Constantly abused and raped by a leader who is supposed to be his protector, Selkie Deniz decides to brave the mystical portal and go to an unknown land, hoping for a better life. Emerging in the middle of a Lake, he is lucky enough to find himself next to a boat owned by the lover of another Selkie. Jamie and Maren are happy enough to see him, but its Jamie’s housemate who is more interested in him.
Hiro has never been able to see what his housemates see in Selkie’s. Their unusual colouring and tails make them too foreign to be attractive, but when he sees Deniz his opinion changes. With his alabaster skin and shiny red hair, he immediately attracts his attention and the attention is reciprocated. However, Deniz is unused to being able to display his attraction towards males, unused to it not been seen as an excuse for closeted men to abuse him. He doesn’t know what to do with his attraction, but he knows he doesn’t want to deny it.
Hiro has to decide if he has enough gentle in his Dom self to ease the traumatised young man into his world. Deniz has to decide whether or not he can ever truly enjoy the love of another man. When an unwelcome reminder comes through the portal to remind them of the past, they have to decide once and for all how their future will look.
This is the second book in this series by Daisy Harris and I would recommend that you read book one first, just to get an idea of the side characters and their books. That being said, I enjoyed this one far than more than the first one. The world building is still a little weird to get into; Ms Harris certainly doesn’t chose the easy species to write about! I really struggled with the mer-person thing at first because I couldn’t get past the fact that they were always in a non-human form. It was an odd situation, but I truly love Daisy Harris writing style and because of this I was able to get into the story, without letting the whole fish thing freak me out too much.
It is no secret that I struggled with book one of this series as I didn’t like the lead characters. These characters are very different and I liked them both! I respected Deniz because he left his land to search for something better, something safer. He also made the decision not to let his fear rule him, even though he was getting himself into a sexual situation again. I enjoyed the fact that he did this without looking at the past, that he didn’t let his trauma keep him suspended in fear. There were certain elements of a sexual relationship that he struggled with, situations where the helplessness got too much. I think the most surprising thing was that Deniz was almost certainly submissive, but only with the right man could he be submissive after his past.
Hiro is a fabulous hero in many ways. He doesn’t seem to think he is capable of love, content to love ‘em and leave ‘em. I understood his surprise that he found a Selkie attractive because he thought the others that were too inhuman to be attracted to. I liked the thought that this was the merman for him, that no others would do. I also liked that, even though he hadn’t been told about the abuse, he could sense that something had gone on and was extra careful. What I didn’t understand was how he didn’t seem to question whether his Dom status would cause their relationship harm. He knew enough to not press the issue, but he didn’t really ask himself whether or not he could reign himself in full time; he just assumed he could. It wasn’t an easy love story and it was made more difficult by his visitor from the other world.
Overall, this was a well-written story that I did enjoy. I enjoyed the characters and the gentle foray into love for both of them. The sex was scorching and I expected nothing less from Daisy Harris.