"A fitting end to a fabulous fantasy miniseries"
Three of the four missing royal Pacifican siblings have
been found. Private detective Kevin Cartwright had tracked
the last remaining sister, the eldest, Thalassa, to
running into a dead end. Loucan is not ready to give up
however. He needs the final quarter of the key, that would
allow him to restore advanced technology to his people. He
also needs a strategic political marriage to unite the
breathers and the swimmers, to end a long and bitter war.
With Phoebe and Kai happily married, Thalassa is his only
hope. For these reasons Loucan accepts Kevin's suggestion
that it if Thalassa is to be found, he must be the one to
continue the search. After all, Loucan had known Thalassa
as a child, before the two had left Pacifica. He had been
fourteen, and idealistic, certain that both sides of the
escalating political upheaval were lacking in good
judgment. She had been a lively eight year old with
gloriously long red-gold hair, and a penchant for
frolicking with dolphins.
He had left of his own accord, while she had been sent away
for her own protection. Her hair and her love for the sea
and her dolphins are what eventually led him to her. She is
not happy to see him. She wants no part of Pacifica, the
place she'd once called home. The place where she'd
witnessed the horror of war first hand. Her guardian had
admonished her never to tell what she had seen that day,
never to swim in the sea, and never to trust the land
dwellers she must now live among. Thalassa, at thirty three
was a successful business woman, innocent in the ways of
men, and with the exception of several employees, utterly
She had been unable to stay away from the sea, however.
Many was the time she had covertly frolicked there. It was
this guilty pleasure that had led the merman to her. She
did not want to see him, hear his pleas, or return with him
to Pacifica. He was mer. He was mer, and though she wanted
no parts of him, he made her feel the way she felt when
swimming in the sea. It was a sensual feeling, a longing
for something missing in her life.
It was her need to learn of her siblings that was her
downfall. It was because of them that she let him into her
life, agreed to hear him out. Though Loucan was chomping
at the bit to return to his troubled home, he was all
patience with her. Her capitulation was vital, he would
need to win her trust.
She is attracted to him, and he to her, but he knows that
his priority must be Pacifica. As king he would have little
time for her. He would not fall in love with her. He no
longer believed in love. Love hurt, he'd learned this the
hard way. She could not be
allowed to fall in love with him. He would not hurt her. He
must make her see that a marriage of convenience was in the
best interests of everyone involved. But oh how he wanted
her. She was amazingly beautiful, unbelievably innocent,
and terribly vulnerable.
Day by day she takes his measure as he shows his true
character, helping her with her work, saving a child from
drowning, revealing the pain of his own past. At last she
agrees to face her demons and return home. There is a
catch, he wants her to return as his bride! Though she
would rather die than let him know, she has fallen in love
with him, heart and soul. If she had anything to say about
it, a marriage between them would be more than convenient.
Danger awaits in Pacifica in the form of the devious Joran,
who has taken over part of the Pacifican palace. He only
needs the four pieces of the key to wrest power from
Loucan. He would not be above using a new queen to achieve
his goals. It would not be the first time. But which is
worth more to Loucan, Pacifica, or the passionate woman who
defies his every intention to remain detached? Could they
make a marriage work?
FOR THE TAKING is a worthy ending for this fantasy
miniseries. Throughout, Loucan is seen as a ruthless
pragmatist, single minded, focused on his goal. The
personal lives of those he seeks are not as important to
him as the needs of his land and its people. And yet,
another side of him emerges with Thalassa. He is forty,
well traveled, experienced, but he is humbled, brought to
his knees by an innocent, a woman who only cares more about
his happiness than her own.
Copyright © 2002
Reviewed by Leslie Tramposch
Posted October 14, 2002