Song of the Sea by Duckie Mack

"The artwork that's featured in this book is the cherry on top of a sundae!" Angel loved Song of the Sea.

From the blurb:

A merprince running from destiny and a romance on borrowed time.

Calder is a merman and a Prince of the Seas. A marriage has been arranged for him to unite two kingdoms. In an attempt to flee a fate he doesn’t want, Calder barters for a year on land.

Denver’s dreams of being a musician fall apart when he loses his father. To carry on his legacy, he takes over their family shop, while learning how to live on without him.

Fate brings the two together, music the tie that binds them. Their connection is powerful and healing, but the clock never stops ticking, the end of the year drawing near.

Will the song in their hearts unite them or is the call of the sea too strong?

Angel's Review:

Where do I start with this book? 

I for one love merman books, so when one is so detailed and the description is so good it makes me believe they exist, that's when I know I'm reading a really good story. 

Denver just lost his dad and now runs the shop with his witty and sarcastic best friend Ella. He has a cat named Shadow and loves music, he just hasn't been inspired to play ever since his dad passed... Until now. 

Calder wants to get as far away from the arranged marriage as possible, so he strikes a plan with his dad to stay on land for a year. After that he is to come home.  

Once he arrives on land, he has a lot of adjusting to do, he has to find clothes, glasses, a laptop for his classes, a job and headphone, (cause humans are just soo loud!) After he finds all of those things he settles into human life pretty well with no other distractions, until he hears Denver's song, that's when Calder realizes that Denver is his Heartsong. 

I loved the nod to Duckie's love bank series with the mention of Crow's Nest.

I really enjoyed seeing these two men get to know each other and slowly develop their relationship and their feelings. They had some ups and downs but that's to be expected. They eventually talked things out and were able to get things back on track.

One of my favorite scenes was when Denver was scrubbing the oil off of Calder, that showed how much he cared and the level of love and passion he felt for him. That's what people have to do with/for every marine animal that gets affected by oil in the water. I thought that was a really nice addition. 

 I also enjoyed when Calder sang to that hurt sea lion pup, that made me aw out loud.

Overall, I think Duckie does it again with writing another fantastic book with loveable characters. I adored all of the artwork and I hope there are more books with artwork in the future. I really enjoyed the ending as well, things worked out in the end. I'm really excited to get Marin's story. (I really hope that's going to come next.) 

Rating: 5 Stars
Sarah C's Review: 

I rarely stray from my comfort zone of novels - which is the contemporary genre. I can count on one hand the number of shifter novels I've read and on one finger the number of merman novels I've read. This one. That is it. And I'm so glad that I jumped genres to read Duckie Mack's Song of the Sea. Because it was amazing.

Despite the mythical origins of Calder, he felt so grounded in reality. He was a merman and a prince, yes, but he was also just a man trying to find a balance between familial obligation and what he wanted. He cared deeply for the environment and for the people around him - especially once he met Denver. And Denver? He was such an amazing character, though heartbreaking at times. Mainly the parts dealing with the grief from his dad. The way he spoke about his dad touched me and felt very real - mainly because they were feelings I recalled having after my own father's death.

These two men are both chasing dreams and trying to not let down their family, trying to find that balance between familial obligation and their own dreams. And in true Duckie Mack fashion, falling in love while doing so. And the love story between them? It was beautiful. It had realistic emotional beats, despite the fantasy elements. The communication between Calder and Denver was simply amazing. They always checked in with one another, talked through issues, and built a foundation that made the HEA in the epilogue seem both earned and realistic.

The side characters in this book were very well developed, and I find myself desperate for more of Marin and the under the sea kingdom. If Duckie ever does decide to do a sequel in this universe, I will devour it the same way I devoured this one.

So if you're like me and stick mainly to one genre but are considering tipping your toes in the water of something different, this would be the book to do it. Its low angst, has some decent spice, but most importantly has a romance that feels grounded in reality, healthy, and makes you smile the whole time.

Also, I about died at the Little Mermaid references and the fact that this technically takes place in the same universe as the Love Bank series (thank you Easter Eggs) meaning that mermen exist in the same universe as Duckie's other amazing characters. (Did I have a brief imagining of Bo and Calder bonding over their respective transformations? Possibly.)
Rating: 5 Stars

Song of the Sea is available to buy as an ebook, paperback, or to read with Kindle Unlimited subscription.