Friday, May 04, 2012

Review: The Lure of Shapinsay by Krista Holle

3.5 stars

It is not a secret that I have a thing for star-crossed lovers. Even though I sure won’t like to experience it myself, books about star-crossed lover always intrigue me. The pull is even stronger when it’s a paranormal story. So when I was presented to a chance to read a love story between a selkie and a human, how can I resist?

The Lure of Shapinsay presented a lovely story set in 1848, in an island named Shapinsay, off the north coast of mainland Scotland. Among village people, the folk of selkie men and women are passed through generations. The village people acknowledge selkie’s existence but they refuse to have anything to do with the creature. It’s not strange to find men boasting that someday they would catch a selkie woman in their net and take her as a wife, while village women are secretly dreaming of an encounter with beautiful selkie men. Kait Swanney is not one of the women. She is ignorant of the story about the selkie men’s beauty, thinking that their beauty won’t have the power to charm her. Never crossed her mind that later, she has to face a selkie men seeking for revenge.

Eamon is a very young selkie man. He mistook Kait as the murderer of a newborn selkie. He intended to take Kait’s life as the payback, but much to his surprise, he found Kait fascinating to watch. Kait’s love and yearning to the sea confuses Eamon greatly. Just like Kait who is lured by his beauty, Eamon is slowly but surely captivated by Kait’s devotion to him. Eamon is willing to give up everything for Kait, but will his selkie body survive his decision? What if their love story is fated to be another romantic tragedy?

Selkies are creatures who live as seals in the sea but shed their skin to become human on land. Selkie men are gorgeous creature and they have seductive power over human women. The Lure of Shapinsay stays faithful to the legend and I can see how great Eamon has lured Kait. I don’t think that Eamon lures Kait in purpose since he’s too young to really understand the selkie men’s power, but it’s clear that Kait is on the verge of losing her mind because of Eamon. I honestly can’t tell the difference between the effect of the lure or true love anymore in this book. It seems like Kait is affected by a form of fanatical, obsessive love which makes her willing to sacrifice her life just to be with Eamon. Even though Kait’s devotion to Eamon is quite touching (and crazy, I must say), I can forgive most of her actions because they are the result of Eamon’s magic.

In the last half part of the book, I was annoyed by Eamon’s stubbornness. His idealistic view got on my nerves, especially when he knows very well that nothing can be gained if he’s dying. Seem like the proud side of him is a characteristic of a selkie man. Eamon’s young age plays a big part in this story because without his lack of experience and reckless tendency, we won’t have this engaging love story.

Eamon and Kait’s story is sweet and moving. You can’t help but rooting
for this couple from the beginning. I also really like Tipper, the old woman who helps the couple a lot. Sadly, the other side characters are just dropped in the end, like Kait’s brother Blair or Magnum, the guy whom Kate expected to marry. It would be much better if the other characters still make appearance throughout the book.

The Lure of Shapinsay is a great book that I encourage you worth checking out. If you’re a fan of romantic story, then this is a must read! Fans of folktale and mermaid will also enjoy the story. I like Krista’s writing, so I will make sure to take a peek at her new book when it comes out!

“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.”

 I rate this book:
 Four cups of tea. Amazing! Love the book, it’s simply awesome. I love the tea flavor!  A strong recommendation.

A little note about The Lure of Shapinsay! 
Make sure to stop by tomorrow because I will post my interview with Krista! Find out how Krista got her inspiration to write this book and her fantastic answers to my Imagination Escape round! Plus, she's awesome enough to provide a GIVEAWAY of prize pack of The Lure of Shapinsay! Don't miss it. Tomorrow, only at Catch the Lune! Oh, and I know I start to sound like a bad TV host. Sorry, can't help it. :P


  1. "Tomorrow, only at Catch the Lune! Oh, and I know I start to sound like a bad TV host. Sorry, can't help it. :P"

    HAHAHA. Awww, Hilda, you adorable person!! <33 Absolutely LOVED your review. This sounds like a really unique love story and I love that! The selkie lore sounds fascinating and Eamon and Kait sound like characters I'll be rooting for! As usual, the quote at the end blew me away. Cannot wait for the interview and giveaway :) Thanks so much for bringing this book to my notice!

    1. Aww, Ajoop, you always know how to make me smile!! <3 THANK YOU SO MUCH for being awesome!! This is the first time I read a book about selkie so it's very interesting! I hope you'll read it someday, because it's such a lovely story! :)

  2. Bad TV host or not, I still adore you Hilda! ;) Can't wait to check out the interview when it's up.

    Great review! I love the premise for this book and i'm glad to hear you found it to be an enjoyable read. I'm a bit of a romance addict so this definitely sounds like by type of book. I agree with Ajoop - that quote was wonderful! I would love to read more. :)

    1. Aww, you're just too nice, Sam! I adore you to infinity (AND BEYOND!). <3

      Thank you!! :) The romance is very sweet and kind of addictive for me, so I think you would enjoy the book! The quote made me smile when I first read it too - that's the adorable side I love about Eamon! <3

  3. Selkies, really? I think the only selkie I've ever read about is Jane True.
    Too bad the secondary characters didn't get their closure since the book sounds so great otherwise.
    Okay, I have to admit this, oddly spelled names are kind of my pet peeve, and Kait totally made the list. But I do love star crossed lovers and I think I might give this a chance anyway.
    Lovely review, Hilda!

    1. I haven't read Jane True, but that book sounds interesting! The cover is a bit turn off for me though - I'm just no fan of cartoon cover I guess. :D

      LOL, I think Kait is an interesting name! I know how annoying a character's name can be, Maja! I think Po from Graceling has the weirdest name. Good thing he's amazing. :P

      Thank you! <3

  4. Oh, star-crossed lovers!! *sighs dreamily* I love love LOVE star-crossed romances and forbidden romances and just all around sweet romances... LOL you can tell that I'm a total romantic at heart x) I've actually never read a book about selkies before in my life, but the lore of the ones that Krista creates in this book sound so intriguing! (And a sweet and moving love story? Count me in!)

    Beautiful honest review, Hilda! <3 And awww, of course you don't sound like a bad TV host -- you've sold me on so many books before, right? I think that would make you an amazing TV host!! ;)

    1. I love every kind of romance too, but I guess forbidden ones always interest me most! The Lure of Shapinsay is the first book I read about selkie, and good thing it's a good book! x)

      Thank you, Mimi! <3 Aww, you guys are too kind LOL! x) I'm pretty sure that I would make a bad TV host, since I have tendency to freeze in front of big audience LOL! And I might would just mumble crazy stuff and forget everything! xD

  5. Hmm, I think I never heard of this book before . I do like the sound of it and I LOVE reading about star-crossed lovers. I might just need to give this book a try!

    Awesome review, Hilda! <3 So glad you enjoyed it!

    PS: Like Mimi said, you sound like an amazing TV host to me! I will definitely come back again for the interview and giveaway! ;)

    1. I think star-crossed lover is one of the best form of romantic stories LOL! Though I know I much prefer the stories to have a happy ending! xD

      Thank you, Celine! <3 Aww, you make me blush all over! You guys are just simply AMAZING! xD

  6. Wow, starcrossed lovers! I don't necessarily like them in all books I read, but if it's well done then I love to read about it! Selkie... now that you've mentioned, that whole seal-turns-human thing does sound familiar. I think I read that legend when I was little! Even though the protagonist doesn't convince me, it seems like a fun story and I'd like to read about the legend.

    Nice review, Hilda! <3


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