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About the book
I thought this was a siren romance but it turned out to be the opposite. Brigit is a Fae that takes her culture very seriously. She finds herself in a position where she owes a debt to Logan.
Brigit decides to help him overcome the curse placed on him by his ex, a siren. In this short story, we learn the Fae ways and meet many of their kind. This book is a great introduction to this Fae series.
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About the book
This book held so much promise as it has everything I love. So, I was surprised when I struggled to enjoy it.
I had the audio version, and this was my first audio book. The story was very dialogue heavy, it was hard to know who was speaking at times.
For the first third of the book, the main character was confused and had no idea what was going on. The other characters would talk in riddles about what they couldn’t tell her. I found this annoying.
Eventually they started sharing with her about the worlds she never knew existed, and training her to control her powers. There was a lot of telling rather than showing.
The main character still had a lot of questions and towards the end of the book, everything she’d been told came into question. Then she was confused again. Everything she’d been told was a lie and turned out she still had no clue.
Sadly, I got to a point where I was determined to finish the book just to get it over with. I wonder if I’d have enjoyed this more if it hadn’t been an audio book. I don’t think audio is my thing. Sad to say, this book wasn’t for me.
I was surprised I didn’t love this book as it had all the ingredients I usually go crazy for. This leads me to believe the issue might have been that I had an audio version. My first ever audio book.
I found the narration very slow. A top tip I got from TheBrightSideGirl on Instagram was to increase the speed. This faster pace of narration was much more appealing for me. I hadn’t realised before that I could do this.
I know a lot of people love audio books and I’ve had requests for Ocean Heart to be made into an audio book. It’s expensive to do but one day I’d love an audio version of Ocean Heart for people that prefer it.
I feel it is important to have books available in different formats. People have different learning styles and this affects their preference for divulging information.
So, although audio books don’t work for me, I know they do for others. You can try audible for free, sample an audible chapter to see if you like it, and many libraries will lend out audio books.
NB: I am only posting my review here & on Goodreads (for my reading history). I think part of my disconnect with this book was the audio format. Usually I blast my reviews everywhere to help readers find and buy the book. But, I don’t feel it’s fair to the author due to this not being for me. I feel bad for not loving it as I really thought I would.
Mermaid of Sicily Jincey Lumpkin (Mermaid of Venice, #2) Publication date: September 20th 2021 Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Romance
The glamorous Gia Acquaviva struggles to maintain her freedom and hold onto her business empire. A Sicilian mob boss nips at her tail, hoping to lure her into his sick fantasies. Meanwhile, the global media hunts Gia, attempting to hold her accountable for a string of murders. Can the world’s most famous mermaid escape their net, or will she be caught?
Dive into the extremely glamorous life of Gia Acquaviva, an ultra-rich Venetian mogul with a portfolio of clubs and casinos around the globe. Gia harbors dark secrets––and an underwater graveyard filled with the bones of her former lovers.
Her family’s roots descend from the mythological sirens of ancient Greece, but she’s taken every precaution to protect her anonymity and the existence of other mermaids. Gia lures in men with a beguiling façade, but inside lurks a deeply troubled soul, severely damaged by a mysterious past.
Fans of Killing Eve and Big Little Lies will love Mermaid of Sicily, a sexy psychological thriller with lush fantasy elements. The chic mystery and European hot spots of Patricia Highsmith’s The Talented Mr. Ripley with a juicy splash of the lavish lifestyle in E. L. James’s 50 Shades series. This is not the Little Mermaid you grew up with. Gia’s out for blood.
Mermaid of Sicily is the second installment in a series of 6 books about Gia Acquaviva.
Gia arrived at the base of the Eiffel Tower in disguise. An auburn wig, a pair of large sunglasses, and a wooly cap hid her identity. She approached the brown awning of the Jules Verne restaurant with supreme caution, hyper vigilant of her surroundings and potential threats. It was then that she was met at the front door by two of Q’s men.
“Are you here for Signor Mosca?” one asked.
“Unfortunately,” Gia chirped, sarcasm thick in her voice.
As they entered the restaurant, Gia discovered that Q had paid enough money to clear the place out completely.
