Monday, 16 July 2012
Review - Mere Temptation
Review: Mere Temptation (Ocean Shifters 1) by Daisy Harris
After 20 years of living amongst humans, mer-hunters have finally caught up with independent mermaid Ismaelda Freya. She does the only thing she can, returns home to Key Sirena to enlist the help of the ruling sea dragons.
She runs into to her high-school crush Sidon, a were-sea dragon who has never forgotten her, despite becoming the town's playboy billionaire. Sidon wants to pick up their relationship and mark Isa - (have full sex with her) which will force her to become fully mer and stay in the key forever.
Up until this point, by remaining a virgin, Isa has managed to keep her options open - now she must choose whether to give in to Sidon or find a random human to mate with and become fully human.
To make matters worse the mer-hunters aren't just after Isa and have been kidnapping mer children to experiment on. It seems that the ruling dragons may just be in on the racket, having little love for the socially inferior mere....
The story and characters in this novella are really good. Love the spirited heroine and the hunky were dragon whom she's never been able to forget. Other things I give a big thumbs up to: Love the class divide between mermaids and dragons - think that works really well. I also love the mechanics of the shape shifters - Mermaids are the only paranormal species that have a choice - once they have sex they can become fully human or fully mer.
There's also a really interesting sub-plot following the relationship between a succubus and the captain on the mer-hunting ship - this isn't tied up in this volume so I hope we get more on them in the sequels.
The sex scenes, while not the hottest I've come across aren't terrible and made erotic by the fact that we like the characters and are rooting for them to get together.
What lets this down a bit is the writing - lots and lots of grammar mistakes and colloquialisms which I felt detracted from the tone - It's very slangy and our characters use Americanisms that don't seem to fit somehow. Not sure I was too keen on the term mere either. I know its a sort of pun on mer, but for me It didn't sound quite right.
I also wanted more on the genetics - the world created here is unique and really inventive. When Isa finally makes her choice and transforms (and I wont spoiler and say what her final decision is) - it made my head spin a bit and I had to thumb back and go is that possible? - It is, but still comes as a bit of a shock and I guess I just wanted more in this world.
Along with the slang I did find the character archetypes a bit cliched - This does feel like a mills and boon billionaire playboy/headstrong ex story with mermaid myth tacked on - still saying that there's enough mer content to leave me more than satisfied. We have full tails - though they are more seal skin than fish tail. well our mere are mammals so that works.
Over all a pretty good attempt at an erotic mer-romance. I'll definitely hunt down Daisy Harris' other mermaid stories. There's at least two more novellas in this series and two merman slash novellas that look great <evil grin>. Roll on pay day!