BN.com Gift Guide

The Last Mermaid

( 31 )

Overview

Shana Abé has entranced countless readers with her passion-filled novels of adventure, intrigue, and romance. Now the author of The Secret Swan delivers a gift from the sea: three hauntingly beautiful tales connected by a legend, a locket, and a love beyond time.

531 a.d.: The tiny island of Kell is said to be enchanted, inhabited by an extraordinary creature who comforts shipwrecked sailors passing into the next world. Prince Aedan of the Isles believes in no such ...

See more details below
Paperback (Mass Market Paperback - Reprint)
$7.99
BN.com price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (48) from $1.99   
  • New (9) from $4.30   
  • Used (39) from $1.99   
The Last Mermaid

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$7.99
BN.com price

Overview

Shana Abé has entranced countless readers with her passion-filled novels of adventure, intrigue, and romance. Now the author of The Secret Swan delivers a gift from the sea: three hauntingly beautiful tales connected by a legend, a locket, and a love beyond time.

531 a.d.: The tiny island of Kell is said to be enchanted, inhabited by an extraordinary creature who comforts shipwrecked sailors passing into the next world. Prince Aedan of the Isles believes in no such nonsense—until he awakens on Kell itself and meets the sensuous siren who rescued him from the sea.

1721: Ronan MacMhuirich, Earl of Kell, is the target of an unlikely assassin: Leila, a mysterious woman from an exotic land. But his irresistibly beautiful would-be slayer is in just as much danger as Ronan when she falls for this man with a magic of his own.

2004: What do you do when you inherit a Scottish island you never knew existed—and find yourself pursued by a handsome stranger who wants to buy it from you? That’s what happens to Ruri Kell when she accepts Iain MacInnes’s invitation to visit her birthright, and listens to a proposition as sinfully tempting as everything else about him.

Three seductive love stories, three passionate couples, all linked by one of the most romantic myths of all.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780553584974
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 6/1/2004
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 592
  • Sales rank: 685,915
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.80 (h) x 1.24 (d)

Meet the Author

Shana Abé is the award-winning author of nine novels, including The Smoke Thief. She lives in the Denver area with four surly pet house rabbits, all rescued, and a big goofy dog. Please, please support your local animal shelter, and spay or neuter your pets.
Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Chapter Three

Leila walked quickly out of the ballroom and into the violet dusk of the garden. She was moving because she had to move; she was walking because she could not stand still.

People were turning to look—slow down, slow down. She did not need attention now. Glancing figures in the shadows, phantom faces, the glitter of diamonds like fireflies in the dark. But she did not slow. Her heart was racing and her hands were trembling. She felt rather ill, as if her corset had been cinched too tight.

Of all the queer notions, of all the nights to come undone—

She could close her eyes and still see him. The man in the ballroom, the stranger watching her . . .

She’d never seen a man so truly, fiercely handsome. She’d never seen a face like his, clean carved lines and smoky shadows, the glint of his lashes and eyes of such devilish deep blue. He might have stepped to life from a Renaissance portrait, a painted prince of sapphire and gold, jeweled colors over jet. She had been turning, preparing to traverse the room yet again, and then . . .

Then she had seen him, by himself across the chamber, leaning against one of those ridiculous pillars with his arms crossed, unsmiling. A short wig and tailored elegance; he was done up in black, no velvet, no gaudy lace, watching her with utter concentration. As if he knew her. As if she knew him.

And the oddest chill had come over her, a most peculiar weakness in her limbs. For an instant—suspended there in sapphire—

The gravel was noisy, just as she had predicted. Leila rounded a corner, heard voices, and instinctively turned the other direction. She needed air, that was all. A few minutes in the November calm to find her composure, to breathe and think and remember who and what she was.

She found a gazebo of whitewashed lattice, a vine of barren ivy buried through it with lavish devotion. There was a bench inside, almost lost to the night, no one about but crickets and owls. She sat down gratefully, peeled off her shoes, and began to massage her sore feet.

Che would follow soon. She needed to consider what she’d say.

I’m fine. It was too warm. Too many beaus. Too many eyes. I’m fine.

Fine.
The cold air was like truth, a hard burn in her chest. She inhaled deeply, as much as she could hold, letting it out again in a silent hiss.

Silly chit, to lose her head over gold-tipped lashes and a square jaw.

The chant of the owl grew louder and then soft; lovers’ whispers sidled by, not very near. And then, beneath the ghostly refrain of music still drifting from the ballroom, she heard footsteps. They paused and picked up again, coming ever closer, ending at the stairs to the gazebo.

Well. That hadn’t taken long.

Leila didn’t bother to look up from her foot.

