There’s a reason that people have been intrigued by the ocean since the beginning of time. It’s deep, mysterious, and has a way of calling to your soul even when you’re nowhere near it. It’s no surprise then that the sea’s salty depths make a perfect backdrop for romance novels featuring mystery, suspense, and creatures from the deep. Below is a small handpicked sample of what’s out there—a drop in the ocean, so to speak. Enjoy!
Betrayal by Danielle Hardgrave
On a calm November evening, a ship disappears off the coast of Washington without a trace…
When Darcy Davies finds a handsome man washed up on the beach, he’s three things: injured, naked, and rude. And he’s got a few demands. Somewhere safe. No hospital.
Tell no one.
While Darcy takes him in, she’s no fool. She knows he was involved in whatever happened at sea that night. But is he a victim or a villain? One thing’s for certain—even if he’s not a danger to her person, this sexy stranger is a danger to her heart.
Gabriel Barnes can’t tell which is more of a pain in his side—the curvy brunette who plucked him off the beach, or the literal pain in his side.
Gabriel’s secret will be hard to keep in such close quarters, especially with injuries that are healing much too fast. But he’s got bigger problems.
It wasn’t an accident that brought him here.
It was a betrayal.
The Sea Assassins Trilogy has been a joy to write for a lot of reasons (including a fun twist on its way in the third book…) but one of the things I love most about this series is how much I got to pull inspiration from living in the Pacific Northwest. And, I mean, sharks. Need I say more? The second book in the series—Redemption—will be available on Friday, September 1, and it’s available for pre-order on Amazon now! Until then, you can pick up this bad boy on Amazon for free with a KU subscription!
Ocean’s Gift by Demelza Carlton
Mermaids don’t fall in love with humans. For centuries it has been so…
But Sirena is different. She lost her first love to sharks and a storm, cursing the islands that stole him from her.
Times have changed and she must swim ashore once more, to the islands she once cursed. Gone are the boats powered by sail and steam – jet boats with GPS are now the order of the day.
Enter Joe, the deckhand on the Dolphin. A handy man to have around when the lights go out. He’ll fix your generator and have the lights back on in no time, no worries. But can he seduce a siren?
Or will she swim away before he can uncover her secret?
A book about lobsters, beer and boobs, on some cursed islands off the coast of Western Australia. At least, that’s how Joe tells it.
For Sirena, it’s a very different story.
Everyone has thought about how cool it would be to be a mermaid (or merman) at least once in their life. If they say otherwise, they’re lying. Everyone has also thought about how cool it would be to be Australian. That makes this book a win-win. And if you like this book, there’s plenty more where it came from!
Water Bound by Christine Feehan
On the shores of Sea Haven, six women touched by great loss have come together in a sisterhood strengthened by the elements—a bond each will need as new love and danger enter their lives…
The last thing Lev Prakenskii remembers is being lost in the swirling currents of the ocean. Just as quickly, he is saved—pulled ashore by a beautiful stranger. But Lev has no memory of who he was—or why he seems to possess the violent instincts of a trained killer. All he knows is that he fears for his life, and the life of his unexpected savior.
Rikki has always felt an affinity for the ocean and the relentless flow of the tides. Now, she can’t deny the seductive pull of the enigmatic man she rescued. But soon they will be bound by something even stronger: the tantalizing secrets that threaten to engulf them both in a whirlpool of dizzying passion and inescapable danger.
Christine Feehan has proved her writing prowess time and time again. People adore her stories, and with a blurb as exciting as that it’s easy to see why. This book features a quirky heroine and a hero so mysterious he could only have come from the ocean. You won’t be disappointed by this salty surprise.
The Immortal Sea by Kathryn Le Veque
Kerk Lesander isn’t any ordinary man…
Kerk is an immortal, a son of Poseidon, who has walked the earth for centuries in the guise of a mortal man. His mission is to aid mankind, to help shape history, and through it all, Kerk and his brothers have maintained their dedication to their destiny. But there was one thing missing….
Love. If he falls in love, he will lose his immortality.
In present-day San Diego, California, Kerk is a Navy SEAL. In the midst of saving a drowning victim, he meets police officer Karia Bayne. His attraction to Karia is instant but he doesn’t view it as anything more than another conquest until he comes to realize that Karia is no ordinary woman. When Kerk is sent on a dangerous mission, another mission in a long line of dangerous ones, he comes to realize that there may be something more to falling in love than simply something to be feared. Maybe living as a mortal with the woman he loves is worth more than immortality.
This is Kerk and Karia’s story.
A son of a god (and Navy SEAL) who can’t fall in love and a sassy police officer with secrets? Now we’re cookin’ with gas. This novella is short and sweet but won’t leave you wanting—and it’s free on KU. Le Veque excels in romance that leans toward fantasy epic, so if this sounds like your bag don’t miss the rest of her work!
Firefighter Sea Dragon by Zoe Chant
Neridia Small just wants to fit in – but that’s hard when you stand six foot six in your bare feet. Maybe it would be okay if she was supermodel skinny to go with her supermodel height, but a ridiculously tall, fat black woman? She’s only ever attracted the wrong sort of attention. She longs to find a man who’ll look past her size and see the real her. A nice, normal man…
John Doe will never understand humans. A sea dragon knight from the hidden underwater city of Atlantis, he reluctantly took human form in order to search the land for the missing Pearl Emperor, ruler of all sea shifters. Though John has found unexpected friendship as part of a unique all-shifter firefighting team, his heart will always lie under the ocean… until he rescues Neridia from a mugging.
