September 7, 2012

The Lure of Shapinsay by Krista Holle

Format: ARC from the author
Release Date: December 6, 2011
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble 

Ever since Kait Swanney could remember, the old crones of the village have been warning her to stay away from the selkies. They claim that like sirens of old, the seal men creep from the inky waters, shed their skins, and entice women to their deaths beneath the North Sea. But avoiding an encounter becomes impossible when Kait is spotted at the water’s edge, moments after the murder of a half-selkie infant.

Unexpectedly, Kait is awoken by a beautiful, selkie man seeking revenge. After she declares her innocence, the intruder darts into the night, but not before inadvertently bewitching her with an overpowering lure.

Kait obsesses over a reunion deep beneath the bay and risks her own life to be reunited with her selkie. But when she lands the dangerous lover, the chaos that follows leaves Kait little time to wonder—is it love setting her on fire or has she simply been lured?
THE LURE OF SHAPINSAY by Krista Holle might as well be a Grimm fairy tale or one of those dark stories that talks about forbidden love and magic, in this case it's between a human girl and a male Selkie. The people of Shapinsay are aware and wary of Selkies, mythical creatures that look like seals on water but assumes the form of man on land. Several of their folk have fallen tragically to the lure and magic of these creatures and Kait Swanney became one of those select few. She saw her mate in Eamon, a Selkie who initially wanted to drown Kait while she was taking a dip in the ocean as reparation for those other Selkies who have died in the hands of man. But Eamon cannot resist Kait's charm and so here starts their love affair that defied rules for both their kind. 
"He's chosen land o'er sea?" Tipper repeated as her face fogged over in confusion.
"Neither--he's chosen me, we love each other."
THE LURE OF SHAPINSAY felt grim from the start not only because of the cold and grey setting but because we know that Kait and Eamon's HEA will be difficult to achieve. Kait and Eamon sacrificed their respective lives, their family and friends and the security and peace it offered to be with each other. They went against the rules of nature and chose to pursue their feelings regardless of the backlash and other problems their relationship may bring, they were hopeless romantics believing that love can and will conquer all. Ultimately it became a matter of life and death for Eamon because being away from the water meant a slow death for him. Kait can't stand the sight of Eamon suffering so as much as she hates to be away from him, she returned him to the sea and let him go. That part was very emotional and a little difficult to read because as a reader I understood why Kait had to set Eamon free against his will because keeping him would mean his death and he's no good to anybody dead. Eamon for his part, was frustrated and angry because of his limitations and he wanted to be with Kait but no matter how hard they tried, he can't. They're too different to sustain their relationship. 
I love you more than that first night when ye cast your spell, but I cannot kiss myself or cuddle a grave. If you love me, go away and come back when you are whole.
What I find interesting was KHolle made a cougar play in this story. In most aspects, Kait and Eamon are contemporaries but in reality, Eamon was just 10yo in human years, to Kait's mortification! Talk about robbing the cradle! However Eamon explained that a Selkie's growth and maturity differ from humans so that sorted itself out. Another character that I connected with was Tipper! Tipper was such a fun character to read, she's the voice of reason, uttering things that Kait and Eamon know but are scared to say and accept as true. She's also an instigator of sorts and can be a little antagonistic at times but in the end, her loyalty for Kait prevailed and she was very instrumental in Kait's HEA with Eamon.

THE LURE OF SHAPINSAY by KHolle was a beautifully written story about magic, sacrifices, tenacity and unbending love that's enduring and selfless. I love KHolle's voice and her romantic writing style, her characters were well written and their character development was very interesting to follow. The story might be magical but the theme and the emotions she wove with it were very real and down right relatable to most of us. If you are into poignant love stories, then I would highly recommend this book for you.


  1. Wow, great review! I'm in the middle of this book right now and I'm loving the selkie folklore!

  2. I have not heard of this book, thanks for sharing your thoughts:D



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