Category/genre: Adult/Paranormal Romance
My star rating: 5/5
Goodreads blurb: In Debbie Herbert's debut novel, there are two secrets, each one with a deadly consequence .
Shelly Connors's worlds—on land and in the sea—are turned upside down when an evening swim turns into a nightmare. On a sweltering night deep in the bayou, the mystical mermaid witnesses a horrifying act. With a monstrous killer now hot on her trail, her life and the lives of her kin are in jeopardy.
Terrified of becoming the next victim, Shelly has no choice but to turn to Sheriff Tillman Angier. Tillman has had his intense gray eyes on the sultry honey-haired beauty for a while. The feelings are mutual and impossible to ignore. But he's determined to solve the murders, and he knows Shelly's hiding something. Can she trust him with her deepest secret?
THE RAVE WORTHY: Obviously, I love Mermaid novels; What Disney generation female doesn't? Unfortunately, I have found very few of them that I have totally loved, but this one did it for me 100%. I could tell from the get-go that this was going to be one of those that keeps me on an emotional cliff until I'm done with it, so needless to say, I read it REALLY quickly. So many social issues were packed into this book, and they made each and every character so layered and dimensional it was unreal. From the sweet but tiresome autistic little brother with an alcoholic mother, to the childhood sexual abuse of the "bad guy" (in quotations because this story added to my stern belief that evil is not born, it's made). She gave the killer humanity, not just by presenting his troublesome past but she used his sincere love of his pet to give me a reason not to hate him so bitterly. The way the narrative is written changes with each scene depending on who it is about- I knew the killer was around before she even said it, just like I knew Tillman was exhausted without needing to be told he hadn't slept in two days. Debbie is a talented author and I am beyond excited to read her future works (when might that be, Miss Debbie???).
THE GRUMBLE WORTHY: Honestly, at first I thought perhaps there was too much anxiety written in for me to sit back and enjoy it, but Debbie did a beautiful job presenting it all in a delicate, seamless fashion that made it easier to digest while still keeping me on the edge of my seat. So I guess that doesn't really qualify as a "grumble". How about I just grumble that it's over?