As a knight, John’s forbidden from taking any mate – let alone a human. And a sea dragon’s honor is his life. But when a decades-old secret rises to the surface at last, only John can protect Neridia from a deadly foe. Fate binds John and Neridia together, honor demands that they stay apart… and love will require one of them to sacrifice everything.
As a tall lady myself, reading this book’s description made me go “Yaaas!” Now let’s factor in the hero’s truly heroic vocation and the fact that he’s a freaking SEA DRAGON. I don’t even know what that is and I’m already all about it. Love, sacrifice, secrets… Can I get a hell yaaas? Free on KU!
Seduced by the Sea Lord by Starla Night
Determined warlord Torun cannot wait to claim lush captain Lucy, who mistook him for a shipwreck survivor and pulled his injured body from the ocean. All his instincts tell him she is his soul mate. Now she must join with him and give him a child.
Lucy can’t believe the words coming out of this dominant male. He insists her destiny is to become a mermaid queen and mother to his future children. The one thing “destiny” forgot to mention was that Lucy’s a broke divorcee who can’t even have a child. It’s really too bad, because his gorgeous lips are all too kissable, and she’d love to see his iridescent gold tattoos moving as he flexed those broad, hard pectorals under the water…
But Torun’s in more immediate danger than a bad bump to the head, and Lucy is the only one who can save him. Their choices will either save the entire race of mermen, or destroy it forever.
Um… Just look at the way our man is gripping that trident/sword. If I start hanging down by the beach do you think I could pull up a sexy soulmate or two? It’s probably easier just to read about it, but a girl can dream. I love that Lucy isn’t the typical heroine, and her divorce and inability to bear children keep the tension strong in this tale of insta-love at sea. Pick up this bad boy for free on Amazon!
Of Sea and Stone by Kate Avery Elison
All her life, clever Aemi has been a slave in the Village of the Rocks, a place where the sea and sky meet. She’s heard the stories about the fabled People of the Sea, a people who possess unimaginable technology who live below the waves in the dark, secret places of the ocean. But she never dreamed those stories were true.
When a ship emerges from the ocean and men burn her village, Aemi is captured, and enslaved below the waves in Itlantis, a world filled with ancient cities of glass and metal, floating gardens, and wondrous devices that seem to work magic. To make matters worse, her village nemesis, the stuck-up mayor’s son Nol, was captured with her, and they are made servants in the same household beneath the sea.
Desperate to be free, Aemi plots her escape, even going so far as to work with Nol. But the sea holds more secrets than she realizes, and escape might not be as simple as leaving…
Would you look at that cover? Magnifique! This one reminds me of the Disney Atlantis movie, but with a sexy and decidedly adult twist. I love the enemies to lovers trope so this one caught my attention right away. This book is also the only one on this list (or indeed that I’ve ever seen) that takes place in an underwater city, so that’s worth a look if nothing else! How do you escape a city far below the waves???
Heart of the Kraken by A.W. Exley
Legend says if you consume the heart of a mermaid, you will know all the secrets of men
Ailin doesn’t care if the legend is true or not – she’s stuck in a crate on her way to feature as the main course at a lavish banquet. Her heart to be served while still beating for a cruel noble while the rest of her is sliced into sashimi. Unless she can escape.
Across the ocean, Fenton longs for a different release. Sold as a child by men who labelled him a mistake, a failed experiment. Except he has one valuable skill, he can summon the dreaded kraken. Bought by a pirate, he has only known life at sea, wielded as a tool by the captain.
Two lives collide when the pirates capture the vessel holding Ailin. The kraken holds the key to Ailin’s freedom but in summoning the beast one last time, Fenton must choose between losing his life or his heart…
Whale, whale, whale… Now that’s a twist I haven’t seen before. This romance packs a punch of adventure and intrigue—and a freaking kraken, no less. Why can only Fenton summon the kraken? What’s going to happen if he does? If you’ve got as many questions as I have, this one’s gotta go on your TBR.
Tangled Tides by Karen Amanda Hooper
Yara Jones doesn’t believe in sea monsters–until she becomes one.
When a hurricane hits her island home and she wakes up with fins, Yara finds herself tangled up in an underwater world of mysterious merfolk and secretive selkies. Both sides believe Yara can save them by fulfilling a broken promise and opening the sealed gateway to their realm, but they are battling over how it should be done. The selkies want to take her life. The merfolk want something far more precious.
Treygan, the stormy-eyed merman who turned Yara mer, will stop at nothing and sacrifice everything to protect his people–until he falls for Yara. The tides turn as Yara fights to save herself, hundreds of sea creatures, and the merman who has her heart. She could lose her soul in the process–or she might open the gateway to a love that’s deeper than the oceans.
Imagine waking up as a sea monster one day. What a trippy experience that would be, made even trippier by the fact that the dude who turned you is sex with fins. I love a hero who lets nothing get in the way of what he wants…until his heart melts for the heroine, of course. I especially love an epic battle between powerful shifters. This beaut is available for free on Amazon and the next in the series promises to be just as exciting!
Is there a sexy sea story you love that didn’t make the list? Comment below!