Stealing the Wind (Mermen of Ea #1) by Shria Anthony
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Taren Laxley has never known anything but life as a slave. When a lusty pirate kidnaps him and holds him prisoner on his ship, Taren embraces the chance to realize his dream of a seagoing life. Not only does the pirate captain offer him freedom in exchange for three years of labor and sexual servitude, but the pleasures Taren finds when he joins the captain and first mate in bed far surpass his greatest fantasies.
Then, during a storm, Taren dives overboard to save another sailor and is lost at sea. He’s rescued by Ian Dunaidh, the enigmatic and seemingly ageless captain of a rival ship, the Phantom, and Taren feels an overwhelming attraction to Ian that Ian appears to share. Soon Taren learns a secret that will change his life forever: Ian and his people are Ea, shape-shifting merfolk… and Taren is one of them too. Bound to each other by a fierce passion neither can explain or deny, Taren and Ian are soon embroiled in a war and forced to fight for a future—not only for themselves but for all their kind.
Refreshing new fantasy, with characters that grow on you, I picked this one foremost because it had mermen (not the usual paranormals) and because of the beautiful cover. Often a nice covers has led me astray to less than good books, fortunately Stealing the Wind delivered what the cover promised.
Taren was sold into slavery to pay for the debts of his master, the guy who raised him. In the keep where he had to work since, a pirate captain by the name of Rider, took notice of him and kidnapped him. On the ship Taren was promised his freedom if he would serve the captain sexually, together with another male, the captains lover. Taren adjusted pretty quickly to the change and actually liked his live aboard Rider’s ship, but an accident made him float in the sea and encounter another ship. This ship didn't have a human crew, as Taren was bound to find out, it would bring him closer to finding out about his parents and his heritage. Also he was prophesied, that he'd be tested and will meet someone his soul lost long time ago.
Admittedly, sceptical at the beginning, when Taren accepted his lot in live so easily, especially his sexual servitude to the captain. He grew on me, when the story stopped skipping years in his life. Still I was a bit miffed, when he seemed to fall for another guy who captured him so easily, but Taren actually showed some backbone in his other encounters with Ian, a pirate captain, that fished him out, after he saved one of his previous shipmates and got hit by the ship. Ian, well it took me some time to warm up to him, since he knew what would likely await Taren at the hands of the Council of Ea(mermen) and still he didn't warn him or let him free. Also Ian took his sweet time to explain to Taren, who or rather what he really was.
This is a plot driven story, surprisingly there wasn't all that much sex and I was glad that after the initial part, Ian and Taren's relationship took some time to develop. Actually having just finished it, I feel like they are just beginning their adventure and well I want to know the rest of the story. There is one threesome scene, as a warning, I know not all like that but it was early in the story and after Ian and Taren meet and admit their attraction, it's just them. Stealing the Wind feels like a beginning of a story, there was a lot of world building in this part and some history.
I hope for more character development in the next book and hopefully I won’t have to wait a long time to read more about Taren and Ian, now that they actual have found each other and cleared all misunderstandings.
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