Saturday, August 9, 2014

Sea Panther (Crimson Storm, #1) by Dawn Marie Hamilton

After evading arrest for Jacobite activities, Scottish nobleman Robert MacLachlan turns privateer. A Caribbean Voodoo priestess curses him to an eternal existence as a vampire shifter torn between the dual natures of a Florida panther and an immortal blood-thirsting man. For centuries, he seeks to reverse the black magic whilst maintaining his honor. Cruising the twenty-first century Atlantic, he becomes shorthanded to sail his 90-foot yacht, Sea Panther. The last thing he wants is a female crewmember and the call of her blood.

Although she swore never to sail again after her father died in a sailing accident, Kimberly Scot answers the captain's crew wanted ad to escape a hit man. She's lost everything, her fiancĂ©, her job, and most of her money, along with money belonging to her ex-clients. A taste of Kimberly's blood convinces Robert she is the one woman who can claim the panther's heart. To break the curse, they travel back in time to where it all began—Jamaica 1715.

Type: Paranormal Romance--Shifter/Vamp--light
Heat: 3 out of 5
Rating: 2 out of 5

Amazon | Goodreads

I really, really wanted to love Sea Panther. Like really wanted to. It has so many of my favorite things--kitty shifters, vampires, tortured hero, heroine on the run, neat location--most takes part on a ship--and I enjoyed it quite a bit at first but the more and more I got into the story the more it fell apart for me and in the end I just wasn't wowed at all despite a couple things that did work for me. 

Kimberly's ex set her up to take the fall in a financial disaster and one of her clients has supposedly put a hit out on her so she needs to get away and spots a help wanted ad for a sailboat in need of a new crew member that's headed South. So she joins them and their Captain--who is a vampire shifter searching for a cure for his disease--as they journey South and try to escape those out to get her. 

  • The Characters-- They were pleasant. Kimberly needing to flee after her life turned to hell and a hit man was sent after her. Robert being her protector and struggling with his inner "monsters" aka his vamp and shifter self though that did get old after a while. And the crew were charming as well as they joked and teased and were there for each other.

  • The setting--Most of the book was spent with Robert and Kimberly--and the other crew members--sailing down the east coast to their next destination. I enjoyed that. I haven't read too many with boat scenes to this extent. 
  • The concept--I love the vampire/shifter combo in the hero and his sister and the battle between the three halves.

Pretty much everything else.
  • The villain--It was so obvious and not all that inspired. Nor was the hitman he'd hired who just happened to be everywhere they landed-- even secluded secret alcoves--along their journey with no explanation how but was too inept to actually pull off the hit. There was also a secondary villain unrelated to Kimberly's issue that magically appeared places as well. It really didn't add anything to the storyline and never went anywhere other than to add a couple attacks for drama but the root of it was never explained really or dealt with.

  • Self loathing--Robert hates the beasts within him. He's been a vampire shifter for like 300 years and still hates himself and what he is. And I couldn't really figure out...why. He's so afraid of the beasts but they save Kimberly again and again and no real negatives were shown. It got old. She accepted his inner beasts would have been nice of him to as well.

  • Time Travel--At one point they decide to cure him they need to go back in time to when he was cursed and prevent it. Okay. That's fine. But then it just wasn't thought out. He comes back to his regular life in the present as a mortal instead of an immortal and everything is still the same. His contacts, his property, his wealth. But really if he never turned immortal--which was prevented--he wouldn't have any of that when he time jumped back to present day. It was just frustrating

  • Editing--There were some editing blips and things that consistency-wise just didn't work and needed to be tightened up or explained better to make work. This included transitions. Some would jump to a later time to gloss over some action which was jarring and had me scratching my head to figure out what happened when it was finally explained later on. It took me out of the story when that happened.

  • It dragged then went too fast?--I had to really force myself to not skim starting at the 70% mark. It just dragged then things went warped speed and wrapped up all "tidy" before I knew what happened.

  • Too much telling but not showing--These two fall in love...and I couldn't figure out why. It happened quick but there wasn't really anything that led up to it. They just all the sudden are in love. And that didn't work for me. I need to see that spark and magic happening. 

So really while Sea Panther had so much potential it was just not a hit for me. It wasn't developed enough storyline wise and too often took the easy way out of things without the rich world building or scenes to make them actually happen--ex like the hit men after her magically appearing everywhere they stopped. That needed explanation in my opinion other than they were just that good. If you can just go with the flow and don't care about major details being glossed over to get to the end result it may work for you. It's gotten stellar ratings on Amazon and Goodreads so far...other than me. I won't be continuing on with the series.

Have you read Dawn Marie Hamilton?
How did it go?

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