I’ll admit it: what attracted me most toSophie Moss’s first book was the sale price tag. I like a good sale; who doesn’t? Of course, then there’s the setting: Ireland. Not just Ireland, but one of Ireland’s remote islands. And then there’s the promise of selkies. Who doesn’t love a good selkie legend?
I was delighted with this book. The premise is common enough with selkie legends: a man spots, follows, and captures a selkie wife by stealing her seal skin. She follows him, because she has no choice, and of course he hides the skin. And of course he’s a brute of a man, how terrorizes his traumatized seal wife, while she yearns to return to the sea. She dies on land. In fact, she kills herself, and thus traps her spirit to the island. She’ll only be freed once her pelt is returned to her, but it needs to happen during a particular time, and there’s more built into curse removal than just that, of course.
Flash forward a few centuries, and here we meet Tara, an American traveling with the clothes on her back and not much else, come to Ireland — and specifically Seal Island — to get away and to find a job. She is jumpy, secretive, but determined, and despite the local pub owner’s reluctance — Dominic does not want another foreigner sweeping into his life, not after what’s happened with his daughter’s mother — manages to land a job as temporary cook.
At first, the locals are suspicious of her, which is common enough in locations that attract tourists, and common enough too in rather insular, tight-knit communities. But Tara is kind and generous with her help if not with her past, and she quickly falls in love with the island and its people . . . and there is certainly an attraction to Dominic.
But, her past isn’t as eager to forget about her as she is to forget about it, and all signs point to danger following her to this little haven she’s built for herself. With her growing attachment to Dominic and his loved ones, she finds she wants nothing more to keep them safe . . .
And then there’s this woman who keeps appearing and showing her glimpses of her doom, and the seals that crowd around her whenever she ventures to the beaches. Maybe there’s something to the legend that everyone on the island seems to believe in . . .
The Selkie Spell was a well written and, more importantly for me, a well rounded book. It had just the correct amounts of suspense, magic, and romance to satisfy. I cannot wait to get my hands on the next book (once I get through my library stack!) and I recommend this book highly!