It is the 4th standalone story in the paranormal romance Sea of Love series, which won its category in the Paranormal Romance Guild Reviewer’s Choice Award. It first appeared in the anthology “Desire Me Again” by BVS, in 2020.
It is a second chance, fantasy romance, Christmas story, with a shape shifting mermaid and a unicorn.
The heroine is a shifter mermaid who falls in love with a human. She leaves him, because her Clan will not allow her to marry a human… but then she comes back, a few days before Christmas.
She and her ex bond over a Christmas tree – the first she has ever seen.
Their love seems impossible, but Christmas is a time for miracles!
Adam fell for surfer girl Rowena the second he saw her. But just as their summer fling was becoming serious, she left him without any explanation. Now, with Christmas just a few days away, she’s back… and Adam discovers that she’s a shape-shifting mermaid, from a Clan that hates humans. Can he love her as she is? Can she brave her family to be with Adam for good, not just for Christmas?
Rowena’s eyes shone. “These are gorgeous!” She pulled out a pink bauble and hung it on the lowest branch. “Is it OK like that?” The blanket fell off completely, pooling around her hips.
Adam scraped the words out of his dry throat. “Beautiful.” But he wasn’t looking at the bauble. He was looking at her shapely arms and delicate webbed fingers. What would her fingers feel like under his lips… in his mouth? Would she taste salty like the sea?
He really had to squash these fantasies. They would only increase the hunger inside him… a hunger that would never be satisfied. He rummaged in the box to give himself something to do. “This one was a present from my nan.” He held up the glittering fairy.
Rowena’s eyes widened. “You put an image of a Fae on your tree?”
“Fae?” Adam was confused for a moment. “You mean fairy? Yes… Does that surprise you?”
Rowena took the little figure from him. The tips of her fingers brushed his. The fleeting contact was enough to send a current of awareness into his skin.
Rowena turned the fairy this way and that, studying her blonde hair and gauzy wings. “Even my uncle is afraid of the Faes. But this is a very pretty image, so they probably wouldn’t take offense. They might even be flattered.”
Adam stared at her to see if she was joking. “Are you saying that fairies are real?”
Rowena smiled. For the first time he noticed that her teeth were a little sharper than a human woman’s. He wondered what her mouth would look like, in full aquatic shape. And what it would be like to kiss it. The current in his body grew stronger, heating him until he wished he could open a window and let the icy wind cool him down.
Rowena hung the fairy on the tree. “Of course Faes are real. As real as me.”
“But I bet they’re not as beautiful.” The words jumped out of Adam’s mouth without going through his brain first. He bit his lip, wishing he could take them back. He’d had no intention of flirting with her. He’d spoken what was in his heart, without thinking.
Rowena’s face darkened. “Don’t mock me. You wouldn’t think I’m pretty if you saw me in my full aquatic shape… without my human head.”
Adam’s brain lit up with intense curiosity. He’d love to see what Rowena’s mermaid face looked like. “I wasn’t making fun of you.” She could have tentacles instead of hair and horns sprouting out of her ears, for all he cared. He’d still want her, in his life and his bed.
“Anyway, everybody knows that the Faes are the most beautiful creatures in the world.” Rowena seemed keen to change the subject. She rooted in the box of decorations and selected a glass snowflake. She stretched to hang it on a high branch. Her black skin gleamed in the light, as smooth as polished marble. But marble is cold, and Adam could feel the heat of her body across the space that separated them. Or was it his overactive imagination?
“Have you ever seen a Fae?” he asked, in an effort to distract himself from the impact she had on him.
She shook her head. Her black hair swished like a raven’s wings. “No. I have seen their Queen’s pet, though. The unicorn.”
Now, surely, she was taking the mickey. Adam chuckled. “A unicorn. Yeah, right.”
“You don’t believe me?” Her eyes blazed like black diamonds. She was even more beautiful when riled. “You’ve got a real mermaid in your living-room, and you doubt that unicorns exist?”
About Alice Renaud
Alice lives in London, UK, with her husband and son. By day she's a compliance manager for a pharmaceutical company. By night she writes fantasy romance about shape shifting mermen, water monsters and time-travelling witches.
Her first book, “A Merman’s Choice,” was published in January 2019 by Black Velvet Seductions.
It is the first book in the Sea of Love fantasy romance series, inspired by the landscapes and legends of Brittany and Wales. The second and third books, “Music for a Merman,” and “Mermaids Marry in Green,” are out now.
Both the Sea of Love series and Mermaids Marry in Green won their categories in the Paranormal Romance Guild Reviewer’s Choice Award 2020.
Alice has also contributed short stories for the BVS anthologies “Mystic Desire,” “Desire Me Again,” “Cowboy Desire,” and "Rainbow Desire" all available now. Alice loves reading and writing stories, and sharing them with anyone who’s interested!
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