(The McFey Treasures series, Book 1)
Amazon Digital Services
DESCRIPTION: McFey family patriarch J.R. was a dreamer, forever roving the high seas in search of lost treasures and forgotten artifacts. He even named his children after the characters in Peter Pan. After their mother died, he raised them on his salvage ship, the Neverland, in the hopes that McFey Treasures would become a family business. But he forgot that dreams don't pay bills, and children often lose their way as they grow up.
Years later, Tina Belle remains aboard the Neverland, the last McFey pursuing her father's dream. Her brothers have become the "lost boys," drifting into their own lives. They only return to help out after J.R.'s death left her and the family business foundered in an ocean of debt... each hoping she, too, will finally grow up and leave the impossible dream of the Neverland behind her. But she has no intention of abandoning her father's legacy, especially when his chief rival stands ready to erase that legacy once and for all. She has one last shot at glory, if she can find a shipwreck worth attention from her temporary sponsors. In short, Tina Belle McFey needs a miracle... but she wasn't counting on one like Captain André Marin.
Bound to the seas and his ship, the Trident, by a centuries-old curse, Marin and his crew live as ghosts. Only the love of a virtuous woman can win Marin's freedom, and the freedom of his crew... but, in four hundred years, only two women have even heard his call. The first died in tragedy. Belle doesn't want love - she has no time for it, especially not from a man who's as good as a ghost. She only wants help to find a treasure and save her family.
Miracles and curses often go hand-in-hand. For Tina Belle and Captain Marin, love may prove to be the most elusive miracle, and greatest curse, of all.
REVIEW: As a romance, there were certain givens about this plot, such as both lead characters being blessed by an abundance of good looks and unfulfilled passions. The overall story arc, too, had a certain genre inevitability to it. Still, for all that, I found this a decent read. Tina Belle is no fainting flower, to be easily manipulated by the captain's wiles. André, too, has to do some growing up and learning, as his attempts to seduce a modern woman force him to consider his own motives, and even the reasons he was cursed to begin with. The backdrops of rivalries, treasure diving, and lost lore add interest beyond the bedroom, as do the gifts and limitations of the Trident's cursed half-existence - the ship can sail through time and touch on mortal dreams, abilities Tina quickly learns to exploit to track down treasures even as Marin lures her with more personal pleasures. As for the inevitable sex and romance, they proved suitably steamy. If the prologue drug, if the McFey brothers sometimes were hard to keep straight in my head, and if I wondered whether there might have been more done with Marin's crew to mirror the conflicting interests and personalities aboard the Neverland, I still considered it reasonably satisfying. (It was also a free download when I grabbed it for my Kindle. That rarely hurts a rating.)
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