Love Rising by Piper Vaughn

Rating: 4.5/10 ★★★★½☆☆☆☆☆ 
Title: Love Rising
Author: Piper Vaughn
Genre: fantasy, romance
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Price: US $2.99
Summary [from the publisher]:
In the 1700s on the island of Sagrario, men who love other men find safe haven. For Francis Holland, an escaped indentured servant, Sagrario offers nothing but loneliness. His life begins to change when he finds Wick, a merman, washed ashore.

When Wick awakens under Francis’s care, Francis returns him to the sea at his request. Soon after, they begin to meet in secret, and gradually, Francis blossoms under this new companionship. However, a merman is a difficult creature to entrust one’s heart to. With one trapped on land and the other at sea, the differences in their species threaten to keep them apart forever. It may not be long before Wick is gone, taking Francis’s reason to smile with him.

My review:
After escaping from an abusive plantation owner, Francis Holland is now living an idyllic existence on Isla Sagrario, a place where men are free to love each other and women are safe from physical harm.

Not only is Francis scarred physically and emotionally from numerous injuries he received while he was an indentured servant, he is also desperately lonely. He comes upon an injured merman while sifting through salvage at the shoreline.

This was a very sweet, short story that suffered from too much telling and not enough showing. I wanted more specific details of Francis’ island paradise and a stronger sense of time and place. I would have liked to spend some time in Francis’ head, feeling his loneliness and aching soul. I wanted to feel the passion between Wick and Francis.

I loved the surprise ending, but I’m sad this story didn’t elicit much of an emotional response.