The clock is ticking for Laneigh. Banished from the ocean ten years earlier, Laneigh is shocked to discover all the Mer people living on dry land die within a decade of leaving the sea. With her life ending, she boards a cruise ship, intent on challenging the Mer who destroyed her life. She doesn't expect him to save her—but she has a request she is desperate he honor.
Hearing Laneigh’s name on the wind, Sylarus, son of the Mer king, is powerless to stop himself from seeing her. Defying his father’s edict, he rushes to meet the woman he’s desired his whole life. But when he learns of her impending death, something shifts deep inside Sylarus. He cannot—will not—let her die.
Sylarus and Laneigh face tremendous odds to be together. In the end, they will either change Mer society forever or perish in the attempt. Can true love forgive after a decade of betrayals?
Genre: Fantasy romance, erotic romance
Heat level: 4
Word count – 16k
Cover art by Dara England
“Then you are disobeying the edict for no good reason.”
Laneigh hoped her raised eyebrow let Sylarus know how she felt about his remark.
“You aren’t going to tell me why you’re here?”
Laneigh stared at the floor. “I would if I could speak past the lump in my throat.”
Some things had changed. Ten years earlier, she never would have admitted anything burdened her. But parenthood had taught her humility.
He stepped closer to her, and the distinctive aroma of the seawater on his skin drifted to her nose. In a kind world, she could have rubbed herself against him, letting the scent take hold on her own body.
“Did you come because you missed me?”
She stroked her hand over the side of his face. “Is that hope in your voice?”
“I have hope that after a decade of denying us both what we want, you’ve come to your senses and will apologize to the king.”
Exhaustion threatened to overtake her. She shook her head and dropped her hand. Beneath her fingertips had laid a day’s worth of stubble. Whoever was responsible for his care had let him get scruffy. “Your father will live his whole life without my apology.”
He sighed and looked down at the deck. “Then what is it?”
“I’ve come for you. That is true. But not for my own freedom.”