Rating: 3 stars out of 5
It’s Friday afternoon, and the last thing Ben wants to be doing is trudging through a wet forest in search of a public hazard. But duty calls, and turns out more exciting than Ben imagined when he encounters a magical ruin, an enchanted pool, and Lyle—a merman who’s cursed to be landlocked many miles from the sea.
Lyle is flamboyant and exciting—he’s got tentacles, for goodness sake!—and Ben falls hard. But Lyle’s been hurt before and finds trust difficult, refusing even to reveal how to break the curse that imprisons him. Ben’s just an ordinary guy, and can’t help wondering if he can ever be the hero Lyle needs.
The Lonely Merman (Landlocked Heart #1) by Kay Berrisford has a terrific premise behind it and some wonderful mythology that the author has created for her story. I trudged along with Ben and tumbled headlong into a magical place, haunted by a cursed being waiting for his forever love.
How could you not want to read about that?
And for most of this story, Kay Berrisford has me hooked. The plight of the forest, the woods surrounding the pool and the temple because of Ben and the way in which he endangered them all had me on the edge of my seat. That was so well done. A little less was the quick relationship between Ben and Lyle. Really Ben seemed halfway more irritated than smitten, but maybe that was me.
But the back history and story Berrisford created for Lyle is a superb one. I really wish she had given more page space to this portion of the story and world building because she absolutely held my interest here. This is also where I felt let down at the end. Everything that occurs to Lyle at the end happens “off stage” as it were and we are cheated out of a huge element of this story, an important one.
So yes, the main characters get their HFN, yes I love the idea of the story and so many of the elements here I felt it warranted a 3 star rating. But there are also enough holes that it came perilously close to 2 as well. That’s for all the sections of the story that the author didn’t deliver and should have been included to give the reader a satisfactory closure to the story and Lyle’s part in it.
The title indicates that this is the first in a series so I’m curious if it’s going to pick up Ben and Lyle’s story from the ending of this one, an uncertain one at that or set off on another trajectory all together. I’m invested enough that I’ll pick up that story to find out. For all you fantasy lovers, there’s enough here that if you’re looking for a quick read with some interesting aspects to it, The Lonely Merman (Landlocked Heart #1) by Kay Berrisford just might be the thing for you.
Cover art by J. Ang is interesting but almost too simple for this story.
Sales Links: Less Than Three Press | Amazon
Published July 8th 2017 by Less Than Three Press
SeriesLandlocked Heart #1