“No,” she said to her stockinged toes. “He did not come.”

“I see,” said a deep, sardonic voice. “Shall I offer commiseration or felicitation?”

Her hands stilled. She exhaled a single breath, very shallow, and looked up—and yes—oh, yes, curse it, it was he.

In the tame forest of the garden, the man seemed much larger than before, almost imposing. The fading light should have softened him but instead had the opposite effect: black coat, black breeches and stockings and shoes; against the frilled white gazebo he was completely austere. Formidable. His gaze held hers, and the same singular vertigo she had felt in the ballroom threatened.

With his long lashes and devil blue eyes, he seemed to see right through her, as if she were made of rice paper, or ice.

Leila forced her fingers to relax, tucking her feet beneath her. The air blew cool across her ankles. He seemed to notice; his lips kept the faintest smile.

“Neither, I should think,” she said, with more assurance than she felt. “He will come soon.”

The smile vanished. “Madam. Forgive me.” The man looked down. “Perhaps you dropped this on the path?”

Her fan. She looked at it cradled in his hands. Her heart began to beat harder.

“Yes. Thank you,” she said, and held out her open palm.

He hesitated, then unfurled it. “A most unusual design.”
The feathers nodded and waved. He turned and held them up to the light, ignoring her hand. One lean finger found the steel spine inserted in the center; he touched it cautiously, a bare prick.

It would draw blood. She had filed the point herself.

He glanced back at her, his brows lifted.

“It is the fashion in Spain,” she said steadily.

“Spain,” he murmured, and the smile returned.

“To guard against scoundrels.”

“Of course.” He closed it gently. “What is a lady without her fan?”

“Sadly defenseless,” Leila said, and stood up to take it from his hand. “I thank you again, sir. Good evening.”

But he was blocking the exit and showed no inclination to do otherwise, only stood there with his taut smile and a slanting, sideways look, watching her as if he expected her to say or do something more. The breeze settled just as the moon broke free of the clouds, rising ivory over the breadth of his shoulders. He was haloed in light, wild and plain and handsome at once, focused entirely on her. Leila felt, amazingly, a flush begin to creep up her throat.

Don’t look at him. Walk away. Leave before Che comes.

But she did not.

“My name is MacMhuirich,” said the man simply, when she did not speak or move or go. “Ronan MacMhuirich.”

“Mr.Mac . . .”

MacMurray,” he repeated carefully, giving the word a sort of musical note. He waited, then prompted, “And you are?”

She knew what to do now, at least. Leila lifted her hand. “Doña Montiago y Luz.”

He took her gloved fingers, bowing over them with full formality. She could see him more clearly now, with the moon through the trees; his coat stretched tight across his back, the black ribbon of his queue tied to a short, neat knot. His fingers pressed very lightly on hers, steady and firm, and she had the impression that this was his will more than his way; nothing about him spoke of the languor of an indoor gentleman.

“How do you do,” he said in that marvelous low voice.

“How do you do,” she echoed, soft.

The night seemed to grow very quiet. Clouds blew high above them in silent silver tumbles. Even the owl had ceased his plaintive song.

Leila wished, abruptly, that she was not wearing gloves. That she could feel the warmth of his skin against hers.

Wouldn’t that make a mess of her evening?

The man straightened, releasing her hand. She took a step back, uneasy with herself, and him, and the sudden hush of the world. Where was Che?

“Are you a friend of the duke?” she heard herself ask.

“Not really.”

“The duchess, then,” she said, with a curious little twist to her heart.

“No.”

He offered nothing further, nor did he move away. Leila felt her flush inch higher. To disguise it she concentrated on slipping her wrist through the loop of her fan, closing her fingers around the reassuring comfort of feathers and steel. With her head bowed, her eyes went to his hands, to the straight pale slash of his cuffs, distinct against his coat. His fingers laced together to form a loose cup; he appeared to be holding the starlight, letting it spill around them both.

When Leila looked up again, his expression was harder, darker; it seemed to steal her very breath. Their eyes held.

For a moment—a brief, dangerous moment—she let her imagination fly.

Ojalá—oh, how I wish . . .

“And you,” he asked. “Do you know Honorine?”

She blinked, and spoke the lines she had rehearsed.

“We have a mutual friend. The duke and duchess were kind enough to include me in their festivities. I do not know many people in England.”

“How fortunate,” said the man, cryptic. “And you traveled all the way from Spain to attend their delightful ball?”

“I am here on tour.”

“With your husband?” he asked blandly.

“I fear I will be missed,” Leila said. “Pray excuse me.”

