4-star,  M/M,  Paranormal,  Romance,  Shifter

Wandering a Luminous Sea by Kayleigh Sky

Release date: July 13th

Merik, a merman who’s trying to solve a case with missing mer people, falls for the ex of the guy he suspects being behind all the disappearances. But when he’s started their relationship on a lie, can it ever become the real thing? But instead of coming clean to Jody, Merik’s choice is taken from him when some of the ex’s goons forces Merik back to the sea. How can Jody and Merik ever be together if Merik doesn’t have his legs? 

Confession: I’m not particularly fond of mermen. I adore shifter books, but my taste is apparently quite conservative when it comes to what shapeshifting forms I enjoy reading about. Something with a fishtail? Not so much.

So why did I want to read this story?

Because it’s Kayleigh Sky, that’s why.

Everything I’ve read by her so far has been amazing. Complex, sometimes dark, with all the angst and feels but with happy endings.

And all of those things held true for Wandering a Luminous Sea as well. The story mixes present day with flashbacks to previous events. And right from the very first page, there was this creepy, uneasy feeling, that you just know means that something awful is about to happen. And that feeling stayed with me throughout most of the book. There was no way to know where the story was headed. A little at a time, pieces of the puzzle were revealed through recollections from (mostly) Jody’s and Merik’s viewpoints. And only when nearing the end was the full picture made clear.

I love those kinds of stories and Sky excels at them.

But. Merik and Jody spent almost all their time apart.

As a reader of romance I expect angst and strife. I expect there to be complications before the lovers can be together for good. But I also need to see them interact – and not just through flashbacks.

So I was basically pining the entire read, just waiting for them to come together for just a little while, but instead both Jody and Merik were unhappy and lonesome and apart. It wasn’t until the very end that Jody (finally) learned that Merik wasn’t in fact dead.

So I’m conflicted.

I love Sky’s writing, and I adore the way she tells a story and how she’s building expectation. I just wasn’t satisfied with the too short time I got to see Jody and Merik together. The happy in the end was simply too short to balance out the despair from the rest of the read.

Also, with all that time spent apart, a lot of (mostly) Merik’s portrayal didn’t actually bring the story forward. I think that’s what bugs me the most. That there was so much sitting around – or swimming, as it were – with the only purpose to show how miserable Merik was.

I went in to this story expecting a 5-star. However, in the end it gets a 4-star rating from me. It’s a great book from a very talented author, and it’s well worth reading. Especially if you like mermen.

* A free copy of this book was kindly provided by Gay Romance Reviews *

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I'm a Swedish book nerd reading mostly steamy English romance novels. And since there is so much good stuff out there, and so much shitty stuff too. I just want to give credit where it's due (and diss the rest).