Since her father died, Kate Sweeting’s home life has been in the pits, her well-being on life support. Her future looks desolate until she and her mother, Cara, make another plan: abandon their shriveled existence for more promising prospects on the coast, where Cara can play small-town librarian-bachelorette and Kate can figure out what’s up with that secretive Blake family from the beach.
Everyone is eerily captivated with Kate and her mother, and Cara is the first to figure out why when the man of her dreams arrives all dripping and devoted and closed-mouthed about what he intends. Kate is willing to go along with their subterfuge for a while, but eventually makes a charge for the water to learn what her mother is hiding. Gabe Blake is there waiting for her…and so is someone considerably less friendly. By the time Kate navigates her way home, everything will have changed for her—what she feels, what she wants, and what she’ll risk to be with the man she loves.
Series:The Mer Chronicles #1
No one was there.
She felt a crushing disappointment, even as she realized she and Gabe had not discussed a time to meet, just a place. And the night was so dark. She couldn’t see more than a few yards in front of her. She toed the very edge of the surf.
The weight of anticipation she’d been carrying all week caught up with her, sapping her strength so much her legs failed. She sank to her knees in the soft sand and closed her eyes to feel the wind on her
face. She tried to determine what to do. Around her, the roar of the waves drowned out all other sounds, and the ebony sky stretched out limitlessly, its very size a powerful reminder of her own powerlessness.
She did not know how to find Gabe here.
All of the emotions she’d denied feeling the past four years enveloped her now, overwhelming her with their poignancy. She wondered if she should have tried harder to be with Gabe, if she should have fought against the wishes of their parents, acknowledging even as she had these thoughts, she would not have made herself oppose them. But she also realized nothing she’d been working toward would bring her lasting happiness, not recognition at work, not her aunt’s approval, not a portfolio of published articles. She saw with new clarity how the path she was on would not bring her more security or happiness, not to any real extent; how achievement would be no more the holy grail of fulfillment for her than it had been for Dana. As of this moment, the difference between her and her aunt was she knew this.
What she really wanted was to talk with Gabe. She needed to understand their separation through high school and college, to know why they were driven so hard, to look into his eyes and see again what she had first seen when they were seventeen. She felt she would be forever stuck if she could not know these things and know them now.
She stood up then, resolved. With a certainty she hadn’t felt since she was five, she recognized what mattered to her. She felt her own humanity as it had been given to her when she was born, not as a theoretical set of activities she’d developed along the way. She saw her approach to adult life up until now as a contrivance, one taking all her energy to maintain, her boulder to force uphill again and again,
her disappointment in her progress predictable and repetitive as the boulder inevitably rolled back down. She was done carrying that boulder.
She stared out at the sea and yelled at the top of her lungs for Gabe. Some part of her knew she should be calling toward the beach but she could not shake her desire to stand where she stood and cry as she did. She saw a splash far out on the inky water, and she stopped shouting.
Time slowed to a standstill. She felt each second distinctly now, each beat of her heart an echoing, singular throb; each breath a slow motion ordeal as she waited without an ounce of patience left in her.
Her closed eyes welled with tears of sheer frustration. She felt the droplets grow during each microsecond of their formation, felt each small emission of hope and longing that filled them, until they burst forth in a slow rush of salt and heat, so heavy with import they crashed to the sand at her feet like breaking granite.
And then, at last, she was in his arms, his wet clothes saturating hers, his salty lips crushing her own, his breath tickling her face as he whispered her name between kisses. Any doubt she’d had about their
feelings for each other evaporated. She felt the same sense of hypnotic bliss she always did when they touched and she thrilled to the knowledge, at last, they had enough time and freedom to be together, to fully commit themselves to whatever course they would travel. She touched Gabe’s face with longing and wonder.
For one, unless a blood relative of the queen shows up, no one’s around to staff the monarchy. Well, except for a whack-job bureaucrat and he seriously won’t do. Worse is the community unrest threatening siren society, a problem caused by too many humans in the pool, which means Simon and his off-limit girlfriend will have to run and hide if they want to make more of their flirtation…
The solution doesn’t inspire confidence at first, but the Blakes have everything at hand to set their world to rights – namely, a hidden queen, a dead prince, and a facility for human manipulation. Once they find their sea legs, they’ll restore order, distribute smart phones, and drive that conniving bureaucrat to a grisly, satisfying end. Breakwater The Mer Chronicles Book 2