She wondered if he would let her pass; she walked boldly forward and she thought he might actually let her bounce into him. But he stood back in time, bowing again, not quite so deep as before. The scent of him rose with the breeze, fresh and unexpected, not perfume but something different, something pure and strong and bright.

The ocean, she realized. He smelled of the ocean.

“Madam,” he called, as she reached the bottom step.

Leila looked back.

Ronan MacMhuirich said, with great gravity, “I believe you have forgotten your shoes,” and held them up dangling by their heels.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 31 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(21)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(1)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 31 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2013

    Have not read yet but will buy from a store. I don't know how ba

    Have not read yet but will buy from a store. I don't know how barnes and noble can charge $7.99 for a book when it says $4.99 right on the front cover,,,

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2006

    Love It

    Mermaids, magic and love, what more can a girl want from a great book! Not only do you get three wonderful stories all focused on a magical island Kell, but you get six different but at the same time wonderfully exciting characters who just so happen to fall in love! Thanks for the great read! I couldn't put this book down! It was my first Shana Abe but definately not my last...I have already started on the Smoke Thief!

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2005

    Fantasy that engulfs you

    This book captivates and enchants from page one...I've read many romances and fantasy stories that have received rave reviews that don't come close to capturing the imagination and heart like this one. It's worth every penny and you'll want to keep it on your shelf to read again and again.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2005

    Last Mermaid

    This book grips you from the first page and you will not want to put it down. It starts from the Legend of Kell.How it all started then goes into the story of Ione & Aidean, next it's Ronan & Leila's story then Ruri and Iain's tale. If you like to read about mermaids, if you like your stories sprinkled with magic or just like good romance stories you will not be disappointed by this book!!! The best book I have read in a long time!!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2005

    Last Mermaid

    If you want to be swept away for awhile this book will do it!! I was hooked from the first page. I would give this book more than 5 stars if I could. It is so worth it!! Starting with the legend of Kell, To Ione & Prince Aidean, to Leila & Ronan, to Ruri to Ian MacInnes Their stories each will capture your heart or at least take you away to magical places. If you like to read about mermaids, If you like to read good romance stories, or if you like stories with a little magic this book is for you!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2004

    One of a kind

    I have never read a book more captivating and intriguing! I love the rich and vivid detail throughout the story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2013

    Super romantic.

    Super romantic.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2012

    Gigi

    WOW! Only read the first of the 3 "stories" in the book, but if u luv a great love story with some mythology mixed in, this is just what the doctor ordered... Page turner for me... loved it & can't wait to start the next one!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2012

    Great book!

    Loved it! Very interesting. It has a surprise ending that let's you know this book was well thought out. The romance is excellent in each of the three books with different settings that keep you reading.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Enchanting!

    I immensely enjoyed the first two stories in this book. Each had its own interesting spin on the Siren of Kel. My only complaint is that the last story in the book which I didn't think was as good as the others (looked like she was in a hurry to finish the book and didn't put as much effort in the story - otherwise I would have given it 5 stars). However I did enjoy how the author tied in the first story at the end. Other than that it was a great bedtime read for the week.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2004

    Unbelievable

    I just finished The Last Mermaid and am so impressed with Ms. Abe's writing. Her descriptions made me believe I was right there with the characters. She walked me through the stories with her eyes, and the details were vibrant and focused. I did story time with some of my staff and customers, and all were enthralled with the places Ms. Abe took us. I am happy to announce that her writing and my reading (I'm a humble girl :o) ) brought a half dozen new readers to her books. I would recommend this book to all romance readers, plus readers of magic.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2004

    Great romantic fantasy

    In 531 on the island Kelmere of the Kingdom of Isles, Picts ambush the royal party as they near their keep. Prince Aedan, heir to the High King throne, is stabbed trying to save his younger sister. When Aedan next awakens he finds himself battered in a strange bed and room. He meets his hostess Ione who brought him from the sea to her island, something she has never done before. Aedan realizes he is on Kell, the legendary forbidden island. Ione explains that they are the only living souls on the isle and that she is the Siren of Kell................................... Ione proves she is a mermaid by taking him to the sea before they make love. Though he wants to stay with her, Aedan builds a vessel because he needs to go home to help his people. She says she will die if he leaves Kell, but he insists curse or not he must do the right thing. However, the betrayal he finds at home will surely devastate him almost as much as leaving behind the female he loves............................ The key to this delightful historical romantic fantasy is that the lead couple seems genuine, critical for the siren-mermaid to come across as a real person that blends nicely into the Dark Ages in the Scottish Isles. The story line is fun to follow regardless of the isle that the action occurs on. Fans will appreciate this charming adult version of the Little Mermaid and readers would like to see more stories set in this realm.......................... Harriet Klausner

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 31 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)