Changing Tides

Sandra Sookoo
Changing Tides
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Liquid Silver Books
Release Date
October 2010
Fantasy Romance

Born of water.

Neadra is an Undine, a water sprite, yet the thought of being in any body of water besides her bathtub, terrifies her. In Strange Hollow, she lives on the side of the mountain, content and out of harm's way, even as she yearns to be understood for her fears and loved in spite of them.

Drawn to water.

Caelan, a water dragon from the wilds of Ireland, has been shunned by his clan for his inability to shift and terrorize. Lonely for too long, he meets Neadra one moonlit night and becomes enchanted by her kindness and her unique beauty, but how could anyone love him if he has no heroic ability whatsoever?

Threatened by water.
When late spring rains, coupled with warm temperatures, melt much of the snow pack on Mt. Mitchell, a flood sweeps through the outskirts of Strange Hollow, putting Neadra's life in danger. Caelan fights his way to get to her, pulling out the hero he never thought he could be, while she, in turn, works through her fears to find him. Only through acceptance of the world around them and of each other will they find the life they've always wanted.

Book Review by Leslie (reviewer)
Nov 15, 2010   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
173 people found the following review helpful
Sandra Sookoo has the mind of a story teller, always coming up with a unique and fun yarn, with characters that are eminently likable. While I find the stories light and a bit over sexual, they are a light and interesting read. I have read several of her short stories and have been impressed with the thought behind the story, and the unusualness of the story itself. They have each been a novel idea, interesting to a fault.

Strange Hollow is a small village, a place where non humans live in peace and prosperity. It is also a place for those non humans that are damaged in some way. Naedra is just such a soul, an undine, a water sprite that is terrified of water. She has been cast out from her family as an embarrassment and has made to way to Strange Hollow.

Here she finds a job as a librarian and is a bit more comfortable in her existence. The only thing that she regrets is that she is so alone. And with her odd condition, there is surely no other water sprite that would have her. She keeps to herself in her new town, where much of the activities and events occur around the edge of Shady Lake which is set at the edge of the village. She has found a home high in the mountain in case of flood and tries to protect herself from any possible water catastrophe.

Because of her heritage, she continues to try to ease her fear and will head to the lake in the moonlight, wading into the water until it becomes uncomfortable. It is on a night like this that she sees a set of eyes in the water looking back at her; mesmerizing her, following her every movement. As a water undine, she knows that there are other creatures in the water and therefore, is not frightened but very curious.

As she continues to watch, the eyes reach the surface, and from the waves, a man emerges. One huge hunk of a man, in fact, a very naked man. She cannot keep her eyes away; she is instantly catapulted into lust.

Caelan too came to the village in the usual way. He is a water dragon very much at odds with the dragon within. He too has been disowned by his family for his refusal to allow the dragon its way. The constant voice of the dragon in his thought is a daily occurrence. The dragon continually wants his way and yet Caelan is the one in charge, until he sees the beautiful creature at the edge of the lake. Even his inner dragon growls with appreciation, encouraging him to take her now. Caelan will do no such thing.

It will take the very danger of a spring flood to make them forget their past and heal their souls.

Naedra is cast in the usual librarian role. She is shy, or appears to be, and she keeps to herself. She is not interested in any of the men in town and is a very lonely soul. She is beautiful with her blue hair and luminescent skin, but she is embarrassed by her webbed fingers. Like many woman, she is unhappy with her looks, and in her thirties, she feels the hands of time passing her by. It is easy to empathize with her, and although she is afraid of water, she continues to try and face that fear time after time.

Caelan too has his fears. He loves the land and has found the very thing that soothes his tortured soul. He has become a farmer, supplying meat, eggs and produce to the villagers. He is sometimes known as the egg man, much to his embarrassment. He has not really been too concerned about this other then the fact that women did not look at him as they used to. He did not really care because he was happy in his new profession, until he meets Naedra. He could never be the hero that he felt that all women were looking for in a man.

As the two are drawn together, Caelan agrees to help her overcome her fear of water. In his life, water is his love, a very comfort and part of who he is. As a water dragon, he is often in the water, naked as he was born, somehow feeling more alive allowing the water through his skin. As he teaches her rudimentary skills, they are either often naked or very close to it. The attraction is clear and present; Caelan in his nakedness cannot hide his desire. Naedra too is overwhelmed by her feelings, both sensual as well as soulful. Here is a man that cares, one who she can trust. Every thought is an ember, a spark pulling them in. He knows in his heart that she is not just a conquest but his woman, but she is afraid. It will take nature to cure her of her doubts and determine if this is their destiny.

This is a fun read and the village seems like a great place to live. Sandra has built a small hidden village in the middle of America, and made it seem possible. It would be fun to hear more about the other characters that live there, so it would seem that it is a place of interest. Caelan is a fun character, funny and likable and you are charmed by his inner dragon in spite of himself. Naedra is insecure and sometimes annoying which also brings a human side to her, but when she is challenged she puts her fear behind her, fiercely facing it head on. Together they challenge their fears and face their realities together.
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