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Review of The Selkie

Liquid Silver Books, September 2012
The Selkie
Rosanna Leo

available now

This was supposed to be her year. However, after losing her job and discovering her fiancĂ© cheating, Maggie Collins has her doubts. When her grandmother dies, she hits rock bottom. Maggie travels to her grandmother’s home in Orkney, Scotland to sort through her gran’s things, only to discover the old woman has left her a seal pelt as her inheritance. She also learns that others are after the pelt.

To add to her frustration, Maggie’s dreams are filled with luscious images of a long-haired man, images that draw her to the magical beaches in Orkney. Although she’s lost her trust in men, this dream man inspires her with a lust she’s never known before.

Calan Kirk has also been dreaming. Dreaming of Maggie, the mortal woman who arouses him as no other woman ever has. Meeting her in the flesh when she arrives in Orkney is nothing short of spontaneous sexual combustion. But she is a human, and not to be trusted. He needs the seal pelt, not a red-haired temptress.

As a thief ransacks Maggie’s grandmother’s house, Maggie and Calan are thrust together. They must search for the animal skin, a mythical relic which once found, will either bring them together or rip them apart forever.

I've read a lot of books with a Scottish setting (who hasn't, right?) but I don't believe I've ever read anything set in the Orkney Islands before. Hebrides, yes. Isle of Man, definitely. Even the Falklands, once. But not Orkney. And different, uncommon settings is one of the things that get a book on my TBR List. I once read a truly atrocious historical romance simply because it had an atypical Egyptian setting.

But I digress . . .

Another "different" for me with this book is the fact that the male lead is a selkie. Different in part because I've only ever come across selkies as supporting characters, never the lead. And the second part, which may be a direct cause of the first part, is that I don't really do merfolk. Mermaids, mermen, selkies, sirens, what have you . . . Don't care for 'em much. Probably because I'm afraid of the ocean, hate seafood, and don't like getting wet unless it's hygiene-related.

So why on earth would I intentionally read this book, you might ask. Well, you may have picked up from other posts that I've developed a case of ennui where magical, monstrous men are concerned. Vampires, weres, and fae . . . meh. Demons are a favorite but no longer exciting. Wizards and warlocks tend to make me picture Harrys Potter and Dresden. Which, fun but not exactly sexy. Dragons. Druids. Gods. Angels. Aliens . . . I need some new flavors. Even cyborgs are out after I glommed Laurann Dohner's books this summer.

Thus, selkies. New territory. For me at least.

So back to the book. Finally, right? As to what worked most for me, I really enjoyed the sparky humor laced throughout Rosanna Leo's writing. Somehow, I didn't expect much humor going in, but some parts were really quite funny and witty. It would always catch me by surprise, and I'd be startled into laughter.

As for the downside? I, unfortunately, didn't really "get" Calan. He seemed to run hot and cold without clear reasons why. It wasn't until near the end that he started to feel substantial to me. 

And, to be honest, I never got over my sea-creature bias. I tried, I swear I did. But my brain won't make the connection between cute, blubbery seal and sexy hero. Especially when he keeps eating seafood. "Shellfish" is like a dirty word to me, after all. So, I think that element of the endeavor was doomed from the start.

Overall all assessment is that this is a fun, sweet romance even if it didn't convert me. I imagine others will read it and like it even more than I did, so please don't hold my personal hangups against this book. Give it a try for yourselves, see how you like it. 

This book was received courtesy of NetGalley and Liquid Silver Books in exchange for an honest review.


  1. Dear Strange Bedfellows. I'd like to thank you for your honest review of my book The Selkie. Although I realize it wasn't 100% for you, I truly appreciate you mentioning that you had some fun with it. It was my intention to try and introduce romance readers to a new kind of hero with Calan, and I'm glad you found time to post your review for me. Many thanks!

  2. Hi there! Thank you so much for reading my review and commenting. Sometimes I cringe a little when I hit that Publish button, thinking, "oh, I hope she/he won't get mad." So, thank you for being a good sport about my issues. It was a nice experience to read about a different kind of hero, and that made it well-worth reading and reviewing.