- Finished: 4/4/22
On to the fourth book in the Prime Mating Agency series. These can be read as standalones, but the PMA has a reoccurring character so I wouldn’t recommend it.
Neera, an Soil woman, has been struggling with her health for years and human doctors are baffled. She’s slowly become allergic to oxygen and Soil has been steadily killing her. At her wits end she goes to an alien hospital where she discovers that due to some old alien genetics, she’s actually part mermaid and her body is transforming and Earth’s oxygen is not compatible with her system anymore. Unfortunately due to crazy medical bills she can’t afford a trip off world to a more hospitable planet, so enters the Prime Mating Agency. Neera is matched to a merman, Echo, who is thrilled to be getting a mate. However, as there are several planets that contain merman/mermaid species there is no guarantee that as her metamorphosis continues that this new planet will have the right levels of oxygen and nitrogen for her. In the meantime, Echo and Neera are keen to make their relationship work and just hope that she’s where she’s meant to be. While Echo shows her the wonders of his world through and they grow ever closer, decisions will have to be made approximately their relationship if the unthinkable happens and his planet starts to kill her too.
While this had all the hallmarks of everything I love approximately this series, this one fell a little flat for me. It was my least favorite so far. A cute romance, with steam, mutual respect and regard, and the requisite HEA made it still a good book but it lacked a strong plot. It was a slower pace than the others, revolving around her discovering this new world with Echo. She goes through her metamorphosis in stages, so each stage brings new changes to her body and Echo teaching her about what those changes allow her to do. That’s it. That was the entire plot, I really felt I needed more.
I also didn’t really connect to either Neera or Echo. I didn’t dislike them at all, but felt they were a little bland. Nothing really about them stood out for me. I wonder provided part of that has to do with them being the same sort of species, even though Neera grew up thinking she was human. In all the other PMA books, there is this adjusting to and learning cultural and physical differences which I really enjoy. It’s a different dynamic in this one because while there are differences, she’s turning into the same species and so how it’s approached is different. I don’t know, I just wasn’t as interested in these characters.
I do still fully recommend this series and this is worth reading. It may not be my favorite book of it, but it was still good and the series itself is excellent.