A Mermaid's Ransom
A story of two lovers who could not be more different.Dear Reader:
Daughter to an angel and a mermaid, Alexis has grown up in peaceful waters. So when her nightmares begin, the mer-angel has little idea what to make of them. In her dream is the loneliest man Alexis has ever met—and she’s strangely drawn to him. Until the night her dream comes true…
Born of a vampire and a Dark One, Dante only knows brutality. And although he’s the leader of the underworld, he longs to escape it. How better than to hold for ransom the Prime Legion Commander’s daughter? But there’s one thing Dante never planned on—the way Alexis steals his heart.
What kind of hero emerges from a world where survival is the only moral code?
My muse has a great track record of handing me the hard-to-love and saying, "Okay, see what you can do with this." (i.e., Characters who are definitely on the eHarmony reject list!) While overcoming physical obstacles and bad guys is always exciting, it's the psychological terrain of a tormented mind that captures my storytelling radar. For me, the best part of writing memorable romance is taking an exceptionally difficult character and drawing readers into a love affair with him or her.
In the previous book in the Daughters of Arianne series, A Witch's Beauty, that character was my heroine, the prickly sea witch Mina. However, in the upcoming Mermaid's Ransom, the half-vampire Dante took up the gauntlet. Dante has known nothing but violence in the Dark One world, where he's been trapped for over sixty years. Words like "gentle" or "love" don't even exist in his vocabulary. Even his merangel heroine, Alexis, comes into his life only because he kidnaps her, yanks her into his brutal world, and intends to use her as a pawn to gain his freedom.
However, Alexis is not only part mermaid and part angel, she's also an empath, so her faith and special connection to Dante tells her there's a hero trapped inside of him. She's determined to bring it out, despite the fact everyone in her world wants him dead. That includes the Prime Legion Commander for the angelic forces, Jonah. Who happens to be Alexis's very protective father! Needless to say, Dante is not his ideal choice for a future son-in-law.
What was so compelling to me about this story was how Alexis drew Dante toward an understanding of emotions he'd never experienced. It was one of those true "Beauty and the Beast" stories, where a deeply damaged soul not only had to rise above his environment, but take responsibility for his own actions to earn the love of the woman who refused to give up on him, when everyone else does.
Most who read my work know that I write dark erotic romances. It's that exploration of good and evil, love and desire, power and need, domination and submission, wrapped up with an intense love story, that holds my attention, as a writer and a reader. To me, the darker the journey, the more piercing and powerful the light is when it finally penetrates and lets the hero and heroine find love together.
On a final (and easier!) note, when you have an ongoing cast of characters in your head from several different series, it's like a fantastical cocktail party. It's inevitable they'll eventually cross series lines and mingle. Therefore, fans of both my mermaid and vampire series may be glad to hear that, since Mermaid's Ransom brings vampires, mermaids and angels together, somewhere along the way Dante and Alexis run into characters from the Vampire Queen series! Hope you enjoy Mermaid's Ransom...
Joey W. Hill
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