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In Over Her Head
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In Over Her Head

4.1 18
by Judi Fennell

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He lives under the sea…
Reel Tritone is the rebellious royal second son of the ruler of a vast undersea kingdom, and he's always been fascinated by humans…

She's terrified of the ocean…
Marina owner Erica Peck would never go swimming willingly—but she's forced into the water and is nearly eaten by a shark.


He lives under the sea…
Reel Tritone is the rebellious royal second son of the ruler of a vast undersea kingdom, and he's always been fascinated by humans…

She's terrified of the ocean…
Marina owner Erica Peck would never go swimming willingly—but she's forced into the water and is nearly eaten by a shark. Luckily Reel is nearby to save her, and he discovers she's the woman he's been searching for…

Before she knows it, Erica is off with Reel on a wild underwater adventure to recover a stolen treasure, battle a jealous sea monster, and, of course, defy a death edict from the kingdom's high court. But even if they make it through their madcap mission alive, can they find a way to stay together when she hates the water and he can't survive on land?

"Holy mackerel! In Over Her Head is a fantastically fun romantic catch—Judi Fennell has one heck of an imagination!" —Michelle Rowen, author of Bitten & Smitten

"A fantastic debut novel, Judi Fennell has put the 'beach' back in beach read!" —Virginia Farmer, award-winning author of A Blast to the Past

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"IN OVER HER HEAD is a delightful, quirky blend of humor, adventure and passion." - Star-Crossed Romance

"In Over Her Head is a heartwarming, but action-packed story of two people—one human and the other of the seaworthy body—joined together in an adventure." - Armchair Interviews

"Fennell takes readers on a delightful underwater adventure in her debut. A cross between Splash and The Little Mermaid, this tale is full of good-natured humor and fun... this is a strong first effort by a promising new talent." - The Romantic Times

" In Over Her Head is the perfect summer beach read - one that might prompt you to cast the occasional glace out onto the briny horizon to catch a possible glimpse of a Mer Man all your own! " - BookLoons.com

"With a gender bending of the movie Splash, In Over Her Head is a fun romantic fantasy starring two likable lead characters... a fun under the sea romance." - Genre Go Round Reviews

"Nora Roberts? Danielle Steel? Much acclaimed romance writers should step aside. There is a new romance writer in town and she is certainly causing a great splash with her debut novel, In Over Her Head." - A Bibliophile's Bookshelf

"This book also does a great job portraying what sea creatures might actually be saying about humans if we could only understand them. " - Debbie's World of Books

"This is a fun story based under the sea." - Eye on Romance

"Filled with absolutely breathtaking ocean details, characters that will have your head spinning, and a fun romance that will have you cheering! This debut has grabbed me hook, line, and sinker!" - Wendy's Minding Spot

"[I]t's fantastic... The action is very quick paced and held my attention completely. I can't wait for the next book in the series." - The Book Girl

Publishers Weekly

A New Jersey marina owner finds adventure and romance while conquering her fear of the sea in this playful but uninspired debut. When Erica Peck is forced overboard into shark territory by an ex-boyfriend who wants her to recover his lost diamonds, Reel Tritone, the "spare" second son of an undersea king, swims up to save her. Reel gives Erica the ability to breathe water and introduces her to talking fish, sea monsters and strange landscapes. Reel's growing interest in Erica's "shell-fillers" and hers in his "gono" lead to a night of island lust (conveniently, Reel has legs rather than a tail). Fennell's sincere wit is overshadowed by stilted writing full of fishy wordplay, and Erica's self-consciousness turns her visit to an exotic undersea fantasy world into pretty window dressing on a thoroughly traditional romance story. (June)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details

Publication date:
Product dimensions:
4.20(w) x 6.90(h) x 1.20(d)

Read an Excerpt

Excerpt from Chapter 1

If Erica Peck were a gambler, she would've bet good money that nothing could ever get her in the waters of the North Atlantic again.

The snub-nosed .38 special now trained on her would have lost her that bet.
"Come on, Joey. I can't go in the water." Can't, not won't. Huge difference.
"You can and you will, Erica. I need those diamonds. We've been through this. Alive or dead, it's your choice." Joey Camparo waved the gun like an effeminate decorator describing his "vision." His new designer clothing screamed of too many subscriptions to men's magazines and a high-priced personal tailor—none of which he'd had when they were dating.

She would have thought he'd pick a bigger gun, though.
"Go get it." The gun stopped circling, aimed dead-on at her heart. The late afternoon sun glinted off the metal like a beacon.

How could he do this to her? He couldn't be mad over their breakup—he was the one who'd cheated. She hadn't even kept the ring, so he couldn't want revenge. He knew what he was asking. Which meant there was a lot more going on than she knew. The sweat on his upper lip confirmed it. Joey never sweated.

