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by Jennah Sharpe
Description: Utopia Camping, a Mecca for windsurfers and cryptozoologists or a haven for Merbeings? Mia has always known Merbeings existed despite the evidence to the contrary and for her beliefs she is considered abnormal. When she meets Tydon, a man who follows his instincts, she is immediately drawn to him. When he reveals his secret, will their promise of love be enough to save his species from those who wish to exploit his kind?
eBook Publisher: Cobblestone Press, 2006
eBookwise Release Date: February 2008
13 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [68 KB]
Reading time: 42-58 min.
"Lovers of paranormal/Shapeshifters will fall in love with this story. By the time you finish the book, you could swear you smell the sea air and feel the motion of the waves beneath your feet. It is that realistic of a tale. Hook your copy today before this wondrous book swims away! Oh, another thing ... do you know how the Merbeings make love? If not, then read this book to find out!"--Janalee Ruschhaupt, Paranormal Romance Reviews
"Jennah Sharpe pens an intriguing tale of a mythical creature many readers wish would exist, mermen. Tydon is just about as sexy a hero as any reader could ask for, and Mia is an independent woman who knows her own mind and sensual nature and isn't afraid to act on either impetus-mental or physical. The sensuality is hot and graphic, and the story line is very intriguing."--4 Flags, Annie, EuroReviews
The tattered newspaper article held between her two fingers fluttered in the wind. Mia Craven silently watched the windsurfers fly across the sea from her lotus position outside the tent. She looked down at the headline once more. For days she'd kept it in her back pocket while working on the arrangements to travel to the island in order to research the story.
Three Separate Sightings of Merman-like Creature the headline read. Now here she was, a twenty-seven year old cryptozoologist once again at the far reaches of civilization, searching for something that everyone else knew didn't exist.
For most of her life she'd wondered why she couldn't be normal. Why did she have such an intense, all-encompassing fascination with mythical creatures? She'd studied them all--selkies, niads, sirens and merfolk. One could also draw the conclusion that she was equally fascinated with water as her father when he insisted she learn to swim, knowing she would need the skill.
Strong-willed her mother called her. Sticking to her beliefs like scales to a mermaid's tail.
Mia had few friends who could put up with her various accounts of Nessie or stolen selkie skins. When she thought of it, most of her close friends were male, protective of a misguided little sister.
Who cares, she thought, staring out at the green sea. Look at all the places I've been. Exotic locales steeped in ancient lore. Scotland was loaded with work, but so was Japan, the Netherlands, and the South Pacific. Mia couldn't imagine a better life for herself. Her articles as a cryptozoologist paid her way, and she loved life.
Despite her deep knowledge of all mythical marine beings, the legends of the mermen held her interest. No, she couldn't admit to a single sighting, but there was something intensely erotic about both the modern portrayals and ancient stories surrounding them.
They were powerful and temperamental, often throwing the seas into a raging surge. Ultimately they had little interest in humans, the exact opposite of their female counterparts who often lured men to the sea through song.
To study a merman specimen would define both her career and her life. Reports of dead specimens kept her hunting, but every time the evidence--if there actually had been any--was eliminated. Mia was an optimist, though. She just needed to get to a specimen before anyone else did.
Three sightings in one week on this rock of a key north of the island of Hispaņiola had her running to the airport. A windsurfers' mecca, it was also the haunt of reclusive celebrities. However, the local Carib descendants ran the island very much their way.
Mia had a small dome tent set up just under the palms on the edge of the beach. Run by an expatriate from North Dakota, it was called Utopia Camping. Thus far, it had been just that. Although Mia had yet to meet her, the proprietor was a legend in her own right. At sixty-three years of age, she had more piercings than a porcupine could inflict. Mia was in her element.
The fathomless deep blue void of the sky held no clouds. The wind had picked up from the morning, but Mia enjoyed the breezy siesta hour. Her long but stringy sandy hair whipped her face. Frustrated, she attempted to tuck it back into her red bandana. Her sienna broomstick skirt kicked up around her in a gust, and given all the muscle-bound bodies of testosterone walking about, she was glad she'd thought to pull on her bikini bottoms.
Being somewhat of a free spirit, Mia was used to male attention whether she desired it or not. She had to be careful, though, and she knew it. It was all too easy for her to be drawn into a situation where she felt she belonged, mistakenly or not. She was an outcast and although she embraced that decision, her soul yearned to belong. Defences had to be built.
Pondering her new location, Mia was startled when a cry of alarm went up. People were shouting, "Where is he? Find him!" Suddenly, the beach was in an uproar as onlookers gathered to see what the fuss was about. "Was it a shark?" someone asked.
Mia couldn't see over the crowd of tanned shoulders, so she ducked down to look around hips, gasping when she saw a tall, dark-haired man rising from the breaking waves. Mia got down on her knees and crawled through the mass of legs. The small bundle of child held in the man's arms might need her help and being an expert swimmer, she was also highly trained in first aid and resuscitation methods.
Someone cleared a circle around the man, and that's when Mia realized the young boy pulled from the surf was miraculously unharmed. He was crying and obviously wanting his mother, but he was sitting on his own.
Mia focused her attention on the rescuer. People were whispering around her, and she saw then why. The man who was built like an Olympian swimmer was completely and awe-inspiringly naked.
The crowd dissipated when a frantic woman with a second-degree burn and a too-small swimsuit fell to the sand, scooped up the boy and cuddled him against her. She choked out words of thanks to the man without glancing at him.
He stood, ensuring for one last time that the child was safe before he turned and headed back into the surf.
Mia was still crouched in the sand only feet from where the mother was now coaxing her boy to stand, and shouting, "Don't you ever do that to me again!"
Mia froze when she heard the little voice ask, "Mommy, did you see the boy mermaid? He helped me under the water."
She couldn't keep her eyes off the rescuer's naked form, but he was too far away to call back. The long, sinewy muscles tapered from his chest, through his tight abdomen into his groin. From behind, his shoulders rippled as he leapt into the white crested waves. He took several powerful strokes before disappearing behind a coral outcropping.
Wow! Mia ran for her journal--a small spiral notebook she kept with her at all times. Back at Utopia, she bent, unzipped the tent flap and plopped herself inside. Rifling through her day bag, she found her notebook and scribbled down her account of the incident with a dull pencil.