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Goat Heads and Sand Burrs, P. Kirby's Reading Blog

The good, bad, and fugly books I've read.
The Kraken's Mirror - Maureen O. Betita This isn't your grandmother's Caribbean.

Tortuga and the rest of the Caribbean of The Kraken's Mirror is an alternate universe, where people and technology fall through portals, spilling into a world of pirates and real magic. It's a place where the Kraken, the be-tentacled beasty of lore, is a semi-sentient god-like being, and where good luck can be a curse.

For Alan Silvestri, Captain of the pirate ship Immortal, a teenage encounter with goddess leads to a long lifetime of good luck. The problem? Silvestri's good luck follows (roughly) the laws of physics. For each and every bit of good luck, there's a corresponding splattering of bad luck. For example, if someone tries to punch Silvestri, they'll miss and instead trip and fall. Lately, the opposite reaction has been getting worse, with deadly consequences for those around the Captain. The cure to his curse may be the strange and beautiful woman who has been haunting his dreams.

Ms. Strange and Beautiful is Emily Pawes, a recently widowed woman who lives in very modern, ordinary California. When Emily buys a mirror--the titular Kraken mirror--at a pirate reenactment faire, she finds that it is much more than a pretty trinket. In no time, she's transported to Alan Silvestri's Tortuga. Befriended and hired by Mick, the first mate on another pirate ship, she settles into what she thinks may be an elaborate hallucination. A sexy hallucination at that, especially after she meets Alan Silvestri. Unfortunately, Alan and Emily's new friend Mick are old-friends-turned-enemies. Which makes Emily's new-found love connection more than a little precarious.

And then there's the matter of falling in love with a cursed man....

The Kraken's Mirror stands out among sexy reads in its unconventional, read "older," characters. Alan is in his sixties; Emily, her early fifties. So often, older characters, especially women, are consigned to secondary roles. Or, in the land of cozy mysteries, the tenacious and nosy, elderly sleuth. The Kraken's Mirror instead highlights an unspoken truth: sex doesn't stop at forty, or fifty or beyond. Beyond the sexuality, both characters are active, dynamic participants in the story.

Recommended for fans of pirates and romance with lots of hot sex.

Disclaimer: Maureen O.Betita is an online chum, so this isn't an unbiased review. But...if I had hated The Kraken's Mirror, I would have quietly deleted it and moved on. Tis a fun read! Go get ye some!