This review is in conjunction with a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Carly will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.
When the mysterious Joe Smith approaches him with an incredible job offer, Brody thinks it’s too good to be true. His life-saving need and his desire to be near the ocean while earning a living are rolled into one perfect job.
Rayna Lopez lives a quiet life as she tries to climb her way up the CIA ladder, always in fear the government will learn of her family lineage. When her father asks for help getting her famous and belligerent half-sister out of trouble, Rayna reluctantly agrees to travel with her and they board a yacht where they will be protected.
Brody and Rayna realizes they’ve met before, and despite a significant lack of trust between them, they face an attraction neither can deny. As they fight to keep Rayna’s sister alive, lies are revealed and secrets are told. They must both learn to trust each other, and—if they live through their voyage—figure out what to do about their whirlwind romance.
Read my review:
An intriguing concept brought nicely to life. The author is a skilled wordsmith and her descriptions, characterizations and writing are nearly flawless. It was this ability that kept me reading when a few things really stretched my ability to believe.
Brody acquired supernatural powers in a government experiment, along with other members of his platoon. I like that his powers are outside the norm, something I really haven't seen before (outside of Greek mythology). I was intrigued, too, that he has to stay near the ocean or he becomes ill... a cool twist. However, I couldn't understand why the government would imbue him with these powers and then just kick him to the curb. Why didn't they keep him in the service, train him, use these powers they've given him? It just doesn't make sense, and it's something I hope the author explains down the road in the series.
Rayna is a tough-as-nails yet still feminine CIA agent with a soft spot for her family, especially her father who just so happens to be a drug lord in South America. I struggled to reconcile her need to be an instrument of justice as an agent, and her ability to know that her father regularly used his position to order the executions of others, never mind distributing drugs all over the world. Additionally, she's worried the CIA will find out--and I really had a hard time believing they wouldn't already know.
Also, it was a bit frustrating that, aside from an incredibly brief meeting, Brody and Rayna spend the first 100 pages or so apart. It really made it difficult for me to get into the story. I think the author wanted to make sure her world-building was solid and that we understood the backstory, but had I not been reading this for review, I wouldn't have kept moving forward.
That said ... I'm actually quite glad I read this. The characters were unique and interesting (though I really, really wanted to slap Rayna's sister who is beyond irritating). Even the secondary characters were well drawn and individuals in their own right. The relationship between Brody and Rayna, once it was finally allowed to develop, was loaded with the kind of tension that takes your breath away. They have this incredible attraction, but there are so many reasons for them to not act on it. It's incredibly well written and exactly the kind of sexual tension I love. It makes the payoff that much sweeter. And watching two tough folks with chips of astronomical size on their shoulders fall in love was just priceless.
Now that the groundwork on the backstory is set, I'm hoping the next books in the series start more quickly (and that the protagonists spend the majority of their books together). It's a solid start to what should be a good series and I'm looking forward to finding out if my questions get answers.
3.5 Flowers - This was a good book!
Now enjoy an excerpt:
“Why are you up, Rayna?” he asked, his voice just above a whisper. “What’s keeping you awake? Is your bed uncomfortable?”
“No, it’s fine,” she said, finally breaking the stare and gazing out to the moonlight again. “I just have a lot on my mind.”
“Nothing,” she murmured. “Just . . . just my sister.”
He placed his hand on her shoulder, and she turned her head at his touch.
“And what if I thought something different was keeping you awake?”
“Like what?” she swallowed, her voice tight.
“Like you and me. Us. Together.”
She shut her eyes and turned her head back toward the window. Never would she admit it as she’d already been over all the reasons getting together with Brody was a bad idea.
“Maybe I’m wrong, but I’d thought I’d ask because that’s what’s been keeping me up tonight,” he said, his hand kneading her shoulder before it slipped away.
Rayna knew that if she said yes, things would go into a place anyone in their right mind would deem not advisable. However, the brief contact of his skin on hers brought out a deep, visceral ache that needed to be sated.
“You weren’t wrong,” she whispered, staring out into the night.
“Then look at me,” he growled.
She shut her eyes while gathering her nerve, reminding herself she wanted this as well. However, in her bones, she also felt this could be the biggest mistake of her life.
“Look at me, Rayna.”
About the Author:
By Sea is the first book in her new series, The Supernatural Renegades.
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