Author: Amanda Meuwissen
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Tiferet Design
Publication Date: April 30, 2019
Length: 191 pages
Reviewed by Sammy
It’s not easy being someone’s fairy tale.
Leigh Hurley is making a name for himself among thieves and criminals, even if it isn’t the life he would’ve chosen. He shouldn’t have screwed over the Moretti brothers, though. It landed him in the river with weights on his feet. But somehow he’s escaped certain death. The last thing he remembers before waking on the riverbank is a beautiful face and a soft kiss.
Then, Tolomeo turns up naked at Leigh’s apartment.
Tolly comes from a race of killers—merfolk who drown humans for fun. But Tolly is different, and when he sees a human in trouble, he offers a kiss, granting the man the ability to breathe underwater… and himself the ability to walk on land, at least until the next full moon. The ancient laws state that if he is given a vow of love by the one he kissed, he will be able to keep his legs. If not, he will be put to death when he returns to the water.
But love is not something Leigh offers easily… and Tolly has a secret of his own.
Leigh Hurley is trapped in a life of petty crime running small jobs for two different mob bosses and he’s finally been caught by one of them skimming money off the proceeds of leaning on small business owners for “protection” fees. Now with weights strapped to his ankles he is facing a long cold watery death. Perhaps it’s the lack of oxygen or perhaps it’s hysteria but as Leigh runs out of precious air he sees an angel in the water—an angel who kisses him and saves him…and then appears naked at his apartment door.
Tolly is one of the merfolk who dreams of being a man with two legs one day. When he spots Leigh in the water, Tolly is drawn to his goodness and sees a way to use the magic of the merfolk to achieve his dream. Now he has till the next full moon to convince Leigh that he loves him. But Tolly has a secret—one that he keeps hidden from Leigh for to reveal his true self spells disaster for his dream. All Leigh has to do is say the words but Leigh has been told for so long that love is a farce and vows never to say those three little words again.
Author Amanda Meuwissen has released an epic romantic fantasy titled, Coming Up for Air and I absolutely love it! Not only is Leigh that good-hearted bad guy who is trapped in poverty and a way of life that he desperately wants to get out from under but he has never really understood what it is to love another. His abusive, drunken father had repeatedly broken Leigh down, telling him he would never be loved and that all love is a sham. Enter sweet, naïve Tolly—a merman who has learned everything he knows about mankind from the rom-com movies he loves to watch from his perch in the sea. Oh Tolly—I wanted to bundle him up and take him home with me. Kind, sweet—a creature harboring a secret that shames him and yet still he dreams that somehow he can get Leigh to love him and all will be well—they will live happily ever after.
With an incredible side cast of characters and some nail-biting action, this novel was just a delight from beginning to end. Nothing was easy for poor Leigh and you could understand why he felt that he would never be good enough for Tolly who oozed goodness from every pore. The two of them danced around the edge of commitment and had me hanging on to the very end hoping against all hope that Leigh would say those magical three words. The final chapters of this novel takes you on an emotional roller coaster and every heart-stopping moment is worth it to get the ending the author gives us.
Amanda Meuwissen is a new author for me but I will say that I have every intention of checking out her other works—she is a consummate story teller with a brilliant imagination. I adored Coming Up For Air and I highly recommend it to you.
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