Music For a Merman
Sea of Love Book 2
by Alice Renaud
Genre: Fantasy Romance
“Rob Regor knew that humans were trouble. All the shape-shifting mermen of the Morvann Islands knew it. And human women were double trouble, especially when they were lying on the road in front of a digger.”
Rob has a mission. Go to the mainland. Work as a policeman. Find out as much as possible about the mainland humans. Report back to his father, the head of the Regor Clan. It should be easy.
Until he has to arrest Charlie. Rob can’t fight his attraction to the sexy eco-warrior, and it puts him on one hell of a collision course with his family and his Clan. Will he break the rules – or break her heart, and his?
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Rob’s scream reached Charlie as she was squelching through a puddle. Fear caught her chest in its jaws and bit down hard. She stopped. Where were the mermen? She squinted. Was that a moving shadow, at the very edge of her field of vision? She retraced her steps, pushing against the panic that threatened to crush her. As if to mock her, a cloud covered the moon. All she could see now was the coal-black night, thick and pitiless. Her breath rasped in her throat. Every nightmare she’d ever had came back to her. She was a child again, in the creaking, ancient Fitzwilliam castle, hiding under the covers from the many ghosts that loomed over her bed. The instinct to scream for help almost overpowered her, and she pressed her hand to her mouth to stifle it. She was growing dizzy. Her legs buckled, and she sank to her knees into the soft, oozing silt. Water sloshed over her hands and thighs. The gentle, cooling touch reached through her anguish and brought her back to reality. It was as if a friendly animal were licking her, comforting her. She breathed in and out a few times. She had to stay calm and fight. It was her only chance. She scrambled in the mud for something to use as a weapon. Her fingers scraped against a sharp rock and the vice of fear relaxed its grip a little. She picked up the stone and got to her feet. Somehow she felt that one merman, at least, was near. She forced her body into perfect stillness, hoping that the invisible enemy wouldn’t hear the frantic beating of her heart. Unless he had infrared vision, he couldn’t see her any more than she could see him. Maybe he’d walk right past her. The merman hissed at her out of the darkness. “I can smell you, human.” Terror tore into her. She was in every fairy tale, facing every monster. Alone. She tried to inhale, but no air got in. Crushing pain radiated from her lungs into her limbs. A tiny wave lapped over her feet, though there was no breeze. A mysterious voice whispered in her head. The monsters won’t win. Run to the sea. I will protect you. Maybe she was going mad. But if so, it was a helpful sort of madness. trength was rising through her body, easing the pressure on her ribs. Wherever the voice had come from, she’d follow its advice. She gripped the stone harder and put her hand behind her back. She had to buy some time, until the damn moon came out and lit her path to freedom. “What do you want?” she asked. A suction sound informed her that her enemy was moving through the mud, but he wasn’t coming any closer to her. Maybe he too was waiting for light. Or maybe he was wary of her. The thought comforted her. He was right to be careful. She could be dangerous too. “I’m not going to hurt you,” the merman said. “I want to help you.” Charlie almost sniggered. He must think I’m stupid. She’d play along, until she saw an opportunity to escape. “That’s good,” she said, trying hard not to sound sarcastic. She put on her best “lost little girl” voice. “Can you help me get out of the marsh?” “Sure!” The merman sounded eager, almost enthusiastic. She heard him move forward, but slowly. “I’ll give you a ride on my back, if you want.” The voice murmured in Charlie’s head. She couldn’t tell if it was real, or a childhood memory. An old fisherman had told her that story once, when she was holidaying on the Morvann Islands with her parents. And she had read the same story, in the old book she’d found in the police station. The Water Horse offers the unwary traveller a ride on its back, only to throw him off and drown him in the marshes.
A Merman's Choice
Sea of Love Book 1
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?
