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From Darkest Seas by Rosalind Chase

Blurb: An immortal selkie with a heart full of secrets. A haunted detective with nothing to lose. As both of their pasts come to light, Greg and Rhona explore a realm of pleasure and pain, love and regret, life and death. Greg soon realizes that Rhona could be the key to dispelling the darkness inside of him… Or maybe she will simply set it free.

With FF/MFM/MF Dom/sub relationships and the unexpected romance that comes after the HEA ended too soon, From Darkest Seas features characters who do time travel the long way: by just staying alive.

Review: In From Darkest Seas, author Rosalind Chase writes poetry disguised as a romance novel. Together Chase's unique voice and intense story-telling ability weave together a tale so enchanting that at times I felt like a voyeur, rather than a reader, intercepting on the character's painful moments and enlightening discoveries. At its core this is a romance novel about learning to live with life's difficulties, but not letting it hold you back from seeking out what you really want in life (be it a relationship with someone, or embracing your unique sexual desires, or forgiving yourself).

This book touches on BDSM and the journey one man takes towards finally believing that his desires are normal and acceptable and don't make him a monster. It's a wonderfully told story and we truly get to experience his struggles as he comes to terms with the fact that wanting pain and dominance and submission during sex do not make him the monster he thinks he is. The novel is different from many erotic BDSM novels in that it evokes a sensuality deep within the reader rather than a surface-level emotion. It didn't read like all those other books on the market that are filthy and hot and make you squirm in your seat (those are obviously amazing in their own right), but rather From Darkest Seas tugs at your heart and your core and your mind and your every emotion in the most beautiful way. Like a full-body experience.

Greg Owens is a complicated hero whose pain runs deep from a myriad of experiences like his wife's passing, not being able to save all the victims of a serial killer (he's a detective), learning he might not have known his wife as well as he thought, and learning to live with the loneliness). His acceptance of his sexual desires is slow going, but I actually appreciated his internal struggles because so often we read books where individuals embrace the BDSM lifestyle with a snap of the fingers when in reality its something that many people have to work to accept about themselves.

On the other hand, Rhona has fully embraced the lifestyle and is more the comfortable admitting her desires. I loved that she took things slowly with Greg and understood that some things cannot be rushed. Also, having a paranormal heroine who isn't a vampire or demon or whatnot was a wonderfully unique experience. I was totally in love with her as a heroine and learning every little bit about her and her life as the story went on. Getting to see the cycle of love and loss through the eyes of a heroine who lives forever was positively spell-binding and heart-breaking at the same time. How difficult it must be to give your heart, your trust, and your love to someone time and time again only to watch them die when your life never ends?

Together the characters, Greg and Rhona, teach each other so much about love, but while they love each other they're not in love with each other which makes this book even more unique among romance novels. The characters get their happily-ever-afters, but not with each other. Rather they help each other learn to accept the love from other partners. It's so weird because you'd think that after all that, as a reader, after spending your time reading about two characters that you'd want them to fall in love with each other, but that's not the case here. You want their HEA, but you want them to have it with the right people. Don't want to give spoilers, obviously, but I think because this book is so different that it's important for people to have an understanding of the subtle difference between this book and other romance novels. The HEA is there, it's just...different.

Anyways, this book isn't for everyone. But it's... it's really something.


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