High Tide (Olympic Cove Book 5)

It can be dangerous when the land and the sea meet…

Rental agent Scott Siddell never expected to find a merman and a satyr in one of his agency’s cottages. When he discovers to his shock that he’s also not quite human, Orrin and Rian are the only ones who can help him come to grips with his heritage … and his growing attraction to them.

Orrin knows that his herd would never approve of his love for a mer, much less for a human. Now he must fight to protect both of his mates from those who want them separated forever.

Rian has been on the run his entire life due to his siren heritage. Orrin and Scott are his one chance at happiness, but will they be able to outrun Poseidon, a determined band of satyrs, and the Mad Nereid herself?

Excerpt available here.

  • Fantasy Romance, MMM
  • Word Count: 98,000
  • Heat Level: 4
  • Published By: Belaurient Press

Books in the Olympic Cove series:

Novellas and Short Stories in the Olympic Cove series:

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Where to Buy

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Scott Siddell slowed down, studying the wall of deep green foliage on the east side of A1A. It appeared to be a solid mass of old growth cherry laurel and viburnum, two of the most popular hedge plants on the Atlantic coast of Florida. He checked his phone, making sure that the little blue dot in the maps app was in the right place.

It was. So where’s the fricking access road?

The driver behind him beeped. Swearing under his breath, he sped up until he found a gas station where he could turn around. Goddamn tourists.

Heading north now, he checked his rear view mirror before slowing to a crawl. “Where in God’s name is it?” he muttered, glaring at the hedge.

There. Like an optical illusion, a gap appeared in the foliage. He hit the turn signal and pulled onto the narrow access road. Tall palmettos lined both sides of the unmarked asphalt, fronded branches filtering the sunlight and causing it to dance on the windshield. The dappled light reminded him of walking through the forest with Dad, listening as he explained how to recognize various trees, animal spoor and tracks, even bird calls. The world is a big place, Scotty, and you’ll find some amazing things if you just pay attention.

The memory made him smile, and it widened further as the tree-lined road opened up into a clearing with a row of brightly painted cottages spaced along a gentle curve. The scene could have gone on a tourism poster, it was so pretty. Digging out his phone, he took a quick pic for the office website.

He’d been working for Atlantic Rentals for a few months as an associate, and so far he was happy with the gig. His day-to-day work was split between booking summer rentals, managing customers, and going out to the various cottages the agency owned to make sure they were ready for incoming renters. That part tended to involve a lot of driving, since Atlantic Rentals owned a bunch of cottages and condos up and down the Florida coastline, but it was still better than his last job working as a paralegal for a boutique law firm in West Palm Beach. Atlantic Rentals only paid half of what he made at Jackson and Briggs, but he no longer woke up every morning thinking, “I hate my life.”

It also helped that the owner of Atlantic Rentals paid generously for mileage and wasn’t fussy about tracking hours. If Marcia Kuttner wanted him to head out in his beloved old RAV4 to some place called Olympic Cove and check on one of Atlantic’s rental cottages, he was happy to do so.

According to the clipboard on the passenger seat, today’s target was the violet cottage at the left-hand end of the arc. A couple from Illinois would be arriving soon for a two-week stay, and while Atlantic Rentals paid for regular cleaning on all of their properties this cottage had been empty for much of the summer.

He frowned at that. An unoccupied cottage on a beach in Florida had a tendency to attract horny teenagers, homeless people, and the occasional drug dealer. The place could still be pristine from the last cleaning, or it could look like a heavy metal band had been camping out there with roadies and groupies for a month. There was no way to tell without going out in person and checking on it.

He pulled into the little gravel parking area in front of the cottage, noticing the unusual lavender shade of the stucco and how it complimented the green of the surrounding foliage and the beige sand. Wish I could afford two weeks here.

Maybe someday, when he got his life straightened out and decided what he wanted to be when he grew up. For the moment, he had a job that covered her bills, a halfway decent apartment, and a car that still ran despite being nine years old. Life could be a lot worse.

His phone buzzed, and DAD appeared on the screen. He hit Accept. “Hey, Dad.”

“Hey, kiddo,” the familiar twangy voice replied. “Sorry to call while you’re working, but I needed to know if you’re coming up this weekend.”

Crap. Did I forget something? “Um, I wasn’t planning on it,” he admitted. “Was I supposed to?”

“Nope. It’s just that Wanda needs some help with her yard, and we finally have the same weekend off so I told her I’ve come over and wrangle her lantana if you weren’t coming up.”

