Let's be real for a minute here. I've read more monster-porn than I care to admit. Usually I'm quite masochistic about it. I still shudder every timeLet's be real for a minute here. I've read more monster-porn than I care to admit. Usually I'm quite masochistic about it. I still shudder every time I think of the T-Rex or Bigfoot erotica that I've read.
book isn't quite at that level, but I felt the need to bring it up because it does say the series title is Mates for Monsters. I kind of expected something along those lines.
I'm glad that's not what I got. Truthfully, my main goal in requesting this was because I developed this burning desire to know how mermaids (and mermen) have sex. I did get that answer, by the way, which I'll get into later. I started not expecting much, and in some ways The Merman's Kiss exceeded my expectations. Unfortunately, it didn't exceed them quite as much as I could have hoped.
The Merman's Kiss did some things incredibly well. The oceanic atmosphere was tangible. I really enjoyed the differences between the mer-people culture and our own. The initial trauma that Brianna was suffering was believable, and reminiscent of the reactions and experiences of more than a few people I've known in similar situations (Trigger warning: Brianna miscarries and suffers from infertility prior to the book's beginning).
There were quite a few more things that didn't work so well for me. I think it'll be easier on me, and you, if I just bullet them out:
**Brianna opens chapter 1 by trying to drown herself in the ocean. Within seconds (let's be honest about how long it's likely she can hold her breath), she is gulping air, and then kissing a merman....and that moves straight to sex. AFTER trying to KILL HERSELF BECAUSE SHE'S SO DISTRAUGHT OVER HER MISCARRIAGE. Strike one. I don't buy it. I don't care what the exigent circumstances are.
**Mermen (and -maids) don't have scales on their lower extremity. Zantu thinks (at Brianna - because of course they have a telepathic mate-bond) that "[s]cales are for fish." Um. You have a DORSAL FIN, dude. You have a tail-fin. You're not a fish?? Or at least fish-like? Okay, then.
**Mermaids are bitches. Seriously, they want to have sex with and seduce every male they see (against their will even). *sigh* I was really excited about the prospect of reading a society where women were promiscuous and men were the family-orientated party in the dynamic. What I really wanted was it done well though. Why do women being promiscuous have to be VILLAINS? Why must they be EVIL? Why can't they just be? The more interactions we had with these slutty (and that's how they're looked up, not my opinion), evil women, the more infuriated I got. Strike two.
**Brianna's issues revolved around her fertility. The mermen were the children's caretakers. You had to know that a baby was going to come into this. I hate this. Not that she had a baby, because I wish everyone who has fertility problems, and wants children, would be able to without struggle. I hate it because it's all
about it. No more worries about the baby she lost, because, hey, she's got a new life inside her. Ugh. Strike three.*
Those are my big issues with it, and I think it's more than enough.
Oh! And if you, too, are wondering how mermaids and mermen have sex, well, I'll tell you - at least how The Merman's Kiss describes it. Mermen have a codpiece like covering, or pouch, that hides their genitals. When they get aroused, it opens and they can have sex with their very human-like penis and testicles. Mermaids, by the same token, have a skin covering of some sort that covers their vaginal "slit." Practical, actually, but not quite the inventive explanation I was hoping for. It was the subject of a couple of thoughts how Brianna could actually wrap her legs around Zantu....or how he could enter her from behind. Oh lord.
I did really enjoy the fact that the female mermaids apparently color-coordinated - purple hair, fins, and nipples. :D
Overall? The Merman's Kiss wasn't awful, it just didn't give me anything really new, interesting, or life-changing. The sex was fairly bland, surprisingly, and the story was expected.
*Disclaimer: I'm fairly sensitive to this because my wife went through YEARS of infertility and miscarriages, and I know exactly how much this (years and years later) still affects her....more
Time to face facts. It's unlikely that I'm ever going to go back to this book. At least not for a while. Something about the writing isn't wDNF at 7%.
Time to face facts. It's unlikely that I'm ever going to go back to this book. At least not for a while. Something about the writing isn't working for me. It's abrupt and unengaging. I think this just isn't for me....more
The writing is decent. The characters are decent. The storyline is decent. But I'm just over it. I think I'll try the author's n77%. Meh. I got bored.
The writing is decent. The characters are decent. The storyline is decent. But I'm just over it. I think I'll try the author's newer stuff and see if it interests me more. There's definitely some dated stuff in here that irritates me, which is probably contributing to my lack of enthusiasm while reading.
I can't even be bothered to write a review.
Take this for what it's worth, because I remember really liking this series when I first read it several years ago....more
I read this originally when it first came out in the Burning Up anthology and, as always, adored any time that we get to spend wiBuddy read with Sarah
I read this originally when it first came out in the Burning Up anthology and, as always, adored any time that we get to spend within the Psy/Changeling world.
This novella takes us back and shows how DarkRiver began to exert it's claim on San Francisco, slowly - and more importantly, subtly - eroding the control of the Psy. When Ria's attacked one night on her way home because her family refused to pay the protection money of a new gang in town, Emmett steps up. After he and Dorian rescue her while on their patrols, it's clear that DarkRiver's right to hold the city is being threatened. If they don't take care of the gang, and soon, they'll lose their right and other predatory changelings can come in, trying to take over.
Ria thinks that's all Emmett wants to be close to her for - to protect her. But he has far more delicious thoughts in mind.
I enjoyed the banter between them, the progression of their relationship, and the fact that Ria stands up to Emmett - not letting him run all over her. Emmett, for his part, is eminently sweet.
I also really love the way Nalini Singh slides in little tidbits on how the relationships work between Humans and Changelings (or Psy and Changelings, Psy/Human, etc) - things like perfume, or how to have private conversations. Small details that make everything seem so much more real.
Nalini Singh is one of the few authors that I have consistently trusted to provide me with a fun, romantic, and sexy novella. This is no exception to that rule....more