Yawr! This unicorn pirate loves mermen!

Tempestuous Tides (Mermen & Magic Book 2) - L.M. Brown
FOUR HEARTS--Strong mermen sequel from L.M. Brown!

Tempestuous Tides is book #2 in L.M. Brown's Mermen & Magic series. I don't think it's necessary to read the series in order to follow along BUT I'd suggest reading in order. Either book could be standalone.

New mermen! More mythology! More magic! And a race against a ticking clock to save the one you love.

The story is an entertaining read: easy to read and follow nearly all plot twists. The story starts with dual timelines - Lucas, a junior adviser to the Atlantean king Nereus is closeted and can't let anyone find out about his homosexuality. He has to stave off the pesky mating heat by either abstaining which causes pain or be used by whoever will set off his mating trigger. While Justin is an merman orphan raised by immortals and wants nothing to do with his merman heritage in present day Britain. The two men meet up thanks to a decree from king Nereus, Justin's dad. Before they meet, the interfering Atlantean gods push their nose in Justin's business, invoking a curse that could make or break them before they begin.

I really enjoyed reading the follow up on the Atlantean gods, Caspian and his sister Cari. Finally we get to learn about Caspian's powers. And we get more of meddling Medina,the goddess of love and lust. For this book, neither merman seemed as awed by the gods as in the first book. I think I liked that aspect. The story uses a couple of themes - being raised in paranormal vs. normal worlds, closeted vs. out of the closet (and not trying to go back in) and a commitment-phobe falling in love. There was a decent amount of lightness and some humor to help move the story along, even with the ominous curse looming like a grey cloud over Justina nd Lucas' heads and making their relationship seem based on magic only.

It's not.

Reading Lucas first meet Justin and how they get together was fun. They didn't jump right into the sack on first meeting (despite magic trying to get one up on them). This story is sexy. But there definitely is plot too. No PWP here. I liked the couple in England slightly more then in Atlantis.

Let's talk about the sex because a few scenes hit my buttons. All of the erotic delights were even more fun to read. Can we say exhibition? Or voyeurism? Or aquarium sex?

The book kept the sex interesting. Neither man has any issues in the bedroom department when it comes to chemistry (though toward the end, a certain mer's constant begging of the same thing was starting to become one note)

There were a couple of quibbles for me: there were a few parts that could have been shaved - it read slight stretched in parts. I think the length of the novel was good, just wished a few areas were developed more:

Otus and his outcome - it seemed it was building steam once remembered in Atlantis and then we get this anticlimactic scene. He read vindictive...I expected more.

Jake, Finn and Kyle - our starring trio from Forbidden Waters, book #1. Now they are the secondary characters in this book. I think they weren't used to their advantage. Some parts were missed (ex. Finn grew up in Atlantis - he never remarked on Justin's face the way Lucas did first time meeting him), Finn and Kyle felt like they barely touched the surface in Lucas' acclimation. It was such a big part in book #1 and endeared me to the characters. It got glossed over here with Lucas.

The last 15% or so - the ending was good. There is a HEA. But...the main character's had a tendency to say they weren't going to do A)...then once confronted, they'd give in. I guess it can boil down to lovers' spats but, it either was a little too much or could have been developed more.

Overall, I was happy with the outcome. I was a little surprised that was all it took...but I really enjoyed reading Lucas and Justin. I do think they're a forever couple. I wasn't left with as much questions as with book #1. I'm definitely reading the rest of this series, hope for more merman tales and maybe some books starring Atlantean gods. Can't wait to see which other gods are waking from their slumber.

Recommended for mermen fans, those who don't mind reading the beginning and journey of falling in love and mythology tinged fantasy romances!

P.S. Job well done on getting the cover to match a main character's description. It's pretty much how imagined Lucas!

A copy provided for an honest review.