Monday 1 April 2024

Taken From the Sea by Judy Leslie (2024)



No one knew who Colleen’s birth parents were. She was found in a box on the incoming tide.

Raised by a wealthy shipping tycoon, she became an heir to the business after her father’s death. A dire warning from a friend to sell her shares in the company is ignored. Now the friend can’t be found and devious men are chasing Colleen. This sends her fleeing in her sailboat.

Colleen thought she’d be safe out on the water. She was wrong. To escape those pursuing her, she jumps overboard.

Days later, Colleen’s boat is found abandoned. Is she at the bottom of the ocean or is she merely missing?

Refusing to believe her daughter drowned, Colleen’s mother hires a shaman to find out what happened. But he isn’t the only one looking for her and the clock is ticking as they race to find the missing heir.

If you like mysteries full of suspense, romance, and a bit of folklore you will enjoy this take on Beauty and the Beast.

Taken from the Sea is a romantic suspense; a little bit dark with a smidgen of folklore that adds a touch of otherworldliness. It's quite a thrilling and suspenseful read with a happy ending. 

I loved the main character, Colleen. She is a free spirit who enjoys spending her time sailing and swimming rather than working in the family business much to her mother's displeasure. Colleen's mother is not the most likeable character. How she treats Colleen is at odds with the image presented of her as a young mother pining for another baby to love. Colleen is not close with her sister either but is redeemable by the end of the story.

I really loved the story surrounding Jason and his fascination with the Selkie. I was on tenterhooks for Colleen during her captivity. But, I thought her feelings for Jason changed very abruptly from fear to attraction and I would have liked to see more friendship development. 
I found the Chinese Triad element a little odd as the context wasn't fleshed out very well. There wasn't much beyond triad equals bad and evil. I would have liked to have learned more about her father's connection to China and the evidence he had saved and encrypted on the flash drive.

The Selkie folklore, Colleen's background and affinity with the seals absorbed me in the story. There is a great air of mystery around her as she is quite unlike other people. She feels more at home near and in the sea than working in the city. I enjoyed all her interactions with the seals and I got the sense that they were her real family. 

Overall, this was a great read, full of mystery, suspense and a little bit of romance.

Taken from the Sea is part of Cook's Cove Women's Fiction Mystery Novels

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