BLOG TOUR: The Stealing by S.A. Sutila

Title: The Stealing by S.A. Sutila
Pages: 394
Published by: Advantage, Forbes Books
Publication date: 8th March 2022
Genre: Gothic/Paranormal/Romance
Format: eBook
Amazon UK

Synopsis:

She chose to die. Now she chooses to live. And love. But her spirit has been claimed by a dark presence.

Sarah Vise’s life is a literal dead-end street. Abandoned by her mother as a child, she lives on a coastal road to nowhere, working endless hours on her domineering father’s fishing boat in the shadow of a run-down lighthouse. As her high school graduation approaches, the end of the relentless monotony seems to be on the horizon. She is accepted into college and has an intriguing encounter with Grant Eriksen, the tall, blue-eyed neighbor who appears intent on making amends for past mistakes.

But when Sarah’s father forbids her from going away to college, she is forced to face a future without hope. Sarah decides to surrender her life to the sea.

Grant saves her from drowning, but that night her weakened spirit is carried to a dreamy afterlife world, where a handsome hunter-sage takes her under his wing. Sarah is happy to remain with him until she learns he is even more possessive and dangerous than the men in her “real” life.

To escape his clutches, she makes a terrible bargain. He will return her to the life she now so desperately desires. She will be free to follow her heart, but only for a while. The clock is ticking.

Once she fulfills her end of the bargain, he will steal her spirit again. Forever.

My review:

The Stealing is a unique gothic romance about a young girl who’s trapped by the controlling men in her life and has to break free.

It follows Sarah Vise who’s eighteen and in her final year of high school. She wants to go to college but her abusive father refuses to let her leave. The thought of having to spend the rest of her life in her hometown working on her father’s fishing boat breaks her spirit and she attempts to commit suicide. Grant, who she’s known since childhood, saves her. While Sarah believes she survived the suicide attempt, her spirit is later taken by a supernatural being and in order to escape she strikes a deal with him. Once she has collected enough energy from her life, her spirit will return to him. However, when she returns to her life she starts dating Grant and realises how much she wants to live. 

I really enjoyed the paranormal elements and would have loved for more of that to be included. Sarah’s scenes with Max in the afterlife were interesting and what I enjoyed most about the story. It was really descriptive and used vivid imagery. While at first it appears to be a beautiful place to be, it’s soon made clear that Max is another man in Sarah’s life who wants to control and entrap her, much like her father wants to stop her from going to college. 

When Sarah returns to her life, she mainly goes fishing with her father and on dates with her boyfriend where she learns to enjoy life more. My only issue with this part of the story is that there’s a lot of fishing scenes and I’d have preferred them to be shorter. I was skim-reading these scenes as they made me feel uncomfortable, but that’s just a personal issue for me. Others might enjoy these scenes more as they’re quite detailed.

I thought Sarah and Grant’s relationship felt a bit rushed as she started off hating him because he’d bullied her all her life. All of a sudden she starts dating him and hanging out with his family. It felt like Grant was only dating her because she was really attractive and not because he liked her for who she was. Grant is painted as the hero and Max the villain but I didn’t think Grant was much better. It felt like he was also trying to control what Sarah did with her life even though she’s still young and has plenty of time to decide. I was rooting for Sarah to find her feet and be more independent. 

The Stealing is an enjoyable read with a compelling plot and I’d recommend it to fans of gothic romances. 

A massive thank you to Literally PR for sending me a copy of this book for review and for inviting me to take part in the blog tour!

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