Review: August Li – Gone By the Board

41NmkpyyolLAuthor: August Li
Reviewer: Ashley
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Urban Fantasy

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Summary:

The sea is full of jealously guarded secrets, but everything washes up eventually….

Betrayed by a trusted partner, Nathan figures he might as well be lost and heartbroken in the sunshine, and he heads to the coast of South Carolina, to stay with a friend and find a new direction for his life. But despite his efforts, he is lost in the fog, unable to find a guiding light and sometimes unable to find a reason to go on. His only respite from depression and anxiety is the soothing rhythm of the tides and the comfort he draws from proximity to the water.

When the sea sends a lifeline in the form of a strange and beautiful man, it’s easy for Nathan to ignore all the things that don’t add up about his new friend. But the tides can turn without notice, and it’s those mystical traits that will either finally lead Nathan safely to shore or drown him in confusion and despair.

Review:

Nathan is an anxious and introverted man who, upon finding out that his husband is cheating on him, goes to South Carolina to recuperate with a friend. The laid back atmosphere helps, but Nathan still feels lost and afraid without the stability and love he thought he had. Brume, a being that is ocean water during the day and has the shape of a person at night, is also suffering from the loss of someone he thought would be with him forever. The In-Between People like Brume exist to help those who are lost at sea, and for the first time in decades he feels the call of someone lost. Nathan and Brume grow close, and Nathan feels like he’s found someone to love and build a life with. But when the time comes for Brume to reveal his secret, something dark and horrible happens that may keep the lovers apart forever.

This was a sweet and unique book. While this book did tackle heavier themes (cheating, anxiety, and suicide to name a few) it still managed to present a fluffy romance between two very lovable and vulnerable characters. Both Brume and Nathan were so sweet, but my favorite character by far was Nathan’s strong and caring friend Rachelle. She was the first life line Nathan needed and she was always there for him. My favorite thing about this book, though, was the fantasy elements. I’m a sucker for unusual interpretations of fantasy creatures, and the merpeople in this book were very interesting and fun. I’ve never seen something like the In-Between People before and they were fun to read about.

On the whole this was a well written book. The end was perhaps a bit convenient, and I personally didn’t care for how the fade-to-black sex scene was handled, but all in all it was a nice, fluffy read. I would recommend this book to fans of mermaids and interesting fantasy interpretations.

Warnings: This book does contain suicide attempts.

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