Selkie Beach by Jorrie Spencer

BEACH
Selkie Beach by Jorrie Spencer
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (116 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Motivated by fond memories, Sam Martin impulsively buys the vacation house of his childhood. Along with the fixer-upper, though, he seems to have acquired a new companion. An unusual women, who fabricates stories and insists she belongs to his land.

That woman is Floree. Over a century ago, a spell saved her life, and since then she’s existed between two worlds—selkie and human. Now, like a ghost, she is fading. She fears succumbing to her selkie side completely and longs for human contact.

At first, Sam just wants Floree to go away. But as he spends more time with her, his fascination grows—and not only because of her ethereal beauty. Her life’s story begins to make a terrible kind of sense.

Yet Floree’s complicated past brings forth a menacing presence that threatens their lives—and their fledgling love.

They say that time heals all wounds. Floree’s hasn’t seen this happen yet, though, and she died more than a hundred years ago.

Sam and Floree’s relationship grows so slowly that at times I felt as though I were reading a full-length novel. Ms. Spencer allows both characters ample time to get to know one another, and her effort pays off in how natural it seems for Floree and Sam to gradually warm up to each other. The chemistry between them is genuine and while they have very different personalities it was interesting to see what they had in common.

I would have liked to learn more about the spell that has restricted Floree for so many years. The explanation for the paranormal elements in this novella was a little sparse. It would have been especially helpful to know what the rules of her enchantment were as the plot progresses as I was occasionally confused by the boundaries of them.

Strong, even pacing made it hard for me to put this book down. From the very first paragraph I became intensely curious about what would happen to these characters next. Tantalizing hints about Floree’s past are mentioned early on that only intensified my desire to keep reading. Certain tales are almost impossible not to read in one sitting, and this is one of them!

Floree comes across as an incredibly modern person for someone who was born well over a hundred years ago. The explanation for why she is so accustomed to nearly all of the social and technological changes that have occurred since she became a selkie doesn’t quite make sense given other information about what her life was like after her transformation.

Some of the best scenes in this story include detailed descriptions of the decaying vacation house and quiet cove where Sam and Floree live. The setting is as lonely as it is beautiful, and even the eerie passages fit in quite well with the rest of the plot. It is plotted out so meticulously that I could easily imagine what every nook and cranny looks like as I read.

Selkie Beach kept me entertained until the final paragraph. I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in being spirited away to a different time and place.

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