Friday, June 2, 2023

Feature Friday ARC Review: A Ship of Bones & Teeth by Karina Halle


*Feature Friday ARC Review is a meme hosted by The Tattered Page to review books not yet released.  

*Warning: This review may contain spoilers. Read at your own risk.

Publisher: Self-published 
Release Date: 
May 25, 2023
Pages: 466
Genre: Adult Fantasy Romance
Source: E-ARC 

A standalone adult dark fantasy pirate romance re-telling of The Little Mermaid from the New York Times Bestselling Author of River of Shadows and Blood Orange.

Princess Maren is a woman with a secret.

Ten years ago, she sold her soul to the sea witch Edonia, giving up a life underwater in exchange for the love of Prince Aerik on land. But after a decade of abuse and misery inflicted by the cruel prince, Maren wants nothing more than to leave him and her royal role behind and find Edonia to reverse the spell.

An opportunity for escape presents itself when the prince and princess are traveling overseas and are taken hostage by a band of notorious pirates, led by the fearsome Captain Ramsay "Bones" Battista. Maren has heard the sordid stories about the infamous pirate--not only is his ship supposedly haunted and crewed by the damned, but that no prisoners ever survive.
Fortunately for Maren, she learns that the captain also has a score to settle with the sea witch. With any luck, Maren may be able to get her old life back, even if it's being held in the captain's wicked hands.

But Ramsay gets more than he bargained for when he learns who--and what --Maren is, and that her appetite for revenge, freedom, and bloodlust rivals his.

Meanwhile, Maren finds herself falling for the pirate's dark nature, even as she discovers that Ramsay has a secret more deadly than her own.

When it comes to the high seas, not all monsters lurk beneath the surface.
LINK: Goodreads 


SPICE RATING: 🌢🌢🌢/5 chilies


OPENING LINE: There was no moon the day I decided to sell my soul. 


Huge thank you to Karina Halle and her PR team for an ARC of A SHIP OF BONES AND TEETH!

A SHIP OF BONES AND TEETH was a darkish, gothic, and spicy twist on a beloved childhood fairy tale, and it did not disappoint. The world-building was sweeping and gothic and sucked me in. When I found out Karina was doing a Pirates of The Caribbean and the Little Mermaid mesh-up, I could not have been more excited. When I heard Halle was doing a dark, spicy retelling of The Little Mermaid, I knew I had to read it! And I was totally right! As always, she did not let me down! Just like I could not put this damn book down—I was traveling when I read it for 7 hours straight. Best. Flight. Ever. The story was enchanting and thrilling and dark and didn’t let up. The pacing was perfect, and the balance between action and tension and mystery and spooky vibes and romance was sublime. The characters jumped off the page and stole my heart, the whole morally grey lot of them.

π’΄π‘œπ“Š’𝓇𝑒 𝒢 𝒻𝑒𝓋𝑒𝓇 𝒾𝓃 π“‚π“Ž π“ˆπ‘œπ“Šπ“, π’»π‘œπ“‡ π“Œπ’½π’Ύπ’Έπ’½ 𝓉𝒽𝑒𝓇𝑒 π’Ύπ“ˆ π“ƒπ‘œ π’Έπ“Šπ“‡π‘’.

Captain fucking Ramsey “Bones” Battista . . . what a hot slab of man beef πŸ₯΅. My God, what I would do to take a bite *IYKYK πŸ˜‰* out of him. He was a possessive and mysterious hunk with a panty-melting mouth.

𝐿𝒾𝓀𝑒 π“Žπ‘œπ“Š'𝓇𝑒 𝓉𝒽𝑒 π“‚π‘œπ‘œπ“ƒ 𝒢𝓃𝒹 𝐼'𝓂 𝓉𝒽𝑒 π“‰π’Ύπ’Ήπ‘’π“ˆ, 𝒢𝓃𝒹 π‘’π“‹π‘’π“‡π“Ž π“‰π’½π‘œπ“Šπ‘”π’½π“‰, π‘’π“‹π‘’π“‡π“Ž 𝓃𝑒𝑒𝒹, π‘’π“‹π‘’π“‡π“Ž π“Œπ’Άπ“ƒπ“‰ π’Ύπ“ˆ π’Ήπ“‡π’Άπ“Œπ“ƒ π“‰π‘œ π“Žπ‘œπ“Š, 𝑀𝒢𝓇𝑒𝓃.

Maren was the little mermaid in the story, but way less docile—in fact, she was a bloodthirsty badass. But she had to find her way back to herself after decade-long, abusive marriage to the cruel and violent Prince Aerik who she gave up her life as a Syren for. Her character journey was so fun to read as she went from a lost girl to a forceful, empowered, ruthless woman.

Marne and Bones’ chemistry was off the charts from the first encounter. The banter? Loved it. The sexual tension? Delicious.

