Author: Christine Castle, with Jayne Faith - no websites found
Format: Kindle eBook (free at the time on amazon)
Did it feel like a full novel: yes
Cliffhanger: no, but there’s a sense of missing stuff after the ending
Genre: romantic, sci fi
Dates Read: July 24-Aug 6, 2005
Official Blurb: When Talia agreed to take a break from her research to spend a week at the beach, ending up a captive in the depths of the ocean with her friend Janelle was the last thing she ever expected. Janelle has a fondness for fairy tales and is sure that their abductors, with their gold-medal swimmer physiques, are sea people—mermen. Talia knows that’s ridiculous, but when one of the men, Ballard, slips her his knife and lets her in on his own purpose for being there, she starts to suspect that the truth is beyond anything even Janelle could have imagined. She can’t deny her attraction to Ballard, but also can’t fully trust this man and his extraordinary claims. To get back home, she may have no choice.
Ballard spent the past year infiltrating a rogue military group suspected of breaking the sacred and critical First Tenet of Below: Do not contact those Above. His mission is to discover the location of a secret deep sea base and destroy the rogues' ability to travel to the sea's surface. But he can't help his feelings for Talia, the beautiful, intelligent woman from Above. The deeper he falls, the more he risks his own mission—and the future of every human on Earth.
As they are drawn deeper into danger, Talia and Ballard begin to realize that their only hope for survival is each other.
This cover, OMG isn’t is absolutely divine? I wish I had a paperback version just to have this cover on my shelves. But anyway, onto the meat of this book! Talia was a really enjoyable heroine, competent and quick thinking. It makes sense she starts falling for Ballard as he acts quite differently than the other abductors. They all seem generally hot shirtless guys otherwise. He is pretty cool as a hero, and not impervious to everything, needing to rely on Talia’s help quite a bit. Their scenes together feel OK, and create a natural progression to their romance and sex bits.
The world building was absolutely fabulous! The reason for the merpeople community existing and their isolation was something very different but believable within its sci fi element. The reason for Ballard being where he is makes sense as well, though you start to wish you had more background on why he’s there and what his life was like before. The more you read, the more the story starts to feel constricted. You wonder about the other groups, being that you’re with the Ice Cap group only (there’s still the Marianas Trench group and the raiders), and only those on a ship. You don’t get to see their civilization as a whole, and you don’t really get to know anyone else but Talia’s friend Janelle and the more direct bad guys. Ballard’s cool tattoo (I think most everyone had one, but I’m wondering if its a male thing because we don’t see any of their women at all) is mentioned, but not really what is it, and why those who have one are like they are on the shoulders, or what they represent. He gets to be a merman at only one short point, but it’s kinda fuzzy and I’m not sure I grasped the anatomy. Then the end kinda dissolved into a salvation for the merpeople that is suddenly getting worked on, but they’re all desperate to try it without much talking amongst themselves.
The book started fantastically, but ended in a very disappointing manner. I’m still giving it a three because the good parts were so very enjoyable, and the idea was creative and had a great start with good chemistry between the H/h. I think the second in the series takes place in the far future, so I’m wondering if the third might return to this undersea situation and give us more info.
RATING: 3 stars