Aquavit
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 concept to set off on a clipper ship with, though.

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 for the next installment.