Sunday, August 19, 2012

Review: The Lure of Shapinsay by Krista Holle

I'm glad to be returning from a three week hiatus with a book review!  This is a great one :)

The Lure of Shapinsay

Title:  Lure of Shapinsay
Author: Krista Holle
Publisher:  Sweet River Romance
Genre: New Adult (older teens/ young women)
FTC: This book was sent to me by the author for consideration.  All opinions are mine.  

On the small island of Shapinsay (near Scotland), legends of selkies run rampant amongst its inhabitants.  Selkies are creatures that live as seals in the water and take off their skin to become humans on land.  They are very beautiful, with selkie men having powers of seduction over human women.  The lure of selkie men is often powerful enough to lead many women to their deaths in the sea.   The villagers fear them, as well as the sea that is their home.
Sixteen year old Kait Swanney is an exception.  She loves the water and scoffs at the idea that a selkie could possibly lure her to her death.  She does not even expect to meet a male selkie in her lifetime, let alone be bewitched by one!  But when a male selkie name Eamon mistakenly believes Kait to be the murderer of a half human, half selkie baby, all of that changes.  Intending to avenge the baby, he sneaks into her room at night prepared to kill her.  Kait awakens and clears up the whole misunderstanding.  He leaves but not before unintentionally bewitching Kait -- and finding himself also falling in love with the "land loper".  Will Eamon choose the sea over Kait?  And is Kait truly in love with Eamon, or is it just the lure?

I was not familiar with the legend of the selkie when I started reading it so I made sure to do some research.  There is some explanation in the novel about selkies but without prior knowledge or research, the reader will likely get confused.  I am obsessed with selkies now and can't believe they're not more prevalent in paranormal romance novels!  Krista Holle does an amazing job capturing the allure and danger of selkies, Eamon in particular.  Learn more about selkies on its Wikipedia page.  

The small island of Shapinsay is brought to life with beautiful imagery of the sea and an Scottish sounding dialect.  There is also a motley of supporting characters who each bring something different.  A young woman who watches as her human/selkie baby is torn away from her and killed.  A brother who arranges his twin sister's marriage.  A crazy old woman who is always searching for something by day and wailing by the sea at night.  I think some of the supporting characters could have been a little more developed.  However, Kait and Eamon's storyline interested me the most anyways so I didn't really mind.

Kait is truly something.  She is a very likeable protagonist.  She's the embodiment of the typical "strong" heroine - stubborn rebellious, brave and extremely independent.  It was very interesting to see how all that mixed with her later obsession with Eamon after being bewitched by his selkiness.  It would have been very easy for Kait to lose herself after being bewitched by Eamon but she still retains her headstrongness and determination, not losing what made her special in the first place.  However, there were times when I couldn't tell whether it was love or the lure making her do what she does.  That was a little frustrating at times.  

I also loved Eamon.  Like a lot.  He is the perfect mix of reckless and the naive, with a touch of nobility and pride.    Even though one of his main roles in the novel was to be the selkxy and alluring mythical creature love interest, Eamon has depth and humanity.  And the most swoon-worthy lines

"Your cheeks are flushed," Eamon observed with a relaxed smile that lit up his face like the sun.  He awkwardly pushed a blonde straggler behind my ear.  His fingers lingered behind my neck as if they were always meant to be there.  "Aren't ye well?"

"It means I'm happy," I said with a broad grin, "Your cheeks are splotched pink too."

Eamon touched his cheek like it couldn't be true then gave me a bewildered look.  "Then I must be happy too."

At its heart, this novel is a sweet and engaging story about forbidden love.  I really don't want to spoil too much but there are many twists and turns that keep the reader interested and emotionally invested.  Very worth reading!

Check out this awesome book trailer :)

I give this book a 4/5.


  1. The book cover makes it seem like a Harlequin romance book...

  2. selkies don't wear clothing so yeah... i dislike harlequin though, this book was way better :D


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