SeaMonster by Amalie Howard My rating: 4 of 5 stars They say that love is the death of duty … Speio Marin is land-bound, tied to the side of the Waterfell queen-to-be, Nerissa. There’s only one problem–she wants nothing to do with any of the Aquarathi or her undersea kingdom, preferring instead the freedom of pretending to be human. Torn between his own desires and his duty to serve his future queen, he spirals into an abyss of malcontent. Speio’s mistrust of humans is no secret, and he sees them only as a threat to the existence of his people. Until he meets Anya Delmonico–a mysterious and enigmatic girl, teetering on the edge of survival. Anya is sedate and secretive, yet reckless enough to brave a hundred-foot cliff jump. Caught between a dark past and an ex-boyfriend who refuses to let her go, Anya knows that getting involved with anyone new is the last thing she should do. But when her past catches up to her, Speio turns out to be the only one she can trust, refusing to let her face her demons alone. When Anya discovers the truth about Speio, putting her life in mortal danger from the Aquarathi as well as her own sinister pursuers, will he risk everything to protect her? Or will he choose duty above all?
I love when there are novellas of secondary characters, especially one close to the main. In this book, it is Speio, the stoic protector of Nerissa, for whom living on the land is a particular brand of hell. He wants Nerissa to man up and return to her kingdom to claim her responsibility, but is frustrated with her stubbornness. It is kind of refreshing to see this from his perspective, with his longing for the sea and his Aquarathi form. Even with his loyalties to the sea, he can’t help being tied to the land in the form of Anya, a troubled runaway girl. She is quite persistent in keeping him out of her troubles but he wants to see what makes her sad. Their story is sweet and sexy at the same time, and you really feel for Speio; he is torn between duty and love but knows what he will have to choose in the end. The ending is sad but hopeful; I feel particularly bad for him and wonder whether he will find her. Okay, that was spoiler-y but sorry, I had to discuss it! Received a copy as part of a contest prize. This does not affect my opinions or review, in any way. View all my reviews