Title: Sunken Teasure
Author: Katy Lee
Publisher: Love Inspired Suspense (Harlequin)
Release Date: September 2014
Synopsis: Shipwreck diver Gage Fontaine is used to modern-day pirates chasing after his boat and the buried treasure he salvages. But when he unknowingly leads a dangerous criminal to the waters off Stepping Stones Island, he puts a beautiful fisherwoman in grave danger. Rachelle Thibodaux has spent the past year hiding on her boat to avoid the town’s censure for her father’s crimes. But when she comes face-to-face with a gun-wielding pirate, she becomes a new kind of target. To save her own life, she’ll have to work with Gage to find the treasure before the pirates do.
My daughter Daphne and I have a tradition of reading books together. “Sunken Treasure” was Daphne’s book choice and we just finished it. Since we read it together, we thought we’d comment on it together. The following post contains our thoughts on the inspirational romance!
She Said/She Said
Mama: We are doing an informal chat about the book “Sunken Treasure” by Kate Lee.
Daphne: It’s actually Kat-Y Lee (laughs). First of all, Mom, what did you think of the book?
Mama: I don’t like romances. It was sickening BUT the plot was good. If it hadn’t been for all the blue eyes looking at the green eyes and all that stuff, it would have probably been pretty good.
Daphne: So, did you like all the talk about God and stuff? Or did you think it was too much – too heavy-handed?
Mama: I don’t mind books that talk about God and religion but towards the end they were laying it on pretty thick with these odd correlations. They were going [quote/unquote] overboard as the book drew to a close. I realize that the author’s goal was to share the gospel message through her writing but it was kind of like being hit with a sledged-hammer.
Daphne: I thought it very heavy-handed too, even for an inspirational tale. I don’t mind reading books about religion and God but I thought in some ways it went [quote/unquote] overboard, just like you said… Did you think that Rachelle and Gage had any romantic chemistry?
Mama: I don’t think that they did at all. I know they loved staring into each other’s eyes and got “The Utz” and he said she was beautiful and she said he was ruggedly handsome but it didn’t feel genuine. There were no sparks IMHO.
Daphne: Again, I agree with you, Mom.
Mama: Uh-oh, that’s dangerous!
Daphne: (laughs) Yeah I know but you’re right. There was not a speck of chemistry to be found between the hero and heroine. Even their banter – what little of it there was – wasn’t entertaining. They seemed more like lifelong friends than potential lovers.
Mama: What did you think of all those moon eyes scenes – how her eyes were so green they looked like emeralds (he said he could never turn down Emeralds) and his sparkling blue-eyes?
Daphne: Talk about heavy-handed. I started to count at one point how many times their eyes were mentioned and it was a lot. It was twenty times a chapter!
Mama: Slight exaggeration.
Daphne: Okay, Mom, maybe so but it was a lot.
Mama: It was a lot. I agree. It even started in the first chapter when she rescues him from the sea, after he’s been stabbed by an enemy. He came up too soon but even with the bends, he was able to notice and appreciate her “sparkling emerald eyes”. From what I understand – not being a diver but wishing to be – the bends are horrible. The book said he was breathless and aching but yet he still noticed her eyes and was bantering with her. Realistic? No!
Daphne: Again I agree, Mom. That was ridiculous. And how about that scene in the hospital where he’s practically on life-support but is springing up to rescue her from the evil woman’s poisonous needle?
Mama: I guess he was part Superman.
Daphne: (laughs) He must have been… So, Mom, what did you think about the back-story of her father being a murderer?
Mama: It plays heavily into her feelings of guilt, even though she had nothing to do with the murder. And her doubts about whether she could actually murder someone herself. We find out that her father murdered her aunt but never in the tale do we learn why.
Daphne: That’s, true, Mama. We never really learn much about it at all but yet she goes on and on about the guilt she carries.
Mama: She thinks the town people hate her, but it was actually her that separated herself from the community. And I know she’s ashamed by what her father did – I sure would be too – but why does she think that she might be a murderess and carry on her father’s behavior?
Daphne: Good questions, Mama, we never really find out.
Mama: Nope we don’t. That is where the book is somewhat lacking… She was a very good amateur photographer. Why do you think she didn’t pursue that career and stayed lobster-fishing?
Daphne: Hmm … Now you’re going to the deep questions (laughs). I can only presume that she didn’t feel worthy of having a successful career or a happy, fulfilling life.
Mama: I think she felt indebted to her uncle (this is the man who’s wife her father killed) so she felt she needed to continue to help provide the supplies for his restaurant. I also think that she loved Stepping Stones (AKA Pirate Island) but didn’t feel part of the community but still loved the town, her homeland. As for Gage, I think through the love and guidance of a good friend, he was able to turn his life around. I thought it was impressive that he carried around a chest full of Bibles to pass out to the inhabitants of whatever land he travelled to.
Daphne: Would you agree that this book left a lot of questions unanswered, leaving us to have to fill in the blanks ourselves?
Mama: Oh, definitely… What do you think about the reality of making Rachelle dive even though she’d never done it before and didn’t want to? Do you think that was realistic?
Daphne: It was not realistic but the bad guy Marcus didn’t care if she survived it. He just wanted her to lead him to the treasure. It led to one of the most interesting parts of the book with the shark circling because Gage’s blood was in the water. But realistic, not at all.
Mama: Were you excited when they actually found the sunken ship and treasure?
Daphne: To be honest, by that time, I just wanted the book to hurry up and end. What did you think – were you excited?
Mama: I knew that it would happen because it’s a happy-ever-after book and I’m glad that they found it but my question is why couldn’t Gage lead Marcus to the treasure and keep Rachelle bound and safe on the ship?
Daphne: Again, a question that has no specific answer but I would guess it wouldn’t have been half so “exciting” (air quotes) if she wasn’t a part of the action and didn’t confront her own fears and insecurities, even if she was forced to do so at gun-point.
Mama: The so-called evil woman Jolene had tried to kill Rachelle on several occasions. She had thrown her into a pit with snakes and Rachelle had managed to climb out only to struggle with Jolene and accidentally throw Jolene this time, into the bottom of the hole. But Rachelle had compassion on Jolene and threw a rope down to help her. Wouldn’t it have been justice to have just let Jolene die in that pit without any help? After all, Rachelle kept screaming for justice throughout the whole book, didn’t she?
Daphne: My thought on that is that when push came to shove (literally), she wasn’t a murderer like her ever-mysterious father.
Mama: We’ve carried on long enough but let’s finish off by rating the book out of five possible stars and telling whether we would keep it on our bookshelf.
Daphne: I’d 2; 2.5 if I’m being really generous. And no, this is definitely not a keeper. I’m going to try to sell it and if no one will buy it, to the donation library it goes! And what about you, Mama? Your final thoughts and rating?
Mama: I’d give it a 3.5 for plot but overall a 2.5 because I was tired of them giving each other the moon eyes and tired of their “She/he loves me, she/he loves not” antics. And no, it will certainly not be on my bookshelf.
Daphne: Okay it’s that time, Mama. What do you have to say?
Mama: Blog you later!
Just a note: We found out AFTER doing our interview that “Sunken Treasure” is book 3 in a series. Mama says she will not be reading book 1 and 2, or any that come after it!