Review: Surviving Raine by Shay Savage


Title: Surviving Raine (Surviving Raine #1)
Author: Shay Savage
Date of publication: 19 May 2013
Genre: Romance, Adventure, Male POV

Author's links:
Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads

My rating: 4 stars

Goodreads Blurb

As the captain of a schooner catering to the elite on the Caribbean Seas, Sebastian Stark does his best to avoid any human encounters. Interacting with people isn’t his thing, and he prefers the company of a bottle of vodka, a shot glass, and maybe a whore. There’s no doubt he’s hiding from a checkered past, but he does well keeping everything to himself…

…until the night his schooner capsizes, and he’s stuck on a life raft with one of the passengers.

Raine’s young, she’s cute, and Bastian would probably be into her if he wasn’t suffering from alcohol withdrawal. As the days pass, DTs, starvation, and dehydration become the norm. Even the most closed person starts to open up when he thinks he’s going to die, but when she realizes their traumatic pasts are connected, it’s no longer the elements that have Bastian concerned.

He has no idea how he’s going to Survive Raine.

My Review

I came across this book after a recommendation in GR groups (This seems to happen often to me, I found Neanderthal Seeks Human this way and I loved it. I am really happy that the same happened with Surviving Raine.) I was hesitant to pick this book initially. We have just the Hero and Heroine, first on a raft, then on a island, for most part of the book and I wasn't sure how the author will manage to keep things interesting. Believe me, Ms Savage did a great job of keeping the interest in the story of Sebastian and Raine.

I loved the way this book was written. It had some action/adventure, some painful past invading the present, and lots of sexy time.

The story is told from Bastian's POV and we get a foul-mouthed jerk starved for love and affection who becomes overprotective and possessive Alpha for the right woman. Sebastian is a well developed character and despite his flaws and weaknesses I ended up loving him. We see Raine only from his POV and this definitely serves to her disadvantage. She is given a number of positive qualities - innocence, courage, reliability, the strength to forgive, yet her personality does not really stand out. She appeared somewhat bland and passive in her relationship with Sebastian.

I found the first 2/3 of the book really strong both in terms of character development and the unfolding of the story. There was a whole bunch of practical details concerning the survival at sea and on a desert island which I found rather enjoyable. They gave an additional dimension to the story and tied nicely with the general idea of survival.. Bastian is an expert in survival - on the streets, in the fights, in the ocean, on the island.

I liked the way the romance between Bastian and Raine developed. It started with lust on his part and just curiosity on hers, and gradually developed into something more.

This book was going for 5 stars but the final part took my rating one star down. Sebastian and Raine had the same discussions over and over again - his insecurities and self-depreciation and her assurance and unconditional love and devotion. There was no real moving forward in the relationship. I also did not like how overprotective and possessive Sebastian became. There was a particular incident on the island which I feel was not handled the right way, his reaction to it in particular was totally unacceptable.

The final part of the book, especially after the rescue is my least favourite. I did not like the way both Sebastian and Raine acted. It seemed to me that they used (public!) sex to reassure each other of their feelings. They acted like different people from the ones I came to care about in the book so far.

The ending is great, though. It is not a cliffhanger but it does leave you craving the next book which sadly for us will be released some time next year.

Despite the some weaknesses, I really enjoyed this book. It is one of my favourite reads of this year so far. I liked the author's style and the whole mix of adventure and romance so much that I decided to check her other works as well. So, up on my TBR list is Otherwise Alone (Evan Arden Trilogy, #1) and Otherwise Occupied (Evan Arden Trilogy, #1).

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