Title: Ocean of Secrets
Author: Jerry Sacher
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: April 29, 2016
Page Count: 200
Reviewed by: Crabbypatty
Heat Level: 1 flames out of 5
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Andrew Elliot, the son of a Scottish nobleman, is being sent to America, accompanied by his fiancée and her brother. But Andrew’s engagement is not a love match. His family insists that he marries to “cure” him of his feelings for the son of the caretaker on his father’s estate.
Matthew Ahearn leaves Ireland to pursue his dream of becoming a Texas cowboy. In London, a brush with the law almost derails his plans, but Matthew perseveres and lands a job as a third-class steward on a ship bound for America.
Andrew’s and Matthew’s worlds collide as they—and their secrets—are brought together in the magic of an ocean voyage, one that will never be forgotten.
The year is 1912, and they are about to board RMS Titanic….
As I read “Ocean of Secrets” I could feel Jerry Sacher’s love for the Titanic story. He very briefly introduces us to the principals involved in the tragedy – Bruce Ismay, John Jacob Astor, the “unsinkable” Molly (Margaret) Brown, Captain Smith, Thomas Andrews, Archibald Butt, Francis Millet and many more – as well as describing life aboard the Titanic and the sinking in heartbreaking detail.
But in between the huge cast of characters and the well-known tragedy, Andrew and Matthew’s love story comes in a distant second. Part of this is due to the short time frame Sacher is working with (4-1/2 days from the Titanic departing Southhampton on April 10th and sinking 2:20 a.m. April 15th) so Andrew and Matthew meet briefly and fall into insta-love which leaves little time for a relationship to develop. There is very little chemistry between the two and all sex scenes are off-page. Also the pacing of the book is very slow at times, with Andrew writing (and tearing up) letters numerous times, dining, walking the ship decks, Matthew serving passengers, ad nauseum. And the difference in Andrew’s first class passenger status and Matthew being a steward in third class steerage, with the restriction of not mixing with the guests, leaves a lot of time to fill until the early morning hours of April 15, 1912.
Without going into too much detail, many plot elements felt contrived and sometimes unbelievable, for example
- Lord Carson and Matthew being imprisoned while on the Titanic, Andrew’s fiance Claire and her brother William and their deceit and over-the-top villainy, the complete turnaround by Andrew’s father.
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