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Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Review: Swimming Without A Net

by MaryJanice Davidson

It's not normal for a mermaid to hate being out in open water, but Fred never claimed to be normal. To visit the undersea realm of Artur, the High Prince, and the rest of the royal merfamily, she has to fin it to the Cayman Islands. Luckily, hunky marine biologist Thonas is along for the swim - in his custom-made underwater RV. He'll be able to explore where no "outlander" has gone before and give Fred a place to escape to when the Undersea Folk start getting on her nerves.

But as Fred tries to fit in with her own kind, she finds herself hooked on both Artur and Thomas, and caught between two factions of merfolk: those happy with swimming under the radar - and those who want to bring their existence to the surface...

This is the second book in this series, and you really need to read the first to understand this one fully. It’s the continuing story of Fredrika Bimm, half-human, half-mermaid. We were left with a bit of a love triangle at the end of the last book with Fred in the middle of fellow-marine-biologist and romance writer, Dr. Thomas Pearson, and High Prince of the sea, Artur. They both continue through this book to try to gain her affection. She is confused about who to pick and which life to embrace.

She is beautiful, aggressive, cynical and loyal. She has that trademark MaryJanice Davidson way of looking at things, which I tend to have difficulty relating to. I enjoyed reading the story, but being very high on pop-culture references, this book has a bit of a chick-lit feel.

The high points are the secondary characters. Jonas and Dr. Barb are hysterical. Their relationship has developed and is going forward. Tennian, another mermaid we meet, is endearing and clever. I want to see more of her in future books, hopefully making her own love-connection. The King was also well-written and has a hysterical aspect that kept me laughing out loud. I really felt like he wants what is best for his people, and his responsibility and leadership are well written.

I felt that I got to know the secondary characters more than anything was developed with the main story. There is a romantic choice made at the end, but it seems reluctant to me. Like we haven’t heard the last of it. All in all, I enjoy the majority of the characters and find the story to be a unique and interesting one. Like its predecessor, though, I would have liked more actual romance in this book.

Reviewed by: Aster