How much had that set him back?
People waited months for a reservation—it couldn’t have been easy to compensate all those angry patrons overnight. The men escorted Gia into the glass elevator. As it rose, they passed through level after level of the brown iron that Mr. Eiffel had twisted himself.
The men took Gia all the way to a table that was situated in front of the floor-to-ceiling windows.
“Thank you gentlemen,” Q said, patting them on the back. “I have asked the chef to set up a table for the two of you in the kitchen. Please enjoy your meal. We will come to you when we are ready to go.”
He shuffled toward Gia and took her hand in his. Gia resisted the urge to pull away, her stomach lurched in revulsion to his touch.
“Signorina Acquaviva, I have been looking forward to spending time with you since we met in Athens…”
JINCEY LUMPKIN is a writer and creative director in Luxury Beauty. She is the author of the Mermaid of Venice fantasy thriller series. Recognized as a thought leader on women and culture, Jincey has written more than 50 columns for the Huffington Post and Playboy. She headlined Sex Week at Harvard and gave an infamous TEDx talk, “Are Robots the Future of Sex?” She has been profiled by Dateline NBC, Vice, and GQ, among others. Out Magazine listed her in its “OUT 100”, naming her as one of the world’s most influential LGBTQ+ people, alongside celebrities like Laverne Cox and Ricky Martin.
Naomi Kelly is an author that agreed to a Behind the Book interview. During this interview she got me so intrigued about her syren, I had to read it.
The book is set in a fantasy world. Their are gods, magical beings, and humans. Those with magic have ichor in their veins, turning their blood purple.
The main character, Wren, is a syren princess that has escaped The Seven Spikes, home to the tyrant queen (her mother). She doesn’t want to sing her lullaby to kill a man. She wants to be left alone.
Along comes Kellan, a warlord and descendant of god Ares. He has dreamt a syren will save his family & decides to kidnap the MC from the ocean. Kellan has inherited his lands from his recently deceased father.
Sexy Siren? Hot Warlord? An epic battle at the end? Yes! Yes! Yes!
This is the first book in Naomi’s Syren series & can be read as a standalone. Meraki has great Worldbuilding introducing you to the isles, syrens, gods, magic, and a whole cast of fantastical creatures.
Wren is a runaway syren princess. Kellan is the warlord that needs a syren’s song to save his family. He kidnaps Wren, but with her comes her tyrant mother’s wrath!
This story was so good and like no other. The world building is brilliant.
I gave it 4.5 stars, and highly recommend you go read it!
This book is on my pile for June reads, and I’m so lucky that Naomi also agreed to an interview about her book with me.
Meraki is book 1 in your The Syren Story series. What can readers look forward to in the series?
The Syren Stories begins with Meraki when our main character Wren swims away from the greatest threat in the seas. She believes she’s safe until she’s captured within King Kellan’s large net. After hauling her aboard and shipping her back to his Kingdom, we learn that the young King plans to use Wren’s syren song for his own benefit. As the story unfolds, Wren discovers she cannot run (or swim) away from her problems for very long, and as history begins to catch up with her, she must ask herself who is her true enemy? And what the Hel do the gods have planned?
And in Kairos, the adventure continues.
With winter passed and spring arriving, everything appears to be going swimmingly- that is until an arrow knocks Wren out of the sky.
When the mortals she defeated last winter come seeking retribution, she learns that although these mere men are not immortal, they have no problem biding their time. Revenge, after all, is a dish best served cold. And forgiveness is a gift which can swiftly be retracted.
Full of mythology, magic, mermaids, and fantasy favourite tropes such as enemies to lovers and chosen one, the Syren Stories are sure to float your boat.
Can you introduce the MC, Wren?
Aside from being a syren, Wren is strong-willed, tenacious, and altruistic. Although she appears ruthless and unyielding to some mortals, it’s Wren’s desire to cause no harm to people which sends her fleeing Seven Spikes to begin with. Whilst most mortals would flee screaming at the sight of a centaur or harpy, Wren takes her fellow citizens in her stride and it’s only her inner demons which seem to terrify her.
What are Syren’s like in your novel?
