The Highest Tide by Marian Perera (Eden #4)
Released: February 17, 2015
Reviewed by Mandi
One touch, and the tide isn’t all that’s rising.
When brothel health inspector Jason Remerley finds a uniformed woman waiting impatiently in the Velvet Court parlor, wanting to hire a man’s services, he’s struck by lightning. His intense, immediate attraction compels him to pretend his way into her arms.
Enough silver, and most men forget about Captain Lera Vanze’s half-burned face. She senses something off about the handsome, ill-dressed prostitute who sells himself so cheaply. But with his first touch, goose bumps turn to shivers of desire—right before the truth drives them in opposite directions.
Her fury is still simmering when they face each other in a more “official” capacity. She’s joined a warship to stop a terrorist only Jason can identify. Though trust is scarce, they’re swept away in a tidal wave of murderous plots and an explosive attraction that could leave them marooned in an emotional—and very real—minefield.
When I read this blurb I knew I had to try this one. A brothel inspector? A scarred heroine? Smexy liiiiikes. And the first chapter got me excited. Jason is in a brothel doing a surprise health check – making sure all the girls are physically healthy. On his way to leave, a woman comes and his heart stops. She is wearing pants, she has a bad burn scar on her cheek, and Jason is in lust. Lera is just off her ship, and needs an itch scratched. She goes to the brothel for some fun, and sees a guy not really up to what she thought was brothel standards, but he is available so why not? They go into a room. She expects a more practiced, formal sexual encounter, but Jason takes his time and works on giving her pleasure
“Nothing fancy or acrobatic,” she said. “nothing where I’ll have to make an effort. Use your mouth and your hands. I’d like to come at least twice, and whether you do or not is your own concern, but if you please me, there’ll be another silver for you. Do you understand?”
Before they have their fun, they are caught by someone who works there. Lera is angry that Jason lied and that he really doesn’t work in the brothel – but they jump out the window so they don’t get caught and Lera goes off to continue her life.
I loved this scene and interaction and I wanted to know everything about Jason and Lera. Everything. Their chemistry is great. I love that Lera is so open sexually and that Jason saw through her scar and wanted to get to know her. Unfortunately, the focus of the book leaves the romance and doesn’t revisit for quite a while. Not to say I disliked the book, but with such a strong start with these two, I wanted to see them get to know each other and fall in love – and it’s a little more in the background for the rest of the story.
The next few chapters were a little difficult to read. I don’t know if I would say this is heavy steampunk, but the world was a lot to take in. Lera and Jason ultimately end up on a ship to go find someone named Richard Alth who is wanted for holding prisoners on his ship. They go off to hunt him. Along with them is a teenage boy who is bonded to a shark (he rides the shark through the water) and other crew members. They get into trouble, there is kidnappings and adventure. But getting to the adventure took some time and the world is really heavy. There is different lands and political structures and reasons why certain groups don’t like others. It’s a lot and sometimes hard to follow.
Lera – I adored. For reasons like this:
“You know,” he said, “in Dagre, we have a name for women who entice men and then want to stop.”
“Oh, we have a name for such women in Denalay too.” She went to the door and said over her shoulder, “They’re called selective. Good afternoon, Captain.”
I really liked Jason too. I just wish there had been more focus on them. With such a striking beginning with these two, I feel like we missed out what could have been some really fun times with them.