A whole different world exists beneath the surface.
The last thing Nisha expects while patrolling his territory is to find his mate, but his instincts tell him the handsome human diving into the surf is the one meant for him. Two bites and Kannon will be joined to him forever. But when Kannon’s father disrupts the mating process, Nisha releases his claim, hoping beyond hope his mate will one day return.
While free diving with his father, Kannon is bitten by a seductive merman. Although he swore to never go near the ocean again, the pull to return to the water and his mystery man remains strong. Finally, after fifteen years away, an impromptu wedding brings Kannon back to the Seychelles, and his destiny.
Kannon only plans to stay on the island for a week, but this time Nisha won’t let his mate go without a fight. Merfolk and human culture collide as the embers of Nisha and Kannon’s mate bond ignite, and Nisha must complete the mating before it’s too late.
Having read and enjoyed several of Church’s books, I decided to give Beneath the Surface a try. Upon finishing the book, I realized two things. First, I really do enjoy Church’s writing style. The story flowed fairly smoothly, and I liked the twists the author worked into the merfolk legends (at least from my limited knowledge of them). Second, M/M mermen stories are not my thing. While I do find the idea of merfolk fascinating, especially with the rather bloodthirsty slant Hollywood has given them in the last few years, it appears that my fascination does not extend to man-on-merman action. Go figure.
I was hooked from the beginning by the prologue. It does an excellent job of setting the scene and with what occurs, the 15-year jump to the present works because with the intensity of that incident, there was no need for the author to show us how Kannon’s life changed after that fateful day. Yet, despite his father’s recent passing and despite his fear of the ocean, especially in the Seychelles, Kannon agrees to attend his best friend’s wedding at the resort Brett owns. As you’ve likely read the book’s blurb, you already know that Kannon comes face-to-face with a merman, the same merman he encountered on that fateful day 15 years earlier. But because Kannon doesn’t recognize Nisha, Nisha not only has to woo his mate, he has to woo a mate who is terrified of the ocean and can barely stand to walk on the beach, let alone enter the water. This conundrum makes for some rather entertaining scenes, as well as some hot ones, as Nisha sets out to show Kannon that he has nothing to fear from the ocean.
I enjoyed the way the bond between Nisha and Kannon grew over the course of the book. While there was a definite mating instinct on Nisha’s part, being human meant that Kannon was immune to it for the most part. I’m still a bit torn by the manner in which Nisha dons his tail, mainly because I’ve never liked the idea that magical beings suffered during what would be a natural transformation for them. But it still made for an interesting twist, as did the gills. The added conflict between Nisha and Cree provided an indirect look into the merfolk culture that I found interesting. I was surprised by the ending because it interrupted the planned ceremony, which left me feeling as though the end was mildly rushed. It’s not that the story was incomplete, but rather that I was expecting a bit more to take place. Even though I’ve learned that M/M mermaid tales are not my thing, I did enjoy Beneath the Surface and look forward to more of Church’s writing.