Oceans of Fire by Christine Feehan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
There were things I loved about this book, but it was a bit of a slow read. I think it's because I started reading Feehan with her Ghostwalkers, and I got used to the near constant adrenaline rush of those stories. One good thing about this book and the Drake sister series is the focus is really on the heroine. So if you like strong, heroine-oriented romances, you should read these books.
I like the idea of a family of sisters who are bound together by intense love and loyalty. I loved the scenes where they are chatting and kidding around. But I have to admit, I found the slice of life stuff in Sea Harbor a bit tedious. I don't know. I guess the happenings in Sea Harbor don't grab my interest that much. I did like the bit about the rivalry between the Drake sisters and Sylvia. Aunt Carol is a hoot as well.
Alexsandr was very yummy. Can I get one of him? I wasn't expecting him to be on the dangerous side. That was so cool that he worked for Interpol. He was a guy I could like and respect although he was considered shady and morally flexible. I didn't think of him that way at all. Before I read this story, I thought he'd be really straight and narrow (and maybe a little boring compared to Ilya and the Ghostwalkers), but he had dark edge that I loved. I don't know why I thought that when it's clear that Ms. Feehan writes some pretty excellent heroes.
As much as I liked Alexsandr, I have to say that Ilya stole the show and is the star hero in the Drake series for me. I just love that man. He was in this book enough just to tease and torment me. They talked about him a lot and I was smiling goofily the whole time. I am almost at the point where I'm considering a reread of Turbulent Sea just to get some more Ilya time (big grin). But since this is Oceans of Fire we're talking about, I should get back on topic.
Abbey was a good heroine. She was strong, yet vulnerable. I could understand why she didn't want to trust Alexsandr and let him back into her heart, although I wanted her to. She didn't really understand what he had to go through and why he 'left' her in that situation. She drew away from him to save herself, because the pain of his betrayal almost killed her emotionally. I didn't feel like she was too stupid to live about that. I think there are times when you love someone so much that they can tear a hole in your heart and you cannot survive unless you get some distance away from that person.
On the other hand, I could see where Alexsandr is coming from. He was in a bad situation and had some conflicted loyalties. What he was trying to accomplish did require a sacrifice, and he made the best decision he could, and it cost him his relationship with Abbey. Four years is a long time to live with regrets and to have to face the loss of one's true love. It was clear how much he suffered. He didn't want to fall in love. He was all about his work in law enforcement, but love walked in and took his heart. So he was really in between a rock and a hard place. I feel that Alexsandr truly did show steadfast love for Abbey, and that spoke louder than what his actions appeared to show. Let's just say it was a very complicated situation.
As an animal lover, I was very entertained by the interactions with the dolphins. They are such intelligent, interesting animals. You could tell that Ms. Feehan did her research on dolphins, and this part of the story felt authentic without going into 'info-dump' territory. And the descriptions of the coast and the ocean made me miss living in San Diego really, really bad. The ocean has a beauty that goes into your soul and doesn't let go. Ms. Feehan really showed this well in Oceans of Fire.
I'm not a big fan of the witch storyline, but Feehan does it well. I'd be a complete idiot to complain about the witch parts, since I read this book knowing that it is about witches, so I won't. It's interesting in a way, but my paranormal interests really don't go in this direction. I do like how they use their power to help others and can heal and control animals and the wind. That's pretty cool. All the herbs (Sort of. I'm interested in herbs to be honest), candles and various witchy accoutrements and their rituals was a little boring for me at times. Nothing against that, just not my cup of tea. One thing I do like about this book is the way the descriptions of the witchy aspects of the Drake sisters sends a chill down my spine at certain times. I feel that the power of the Drake sisters comes off pretty eerie (And I'm all about eerie/scary/frightening stuff in fiction. Maybe too much at times. Ask my sister about that). I kind of feel sorry for the men in their lives, because that aspect is probably really weird to someone not used to it. That house kind of gives me the creeps. Yeah, a house that comes alive. Not for me. Poor Jonas has been around it most of his life, and he still hasn't gotten used to it.
I just love Jonas. He's so fun to read about. He says the most entertaining things and he is so in love with Hannah and totally in denial about it. I'd like to see more of Jackson. His dangerous, strong, silent character is calling my name.
I love the Drake sisters, and Ms. Feehan does such a good job of making them unique from each other. They all have interesting personalities, and seem to support and love each other as sisters and friends. Their girl talk is a lot of fun to read. Hannah is so sweet, I just want to hug her. Joley is outrageous and fun, reminding me of my aunt. Sarah is very mature and protective. Kate is nurturing, Libby would bend over backwards to help ease someone's pain, and Elle is calm and loving. What a great family.
So I'd give this a very solid four stars for the good things: Alexsandr, Abbey, the Drake Sisters, the sexy Russian hero aspects, the sexy, dangerous hero aspects, Ilya, Ilya (I wrote that twice on purpose), the descrptions of the ocean and coastal life, and the dolphins. It could have be a more interesting read, but it was definitely a good read.
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