Mermaids Marry in Green Sea of Love Book 3 by Alice Renaud Genre: Fantasy Romance
Caltha the fierce shape shifting mermaid has no time for romance… but Jonty the warlock has a few tricks up his sleeve!
Caltha Dooran is the toughest, fiercest shape-shifting mermaid in the western seas. She has three Clans to rule, and no time for romance. But when a warlock, Jonty, turns up and asks her to come with him to London to capture a water monster, she can't say no. In London, away from her duties, her attraction for Jonty grows... and they soon fall under each other's spell. But will his past and her responsibilities pull them apart, or can they find the only true magic, the one that binds two souls together?
She was so close to him they were almost touching. She took a step back, but three teenagers squeezed in through the doors just before they closed and pushed her against Jonty. Her head was now level with his neck, and her entire body was pressed against his.
“I’m sorry about the crush,” he said. But he didn’t sound sorry.
She tried to make a joke of it but found that her mouth had dried up. He smelled so damn good. A spicy aftershave, mixed with leather and coffee, with the enticing scent of male sweat underneath. Deep inside her, something responded to the unfamiliar perfume. A part of her, long buried, was waking up … and reaching out to him.
The train jolted into life. The people behind her lurched, squashing them together. Her breasts flattened against his chest. He was rock-hard under his leathers, and as warm as a stone heated by the sun. A thrill ran through her, so strong that it felt almost tangible, like a golden snake twisting around her … curling around her breasts … sliding between her legs. She was trapped and helpless.
Worse, she was enjoying it.
Shame nibbled at her. She’d never been this close to a male before. Plenty of mermen on the islands would have loved to become her mate and govern the Clans with her. Plenty had tried their luck, during the long summer nights when they sat around the fire on the beach, drinking whisky and singing. But she’d never let any of them kiss her, or even hold her hand. She’d been a good mermaid all these years. Just as her mother had wanted her to be. Her mother had been very firm on the topic of boys. She’d drummed into Caltha’s head that she should save herself for a husband worthy of her, and of the Dooran Clan. And here she was glued to a stranger she’d met less than twenty-four hours ago. A human. Her mother’s voice swam up in her memory. Choose your mate carefully, Caltha. He must be able to guide our people, and rule alongside you. He must be wise, strong, and…
Caltha tried to remember the other qualities that her future husband should possess, but Jonty’s belt buckle was imprinting itself on her stomach, distracting her. Her mind wanted to remember her mother’s words, but her fingers were itching to touch that belt … and slide upwards … under the leather jacket … to find out what his skin felt like … and whether his stomach was as taut as she imagined. Jonty bent his head, and for one mad moment she thought he was going to kiss her. She was disappointed when he said in her ear, “It’s rush hour, that’s why it’s so crammed. It won’t be long.” She didn’t look at him, in case her face betrayed her body’s embarrassing, pleasurable reaction. “It’s fine.” But it wasn’t fine, not by a mile. She had to get away from him before her hormones hijacked her brain and made her do something stupid. Like grab him. Or kiss him.
Music For a Merman Sea of Love Book 2
“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?
Charlie clambered over the rocks and was soon looking down at the small cove, sparkling blue and gold under the descending sun. The haunting song grew louder the closer she got to the sea. Now it seemed to be outside her head, rising from the peaceful water below to weave its magic around her. The meaning shimmered, just beyond the edge of her comprehension. It was like trying to read words reflected in a mirror. If she could only break the surface of the glass, enter the other side, she’d understand it fully.
But in some obscure way, she knew that the melody spoke of love. Sexual, passionate love. And it was doing something to her. Heat was building up, deep inside her belly. She swore, in a vain attempt to let it out. “Bloody Rob!” He’d got her all worked up, and now she couldn’t calm down.
Cold water and exercise would help. She half-climbed, half-slid down the slippery rocks and hit the sand with a thud. The music sounded as though it was coming from the waves.
It couldn’t be. Maybe the stress of the past day had given her tinnitus. She’d read about it. People heard noises, or even melodies, in their head, and couldn’t get rid of them. She took off her shorts and T-shirt and placed them on a rock, weighing them down with her sandals. After a moment’s hesitation, she took off her swimsuit too. No one would see her, and she loved skinny-dipping. Nothing would come between her and the sea tonight.
