Born to Protect

The Comeback of
Con MacNeill

Mad Dog & Annie

The Passion of
Patrick MacNeill

The Reforming of
Matthew Dunn

Sea Fever
Children of the Sea Book 2

by Virginia Kantra
(Berkley, $7.99, PG-13) ISBN 978-0425222973
Demons are back in World's End (and isn't that a fabulous name?) in Sea Fever, the second book in the Children of the Sea series by Virginia Kantra.

So is Dylan Hunter. Twenty years of separation bring him back to World's End for his brother's wedding only he's attending for the bride. A selkie, Dylan has never felt at home with that part of his life, and when the time for choosing came, he opted to live with his mother, from whom he got his magic. Now she is gone, and the king who took a young Dylan under his uh, fin? has ordered Dylan to return to the cursed island. Dylan's assignment is to sniff out demons that are believed to be after children of Dylan's line i.e., a baby from Dylan's brother, Caleb's, union with the now-human Margred.

An evening of much-deserved moping and overindulging leads single mother Regina Barone to the beach with Dylan Hunter. As a means of mourning the loss of her crush to another woman (a friend and employee, at that), a drunken one-night stand perhaps lacks finesse; but as she is well aware, her options for just about everything are limited as long as she remains on World's End, working in her mother's restaurant.

But, as she learned the hard way, leaving the island only takes you to a different set of problems. When Dylan reappears one day after bluntly and thankfully informing her she would never see him again, Regina is flabbergasted. Seeing her as his best excuse for remaining as well as his best chance for entertainment, Dylan perseveres.

When Regina is assaulted in her own kitchen and kidnapped, it's Dylan who finds her. Finds out that, despite the fact that selkies like very little to do with humans, he's hooked. Finds out that it's Regina the demons are after instead of Maggie, and why.

The chemistry between these two main characters is subtle but sizzling nonetheless. Kantra has to be the only romance author I've read whose characters are as rich as those of Nora Roberts (big, coming from me, since I'm a massive fan of Roberts), clear down to Regina's young son. Dylan and Regina are both stubborn and prideful in their own respective ways, and neither is apologetic. You have to appreciate that in a character no wimps here. Their issues are put out there, but they don't make a big drama out of them.

It's also nice to read a romance where things don't immediately fall in line as far as the relationship goes and leave you with a half-assed plotline to muddle through.

Though the plot to Sea Fever is strong with a great dollop of suspense, you pick up a romance novel to read about a relationship building. Dylan and Regina certainly don't have an easy go of it, allowing the reader to savor every moment.

As mentioned previously, this is the second book in the series. I have since read Sea Witch, but managed this one just fine without the first book. Kantra is a must-read for paranormal fans, especially those of you who've grown a little weary of the he-bit-me-now-I-can't-resist-him vampire thing, and Sea Fever shows her at her very finest.

--Sarrah Knight

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