the rocky shores of the Isle of Man, the historical maritime building vanishing once again. At least, that was the story his father had relayed every morning for the last four years.

Shimmying his slippery body across the pebbled beach of Port St. Mary, he took cover between tall, bulky rocks for the transformation. Safely hidden, he squeezed his eyelids closed and tried to envision his human self. Too much time had passed; he wasn’t sure his memory was close to the mark.

Think, Finn, think. Soft cotton towels against his whiskers, the warm touch of the sun on his shoulders as he worked the farm, tasty homemade soup tangy on his tongue. Soft flesh of a woman beneath him. Oh, to be admired for his manliness rather than his cutesy seal features and bubble-blowing talents. Fragmented recollections of the little things were all that had survived years of watching the shoreline.

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  1. Well it sounds pretty good! I hadn't seen this one yet but you've got me curious. The heroine sounds like my kinda lady :)

  2. I really like the sound of this one, Anne sounds like a great character :)
    -Kimberly @ Turning the Pages


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