How many times can you be hurt, before you stop being willing to love?
In this third title in the Mesuline’s Daughters mermaid trilogy, Nerine has lived most of her life on her own terms – even though it meant being isolated and not being with the man she loved. As a mermaid/lamia mix and wearer of the Stone of Love, her life is complicated in so many ways that she finds it best to handle everything herself. Especially when it comes to caring for the people who live on Azov, the island she helped create for others of mixed blood who were rejected by their communities.
And then, mortally injured, Fiero comes back into her life. The man who’s always had her heart.
Fiero, known to most as a Sea Dragon because of his mermaid/kelpie heritage, believed everyone he cared for had either abandoned or left him. After a misguided attempt to control the Stones of Power, the one person he thought he could trust committed the ultimate betrayal. Now Fiero is determine to heal so he can have his vengeance.
First, however, he has to figure out who the mysterious and beautiful woman caring for him is.
Although Nerine and Fiero share a connection that cannot be broken, they also have reasons to guard their feelings and not let others help them. But if a threat to the safety of the Oceans is to be conquered they will each have to risk everything – and work with those who fear them – or the future they want for themselves and others will be destroyed.
“I know you?” he asked, his voice hoarse from lack of use.
Nerine’s heart tightened at his words. He didn’t know her. She knew he’d forgotten her, been made to forget her, but hearing it was so very hard. Part of her hoped her voice or presence would wake up his memory.
“I’m Nerine. We knew each other a long time ago.” She wanted to tell him more, but she could see how agitated he was and didn’t want to add to it.
“I don’t remember.”
“That’s okay. Don’t worry. You will in time.”
“Where am I?”
“You are in my home which is on an island in the Aegean Sea.” Humans had no idea how many cloaked islands there were in the world which appeared on none of their maps. Oceanides had even learned how to magically block them from the satellites humans set up. Nerine had thought of bringing Fiero to Azov, but she had better access to her magic here and on Azov there was always someone who wanted her attention. Here they had privacy.
“I ache in so many different places I cannot even separate them out. By the deep, what happened?”
“You were attacked. Your head and your stomach were badly injured and there is a gash on your arm. I brought you here to help you heal.”
“How was I…” As Fiero looked at the bandage on his hear his eyes widened and a touch of red appeared in his irises. That was new since they were children. She’d only seen adult kelpies with that red. “Balban,” he finished in a flat tone.
He screamed so loudly the walls shook, and Nerine feared his heart would burst form the pain and anger that raged through him.