Title: The Merman’s Kiss
Author: Tamsin Ley
Series: Mates for Monsters #1
Genre: Hot Paranormal
Even Monsters Need a Mate
After the death of her child, Brianna seeks to end her life within the ocean’s final embrace. Instead, she falls into the arms of a sexy, sleek-tailed monster. He’s wild, seductive, and sets her blood on fire every time he touches her, and soon she begins to need him for more than his magic to breathe underwater. He might just give her a new reason to live.
Zantu has evaded the mate-bond for thirty-five years, dodging promiscuous mermaids with vile intents. Unlike mermaids, mermen bond for life, and Zantu refuses to accept the heartbreak most mermen die of. That is, until the glint of gold catches his eye, and a simple salvage mission turns to passion. Now he’s bonded to a human, and begins to wonder if bonding to the right mate might not be so bad. The problem? A finless female won’t live long among the dangers of the sea.
Now Zantu must choose between keeping her at his side, and keeping her safe. Either way, he’s sure he’ll end up with a broken heart.
Content Warning: Explicit love scenes, dangerous mermaids, and sexy merman secrets. Guaranteed HEA with no cliffhangers. Intended for mature audiences.
Source: Review copy via NetGalley
This is a quick, surprisingly easy read in which a merman has lots of sex with a human. It also had a potentially interesting take on promiscuous mermaids and their devoted, loyal mermen. Plus lots of sex.
The thing is, despite the rather emotional beginning – the lingering effects of a still birth, a soulless marriage and a suicide attempt – and the threads of broken hearted mermen and maternal abandonment running through it, I found this quite a light read. It moves too fast to leave much of an emotional imprint. The characters aren’t very well developed and the sex was rather lacking in passion, but I still found it enjoyable. Mostly because I loved the underwater world and the merman culture. It’s beautifully done and absolutely the best thing about this book.
However, there are a few things that I want to take issue with. Firstly, Brianna is in the process of drowning when along comes Zantu and kisses her to save her. Suddenly, lust! It happens so swiftly and ridiculously that I couldn’t take it the least bit seriously. Especially as the mating drive is on Zantu’s side. Brianna’s instant switch from dying to sex didn’t even have a magical compulsion to sort of save it. Guess drowning made her horny?
Then there are the mermaids. As fun as the idea of gender-flipping the traditional merpeople roles was – though sadly not going the full seahorse – it was unfortunately predictable that promiscuous mermaids = evil hags, out to seduce and destroy. While mermen were reduced to heartbroken shells forever pining after their heartless mates. A little more nuance to the issue might have been nice.
The ending. Not only was it rushed, I was kind of sad at how it ended. And if it had to go that way, a little look at how they managed everything in the future might have been nice. Plus, just how did that work anyway?
So overall it’s okay. More character development would have been great, along with a more complicated set up regarding the mermaids and a little more passion in the sex, but the underwater world was beautiful and left me curious to see what this author can come up with next. (Mostly because it involves a centaur. A centaur! I mean… how? I may regret trying to find out…)
The Merman’s Kiss is Out Now.
Visit Tamsin Ley for more details.