Book Review


Aquamarine Sea, #1

Karen Stensgaard

Sandefur Metz Publishing Company, May 2017

Kindle, 285 Pages

Also available in paperback

Genre(s) Women’s Lit, Debut Novel

Source Author

My Disclaimer:

I was provided a complimentary copy of this book. I am voluntarily providing an honest review in which all opinions are fully my own. I am not being compensated in any way.

~ Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review

What it’s about…

Kat has been widowed for about a year now. She’s just closed down her internal audit business and isn’t quite ready to move into a new field. She gets the idea from a picture on a bottle of Aquavit to take a cruise on a vintage clipper ship. In the process, she seems to be attracting men that she’s not sure are right for her. Which man might be right for her and wait until her cruise is done? The cruise certainly seems to be very authentic. She has to have a wardrobe appropriate to the time of clipper ships and can’t take any technology with her. How intriguing.

Technical Tidbits…

The cover is certainly colorful enough to catch the eye and has the bottle of Aquavit on it with the picture of the clipper ship. However, the overall look of the cover was just too garish to me. The mosaic background didn’t create the right background for the bottle. The bottle just got lost in all that color and wasn’t the focus. Something a bit quieter would have been better, I think.

The storyline was pretty good, but it’s obviously only part of the story. Those of you who have read me for any time now know how I feel about stories that rely on more than one book to tell a story. For those of you who are new to my blog, I’ll enlighten you. I feel a book should contain a complete story. It may be part of a larger story or a series, but you should not have to buy more than one book to get a story. I don’t like cliffhangers or limp closings in books. I don’t mind having questions when there is a continuing story as long as the book I’m reading has an ending to it. It needs to be the logical stopping point in a larger story if it’s not a story all its own.

The characters needed more developing, but I suppose that will happen over time with the next book.

The pace was good. Kat is one of those characters that things just keep happening around and who doesn’t sit still for long. She moved on from one thing to another and didn’t let the dust settle.

The tension was amazing. I remember when I got to the last page I let out my breath, not realizing I’d been holding it. I had to let the tension go! But a cliffhanger, Ggrrrrhhh…

And this is where you STOP if you don’t want to see any SPOILERS

The good, the bad, and the ugly…and how much it lit up my life… ✰✰✰⭒

I’m sure you can guess what my big beef is with this book. I just can’t stand it when a book ends on an extremely stressful cliffhanger. I don’t know what the author has planned for this book, but this is the type of thing I’m used to seeing from self-published authors. Not from publishing houses. But since the author is the publishing house, I guess that really makes this a self-published work and that changes things. There really does tend to be a different tone to books that are published by publishing houses as compared to those that are self-published. That’s not to take anything away from self-published authors. I really support them and am always happy to read and review their books. And I do love them! I do, however, find a difference in what I read because of editors and such.

Now, back to the book. The three men in Kat’s life were great. I thought they were a really nice assortment. Greg and his snap changes of personality. Charlie and his possible ulterior motives, and Matteo and his possible outside interests. They were all nice enough to be possibilities, but then they all had their faults as well. I really didn’t like Greg from the beginning because of his age. The other two were okay until I found out about Matteo’s little secret. Then when Kat finally manages to get to Denmark to see her brother-in-law and his unwelcoming wife, she gets told her husband had been planning on leaving her when he died. How could that be? And because she didn’t need him anymore? Strange idea. Interesting thoughts to have in your head when you set off on a clipper ship journey all by yourself.

I’m intrigued with this clipper ship business. They have asked all sorts of questions. They have made all sorts of rules about what she can and cannot take. She has to have clothing that is authentic to the clipper ship time. She can’t take anything from modern times with her. They pack it up and take it away! Even underwear! It makes you wonder just what is going to happen on this cruise. And she has just met three men. Is she really going to leave behind three new men while she sails off for months all alone?

I have no idea when the next book is due out, but it should be interesting to see what happens and how many books this story is intended to last for. The author’s profile says she has more books with Kat’s adventures underway, so let’s hope we don’t have to wait too long for the next installment.

2 thoughts on “Aquavit

  1. Thanks, Judi! Somehow I missed this in my feed but so glad to see it. Sorry that the finale was a frustrating cliffhanger for you. I tried to tie it up so it would be a satisfying and upbeat ending in case someone didn’t want to read more or ends up reading them out of order. This is my first book, and Sandefur Metz is me too. The initial draft of the book morphed into at least 4 books, and I stopped writing the saga to finish the first one. For each book in the series, I hope to have a nice beginning, medium, and end, without having a 1000+ page book or cutting out all the good bits. But your comments and suggestions are excellent, so I will keep in mind. I’m editing the second book and will briefly try to find an agent/publisher again, but if not, I’m self-publishing next year. Thank you again & happy reading! PS I will try to do a better cover too. Friends voted on, and I guess I like color. I originally wanted an Atlas in the background, but it was copyrighted.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Karen, I think you need to go with your own instincts. An atlas or map would have been great! I like big books! Something between 400 and 700 is usually a good read. 1000 pages I have to reserve time for. Remember, I have to read 5 books a week! I know we were both hoping for a better review, but I always do an honest review. I think even a poor review gives an author something to work with, to think about. It’s another point of view, especially if you’ve had mostly family and friends reviewing so far. And they must be posted so as to be figured fairly into the rating properly. Otherwise, the rating is skewed. I look forward to your next one. I hope you will allow me to read and review it.

      Liked by 1 person

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