The youngest of six talented sisters, Elyse d’Abreau was destined for stardom—until a boating accident took everything from her. Now, the most beautiful singer in Tobago can’t sing. She can’t even speak.
Seeking quiet solitude, Elyse accepts a friend’s invitation to Atargatis Cove. Named for the mythical first mermaid, the Oregon seaside town is everything Elyse’s home in the Caribbean isn’t: An ocean too cold for swimming, parties too tame for singing, and people too polite to pry—except for one.
Christian Kane is a notorious playboy—insolent, arrogant, and completely charming. He’s also the only person in Atargatis Cove who doesn’t treat Elyse like a glass statue. He challenges her to express herself, and he admires the way she treats his younger brother Sebastian, who believes Elyse is the legendary mermaid come to life.
When Christian needs a first mate for the Cove’s high-stakes Pirate Regatta, Elyse reluctantly stows her fear of the sea and climbs aboard. The ocean isn’t the only thing making waves, though—swept up in Christian’s seductive tide and entranced by the Cove’s charms, Elyse begins to wonder if a life of solitude isn’t what she needs. But changing course again means facing her past. It means finding her inner voice. And scariest of all, it means opening her heart to a boy who’s best known for breaking them . . .
A couple years ago, I made friends with a girl in my gym class who never talked. At first I thought that she, Emily, was just shy, but I soon learned that she had a speech impediment that she was very self conscious about. She wouldn’t talk to me verbally, but I eventually I got to the point where I could read a lot of her motions and the looks in her eyes.
This book reminded me a lot of that experience. Though unlike Emily, Elyse didn’t have a speech impediment. She completely could not talk. I felt bad for her for a lot of the book, but it definitely made the book new and interesting. Sometimes I feel that authors put too much faith into the characters dialogue to show you who the character is. It works most of the time, but sometimes the emotion that also helps to tell a character's story is left out to make room for more dialogue. With Elyse, I felt like I got to know the deepest parts of her because all I could read were her emotions, actions, and thoughts. Another person who did that for Elyse was Christian.
Christian was a lovable character - charming and attractive, but much more caring and understanding than one would expect from the Cove’s “Scoundrel”. He was wholly sweet to his brother, and was basically a father to the young Sebastian. After all, their biological father wasn’t very good to them, and Christian felt the need to step in.
I loved Christian, but I did have a slight problem with him - sometimes Christian would pass that point of legally perfect. He could read practically everything Elyse mouthed and the looks in her eyes (and come on, that’s hard to do) and he never got mad, along with a lack of weakness. Sometimes he was just too perfect to be real for me, and I always like to have a healthy dose of “real” in my characters.
But overall, it was a wonderful story of broken hearts and healing, finding your voice, and expressing yourself. Elyse showed me that while painful things happen, it can always get better, and that we always need to express ourselves and not let ourselves go unheard. Sarah made a beautiful speech in her acknowledgments about this. If you want to read this book, I would definitely recommend reading that last note in the acknowledgments as well.
The Summer of Chasing Mermaids was definitely worth the read! I give it four stars and recommend it, especially to you ocean lovers ;)
***GREAT BIG THANK YOU TO SIMON PULSE FOR AN ARC OF THIS BOOK***