Newly orphaned, Ophelia Montague moves to the coast to live with her uncle. She soon finds her feet among the locals and takes on a history project learning about shipwrecks in the area. She meets Jack by the sea one night and falls deeply in love with him. Jack feels drawn to Ophelia, too, by a powerful force outside his control. He longs to be with her, but fears she may destroy him if she comes too close. Ophelia doesn’t understand the secrets Jack carries. She only knows she wants to be with him. When Jack reveals the cost of being with him, the price may prove too high for Ophelia to pay, and it may be too late for her to escape.
I liked that the story switches to a lot of different points of view. We see some scenes from Ophelia perspective, others from Jack’s, and still others from Adam or Holly’s viewpoint. I liked the way this drew the focus of the story onto the different relationships in Ophelia’s life rather than letting it be completely swallowed by her obsession with Jack.
The romance between Jack and Ophelia is definitely a dominant force in the tale. I found it a little hard to swallow the strength of their passion for each other because it didn’t seem to have much of a base. Why does she like him? Because she does. Why does he like her? Because they’re soul mates. It was kind of just supposed to be something readers never question. I kept waiting for there to be some revelation about a connection between Ophelia and Jack’s ancestors or something like that. Something that gave reason for the “meant to be” idea.
In the ARC version that I read, there are quite a few copy errors. Sometimes two sentences would be separated by a comma. In the grand scheme of things, it’s not a huge error, but things like that tend to trip me up. They may be fixed before the final version is released, though.
In reading some of the author’s notes about the story, I was excited to learn that the shipwreck mentioned in the tale did really happen, and many of the details about the sailors themselves were pulled from records about the real men aboard the vessel. I found it fascinating to have that bit of history pulled into the contemporary story. It definitely added some intrigue and made me want to learn more about shipwrecks.
Also – I loved coming across the various places mentioned in the Australia setting. Until recently, I worked for a company that creates 3D city models, and we had modeled many of the sites mentioned in the story. So that was kind of a cool thing for me that even though I’d never been to those places, I could visualize some of them from our models.
Intense kissing. Ophelia offers herself to her boyfriend, but he responds telling her that she will only share his bed when she is his wife. Adam receives a young woman into his room while wearing only boxers. No details about what happens after, though Ophelia wonders vaguely.
Ophelia believes she’s encountered a ghost and does some online research as to whether that could be true. One thing she learns is that (according to her research) if the ghost only partially appears and is missing some part of himself, then it may be a demon rather than a ghost she’s seeing.
Two of the local boys wind up in a fist fight over an old family feud. Ophelia researches records of shipwrecks in the area and learns about some of the sailor’s deaths at sea. A few of these instances are described in some detail.
Note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.