Ruthless pirate captain Quinn O’Connor is bent on getting revenge on the creatures who wrecked his ship and killed his crew. When he claims their leader as his captive, he
doesn’t expect the scorching consequences that come with being stranded with her on a mysterious island.
Lorelei, a daughter of Poseidon, is willing to bargain with the dangerous pirate who captured her in order to save the ones she loves. He believes the worst of her and her kind, and when he drags her onto dry land, turning her beautiful tail into a pair of unsteady legs, she’s not sure if she’ll be able to return home—and soon she starts to wonder if she really wants to.
With each smoldering kiss, each heated touch, their desire blazes higher. Can they overcome misunderstandings and monstrous enemies seeking to tear them apart? Will a mermaid challenge her fate for the love of a pirate? Will the vengeful pirate give up his revenge and take on a god to save his mermaid?
What is Caught about?
Caught is part paranormal romance and part shipwrecked story. It concerns Quinn, a former pirate whose ship has sunk, and Lorelai, a daughter of Poseidon. Lorelai is a mermaid and Quinn is a human, but Quinn knows a way for a man to keep a mermaid on land with him and gets to work. Lorelai, for her part, is seeking a way to protect herself and her sisters from her father’s plan to arrange a marriage between one of the mermaids and the siren prince, Ruin.
I’m not sure if this counts as paranormal romance, but it’s absolutely a romance. Lorelai and Quinn do an enemies-to-lovers trope and much of the story is spent on building up their relationship, with side plots taking over during he climax of the story.
Tropes: Fish out of water
A big consideration in this book is the practicalities of a mermaid transforming into a human. A lot of those little mermaid stories gloss over the fact that a mermaid has no idea how to walk, has suddenly thinner skin, and human needs they don’t understand. I was actually pretty pleased with the fact that Quinn regularly has to remember that Lorelai doesn’t know what it means to be human and Lorelai has to rediscover how to do certain things for herself because her body is different.
Plot: Mythology meets The Little Mermaid
So we’ve got a few of the story beats of The Little Mermaid here: Lorelai is transformed into a mermaid and discovers love on land. But we also get some other strange fantasy factors. First of all, Greek mythology is an accepted reality in this novel’s world–Lorelai herself is the daughter of Poseidon. Then we have other mythological creatures that aren’t Greek, namely fairies. Though the story starts off seemingly realistic with a blend of mythology–Quinn’s ship being sunk by sirens–the fantasy elements come back in full force for the finale.
I am always down for serious prices when dealing with the fae. That the fairies on the island are considered dangerous by the mermaids, and prove themselves to be so even when being helpful at the same time, was the most interesting part of the mythology and fantasy elements in this book. I liked Lorelai as a character, as well. It was nice to read a story about a mermaid who becomes human that didn’t actually want to do so, and longed to return to the sea. I also appreciated that the sirens turned out to not be too terrible in the end.
The transitions between chapters that focus highly on the romance, chapters that focus on introspection on the part of one or both characters, and chapters that are crammed with action and exposition were a bit jarring. On their own, each element makes sense for the full composition of the story but you can be fully immersed in Lorelai and Quinn’s sweet moments together and then go to the next page and be met with a new revelation about what kind of a fantasy world they live in with little to no warning.
I was on board for most of the plot, at first. Lorelai seeking out a way to escape her father’s rule, Quinn wanting a way to get back to sea and also kind of wanting to avenge his sunken ship. Lorelai’s sisters wanting to avoid being stuck with Ruin. But the fact that things came down to the climax that they did… If you’re in this just for the romance you’re going to get smacked right in the face with major plot. And it moved very quickly into that. I think I would’ve preferred to sit with Lorelai and Quinn as a couple for a little longer and then have the major climactic scene.
The romance was definitely the strongest and my favorite part of this novel. Lorelai and Quinn are likable characters and once the relationship transitions away from the enemies side of things, they do have genuine affection for one another. I’m also a sucker for enemies to lovers, so that appealed to me from the start. I enjoyed the mythological aspects of the plot, as well as the plotline concerning the sirens. I just wish there’d been more chapters that transitioned between the subplots. Often, a single half of a chapter would cover the next stage of three different subplots which left things feeling rushed through. I also think it would have been nice to see more of Lorelai and Quinn together happily on the island before ramping up to the climax, as I wanted to be a bit more invested than I was at that moment.