The breeze glided across her body but failed to soothe the persistent thrumming at the apex of her thighs. She stepped into the surf, bracing herself for the usual Atlantic chill, but it didn’t come. The water was warm, almost like the Mediterranean. She immersed herself up to her neck. Joy broke through her gloom and lifted her mood just as a wave lifted her and bore her towards the small wooded island in the middle of the cove. A few lazy strokes were all she needed to stay afloat. The water enveloped her in its embrace, stroking her from her shoulders to her toes, as if the whole ocean wanted to make love to her.
The eerie song was growing louder and clearer by the minute. With an almighty jolt she understood that it was real. She wasn’t hallucinating. The enchanting melody was coming from the other side of the islet! Excitement surged, short-circuiting all other emotions. Something was there, just beyond her sight. Something beautiful and magical.
She swam up to the island and followed the sandy shore towards the heavenly sound. Some deep, mysterious instinct told her that she had nothing to fear from this being. It meant her no harm. Quite the contrary.
Luck was on her side. A fallen tree, half submerged in the water, provided the perfect cover. The anticipation blazed so high inside her, it made her mouth go dry. She grabbed the trunk and hauled herself up to peep through the branches.
A black, glistening animal swam in circles, just a few yards away. A porpoise? But the shape was wrong. A fin broke the surface. No, not a fin, an arm! Coal-black and muscular, it ended in a hand.
A webbed hand.
A merman! The old legends were true. Here was the Water Horse, the Selkie, the aquatic creature that could turn into a man.
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 fulfill 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?
The girl wasn’t swimming any more. Yann’s sonar gave him a clear picture of her distress. She was flailing. Sinking.
Fear punched him between the ribs. Just a few minutes earlier, she’d been splashing in the shallows, laughing and humming to herself. That music had rippled around him, brightening his journey. Now the sea was snuffing that light out. No! He wouldn’t let it happen. His webbed hands and feet churned the water, and he shot towards her like a torpedo. Not this one, sea. Not this time.
She came in sight, slim and lovely, with long bronzed limbs and hair the colour of sunshine. But her eyes were closed, her movements slow, hesitant, as if she were falling asleep. His fear hardened into cold, sharp dread. He poured all his energy into the last powerful strokes. He’d almost reached her, when his eye caught the shadow, beyond the crystal surface, out there in the dry world. He sent a sound wave. It came back with an image, and the icy blade inside him twisted: two-legged shapes on the beach. Humans!
If they saw him, they’d know him for what he was. His people’s secret, kept for thousands of years, would be out.
The girl’s head vanished under the waves. To hell with that. He couldn’t let her drown.
He grabbed her and dragged her back to the surface. She thrashed in his arms and coughed up seawater. Intense relief swept through him as he hugged her to his chest. He’d sworn he’d never again swim by and let a human drown, and he’d kept his promise. If the young woman’s eyes remained closed, he might even get away with it. He wanted her to breathe, not scream in horror at the sight of his dark grey face.
He looked up. The shapes on the beach had gone. Another miracle, or perhaps he’d only imagined them. What if they came back? A fresh stab of anxiety propelled him through the surf. He lay the girl down on the sand, cushioning her head on his arm. Her round breasts, encased in the turquoise bikini top, rose and fell in a regular rhythm, but her skin felt clammy under his hands. He scanned the beach in vain for something to cover her with, and saw the motorbike. A sleek, sporty number, well camouflaged among the grass-covered dunes. Shit. He retracted the webs between his fingers and toes, but his body would take at least twenty minutes to shift from the aquatic shape to the human form. And even when it did, what would the humans think, if they found him naked next to an unconscious girl?
They’d arrest him for indecent exposure, or worse. He touched the girl’s face with a tentative finger. The thought of leaving her sickened him. But he couldn’t stay.
Her eyelids fluttered and she muttered a name. “Boris?”
As if in answer, a male voice tore through the air, from behind the dunes. “Alex!”
Yann flew towards the waves. Help was coming for the girl. She’d be fine.
He sped into the open sea, leaving the human world and human fears behind. He’d saved her. That knowledge glowed inside him as he plunged into the depths. She was safe, and his people would remain safe too. He sang as he rode the riptide, a song full of triumph and laughter. Far away, the humpback whales heard him and picked up the tune. He’d got away with it.
For now. His euphoria abated. No humans had seen him, but his people had sharper eyes and ears. He shouldn’t even have been hanging around, in full merman shape, so close to an inhabited island, but he’d thought he’d be OK. In late September so few tourists were around, and locals had better things to do than go swimming in cold water. He sniffed the current, tuned his sonar towards the Clans’ Islands. Nothing. With luck, no one would notice that he’d broken the merpeople’s rules.
