Liquid Silver Books, $4.75, ISBN 978-1-59578-340-0
Fantasy Romance, 2007
In Impassioned Sea, we have an undersea kingdom called Ametheysea (located in the Bermuda Triangle) where the princes, two twin brothers named Sindale and Seadale, grow up becoming fierce rivals to the point that their father fear that the two may end up as each other’s worst enemy. Frankly, with names like theirs, I’m not surprised that they aren’t the most functional family around. Sindale rules the land while Seadale rules the sea. This one is Seadale’s story. I believe there is a previous book called Key to Sin which tells Sindale’s story, but the publisher, Venus Press, went out of business.
At any rate, I haven’t read Key to Sin but I understand what is happening here so this book can stand alone quite well. Seadale is not the happiest man at the start of the story. Let him explain why, in his own words:
“When will it be my turn to find relief within the warm-fleshed softness of my mate? Why does Sindale always come before me? This isn’t fucking fair. I have just as much right to a mate. What makes him so special that everything falls right into Sindale’s lap, and I am left out in the fucking cold? I am as deserving as he is!”
Huh? “Find relief within the warm-fleshed softness of my mate”? Is he looking for a wife or a cocoon? And if you think “soulmate” is annoying and overused enough, wait until you come across “Mate-of-Souls” – capital M and S, my dear – try not to heave.
Seadale’s father has given Seadale an amulet that will help him find his Mate-of-Souls called the Amulet to Ametheysea. That’s with a capital T, by the way. I’m sorry, but with names like Ametheysea, Amulet to Ametheysea, Sindale, and Seadale, Impassioned Sea is starting to come off like a fantasy story envisioned by a ten-year old kid. I hope Ms Sinclair isn’t expecting people to take her story seriously because with names like those, she’s making it very hard for people to do so.
At any rate, Seadale decides to toss the Amulet To Ametheysea away because it is a reminder that he is still without his Mate-of-Souls while Sindale is presumably right now finding all kinds of relief within the warm-fleshed softness of his mate, whoever that woman may be. Probably some were-caterpillar.
Our heroine, Kelsey Baker, finds this Amulet to Ametheysea and therefore now all kinds of horny sealife are out to get her. Fun, isn’t it? She and Seadale have plenty of sex and I suppose I don’t need any relationship development in this story because hey, she’s his Mate-of-Souls and that’s a fact, so who needs anything more than sex, right? Our heroine via her purity and goodness then makes Seadale realize what a throwaway subplot this feud between him and Sindale is and besides, the word count has been met so it’s time to toss that subplot out the window. So it’s the end, with Sindale and Seadale spending the rest of their lives in Ametheysea happily finding relief with their Mates-of-Souls.
It is bad enough that the whole thing reads like a spectacularly unimaginative fanfiction of someone who has read too many Christine Feehan novels, Ms Sinclair tries to achieve poetry only to end up writing like Yoda would. I find that the author’s structuring of her sentences on the pretentious side, as if she’s aiming for high art. Only, when coupled to childish names like Wall to Vision and Amulet to Ametheysea, the overall effect is that this book is written by a precocious thirteen-year old girl. Imagine an entire story written in such a manner:
She came here most days to paint, but today was a time to try to heal some of the pain that weighed so heavily on her heart. Her twenty-eighth birthday had been spent alone this year for the first time. It was rough, but she would try to remember all the wonderful years she’d spent with her grandparents and all the good times they’d had together. Not having them anymore to share her dreams and accomplishments was hard for her to handle. Especially getting a small showing at an upscale gallery in the heart of Miami and being unable to share that with them. They were going to accept three of her oil paintings on a trial basis. If they sold, they would consider giving her permanent space in the gallery. A lone tear slowly made its way down her cheek dropping onto her motionless hands clenched in her lap, as she remembered the first time she’d laid eyes on her grandparents.
She’d gone to live with her grandpa Joe and grandma Lily at the tender age of ten after her parents were killed in a plane crash. Kelsey would never forget how scared and heartbroken she’d been when facing them both for the very first time. Her parents had never taken her to see them and she wasn’t sure if they really wanted her. From the moment they took her into their home and their hearts, she found comfort and love unlike anything she’d ever known before. Her parents were too self-absorbed to give her the kind of love and attention parents should give to a child.
Kelsey’s grandparents had instilled in her the importance of always believing in the goodness of others, and never to forsake her dreams and aspirations. She’d been very imaginative growing up, always making up fantasies in her mind and in her painting. Her grandparents encouraged this. Being a respected painter some day had been her grandest dream, and it looked like it just might be in the cards after all.
With the passing of both her beloved grandparents within a month of each other and the inheritance they left for her, Kelsey went in search her dreams. A dream she’d put aside, to nurse and care for her grandparents in the final years of their lives. A duty she did unselfishly, because they both were her world—a world she was now alone in and she had to learn how to fend for herself. Uncertainty plagued her, but coming to this stretch of beach always seemed to sooth her inner turmoil. All her life Kelsey had had a fondness for, and a deep desire to live near, the ocean. It was a big step leaving the small farming town in Nebraska. In coming here, some of her emotional unrest had found quietude, allowing her heart to steady and calm within.
I don’t know what else to say about Impassioned Sea other than I often feel like shaking the editor for letting Ms Sinclair get away with this kind of writing. I don’t know if Skylar Sinclair is a teenage girl or an adult, and to be honest, I’d like to imagine that this is the work of a teenage girl with plenty of room to grow and improve. An adult woman shouldn’t be and can’t be getting away with writing like this.