by Brian Ray Brewer
Goldtouch Press

"The portal is bright but grows dim quickly in the distance until the clouds below obscure it."

After working with his shipmate, Lil, for three years, Rawley is struck by Cupid's arrow and falls hopelessly in love with her. He chooses to leave his wife, Marina, and their life in Brazil to start a new life with his red-headed siren. But this relationship feels wrong, and Rawley ultimately has to decide which woman he wants to be with.

Brewer's descriptions of the settings in his novel are incredibly vivid. The opening scene of Marina saying the novena while Rawley and his mistress Lil are in the throws of passion comes across as cinematic. Right away, readers will feel the mystical thread of the book and won't be able to stop turning the pages. Steamy scenes can be fun to read, but the author goes a step further and captivates the reader through all of their senses. One can almost feel the skin contact and smell the intimacy mixed with the ocean air.

Rawley's character is the highlight of the book. He seems three-dimensional, and readers can feel his anguish at the hurt he causes the women he loves and sympathize with him. Brewer shows his character's emotions of lust, shame, and confusion wonderfully. Marina's strength also shines through her actions. However, because Lil's character is not as developed, she doesn't feel as layered as Marina and Rawley.

The plot is character-driven but still moves at a fast pace, a feat not many authors can achieve. Dialogues between the characters and Rawley's interior thoughts add to the narrative and allow readers to connect to them. Rawley's journey through his life crisis is thought-provoking, but the mystical connection of his curse could have been fleshed out a little more. Nonetheless, this book is an enthralling read, and romance lovers will likely adore it.

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