The Shucker’s Booktique by J.C. McKenzie

I have a question for you: is there anything sexier than a man who wants to do more than just twine his aura together with another woman? Because if there is I simply don’t know if I can handle that kind of blatant sexuality. Anyway, as you can tell we are dealing with a paranormal romance today, and I must say this one was pretty darn unique. No vampires or werewolves in the vicinity, but instead we’re dealing with water sprites! the shucker's

Willa’s aunt Jenny has been missing for weeks without a trace. At the behest of her unloving mother, Willa has moved to the small seaside town of Lobster Cover in order to help run her aunt’s bookstore, and maybe even find a few clues as to where Jenny disappeared to. One stormy night, a handsome young stranger named Lon comes to the door looking for Jenny, and Willa can’t ignore the lust shimmering in his gray eyes, or her own desire for this unknown man. Little does she know that he’s actually a water sprite who can only turn into a human during stormy nights. And you thought your life was complicated.

I’m usually not big on paranormal romances, but I must say I actually enjoyed this one. This was probably due to the unique subject matter, as well as the fact that it’s just over 100 pages long. I find that I tend to roll my eyes in disbelief during most of the paranormal descriptions in romance books, but I surprisingly liked whenever Lon mentioned “playing” with his brothers in the ocean tides during a blustering storm. The writing may have been simplistic and even silly at times, but it was engaging enough where you could really picture these wisps of water sprites taking joy in the tumultuous waves of a New England storm. There may have been some slight eye-rolling involved though when the God of the Sea provided Lon with some extra energy to take his human form, but I got over it pretty quickly.

The significance of the weather was another unique feature of this book. Normally, whenever a novel features thunder and lightning it usually portends danger of some kind, but instead it is the only way for Willa and Lon to spend any time together. It isn’t often that characters will hope for bad weather. Therefore, even though this novella is highly descriptive of the beach and ocean, I would actually recommend that you try and read it during a dark thunderstorm as opposed to a bright and sunny beach day. It’s short enough that you would probably be able to finish it before the storm ends, and because the most exciting scenes in the book take place when the weather turns stormy you’d probably really get into it. Unfortunately, I was only able to read it during a snow storm, but it was still a fun read.

Now, the fact that Lon wanted to twine his aura together with Willa’s mean’s he’s a naughty little water sprite. Just kidding! These two were pretty hot for each other though. I mean, there were multiple references to grasping, clutching and gripping at the others’ clothing. So perfect! If any mention of tearing or ripping was involved I probably would have had to start fanning myself! One of my absolute favorite features of the book, aside from the descriptions of Lon swimming in the ocean with his brothers, was the constant switching back and forth between Lon and Willa’s points of view. I just loved comparing their thoughts concerning a particular scenario, especially when it came to how much they both wanted each other. Cue the waggling of eyebrows. Their final love scene in particular switched back and forth between viewpoints about every other page, and there is so much foreplay involved you just gotta love it. There may have been an awful lot of build up to their eventual love scene, but because the book is so short you don’t really mind the wait.

Overall I thought this was a delightful little romance, but there were some aspects which could have been improved upon. Firstly, Lon and Willa only met twice in person for just a few hours before they fell in love. Really? That’s it? The total combined number of hours they spent together was probably less than that in a day, and he’s considering giving up his immortality to be with her. The connection between them was also pretty much just sexual in nature. Basically I question whether or not their supernatural relationship will last longer than a month. Willa is also pretty quick to assume that Lon isn’t entirely human. At one point she even says he has a “pale, otherworldly appearance”. What…exactly does that mean, and why does she find it so attractive? When I think “pale” and “otherworldly” I think of death, and that’s not a particularly sexy characteristic to have in my opinion. She also talks out loud to the ocean a few times too many, and that’s before she’s even sure he’s a water sprite. Is this something people do often in their spare time? Can’t you just think to yourself quietly? Funnily enough I’d have to say the most bothersome part of this book was probably the title. Seriously, there are only so many k’s you can use at one time. I always wanted to say “boutique” instead of “booktique”, and found myself having to say it out loud just to get it right, which inevitably made me stutter all over my Kindle screen. Not exactly a delightful mental image.

The ending of the book was really good, and offers an interesting look into Willa’s formerly abusive (mentally) relationship with her ex-fiance.  He makes an attempt to weasel his way back into her life, and she actually considers it because she believes that a relationship with someone as caring as Lon would be too much like an unrealistic fairytale. She debates settling with her douche-hole of an ex because, for her, a relationship full of problems and disrespect seems more realistic and obtainable. Well, isn’t that a depressing thought? The epilogue does end on a “say what now?!” moment. We find out that there might be some secrets surrounding Willa’s family history, and there’s a mini cliffhanger revolving around her aunt. Can’t wait to find out what happens next!

*A copy of this book was provided for an honest review*

Series: Maybe? All I’ve gotta say is, considering how this book ends there better be a sequel!

Should you read it? If you like paranormal romances, and want a quick sexy read, then yeah! I do wish that the plot had revolved a bit more around Jenny’s disappearance though, as it probably would have made for a more enticing and suspenseful read rather than Willa just discovering Lon’s secret of being a water sprite.

Smut Level: Our aura focused couple only does it once, and the deed itself is actually over kind of quickly. However, there is a delightful build-up of sexual tension with some rolling around on the floor mixed in there.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here

4 thoughts on “The Shucker’s Booktique by J.C. McKenzie

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