"In." The gun circled again. Tighter.

She didn't have a choice. You can do this, Erica. She pushed the mind-numbing fear aside, lowered herself to the swim deck, pulled her scuba mask in place, and slithered into the cold waters of the thirty-ninth latitude.
Adjusting the regulator in her mouth, Erica took a deep breath, closed her eyes, and lowered her head.
Taking a bullet might be easier.
As the ocean closed over her, blocking out any sound but her breathing, Erica fought the panic and opened her eyes, pulling herself down the dive line. It was only seventy-five feet to the artificial reef. Tons of divers visited this site. She, herself, had been here years ago with her brothers.

Now she was here all alone.
Except for the slimy monster on the deck above.
What had Joey gotten himself into? And why drag her into it?
Her life's air bubbling in front of her, frothing the water as it enfolded her in its claustrophobic embrace, Erica took another deep breath. It didn't help. She repositioned the mask, fiddled with the regulator, and tried to enjoy the scenery, but images from Jaws kept thrusting their way to the front of her brain.

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can. She'd try any mantra to get through this.
The line slid through her hands as she lowered herself into the depths. Okay, maybe seventy-five feet wasn't "the depths" to regular divers, but she'd never been alone this deep. Hell, she never went in ocean water higher than her knees anymore. The wet suit insulated her from the drop in temperature, but nothing could disguise the fact that the sunlight dimmed with each foot she descended. Black sea bass zipped past, the thin orange striping on their snouts flickering in the flash of her dive light. A lion's mane jellyfish drifted off the far edge of the reef. Great. The world's largest jellyfish—rarely seen at this latitude—picked today to take a vacation. Perfect.

Just beyond flipper-reach was what was left of the SS Minnow, an old lobster boat sunk by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department for an artificial reef. It shouldn't be hard to find Joey's diamonds then get herself the hell out of here. She could do this. She had to do this.

As her fins fluttered near the wreck, scamp and porgies swam above the barnacles and mussels claiming it. Sea stars and white star coral covered the hull. A lobster disappeared inside a hole when she got too close.

This should be beautiful. It should give her a sense of awe. Instead, it almost paralyzed her. Ever since The Incident, it was never safe to go back in the water, no matter the incentive, but Joey's gun made it the safer option.
She examined every possible crevice, although she drew the line at poking into any place she couldn't see. Pinching crustaceans liked little hidey-holes and her fingers did not. The mollusk colony snapped shut as she passed, colorful anemones hid their vulnerable parts, and crabs scuttled out of her way. But after twenty-five minutes, her search yielded no diamonds.

Air tank at the return point, Erica turned toward the dive line. Joey was going to be pissed. Well, he shouldn't have put the diamonds in Grampa's urn. It wasn't as if he didn't know her grandfather's last wishes; he'd been there when the will was read. Of course, he'd also known her fear of the ocean. Probably figured it was a safe bet that Grampa's ashes would never make it to the dive site.

This wasn't the first time Joey had underestimated her. That had been when he'd thought he could schmooze his cheating ass out of a broken engagement with gifts and roses and phone calls.

Her brothers had known what he was. They'd tried to tell her, but she'd defended Joey every time. She'd wanted to find someone whose life's work wasn't tied to the sea, so when Mr. National Account Manager had rented a slip at their marina and swept her off her feet, she hadn't put up a fuss.
Stupid her.
And now he'd betrayed her yet again.
As she reached fifteen feet, dozens of reddish-brown cunners swam by, sparkling blue and olive green where they crossed the stream of sunlight cutting into the water. She paused to rid her body of nitrogen buildup. She didn't need to add the bends to today's list of fun adventures.

More sea bass and blackfish followed, schooling around her, an occasional bump here and there. She flinched—yeah, yeah, they weren't man-eaters, but man-eaters ate them, right?
God, she was pathetic. Twenty-eight years in this neck of the ocean, and she still couldn't put the terror of open water behind her. No wonder her brothers patted her affectionately on the head any time she argued she could run the marina as well as they could. Not that she'd wanted to, but that she could.

Meet the Author

Judi Fennell is an award-winning author. Her romance novels have been finalists in Gather.com's First Chapters and First Chapters Romance contests, as well as the third American Title contest. She spends family vacations at the Jersey Shore, the setting for some of her paranormal romance series.

