Music for a Merman
Book 2 in the Sea of Love series
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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!
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. Spy on humans. Report back to his father, the head of the Regor Merman 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?
Love ‘em and leave ‘em, that was Charlie’s motto. It had served her well until now. But Rob is different… Can she open up her heart to Rob – when a secret buried in her past surfaces and changes her completely?
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 on pre order now. 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!
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Amazon page: https://www.amazon.com/Alice-Renaud/e/B07L52P17B
Rob’s scream reached Charlie as she was squelching through a puddle. Fear caught her chest in its jaws and bit down hard. She stopped. Where were the mermen? She squinted. Was that a moving shadow, at the very edge of her field of vision? She retraced her steps, pushing against the panic that threatened to crush her.
As if to mock her, a cloud covered the moon. All she could see now was the coal-black night, thick and pitiless. Her breath rasped in her throat. Every nightmare she’d ever had came back to her. She was a child again, in the creaking, ancient Fitzwilliam castle, hiding under the covers from the many ghosts that loomed over her bed. The instinct to scream for help almost overpowered her, and she pressed her hand to her mouth to stifle it. She was growing dizzy. Her legs buckled, and she sank to her knees into the soft, oozing silt.
Water sloshed over her hands and thighs. The gentle, cooling touch reached through her anguish and brought her back to reality. It was as if a friendly animal were licking her, comforting her. She breathed in and out a few times. She had to stay calm and fight. It was her only chance. She scrambled in the mud for something to use as a weapon. Her fingers scraped against a sharp rock and the vice of fear relaxed its grip a little. She picked up the stone and got to her feet.
Somehow she felt that one merman, at least, was near. She forced her body into perfect stillness, hoping that the invisible enemy wouldn’t hear the frantic beating of her heart. Unless he had infrared vision, he couldn’t see her any more than she could see him. Maybe he’d walk right past her.
The merman hissed at her out of the darkness. “I can smell you, human.”
Terror tore into her. She was in every fairy tale, facing every monster. Alone. She tried to inhale, but no air got in. Crushing pain radiated from her lungs into her limbs.
A tiny wave lapped over her feet, though there was no breeze. A mysterious voice whispered in her head. The monsters won’t win. Run to the sea. I will protect you.
Maybe she was going mad. But if so, it was a helpful sort of madness. Strength was rising through her body, easing the pressure on her ribs. Wherever the voice had come from, she’d follow its advice. She gripped the stone harder and put her hand behind her back. She had to buy some time, until the damn moon came out and lit her path to freedom.
“What do you want?” she asked.
A suction sound informed her that her enemy was moving through the mud, but he wasn’t coming any closer to her. Maybe he too was waiting for light. Or maybe he was wary of her. The thought comforted her. He was right to be careful. She could be dangerous too.
“I’m not going to hurt you,” the merman said. “I want to help you.”
Charlie almost sniggered. He must think I’m stupid. She’d play along, until she saw an opportunity to escape.
“That’s good,” she said, trying hard not to sound sarcastic. She put on her best “lost little girl” voice. “Can you help me get out of the marsh?”
“Sure!” The merman sounded eager, almost enthusiastic. She heard him move forward, but slowly. “I’ll give you a ride on my back, if you want.”
The voice murmured in Charlie’s head. She couldn’t tell if it was real, or a childhood memory. An old fisherman had told her that story once, when she was holidaying on the Morvann Islands with her parents. And she had read the same story, in the old book she’d found in the police station. The Water Horse offers the unwary traveller a ride on its back, only to throw him off and drown him in the marshes.