Title: Netting Neptune (Southern Cross #1)
Author: KC Kendricks
Publisher: White Deer Books
Buy link: Amazon.com (Second Edition)
Length: Novella (20k words)
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
A Guest Review by Aunt Lynn
Theron Bowman is in the throes of a mid-life crisis. At forty, he needs to make some serious decisions about his future. He splurges on a two-week vacation in the Caribbean, and like everything else in his life, things go horribly awry and he ends up working to pay for his room.
Forced by his father to break ties with his family, Colby Denton came to rest on St. Lucia and opened an exclusive resort called The Southern Cross. To celebrate his tenth year on the island, and his birthday, Colby arranges for a series of festive beachside parties. When a sexy sea god swims out of the ocean in front of him, Colby has a brand new plan — netting Neptune.
Southern Cross Series
Netting Neptune is the first book in a new series by KC Kendricks and the first book by this author I’ve read. I found it to be a slow, gentle, sweet read, well-written and even-paced with a credible, if not a bit predictable plot. I also found it to be quite a somewhat emotional piece for its length, with a few parts just this side of angsty.
Netting Neptune opens with Colby, first-person narrator and owner of the Southern Cross resort on St. Lucia in the Caribbean, going to take his daily swim in the ocean. Upon arriving, he spies a beautiful creature emerging from the water — his Neptune, Theron — and strikes up a conversation. Once he learns that Theron is essentially stranded temporarily on the island, Colby offers to help him out, and Theron, in return, pays his way by bartending at a shindig at the resort that night. Though it is obvious that Theron has a painful past and he seems wary of anything permanent (or even temporary) with Colby, the two have an immediate connection and Colby is bereft when Theron returns home. Is there some way to convince Theron to come back and stay forever?
I understand that as with other books by this author, the likable and sympathetic heroes are more mature than the usual in this genre — Colby turns thirty-nine the day we meet him and Theron is forty. I like the change of pace and wish more authors would feature older protagonists. One of the things it shows is how people change over time and as they mature. For example, though Colby has been happy with being a vacation fling for male island visitors in the past, he is surprised to find that he is more than ready to settle down were Theron agreeable to stay.
My only issue is that I wish there had been more…meat to the characters. As I got to the end, I felt like would have liked to have known more about them, especially Theron. He has endured injustice, betrayal and pain in his life, and would have liked to have had that experience explored further before the bow-on-top epilogue. I let it go and hoped that I would get some answers in the next book in the series (Taming Triton due later this month), however that book will focus on Theon’s brother, Austin, as he comes to Southern Cross for holiday. So now I am back to wanting more.
Despite my single problem with the book, I recommend Netting Neptune to those interested in the genre and fans of this author.