When a slave uprising threatens the life of Syreena, the daughter of an eighteenth century plantation owner, a servant uses voodoo to transform her into a mermaid. The spell will be only broken when she returns to the beach where it was cast. After three hundred years of swimming, she’s ready to trade fins for legs. The only problem is she can’t find her way home.
Dylan, a twenty-first century Coast Guard Officer, has sworn off love for the sea. When a wave throws him overboard, Syreena uses her amulet to ward off the sharks and save his life.
With Syreena and Dylan stranded on a remote cay in the Caribbean, Dylan has the know-how to build a raft and navigate but his near-drowning has made him terrified of the water. Syrenna will use every charm she has to convince Dylan to take her home.
Even if it means falling in love. . .
An Officer and a Mermaid is part of the Falling In Deep Collection. From mermaids to sirens, Miami to Athens, dark paranormal romance to contemporary stories with steam, the fifteen award-winning and best-selling authors of the “Falling in Deep Collection” are bringing you mermaid tales like you’ve never seen before.
Rating: 3/5 Stars (more like 3.5, actually)
Quick Reasons: mermaids!; a romance story with a plot; awesome folklore/mythology; quick, enchanting, heart-warming read; I wish there was more to it
I received this short mermaid romance novella in a recent Lit-Cube package and, at the time, remember looking at it with a quirked brow and a bit of amused derisement. The title, a clever play on “An Officer and A Gentleman” (perhaps? I don’t know for certain that that’s the case) had me giggling, expecting some quirky romance mostly featuring “falling in love” and “finding yourself” (among, possibly, other romance genre expectations)
I was VERY wrong, going in—because this is a pretty cute read overall! Syreena as a character is intriguing and endearing; it’s made clear early on that she neither wished for this change in life OR knows how to go about getting back to “herself.” The backstory for her character is heart-wrenching, the plot action-driven and concise. This reads so smoothly, you won’t realize what’s happening until you’ve flipped to the last page and are desperate for more!
I LOVE the use of folklore, mythology, and oral narratives throughout this; I’d never heard of Mami Wata before, but now I’m curious to do some research and find out more about her—she seems like an intriguing, complex being, and might be fun to learn about. Blaire Edens obviously did her own research before starting this project; she’s woven these tales, along with other historically accurate facts/knowledge, into an entertaining romance tale like you’ve never read before! The fact that it includes a mermaid is just the icing on the cake, in my opinion.
The writing is gorgeous; the descriptions and imagery used throughout really make the scenery, the finer details, the characters all pop to life while you’re reading. You can almost SMELL the ocean, FEEL the sand beneath your feet, SEE the sun shimmering off Syreena’s tail (when she HAS one, that is). There are elements of other stories woven throughout—mentions of Disney movies like Finding Nemo and The Little Mermaid, which have helped to spark inspiration and make this read even more enjoyable.
The relationship between Dylan and Syreena is questionable at times, BUT when you consider they’re stuck on a deserted island in the middle of the ocean with no one else to cling to…and the fact that Dylan is the first person in over 200 years to even SEE Syreena—well, it’s easy to forgive the use of “love at first sight.” After all, Syreena’s desperate to be human again, and was willing to make it happen no matter who she found first.
There were, admittedly, some parts of this that I wasn’t so happy with. The biggest is the ending: once Syreena and Dylan are off the island and back on Saint Domingue (otherwise known as Haiti), the story comes to a very rapid and rather unsatisfying conclusion. We don’t get to see Syreena break the spell; Dylan decides rather quickly (after trying to shove Syreena out of his life/force himself NOT to “love” her) that he made a pretty big mistake. Like most romance novels, the ending feels a bit flighty and forced—I wasn’t convinced, at all. I wish that Blaire Edens had taken more time to develop the relationship, to give us more of the characters, and to follow this story out because the ending, to me, came off as more “convenience” than “happily ever after.” I’m not convinced Dylan, as a character, would make this decision so suddenly. I’m not so sure Syreena, described as she is throughout the story, would LET him make this decision so lightly. The sudden ending just didn’t work for me.
Overall, though, this is a light, fun, summery read! I really enjoyed stepping out of my reading “comfort” zone and giving this book a try!