Title: The Shucker’s Booktique
Author: J.C. McKenzie
Series: Lobster Cove
Read Type: eARC
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Wild Rose Press
You can find out more about the author on J.C. McKenzie’s Website
Wild Rose Press
Lobster Cove is a fictional small town on the coast of Maine, near Bar Harbor. It is quaint and quirky with a colorful history, a friendly population of charming residents, and a vibrant tourist business. It is home to research scientists and small shop owners, grumpy cops and sassy chefs. Back in the day, it was a bustling fishing town and home to many immigrants, from both the state cabins and the lowest decks.
These are unordered stories by various authors. You can find a list of the current stories here
After her fiancé dumps her and her beloved Aunt Jenny goes missing, Willa Eklund travels to Lobster Cove with a broken heart to search for Jenny while running her bookstore. When a mysterious man visits the Shucker's Booktique on a stormy night drenched in rain and covered in mud, Willa's heart melts under his stormy gaze. She wants Lon and the answers he may have, but he also has a secret. Can Willa trust him?
Lon Devlin is a Tempest, a water sprite who can only take a human form during stormy nights. He rides the waves, lives by the tides, and nothing can hold him down, not even a beautiful woman. When he visits his mortal friend, he discovers she's missing and her intriguing niece has taken her place. He wants Willa, but he also wants answers. What happened to Jenny?
Born and raised on the Haida Gwaii, off the West Coast of Canada, J.C. McKenzie grew up in a pristine wilderness that inspired her to dream. She writes Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance.
There will be a rafflecopter giveaway Oct 15-22 to go along with The Shucker's Booktique release.
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5 x The Shucker's Booktique (ebook)
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Strong language: Some, mild
Sexual content: Yes
I was given a copy of this book by the author in return for an unbiased review
Willa, a woman recently separated from her partner, is sent to tend her Aunt Jenna's bookshop after the woman has disappeared. She has been there five weeks, not discovering much, except police are slobs when it comes to searching for evidence and learning her way around the shop. When a change crashes on her door.
A hammering at her door in the middle of a stormy night. It's just the storm… it's just the storm… its just, oh Jesus it's not the storm! Is it the cops with news? Oh, or is it her Aunt Jenna come back… or someone who want to tie up lose ends? She banishes thoughts of ghosts, ghouls and murderers, and rushes down to meet her midnight visitor. "A giant hurricane of a man" awaited her, looking as fierce as the storm, she quickly tries to shut the door, but it rebounds, knocking her out cold, "sprawled out like a stunned snow angel".
This was a spine-tingling opening, I had no idea which way the author would take it. Were we heading into a murder mystery? A kidnapping? A hostage situation? Or, knowing the author something altogether less normal? The writing was tense and tight with all the senses used, even the often missed sense of smell. It had me in the little spare room, wondering what would happen next, wanting to stop Willa going to the door – has this woman never watched a horror movie?!
The man at the door, Lon, was a mysterious friend, or so he claimed, of Willa's aunt, despite said aunt never mentioning him. As we switched to his point of view it became apparent he clearly knew Jenna well, and cared for both her and the shop. His intentions towards Willa seemed pure, even if he did take an eyeful before she came around. It's quickly apparent that Lon is not human, although he must look it from Willa's previous scene.
Once Willa is up there is a bit of a gridlock between the two of them at first, she cannot trust a strange man she's never heard about from her aunt, yet she's undeniably attracted to him and knows he had plenty of chances to harm her if he wished. As the book carries on there is a mix of searching for clues together, questioning suspiciously and ramped up sexual tension, that just makes me want to shut them in her bedroom and figure it out, not keep running away!
I felt the supernatural elements were particularly well dealt with, they were brief enough that Willa brushed them off as her imagination, at least until the next one came along and she started to collect puzzle pieces, all the while wondering just how hard she hit her head. Seeing it from Lon's perspective too, especially when he couldn't be with her, I felt, prepared the reader so we'd accepted him before she knew what he was. I did feel her initial reaction to 'yup there is a supernatural being in the same room as me' was a bit melodramatic, but given some of the extra information she received in the same breath I think the author can be forgiven for her soap opera moment.
The climax grew well and felt natural, it was powerful, steamy and oozed emotion. I did however feel the very end was cut off a bit suddenly, I'd have liked at least a couple more pages to have explained things neatly away.
I enjoyed this novella, the switching between the POV of the human and the supernatural worked well, giving a view of both sides. The relationship that built was steamy, while always harbouring some uncertainty.
I found the ending unsatisfying in one particular aspect, and as the author appears to have no current plans for a direct sequel I feel this is a slight downfall of the story.
Ideal for kicking your feet up with a glass of wine and relaxing, but don't expect a hardboiled mystery or bed breaking every few pages!
I give this novella a 4