Alex tiptoed downstairs, settled her bill with the night manager, and slipped out. The salty air embraced her like a long-lost acquaintance. She’d loved that fresh smell, once. Just as she’d loved the slap of waves against her skin, the squish of sand between her toes, the cry of seagulls above her head. She’d dreamt of watching whales, or swimming with dolphins. She pushed the sadness away. Maybe one day she’d learn to love those things again. She reached the quay. The undulating black water, dull and menacing in the light of a street lamp, drew her eyes. That same water had almost swallowed her. The snakes in her belly twisted upwards, crawled into her throat. Focus on the boats! She read the names aloud, as fast as she could: “The Cormorant. Star of Wales. Gwilan.” That last boat was the only one with its sails up, so it had to be hers. It was so tiny! The prospect of sailing in that thing, on the wild seas around the Morvanns, rubbed her nerves raw. She let out a loud sigh. “Oh, God. I’ll never make it.” “Alex?” The deep baritone, from somewhere behind the mast, jolted her. It’s only the captain, you muppet. She coughed the words out. “Yes. It’s me. Hello.” A tall, broad silhouette stepped out of the gloom. “Alex! It really is you! I wasn’t expecting you so early.” His enthusiasm took her aback. He was behaving as though she was a long-lost friend. Had they met before? She took a step forward for a closer look. The light fell on his features. A young, handsome face, with a straight nose and square chin, crowned by a mop of glossy chestnut curls. No, she didn’t know him from Adam. Where was her grizzled, reassuring sea-dog? “You’re the captain?” “That’s right. I’m Yann,” he said with a smile. A captain barely in his twenties, and a titchy boat. The knots in her throat tightened. That thin wooden shell couldn’t contain more than two adults. Just like the boat that had been found on a Morvann beach three months ago, with its mast torn off and a massive tear in its hull. They’d never found the honeymooning couple that had sailed in it. She could taste the cold, salty water in her mouth, feel the tug of it on her legs, dragging her down. “You’re the captain, and also the only crew?” His grin faded at her sharp tone. “Yes. Is that a problem, Alex?” She felt like a right snotty bitch, finding fault with his boat before she’d even stepped on it. Yann seemed a nice guy. He’d left her no choice, though. He’d never mentioned he was a one-man band. He’d never told her how tiny his boat was, so tiny that one large wave could lift it and smash it against the rocks. She shoved the answer out of her dry mouth. “I’m sorry, I have to cancel my trip.” His eyebrows almost hit his tousled hair. “Because my boat is too small? It’s very seaworthy, I assure you.” Her fear was thickening, smothering her. Her field of vision shrank, until all she could see was dark water, rising towards her. Its rushing noise filled her ears. This stranger had no idea what it was like for her, and she didn’t have the energy to explain. “I’m sorry,” she repeated, and turned away. “Wait!” He jumped on the quay, with a lightness surprising for a man his size. “I can’t let you go like that, you’re as white as a sheet. Are you feeling OK?” The concern in his voice reached through her anguish, stopped her in her tracks. The din in her eardrums receded. “I’m... I’m just scared of the sea.” She cringed because it sounded so lame. Yet unlike her ex, Boris, and her father, Yann didn’t laugh at her. “Why, what happened?” She’d never met him, and he seemed to care more than Boris ever had. That was sweet. Proof that nice, caring guys still existed. She owed him an explanation. “I had an accident in the Morvanns, last autumn. I nearly drowned.” “That’s terrible.” He sounded as though he meant it. The noose around her throat loosened, the words came more easily. “It’s not you, or the boat, it’s me. I’ve been afraid of water since the accident. Please don’t take it personally.” His voice softened into a gentle rumble. “Why would I do that?” He came closer, lifted a hand. She wondered if he was going to lay it on her shoulder. “I understand. And I’m sorry.” His arm fell to his side, and she couldn’t help a minute prick of disappointment. What would it have felt like if he’d enveloped her in a bear hug? That broad chest was made for a girl to lay her head on.
I was born and brought up in Brittany, Western France, my father was French and my mother British (from Wales). I moved to London, UK, in 1997, where I now live with my husband and son. I work full time as a compliance specialist in a pharmaceutical company. I have been writing in my free time since I was 14. I got quite a few short stories published in UK magazines, before moving to longer fiction. I wrote three contemporary romance books, but didn’t find a publisher for them. I then realized that mermen, sea witches and water demons were a lot more fun than sheikhs and billionaires! My first two paranormal romances did not find a publisher either, then I wrote A Merman’s Choice, which was published in January 2019 by Black Velvet Seductions. It is the first book in a fantasy romance trilogy inspired by the landscapes and legends of Brittany and Wales. I love reading and writing stories, and sharing them with anyone who’s interested!
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