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?
“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 and 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.”
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 and 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. She shook off the thought. It was lovely to confide in someone who didn’t mock her, but he was only being nice to a paying customer. An experienced seaman like him would never understand her phobia.
“I can’t believe you’ve ever been scared of water.” He looked like a man who wasn’t afraid of anything.
His smile this time had a tinge of sadness. “I know what the sea can do. Even to those who love her the most.”
“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?
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.”
Several people tittered. The scratchy aggravation in his chest intensified, but he pushed it back. If they were laughing, they were less likely to attack him. He crouched behind her, took hold of her shoulders, and hauled her up. To his relief, she didn’t fight back, but she didn’t cooperate either. She just slumped in his arms like a beached porpoise. “Are you going to walk, or do I have to carry you?” he asked.
“Fine. I am now going to pat you down.” He did his best to do this with one hand, keeping her up with the other. At least she wasn’t armed. One less problem to worry about. “What’s your name? Do you have any identification?”
“The site manager didn’t tell you?” She turned her head and winked. “Everyone around here knows me. My name is Charlie, Charlotte Fitzwilliam, and I’m an eco-warrior.”
The statement was so absurd, he almost laughed out loud. Her, a fighter? Humans had such a high opinion of themselves; they had no idea what a real warrior looked like.
But the crowd was moving closer, reminding him that she had friends here, and he didn’t. A flash of sunshine on a smartphone screen almost blinded him. They were taking pictures. The scene would be all over social media in the next few minutes. Blast humans and their technology.
He had to get her out of the building site. The other formalities could wait. “OK, Miss Fitzwilliam. I am now going to carry you off the development.” He bent, slid one arm under her knees, the other around her shoulders, and scooped her up. Hoots and catcalls rose from the crowd, but he blanked them out and strode away from the digger. At the police station, he could hand her over to Constable Frank. With his five teenage daughters, he would be used to handling stubborn young females.
If only he had the police car—but he’d been patrolling on foot when the site manager had called him. He headed towards the village, ignoring the whistling and clapping behind him. Some smartarse started singing, “He’ll lift you up where you belong.”
“For fuck’s sake,” the girl muttered.
Rob tightened his grip and lengthened his stride. “You’re embarrassed? I hope you are, after the show you’ve put 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 have been writing 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, demons and angels 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 accepted for publication this year 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!
Interview with Alice Renaud https://eileentroemel.com/alice-renaud/
Mystic Desire https://eileentroemel.com/mystic-desire/