A Merman’s Choice ~ Alice Renaud
I know I’ve been absent awhile, but I’m here to tell you, you have got to read this fantastic book! Enjoy…
For centuries the shape-shifting mermen of the Morvann Islands have lived incognito among humans. But one of them, Yann, has developed some bad habits. Like rescuing humans, even when doing so risks revealing his true nature. When he fishes Alex out of the sea, he doesn’t expect her to reappear eight months later, and turn his life upside down by asking him to be her guide.
Alex is determined to fulfil a promise to her dying grandmother, by gathering pictures and stories of the Morvanns. But she soon discovers that, on these remote Welsh islands, legends have a habit of becoming true!
Over the course of a few days, Yann and Alex grow close. But some mermen hate humans. Their hostility, and Yann’s secret, threaten to tear the couple apart just as they are discovering that they are soul mates. Can Yann overcome the obstacles in his path and make the right choice?
About Alice:Alice was born and brought up in Brittany, Western France, her father was French and her mother British (from Wales). She moved to London, UK, in 1997, where she now lives with her husband and son. She works full time as a compliance specialist in a pharmaceutical company. She has been writing in her free time since she was 14. She got quite a few short stories published in UK magazines, before moving to longer fiction. She wrote three contemporary romance books, but didn’t find a publisher for them. She then realized that mermen, sea witches and water demons were a lot more fun than sheikhs and billionaires! Her first two paranormal romances did not find a publisher either, then she wrote A Merman’s Choice, which was published in January this year by Black Velvet Seductions. It is the first book in a fantasy romance trilogy inspired by the landscapes and legends of Brittany and Wales. The second book, “Music for a Merman” will be out later this year. She loves reading and writing stories, and sharing them with anyone who’s interested!
Alex stopped to admire the view. Thousands of wildflowers waved their colourful heads in the breeze, kissed by squadrons of butterflies and fat, furry bumblebees. The standing stones and wall sheltered the little paradise from the strong breeze, and from any prying eyes.
Her eyes shone with delight. “This is magical!”
Yann led her to the middle of the meadow, where a small spring bubbled over rocks covered in iridescent green moss.
She crouched to photograph a dragonfly. “Nain told me about this place, or a place just like this. Perhaps she came here as a girl.”
“Maybe.” Yann doubted it, but he kept that thought to himself. The meadow was a hallowed place for the sea people, reserved for them alone. If any humans on Newrock knew of it, they had the good sense to stay away.
But Yann didn’t care if humans were not supposed to come here. He was enjoying breaking the rules for Alex. She’d asked him to show her his island, this was the most beautiful part of it. And only the most beautiful things were good enough for her.
The dragonfly took off, and Alex followed it to the nearest standing stone, where it perched like a miniature, jewelled helicopter. She knelt to study it, her face glowing with wonder.
Caltha’s warning buzzed in Yann’s mind: “You have a couple of days.” That had been two days ago.
Caltha had also asked him to take Alex to the wild, unsuitable areas. He let his gaze roam over the lush, tall grass, the blue dome overhead, the gannets and gulls that bounced on the wind and plunged into the sea. This place was wild and unsuitable, as wild and unsuitable as his feelings for Alex. He couldn’t even blame the kiss. Ever since he’d seen her on the mainland, haloed by the street light like a frightened angel, the mad attraction had been pulling at him. Maybe the insanity had begun even earlier. Eight months earlier to be precise, when he’d stolen her from the sea.
She was tracing the worn sculptures on the stone. “This looks like a dolphin, with human hands. Do you think it’s the magical dolphin Nain told me about, the one that rescues children?”
“If that’s what you want it to be, it’s fine by me.” Yann smiled to himself. He’d broken every law for her, and he’d do so again in a heartbeat, just to watch her drift around the stones with the sunlight in her hair. Freed from the straightjacket of her anxiety, her movements were as fluid as those of the birds that wheeled overhead. She was at home here. She belonged on his island, with the gulls and the grass, the sky and stones. With him.
She stepped away from a slab to take a picture. “This one shows a woman with a baby. She’s got webbed hands and feet. Do you think she’s some sort of goddess?”
This was dangerous territory, and yet Yann didn’t care. He walked across the grass to join her. She wanted legends? He’d give her legends. Maybe he could tell her the legend of the fated mates, this myth that every Morvanner had a predestined lover somewhere, who was the other half of his soul. He’d never believed it, but then he’d never believed he would yearn for a woman the way he yearned for Alex. He leant against the huge rock carved with the secrets of his ancestors.
Maybe the Lady of the sea had placed the missing part of his soul in the body of a human. If so, what a trick to play on him.
Alex turned her lovely face towards him. “Who is this lady in the stone?”
She was the Lady, the spirit of the sea, who watched over her merfolk. The sentence sat on his lips, ready to tumble out. Alex waited, transparent eyes wide open.
Human eyes, in a human face.
He swallowed the words that would have betrayed his people, replaced them with innocuous ones. “She might be a goddess, a saint, or a local woman, who knows. Those stones are very old.”
Alex didn’t look convinced. She peered at the image, frowning. “What about the webbed feet?”
Sadness closed in on him, like fog rolling in from the sea. He could never tell her, never show himself to her as he truly was. He could only press his nose against the invisible wall that separated their two species. “I don’t think those are webbed hands. Perhaps the sculptor wasn’t very good, or the wind has eroded the sculpture until it’s barely recognisable.”