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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Kona Warrior by Courtney Sheets

Kona Warrior by Courtney Sheets
Publisher: Ravenous Romance
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full (151 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 Books
Reviewed by Holly

When fiery and voluptuous Gloria Grant is betrayed and jilted by her fiancé, her future in Las Vegas looks bleak. Only the land of her youth can save her injured soul. Returning to the lush Kona coast of Hawaii, Gloria tries to help her great aunt save their family home. Little does she know what her help will bring. Everything changes one night on a moonlit beach when a man steps from the foamy surf, out of her dreams and straight into her heart.

Dangerously attractive Mano is an ancient warrior, cursed by the gods to live as an aumakua, a shark god. He is a man torn between two worlds, destined to live in neither. When Gloria and her great aunt call upon him for help, he is duty bound to protect them. But his desire for Gloria's golden flesh soon has the shark man wishing to stay on land forever.

Can Gloria and Mano break the curse and appease the gods? Or is Mano destined to return to the sea, breaking Gloria's heart in the process?

Gloria Grant has nothing to stop her from responding to her great aunt Omana’s request to return to the only home she’s really ever known. Recently let go from her job, and also split from her fiancé of three years, Gloria decides to return to Hawaii and answer the distress call from her aunt.

When the home Gloria grew up in is threatened by developers, Aunt Omana asks Gloria to perform an ancient ritual to help: call a shark god from the sea to aid in the search for the deed proving family ownership of the land. Without the deed, the land could be lost forever. Although she feels ridiculous, Gloria does as Omana asks, and to her surprise, the request is granted. Out of the Hawaiian surf strides Mano, guardian of the family, called to help protect in whatever way necessary. Can Gloria work with Mano to find the deed in time? Will the family home be saved, and the unscrupulous developer stopped? Can Gloria and Mano find a way to avoid temptation, or do they even want to?

Modern Hawaii is the setting for this tale of magic, romance and heritage. Courtney Sheets has created memorable characters in Gloria, Mano and Omana. Gloria is the unconventional Hawaiian woman, strong intelligent and passionate in nature. She has dreamed of Mano most of her adult life. The attraction between Gloria and Mano is strong and immediate, and as they progress to the inevitable joining, the heat escalates exponentially. I loved the feeling of history included in this, as it gives some back-story of Mano and his role in the family’s history. The descriptions of the locale and traditions inherent in Hawaii are wonderful, and I loved this glimpse into another way of life. I found myself holding my breath at several places in the story, waiting to see what would happen. Would they find the deed in time? Would Gloria find a way to return Mano to human form so they could be together? These and so many more questions can only be answered by reading Kona Warrior, and the experience is very enjoyable. I fell in love with Hawaii, with Gloria and Mano and even with Great Aunt Omana, and so will you.