“Crosscurrents by D.B.Sieders is a book in the fantasy romance genre. It is the second book in the Southern Elemental Guardians series. Though it is the second installment, it can be read as a standalone novel.
“I am the joke of Rhine.” That’s how Ilsa saw herself, and unfortunately, so did most inhabitants in the Rhine River Kingdom. A mermaid princess she might be, but for centuries, Ilsa had used her powerful magic only to conjure beautiful clothes and dally with mortal men. However, her elder sister’s banishment for falling in love with a mortal man puts her in the unavoidable position, or rather, fish tail of the heir-apparent. Not wanting to return to the Rhine immediately, Ilsa extends her American holiday.
Unfortunately, Ilsa’s first attempt at answering a distress call by a river dweller ends disastrously in meeting with an accident and exposing herself to a mortal. Paul Pulaski is not like other mortals Ilsa’s encountered before. A marine biologist by profession, he cares deeply for the underwater world and helps Ilsa in the precarious situation she finds herself in. The problem is multiplied when they figure out that there is a dark energy floating around and mermaid hunters on the prowl. Will they survive these dangers? And more importantly, will they recognize their attraction for what it is or will Ilsa not have her fairytale like her sister?
Though from the description the book might seem to be only about mermaids, it actually involves quite a large number of magical creatures, extending beyond the ocean. Our male protagonist, Paul, is catapulted into this well-hidden, magical world, and to his credit, he takes it quite well. This is one of the most surprising, yet endearing, facet of Paul’s characterization. His compassion, selflessness and simplicity make him quite a likeable character. For instance, his camera captures evidence confirming existence of mermaids, but he’s more interested in his video of darters, which he has been studying for some time, and is happy to let go of any footage of Ilsa, knowing that it would be a groundbreaking discovery which could kick start his career.
Ilsa, on the other hand has lived a pretty self-centered life, until she is forced to confront the ugly reality in the form of the throne. Her casual existence has less to do with a shallow personality, and is more due to centuries of running away from her insecurities. Her transformation from a confused and under confident heir-apparent, to a responsible princess, is interesting to read about, especially since this change doesn’t happen in a day, and she messes up more than once to learn her duties the hard way.
The romantic angle in this novel is a bit cliché, with the party animal meets the nerd scientist storyline, replete with the usual misunderstandings. The well-thought out passionate scenes pull up the score on the romance in the novel. Coming to the fantasy portion, the author’s imaginative unveiling of the supernaturals walking among ordinary mortals is extremely well done, especially when juxtaposed with Paul’s scientific understanding of their bodies. A lot has gone into creating a moving, kaleidoscopic picture of the river environment and its inhabitants, as well as the surface world, thanks to the author’s vivid writing style. The humor quotient of the novel is good too, giving the readers a number of laugh-out-loud moments.
The book makes for an engaging and amusing read. I rate it 4 out of 4 stars.”
And another from Mary-Nancy Smith at InD’Tale Magazine:
“Paul Pulaksi is a research Biologist. He is trying to finish his degree but is being thwarted by his superior and that man’s obnoxious nephew. While trying to find proof of a rare fish, he encounters something that he never believed could even exist – a mermaid. After saving her from a boating accident, Paul attempts to help her find her way back home, but obstacles from both land and sea plague both Paul’s attempts and the romance budding between them.
Ilsa, Princess to the Rhine River Kingdom, arrives on land with one purpose in mind: having a good time. She quickly finds herself trapped with a mortal and is forced to become the true princess she is meant to be in order to safeguard her Kingdom. Will Ilsa and Paul be able to overcome their differences and work together to save and protect both mortals and marine life?
D.B. Sieders is a unique storyteller. “Crosscurrents” is a mix of science fiction and fantasy that is woven together perfectly. Ms. Sieders’s characters are distinctive and the story is imaginative and fun. Although a stand-alone book, readers might find it beneficial to read the first book in the series so that one is introduced to the cast of characters that continue in Book 2. “Crosscurrents (Southern Elemental Guardians Book 2)” will have readers cheering for the good guys and on the edge of their seat to find out what will happen next.
4 1/2 Stars”