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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Oceans of Fire by Christine Feehan


Called “the reigning queen of paranormal romance” by Publishers Weekly, New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan offers an imaginative blend of sensual romance, fast-paced adventure and the paranormal that has thrilled countless readers. Now, she tells the story of Abigail Drake, of the magical Drake sisters — seven elementally gifted sisters, and their prophecy of love…

As the third daughter in a magical bloodline, Abigail Drake was born with a mystical affinity for water, and possessed a particularly strong bond with dolphins. She spent her entire life studying them, learning from them, and swimming among them in the waters off her hometown of Sea Haven …

Until the day Abby witnessed a cold-blooded murder on shore, and found herself fleeing for her life — right into the arms of Aleksandr Volstov. He’s an Interpol agent on the trail of stolen Russian antiquities, a relentless man who gets what he goes after — and the man who broke Abby’s heart. But he isn’t going to let the only woman he ever loved be placed in harm’s way — or slip away from his embrace…

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Up until now, the Drake Sisters series has been a fairly light-hearted, sweet set of romances. Yes, Sarah and Kate both faced some potentially serious situations, but in neither case did the danger really feel all that imminent and real as the overall tone was cheerful and light. That changes with this book, and suddenly the danger to the sisters and those around them indeed feels quite real and serious. And the tone of serious danger is there pretty much from the start, when Abigail witnesses a murder, an attempted murder, and narrowly escapes becoming victim #3 of the day. It is while she is recovering from this scrape that she comes face-to-face in a rather abrupt manner with her former lover Alexsandr, a man who's clearly just as dangerous as the ones she had just escaped from.



The attraction between Alexsandr and Abigail is just as electric as one would expect from a Christine Feehan couple, and the heat they generate during their love making steams up the pages. It's clear pretty much from the beginning that theirs is a love that's truly meant to be, perhaps moreso than either Sarah and Damon or Kate and Matt, and the intensity of their attraction to one another is reminiscent of the undeniable attraction between lifemates in Ms. Feehan's Dark series. So as regards the romance here, certainly there are few complaints.

The one complaint I do have about this book is that it too often can't quite seem to decide if it's a romance novel or a suspense thriller. It has elements of both, and does both well in and of themselves, but the juxtaposition of the two isn't always an easy one. Too often (at least in my opinion) the suspense thriller part of the story overshadows the romance too much. While it's nice to have some serious conflict and danger the main couple has to face, since romances get dull pretty fast if it's all sunshine and butterflies for them, still, those aspects shouldn't overtake the story of how the couple manages to find their way to one another through the conflicts.

Still, that one negative note aside, I found this to be an enjoyable read that I'd recommend to others, especially those who like their romances to be heavy on the strife side of things.

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