Series: Shipwreck #1
on July 21, 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Crime, Mystery, Romance
I didn’t set out to be a pirate. Life for me was about surviving the ugliness that people knew existed but didn’t talk about. I lived in hell. Then I saw her. I knew I couldn’t keep her, but for just a little while I had found heaven.
Eight years later, I can’t get her out of my head. It is a mistake sailing to her island. It is a mistake reaching out to her. She doesn’t recognize me. Or maybe she does. Closure, it is all I’m after. Then my past comes back to haunt me.
She’s thrust into my ruthless world. An angel. A romantic who has a journal that leads to a shipwreck and a lost treasure. She wants to find the ending to a love story that is over two hundred years in the making. I want to help her find it.
I didn’t set out to be a pirate. I didn’t set out to fall in love with an angel. I did both anyway.
Due to strong language and sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18.
“Once upon a time someone called me a pirate.”
The prologue of this book sets the entire story in motion, but it’s so powerful on its own that I just felt the need to address it. It sends you back, gives you a taste of history but also a glimpse into what the characters in this story are fighting for.
“I would find Isabella. I would tell their story, be their voice, share with the world their brief but touching love story.”
Knowing absolutely nothing about this book, the blurb is so fantastic at drawing in a reader. The cover is gorgeous, and with promises of history, Pirates and treasure, what’s not to like?
Now timeline wise, you see different events from different times in the main characters lives before they even meet. We glimpse at their childhood, their teen years, all the way into early adulthood before they even meet. Then we move farther into the present day when they’re in their thirties. I liked seeing all of the stages and how they impacted the specific characters at certain times in their lives. Though I may be partial to Mr. Travers, he might be my favourite kind of person ever.
“A wise man told me once if I ever found someone who made my stomach twist and my palms sweat, someone who made everything else just fade from existence…that I should take her hand because I wouldn’t be sorry I did.” His hand tightened on mine. “I learned what love was from him, but I learned how it felt from you.”
There were a few small details that I caught on to which I thought were so interesting, and they’re the underlying magic of fate or how the universe works. Willow could sense Noah around her or feel his presence, until a certain incident happened. Her outlook on this was quite intriguing, and the answer for it even more so. Noah’s involvement, his lifestyle, and how it impacted this ideal was really cool.
Before I go any farther, I feel the need to express that I did really enjoy this book. I’ll get into what my problems were to only rate it as three stars, but as a whole, I enjoyed the story. Ultimately, it comes down to the fact that this is a romance novel, and frankly, I didn’t believe or like the romance between Willow and Noah very much.
There were small glimpses of romance or shall we say love that I just wanted to hold onto and believe, but then there would be contradicting actions or words from (mainly, but not always) the hero and I just didn’t know what to think. I couldn’t grasp this romance, I guess because it’s not at all how I expected two people, supposedly in love, the act. I get it, he’s a pirate and it’s not your average story but throughout the entire book, I got very little idea or feeling from Noah to actually suggest he liked Willow more than just having sex with her. Small glimpses, yes, and I think I highlighted every one because let’s be honest, there weren’t many. He intended to still do horrible things to her even while ‘loving’ her. And she was going to let him because she ‘loved’ him back. Where did this love even come from? It was an infatuation from one day they shared eight years ago that Willow couldn’t let go of, and it’s suggested that Noah was the same. That turned to love before he even came back into her life. That’s great for me, fine and dandy, if they then started again and grew from where they were before, but it didn’t feel like that at all. I fully believe that she loved the guy from her past and transferred that onto the Noah she met in the present day. She even kept saying this herself! How she didn’t know Noah, wasn’t comfortable with his actions or his life but she wouldn’t let him bend or change himself because she already loved him when he came back to her. How does this create a healthy relationship? I just have a really hard time buying the ‘one day a long time ago I fell in love with him and I’ve been treasuring this memory for so long so that means I already love him now’. To me personally, that’s not how a romance novel should be, and I think that’s where my problems with the romance aspect come from. And, well, I get he’s a pirate but show me that he actually feels something for this girl! It seemed superficial, and when he did have a few nice words, he would immediately go back and contradict everything the reader was just lead to believe. It confused me and kept me from getting attached to these two. I was merely reading about a treasure hunt with two people who liked to bang.
“I wanted to keep her, but she was never mine. She was just an elusive dream, a fucking beautiful dream. I slipped out as silently as I slipped in, but I left my damaged heart in that room with the angel who had claimed it.”
Now on the flip side of this, the pirate aspect, the treasure hunt, the mystery behind what was happening to the yachts, that was all extremely well done, super exciting and so fresh and unique that it keeps the reader guessing. I never knew what to expect from this group or what might happen next. Though I think there were a couple of minor instances that could’ve been explained a little more, it was generally easy to follow along and keep up. I have no clue how the author would’ve come up with this plot but it’s like nothing I’ve ever read before and that’s always an exciting journey to take.
I can also really appreciate how it’s not just one specific hunt that’s happening, there’re many different layers to the story. So sure, there’s the love story between Alejandro and Isabella that’s dissected. The research and dedication into trying to find the ship, what might be on board, piecing together what caused the ship to sink in the first place, etc. All of that could’ve made one story, but Fiore added so much more to add complexity, suspense, and mystery. But the way she does it, weaving all of these aspects into one singular story line, is practically genius.
“You got a little pirate in you woman. I like it.”
I’ve always loved reading LA Fiore books and by no means is Elusive the exception. Sure, I had some grievances over the who love story part of it, but I got over it and focused on remembering the rest of it that I loved.
*An ARC was received in exchange for an honest review.