Giles, the author of The DESCENDANT series, and The WATER SO DEEP series, has
lived in Nevada, Arizona, Utah, and Texas. She is a fan of all things
paranormal and magical, and her dreams include owning a garden full of fairies,
riding a unicorn, and taming the pet dragon she adopted at a recent local
ComiCon. She loves to spend time with her family, travel to tropical and exotic
destinations, drive in the rain with the convertible top down, and play music
at full volume so she can sing along.
Emma Harris is drowning on dry land.
No one knows what’s happening to her, and she’d like to keep her evolution from
human to mermaid a secret, but the truth is getting harder and harder to hide.
From her adoptive family, from her friends, and especially from the
irresistible James Phelps.
Her time in the ocean is spent dodging a possessive merman, while her time on
land is split between caring for her special-needs brother and squeezing in
every last possible moment of human life. She soon realizes falling for James
is unavoidable when he constantly comes to Emma’s rescue and somehow manages to
see through her carefully constructed icy facade to the vulnerability she lives
with every day. Everything about James makes Emma yearn for a life on land she
just can’t have.
When Emma’s brother disappears on her watch, James is the only person she
trusts to help her save him. But even if they can save her brother, nothing can
prevent her return to the sea. Whether she likes it or not, Emma is
changing—unable to breathe without yielding to the tide—and it’s only a matter
of time before she’s forced to surrender forever.
awoke on the floor of Emma’s upstairs movie room, fighting to free his limbs
from the comforter in which he was tangled. The place was dark except for a
sliver of moonlight that crept through the blinds and fell across the sofa
where Emma lay sleeping. The soft glow gleamed off the tiny pearls around her
neck, highlighted her cheekbones and silhouetted her nose and lips, giving her
a radiance that all but stole his breath. Her folded hands, propped on the
cushion next to her face, reminded him of a sculpture he’d once seen in a
museum—except Emma was more beautiful, and much more real.
to assure himself that he wasn’t dreaming, he reached over and ran his finger
down the thin, white scar on her neck. Emma stirred, then bolted upright, her
hair falling around her shoulders in a tangled mass, wide eyes startled and
he murmured. “I didn’t mean to wake you.”
fingers combed through her hair. “It’s okay.” She blinked, turning away from
the light so it highlighted her fiery hair and cast her face in shadow. “What
time is it?”
reached in his pocket and realized his cell phone must be on the floor
somewhere. “No idea. Probably pretty late.”
felt around the sofa cushions and found her phone, illuminating the face. She
snapped it shut with a moan. “It’s ten to four. Your parents are probably ready
to murder you. I’m so sorry.”
my dad even noticed.” He climbed onto the couch next to Emma. “Will yours be
shook her head, pulling a throw blanket over her knees and leaning against a
cushion. “Only if I’m stupid enough to tell them.” She turned her head, a
wicked glint shining in her eyes. “And I’m not stupid.”
you want me to go?” James kept his volume low, despite knowing they were the
only people in the house. “I mean, it’s late enough I might as well stay. If
you want. I can pretty much sleep anywhere, and your floor isn’t half bad.” He
flicked his hair out of his face. “I know you’d be fine, but I still hate to
leave you here alone after everything.”
rolled her shoulders, stretching. “From what I recall, your bike still isn’t
running. I assume that means you walked here, and there’s no way I’d ask you to
walk home in the middle of the night. Especially after everything you’ve done
to help me. I don’t care how tough you are, it’s dangerous. Just stay.” She
straightened her tank top and pulled her hair around her neck, covering the
scar. “How long has it been since I told you thanks?”
or five hours.” He tried not to be surprised by her unexpected answer,
reminding himself that the entire visit had turned into a parade of surprises.
again, thanks.” She let go of her hair and lay on the arm of the couch, eyes
closed, exposing the underside of her chin and the soft, white skin along her
neck. If he kissed her there—in the hollow at the base of her throat, just
above her necklace—what would she taste like? How would she react?
he murmured, more tempted than he liked. Knowing the timing would be bad for
both of them—vulnerable and unguarded in this world of half-wake, half-sleep—he
ignored the urge and scooted back to the floor, where he wrapped Emma’s
comforter around him and lay his head on Emma’s pillow, where he fell asleep on
Emma’s floor, and dreamed…of Emma.