The Kraken's Caribbean, Book 1
Maureen O. Betita
Decadent Publishing Company, LLC
January 31, 2011
Erotic Paranormal Romance
Ebook and paperback, 212 pages
Author Requested Review
Captain Alan Silvestri is a man haunted by a strange curse. Good luck is his to command, but it comes at the cost of any place to call home or people to reckon as family. Resigned to die and shunned by all, he is forced to sail every three days, until he begins to dream of a special woman.
Treated by our youth-oriented society as invisible and sexless, Emily Pawes is ready to move on with life. She attends a pirate festival, hoping to recapture the make-believe magic she knew as a young woman. Lucky to win an interesting bit of booty at a brick-a-brac stand, she finds herself transported by the Kraken’s mirror through a magical portal to a land of Hollywood piratitude, where swashbuckling heroes own iPods. With little choice, Emily embraces the madness. Playing pirate has to be safer than falling into the arms of handsome Captain Silvestri, right?
When they meet, sparks fly, passion flares. He needs her to be free, but more than that, he needs her to be whole. Setting sail and uncertain of who actually controls the wheel, they seek ways to defeat his curse of good luck and discover the Kraken’s mirror has plans for them. Will Emily stay in this pirate haven to fight alongside him or will he lose her because of his curse?
What a delightful, remarkable, and unexpectedly peculiar world Ms. Betita has created in her rendering of the 17th century Caribbean. Yes, you will find pirates, but you will also find out-of-place electrical devices, updated plumbing, among other strange oddities. The style of writing is refreshing as it blends the plain spoken (unrepentantly crude), modern day Emily with the pirate-ese of the regular crew of characters. I’m not sure if paranormal romance is the correct sub-genre for this book. It does contain a bit of vampires, zombies and werewolves, but I’m more inclined to label this as a sci-fi/fantasy romance. I don’t care what you label it – I label it fantastic!
The best parts of this book are the hero and heroine. (And the supporting characters, Davis, Jezzie, Mick, Tink, and the story.) Of course, you say, that’s the way it should be, but wait, there’s more. They aren’t your above-average sculpted, late twenty-something, to-die-for beauty/hunk. Emily is 53 and Silvestri is 65! But don’t let that fool you into thinking these two can’t rock the boat, stir the water, make waves….
One of the best pieces of banter is between Jezebel, who Captain's the Quill and Emily:
“Pawes, you’ve been on the ship three weeks now and you pull your share. You work the lines, you mend the sails, help out in the galley.” The captain tilted her head. “But Tink is right. You need to get laid.”
“Oh, fuck off! What is with this crew? Nothing but overactive libidos! You all think a cock is the answer to everything!” Emily rolled her eyes, disgusted at the constant poking about why she wasn’t dragging one of the hands off to her bunk.
“You want a woman? Fine. Hell, Tink tends to swing both ways.”
Emily faked a gag and backed away. “Everything isn’t about bed partners!”
“Well, it’s often the answer on this ship.”…..
Emily settles into life on the Quill as best she can, learning new skills and trades. She wonders if she’ll ever find the portal to return to her own time. Emily’s insecurities ring true: Because of her age, why would any man give her a second look? But when she is “rescued” by a “tall captain” and a night of debauchery ensues, all of her doubts start to fade. I simply adore her. She makes the most of her awkward situation. She’s not afraid to cuss, curse, and swear – damn it! Oh, and Emily has a partner that adores, worships, fill in the blank, her!
I was enchanted by this story. Silvestri’s curse is the center of the story which everything else revolves: The secrecy of Alan and Emily’s relationship, Alan’s lack of friends and the reason he keeps to himself. Witchcraft and voodoo are woven in so effortlessly, you don’t even notice. Granted, I doubted having a sea monster, and a Kraken at that, as being a good guy wasn’t going to fly, but Ms. Betita will charm you with her tale.