Fred is a mermaid. But stop right there. Whatever image you're thinking of right now, forget it. Fred is not blonde. She's not buxom. And she's definitely not perky. In fact, Fred can be downright cranky. And it doesn't help that her hair is ocean coloured.This book is labelled as paranormal romance which did make me wonder are mermaids paranormal, but maybe that is too big a question to be asking this early in a post.
Being a mermaid does help Fred when she works at the New England Aquarium. But, needless to say, it's there that she gets involved in something fishy. Weird levels of tozins have been found in the local water. A gorgeous marine biologist wants her help investigating. So does her mer-person ruler, the High Prince of the Black Sea. You'd think it would be easy for a mermaid to get to the bottom of things. Think again...
The only reason why I picked this book up, is that Mary Janice Davidson is one of the big name authors who have been confirmed as coming to the first Australian Romance Readers Convention next year, and I hadn't really read much from her, so I wanted to give her a go and see what I thought. Before this, I had only read a short story in an anthology that was part of her popular Betsy the Vampire series.
So, enough about the why of this book and onto what I thought of it. Unfortunately, I was pretty underwhelmed by it - really starting from the dedication and the going all the way through the acknowledgements.
The premise is potentially fun - a half mermaid works at the New England Aquarium (cue conversations with the fish, especially when the fish decide that they only want to listen to Pet Shop Boys music) and basically her work is her life. She hasn't been on a date for years, despite the best efforts of her best friend who is the only person in the world outside of her family who knows what she is. Then, not one, but two handsome men show up, both trying to get to the bottom of some toxic water. One is Thomas who is hunky marine biologist who has always known that mermaids were real, and the other is Artur, the High Prince of the Black Sea who has been sent by his king to investigate with Fred's assistance.
There are genuine funny moments, which I would tell you, but you know then you would only be left with all the not so funny bits.
During the course of the investigation, you of course discover who the bad guy is who is polluting the ocean, and in this case, the bad guy was in effect a cartoon character villain. His motivation was flimsy at best, and the showdown felt contrived and somewhat silly.
Like so many other current romance novels, particularly in the urban/paranormal romance subgenre there is little resolution in the love triangle, and I guess I will probably read the next book in due course just to see what happens. I have no idea how many books there are planned for the series, but I presume that we will get the HEA over the whole arc of the series.
I won't lose any sleep if I don't read the next book all that soon though.