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on February 6, 2012
Loved this book! The story was captivating and the characters interesting. The writing is superb. I thought the author handled the delicate issue of domestic abuse very well. It was nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat reading that last quarter of the book. This is one author whose future books I will look forward to reading. Highly recommend! If you like a good romance with some otherworld magic thrown into the mix, then this book will not disappoint.
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on November 5, 2016
The Selkie Spell (Seal Island Trilogy Book 1)This book was such a joy to read!! I couldn't put it down!! I was there. I could feel the breeze off the ocean, feel the sand between my toes, smell the salty tang in the air, see and hear the seals in the water. I breathed in the heady fragrance of the roses as it drifted in the air from atop the cliffs. I felt their joy, their pain, their fear. I could relate to each character and felt hope in my heart for each of them, especially Tara. To be strong enough to withstand all she did, and still come out a strong woman, no, a stronger woman. A survivor. A victor. What a beautiful story! Those people were my friends. I will now visit with them again, and I am so looking forward to it!!
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This was a gripping story. It started out with the fable about the selkie who lost her skin. We've all heard the tales. The author tells it well and blends in her story seamlessly. I enjoyed traveling to this island and feeling, in some way, like I was there, enjoying the sea breeze, smelling the salt, and roses. Sure, I had to suspend disbelief at times, but when reality was introduced, I found myself drowning in the starkness of it all.

There may be triggers for those that have been abused in their lifetimes, just a warning. But I think this was a good way to help with awareness of spousal abuse. It breaks the fallacy that it only happens in lower-class families. The book addresses the deterioration of self-esteem and building of self-doubt. But it doesn't leave you feeling helpless. The story builds empowerment as the main character learns to trust again, in herself and others. And all this takes place with the beauty of Ireland all around.

I would suggest that this be for mature audiences as there is the above subject matter and a very hot sex scene or two. It is part of the story. If you feel that is something you don't like to read, skip it and enjoy the story otherwise. It does leave you feeling good with all the threads tied up at the end. I want to read the next book. Luckily I already had it, but I didn't feel I was left on a cliffhanger. I just want to know what happens next.
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Coming into this I was not sure what to expect. The selkie myth is huge yet there are not a lot of books that focus it it, so this was a delightful change from my usual shifters. I was also thrilled with the idea of delving into some Celtic myth.

The story here is beautifully crafted. From the very start I was enchanted and did not want to stop reading. The whole book is very much like a Selkie Siren singing her song that puts you under a charming spell. I did not want it to end and was beyond thrilled to find it is actually a series!

The story comes from a mixed narrative, mostly from the two leads POV, but also from many supporting characters. This gives you a more rounded tale and gain huge insights into the whole world. The transitions were smooth and flowed beautifully from one character to the next.

I love Tara, she has such strength and determination. She meets her match in Dominic, they are both so stubborn. You can feel the chemistry from the start and there is no surprise that these two will get together. I love it when the sparks fly! The romance here is lovely and melts your heart at times!

The story has so much more than just a romance. Everything about this sleep island town is engaging and the characters easily draw you in further. There are some great layers with the Selkie's curse and the danger following Tara. Everything combined to make an enchanting read.

I listened to the audiobook narrated by Hollis McCarthy, who does a brilliant job! She takes on many distinct voices and delivers a delicious Irish accent in the hero! She has a fantastic pace in her read that lends itself to the movement of the story. This was a perfect marriage of narrator and book! I hope she stays with the whole series if it comes to audio.

Overall, this is a dynamic read that delights the reader with beautiful prose and engaging characters. So much going on in this story but it never feels too busy. Ms Moss is also clever enough to weave in threads of the other two books characters. I am eager to see Caitlin and Glenna discover their HEA! When I accept a book to review I am always worried about how I will react. I am happy to admit I am ecstatic with this find and can not wait to read more of this charming author!

