Sunday 12 January 2014

The Selkie Spell by Sophie Moss (Seal Island Trilogy Book 1) - Book Review

From the Blurb:

In this modern-day fairy tale romance, American doctor Tara Moore's life is transformed when she travels to an enchanted Irish island and discovers she has the power to break a 200 year old curse. At first, Tara laughs off the villagers' speculation that she is descended from a selkie--a magical creature who is bewitching the island. But when a ghostly woman appears to her with a warning, Tara realizes it was more than chance that brought her to this island. Desperate to escape a dark and dangerous past, Tara struggles against a passionate attraction to handsome islander, Dominic O'Sullivan. But the enchantment of the island soon overpowers her and she falls helpless under its spell. Caught between magic and reality, Tara must find a way to wield both when a dangerous stranger from her past arrives, threatening to destroy the lives of everyone on the island.

The Review:

When Tara turns up at Dominic's pub begging for work and refusing to answer any questions, he doesn't know what to make of her. Tara is a mystery. She won't answer any questions about her past but it's clear she's running from something. Can she escape whatever she's running from on this tiny Irish Island; can Dominic help her if he doesn't know what she's hiding from; and more importantly, what does she have to do with the myth of the island that seems to be following her around?

Tara is a very complicated character and it takes a long time to understand where she is coming from. That said, while I was slow to warm up to her, once the story was in full swing I was fully invested in her character and the mystery surrounding her character at the beginning was essential for building up to the mystery of the main narrative, heightening the intensity as the plot unfolded.

As for Dominic, I just love him! He's a devoted father and dedicated to protecting his extended island family as well. He is bothered that Tara won't share her past with him, but wants to help her anyway. While he dislikes her secrecy, he is understanding enough to realize that she has a troubled history and that he can’t push her, but that doesn’t mean he won’t make his feelings known. The relationship between Tara and Dominic is passionately sexy with real chemistry, but they also develop a lovely friendship too.

The plot of this story combines real issues with a fairy tale background that is very beautiful. The selkie myth of the island is an important part of the island’s culture and there is a certain sense of magical realism in the way the inhabitants accept the tale, but the reader is not expected to follow so blindly and neither is Tara. I thought this was done really well, so I felt eased into the myth as the story progressed, but never doubted its validity.

I must admit, I'm a real sucker for fantasy fairy tale romances and this one was no exception. The Selkie Spell also had the bonus of combining fairy tale magic and romance with real issues and multidimensional characters.

A really great read.

The Selkie Spell is the first in a trilogy and I am really looking forward to reading the next two. The trilogy follows my preferred format of focusing on different couples from the same world in the follow ups, and the second, The Selkie Enchantress is about Dominic’s brother Liam and his friend Caitlin. We already had quite a nice lead up to their story in The Selkie Spell, so I’m already intrigued to see where it goes. The entire trilogy, including The SelkieSpell, The Selkie Enchantress and The Selkie Sorceress are all available from Amazon.

The Selkie Spell by Sophie Moss was released in 2011, and is available from Amazon and Book Depository.