Water So Deep by Nichole Giles
Seventeen-year-old 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.
Lieutenant Peters made another note, then pocketed his notebook and stood, frowning. “What are you planning to do about this broken window? It’s unlikely you’ll get a glass company out here to replace it until morning. Is there somewhere you and Keith can go for the night?”
“Keith’s staying at the neighbor’s.” Emma took in the glass all over the floor, the cool breeze blowing in, and had to swallow a lump in her throat. “I don’t know what to do about the window.”
“I’ll help her take care of it.” James reached across the arms of their chairs and took her hand, palm-to-palm, an offer of solid support—friendship. “Do you know if your dad has any plywood lying around?”
“Probably.” Her head spun as the initial adrenaline rush wore off, but she squeezed James’s hand, grateful. “Thanks.”
He shook his head. “Don’t worry about it.”
Peters leveled his gaze on James. “You planning to stick around for a while?”
James hesitated, his eyes searching hers for approval. “As long as Emma needs. I’ll help her clean up, make sure she’s not alone if the vandal comes back.”
Something stirred, fluttered, in Emma’s chest, soft, like the tentacles of a jellyfish in motion. She tried to push the feeling away, but James held tight, and the warm sensation traveled up her arm and spread through the rest of her body.
Tread carefully, Emma. Go slow. Don’t dive in just because it feels good to be touched, to have someone worry about you. James moved her in foreign ways, from places no one else had managed to reach. By all accounts, he should be forbidden territory. She couldn’t ask him to stay, but tonight, she didn’t relish the idea of being alone, either.
Another officer poked his head in the door. “Lieutenant, we’re clear out here.”
“Thanks, Brown.” Peters handed Emma a business card. “Here’s my number. I’m on duty until two a.m., but you can call anytime.”
“Thanks.” She ran her fingers over the card as Peters strode from the house, closing the door behind him. Outside, the cops got in their cars, turned off the flashing lights, and one by one, drove away.
Nichole 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.
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