In my book, Syrens are the ruling faction amongst all the creatures who live above and below the waves. They primarily reside in the Water World Queendom within the underwater caves of Seven Spike, but they can slip off their tails crafted from kelp should they want to visit land. Upon leaving the seas, they experience a transition period as the gills which line their sides shut and their lungs readapt to land breathing. During these few minutes, syrens are at their most vulnerable as they are unable to swim or run, nor can they use their legendary songs to protection.
Their veins are full of ichor due to their lingering link to Poseidon, and this means they cannot lie. Syren’s are bound to be truthfully and any vow they make must be upheld unless they want to face their dire consequences which Wren learns the full extent of when she breaks a binding promise to Kellan.
I see book 2, Kairos is out. How many books do you anticipate in The Syren Story series?
The Syren Story series is composed of two books, Meraki and Kairos. I’m currently working on a companion novel which will follow two fan favourite characters as they explore their lives after the events of Kairos.
Can you share a short snippet from Meraki?
There’s a gigantic disturbance in the water halting most of the singing syrens. Waves smack against nearby rocks as water is displaced by something deep down below. A grin unfolded across my mother’s face, as a plump, slithering body breaches the water.
Ugh, I pray to the gods she has not brought a plague of eels with her.
A flash of lightning splits the sky, as the beast splits the water. As it unfolds itself from beneath the waves, water rushes off its endless blank scales.
Through the darkness and sheets of rain I cannot make out its form, but due its limbs and size, it’s definitely not an eel.
Another flash of lightning illuminates the beast.
“Is that…” Kellan’s roar trails off as we are cast into shadow from the monster.
“Hydra.” I gulp.
Meraki by Naomi Kelly
Was this your first published book and why did you choose to self-publish?
The first book I ever published was Trial by Obsidian, back in 2019. This magician story is currently being given a make-over as I have since learnt map designing skills and would love to give readers a visual insight into my fantasy world. Being able to alter my books and have control over cover-art as well as better royalties was a big factor when I was deciding my publishing route. Self-publishing was the right choice for me, and although it can be an overwhelming process at times I’m incredibly lucky to have a support network of other indie authors and loyal readers.
What advice do you have for any aspiring author?
My advice would be to not get overwhelmed with the full story, and instead break the process down into bite-sized chucks. Writing a whole book (or series) is a huge task but writing one page a day is much more achievable. Remember that even the biggest authors in the world take days off so don’t be too hard on yourself if the creativity doesn’t always flow easily.
Where can readers connect with you and discover more about your books?
Here are the shows I have loved these past months.
The Originals (season 5)
The Originals is a spin-off series from The Vampire Diaries. The Vampire Diaries story is about a high school girl and her friends. During the seasons, they attract the attention of the original vampire and werewolf family.
The Originals series is about that family and has flashbacks to explain more about their origins. The series has a more mature tone as the characters are much older (they are the oldest!).
Last season, the family went their separate ways for safety, due to some very powerful dark magic cast against them by angry dead witches (this is a very brief summary). This season involves them all coming back together to take back control.
With The Originals you can expect complex family relationships and drama caused by ancient feuds. There is magic and blood and politics (their laws) in every episode. It is a great series and did not disappoint.
Handmaid’s Tale (season 2)
Genre: Drama – post apocalyptic
Wow, this season opened with an episode that had me on the edge of my seat. There were plenty of shocks in this season and I’ve found myself counting down the days until the next episode is released. It did slow a little in the middles but it was building suspense and laying down what was to come.
Handmaids is set in the future where women are struggling to fall pregnant, deliver and sustain a healthy baby. This has made people desperate for a child but can’t, fertile women are valuable and a new world order is implemented. They use religion to doctor their new idea and oppress their people. The population is captured and ‘trained’ for their new role in society and they are constantly watched by armed guards. Disobedience has severe consequences, including death as an example to others.
The handmaids are the fertile women. Their duty is to get pregnant and deliver a baby to the household they have been allocated to. The main character, June, is renamed OfFred to denote who she belongs to, I.e Fred is her master, the commander of the house she’s been allocated to. Conception is done by a biblical reading and then a ceremony involving the handmaid lying between the wife’s legs so the husband can impregnate the handmaids whilst looking at his wife. It is cold and rather disturbing.