Alice lives in London, UK, with her husband and son. By day she's a compliance manager for a pharmaceutical company. By night she writes fantasy romance about shape shifting mermen, water monsters and time-travelling witches. Her first book, “A Merman’s Choice,” 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. The second book, “Music for a Merman,” is out now and the third, “Mermaids Marry in Green,” will be released on 1 November. Alice has also written a short story, “The Sweetest Magic of All,” included in the BVS “Mystic Desire” anthology, out now. Alice loves reading and writing stories, and sharing them with anyone who’s interested!
Can you, for those who don't know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I am half-French and half-British, I grew up in Brittany, western France, in a village by the sea. I always loved stories, especially myths, legends, fantasy… anything with adventure and monsters! I spent my childhood holidays at my grandparents’ in Wales, and absorbed all the Welsh stories about mermen and mermaids, King Arthur, the giant cat of Anglesey, the Water Horse and torrent spectres. After reading The Lord of the Rings aged 12, I decided I wanted to write my own stories. It took me 23 years to get my first short story published in a magazine. It was a straightforward contemporary romance story. I discovered I enjoyed writing romance, but I still loved fantasy. In 2019 my first fantasy romance book was published by BVS: “A Merman’s Choice”, the first novel in my Sea of Love series.
What are some of your pet peeves?
I go mad when I see people driving dangerously, not stopping at pedestrian crossings, using their phone at the wheel… You’re in charge of a dangerous weapon, people! Pay attention! Also, I hate it when people drop litter. Sometimes there’s a bin just a couple metres away! I spent part of the lockdown in my local area clearing up rubbish from my local park.
If you knew you'd die tomorrow, how would you spend your last day?
By the sea, eating and drinking with my friends and family. And praying in my church. I’d have to do a bit of travelling as my church is in London – but hey that’s what taxis are for, right? Or maybe I’d hire a limo and travel to the seaside with friends and family. Drinking champagne all the way.
What kind of world ruler would you be?
A stressed one. I wouldn’t want to rule anyone. Power has never attracted me and I would worry far too much about everything and everyone.
What do you do to unwind and relax?
I love to walk and sit in green spaces – my local park, my garden at a push. I’ve just come back from a short break in a rural location and really enjoyed ambling along the river and sitting under the trees. I love watching birds, too. The other things I do to unwind are reading and watching TV with my husband, especially fantasy, historical and sci-fi shows.
How do you find time to write as a parent?
With difficulty… I am fortunate that my husband is at home full time and looks after our 11 year old son. But I work full time, so finding time to write is always a challenge. I write mostly at the week end and during my holidays.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When my first story was published in a magazine. I’ll never forget the thrill of seeing my words in print for the first time.
Do you have a favorite movie?
Casablanca. The romance! The noble sacrifice! The two men walking away into the desert, bereft of love but with their new, beautiful friendship! AAAaaaaah.
Which of your novels can you imagine made into a movie?
All of them.
What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?
I visited the area, near the UK city of Birmingham, where JRR Tolkien grew up. He spent his early childhood in an idyllic rural village, and we saw an old mill, by a river, which clearly inspired the descriptions of the Shire. Later Tolkien moved to an industrialized area of the city, and when we saw the two tall towers that once belched out black fumes, we understood straight away where the idea for the Two Towers came from. It was fascinating to see how landscapes and buildings can find their way into a book, transformed into wonderful, evocative locations.
As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
I used to say “a blue tit.” Now I think “a crow.” They’re the smartest of all the birds, devoted to their friends and family, and tough!
What inspired you to write this book?
Caltha is a secondary, but important, character in my first and second books, A Merman’s Choice and Music for a Merman (each book in the Sea of Love series is a standalone story featuring a different couple). She is a feisty mermaid, who is the leader of all the mermen Clans. She helps the heroes and heroines of the first two books achieve their happily ever after, so I always wanted to tell her story. But I struggled to think of a man or merman who would be a match for her… until the idea came to me that he could be a powerful warlock.
What can we expect from you in the future?
I have just had two short stories accepted by my publisher. The first, “The Holiday Mermaid,” is a Christmas fantasy romance featuring a mermaid and a shape shifting unicorn. It will be out in October in the “second chance at love” Desire Me Again anthology by BVS. The second story is a sci-fi tale, “Space Cowboy Blues,” which will be out in February next year in an anthology of cowboy romance stories by BVS. Saddle up, it’s going to be quite the ride!
Do you have any “side stories” about the characters?
