Titus Thorne is a respected member of the scientific community and an Oxford professor. So when he learns that Celeste Ashton's study of dolphins has taken England by storm, he's skeptical. To prove her a sensationalist, he goes to meet the Lady Mermaid.

Celeste's love of the sea has given her a special gift. She has been able to make friends, communicate and swim with the dolphins. Though earning money from her book will help her eccentric family, her real motivation has been her love and respect of the dolphins.

Titus' skepticism riles her temper, but Celeste decides to teach him several lessons, including how to swim. Titus' fear of the water and his cynicism vanish as he watches how Celeste interacts with the dolphin Prospero. Before he knows it he is in love with the dolphin family (especially the baby Titan). But when Celeste's aunt and her Atlantis society marry Celeste and Titus in an unusual ceremony, he believes he has been a pawn and returns to his staid life. Only when he discovers that Celeste's dolphins are in grave danger does Titus return.

Though Betina Krahn keeps the sexual tension tight, most of the remarkable book revolves not around the romance, but the wonderful dolphins and their abilities. THE MERMAID is a testimony to man's obligation to care for the creatures of the earth and sea. If you love animals as much as I, then THE MERMAID is a rare treat to savor. SENSUAL (Sep., 400 pp.,$5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin