Author: L.M. Brown
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Publication Date: April 14, 2020
Length: 931 pages
Reviewed by Sammy
This fascinating series continues to captivate and entertain with a world full of magic, passion and sexy mermen. ~ The Romance Reviews
Mermen & Magic: Part One – a box set
1 - Forbidden Waters For the dying race of mer people, homosexual relationships are prohibited. When Kyle falls for Prince Finn he knows he is navigating forbidden waters.
2 - Tempestuous Tides Bound by a curse, two mermen find the greatest love of their lives, but can they keep it?
3 - Dangerous Waves A blind merman fleeing the sunken city of Atlantis is torn between the family he left behind and the love he swims toward.
Centuries ago the city of Atlantis sank below the waves, lost to the world above forever. With the help of their gods and the indigenous mer people the Atlanteans survived on the floor of the ocean for many years, until the day they vanished.
Now the sunken city of Atlantis is home to the largest colony of mer people left in the world. Hidden from all by the magical sea dragons they only venture up on land to mate.
Cursed by an Atlantean goddess, the mer people are slowly becoming extinct. Believing they are safe in the sunken city, they have no idea one of their own is inadvertently waking the sleeping gods and the original inhabitants of their city are merely biding their time until they can reclaim their land once more.
L.M. Brown’s Merman & Magic Part One is a compilation of the first three books in her series, Forbidden Waters, Tempestuous Tides and Dangerous Waves. While you might think you can read these in any order or as standalones, I think you will get the richest experience and less confusion overall if you read this series in order. These novels do have recurring characters and gods and goddesses so that too means you lose the backstory of these folks if you read this series out of order.
From the first book which boasts a love triangle, humor, and magic, to the last one, the author creates a fascinating undersea world that spills over onto dry land in every story. We begin by meeting a nomadic tribe of merfolk who move from one area of the ocean to others avoiding or evading shark attacks. It’s one of these such attacks which will virtually wipe out most of the mermen of the tribe leaving a young man, Kyle, to take on the mantle of leadership. There is a safe haven for the merfolk but it entails giving up all their rights and forbids the practice of same sex relationships—and Kyle is, you guessed it, gay. After the shark attack wipes them out, they head to Atlantis and essentially prepare to sign away their independence. This is the basic plot vehicle for book one and leads Kyle to meeting the two men who will become his partners in life.
The second book picks up with a character we meet in the first one. Lucas is an advisor to the king of Atlantis and closeted. Each book deals with what happens to merfolk when they come into “heat” and the need to mate. For merman like Lucas and Kyle they find no satisfaction with women so that time is particularly painful for them. Lucas meets Justin—who wants nothing to do with his merman heritage and here is where the gods come into play—they levy a curse on Justin that will potentially keep he and Lucas from ever finding their happy ever after in each other.
The third novel brings the character, Dax, Kyle’s former lover from book one who went off on his own rather than travel with the others to Atlantis, back into play. We also meet the oracles and once again a goddess is called on for help. As you can see this is why it’s really important to read this series in order, in my opinion. I have deliberately not spent any time telling you details from any of the novels in this collection because to do so would make this review four pages long. Instead I want to give you my overall impressions of the three novels.
First, the world this author creates is a fascinating one—highly detailed with multiple locations and a wealth of characters. Without going into lengthy prose passages detailing the various locales, the author manages to give us a rich and colorful depiction of each place our characters live and visit. Quite a feat. Secondly, I found the series easy to read despite each story having multiple twists and turns and fast-paced action sequences. I take my hat off to this author keeping everything and everyone in order from book to book—that is quite the task considering how many folks are in these novels and how they eventually intertwine. I had no problems whatsoever recalling characters from previous novels and keeping track of the new ones.
Then there was the humor found in each novel. Despite the problems our mermen encounter in these three books, the author finds multiple ways to infuse each story with lighter moments and even some snark that keep the books from getting too heavy despite the serious scenarios explored. How Justin and Lucas meet comes to mind immediately—it was just fun—and with a curse looming over poor Justin’s head that made for much needed comic relief. I found myself really enjoying how the author brought much needed levity into the serious plotlines.
I did find that the endings in these novels often felt a little rushed. I also think there were some plot elements such as the trident thing in book one that seemed to go nowhere—at first, important then dropped. Then there was the use or non-use of the gods and goddesses. It felt as though they should have had a bigger role in resolving conflict issues but instead they seemed to appear on the scene and not really be used fully. For instance, the goddess Medina was built up as one being really powerful and yet we really didn’t get to see that—maybe that will be more fully explored in the other books in this series.
Overall, I really enjoyed these first three books. There were times I felt a bit of editing could have helped as sometimes the stories dragged on a bit and I found myself getting a little bored with the story but then something fascinating would occur and draw me right back in. I think author L.M. Brown has created a marvelous world of magic and folklore that will entice may readers to stay the course and enjoy all six books in this lovely series.
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