Title: Bay of Sighs
Author: Nora Roberts
No. of Pages: 352
Origins: Mine. All mine.
Release Date: 14 June 2016
“Mermaid Annika is from the sea, and it is there she must return after her quest to find the stars. New to this world, her purity and beauty are nothing less than breathtaking, along with her graceful athleticism, as her five new friends discovered when they retrieved the fire star.
Now, through space and time, traveler Sawyer King has brought the guardians to the island of Capri, where the water star is hidden. And as he watches Annika in her element, he finds himself drawn to her joyful spirit. But Sawyer knows that if he allows her into his heart, no compass could ever guide him back to solid ground…
And in the darkness, their enemy broods. She lost one star to the guardians, but there is still time for blood to be spilled—the mermaid’s in the water and the traveler’s on the land. For she has forged a dangerous new weapon. Something deadly and unpredictable. Something human.”
My Thoughts: Nora Roberts is one of those authors whose work I will automatically purchase. I love her characters, her dialogue, her suspense, her romance. I particularly love when she dives into the paranormal world, and her Three Sisters’ Island trilogy as well as her Circle trilogy are among my all-time favorites. Her stories always end up being comfort reads for me, so it was with great anticipation I opened the second book of the Guardians trilogy, Bay of Sighs
Sadly, it fell flat for me. There are all of the usual hallmarks of her novels, but none of them seem to click together. There is less witty banter and too much hand-wringing. The connection between Annika and Sawyer seems stilted with too much time spent worrying about their future together. Meanwhile, the action and adventure are less suspenseful and more predictable. There is almost more time spent discussing the food the group eats than the actual mission of finding the second star. The whole thing is missing that spark which makes her stories so good.
Some of the issue lies with Annika. As a mermaid experiencing life as a human for the first time, it is understandable that her view on things and her grasp of the English language is not on par with an adult. However, an entire book surrounding Annika and her pidgen English is a bit too much. Her speech reads like a toddler, and it is too easy to see her as a toddler given her overall innocence and complete faith in the mission and her teammates. Even the way the others treat her support this idea that she is innocent and child-like. Therefore, when the action dips into the sexier side, those scenes and the dialogue that ensues become more than a bit uncomfortable with a hint of a pedophilia vibe to it. Then there is the case of mermaid sex, which I simultaneously trying to forget and to understand.
To be fair, this may be a case of having too high expectations. However, there is a general lack of urgency to the group’s search that indicates to me as if Ms. Roberts’ focus was not quite there while writing this one. In fact, the search for and subsequent finding of the star are so rushed and such a small portion of the novel, one wonders if we could have skipped this novel altogether. One can only hope this was indeed a filler novel, and the trilogy finale ends up being as stellar as the rest of the novels we have come to love from Ms. Roberts.