Disclosure - I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts, opinions and ratings are my own.
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on June 25, 2017
Tara is on the run and ends up on Seal Island in Ireland to try and make a little money and lay low, but strange things start happening and she gets caught up in a legend as well as in her own drama. You can run, but you can't hide. SPOILER ALERT: The book brings up some of the real realities of domestic abuse and how hard it is for those who are victims of it to become trapped or have others believe them.
While romance isn't my favorite genre by far it was an interesting read and enjoyable. If this is your genre it has a nice addition of folklore and the supernatural to make it more interesting without it becoming full on hokey like some books.
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on March 30, 2014
A legend & a mystery conceal to form this charming & sometimes thrilling story. Two mysteries, actually: one focused upon the legend, the other focused upon the whereabouts, though not the intentions of a murderous, wife-beating man.
All taking place in locale of the lovely Seal Islands of Ireland. Which brings up my other recommendation to you: take a few minutes to look up the Seal Islands, scrolling through the images offered. I do this with most books I now read; it's called low-budget traveling. But this story is truly enhanced by the visual aid of seeing the area -- in no way could your imagination conjure the simplistic charm nor the types of old ruins making the setting of this book. Yet, the author describes it beautifully, but it is so much more than mere words can do justice. It truly deepens the experience of reading this story.
This is an easy-flowing book, much akin to a soft breeze flowing to shore with the sounds of breaking waves and seals barking in the distance. You may even find yourself shedding some tears near the end, tears of relief, tears of happy. And feeling good in a way one rarely feels after finishing a more traditional mystery.
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on March 27, 2013
This is a very well written book. I won't do a plot summary - I'll talk about the seemingly effortless skill with which Sophie Moss presented this wonderful selkie story. The cover grabbed me but the first few pages tightened that grip and the story held me fast. The mix of mythology in a contemporary setting was presented in a believable and realistic way. It was like the air on Seal Island was thick with magic and the inhabitants didn't notice because they were used to it. The characters were well developed individuals but not caricatures. I want to do this book justice with a good review but honestly I just want to gush, fan-girl style. Two things struck me as I read: the rich well described setting and the excellently paced plot. The story developed naturally, not a word seemed rushed nor description overly drawn out. I would have bet money this book was written by an experienced author and published by one of the Big 6. I would have lost. Gems like this are why we should never let ourselves be swayed away from an indie book. Ms. Moss is an indie author to watch and her voice has style.

~ "The air was crisp and cool and refreshing when Tara stepped outside and she took a moment to soak in the view. She could hear men shouting over their motors down at the docs, bringing in their catch for the day. The ocean crashed turquoise over a silver beach, fading out to the Atlantic in darker blue. Sunlight sparkled, dropped like diamonds into the water. To the West, puffy clouds floated over the jagged peaks of Connemara, like rich dollops of cream. "Takes your breath away, doesn't it?" "

That it does, Sophie Moss. That it does.
Thank you for the imaginary vacation to Seal Island. It was beautiful.
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on September 3, 2016
I chose this book because I'd been introduced to the selkie legend by Heather Barbieri's The Cottage at Glass Beach which I read 3 times (!) and wanted to read more about this fascinating legend. Having lived on the ocean all my adult life before moving to the mountains several years ago I longed for the beach. The Cottage brought me back to that life and introduced me to the selkies. Perusing everything selkie I could find on Amazon I ordered Sophie Moss's The Selkie Spell and was enthralled. There was so much unexplained in her initial introduction of the characters and many surprises as their stories developed. She beautifully interweaves legend, fantasy, real life; love, hate, romance, and mystery. She's
'done her homework'; her knowledge of the legends of Ireland, the places in Ireland, and the people show through. I've read this book twice and am eagerly awaiting her other two to arrive. She is an excellent writer. I couldn't put this book down. If you love fantasy and romance this is the book for you. Moreover, if you can interweave fantasy and 'real life' nonjudgmentally you'll want, as much as you to can 'get into' the place she brings you to.
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on October 18, 2016
From the very first chapter, Sophie Moss weaves a spell of a woman fleeing her murderous husband, to find love and magic in mystical Ireland. The author brings the island to life,through her descriptive prose of the legend of a selkie spirit who can't rest until her pelt is returned and her descendant , who is running from a murderous, abusive husband. The story us so good I couldn't put it down. I absolutely loved it.
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on November 3, 2016
Sophie Moss has a writing style that takes you to an island where you can smell the sea and see the seals on the shore. You can smell the roses and feel the fear and the frustration that surrounds Tara as she arrives on the Island looking for a refuge. Dominic's mistrust and anger at this woman who brings back unwanted memories is palpable. Seal Island welcomes Tara and we learn the island's story and watch the relationship of Tara and Dominic develop as Tara holds on to a dangerous secret. The selkies play and important role throughout the story. A great story for a quiet afternoon.
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