Book Review & Giveaway: Beneath the Surface by M.A. Church

Beneath the Surface
M.A. Church
Genre: MM, Shifter
Publisher: All Romance eBooks
Date of Publication: April 1, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-943576-67-8
Number of pages: 154
Word Count: 37k
Cover Artist: Erin Dameron Hill

Book Description: 

A whole different world exists beneath the surface.

The last thing Nisha expects while patrolling his territory is to find his mate, but his instincts tell him the handsome human diving into the surf is the one meant for him. Two bites and Kannon will be joined to him forever. But when Kannon’s father disrupts the mating process, Nisha releases his claim, hoping beyond hope his mate will one day return.

While free diving with his father, Kannon is bitten by a seductive merman. Although he swore to never go near the ocean again, the pull to return to the water and his mystery man remains strong. Finally, after fifteen years away, an impromptu wedding brings Kannon back to the Seychelles, and his destiny.

Kannon only plans to stay on the island for a week, but this time Nisha won’t let his mate go without a fight. Merfolk and human culture collide as the embers of Nisha and Kannon’s mate bond ignite, and Nisha must complete the mating before it’s too late.

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Review 4 Stars

Fifteen years ago, Kannon was bitten by something in the ocean that has made him avoid it ever since. He's convinced he was having an hallucination due to the fear leaching his oxygen. For his memory insists he was bitten by a merman, but such creatures don't exist, do they? But despite his fear, he is still drawn to the water and feels something tugging at him, pulling him towards his destiny.

Merfolk and humans are different, merfolk act on instinct and Nisha's instincts were telling him that day that he'd found his mate. But after the first bite, his mate looks at him with fear and horror, and despite all his instincts urging him to give the second bite and seal their bond, instead he lets his mate got and hopes that one day he'll return to him.

Kannon drifts through life, not settling anywhere, feeling lost and adrift. His best friend Brett has moved to the Seychelles to run a resort there and Kannon is pleased to be invited to be the best man at his wedding. His father has died recently, leaving Kannon feeling more alone than ever. And it's there that he meets Nisha, the face that has haunted him for fifteen years.

The world-building is top-notch here. Merfolk aren't just human who sometimes have tails, they have their own society, their own rules and morals which don't necessarily match up with those of humans. Consent is a big deal with humans, not so with merfolk. It's instinct that rules everything for them usually. But, and this was refreshing, in the book, this fact is actually dealt with and not brushed under the carpet. They may be fated mates, but Kannon is not going to accept this blindly. Kannon actually calls Nisha out on the fact that Nisha bit him without his consent and the second bite that will seal their bonding will only happen if Kannon wants that too.

It is a love story, and despite the fated mates part, there is no rape here. Nisha and Kannon are both enthusiastic lovers once they talk and accept each other. The love scenes are both hot and tender, with their emotional bond very evident, it's not just physical. Gorgeous descriptions of the tropical locale with its white sandy beaches, lush jungle and exotic plants and animals are weaved throughout the narrative without slowing down the pace.

The writing flows well, the pacing is good and the story reels you in, wanting to read on and see what happens next.

A sweeping, romantic tale.


About the Author:

M.A. Church is a true Southern belle who spent many years in the elementary education sector. Now she spends her days lost in fantasy worlds, arguing with hardheaded aliens on far-off planets, herding her numerous shifters, or trying to tempt her country boys away from their fishing poles. It’s a full time job, but hey, someone’s gotta do it!

When not writing, she’s exploring the latest M/M novel to hit the market, watching her beloved Steelers, or sitting glued to HGTV. That’s if she’s not on the back porch tending to the demanding wildlife around the pond in the backyard. The ducks are very outspoken. She’s married to her high school sweetheart, and they have two children. She was a finalist in the Rainbow awards for 2013.

For more information on other books by M.A., visit her official website:


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