Book Reviews

Love Rising (An Isla Sagrario Story) by Piper Vaughn at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Historical / Fantasy / 18th Century / Mythological Creatures / Romance
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 17-May-2014

Book Blurb

In the 1700s on the island of Sagrario, men who love other men find safe haven. For Francis Holland, an escaped indentured servant, Sagrario offers nothing but loneliness. His life begins to change when he finds Wick, a merman, washed ashore.

When Wick awakens under Francis’s care, Francis returns him to the sea at his request. Soon after, they begin to meet in secret, and gradually, Francis blossoms under this new companionship. However, a merman is a difficult creature to entrust one’s heart to. With one trapped on land and the other at sea, the differences in their species threaten to keep them apart forever. It may not be long before Wick is gone, taking Francis’s reason to smile with him.


Book Review

“Before you, I was empty... just a shell. Before you, loneliness was all I felt...Then you came to lift me off the ground, and you take me higher, rescued me from all the pain I felt, before I met you... Now I know what love's supposed to be, it's like you're flying. Now I know the love I've found is real, cause it keeps on rising.” ~ Alaine – Rise in Love

Francis Holland, of Love Rising' by Piper Vaughn, is safe on Isla Sagrario, a sanctuary for misfits, particularly homosexuals. He no longer has to worry about being pursued, which is good, but he isn't happy. Most of the men on this island have companions, but he lives alone. Francis is so kind and unassuming that he is practically invisible to the others on the island. He goes along, day after day, doing the same things, with no one to share his life, make him smile, or love him. His luck changes when he examines some debris which has washed ashore. To his great surprise, it is a creature with a human body and a fish tail. He's heard the rumors about mermaids, but this specimen is definitely male. The merman is injured and needs help, but, fearing what the others would do with him, Francis decides to take him solely under his care, in order to protect him, until he's well enough to go back to the sea.

Francis cares for the merman as best he can, with great empathy and respect. Even though they can't communicate with words, the creature feels Francis's sincerity and decides to trust him. Francis is happy for the first time in a long time; just having company to break up the monotony of being alone is fantastic. Then it's time for Wick, as he's named, to go back to the sea. The next night, Francis carries Wick back down to the water and says good-bye. Francis feels an emptiness even more profound than he did before. He is sure he will never see Wick again, but still goes back down to the water the next day. He's surprised when Wick is waiting there for him. They begin a beautiful, sensual affair, meeting in a hidden underwater cave. They want to be together, but Francis can't live in the sea and Wick can't live on land. It would seem to be an insurmountable obstacle, but, as the saying goes, where there's a will, there's a way.

This is a delightful love story told in fairy-tale fashion, complete with happy ending. There's a lot of emotion interlaced in this short, but entertaining story, reminding us that there's someone out there for everyone. It would have been nice to know more about the island, but since it's called 'An Isla Sagrario Story', I'm hoping for a sequel. I recommend this brief, but meaningful story to those of you who enjoy mermen, fantasy, islands, men loving other men, and those who believe that love conquers all obstacles. Thanks, Piper. It was a pleasure.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Short Story, 42 pages/10305 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 01-January-2014
Price $2.99 ebook
Buy Link