Saturday, September 8, 2012

Sea of Secrets (by Amanda DeWees)

Sea of Secrets rating:  3.5 out of 5 stars
Release Date:  February 1, 2012

How are the sex scenes?
What sex?  There is only kissing, but I did not want for any bedroom action.  
Sex doesn't fit this story and Amanda made the right choice in excluding it.

How are the story lines?
A clever treat is in store for readers.  It's excellent and I was so pleased when I figured it out.  Amanda explains it all in her Author's Note at the end of the book.

Would you read it again?
I would and I am anxiously awaiting her upcoming releases...romances or otherwise.

Back of the Book

After her brother is killed in the Crimean War, innocent young Oriel Pembroke finds herself alone in the world.  Disowned by the cruel father who has always despised her, she has nowhere to turn until she is taken under the wing of a glamorous relative she never knew: the former Duchess of Ellsworth, who has scandalized society by remarrying soon after her first husband's death.  At the opulent seaside estate of Ellsmere, Oriel thinks she has found a safe haven-but the darkly handsome young duke, Herron, believes otherwise.  Haunted by the death of his father, he suspects that Ellsmere is sheltering a murderer.

Even as Oriel falls in love with the duke, she begins to fear that his grief and suspicion are turning to madness.
When dangerous accidents start to befall both Herron and Oriel, however, she realizes that someone may be trying to stop them from discovering the truth about the past.  And when her father comes back into her life, she learns that he may hold the answer to the most horrifying secret of all...


Sea of Secrets by Amanda DeWees is set between 1853 - 1856 along the English coast.

The description of this book is the best I have ever read.  Everything I would tell you about the plot, the publisher already has.

Oriel is a character to fall in love with.  She's emotionally neglected, believes she looks plain, sews herself drab-colored dresses because her father refuses to buy something better and lost her mother when she was an infant.  

Constantly being told she is of no value, Oriel speaks little in her father's presence and waits for the day she can retire as a spinster - because she's too unremarkable to draw any gentlemen's interest.  

To whatever he said, however caustic or cruel, I answered only Yes, Father; As you say, Father; To be sure, Father.

Strong, wounded heroines are a favorite of mine and Oriel hits all the right points.

Amanda DeWees delivers exceptional writing with entertaining details and believable plots in spades.

The sorrowful beginning is beautiful prose and the first person point-of-view helps the reader identify with Oriel.  The events are simple and ordinary until the mystery starts about halfway through, yet I was always compelled to read further and never had to read a sentence twice for clarification.  

Amanda's writing is self-explanatory and credits readers' intelligence by not overstating the obvious.

The hero of this story is foreshadowed.  Remember this sentence.  Remember this sentence, read Sea of Secrets, then think about this sentence again.  It's there.  And it rules.

The most amazing part of Sea of Secrets is the huge parallel between it and another fictional writing.  To give the title is a spoiler, but keep this in mind and see how long it takes for you to notice.  Then read Amanda's Author's Note to understand the rest.

The reason Sea of Secrets receives 3.5 stars and not 4.5 stars or also a spoiler.  But this story is slated as a Gothic Romance, not a historical with a romantic element and is graded as such.  

The lack of sex has nothing to do with the rating.  As mentioned above, Sea of Secrets doesn't need it and Amanda shows great wisdom in leaving it out.

I enjoyed this story.  It's now a comfort read for me.

Amanda's form of writing is beautiful and I dare say perfect; it's nice to read beautiful things.

Learn more about author Amanda DeWees and her upcoming works on her website, Facebook and Goodreads

Published by Amanda DeWees
Disclaimer:  No compensation was received for this review.  ARC received from author. 

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