Aquavit

The Aquamarine Sea Series

Fiction - Drama
294 Pages
Reviewed on 05/12/2019
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Karen Stensgaard was a foreign exchange student in Denmark when she tried Scandinavian ‘water of life’ aquavit for the first time. AQUAVIT is her debut novel with more books in the Aquamarine Sea series planned. The second, BLUENESS, was published in January 2019. Stay up to date via KarenStensgaard.com or on other social media sites. Cheers, or as they say in Denmark, skål!

    Book Review

Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite

In this first book of the Aquamarine Sea Series, Kat Jensen, who has mourned the death of her husband too long, has been forced to close down her business. Despite no lack of willing male companions, she shies away from them, but suddenly finds herself romantically involved with not one, but three attractive suitors…and all at the same time! But their timing is awful for Kat, who has become infatuated with the idea of getting away from everything for a while by taking a cruise…not on a modern luxury ship but on an old clipper sailing boat. A bona fide old clipper isn’t easy to find anymore, but a diligent travel agent finds what she wants. Though torn by her attraction to all three men, Kat decides she’s not going to let any of the ardent suitors convince her not to go. She makes the arrangements in a huge rush, pays the fare, and then learns that to sail on this clipper, in order to truly experience the period of the 1860s, passengers must wear period clothes…think Scarlet O’Hara’s hooped gowns…and they cannot bring modern electronics of any kind on board.

That’s only the beginning of what Kat will learn about what it was like sailing the high seas back in 1860. After completely hooking us on Kat’s battles with her suitors and hints of complications once Kat is on her voyage, author Karen Stensgaard leaves readers dying to know what happens with Kat, the clipper trip, and the men she leaves behind. The author gives us a taste of what’s to come in the second book, Blueness, at the end of Aquavit. This sequel is already available on Amazon. But you know what I have to do before I get into that one? I’ve got to buy me some Aquavit! There must be something in that drink besides the photo of the clipper ship on the label that got Kat so excited about sailing on an old 1860s boat! Such a refreshing change to read a unique book like this! Delightful.

Michelle Stanley

Aquavit is Book One in The Aquamarine Sea Series by Karen Stensgaard. Stressed by the closure of her audit consulting business and a disastrous blind date with Charlie, widow Kat Jensen unwinds with a bottle of Aquavit known as the “water of life”. The bottle’s image inspires her to take a cruise on an old-time clipper and she makes the arrangements. Kat also dates Greg, an older man, and Matteo, an Italian stud, but feels pressured by both who vie for her attention. Charlie also wants a second chance yet Kat wonders if he can be trusted. How she misses her husband whose ashes are to be returned to Denmark. Kat can’t wait to start the adventurous cruise despite the clipper’s specific rules and her friends’ warnings of impending danger.

I was filled with a yearning to sail on this clipper as well, although a few rules made me hesitate. Aquavit is a novel that will touch the hearts of anyone who reads it. Kat is a woman who misses the comfort zone she had with her husband. She has an urge to break out of her standard routine and try something new. I guess we all experience this at times. The character development and scenes are impressive and well planned. Karen Stensgaard shows her writing strength in all areas of this beautiful, exciting story and the excerpt from Blueness, Book Two. The Aquamarine Sea Series is filled with romance, adventure, and a bit of danger to hold your interest.

Romuald Dzemo

Kat Jensen is stressed and all she wants is to get away from New York. Her audit consulting business is closing and she has a lot of time on her hands before she can start a new job hunt. The Scandinavian aquavit — a liquor dating from the 15th century and which also means “the water of life” — gives her a fresh idea. She wants a cruise on board the sailing ship pictured on the bottle of the aquavit. Having the idea of an adventure at sea and actually sailing away are two different realities because Kat has many issues to handle, including the men she is dating and frightening omens, her personal worries, and disturbing revelations when she finally arrives in Copenhagen where she intends to board the cruise ship. Can she muster the guts to embark on this once-in-a-lifetime adventure?

Aquavit (The Aquamarine Sea Series) by Karen Stensgaard is an interesting story that explores travel and one woman’s struggle with her choices, especially when it comes to where she wants to be and who she wants to be with. The story is told in the protagonist’s own words, in a first-person narrative voice that pulls the reader in right from the start. It begins with a strong premise. Kat is going out of business and doesn’t seem to be enjoying life in New York, plus she has issues with her romantic life. The reader encounters a character who does not seem to know clearly what she wants to do with her life. The author explores the internal fears and preoccupations of the protagonist brilliantly and allows readers to feel the vagaries of her heart and inner world. Aquavit (The Aquamarine Sea Series) has an international setting that is clearly depicted in the beautiful descriptions. I enjoyed the well-crafted dialogues, the richly developed characters, and the realism that permeates the narrative.