Calder White lives in the cold, clear waters of Lake Superior, the only brother in a family of murderous mermaids. To survive, Calder and his sisters prey on humans, killing them to absorb their energy. But this summer the underwater clan targets Jason Hancock out of pure revenge. They blame Hancock for their mother’s death and have been waiting a long time for him to return to his family’s homestead on the lake. Hancock has a fear of water, so to lure him in, Calder sets out to seduce Hancock’s daughter, Lily. Easy enough—especially as Calder has lots of practice using his irresistable good looks and charm on ususpecting girls. Only this time Calder screws everything up: he falls for Lily—just as Lily starts to suspect that there’s more to the monsters-in-the-lake legends than she ever imagined. And just as his sisters are losing patience with him.
Another male narrator, guys! This one sounds like it was written for me specifically with its lead, who happens to be a human-eating merman. We don’t know much about the Hancock family in the beginning; we only know what the White siblings believe. Their mother is recently dead, and they believe the Hancock patriarch is to blame. He apparently promised Calder’s mother his firstborn son in return for saving his life, but he never paid the debt. We also learn that Calder wasn’t born to the mermaid life. He fell off a boat and was saved by his mermaid mother, and you can tell he feels a huge amount of loyalty for her. Calder’s sisters are kind of a stereotype menagerie, with the quite literal siren, the giggly nice one, and the aloof, evil leader. So I found his sisters boring, for the most part, especially at the beginning.
We don’t get much insight into what Lily is thinking, but I liked her. She resisted Calder as much as she could. When he gives her the opportunity to ditch some newly-made friends in the beginning, Lily bows out, telling Calder he makes her nervous. From what I gathered, she has some suspicions about whether or not Calder is fully human right off the bat. She’s a smart one. Calder, on the other hand, is kind of dumb and all he ever thinks about is Lily or his sisters, and we don’t have a very convincing argument for why he even likes Lily. To be honest, Lily doesn’t seem like much. She dresses oddly and likes Victorian poetry. That is literally all you know about her for the first half of the book. Luckily, this book is a really quick read and the plot keeps moving.
I’ve always sort of enjoyed reading about the unfolding of a romance from a guy’s point of view, and Calder is so green in the romance arena that it was kind of amusing. He’s like Edward Cullen in that he has to stop himself from just killing Lily outright because her…aura or whatever is really tempting to him. Wonder if the aura smells like freesia? Calder doesn’t say. The only way he really knows she likes him is by the way her aura changes colors. Calder is really consumed with a guy named Jack because Jack is sniffing around Lily. There was a lot of macho posturing that I rolled my eyes at, too. I mean, I did sort of like how bloodthirsty Calder was because at least then he wasn’t some depressed, bad boy cutout trying to reform himself. Because that is boring. So. Boring. I was so relieved when Lily finally figured out Calder’s secret, because it meant Lily started to get more interesting. Not too much more interesting, unfortunately.
The love story is woefully underdeveloped, and I couldn’t really see any reason for Calder and Lily to be in love. I mean, it was sweet and all, but it just seemed rushed. I didn’t believe in them, so at the end, I didn’t really care what happened. The ending was bittersweet, but it didn’t really hurt the way the ending to Hallowed did. I liked this one as a quick read about mermaids, but I’m not certain I’ll continue with the series.