A Mermaidís Ransom by Joey W. Hill
Daughters of Arianne, Book 3
Berkley Trade
Erotic Fantasy/Contemporary/Paranormal/BDSM/Vampire
ISBN: 9780425230688
Reviewed by Talia Ricci



The merangel daughter of Jonah and Anna, Alexis has been sheltered, coddled and loved her entire life, not just by her parents but by an entire battalion of angels and sea creatures alike.  Her mere presence alone is enough to brighten even the most hardened of hearts and the joy she brings to others is enormous.  Her empathetic abilities, or her gift, as her parents like to call them, help her know the emotions of others, even when they overwhelm her.  Able to force frightening images from her mind, Alexis is surprised and somewhat afraid when she begins dreaming of a sinister and dark lover, especially since bad things in life have never touched her. And she has most definitely never been touched by anything remotely resembling the Dark World.  Alas, her mysterious dream lover is a dream, right? Alexis has no idea the lengths a Dark One will go to escape the prison in which he lives.

Half vampire and half Dark Spawn, Dante is a Dark One who was banished to this horrible Dark World twenty years ago by the sea witch, Mina after a horrific battle between light and dark.  After searching and scavenging for anything he could find to help his escape, Dante has finally found the means to open a portal to leave his prison and Alexis is the means by which he can make his escape.  Kidnapping her to the world in which he is imprisoned, and with thoughts of her ransom topmost in his mind, Dante doesnít care what happens to the tiny beauty.  His only concerns are his freedom and how to obtain it.  With one touch of his hand upon her body, Dante never believed that his dark nature would want to possess something as adorable as the merangel in his arms.  With his freedom in sight, Dante has to make a decision.  Will he sacrifice his freedom for Alexis or will she be the salvation he needs in order to begin living?  His past, however, isnít so forgiving and previous indiscretions and sinister deeds come back to haunt him.  Will Alexis be able to save the lover she craves or will his dark side win out in a battle for dominance?

A Mermaidís Ransom is everything I hoped it would be and then some.  Not a happy joy and snugly bunnies kind of romance, it is more dark and dreary.  The first few chapters might be difficult for readers expecting a pretty romance Ė they made me tear up more than once.  The heroine, Alexis, is an innocent, one of the most innocent characters I have yet to meet.  Her innocence is in her goodness and inherent idea that all people with a soul have certain decency within them.  Her devotion to Dante never falters, nor do her feelings for this hardened vampire.  In everything there must be a balance and Dante and Alexis were the scales on which good and evil were weighed. 

Joey W. Hill has deftly penned an unchanging story of light and goodness versus darkness and evil. Dante has no idea what love is, he never experienced anything of the sort growing up in the Dark World.  Dante knows how to invoke pain and tenderness is beyond him.  Or so he thinks.  While Dante might think he is evil incarnate and often showed his evil side, his treatment of Alexis was Dominant but tender.  His thoughts and feelings for her confused him, except he knew one thing and one thing only.  She was his and he takes the necessary steps to keep her with him.  Forever.    

A Mermaidís Ransom now holds first place in my heart as my favorite Joey W. Hill novel to date.  Good versus evil, love verses hate, light versus dark.  I felt every range of emotion experienced by the characters and canít help but highly recommend A Mermaidís Ransom Ė in fact, consider this outstanding book joyfully recommended! 

Please note that A Mermaidís Ransom is the third book of a series, and as such, I feel it is important to go back and read book one, A Mermaidís Kiss (the story of Alexisí parents), as well as book two, A Witchís Beauty (the story of Mina, Alexis godmother and the witch who imprisoned Dante so long ago).  You won't be sorry.


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