TITLE: Coming Up For Air
AUTHOR: Amanda Meuwissen
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
RELEASE DATE: April 30, 2019
It’s not easy being someone’s fairy tale.
Leigh Hurley is making a name for himself among thieves and criminals, even if it isn’t the life he would’ve chosen. He shouldn’t have screwed over the Moretti brothers, though. It landed him in the river with weights on his feet. But somehow he’s escaped certain death. The last thing he remembers before waking on the riverbank is a beautiful face and a soft kiss.
Then, Tolomeo turns up naked at Leigh’s apartment.
Tolly comes from a race of killers—merfolk who drown humans for fun. But Tolly is different, and when he sees a human in trouble, he offers a kiss, granting the man the ability to breathe underwater… and himself the ability to walk on land, at least until the next full moon. The ancient laws state that if he is given a vow of love by the one he kissed, he will be able to keep his legs. If not, he will be put to death when he returns to the water.
But love is not something Leigh offers easily… and Tolly has a secret of his own.
Coming Up For Air by Amanda Meuwissen is the first book that I’ve read by this author, but it won’t be the last book that I read by her. The book had complex characters and an interesting plot. I was entertained from the first page to the last.
The book is based loosely on the “Little Mermaid” fairy tale. I liked that the author changed up the roles of the fairy tale and made the story her own. In this tale, we have two warring mobs fighting for each other’s territory, seedy dock workers, thieves, and many other unsavory characters. Then you have the merfolk. They aren’t like in the Little Mermaid. The merfolk have three possible forms. In their original form, they have razor sharp teeth, long sharp claws, and are deadly fighters who live to drown humans. They also have a form that looks more like a friendly merman with normal human-like features except for their tails, which are still very much a merman’s tail. Then they have their human form complete with human legs which they only get when they share a kiss with a human.
The kiss grants the human special abilities also, like the ability to breathe underwater and achieve the human-like merfolk form, although they only get that form if they bond with the merman. But bestowing a kiss on a human isn’t without its consequences. Ancient laws state that if the merman is given a vow of love by the one he kissed, the merman will be able to keep his legs. If not, he will be put to death when he returns to the water.
Tolomeo, aka Tolly, comes from a race of killers—merfolk who drown humans for fun. But Tolly is different. He was raised to be kind to humans and other creatures of the sea. When he sees a human in trouble, he offers a kiss, granting the man the ability to breathe underwater and himself the ability to walk on land, at least until the next full moon. If he isn’t able to obtain a vow of love by the one he kissed, then he will be put to death upon returning to the water.
Leigh Hurley is best friends with Mob boss Arthur Sweeney’s son, Alvin, and Leigh has been making a name for himself by being a little bit like “Robin Hood.” Trying to make a name for himself and move up in the ranks in Sweeney’s Mob, he steals payments that are supposed to be being paid to the mob run by the Moretti brothers and eventually ends up getting caught and getting weights shackled to his ankles and taking a swim in the river. But somehow he escapes certain death. The last thing he remembers before waking up on the riverbank is a beautiful face and a soft kiss. And then Tolomeo turns up naked at Leigh’s apartment. And he ends up becoming Leigh’s bodyguard/boyfriend. But even though Tolly can see and feel how much Leigh loves him, Leigh doesn’t believe in saying the words. And the ancient laws state that he has to make the vow out loud to count. What will Tolly do?
I loved both Leigh and Tolly. I loved the chemistry between them, and I was completely invested in their feelings and actions. They even made me cry a couple of times, and I love when that happens because it shows just how invested I have become in their story.
I hope that the author will write many more books about the merfolk because I can’t be the only one out there that loves reading about them. I also can’t wait to read more books by this author.
***The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book ***
Review edited by : Laura McNellis