Kendall Kulper’s Salt and Storm is a romance novel so good that it kept someone who squirms during kissing scenes glued until the end. The main character is your classic “average-looking-but-talented” teenage girl. The love interest is the handsome and mysterious islander Tane, who’s coincidentally covered in magical tattoos.
The girl, Avery Roe, descends from a long line of Roe witches. The Roes are also a distinctly female line and never get married. They instead spend their days taking care of their island home and whaling town. Each one has a special power, and Avery’s is the ability to see the future. Avery predicts that she will die before becoming the official Roe witch, so she tries to find a way to save herself to continue the line of witches, as her mother rejected magic to become a lady in town. This results in a race against the clock, so Avery decides to enlist Tane for his magical assistance, and the beautiful romance unfolds, touching on loss and love.
What’s really interesting is that the novel is set around the time of the Salem Witch Trials, and definitely shows how the times change in Avery’s lifetime. The townspeople evolve from loving the witches to hating them as Avery’s aging grandmother cannot save them from the sea. Their desperation from the slow decline in the whaling business drives them to turn against the Roes, which leads to an exciting chase and terrible death.
This book is one worth devouring.