This first Dark Tides novel has a nicely inventive shapeshifting heroine. The hero is quite humanly flawed, and yet satisfyingly honorable. But the story takes a rather disappointing dark turn with a stereotypically evil villain.
Rescued from drowning when despair over the murder of his wife sends Kenneth Randell into the ocean, he returns to Point Rock Harbor 10 months later to thank the woman who saved him and, perhaps, put an end to the dreams of a sea nymph he’s been having. Tessa Lonike, keeper of the Little Mer Island lighthouse, doesn’t welcome him. He wasn’t supposed to remember what happened that day. However, her sister is happy when Ken volunteers to do some desperately needed repairs. Living on the island with Tessa soon has Ken discovering her secrets, and when her ex-fiancé shows up, things get even more complicated. (SIGNET ECLIPSE, Aug., 400 pp., $7.99)