Want to escape to a lovely lakeside town full with a love of mermaids? I know you do!
Let me recommend stepping into the town of Moonflower Bay in Jenny Holiday’s new book Mermaid Inn. It is the first in her Matchmaker Bay Series, and it’s simply delightful.
Mermaid Inn tells the story of Eve Abbott, a librarian from Toronto who returns to the small town where she spent her summers when her aunt leaves her the Mermaid Inn. Eve left Moonflower Bay after her high school boyfriend broke her heart at the Mermaid Parade, she vowed never to return – until now.
Eve’s high school boyfriend, Sawyer Collins, is now Chief of Police. But he never got over his one true love, and there is more to the break up than Eve realizes.
This is the perfect book to take a break from it all. It is witty, has interesting characters and it will make you laugh out loud – always a good quality in a book. I’m going to be honest here, I’m not hugely into mermaids, but this book made me think I should research that more. This book taught me a lot about different mermaid lore and I’m sure I’m better for it.
The book also introduces you to the other interesting people in town and as this is the first of a series, I’m sure we will meet them again. Including, Eve’s friend Maya, with her passion for local theatre, the matchmaking seniors and Sawyer’s high school buddies Law and Jeremy – all characters that I’m sure will be fleshed out even more in future books – but just so you know, you’ll love them by the end of this book.
As a librarian, I LOVED the amount of detail and knowledge Holiday included about being a librarian – yes I was totally fangirling! I enjoyed seeing how Eve dealt with her return to the town of her youth, how she struggled with her relationship with Sawyer as an adult and her journey to discover where she belonged. Also, Eve’s mental lists gave the reader insight into Eve’s thought process, and a great deal of humour!
Sawyer is also going through his own journey outside of his “relationship” with Eve, or Evie as he calls her. He has spent the last few years raising his younger sister, Clara, who is about to leave for college. Sawyer really is a good guy and I love how Holiday shows this through his many actions rather than just telling you.
People who can world build always impress the hell out of me. Moonflower Bay is Holiday’s own creation and it really is a whole new world for you to escape. You can picture a small lakeside community where everyone knows everyone but this one comes with a fascination for mermaids, moonflowers, raspberries and so much more. It reminded me a bit of Stars Hollow from Gilmore Girls but with its very own originality and people you would like to know.
While most of the story is set in Moonflower Bay there are some parts set in Toronto. Toronto could be any city but if you know the city, Holiday does drop in Easter eggs which were a delight to find.
Holiday’s character development of Eve and Sawyer throughout the novel, including glimpses into their past as teenagers gave the reader even more reason to root for them. The sizzle never left – it just needed to be fanned. Which is what Eve’s original exorcism plan (you have to read to find out) did.
Holiday’s ability to incorporate mermaids into so many aspects of this book is truly to be admired. I mean even the very sexy times had a little mermaid involved!
This book left me feeling warm and fuzzy, and oh so happy. It was easy to root for both characters to find their happy ending but their journey back to one another was just so wonderful. Yes, I know I’m gushing but it is well deserved praise!
You can get Jenny Holiday’s Mermaid Inn at a bookstore near you or online at Amazon or Kobo.