Evan became famous writing advice for the lovelorn. Imagine his horror when he comes home early to find his boyfriend in bed with another man, boasting about how easily Evan was manipulated and used. Furious, Evan storms out and runs away to his family’s old cabin on the lake. There’s no internet out there, and he’s able to be alone to grieve both for what he and Pierce ought to have had, and his own heart ,which feels broken into shards.
While he’s at the lake, Evan begins having dreams. Dreams of something touching him with more hands than anything human ought to have — or are they hands at all? It’s not until he nearly drowns in the lake some days later that Evan meets Mer, the spirit of the lake. The creature has a striking human face and a handsome torso, but where his arms and legs (and everything else!) ought to be, there are, instead, tentacles! And more than four.
Evan isn’t frightened, though. He’s been so lonely and Mer seems to honestly be sorry that Evan almost drowned. The two soon become more than friends, but what happens when Pierce tracks him down, trying to win him back? How can a human and a lake entity ever find happiness together?
This is a tentacle erotica story, and it gets somewhat graphic. It’s a sweet enough little tale with nothing alarming, offensive, or strange — other than, of course, the tentacles. This isn’t a parody or a comedy, it’s just a paranormal romance that happens to involve someone who is more fish than wolf or bat.
Evan is a highly sexual young man who thrives on and thoroughly enjoys sex. However, with his ex-boyfriend, Pierce, he’s often left not only unsatisfied, but untouched. Pierce witholds affection from Evan as a means of control, using the promise of sex to get what he wants, whether it’s a condo, new clothes or toys, or just the enjoyment of watching Evan cut himself off from his friends for Pierce’s pleasure. When Evan learns Pierce is cheating on him, he does the smart thing and leaves to a place so remote he can’t even get emails or voice mail, which keeps Pierce from being able to gaslight him or manipulate Evan into taking him back.
Mer is, by any stretch of the imagination, human. He’s an entity that learns he likes touching and being touched, and is so very happy to touch Evan wherever Evan will let him touch. He’s curious and friendly but … he’s more of a gimick than a character. More time is spent on Mer’s tentacles than who the creature is beyond his appearance.
My primary issue with this book, beyond Mer being insubstantial and a little uninteresting as a character, is the dream sex. For over a week, Evan is visited in his sleep by tentacles and masturbated. This is before he even meets Mer and there’s never any real indication if this is in fact a dream, or if something is actually touching him. And… who is it? What is it? It’s not Mer, because the lake entity can’t just waltz up on to dry land. Once Evan and Mer finally consumate their relationship — with both parties consenting — there are no more dreams and it’s never revisited or explained.
These aren’t even dreams where Evan is asked if he’s interested. It’s just dream tentacle sex with Evan being a body to be used, for all that he enjoys it and comes to accept it. Dream sex is a cloudy issue as it’s often used in a romantic way, of people being able to say yes without having to think of things like logic, or being able to formulate reasons to say no. When used poorly, it’s a magic roofie; when used well, it’s romantic and steamy. This time, I’m afraid to say, it came off more like the former.
While the idea is cute and the writing is decent, the story doesn’t hold water (I’m sorry, I had to!). If you’re only looking for a a book with realistic and skillful tentacle sex, this one might be for you. If you’re looking for characters, plot, or comedy, you should try elsewhere. It’s not a bad story, it’s just that there’s not much substance, and the dangling dream lover plot is both confusing and a little uncomfortably done.