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?
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.
The site manager strode up to him. “Can you move her, officer? I’m already behind schedule.” His tone was polite, but his clenched fists told another story.
A gaggle of locals and tourists had gathered behind him. Their eyes bore into Rob, some curious, some hostile. Unease crept across his scalp. Many locals in St-Sulien opposed the development of this stretch of Welsh coast, and tempers in the village had been running high. He could have a mini-riot on his hands if he didn’t take control.
The thought was like a kick to the backside. This was his first real challenge as a rookie cop. He had to show his superiors that he could handle it.
He adjusted his cap and strode to the horizontal figure on the asphalt. She looked so vulnerable, with her head resting inches away from the giant vehicle’s wheels. Her tight jeans and red T-shirt were streaked with dirt, her mane of black curls grey with dust. He wondered how long she’d been lying there.
“Miss. Please get up.” He hoped that he’d got the tone right. He wanted to sound firm, not too fierce or too pleading. He still found the nuances of human speech tricky at times.
Two amber eyes, as bright and challenging as a leopard’s, stared up at him. “No chance.”
Prickles of annoyance displaced his unease. Even for a human, this was ridiculous behaviour. Dangerous, too. One wrong move from the driver, and the digger would flatten her. “Miss, you can’t stay here.”
She crossed her arms over her chest. “I’m not moving.”
Someone sniggered. Irritation swept over Rob’s body like a rash. He was a merman warrior of the Regor Clan, damn it. He wasn’t going to let a bunch of humans ridicule him.
He straightened his uniform. He’d have preferred to arrest her away from the crowd, but she wasn’t giving him that option. “Miss, I am Police Constable Rob Regor. I am arresting you on suspicion of aggravated trespass. You do not have to say anything. But it may harm your defence if you do not mention, when interrogated, something which you later rely on in court—”
She interrupted him with an exaggerated sigh. “Spare me the routine; I’ve heard it all before. And it’s ‘questioned’ not ‘interrogated’.”
Great, now she was correcting him. In public. It was getting better and better.
“Anything you do say may be given in evidence!” He caught himself. He was snapping. He couldn’t let his temper show too much in front of that crowd. He counted to ten to simmer down. “Right, miss. I am going to put my hands under your armpits and lift you up.”
She studied him with narrowed eyes, then her mouth relaxed into the beginnings of a smile. “You can put your hands wherever you like, officer.”
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?
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.
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!
What inspired you to write this book?
I grew up in Brittany, western France, in a village by the sea. I return there most summers. As in other seaside resorts, the local policemen double up as lifeguards. So they could be breaking up a riot in the morning and rescuing swimmers in the afternoon. I thought it would be fun to write a romance with such a cop-lifeguard as hero. But then I turned away from contemporary romance and started writing fantasy romance instead. After writing the first book in my Sea of Love series, “A Merman’s Choice,” I was casting around for characters for my second book. I remembered the lifeguards on the beach who were also cops, and the idea of Rob Regor came to me. A shape shifting merman who is also a policeman. Then I imagined him arresting a woman and falling in love with her, and Charlie, the heroine, was born.
What can we expect from you in the future?
I am working on the third book in the Sea of Love series, “Mermaids Marry in Green.” It’s about a feisty mermaid called Caltha, who travels to London to help a warlock save the city from a water monster. Of course, she falls in love with him! I would also like to write more short stories. I have a short story in the BVS supernatural romance anthology “Mystic Desire,” which is on pre order now. The story, “The Sweetest Magic of All,” is about an apprentice witch and a hot warlock who go back in time to locate a magical amulet, and find more than they bargained for! It was great fun to write.
Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Music for a Merman?
Rob is tender and sensual, brave and caring. He is a bit of a rebel, he wants to be loyal to his father and Clan, but can’t help feeling attracted to the human world. He is a talented singer, and composes beautiful mermen songs. Once he falls in love with Charlie, that’s it – she’s the one, there’s no doubt about it, and he will risk anything to protect her. He’s a shape shifting merman – in his aquatic shape he looks a bit like a dolphin (no fish tail!) but he’s black, like a porpoise.
Charlie is sassy, brave, smart and funny. She’s been a rebel since childhood, but under the confident mask there is a more fragile, vulnerable Charlie. She had a difficult relationship with her parents, who she feels preferred her brother, and this feeling of rejection has pursued her all her life. She guards her heart for fear it will get broken, and is wary of falling for Rob because she’s worried she will get hurt.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
The heroine, Charlie, is sassy and confident, more so than the heroine of my first book. I enjoyed writing her and her banter, and her sexually charged relationship with Rob. I think my heroines are getting spunkier and spunkier – Caltha, in my third book, is properly kick-ass!
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I would explain what happens to the development that Charlie, the eco-warrior, has been fighting against. She convinces her father to abandon the development, which is damaging the environment. But I didn’t write that in, mainly because the things that happen to Charlie towards the end of the book are so mind-boggling and life-changing she could be forgiven for forgetting about everything else! But I will say a little about what happened to the area in the third book.
What is your favorite part of this book and why?
The part where Charlie is chased by hostile mermen across the marsh and hears a mysterious voice guiding her to the sea. I put a bit about old legends and dreams (or nightmares) in there. Charlie shows her mettle during that scene, when she takes on the nasty merman.
Do you read yourself and if so what is your favorite genre?
My first love was fantasy, and I still love it, but I also like historical and contemporary fiction. I also read non fiction, mainly history and mythology. I enjoyed writing about time travel and the 17th century in my short story for “Mystic Desire.”
Do you write one book at a time or do you have several going at a time?
Sadly between working full time, looking after my family, church, and promoting existing books, I don’t have as much time to write as I would like. I only write one book at a time – and rather slowly! But I have lots of ideas in my head for future books. I’ll be thinking about the current work in progress, then my mind will wander into a different story. I enjoy dreaming up new characters and stories… Writing them down is the hard work!
If you could have been the author of any book ever written, which book would you choose?
“The Lord of the Rings,” by Tolkien. It’s the book that made me want to become an author. It pretty much defined modern fantasy, and it’s a wonderful page turner, with a marvelously detailed world, that is strange and yet familiar.
What are you currently reading?
“Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine,” by Gail Honeyman. I’m enjoying it very much. It shows how small kindnesses can transform lives, but the dark past of the heroine stops it from becoming too twee or nicey-nicey. There is a sweet tentative romance in there too. The heroine’s voice is very distinctive, funny, never self-pitying. It’s a very well balanced book, and a great achievement.
What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
The sex scenes! Fortunately I have my fellow authors to help me, as well as my editor and publisher. Some of my author friends write erotic romance, their books are very helpful for me. Also I have a useful resource that my creative tutor recommended: “Romance, emotion and erotica - Writers’ phrase book,” by Jackson Dean Chase. When I’m stuck for inspiration, I turn to its steamy pages!
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