*I received an eARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*
This book was definitely not your typical paranormal romance. I would actually call it a paranormal love story. And you know what? As much as I enjoy paranormal romance, I think love stories might be even more my thing. The former tend to be lighter and fluffier. The latter, like this book, tend to be a little darker and heavier, but still usually with a happy ending, and I think it’s inspiring to see characters struggle only to come out better for it. And struggle these characters did. Colm and Nichol went through some serious hardships, and their story was not a perfect one, but it sure was a beautiful one.
This book was also not your typical mer story, as the blurb states. It was a surprising but interesting take on the creature, especially for a romance.
The best part about this book though was how ADORABLE the relationships were. Colm and Nichol weren’t even dating yet at 30% in, but already they had me awww-ing and swooning. And the way they never gave up on each other throughout the story was what made it so beautiful. *SPOILER ALERT* I mean, Nichol even brushed the muck out of Colm’s gills when they got clogged while he was battling the nihm fish! This is going to sound ridiculous, but I swear I almost started crying at the cuteness. I guess I’m just imagining it’d be pretty disgusting to brush muck out of gills… but Nichol didn’t even hesitate because that was the person he loved. *END SPOILER ALERT*
The family relationships were equally as adorable. The way Colm’s sister spent the whole night with him before he left because she was going to miss him had me all mushy inside, the good-natured fun between Nichol and his grandmother always put a smile on my face, the way Nichol’s grandmother took Colm in as one of her own made me love her even more, and the way Nichol’s grandfather was there when Colm was at his lowest and needed help the most was just about the sweetest thing I’ve ever read. *SPOILER ALERT* I feel like the fact that the grandfather was a selkie in seal form and Colm was a merman only made it that much better. They couldn’t even speak, but actions spoke so much louder than words, and the grandfather was absolutely not going to let Colm get caught or lay down and die, even if that meant occasionally slapping him in the face with a fish :-P *END SPOILER ALERT*
There were a few things in the story that seemed a little bit unnecessary or never really got explained or given closure *SPOILER ALERT* (Was Colm’s mysterious mother a mermaid, or was his mer magic just a curse? How exactly did the mermaid legend about cutting out the man’s heart translate into Nichol rubbing his blood all over Colm? Did Baylee ever make it to Caithmor?) *END SPOILER ALERT*, but it didn’t ruin my enjoyment, and the important part of the story still had a satisfying conclusion.
So, to sum this up, this was a book I really didn’t want to put down once I started, and I’m really glad I read it!
Love can change a soul. But can it save one life?
Colm Weathercliff is a simple fisherman with an uncanny—some might say preternatural—knack for his trade. He thought leaving his small village to take his father’s ashes to the capital city of Caithmor for a proper burial would be the grandest adventure of his life.
At first, all his hopes seem to be fulfilled. He finds a home where he’s accepted without question, the freedom to use his talent to its fullest effect, and love with Nichol, a man with a longing for the sea as powerful as Colm’s.
But Caithmor holds as many dangers as it does attractions. Colm’s greatest secret turns out to be a dark revelation that gets him and his family shunned—and changes everything he thought he knew about himself.
The truth—about his parentage, his gift, even his physical form—could poison his chance for love. And doom both him and Nichol to a gruesome, inescapable fate.
Warning: Contains graphic violence, explicit sex, and scenes of torture that may not be for the faint of heart. These mermen bear no resemblance to those you might have seen in a certain animated film.
Sexual Orientation: Gay (Love Interest), Gay (Main Character)
Non-Human Type: Mermaids/Mermen
Romance Type: M-M
Extra Love: Adorable Family, Adorable Relationship, Healthy Relationship