Monday, June 1, 2015

Review: Heart Like an Ocean by Christine Steendam

Heart Like an Ocean by Christine Steendam
316 pages, 2013
My Rating: 4 Stars
Source: I received a copy in exchange for an honest review

Description:  In a society where she doesn't belong, Senona Montez, a strong-willed and free-spirited woman refuses to follow the path expected of a Don’s only child.
On the eve of her marriage to a stranger, she saddles her horse and flees everything she knows, only to discover the petty concerns of society did not prepare her for the harsh life on the open sea. She finds an unlikely protector in a reckless privateer, Brant Foxton.

Straddling the worlds of independence and privilege in 1600′s Europe, this captivating man challenges her in ways she never thought possible, shows her what living to the fullest really means, and allows her to follow her heart wherever it leads. Review: Pirates are dangerous men, yet I can't help but find a fascination with them--especially with the "good" ones. The story begins with Senona fleeing Spain the night before her arranged marriage. She finds a pirate who will take her and her horse and get them away quickly. Brant, a privateer, knows this evil pirate's reputation and kidnaps Senona in order to help and protect her.

Of course, I was intrigued by their journey on the ocean. I came to really enjoy the characters and their strengths and weaknesses. Brant is brave, commanding, and strong, but he really made me mad. He has a past and can't quite get over it. He comes across as so indecisive and fickle about love throughout most of the book and I wanted him to really think about where his decisions were leading and who they were affecting, especially where his younger brother, James, is concerned. James--I really enjoyed him and the battles he faced as he tried to do what he wanted to do, but still come across as "cool" to those around him. Senona is a woman of privilege, but she really works hard to prove herself and to earn her keep. We don't always belong in the box we're placed into and Senona really tries to find her place in life. I couldn't stand the housekeeper, but loved her children.

I really liked the way the story went from the tropical seas to England and back again. The societies at this time were vastly different and it was fun to be immersed in each one for awhile. This alone set the story apart from others in the same genre. I'm curious--were balls a big thing in England in the 1600s? I always thought they came later, but they were still fun to read little snippets about. I really enjoyed this one.

Content: a few mild swear words; mild violence (pirates--murder, plunder, etc but not graphic); mild romance. Clean!

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About the Author: 
Christine SteendamChristine Steendam is the award-winning romance author of the Foremost Chronicles and the Ocean Series. She also flirts with sci-fi and comic book writing and is a yearly participant in NaNoWriMo.
Christine makes her home in Manitoba, Canada on a sprawling 15 acre ranch with her husband, two young sons, and a brood of animals including Guinness, her beloved chocolate quarter horse, Beau, her St Bernard/Golden Retriever cross, and a gaggle of barn kittens.

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