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In Over Her Head 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this one and her other based on the blurb on the back. I was disappointed in them both and didn't even finish. Very boring. I kept hoping I'd care about the characters. I didn't. I got rid of them both right away.
Susan51 More than 1 year ago
In over Her Head is an outstanding debut novel and very unique! Judi Fenell takes us on a real underwater adventure complete with zany characters, a hot romance, and lots of laughs. I loved this romance and can't wait for the next ones in the series. Judi Fennell is a pearl among the ocean of writers out there. Don't miss this fabulous book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In Over Her Head is a great story! It's definitely original story, I mean - mermans?! Totally awesome. I loved the characters - Reel is funny and smart and Erica is sharp and a perfect match for him. Chum is the greatest sidekick in the world! And even Harry the Hammerhead added more awesomeness to the story, and all the "bad guys" only made the story more fun to follow and I even loved them. Ms. Fennell's writing's fun and imaginative, there's honestly nothing I didn't like about this book. In Over Her Head a charming, funny, romantic story and a heck of a ride. - Wendy.
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SheilaDeeth More than 1 year ago
It really wasn't that long ago that I read the opening scene from Judi Fennell's novel, In Over Her Head, in a Gather writing competition. It was good. Part of me wondered how mermen and romance would sell, but I was definitely "hooked." And romantic mermen clearly sell just fine as I've seen In Over Her Head well-displayed in our local bookstore. I felt that warm glow of "Hey, I sort of know that author," as I walked past. And now I've read the book. (Yes Judi, I know I was going to save it till Christmas, but I couldn't wait.) I wonder what Judi would be like if I met her. She looks nice in her picture. I think we'd laugh a lot. Certainly her writing has me smiling and giggling at crazy puns and furious, zany conversation. Weird situations, madcap characters and simply delightful asides drive the story forwards. And when Reel (a Mer) asks Erica (human) about magic it's almost a surprise to see how many impossibilities have somehow become real. (Reel, like his name?) Of course, the fact that Erica hates the water is a bit of a problem as romance presses its cause (and Reel presses other bits). Circumstances consistently drive the couple apart at the most inopportune moments. But eventually they find themselves alone. And then. well, that's the bit I'll probably have to censor if my Mum asks to read the book. It's nicely written, definitely enticing, but still. Afterwards there's more delightful interplay of characters and a truly satisfying conclusion. Bad guys get what they deserve and good guys. well, you'll just have to read it to find out. It's a fun and magical tale, and maybe I'll manage to wait till Christmas to read Wild Blue Under.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BloodyBad More than 1 year ago
This imaginative tale is about Reel Tritone, royal prince and second in succession to the Mer throne. When Reel witnesses Erica Peck bleeding in the ocean and seconds away from a shark attack, he swims into action, saving the damsel in distress. Reel's controversial decision to save a human leads Reel and Erica on "an underwater adventure to recover stolen treasure and battle a sea monster." Erica has been frightened of the ocean since "the incident" she had as a child. Can she bear the world under the sea? I have never read a Mer tale, and in a world where vampire fiction is king I found this book to be quite a refreshing twist in my reading. Although the characters and basic plot of the story stuck to the typical romance novel guidelines, the creativity she put into the Mer world was unbelievable. Using elements of Greek mythology, lost lands and old pirate tales, Fennell submerges the reader into a world of blues, greens and iridescent light. Her descriptions of this underwater paradise are bright and full of delightful images. The beauty will draw you in, the action will get your pulse racing and the sensual scenes will keep your eyes glued to the pages.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
harstan More than 1 year ago
Although she owns a marina on the Jersey shore, Erica Peck suffers from hydrophobia ever since she nearly drowned as a child. When her former boyfriend Joey pushes her into the ocean to retrieve diamonds with sharks everywhere, she panics believing she is about to die. Instead the second son of the underwater King of the Mer Prince Reel Tritone saves her life.----------------- Reel is attracted to the land dweller so he enables her to breathe in the water as he takes her on a tour of his home filled with friendly talking fish, nasty looking monstrosities and a weird colorful terrain. He especially enjoys her lung capacity "shell-fillers" and her in his third leg. Their mutual eyeballing of one another leads to hands on and a night of passion; with both wanting more trysts. However he is a royal from under the sea with responsibilities even if they are only as the spare while she has feared the sea for years.-------------- With a gender bending of the movie Splash, IN OVER HER HEAD is a fun romantic fantasy starring two likable lead characters and a support cast like his pal Chum who makes the undersea kingdom seems real. The tale is fast-paced but somewhat distracted by an over abundance of watery humor that as individual puns are witty, but taken as a whole somewhat dampen the story line. Still Judi Fennell provides a fun under the sea romance.------------ Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Laughs. The dissapers his voice lingering." Dont worry fawnpaw. His isnt over!"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yeah, but she/he will have to kill me to kill Fawnpaw. So don't u be worrying.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ok so im headed to the beach and forgot my book. So i hit dollar general and whatever,pick this up for a buck. Im a Scottish beefcake reader and figured woulnt matter if i lost this book. Wow! Seriously? Not my usual gig, but she hooked me, no pun intende. What an imagination really got into the series now lol shes pretty good.