Book Review: Ocean’s Surrender

Book Review: Ocean’s Surrender by Denise Townsend

Is it hot in here?

Or could it be the hot and heavy Ocean’s Surrender that’s generating enough steam to curl my hair?

Following up on her first selkie/human erotic love story, Ocean’s Touch, Denise Townsend gives us another story of love, sexual awakening, female empowerment… and plenty of selkie sexy times.

In Ocean’s Surrender, main character River is damaged, hurting, and afraid to open her heart. After suffering horrific abuse at the hands of a former boyfriend, River shuts herself off from the possibility of loving again, focusing all her energy on caring for her sweet, developmentally disabled brother Jason. Fen is a selkie – a magical creature of the sea who can assume human form (gorgeous human form, I might add) — whose empathic powers hear the call of River’s suffering and draw him toward her. Fen’s mission is to open River’s heart again by helping her past the pain, guilt, and self-blame that have been tormenting her.

With Fen’s guidance, River comes to realize that she’s not at fault for the terrible events in her past, and learns to trust herself enough to start trusting others, including the very hot and sexy paramedic who has been in love with her for the past year.

Denise Townsend, in Ocean’s Surrender and its predecessor, has created a story that is compelling and well-told, with pathos and humor. At the same time, she includes very graphic sex scenes that not only make sense in terms of the overall plot, but are in fact key to crucial elements of the plot development.

It’s through River’s sexual experiences with Fen that she begins to heal, and from that healing arrives at a place where she can reclaim her own sexuality and ability to love. Those encounters and the resulting changes in River are what allow her, finally, to reach out to the man who loves her and to start rebuilding a full and complete life again.

And those sex scenes! You know how in old Hollywood movies, whenever the romance would start getting a little hot, the camera would pan away to a candle, a curtain, or some other inanimate object? That definitely doesn’t happen here. No pans, no slow-fades. The sex scenes are honest and raw, body parts are named (“c-words” galore!), and the action is explicit without ever being gross. There’s a joy here in the characters’ sexual discovery and exploration; yes, it’s steamy, but it’s also quite lovely.

Overall, I’d describe Ocean’s Surrender as a beautifully written erotic love story, with just the right mix of a meaningful storyline, magical fantasy elements, and really terrific erotic scenes. Creative, sexy, and fun, this one is a winner.

Note: With grateful appreciation to the author for providing me with an ARC to review.

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