The Merman and the Barbarian Pirate by Kay Berrisford ~ Book Review by Josie Goodreads

The-Merman-and-The-Barbarian-Pirate Title: The Merman and the Barbarian Pirate

Author: Kay Berrisford

Publisher: Less Than Three Press

Cover Artist: lesserkeystudios

Rating: 4.00 of 5 Stars


Raef, a lonely merman, spends his days watching the dashing Lord Haverford from afar and dreaming of love. When Haverford is robbed by a pirate, Raef vows to reclaim the stolen goods, hoping his victory will buy him the happiness he yearns for with Haverford.

But Jon Kemp does not match what Raef knows about pirates, and the simple quest Raef anticipated turns out to be an epic journey. For while Jon might be a nobler man than Raef believed, he’s still a pirate. Love and loyalty are not on Jon’s agenda, and he certainly has no plans to love someone not entirely human ..

My View:

The Merman and the Barbarian Pirate is a magical tale of wonder and delight.

Raef is a young merman innocent of the ways of man. Raised by his mother on tales of merfolk who find their one true love among human kind Raef wants that too, he promised his mother that he would never settle for anything less than his own true love. All Raef knows of humans is from the fairy tales his mother told him, of Princes, Lords and Kluggites, (barbarian pirates). In his naivety Raef believes that the purest of souls and those of the highest stations are handsome and fair of face. Raef loves men, something forbidden among his tribe, so he leaves his world beneath the sea to search out the world of man for a human to call his own. He soon spots a castle nestled by a cove and becomes smitten with Lord Haverford, a beautiful young man he sees taking boat trips out into the bay.

Raef is sure Haverford is The One, but before he can reveal himself in his human shifter form Haverford is robbed of a ruby ring and a jeweled knife by a Kluggite called Jon Kemp. Determined to recover the ring and therefore win his place at Haverford’s side Raef boards Kemp’s ship, the Alice O’Shanty. But before long the hapless Raef finds himself at the pirates’ mercy. Kemp is dashing and kind, something Raef does not expect and soon Raef falls under Kemp’s spell. As Raef tries to fight his attraction to the enigmatic Kemp it’s clear he has a lot to learn of the ways of man. Fighting his desire for Kemp Raef is doubly determined to recover the ring and return to his Lord, however once he does so he finds Haverford planning an ambush for the pirate. Questioning his long held beliefs Raef has to decide which man to follow, Lord Haverford or Jon Kemp.

I don’t read much MM fantasy but I do adore merman and pirates so the title and blurb (not to mention the lovely cover) sucked me in right away. It’s hard to define what type of story this is but for me the story, told mainly through Raef’s POV, is like the fairy tales of old where the righteous always triumph and the hero always gets his girl, or man in this case. The writing is fun and engaging, with a flow that is easy to read and a plot full of interesting twists and turns, with treasure maps and lost inheritances along the way.

I loved the characterization of Raef, his innocence and naivety was endearing. He was a quick learner though and I could almost see the cogs turning in his brain as he gradually comes to a new understanding of the humans he encounters, although he’s torn over Kemp, the man both fascinates and intrigues him. Jon Kemp though is a bit of an enigma, he’s a pirate but also good man, a bit like a Robin Hood, stealing from the rich to give it the poor and fighting injustice wherever he can. I liken Haverford to a Hook style good old baddie.

It’s obvious Kemp desires Raef from practically the moment they meet, but Raef spends most of the book believing Kemp could never love him the way he wants to be loved, totally and completely, with all his heart and soul. Kemp’s declaration, when it comes, is an interesting scene and to be honest it’s a scene that baffles me a little bit as it seems a bit out of place, I felt they had more important things to worry about at the time, but this didn’t affect my enjoyment of the story. This is probably a good place as any to point out that there is only one proper sex scene in the story, if hot intense sex is your thing this isn’t really for you, but if you want a lovely sweet and gentle fantasy with a perfect happy ever after then this is just for you.

Buy Links

Less Than Three Press

I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

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