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The Baron's Betrothal: An On-Again, Off-Again, On-Again Regency Romance (Horsemen of the Apocalypse #2)
Miranda Davis
Florence (Florence Waverley, #1) - Ciye Cho Firstly let me tell you that I have never read a Mermaid book that I have actually liked. And I’ve always thought it was strange because when I was 5 I wanted (desperately) to grow up to be one. So obviously I have nothing against the species. But every book I have read has either been juvenile, unbelievable or lacked any imagination. This book might not have converted me to Team Mermaid. But it has certainly made me a fan.Florence is a lonely introvert who spends her life on the sidelines looking in. She has nobody who truly cares for her and is invisible to the other students at her high school. Then she is abducted. And deep beneath the ocean, hidden in the coral, a kingdom of merpeople is revealed to her.Florence is thrust into a strange world, populated by strange creature. These mermaids/mermen are not the one’s Disney was writing about. She is unsure of her roll in their society. Is she a pet, is she a pawn of some kind or could she be a love interest for the prince? One thing is certain. She is not invisible anymore.Ciye Cho creates an entire underwater universe. And seeing it all for the first time through Florence’s eyes was perfection. She is observant and curious and her descriptions were so vivid and textured that the seascape came alive in my mind.Ciye cleverly overcomes the obvious breathing underwater issue without having to resort to the abracadabra “it’s magic” routine which is always a worry for me when I read a book of this nature. Sure I still have a few questions. e.g. Why doesn’t her fingers go all “pruney” from being in the water so long? And what about dehydration? But once I had let those questions slide, I found a truly intriguing plot filled with unusual and often misunderstood characters.The author has done a wonderful job of describing a beautiful paradise under the sea. Then just when you are thinking how pretty it all is, a dark undercurrent of doubt and fear is let loose. For a YA novel this book is surprisingly mature and I love the way Florence’s character grows and matures throughout the book as well.I only have one real complaint (or more of an observation.) Every relationship has a deal breaker right? Kiren the supposedly super hot Merman Prince is described, like all other merpeople as being brightly coloured. But when does the deal breaker come into play here: 1) He is not the same species – I’m not sure where the law comes down on beastiality in international waters, 2) He has a tail instead of man parts –that could be a serious hindrance when getting “romantic” and 3) He is a yellowish green colour- yes like phlegm! Need I say more?But inter-species relations aside I really enjoyed this book and I thought the cover was beautiful, like a close up of Botticelli’s Venus which is why I am giving it 4 Bottles of Snark (7/10).