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Friday, August 27, 2010

Review of Water Bound by Christine Feehan


Water Bound
by Christine Feehan

Okay, I'm the first one to admit Christine Feehan's stuff is sometimes over the top. Her Dark series is extremely melodramatic, her alpha male heroes are one step short of cavemen, her 80-pg. love scenes go on and on about creamy skin and velvet sheaths. Nevertheless, I love her books.

Why?

Well, Christine Feehan knows something about what women want, and what is the essence of romantic fiction. One man, filled with purpose and integrity and courage, whose entire life centers around one single woman....his lifemate. He would kill for her, die for her. This theme, which is repeated over and over again, is incredibly romantic. It works. It makes for extremely satisfying HEAS, too. My only concern with Feehan is that the violence against women has escalated over the last couple of years, and in my opinion, is not necessary and detracts from the core of her books.

Because of that, I was nervous about starting this next series. I refused to read Hidden Currents because of the disturbing content, and I was pretty pissed off since I'd stuck with the whole Drake sisters series, and was really looking forward to Elle's book. I figured this spin-off series would also be too violent for me, so I was gonna pass on it. However, in a moment of boredom at the grocery store, I saw Water Bound and decided to give it a go.

I am so, so, so glad I did! This book is not typical for Christine Feehan...it's more subtle, more emotional and incredibly satisfying and romantic. I think it's the most romantic book she's written.

First of all, she took a chance on creating an autistic heroine. Rikki is strong and capable in spite of her autism. She is also loving and protective of her "sisters." The first scene in the book where Rikki and Lev "meet" underwater is absolutely amazing....their instant connection is surprising to both of them. I just loved this scene! Honestly, I sometimes forget how spectacular Feehan is in terms of her paranormal creativity. Rikki's affinity for water is one of the coolest things I've ever read....the water sparkles, plays, takes on a life of its own. The descriptions of Rikki connecting with water are astounding. What a great, unique paranormal concept. After an overload of vampire/werewolf descriptions, the water angle is fabulous, mesmerizing, inspiring.

Lev is one of my favorite Feehan heroes. He recognizes right away that Rikki is "different." He is patient with her and takes the time to learn the things he has to do to accommodate her special needs. This is one of the most romantic, wonderful gestures a hero could ever do. It made me fall in love with Lev. He's a trained, cold-hearted killer who learns to love and trust through his relationship with Rikki.

For both of them, falling in love is a huge leap of faith. Rikki has to step outside of her comfortable limits, which is a huge undertaking for someone with severe OCD issues. Lev wonders if he can truly shed his skin as a cold-blooded killer and become a "normal" man with a new identity.

It's simply a wonderful love story.

The only thing that bugged me a little bit was waiting for the conclusion to two separate conflicts at the end of the book...the arsonist problem and Lev's assassin. Didn't need two conflicts here....one would have sufficed.

I was very surprised by this book. It's not your typical Feehan story...but I thought that Rikki and Lev are a truly original and wonderful couple. I hope that the rest of this series continues on this path.
Grade: A

Next week.....Dark Peril is out! Yippee!

Having an awesome reading week and loving every minute of it,
Penelope

10 comments:

Smokinhotbooks said...

I think I'm one of the few people who actually liked Hidden Currents, lol.

This one didn't do it for me - I really liked that the heroine was autistic. You don't see that everyday in romance.

Nice review.

Sherry said...

It took me a little while to be able to read Hidden Current. I had a friend tell me how good it was but I had a hard time starting the book because she told me how bad Elle was done in the book. When I finally read the book I thought it was really good although reading about what was done to Elle just about made me sick. I'm really glad I finally broke down and read the book. I have Water Bound but I haven't read it yet I started to read it the other day but I just wasn't in the mood for it. I will read it eventually though.

sstrode@scrtc.com

Julie at Outlandish Dreaming said...

I've never read anything by Feehan, I think it's because I'd heard she could be a little of the top and I didn't think I'd like her style, but his book sounds intersting, sorta a female Ian Mackenzie in a way? You've piqued my curiosity in this one - thanks!

Penelope said...

Hey Smokin! I know you didn't love this one as much as I did. Christine Feehan is really an acquired taste in many ways....I even love her crazy Carpathians, although I know a lot of folks who make fun of them.

Someday maybe I will have enough courage to try Hidden Currents, but I'm still scared!

Penelope said...

Hi Sherry...I am very conflicted about Hidden Currents. I have a big problem with disturbing imagery...it really, really bothers me a lot. Especially with characters I care about. I have a critique partner who also didn't like the end of the book for different reasons. Not sure I will ever get to that one. And I make sure I read reviews of her books now before I jump in...I will avoid ones in the future that have excessive/disturbing violence/rape.

I think you'll enjoy Water Bound...it is wonderful!

Penelope said...

Hi Julie....I don't know if you would like her Dark series...but I think you might like this book. It's not really typical for her, but I thought it had the perfect balance of cool paranormal stuff, emotional journey and a wonderful love story. I also thought about Ian Mackenzie....God bless these authors for creating successful autistic characters...what an inspiration!

Fiction Vixen said...

Penny--I've only read the first couple of books in the Dark series and that was enough. I'm thinking of trying Feehan again and this series looks like it might be what I need. Nice review.

Penelope said...

Hey FV...this book is a way toned down version of Feehan's typical writing....if you want to give her another try, this is the book!

Buriedbybooks said...

The violence against women *has* been escalating in her books...with Hidden Currents being the worst of the lot. That bothered me, but if you can get past it, I think Hidden Currents is worth reading. It does a great job of tying the series together.

I'm still a bit hesitant about this one, though, but I think I'm going to cave soon. I love Sea Haven too much to resist for long.

Penelope said...

Hi BuriedbyBooks! I am reading Dark Peril now...and I am digging it! I think CF has turned over a new, not-quite-so-violent leaf. At least I hope so! We shall see....