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Book CoverSandy M’s review of In Over Her Head (Mer Series, Book 1) by Judi Fennell
Paranormal Romance released by Sourcebooks Casablanca 1 Jun 09

I have to say after our Duck Chat with Judi Fennell where we learned she’s afraid of the ocean and, therefore, went with that idea and gave her heroine the same fear, I wanted to read this book to see what she did with it all. What I got was a light, fun, and quirky read that put a smile on my face.

I have a feeling this book might not be for everyone, however. Ms. Fennell takes our colloquialisms and gives them a new look and sound that fits perfectly in Erica and Reel’s under-the-sea world. “Hello? Sea to Reel” and son-of-a-Mer as a couple of quick examples. And there’s other little cutesie things, like Reel’s brother’s name is Rod. Come on, you have to laugh at that. It’s fun and it’s light-hearted. Don’t go looking for anything dark with morals or anything like that.

Though the Mers do have a time with sea monsters and the usual predators swimming around at such deep depths. After Reel turns Erica into a water-breathing half-breed of sorts, they’re sent by the Atlantis council to retrieve stolen diamonds from Ceto, the ostracized mother of Medusa, who sends out scavengers when a ship goes down. Thinking they’ll be able to waltz in and out, diamonds in hand, because he’s dealt with her once before, Reel is in for a huge surprise when Ceto reveals her demand for their release.

Able to escape with their lives and little else, Ceto’s son, a true sea monster, chases them across the ocean floor, cornering them on a deserted island where their attraction for one another finally hits its pinnacle. Reel is delighted to be with Erica and has thought of her daily since he saw years ago as a child, a time that scarred her both inside and out. Erica now has to come to grips with the fact she may never live on land again and will have to call the one place she fears home.

I enjoyed Reel’s character quite a bit. He’s the spare, as in heir and a spare. He’s never gotten along with his father due to his father’s disappointment in him. So over the years he’s given his father and the council a lot of grief. We learn near the end of the book that not all is as it seems regarding father and son, and that was really my only disappointment of the book. I wanted to see these two together, feel their emotion when they finally face each other concerning their history.

Erica’s character was just okay for me. She does come up to snuff when the chips are down, saving Reel a time or two when he needs it. But I didn’t like her attitude of not accepting Reel for who and what he is. She tries, but she always falls back on his with/without a tail business and that just didn’t seem true to her character. She knows what it’s like to have everyone talk about her or believe certain things about her because of her fears, so I thought she could have been much more accepting. She does eventually take him like he is, but it’s almost too late.

There are a number of fun sea characters roaming about who give a lot of comic relief. I also enjoyed Reel’s relationship with his mother and sisters. Erica has a good relationship with her family, but we see that only in her remembrances of them. All in all, if you’re looking for a fun time after reading a lot of suspense or thrillers, this is the book to pick up. Take it for what it is and just enjoy yourself!

SandyMGrade: B


When Erica Peck, one terrified-of-the-ocean marina owner, finds herself at the bottom of the sea conversing with a Mer man named Reel, she thinks she’s died and gone to her own version of Hell. When the Oceanic Council demands she and Reel retrieve a lost cache of diamonds from the resident sea monster in return for their lives, she knows she’s died and gone to Hell.

When they escape the monster and end up on a deserted island, she amends her opinion – she’s died and gone to Heaven.

But when Reel sacrifices himself to allow her to return to her world, she realizes that, Heaven or Hell, with Reel, she’s In Over Her Head.

Read an excerpt.

Other books in this series:

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