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REVIEW: Sea Fever by Virginia Kantra

Dear Ms. Kantra:

book reviewI thought it would be kind of fun to run this review after Jia’s wherein she expresses some, um, discomfort at merpeople as main characters in a romance. While I have not read many books about merpeople, I can say during the ones I have read I have never had a sushi craving. Sea Fever is the second (or third if you count the anthology) in the Children of the Sea series.

The night the only eligible man on the island got married, Regina Barone got drunk.

The opening line says it all. Regina Brone’s life isn’t really going so well. She escaped from World’s End, a small tourist/fishing town in Maine to pursue a career as a chef. She had grown up in her mother’s restaurant but she wasn’t interested in serving eggs, hashbrowns, and clam chowder the rest of her life. She was on a fast track at Perfetto’s in Boston (owned and run by Food Network star, Alain Perfetto) until she got pregnant with Perfetto’s child and he had no interest in her, anymore, or the child. Unable to support herself, she returned to World’s End. At one time, she nursed a hope that perhaps she and Police Chief Caleb Hunter might kindle a romance. Instead she was catering his wedding to some strange woman who appeared virtually out of nowhere.

Caleb’s brother, Dylan, shows up for the wedding and allows herself to be physically swept away for an evening. But Dylan disappears and Regina is back to where she started: a single mom of a slightly rebellious 8 year old son, a critical mother, and no romantic prospects on the horizon.

Dylan Hunt is a selkie who came to World’s End for the wedding of his brother and another selkie. It was his intent to leave and not return but his Prince commands that Dylan not only return but watch over Caleb and his wife. They may have a selkie child and with the selkie number declining rapidly, Prince Conn, is desperate for this child. Conn believes that fire demons are equally determined to thwart the birth or steal the child or do something that would further destroy the selkies.

Reluctantly Dylan returns. The reluctance isn’t so much of Dylan longing for the sea, but that being back stirs emotions which he has spent so long repressing. As a half selkie, Dylan had worked twice as hard to be a perfect one which meant subliminating his human side, the side that feels; that grieves; that wants. Dylan is a loner by nature and has convinced himself that he neither needs nor wants companionship. As more time is spent with Caleb, Margred, and Regina, however, Dylan’s emptiness becomes more apparent.

There’s a wonderful kind of mirroring (and I’m probably not using this term correctly in the writing sense) between Regina and Dylan. Both characters are in similar positions both only Regina acknowledges it. She acknowledges that she is lonely and desirous of companionship. Dylan suppresses it.

I’m focusing more on the emotional aspect of the book not because I’m not interested in the world building but because I found the character development to be more interesting. To some extent, the world building, the paranormal aspect, worked to move the plot forward, to provide the basis for some conflict but I also felt, to some extent, that the world building could have been stronger because it resided so much within the individuals instead of shaping the world around the characters.

I was a little disappointed that there wasn’t more done with the loss of parenthood idea because Regina’s father left her family and Nick, her son was fatherless and Dylan grew up without a father because his mother stole them to the sea to be selkies. The story alludes to those issues, but never really deals with it.

Overall, though, I like this series and look forward to reading more Children of the Sea stories. The characterizations are strong and the people are genuine. B-

Best regards


This book can be purchased in mass market from Amazon or Powells and ebook format.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Kalen Hughes
    Aug 14, 2008 @ 15:25:57

    What the hell is happening on that cover? His right leg appears to be dissolving or simply missing. I find it really disturbing.

  2. Sarah
    Aug 14, 2008 @ 15:31:04

    I really enjoyed the first book so I already bought this one. Haven’t read it yet but like you pointed out, the opening line certainly catches the reader’s attention.

  3. Leeann Burke
    Aug 14, 2008 @ 15:31:16

    This sounds like a great read. I’ll have to swing by my local bookstore this weekend and pick up a copy. Then I’ll have to hunt down a copy of the first one. I’m one of those readers who has to read series in order.

  4. Jia
    Aug 14, 2008 @ 15:40:06

    But these are traditional selkies, right? They turn into seals? If that’s the case, I might be okay with a selkie romance. It’s really just the fish tail that causes the problems with merfolk.

  5. Jane
    Aug 14, 2008 @ 16:05:09

    I kind of liked the cover (almost wrote licked). I think the color and the positioning of the cover model plus its relevance to the story. Maybe he’s dissolving into a selkie right before our eyes!

    and Jia, how can you read stories about seals and not think of sushi? I would think that would be more sushi like than merfolk??? Will you be able to read Joey Hill’s winter release about mermaids?

  6. Kalen Hughes
    Aug 14, 2008 @ 16:13:06

    Maybe he's dissolving into a selkie right before our eyes!

    He’s wearing pants! Besides, selkie’s don’t dissolve, they remove their seal skin (and hide it, because if it’s destroyed they can never return to the sea).

  7. Kalen Hughes
    Aug 14, 2008 @ 16:18:23

    Selkies. Once again my typing has betrayed a most unfortunate subliminal adoration for stray apostrophes. *sigh*

    Why would seals remind you of sushi? I've sever seen a seal nigri on a menu. I can see the headline now: Baby seals ruthlessly bludgeoned and eaten raw.

