Review: Enslaved by the Ocean

Enslaved by the Ocean (Criminals of the Ocean, #1) Publication Date: December 7, 2013
Book 1 of Criminals of the Ocean


Indigo is running, she has no other choice. She's done something bad, and the only way to escape it, is to flee her home, and her country. She sets out on a luxury Yacht, to take her to another country with her best friend Eric. But she runs into a problem. 

The Yacht catches fire. 

She ends up stranded in the ocean, terrified, and scared of the uncertain. Until they show up. The pirates. Terrified, Indigo and Eric have to face the reality that this might be the end for them. These are pirates, they are the criminals of the ocean. What chance have they got of surviving this nightmare?

Then she lays eyes on Hendrix. He's the Captain, he's gorgeous, rugged, and mean. He's planning on keeping her to repay his debt to another man, by selling her. Now Indigo has a crazy ex after her, as well as a pirate she can't seem to get out of her head.

Come on this heart wrenching, dark, angsty and dangerous adventure as two people so opposite, find something so beautiful.

My Review: 4 stars

Bella Jewel proves her prowess in writing rebel stories is not limited on land. She’s also rocking ocean outlaw! 

Of course, I won't claim accuracy for the navigation and technical whatnots for manning a pirate ship and the actual life aboard, but I am fairly satisfied with what she brought to the table with ENSLAVED BY HE OCEAN

The story jumps almost immediately into action at sea. Having watched Captain Phillips, I have a more accurate vision of what ocean pirates are like. I also understood more clearly prior to reading this just how dangerous they can be. It's practically anarchy out at sea! So, when Indigo and her best friend Eric got captured by the pirates I was really scared for them. The first impressions I got from these men is that they are dangerous, ruthless, and have no regard for laws other than those their own making. I didn't want Eric to be collateral damage, as is what usually happens to secondary characters in hostage stories. I also couldn’t see at first how Hendrix will change my negative opinion of him; yes, he was that bad. 

It was the shift in POVs that helped me see Hendrix in a more likable light. Readers will soon find out that there's an even bigger player than everyone else on board his ship. There are conflicts going on within it, and there are more between its crew and the world beyond. It's a vast playing field that Bella Jewel will no doubt have a lot of fun with in the succeeding books. 

The overall feel of ENSLAVED BY HE OCEAN is very similar to Bella Jewel's biker books. There's a persistent sense of danger and conflict, there are funny dialogues (pirate jokes!) nail-biting action scenes, and of course, steamy encounters between the Hendrix and Indigo. 

Hendrix is a bossy alpha through and through! There's a really well-done outdoor sex scene in this one that is the stuff of classic romance (ahem… waterfall), except that no flowery words are used to smoke the scene. :) Loved it! 

Two reasons though why this was almost a three-point-fiver for me. First is the reason why Indigo was pulled aboard to be sold off. The lead-up to that climax was just too long, I guess, that enough clues were planted for me to figure out who's behind it and why the person is doing it. It actually became quite predictable. Second is the new antagonist who appears right at the end of the book. Now this one was more unexpected! ENSLAVED BY HE OCEAN ended on a high note because of his appearance, and it definitely will begin the next book in an exciting way. This both a good and a bad thing, because Mr. New Antagonist is not even a secondary character; had very little to do with this story; and he only appeared literally at the very end. Yet, I became more excited with his appearance more than anything else about the book. He ratcheted up my rating to 4 stars.

Ocean piracy is new territory in modern erotic romance, as far as I know. One of the reasons why I’m a Bella Jewel fan is she was one of the first to offer biker romances that are off-the-charts hot and with such excellent and strong story lines. True to form, she’s also leading the pack with ocean piracy. I really hope this series will do very well (as I said, the opening for the next book is pretty exciting!) and continue on as she planned. 

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