Thursday, May 25, 2006
The Last Mermaid by Shana Abe
531: The tiny island of Kell is said to be enchanted, inhabited by an extraordinary creature who comforts shipwrecked sailors passing into the next world. Prince Aedan of the Isles believes in no such nonsense—until he awakens on Kell itself and meets the sensuous siren who rescued him from the sea.
1721: Ronan MacMhuirich, Earl of Kell, is the target of an unlikely assassin: Leila, a mysterious woman from an exotic land. But his irresistibly beautiful would-be slayer is in just as much danger as Ronan when she falls for this man with a magic of his own.
2004: What do you do when you inherit a Scottish island you never knew existed—and find yourself pursued by a handsome stranger who wants to buy it from you? That’s what happens to Ruri Kell when she accepts Iain MacInnes’s invitation to visit her birthright, and listens to a proposition as sinfully tempting as everything else about him.
Three seductive love stories, three passionate couples, all linked by one of the most romantic myths of all.
I had read another book by Shana Abe, The Smoke Thief, and really enjoyed it (it wasn’t romance but fantasy) so when I found this book in the romance section of the library, I wanted to give it a try. Abe has an elegant style and in her descriptions I could almost smell the sea, see the colors, feel the despair and joy.
I enjoy trilogies but am frustrated when I have to wait for each book. I know I’m not alone here. Shana Abe takes care of that in spades! Although the blurb says there are three stories, there are actually four. The story that begins the legend of Kell serves as the first romance. As with so many connecting stories, there is always one that is weaker than the others and for me the modern story seemed to get short shrift. Abe didn’t flesh out Ruri and Iain much. They function more like an epilogue – albeit a very satisfying one.
This is 580 pages long but doesn’t seem like it. I stopped at the end of each story to savor the HEA. The Last Mermaid had all the components I enjoy in romance: historical, fantasy and contemporary. It was also kinda neat that the mermaid wasn’t always a woman and I love the twist at the end. No spoiler here, it’s best if you read the book yourself. Really!