Sebastian Stark has little use for people, and he makes that clear in his few interactions with them. Captaining a small ship allows him to travel freely, all the while ignoring his passengers and indulging in drink and women as he pleases. But when the ship capsizes, and the lifeboats are gone, he finds himself on a raft in the middle of the ocean, suffering through withdrawal from his vices and the company of the only other survivor he managed to pluck from the sea — a pretty young woman who can’t survive without him.
The Verdict: Like many of you, I first read Surviving Raine when it was fanfiction, and I loved it as much this time as I did before. I watched and waited for the sequel to come and then kept my fingers crossed that it would happen when it went to publication.
Sebastian is an ass, plain and simple. There’s not much about him to like at first, aside from the fact that he immediately takes responsibility for Raine’s survival, and even then, his attitude leaves much to be desired. But as more is revealed about his childhood and… well, just his whole crappy life, it’s easy to see why he is the way he is. Raine seems to be the one good thing that’s ever happened to him, and she’s willing to overlook his abrasiveness and recognize what good is left in him. It’s hard not to fall in love with him as he becomes so utterly devoted to her that he’d give up literally everything to stay with her, keep her safe, and make her happy.
I did feel like the story dragged a little in the raft, but I’m not sure the writing is at fault. It may just be that I’ve read it before, so I was itching to get to the next part. Or maybe it was the situation itself, being trapped on a raft for days and days and days. But once they spotted land, things really picked up and got interesting.
Surviving Raine is classic Shay Savage, with characters that are so insanely flawed that they shouldn’t even be liked, much less loved the way we readers never can resist. There’s danger and violence and angst and a gritty romance that makes for an incredible adventure and sizzling love story. If you’re tired of the same old romance stories, this one is sure to entertain.