Review: The Lure of Shapinsay by Krista Holle

Posted April 19th, 2013 in Uncategorized / 8 comments

The Lure of Shapinsay

by Krista Holle

Publisher: Sweet River Romance (Dec 2011)
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Historical, Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: eBook (260 pages)
Source: Review Request
Purchase: Amazon Print | Amazon Kindle | Barnes & Noble
Rating: ★★½☆☆ (2.5 Stars)

Ever since Kait Swanney could remember, the old crones of the village have been warning her to stay away from the selkies. They claim that like sirens of old, the seal men creep from the inky waters, shed their skins, and entice women to their deaths beneath the North Sea. But avoiding an encounter becomes impossible when Kait is spotted at the water’s edge, moments after the murder of a half-selkie infant.

Unexpectedly, Kait is awoken by a beautiful, selkie man seeking revenge. After she declares her innocence, the intruder darts into the night, but not before inadvertently bewitching her with an overpowering lure.

Kait obsesses over a reunion deep beneath the bay and risks her own life to be reunited with her selkie. But when she lands the dangerous lover, the chaos that follows leaves Kait little time to wonder—is it love setting her on fire or has she simply been lured?

~Short Review~

At A Glance
A book about obsession…and that’s pretty much it.

The Good
My favorite part of The Lure of Shapinsay was the setting and the paranormal elements. I think it’s set around the mid 1800s. I really felt like I was taken back to that time with the accented dialogue and grungy descriptions. I could smell the salt water mist from the sea and feel the smooth but rough skin of a selkie on my finger tips. Though the background on selkies was pretty short, I really had fun learning more about them. Like how they came to be and their magic. I would definitely like to read more about selkies.

Each character was interesting in their own way. Kait was a determined character with a hot temper. Eamon was stubborn to a fault and frisky like a teenager. His reckless actions pegged him as young and naive but he always had love and passion in his heart. He often made me smile. And event the side characters had their fun quarks.

The writing really was beautiful. The imagery was vivid and the pacing was just right. There was one or two twists and turns that really did surprise me. Not everything was always as it seemed.

The Bad
The Lure of Shapinsay started out so strong. Kait was a strong character, especially for the times, and Holle made me anxious to learn more about the mysterious selkies. Then that damn selkie lure ruined it all. I could never really feel the authenticity of Eamon and Kait’s love because there was none. Kait becomes obsessed with Eamon because of this lure and Eamon becomes obsessed with Kait for reasons I can’t mention. They form this sick puppy love that neither wants to give up and often almost kill themselves over. *sighs* What else can I say? I just couldn’t get into their relationship like I hoped.

I also found some of the plot to be boring because nothing happens besides Kait barely being able to function without Eamon and Eamon being stubborn. The End. I felt like I was always waiting for the pivotal moment where something huge would happen and it never same.

The Snuggly
This book has a mature YA feel though it’s labeled new adult by the author. We get build up towards sex but no actual sex scenes.

Final Thoughts
I did have fun with some of this book. If it wasn’t for the “love” story that was really about obsession I would have liked this book a lot more. I am glad I read it but I wouldn’t recommend it to many people.  I would only recommend The Lure of Shapinsay to those who are dying to read about selkies.

“I dinnae wish to be your enemy, but you make me wish to hate you.” 


 “Kait would soon learn that there was nothing I wouldn’t do for her. I had chosen a new loyalty and would mourn the sea.”


“Your cheeks are flushed,” Eamon observed with a relaxed smile that lit up his face like the sun. He awkwardly pushed a blonde straggler behind my ear. His fingers lingered behind my neck as if they were always meant to be there. “Aren’t ye well?”

“It means I’m happy,” I said with a broad grin, “Your cheeks are splotched pink too.”

Eamon touched his cheek like it couldn’t be true then gave me a bewildered look. “Then I must be happy too.”


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8 Responses to “Review: The Lure of Shapinsay by Krista Holle”

  1. Jaclyn Canada

    I admit to being disappointed. I was excited when I read that it was about selkies and thought this would be pretty cool. Not sure it’s a book for me though since most of it is just about obsession and no actual love. Thank you so much for sharing! Jaclyn @ JC’s Book Haven.

    • Jennifer Bielman

      Many reviewers seem to feel that what I interpreted as obsession really was true love. But I can only go with what I saw and felt. I would be interested to see what you think if you read it.

  2. The Readdicts

    I agree with you, Jennifer! I’ve read this book and yes, the set up was really well portrayed and yes, the smell of sand and sea. Sheesh, I’m actually very happy you felt the same. The selkies still confuse me, but I loved how the whole coat significance was shown. Although not the best read, like you said, this was a good one! Beautiful review!

    Sarika @ The Readdicts

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