  8. Jane
    Aug 14, 2008 @ 16:26:49

    Because seals are more wholly fishlike than merpeople which are part human, part sea creature right?

  9. Jia
    Aug 14, 2008 @ 16:41:34

    But seals don’t have scales? And are mammals? I don’t know! I’m with Kalen. When I think of seals, I think of circuses and them balancing balls on their noses. When I think of fish, I think of sushi. Except for sharks. Then I think of Jaws and that ominous background score.

    Will you be able to read Joey Hill's winter release about mermaids?

    Well, since you sent the book to me, we’ll find out, won’t we? I’m already somewhat horrified at the cover, which does not live up to the covers sported by her vampire erotica books.

  10. Brie
    Aug 14, 2008 @ 16:42:53

    I didn’t like this one as much as Sea Witch. I never really warmed to Dylan. I also agree that there wasn’t a resolution to the missing parental units. It kinda fizzled out. That said, I still enjoy Kantra’s writing and am looking forward to the final book.

  11. Jia
    Aug 14, 2008 @ 16:45:31

    Wait. Now I remember why I associate merfolk with sushi!

    In certain cultures, they say if you eat a mermaid’s tail, you’ll gain immortality. Ever since I heard that legend, a part of my brain must link merfolk to food.

    Too bad for the mermaids.

  12. Kalen Hughes
    Aug 14, 2008 @ 16:49:52

    In certain cultures, they say if you eat a mermaid's tail, you'll gain immortality. Ever since I heard that legend, a part of my brain must link merfolk to food.

    OMG. Now I have really dirty erotica plots running though my mind. Bring on the brain bleach!!!

  13. Jia
    Aug 14, 2008 @ 16:53:06

    OMG. Now I have really dirty erotica plots running though my mind. Bring on the brain bleach!!!

    Don’t blame that on me.

  14. Kalen Hughes
    Aug 14, 2008 @ 17:01:52

    OMG. Now I have really dirty erotica plots running though my mind. Bring on the brain bleach!!!

    Don't blame that on me.

    Who else is there to blame? I didn’t come up with this on my own (I just took it in a whole new direction, LOL!).

  15. Jill Shalvis
    Aug 14, 2008 @ 17:02:01

    I read the first book in this series and really enjoyed it. I’ll definitely get this one . .

  16. DS
    Aug 14, 2008 @ 18:40:26

    Forget the selkie angle– why isn’t the Big Name Chef paying child support? And if she has chef training why isn’t she able to support herself? I’d think there was more than one restaurant opportunity in Boston, at least more opportunities in Boston than she would find in the, I guess, aptly named World’s End, Me.

  17. Jane
    Aug 14, 2008 @ 19:06:36

    DS – She explains that she does get court ordered child support but that the money of the restaurant is hidden to make it seem like the owner/boss/Chef does not have alot of ready income.

  18. Jia
    Aug 14, 2008 @ 20:12:07

    I didn't come up with this on my own (I just took it in a whole new direction, LOL!).

    Great. Not only is DA known as the home of the Mean Grrls, now we’re the source of inspiration for merfolk cannibal erotica too. Why’d you have to go there, Kalen!

  19. SonomaLass
    Aug 14, 2008 @ 22:38:04

    the source of inspiration for merfolk cannibal erotica

    Oh wow, I’m dying over that one! I can see it in a banner ad now.

  20. che
    Aug 14, 2008 @ 23:46:34

    I googled images on seals because I wanted to see if I could find something attractive about them as a romance hero. Sorry to say, no can do. With their massive bodies and little flipper arms- ugh. I can’t imagine watching my beloved shapeshift from a hot hunk-a-burning love to that. I can imagine it with animals that are majestic, regal, stealthy, or any of the macho adjectives like lions, wolves, panthers or the like. Mermen wouldn’t work for me either. Just ugh.

  21. Kalen Hughes
    Aug 15, 2008 @ 09:24:22

    I can imagine it with animals that are majestic, regal, stealthy, or any of the macho adjectives like lions, wolves, panthers or the like. Mermen wouldn't work for me either. Just ugh.

    “Sea lion” isn’t cutting it for you, even though it has “lion” in the name? *grin*

  22. Gail Dayton
    Aug 15, 2008 @ 16:26:55

    Seals EAT sushi. Raw fish is their primary/only diet, hence, sushi.

    That said, I loved SEA WITCH, and am salivating at the opportunity of snatching up SEA FEVER when I go to town Tuesday. (Unless it is at the Target already.)

  23. Sandy D.
    Aug 15, 2008 @ 21:27:47

    Isn’t anyone else thinking the series is called “Chicken of the Sea” when they first glance at it? :-/

  24. Brooke
    Aug 17, 2008 @ 09:01:51

    For some reason I cannot find this book at any store. Target & Borders (being big ones) are the only places I havent tried. But no Walmart, or smaller stores/chaines have it.

    Is she just not that popular yet?

    I loved Sea witch.

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