Jonty is a warlock who became overconfident about his magical skills, and as a result the woman he loved was killed. He has lived with the guilt for 18 months. When he meets Caltha, he has renounced magic. She has to convince him to be a warlock again so they can accomplish their mission, which is to capture a water monster, an afanc, who is threatening to flood London.
Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Mermaids Marry in Green?
Caltha is feisty, tough and brave, an experienced and fierce fighter used to holding her own against the warriors of her Clan. But she still mourns the death of her parents, and feels she is living in the shadow of her mother. She keeps putting the welfare of her people above her own physical and emotional needs… until Jonty makes her see that she has a right to be loved and happy. She is sensual and caring, determined to protect those she loves at any cost, whatever their species.
Jonty is loyal, caring and brave. When he was younger, he was one the best warlocks in England. His success at hunting magical creatures made him over-confident. He took on a trio of hags to impress the woman he loved. His defeat and her death scarred him deeply. He is still wrestling with his guilt when he meets Caltha. His physical attraction to her very soon turns into something deeper, and he realizes that he must let go of the past and forgive himself for his error, if he is to find love and happiness. He pushes Caltha away to protect her, but once the war is over, he knows that he cannot live without her.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
Caltha is my feistiest female character so far, a proper little warrior. I enjoyed writing her. I also enjoyed showing the magic of the warlocks, the spells and the fighting. Finally the book is my first story set in London, my city, and I loved describing it. It has its own particular brand of magic.
Who designed your book covers?
Jessica Greeley at Black Velvet Seductions. I think the cover of Mermaids Marry in Green is my favourite so far!
Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Every book in the series is a standalone story which features a different couple. You can read each book independently – or read them all and enjoy seeing how the world of the mermen develops.
How did you come up with the name of this book?
It stemmed from a sentence that Yann, the hero of my first book A Merman’s Choice, says to his human love Alex: “Mermaids marry in green.” I thought it would make a great title.
What is your favorite part of this book and why?
The fight scene between Caltha, Jonty, and Jonty’s friend Ariel, and the hags, towards the end of the book. I had great fun with the hags and the spells.
Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?
They are mostly from my imagination, though I do like to give baddies the names of real people I don’t like! Rob, the hero of my second book Music for a Merman, is a shape shifting merman and a cop. I was inspired by the riot policemen in my hometown in France, who double up as lifeguards in the summer. I was tickled by the thought of cops rescuing someone in the morning and arresting protesters in the afternoon.
Convince us why you feel your book is a must read.
It is an exciting urban fantasy romance with great characters and a sizzling love story at its core. And magic. And a knife-wielding mermaid. And super-sexy warlocks!
What did you edit out of this book?
Some of Caltha’s dreams. They were too similar to those of the heroine in the second book, Music for a Merman. I kept only two of the dreams, because they were important to the story of Caltha’s budding relationship with Jonty.
Do the characters all come to you at the same time or do some of them come to you as you write?
I always have the hero and heroine planned out, but secondary characters often come to me as I write. Sometimes I like them so much, I have to stop them from hijacking the story!
What kind of research do you do before you begin writing a book?
What I need for the story. For the first book, A Merman’s Choice, I had to find out how the hero Yann would sail a small boat. For the second book, Music for a Merman, I researched what happens when you’re arrested, because it starts with the hero, Rob, arresting the heroine, Charlie. For Mermaids Marry in Green, I didn’t have to do a lot of research, because it is set in my own city of London, but I did have to check locations, and how Caltha and Jonty would get from one place to another.
Do you see writing as a career?
At the moment for me it’s an expensive hobby… that I love very much. I will be very happy if I can make a living from it one day.
Do you read yourself and if so what is your favorite genre?
I still love fantasy. I also enjoy reading historical novels and contemporary romance.
Do you write one book at a time or do you have several going at a time?
One is plenty for me!
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I started off by trying to write what I thought would sell – contemporary romance, Harlequin style. However it didn’t work, I produced three contemporary novellas and didn’t manage to find a publisher for any of them. So one day I thought, what the heck, I’m going to write what I’ve always wanted to write, fantasy. I genuinely don’t want to write anything other than paranormal/fantasy romance at the moment, it’s where my heart is. Now I don’t try to be original, and I don’t try to deliver what readers might want either. I have these stories in my head, and I try to make them as good as possible when I write them down, in the hope that someone other than me will enjoy them!
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
For goodness’ sake, woman, take some writing classes. And find some critique partners. You’ve got good ideas, but your writing skills need an upgrade!
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