Review: Swearing at a Sea Monster – Lauren Connolly
by Lauren Connolly
Series: Folk Haven #3
Also in this series: Seduced by a Selkie, Sucker for a Siren, Devoted to a Dragon
Publication Date: January 5, 2022
Source: the author
I received an advance review copy of this book from the author. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.My rating:
Everyone needs to relax. Even mythical creatures.
Moira MacNamara cannot stand Levi Abadi, and it has nothing to do with the fact that he’s a literal monster. Who cares that the man can transform into a terrifying beast? The truly bothersome things are how he ambushes her in council meetings and wants to demolish her prime real estate on Lake Galen. Plus, there’s the whole history of his father stealing a precious selkie pelt from her family. Moira will go so far as to enter a dangerous magical competition just to win an argument against the infuriating monster.
The busybody selkie needs to get out of his way.
Levi is barely months from the grand opening of his luxury spa, and he does not need literal duels happening on the vacant property next door. The stubborn selkie owner of the land knows just as well as he does that the ground is steeped in toxic magic, and bad things will continue to happen if no one clears out the evil vibes. Problem is, when Moira comes up with a plan, Levi somehow gets roped in as her assistant. Fine. As long as this means there’s nothing bothering his future customers during their relaxation.
On the pair’s quest to cleanse the lakeside property, the two mythic enemies find themselves on common ground. Ground they lay down on, roll around on, and maybe lose a few pieces of clothing on. But secrets of the past and new dangers to the town of Folk Haven threaten a fragile romance between the selkie and the sea monster...
Dive into the magical waters of Lake Galen with book three in the Folk Haven series, a 70k word paranormal romance. Fans of Molly Harper, Gena Showalter, and Kresley Cole will want to add this book to their shelf!
I have loved every single entry of this adorable and steamy series! Fated mates is a trope that more often than not doesn’t work for me, but Lauren Connolly knocks it out of the park every time! While this book has some overlap with the previous entry in the series, it could be read as a standalone (though why would you deny yourself the rest of this amazing series?).
Moira is the only real estate agent in the small town of Folk Haven, and as a selkie, the Council representative for the water-based mythics. While she loves her town, she finds some of the older rules – and the mythics that support them – overly restrictive, like the laws governing which sections each mythic type can buy property in. One of the main thorns in her side, though, is Levi, the Council representative for the monsters, mythics born from two different species, especially when he’s using the Council to steamroll her. Levi just wants the mess that is the plot of land next to his taken care of. With his spa opening in a few short weeks, he doesn’t want something chockfull of nasty magic close to his relaxing customers, and bringing it up at the meeting seems like the best way to get Moira to finally take care of it. He doesn’t expect her vehement reaction – or the attraction that it stirs in him. With two things very dear to each mythic on the line, can the two rivals figure out how to solve their problems… and the chemistry between them?
“I can’t figure out what to do about the monster. He makes me forget myself. My responsibilities. Urges me to be selfish.”
After seeing Moira through her brothers’ eyes, I was expecting her to be cool, confident and in control, and she lives up to that very well. She’s good at both her jobs, finding homes for the various mythics who want to move to the town and figuring out how best to represent her consitutents. But Levi ruffles her feathers (fins?) unlike anyone else. She met him initially when he was looking to buy land. There was a mutual attraction, but she was in the dying days of her relationship with her manipulative ex. By the time he moved in, she’d found out something that would kill any possibility of romance, if she was even interested in a relationship after her last one.
“A witch and a leviathan got it on and produced him. Our world calls Levi a monster. I call him a monster. But what does that mean?”
Levi can’t be sure what changed Moira’s opinion of him but it’s strangely disappointing to him that she’s got the same prejudices against monsters as most mythics. The child of a witch and a leviathan, he grew up with his mother’s casual derogatory comments against monsters, himself included. When he confronts Moira in an attempt to apologize for how he handled the land issue, though, she’s shocked that he doesn’t know about a piece of her family history: that a leviathan (his father) stole an ancestor’s selkie pelt. Naturally he disagrees that his father would do anything of the sort, leading to an argument, a vow, and some rash decisions meant to get to the bottom of the accusation. Which conveniently happen to include a lot of forced proximity and even the just-one-bed trope.
“[W]e don’t understand your territorial divides. They seem arbitrary and more likely to hinder your society rather than allowing all mythics to thrive.”
One of my favorite things about Lauren Connolly’s writing is the banter. The exchanges between Moira and Levi are fabulous, steamy and hilarious and simply everything. The more they talk with each other, the more time they spend together, the more they appreciate the other person for who they are and the harder it gets to ignore the chemistry between them. Both of them, though, are dealing with issues that threaten to sink their relationship before it begins. Levi doesn’t believe that Moira, well-known and well-regarded and from a longstanding town family, would willingly love a monster, especially when he struggles to love himself. For Moira, her relationship with her ex left her feeling like she’s too much – too demanding, too needy, too confidant in herself. What person who’s a new business owner would want to deal with that on top of everything else? Their insecurities and miscommunication together make the path to their HEA difficult but it’s very much worth it.
Overall, another wonderful entry in this series! Besides Moira and Levi’s relationship, there’s also several tantalizing hints dropped about some of the overarching plotlines in the series. I can’t wait for the next one!
Content notes: View Spoiler »violence, discrimination, attempted assault in a drunken bar fight, worries over past consent (unfounded), alcohol use « Hide Spoiler