π’΄π‘œπ“Š'𝓇𝑒 π“‚π‘œπ“‡π‘’ 𝓉𝒽𝒢𝓃 𝓉𝒽𝑒 π’Άπ“ƒπ“ˆπ“Œπ‘’π“‡ π“‰π‘œ π“‚π“Ž π“…π“‡π’Άπ“Žπ‘’π“‡π“ˆ. π’΄π‘œπ“Š'𝓇𝑒 𝓉𝒽𝑒 π’Άπ“ƒπ“ˆπ“Œπ‘’π“‡ π“‰π‘œ 𝓉𝒽𝑒 π“…π“‡π’Άπ“Žπ‘’π“‡π“ˆ 𝒾 𝓃𝑒𝓋𝑒𝓇 π“€π“ƒπ‘’π“Œ 𝐼 𝒽𝒢𝒹. π’΄π‘œπ“Š'𝓇𝑒 𝒢𝓃 𝑒𝓃𝒸𝒽𝒢𝓃𝓉𝓂𝑒𝓃𝓉, 𝒢 π“‰π“‡π‘’π’Άπ“ˆπ“Šπ“‡π‘’, 𝒢 π“…π‘œπ“Œπ‘’π“‡π’»π“Šπ“ π’Έπ“Šπ“‡π“ˆπ‘’ 𝒾𝓃 π’Ύπ“‰π“ˆ π‘œπ“Œπ“ƒ 𝓇𝒾𝑔𝒽𝓉 𝒢𝓃𝒹 𝐼 πœπ’Άπ“‚ π‘œπ“ƒπ‘’ π’½π“Šπ“ƒπ’Ήπ“‡π‘’π’Ή 𝓅𝑒𝓇𝒸𝑒𝓃𝓉 π“Šπ“ƒπ’Ήπ‘’π“‡ π“Žπ‘œπ“Šπ“‡ π“ˆπ“…π‘’π“π“.

One qualm about the smut though: Ramsay was dirty, nasty kinky, and I would have loved to really see that on page. We were only given hints of his darker, kinkier nature, and I was dying to read more.

π‘€π“Ž π“ˆπ“…π’Ύπ“‰ π“π’Άπ“ƒπ’Ήπ“ˆ π‘œπ“ƒ π’½π’Ύπ“ˆ π’»π‘œπ“‡π‘’π’½π‘’π’Άπ’Ή, 𝒢 π“ˆπ“π’Ύπ“‹π‘’π“‡ π‘œπ’» π’»π’Ύπ“ˆπ’½ π’·π‘œπ“ƒπ‘’ 𝒾𝓃 𝒾𝓉. 𝐻𝑒 π‘”π“‡π“Šπ“ƒπ“‰π“ˆ 𝒢𝓃𝒹 π“‡π‘’π’Άπ’Έπ’½π‘’π“ˆ π“Šπ“… π“Œπ’Ύπ“‰π’½ π’½π’Ύπ“ˆ π‘œπ“‰π’½π‘’π“‡ 𝒽𝒢𝓃𝒹, π“Œπ’Ύπ“…π’Ύπ“ƒπ‘” 𝒾𝓉 π’Άπ“Œπ’Άπ“Ž. "π’Ÿπ‘œ 𝒾𝓉 𝒢𝑔𝒢𝒾𝓃," 𝒽𝑒 π“Œπ’½π’Ύπ“ˆπ“…π‘’π“‡π“ˆ, π‘’π“Žπ‘’ 𝒹𝒢𝓃𝒸𝒾𝓃𝑔 π’Ήπ’Άπ“‡π“€π“π“Ž. "π’―π’½π’Ύπ“ˆ 𝓉𝒾𝓂𝑒 𝒾𝓃 π“‚π“Ž π“‚π‘œπ“Šπ“‰π’½, π“…π“π‘’π’Άπ“ˆπ‘’." 𝐻𝑒 π‘œπ“…π‘’π“ƒπ“ˆ π’½π’Ύπ“ˆ π“‚π‘œπ“Šπ“‰π’½, π“ˆπ’½π‘œπ“Œπ’Ύπ“ƒπ‘” π“‚π‘’π’½π’Ύπ“ˆ π“‰π‘œπ“ƒπ‘”π“Šπ‘’, π“Œπ’Άπ“ƒπ“‰π’Ύπ“ƒπ‘” 𝒾𝓉.

See what I mean? I. Am. Sweating. Over. Here.

All in all, I really enjoyed A SHIP OF BONES AND TEETH  and could not put it down. This is a must-read!

π’―π“‡π‘œπ“…π‘’π“ˆ & π’¦π’Ύπ“ƒπ“€π“ˆ
✨Forced proximity
✨Enemies to lovers
✨Morally grey characters
✨Villain gets the girl
✨Monster heroine
✨Found family
✨High-stakes adventure
✨Hidden identities
✨Dirty talk

✨Kinky f#ckery
✨Spooky vibes
✨Gothic fantasy
✨ Sea witches, mermaids, pirates, & more

𝒯𝓇𝒾𝑔𝑔𝑒𝓇 π’²π’Άπ“‡π“ƒπ’Ύπ“ƒπ‘”π“ˆ
✨Grief and loss
✨Viol3nc3 and gor3
✨Explicit s3xual scenes


Karina Halle is a former travel writer and music journalist and The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling author of The Pact, Love, in English, The Artists Trilogy, Dirty Angels and over 20 other wild and romantic reads. She lives on an island off the coast of British Columbia with her husband and her rescue pup, where she drinks a lot of wine, hikes a lot of trails and devours a lot of books. Halle is represented by the Root Literary and is both self-published and published by Simon & Schuster and Hachette in North America and in the UK.
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Happy Reading!


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