Wanda was Dad’s girlfriend, and worked as a 911 operator for the Jacksonville PD. Their time together had to fit around her shifts and his as a park ranger at Fort Clinch State Park, and Billy Siddell took pains to keep his lady happy. Callista Siddell had died when Scott was a baby, and while Wanda hadn’t come along until Scott was in his teens, he still thought of the funny, outspoken woman as the closest thing he had to a mom. “Wrangling lantana?” he joked. “Is that what the kids are calling it these days?”

Dad chuckled. “Well, she did mention doing some grilling and maybe taking in a show. If you’re not coming up, I’ll call her and tell her it’s a go.”

“Good idea—you two have fun.” He checked the time. 11:38 AM. “Listen, I’ve got to do a rental check on a property. I’ll call you after I get off work, okay?”

“Okay. You stay safe down there, son.” His voice dropped. “You got that piece of iron I gave you, right?”

He glanced at the car’s glove compartment, where he kept the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield Dad had given him after he’d left Jacksonville. “Like always. You didn’t raise a fool, Dad.”

“Heh, no I didn’t. Call me tonight.”

“Will do.” Ending the call, he grabbed the waiting clipboard on the passenger seat. Once out of the car, he took a deep breath of the warm salt air. Farther away from the shoreline it was typical end of August weather for Florida, hot and miserable, but out here the heat was tempered by the ocean breeze.

He headed to the cottage and started his walkaround, checking the exterior, windows, and doors for damage. Out back was a nice covered lanai that overlooked the aquamarine water of the cove. The back door was locked and showed no sign of forced entry. With any luck, that meant the cottage had been empty since the last round of renters and only needed the cleaning company to come in and do some dusting and vacuuming.

Satisfied, he continued her circuit of the cottage. The siding was in good condition and the rest of the windows were intact. Exterior done. If the inside’s good, I’ll take a long lunch before heading back to the office.

Fishing out the office’s keys from his jacket pocket, he opened the front door. Expecting stale air, he was surprised when the cheerfully decorated foyer smelled fresh, with only a hint of the ever-present Florida mold. The last cleaning crew had come in at the end of July, so the cottage should have smelled a little musty.

Okay, that’s not right. He put the clipboard down on a side table, pulling out his phone and considering his options. He could call the Olympic Beach PD and ask for a deputy, but that would eat into his lunch time, assuming they could send anyone at all.The other associates at the rental office were women, and while they were both formidable as hell he couldn’t call them and ask them to act as backup.

After a moment’s hesitation, he went back to the car and pulled out the gun and its pancake holster, adjusting it at the small of his back. Maybe it was overkill but he trusted his gut and something weird was going on here.

He padded through the foyer into the central great room, done in soothing neutral tones with pops of tropical color coming from the cushions, posters, and rug. It also smelled suspiciously fresh. He paused, listening. There were no noises coming from any of the rooms, but that didn’t mean they were empty.

Gritting his teeth, he opened one of the doors off the foyer. It revealed a small bedroom with a stripped mattress and two white nightstands flanking the bed. Here the air was properly stale.

The other bedroom off the foyer was a mirror image of the first, down to the fusty air. The next door on the left was a small bathroom, clean and empty, as were the big, airy kitchen and dining room that looked out onto the lanai.

Which left the master bedroom suite. Now he brought out the gun, keeping his finger off the trigger as Dad had taught him. The door to the master suite was slightly ajar and he nudged it open with the barrel. The bedroom beyond, decorated in a pretty pale teal with tropical style furniture, was unoccupied and the bed was stripped. He sniffed. The air here was fresh.

Yeah, someone had definitely been here. He crept to the door to the master bath. Steeling himself, he opened the door quickly, groping for the light switches and flicking them on.

No one was in the tiled bathroom. He sagged against the door frame in relief. It’s a good thing Dad and Wanda can’t see you now. They’d never stop calling you Stabler.

As his heartbeat started to slow, he checked the sink, toilet, and shower stall to make sure they’d been cleaned. Most of the surfaces were spotless and gleaming, but the big, glassed-in shower stall had dried water streaks on the glass. Those would have been wiped away by the cleaning crew in July. Unless someone had showered in here after that.

He wasn’t imagining things—someone had been in the cottage. Which meant it would have to be rekeyed before the customers arrived, and Ms. Kuttner would probably want to have motion detectors and cameras set up around the outside of the cottage, as well. And he was the one who’d have to come out here and oversee all of that.

Frigging druggies. Why don’t you try paying for your own damn cottage instead of using ours? Wishing he could shoot whoever had just screwed up his schedule, he stomped back through the master bedroom into the great room.

And stopped. A handsome shirtless man stood in the kitchen, his lower half hidden by the island.

  1. More please.

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