The first season was great, so I had high expectations for season two and it didn’t disappoint. In this season, OfFred is heavily pregnant and fearing for the world the baby will be born into. Serena (the lady of the house – the Commander’s wife) starts breaking rules and appears to not be as devoted to her husband as she was originally.
Other countries are looking to Gilead to support them with their fertility crisis. There is a suicide bomber terrorist attack against the Commanders. Letters written by the oppressed women manages to be smuggled and released into Canada shedding light on what is really going on in America (now called Gilead) and damages their alliance with this country.
I’ve not finished this season but I am hooked.
Greys Anatomy (season 14)
Genre: Drama – medical
I still enjoy the medical emergencies and relationships between their staff but since Meredith lost her husband, it’s not quite the same. Their complicated love life helped push the series along and now there isn’t a strong storyline pulling the season together. I’ll keep watching but I don’t feel as attached anymore.
Rain (season 1)
This is a Danish TV Series. The world has been infected by a virus transmitted by the rain. Two children are hidden in a bunker by their parents. The children stay hidden there for years living off the survival supplies until they decide to venture out and try and find their dad. The world is quite dangerous as the survivors of the world are desperate for food and shelter. The siblings make friends with another party and travel together.
At first their accents were a little strange but I got used to it. Each episode finishes with a conclusion rather than a cliff hanger, often I felt the season would have been more compelling if it ended at a different point in the episode. My husband found the rain unbelievable as he felt they all would be infected with no survivors as sometimes it rains without warning (very true in the UK).
I would still recommend giving it a go as it is a different idea and it is great to see what is being created by other countries that often don’t make it to our TV screens.
I haven’t quite finished it yet as the episodes don’t leave me needing to know ’what next?’ But I will continue to watch this.
Siren (season 1)
I love mermaids and I love how they’ve made them so real in this series. The mermaids (or sirens) can shift into human form. They fear humans as we have hurt them in the past and stay hidden deep in the ocean. Due to over fishing, there is a lack of food and the mermaids need to come up higher to eat. One gets caught and that starts the catalyst for the whole season as another mermaid comes out of the sea to look for her sister. She has to quickly learn our ways and those helping and protecting her need to learn hers. When a mermaid feels threatened they are incredibly dangerous, in addition, they have a pretty song that can drive people crazy. There is a military group looking for the sirens to capture and experiment on.
The series was brilliant and I’m really pleased I watched it. I can’t wait for the next season – there needs to be more.
The only way is Essex (series 1 to 14)
Genre: Reality (sort of)
Oh no, what happened! I just put this on as some background TV and now I keep watching it. I call this ‘tacky tv’. It won’t enrich your life but it will kill time.
It follows a group of young adults social lives in Essex. Some things are set up for example two people who don’t like each other will end up in the same restaurant/club – resulting in having ’words’. Most of the guys are notorious cheats and lie. They deny it, the girls believe their lies and hates on anyone saying the truth but eventually it is so obvious they admit it and break up. The girls and guys love to gossip and often make situations within the groups even more tense.
You do end up liking some characters. I really like nanny Pat – she is a star. I think Jasmin is often treated unfairly by others who are jealous of her, she’s beautiful and never done anything wrong. I thought Amy was the nicest girl and it’s a shame she wasn’t in it for long. Tom is the nicest of the guys but there is still time for him to disappoint me and become a lying cheat.
They are all loaded but most of them don’t seem to work – they mostly open a shop or a night club but they are always out meeting for coffee/lunch (gossiping) or partying and on holiday (scandal & drama). The only character that appeared to have a real job was Amy Child’s who leaves after season 1 – I really liked her.
It you have time to kill, it’s not bad. Be warned you can get sucked in and cringe a lot.
Siren and The Handmaid’s Tale are my top two recommendations. Both were amazing for different reasons. They are the sort of shows that capture your imagination and leave you wanting (needing) more.I would love to know if you’ve watched any of the above (or planning to) and your thoughts on the shows.
Also, now you can see what I enjoyed watching this month you may have some ideas on what else I should be watching – please do make recommendations.