Novella Review: Shifting Seas by Virginia Kantra

One of my biggest pet peeves with doing anthology reviews is finding a suitable blurb. Grrr! I don’t know why I’m complaining now. I haven’t even gotten to that part of the post. Anyway, Shifting Seas was the first time I’ve read anything by Virginia Kantra. In fact, I hadn’t heard of her before I picked up Burning Up. Definitely one of the benefits of reading an anthology is getting the opportunity to try out authors. This was the last novella I read in Burning up. Before I get to the review, the blurb from Ms. Kantra’s website:

“Shifting Sea,” Morwenna of the finfolk’s story in the BURNING UP anthology, August 2010. With additional stories by the very talented Angela Knight, Nalini Singh, and Meljean Brook (woo hoo!). A sexy fairy tale for grown ups set in Regency Scotland with Morgan’s twin Morwenna as the heroine and a to-die-for veteran of the Peninsular War as the hero.

<sigh> That’s it. Doesn’t tell too much. Kind of potluck. If I ever participate in part of an anthology and don’t leave a good blurb at least on my website/blog, you come back and razz me, okay? Promise me! I’ll should shut up now, cause my blurbs aren’t so hot either. Moving on. ๐Ÿ™‚

To the story! Shifting Seas is part of the Children of the Sea series. According to Ms. Kantra’s website, it’s actually a prequel. Goody me… means no worrying about trying to figure out back stories. ๐Ÿ™‚ Shifting Sea pretty much jumps into to things… no preliminaries, no wasted words. I didn’t really buy the story line at first. I always expected there to be a catch to the way the heroine behaved. It turns out there wasn’t a catch, just the heroine had a different mentality due to being a finfolk. ๐Ÿ™‚

In terms of characterization, It seemed as if the hero and heroine switched gender roles, something I love. The heroine was quite logical. Not saying women aren’t logical, just writers often portray women as emotional (often unstable) in romance novels. The hero on the other hand was more of the caring type. Not the protector type of caring we see in romance novels, but the hearth kind of caring. Do you have enough blankets to keep you warm for the night? Okay… he didn’t say that, but you get the point. ๐Ÿ™‚

Overall, the plot was okay. Nothing spectacular, nothing to snark about. ๐Ÿ™‚ I might say, I thought the townspeople were a bit too accepting of the happenings, but it didn’t spoil the read. And I doubt a mystical creature would be so liberal with giving away her origin.

So, would I purchase a Kantra book in the future? Well, this one didn’t stand out enough to make me say yes. However, I definitely would read one of her stories if it were in an anthology with another author I enjoyed. I put Shifting Seas on the same level as Angela Knight’s story in terms of interest. I might even be motivated to enter a giveaway for one of those authors’ works.

Since this is the final read in Burning Up, I’ll give my final analysis. I started off as a Nalini Singh fan. In fact, she’s the reason I purchased the book in the first place. Of the four, I hate to say it, but Singh’s story was my least favorite. I haven’t lost faith though. Just that this one didn’t tug on me like some of the others. Truly, I hope she starts being mean to her characters again like she spoke about in her blog. I’d never read works by the other authors before, but you got my view of Knight and Kantra above. Okay… no big deal. But Meljean Brook… now she stood out! I absolutely loved her story. In fact, I ordered the Iron Duke, I liked it so much.

So do I recommend Burning Up? As an anthology it’s not bad. I’ve yet to read an anthology which had more than one good read in it. This one had pretty much average reads then one kick ass read (Brook). So yeah. If you’re looking for one of the better anthologies, I’d say go with Burning Up.

So my favorite lines:

  • Was all this chatter really necessary? He had not talked this much while they were having sex. Perhaps she should suggest they have sex again.”
  • “I knew you Scots had sex with sheep. But seals?”

So tell me people, what’s been your favorite anthology?

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