Nov 2, 2011

Posted by in Reviews | 9 Comments

Review: The Kraken’s Mirror by Maureen O. Betita (Kraken’s Carribbean #1)

Paranormal Romance
February 28 2011
213 pages (according to my Kobo)
Decadent Publishing
Received from author

Yummy Man – Alan Silvestri
Kick Ass Chick – Emily Pawes

From Goodreads –
Captain Alan Silvestri is a man haunted by a strange curse. Good luck is his to command, but it comes at the cost of any place to call home or people to reckon as family. Resigned to die and shunned by all, he is forced to sail every three days, until he begins to dream of a special woman. Treated by our youth-oriented society as invisible and sexless, Emily Pawes is ready to move on with life. She attends a pirate festival, hoping to recapture the make-believe magic she knew as a young woman. Lucky to win an interesting bit of booty at a brick-a-brac stand, she finds herself transported by the Kraken’s mirror through a magical portal to a land of Hollywood piratitude, where swashbuckling heroes own iPods. With little choice, Emily embraces the madness. Playing pirate has to be safer than falling into the arms of handsome Captain Silvestri, right? When they meet, sparks fly, passion flares. He needs her to be free, but more than that, he needs her to be whole. Setting sail and uncertain of who actually controls the wheel, they seek ways to defeat his curse of good luck and discover the Kraken’s mirror has plans for them. Will Emily stay in this pirate haven to fight alongside him or will he lose her because of his curse?


You know how sometimes you read the blurb for a book and you think it’s going to be good but after you read it you wonder if the person who wrote said blurb even read the book?  Then there is the flip-side.  You read the blurb, think it’s going to be good but it ends up, while being a little different from what you expected from reading said blurb, even better than you expected?  The Kraken’s Mirror by Maureen O. Betita is such a book.  I had a feeling I would like it, but I honestly didn’t think I would enjoy it as much as I did.  There is a charm to this book that drew me in and brought me along on a fun story filled with adventure, magic and of course, romance.

I think what surprised me the most about this book was the age of the main two characters.  (I realize it’s hinted at in the blurb, but it still took me by surprise.)  Emily is 53 and Alan is 65.  I’ve never read a romantic story about a middle aged couple before.  And holy jumpin’ do these two get some smokin’ scenes!  But let’s rewind a bit.

Emily is recently widowed, her husband of over 30 years killed less than a year ago in a freak car accident.  She and her husband used to visit Pirate Festivals and other such events.  Emily feels like she should go to a Pirate event to honor her late husband.  While there, she purchases a ticket that lets her pick something out of a bag.  She chooses what she thinks is a frame at first since there is a photo of a dashing pirate in it, but the next time she looks at it, she notices it’s simply a mirror.  But the mirror’s frame looks like a kraken.  The next thing she knows, she falls asleep and is somehow transported to Tortuga in the Caribbean and she is no longer at the pirate festival but living a pirate life for real.

I don’t usually do time travel books.  I find the predictable “Oh my!  Where am I?  Won’t anyone believe that I am from the future?  That woman who thinks she’s from the future is crazy and must be a witch!  I am so lost and lonely blah blah blah” to be very tiresome.  And annoying.  Really annoying.  But there was none of that in this book.  Tortuga is a place filled with time portals that people come across accidentally so the natives are used to being surrounded by slightly overwhelmed people.  In fact, most of the people who are on the Ship Emily ends up on were not originally from that time.  I really enjoyed that aspect of the story.  The time travel thing is mentioned in passing, and once in a while Emily is convinced she is going nuts, but overall it’s just what it is.  No big deal.

Emily meets Alan after she has been temporarily blinded by waltzing vampires.  (A very different take on your typical vamp)  He knows there is a reason he is meeting her but he doesn’t quite know yet that she is to play an important part in his curse being broken.  I liked Alan.  He’s a pirate but he’s been one for a long time and he’s ready to step aside and just be Alan.  The problem with that is no one wants him around!  You would think that a cruse that brings him luck would be a great thing, but it takes the luck from those around him and gives it to Alan.  That could be the reason no one wants him around. *g* Destined for a lonely existence he drifts from place to place as he has for the past 40 or so years.  I like how he is with Emily.  He’s used to being the Captain but he tries very hard with her.  And succeeds.  It’s quite sweet.

