Book Reviews

Stealing the Wind (Mermen of Ea 1) by Shira Anthony at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Paranormal / Shifters / Multiple Partners / Erotic Romance / Action/Adventure
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 12-August-2013

Book Blurb

Taren Laxley has never known anything but life as a slave. When a lusty pirate kidnaps him and holds him prisoner on his ship, Taren embraces the chance to realize his dream of a seagoing life. Not only does the pirate captain offer him freedom in exchange for three years of labor and sexual servitude, but the pleasures Taren finds when he joins the captain and first mate in bed far surpass his greatest fantasies.

Then, during a storm, Taren dives overboard to save another sailor and is lost at sea. He’s rescued by Ian Dunaidh, the enigmatic and seemingly ageless captain of a rival ship, the Phantom, and Taren feels an overwhelming attraction to Ian that Ian appears to share. Soon Taren learns a secret that will change his life forever: Ian and his people are Ea, shape-shifting merfolk… and Taren is one of them too. Bound to each other by a fierce passion neither can explain or deny, Taren and Ian are soon embroiled in a war and forced to fight for a future—not only for themselves but for all their kind.


Book Review

“It's always ourselves we find in the sea.” ~ E.E. Cummings

Taren Laxley believed for years that his parents sold him into slavery. Little did he know that he wasn't cast aside at all; he's not an ordinary boy either, but a member of a magnificent race humans call merfolk. When he finally discovers the truth, he scrambles to accept his genuine self and learn as much about his people as he can so he can take his rightful place with them.

Taren is charming, responsible, kind, and loyal. He goes through his early life not knowing how special he is, believing that he's ordinary, a slave; but he still maintains a dignity which screams that he's so much more. He's a survivor, weathering each storm as it comes, trying to find a reasonable solution to every problem whether it's being sold to pay his original owner's gambling debts, being kidnapped by pirates, or discovering that he's a merman; Taren meets each challenge with courage and strength. Even though things are rocky between him and Ian, there's a pull which draws him to Ian, one that won't be denied. Taren does nothing half way; once he's bonded with him, there's no doubt that Ian is his one and only merman.

Ian is more complicated than Taren. He's older and has had experiences which would have destroyed another man, but, Ian is also a survivor. When he meets Taren, he recognizes who he is immediately and there's an almost overwhelming feeling of oneness with him. Ian is torn, though, between attraction and duty. The politics of his people put Ian in an impossible no-win position which threatens to destroy the difficult and hard won position he's achieved. Even though he wants to help Taren, his hands are effectively tied. He redeems himself later when he rescues Taren who is fortunately very forgiving and begins his education into the mere world both intellectually and physically. His rescue puts them both in a precarious position and drags Taren into the governmental upheaval which threatens to destroy his people.

In this novel, Shira has created a fascinating alternate world, rich in culture, political turmoil, and intrigue. There are many threads in this story which will continue to weave through the plot, each revealing their mysteries as necessary, carrying us along with them, waiting, hoping, feeling, thinking, and, all the while, cheering our heroes on as they unravel the secrets of the past and forge onward re-building their culture and restoring it to what it once was. This epic adventure is quite an undertaking. It's very different from the other books I've read by Shira and I applaud her versatility. It's high fantasy at its best, combined with a blazing hot romance between two unusual men who have the best of both worlds passion-wise, depending upon which form they happen to choose to couple in.

I recommend this tale to everyone who likes fantasy, magic, the ocean, pirates, ships, mermen, intrigue, danger, and one of the hottest ménage à trois I've ever read. Thank you, Shira, for the thrilling adventure which has set my heart and imagination on fire. I can't wait for the next installment.





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Additional Information

Format ebook, print and audio
Length Novel, 214 pages/69784 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 12-August-2013
Price $6.99 ebook, $14.99 paperback, $14.99 bundle, $19.95 audiobook
Buy Link