Owned by the Sea by LM Somerton
* Engaging characters
* Stunning storyline
* Vivid descriptions
* Needs tissues
Storms pass and, in their wake, new beginnings can be found.
Talented young artist Jonty Trelawn paints the sea as self-inflicted punishment. For almost a year he has hidden away from life, survivor’s guilt consuming him, but the time has come to move on. He conceives the idea of a charity art auction in support of the local lifeboat station and the men and women who saved his life. He hopes the tribute to his family will release him from the sea’s invisible chains.
Carpenter Jed Curnow is bound to the water in a different way. As deputy coxswain of the Govenek, the local lifeboat, his world revolves around the close-knit crew. He thinks nothing of risking his life to save others. Saving Jonty is less dangerous but just as important to him. He wants nothing more than to give Jonty the love and security he needs.
Jed’s dominant personality calls to Jonty’s more submissive nature but will he ever allow himself to be happy? It’s up to Jed and his best friend Marmite to help Jonty put his tragic past behind him and live for the future.
First off, I’m a huge fan of LM’s writing. She has one of my favorite characters in all of book-dom in Olly from the wildly popular ‘Edge’ series. In Owned by the Sea, she gives him a competitor in the cute competition, only this one walks on all fours. His name is Marmite, a big, black Newfoundland, who is the constant companion of Jed, a local woodworker, who also doubles as a volunteer for the local search and rescue lifeboat team. It is, in fact, this job that allows Jed to meet the young man who will become an integral part of his life, Jonty.
When we meet Jonty, he’s out on a yacht with his parents and sister. Jonty loves his family, even if his father doesn’t really get him. Still, Jonty has received accolades as an artist, and though his father’s disapproval hurts, it doesn’t stop Jonty from living his life. But, as things always happen, just when you’re secure in your life, a cataclysmic shift occurs, bringing with it pain, doubt, and loss. Such is the case with Jonty, and LM’s writing on this part brought an ache to my heart, and tears to my eyes.
Now Jonty has sequestered himself away, spending his time painting instead of living the life he was certain he had finally discovered. Still, there’s a glimmer of hope as he has an idea of how to give back to the people who saved his life. He wants to hold an auction to help raise money for them to buy new equipment. And this is yet another turning point in his life, as he ventures out to make this dream a reality. And it’s also here where he meets Jed.
Jed and Jonty are beautiful together. They each give the other something that they need. Jonty gives Jed someone to care for, and Jed gives Jonty someone to lean on when times are tough, but also someone who knows when he needs to let Jonty test his limits in life.And then we have Marmite. Oh, god. For a character who has no words, he steals a lot of the scenes he’s in with his puppy dog eyes that has everyone who meets him ready to feed him to what he does for Jonty when Jonty gets in over his head (literally), Marmite has a heart of gold, and a cast iron stomach.
If you’ve read other books by LM, you know that there are aspects of BDSM or D/s relationships in them. This one is similar, but it’s also very different. Jonty doesn’t need a fulltime Dom, and Jed is still fulfilled by helping Jonty out when needed. Their chemistry on page is palpable, the emotions are real and, in some cases, raw. Their needs vibrant and alive.
If you haven’t read LM’s other books, which include some personal favorites (Stroke Rate, the Edge series, the Wyverns—her motorcycle club—you’re missing out on some well written, and award winning stories. And if you’re about to dip your toe in the water, this sea is warm and welcoming.