Stealing the Wind (Mermen of Ea #1) - Shira Anthony 3 1/2 - 4 Hearts

Review written for MM Good Book Reviews

Taren has always longed for the sea, but when he is handed over to pay his masters debts he doesn't believe that he will ever get to sail the seas. When Taren is snatched by a pirate captain and offered the choice of serving him in every way for three years and then gaining his freedom, Taren jumps at the offer. Two years later Taren dives overboard during a storm to save another sailor and is lost at sea, he awakens to find himself the prisoner of Ian, a rival ship captain, and Taren slowly discovers secrets about himself. Ian has a duty to do and where Taren was discovered is a violation of the council, even his attraction and belief in the young man can't save him from the council.

This is quite a good fantasy building up a world where the mermen council rule their community with an iron fist and fear. Taren we slowly discover is not who he thinks he is, led to believe that he was sold as a baby he has lived the life of a slave. When he is kidnapped by a pirate captain he discovers freedom to sail the seas and sexual exploration with the captain and his lover, but when he is rescued he discovers a culture ruled by fear and torture. Ian is bound by the council, arguing with the council would end in imprisonment but Taren reaches into a part of Ian and makes him act.

This is one of those stories that by the end of the book you are only just beginning to learn the plot, there is no doubt in my mind that this story has a long way to go before the conclusion. We learn a bit about Taren and his affinity to the sea and his strange feelings when a storm is approaching, we also discover that he seems to be a very sexual being when he feels attraction to a man. Ian is a merman who has had to prove himself to his own people, they don't trust anyone who haven't always lived on the island, seeing spy's at every turn and turning on those that don't agree with them. Ian is caught between doing his duty and following his heart and it isn't an easy choice.

While we follow the story we discover why the mermen council is so harsh, but we also discover that there is something deeper going on which is indicated by Taren's dreams. This is a really well written story, the characters come to life and the descriptions are vivid. The sexual scenes are incredible hot and we get some extremely sensual merman sex. There are some scenes of torture that are pretty nasty, but it shows you just what the council is really like. Now, while I liked the characters I never quite connected to them, I just found it difficult to relate to either of them and their choices.

I recommend this to those who love mermen, an interesting in-depth storyline, fantasy, hot sex, great characters and an ending that has you compelled to read more.