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Ari Bookzilla

A serial reader.

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Unmasking the Spy
Janet Kent
Kelly Favor
Iris Blaire
The Nature of Cruelty
L.H. Cosway
Karen Marie Moning
Varian Krylov
The Liberator
Victoria Scott
Abby Road
Ophelia London
Treasured Chest - Zrinka Jelic Not only did I read a historical novel, I read a pirate book - both of which aren't really my thing. It's the language - when I read saucy wench, bosom and ravish and it's not said in a joking manner, I still can't take it seriously.The reason I picked this book to read is because of the setting. The whole thing happens along the Adriatic coast - one of my favorite places in the world where I spend a good part of summer every year, and I have to admit the author did it justice! She really captured the very essence of being on the Adriatic sea, the feeling of the cities, the temperamental weather, etc. Obviously, she's from Croatia so she's familiar with the setting, but still.Not to mention it was really cool when she would mention a place and I would be like "been there!" (Just an FYI - Ragusa is actually Dubrovnik :D, if you need an image to put in your head. Every location in this book is a real place!)(It's the gorgeous Blue Cave! You can rent this little boat thingie and they take you there and it's really a magical place.)More locations:Jabuka islet from the beginning of the book.Dubrovnik (Ragusa)Elaphiti islandsPloce portVis islandI have never read a pirate book, but something tells me this is different than most. The pirates are all women (pirettes?), and it's them that do most of the saving.Carmen a.k.a Captain Sirena (the name goes well with the whole myth story) is a good, strong, female character that's been through a lot. I quite liked Carmen because she has this air of authority about her that makes me see why she was the one chosen to be the next captain of the ship. She's not a virginal, helpless, naive heroine - she's got a past, a dirty mouth and she's tough and fearless. There's also a sweet, tender side to her.But she's also mesmerized, captivated, etc, etc, by Marko and she pretty much transforms into a lovesick puppy when it comes to him. I hoped she wouldn't.Marko is a good hero in the context of this story. At first he's completely baffled that she won't succumb to his "seductive skills" which are apparently legendary, but he admires her for it, too, and it just makes him want her more. I liked his determination and I guess he was patient about it although the whole courting happens in a couple of days, so, not really.That being said, the author sort of tells you to like him. I don't like being told what to think when reading a book. I wasn't in love with him from the very beginning, it took me a while to get there.Both these characters are smart and capable and could hold their own against each other. I really, really liked this.If you are looking for insta-love, this is your story. Marko sees Carmen and decides he wants to spend the rest of his life with her. I didn't think they had great chemistry... but it could be just me. I felt their whole romance was based on superficial things, mostly appearances, especially on Marko's side.I wasn't that interested in the romance, I wanted to know how everything else would play out. Don't get me wrong, I was happy for the two of them in the end, it's just that I found everything else more interesting.I liked the way it was written, it suits the story. There's a bit of a mystery in there but I felt the reveal fell short because it didn't do much for the story.The characters felt realistic to me, and I loved the women of Strega, there was this sense of girl-power about the whole thing.I liked the second half of the book a lot. It's got some good action, and you finally see the chemistry between Carmen and Marko develop nicely.It wasn't really a smutty book - which (I'm ashamed to admit) I expected it to be. There are two mildly graphic sex scenes, and I didn't like them. The way she set it up for them to have sex was also a bit cliche."Unh, yeah, let's get out of these drenched clothes so we don't die."Yeah, that's why (cue eyebrow wiggle).But overall, I liked this book for what it is. It's fast paced, there isn't a lot of drama, and it's ultimately a happy read. I'd give it a 3.5.