Water Bound (A Sea Haven Novel)
by Christine Feehan
Paperback: 480 pages
Available: July 27, 2010
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Book received from: Penguin
Off the shores of Sea Haven, a beautiful diver rescues a man from drowning, a man with no memory of who he is-or why he seems to possess the violent instincts of a trained killer. But soon, he and his savior will be engulfed in a storm of dizzying passion and inescapable danger…
When you mention the name of paranormal romance writer Christine Feehan, most anyone that enjoys reading romance has picked up at least one of her books out of the many series she has written. I started with the Carpathians in the Dark series several years back. I think I made it to the eighth or ninth book and then became burnt out on the repetitive, one dimensional, alpha men reciting the famous “you are my lifemate” speech. So when Water Bound, the first release of the Sisters of the Heart series, came across for review, I jumped to see if Ms. Feehan had evolved into a fresher, more modern style of writing. While I liked the character development and enjoyed the story more than the latter Carpathian books, I’m still not completely sold on the series.
Rikki is a high functioning autistic with sensory dysfunction. She leads an extremely tight, organized, lifestyle with an obsessive compulsive approach to her home and her work. A sea urchin diver by trade, Rikki has a deep connection with the water and is even able to command water at will. While out on a routine dive, Rikki finds and rescues Lev from almost drowning. Upon their first meeting, Rikki and Lev both feel an instant connection to each other. Lev does not remember the specifics of who he is but does know that he is dangerous and a former killer. What Lev immediately feels toward Rikki is a fierce desire to protect her and know her. Rikki is drawn to Lev like the water. It is unforced and although Rikki knows Lev is dangerous, she does not fear him. She only fears her ability to cope with his intrusion on her life. As both Rikki and Lev adjust to his recovering in her home, he begins to see Rikki as a person, how she functions, her lifestyle and longs for a sense of permanency with her. While Rikki conforms to her abruptly disorganized home with Lev now living in it, he in turn brings a sense of grounding to her emotions and gives her even more inner strength to cope with day to day changes. Both Lev and Rikki have a dark part of their past that comes back to haunt them and both vow to win the battle in order to have the freedom to love and live in peace with each other.
I have to say that this book was much slower paced than what I remember of past Feehan novels. It drug, a lot. The story it’s self was slightly boring and I wondered if I would make it through the entire lengthy book. Also, Water Bound picks up immediately from her prior series, the Drake Sisters, which partially explains why I was confused in some parts of the book and had a few questions that had me baffled. What was really surprising was that there was no sex until 280 pages in! This is a major switch from her sexcapades in the Dark Series. In fairness, however, because of Rikki’s autism, there had to be a great amount of trust building to establish an intimacy level that could progress to sex. But 280 pages? I was shocked! And in reading the sex scenes I felt like I was in an 80’s time warp which was reminiscent of how I felt when reading her previous novels. Now, what has improved, in my opinion, is character development. Ms. Feehan conveyed great detail into the sensory mindset of a functioning autistic person. You felt the frustration, the obsession, and the compulsion that Rikki fought within herself and you cheered when she was able to form coping strategies in her daily activities. However, Rikki was never a character you felt sorry for. She was a strong, independent survivor and had a fierceness that jumped from the pages. And with Lev, while he had some alpha moments, it did not dominate his overall character and you saw more of his patience, nurturing and loving nature that he showed toward Rikki. Both characters drew and gave strength from and to each other which is consistent with Feehan’s style. My greatest praise to the author is her overall growth and transformation she brings to her characters in order to find and accept love and it was evident to me more in Water Bound than in any of her previous books that I have read. Even though the first book didn’t convert me to the series, avid readers of Ms. Feehan’s work should dive into Water Bound for a good read.
“The trust in her eyes, the need and passion, aroused him as nothing else could. There was possession in her touch for the first time. A claiming of her own.”
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Christine Feehan’s Website