Review: The Guardian's Prize (Men of Neptune #2) by Deja Black

What’s a merman to do when his mate doesn’t seem to want him? Go after him anyway? Life for this guardian will never be the same.

Tetra Batair, grandson of Neptune himself and guardian of the god’s military forces, has arrive in Charleston, South Carolina for his mate. The only problem? His mate doesn’t want him. Now what’s a merman to do?

Aoki Tatsuo, an art teacher who’s half dragon and half human, doesn’t want to be anyone’s mate. Or, at least that’s what he’s telling himself.

When the two first meet the earth trembles…literally.

A merman and a dragon.

One will have to learn patience.

The other will have to learn there’s more than one way to love.

Can the two of them work through the obstacles in their past to find their perfect future?


Merman, dragon and fated mates...the premise was a checklist of things I enjoy reading about!

Set in present day South Carolina, The Guardian's Prize mixes mythology, fantasy and paranormal with added romance. This is set in a series but the stories look like they could be read as standalone.  I wasn't lost reading this. 

Merman Batair is a guardian in Neptune's army in the ocean (think warrior- though there isn't any ocean action). He left his world to seek his mate on land. Batair doesn't know who his mate is but he has a feeling. Aoki, artist, teacher and dragon shifter has a chip on his shoulder. The last thing he needs is a mate. Though when he sees giant Batair one day, their chemistry beguns to spark.

Aoki is stubborn and tries to fight the obvious attraction. The story isn't long enough for Aoki to put up a good enough fight. Besides, fated mates = inevitable. Save the fighting for the bedroom. (Well if you're into that sort of thing)

The author has a good paranormal world set up. We get to learn a little bit about Batar's merman world through a few side characters. Same with Aoki and his witchy half and a little about his dragon half. The dragon world has kingdoms and politics at play. It was interesting.

The romance was hot at times. Batair doesn't go full caveman mode when seeing Aoki. Rather he is patient and tries to learn more about the man he came to the surface for. What he learns, he loves. (Obviously) Bith men had believable chemistry. And the sexual tension didn't last very long if you're impatient. Thankfully there wasn't heaps of sex to muddy the sense of character Batair and Aoki showed.

This story was pretty good, if you're in need of reading about paranormal romance and time is something of an issue. However, I found the scene transitions to be somewhat clunky. The main ingredients are there: main characters, their minor conflicts (one wants their mate, the other doesn't (but really does) and minor mystery plot (that could have been developed more). What was giving read like scratching the surface to me. Another 20-30 pages to delve into the dragon and merman's world building, develop the mystery/action parts could have made for a stronger story.

Overall, I liked it.

Easy story, good premise.

I would check out more from this world, see what else the author has up their sleeve.

 

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