Throughout the book, Emily shows us that some of the insecurities we feel in our younger days still hold true as we get older.  I thought that was interesting.  Just because we get older, doesn’t mean we magically feel amazing about our bodies or our pasts and I found it was good that was mentioned.  I also found Emily’s cussing to be hilarious.  Alan may be the pirate, but Emily’s language, especially during more ‘heated’ moments, was really funny.

The Kraken’s Mirror was a delightful story with characters that are really charming.  Maureen’s voice is well suited for this kind of tale and she paced the book well.  It’s a lovely story of a man who finds love after years of not being able to have it and a woman who finds a love and passion she never thought was possible at her age.  For me, the age of the characters didn’t often come into play.  The odd time, I inadvertently found myself picturing a couple closer to my age but soon realized that that didn’t fit the story or the characters.  Their maturity is part of what makes this book unique and solid.  No teenage drama here.  Just a strong devoted couple set in a fun adventure story.

4.5 stars

Giggle worthy quotes

“Last night was incredible. The entire afternoon shocked and surprised her with delight. Alan could keep going day and night. She raised an eyebrow. Wondered if the little, blue, magic pill crossed into this world.”


“This man could give lessons on kissing to Prince Charming. To Prince Not So Charming and the entire royal family.”


“’What if I give you my word?’ she asked.

‘The word of a pirate? Have you any idea how little that is worth?’

‘I’m a pirate? Hey, I’m only staying with pirates…and fucking one…and…oh, well. I guess I’m a pirate. How the hell did that happen?’”

Swoon worthy quote

“I count, Mrs. Pawes. So. Do. You.”

Books in the Kraken’s Caribbean series –
The Kraken’s Mirror
The Chameleon’s Goggles

Be sure to check back tomorrow.  Maureen will be here with a Guest Post and she may just be giving away book one AND book two in the series!  😉

  1. I’ve resisted although I did put it on my wishlist. Now I think that it’s time to go push the “buy” button. You are such a bad influence on me! smiles…

  2. I’m smiling…I love that you forgot their age at one point… Music to my ears!

    Thank you for the lovely review! 😉

  3. This book sounds very interesting, I don’t have a problem with time travel if it’s done nicely and I guess for your review that’s the case in The Kraken’s Mirror. I’m not so sure about the ages of the characters, but I will give it a try. I’m adding it to my TBR.
    Great review.

  4. It’s a definite BUY. It’s all you said and more. 🙂 And good luck has it, the 2nd book is also available, because I can guarantee you’ll no sooner finish this book than you’ll be going, “Where’s the next one?!”

  5. Great review Julie. I’ve never read a book with time travel involved…or one with middle aged characters. I think this is a great book to check out to take a look at something different. I am so happy to hear that you enjoyed the book, and yes, it’s nice to know that everyone at any age can have insecurities. 🙂 Going to add this to my TBR list right now…

  6. Sold! I’ve had my eye on this for awhile because the characters are older, but I have the same hang ups over time travel as you do so I kept putting off buying it. However, what you’ve described sounds like something I would really enjoy. Thanks for the review.

  7. It is a rare book with older main characters, but age is just a number so it won’t factor for me. The story sounds interesting…vampires though? Sounds like a lot going on, but I do like time travel (yeah yeah, keeping the from the future a secret and being alone and misunderstood…but after reading Outlander by Diana Gabaldon I will forever love time travel romance)… So maybe I will have to check this out.

  8. Christi – I hope you like it because I really did think of you while I was reading this. 🙂

    Maureen – You have a lovely writing voice. Thank you for sending me the book. 🙂

    Bookaholic Cat – I am very curious to see what you will think of it. The story is very nice. Really.

    Fran – I was very content with how this book ended. It left me in a happy place. 🙂

    Deanna – It’s different but not way out there. The best kind. lol

    Lexi – The vampires play a role in how Alan and Emily meet but they don’t play a huge part in the story. Other beings are mentioned but really this is a romance/adventure book with pirates at the focus. The other stuff just adds to the ambiance. lol

  9. O great review Julie! I am getting middle aged myself, okay, in 10 years or so, and would love to read more about older heroes and heroines. And this one sounds like a crazy adventure, and a good book.

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