Department 57: Crystal Tides by Lynne Connolly
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story (137 pgs)
Other: M/F, M/F/M, F/M/M, Ménage, Anal Play, Voyeurism, sex in partially shifted form
Rating: 5 cherries
Reviewed by Peppermint
Kai had just about given up on love -- until he met sexy merman Tyler and Tyler's wife Zoe. The three heat Kai's hot tub to scorching together, but now Kai's seen something he wants and he plans to have it. He doesn't want another fleeting relationship. He wants Tyler and Zoe. For keeps.
Zoe's not sure she can commit to two men, but when danger threatens the underwater archaeological excavation she's working on, she needs them both to protect. Zoe and Tyler's oldest enemy has returned. They've always run from him, but now it's time to turn and fight.
But Tyler's going to have to trust Kai to protect the love of his life. Can he?
Once introduced to Lynne Connolly’s assortment of characters you will never forget them. She has a way of making her males strong and confident in their masculinity without being arrogant. Tyler and Kai are willing to follow Zoe’s lead in some moments, but will take charge if necessary the next. With a strong supporting cast this story quickly pulls you into their unique supernatural world.
The fact that Tyler and Zoe previously allowed another man into their bedroom and that Kai had been part of that ménage gave the story validity. This is the first story I have read about a ménage where the characters weren’t new to the experience. It made me understand why they were able to quickly develop a relationship with one another, seeing as they knew what they were getting themselves into.
This is the first story that I have read or come across that contained mermen and I liked it. Again, with this author I just can’t get enough of her imagination. There has always been a certain amount of sexuality and mystery surrounding the mythology of merpeople. It definitely added a different twist than you get in a traditional shifter story. In addition to this innovative idea you also come in contact with all kinds of supernatural creatures Griffins, Sorcerers and Vampires.
The conflict between Kai, Tyler and Zoe vs. Foley/Wilkinson (depending on what he called himself that day) was exciting up until the end. Although I did like the way part of the conclusion worked I didn’t feel as if the ménage got the justice they deserved. I would like to have seen them as a trio contribute more to bring down Wilkinson. The author did leave the ending open to future conflict so hopefully they can get their justice in a future story.
Since Kai, Tyler and Zoe had previous experience in ménages it allowed them to go at it hot and heavy from the beginning with little coaxing. Once they entered each other’s minds and bodies, their hearts and souls quickly followed. The author did a great job at making you understand that between the shifter element, telepathic communication and the physical relationship this coupling was able to develop love quickly. Because of that the relationship did not seem rushed or unnatural. Add in the threat to their lives and you can only understand why these people came together so quickly.
With unique ideas and exquisite characters Lynne Connolly definitely has a place in the paranormal erotica story world.