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Book Review: The Sea Archer by Jeny Heckman

Raven Hunter should be happy. In fact, with her super-successful, twelve-year career as a pop singer and her million dollar condo in Seattle, she should be unstoppable, but the world can’t see who she really is–a recently divorced, domestically abused, broken woman. No longer in her twenties and facing a world of artificiality, she just wants to hide from everyone, but when her best friend, Que, and her twin brother, Wyatt, convince her to take an extended vacation to Hawaii to reconnect with herself, she reluctantly agrees. Only wanting to rid herself of the taint of her former husband/manager, Donovan, Raven is NOT looking for romance, despite Que’s urging. It isn’t until she sees Finn Taylor, marine biologist and savior of monk seals all over the islands, that she begins to think there may be more to this vacation than she imagined. Finn isn’t looking for love, a one-night stand definitely, but never love. He’s too busy with his research and his quirky grandmother, Dee, to be burdened with a permanent lady in his bed. But Raven seems to be everywhere he goes, and more importantly she is rapidly becoming a fixture in his mind. Neither can deny the connection they feel almost immediately nor the odd  dreams both are having, and when Dee begins to tell them a strange tale of gods and goddesses, prophecies and destruction, they must decide if there truly is more to their romance than a holiday fling. 

The mythology around which the novel rotates is a wonderful addition to what is already a great romance. Any lover of mythology will devour this novel. It begins when Cronus, “[t]he great manipulator of time,”is defeated by his children, the Olympians. While Zeus, his siblings, and a few of his other of the Greek mythological heavy-hitters are celebrating their new reign, Cronus plotted his revenge, using the Moirai, aka the Fates, to create a diabolical plot designed to “seal [the traitors’] fates,” but Themis, “goddess of counsel and prophecy,” intercedes, and with her “divine judgment,” finds a way to circumvent the prophecy designed to send trap them all in the Underworld while Cronus unleashes his own brand of chaos on the world. Only the “heirs” of the gods may keep them from “descend[ing] into darkness,” but  each heir must “[c]onquer the fears and failings of [the gods] and them both, then the heirs must collect in the same time and place.” So, when Raven and Finn meet in the city where Finn lives with his grandmother, Dee, the wheel of fate begins to turn, bringing forth Themis herself to tell Dee the prophecy. Only after both Raven and Finn discover and overcome their weaknesses, in the process finding the path to each other, do the gods once again come to life. With the promise of more novels to come, this series will give supernatural romance readers joy for many books in the future. 

Self-discovery and self-truth dominate this novel. Raven, the “shy, nervous introvert, with no direction, no man, and no life,” is terrified to start over. Without the urging of her brother and best friend, she never would have found the courage to go to Hawaii alone, but once there, she begins to reconnect to the part of herself she gave to her wretched ex-husband. With “a starting point for change,” a rented piano, and a legal pad, she forges ahead, writing herself into her songs–songs Donovan never would have let her play and sing, songs that tell her truth. Having lost her parents at a young and growing up in the foster home from Hell, Raven has “never learned to share herself,” and once she married Donovan, she became “afraid to use her voice in the world,” letting the stage glitz overshadow the real Raven until she could “no longer tell what was real or fake, right or wrong.” Finn must face some ugly truths as well when his “alpha type personality”gets in the way of his feelings for Raven. With his trident tattoo, stunning looks, and bad-boy attitude, he always gets what he wants from women, and he tries to become the very thing Raven is escaping. His need to control everyone and everything gradually collapses in the presence of the beautiful Raven who has kept him “off balance since the second he saw her.” Though the path is treacherous, both eventually find their “wings” and realize there is “absolutely no time to waste on regret or living in the past.”

This review was written for Chanticleer Reviews.