*I received an ARC in exchange for my honest review.*
I was first drawn to this book due to the whole ‘shipwrecked’ element. I was intrigued about a story of two strangers abandoned at sea trying to survive. Surviving Raine was so much more than that, I certainly wasn’t expecting the depth of the storyline and complexity of the characters.
Bastian Stark left a life of horror and torment behind to become captain of a ship, providing holidays for the rich and famous around some of the most beautiful islands. It is during one of those trips that he wakes from yet another drunken stupor to find his Schooner in pieces and his crew and passengers missing, with only an inflatable raft for survival he leaves his abandoned ship not before saving an unconscious body.
Raine wakes up to find herself on an inflatable raft with a foul mouthed, angry stranger. They both clash at first and Bastian is nothing but down right horrible to Raine, his lack of social skills and his hermit tendencies will do that to a person. Realising they have to lean on each other in order to survive, their real journey begins.
I loved Bastian, he is the definition of an Alpha male. He was very tortured over his past and he was so closed off as a result. He was an extremely nasty drunken alcoholic in the beginning and that was enough to make you automatically hate him, yet I never did. I knew there was something so dark and sinister from his past causing him to be like this and I enjoyed as the story unravelled and we discovered everything he had lived through.
Raine was a great character, she started off quiet and mouse like but over the days they were stranded at sea and as Bastian became increasingly horrible to her it was great to see her come out of her shell and stand up to him. Finding her voice and becoming his equal. She tried her hardest to make Bastian believe in himself and that was no easy task considering everything he had been through.
Shay Savage’s story was so detailed and beautifully written. In the initial days following the wreckage we got great detail of what Bastian and Raine went through and how close they had both been to dying as water and food rations were depleting. Bastian was the man, if you were ever going to get shipwrecked voluntarily you would want him on your side, he could survive in any situation and make complex contraptions out of the most innocuous objects. I was extremely impressed.
I think what I loved the most was the slow building relationship between Bastian and Raine, sure it may have been inevitable after spending many weeks with only each other for company but Raine managed to infiltrate Bastian’s steel armour and she uncovered the real man underneath. I love how protective he was of Raine and he proved time and time again how far he really would go to protect her. Yes his insecurities did begin to grate on me near the end, Raine had given him no reason to doubt her loyalty but he was afraid to trust anyone due to his past so they did go round in circles a lot. Did they ever make it back to civilisation? And where would things stand between them if they did? You need to read this great book to find out! I was also pleasantly surprised to discover this isn’t the end of their journey and I look forward to the sequel.
Surviving Raine has a great storyline with intricate characters, definitely worth a read!
Shay Savage lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband, two children, and a variety of household pets. She is an accomplished public speaker, and holds the rank of Distinguished Toastmaster from Toastmasters International. When not writing, she enjoys science fiction movies, and loves soccer in any and all forms. During the fall, she coaches her daughter’s soccer team. Though she currently works in the technology field, her school background is in psychology, and she brings a lot of that knowledge into the characters within her stories.
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