In Over Her Head by J. Fennell

Awhile back I had discovered a new series involving mermaids that was written by Judi Fennell. Guess what I just finished…the first novel, In Over Her Head.

When Erica Peck, one terrified-of-the-ocean marina owner, finds herself at the bottom of the sea conversing with a Mer man named Reel, she thinks she’s died and gone to her own version of Hell. When the Oceanic Council demands she and Reel retrieve a lost cache of diamonds from the resident sea monster in return for their lives, she knows she’s died and gone to Hell.

When they escape the monster and end up on a deserted island, she amends her opinion – she’s died and gone to Heaven. But when Reel sacrifices himself to allow her to return to her world, she realizes that, Heaven or Hell, with Reel, she’s In Over Her Head.

You know, I have to say that I really enjoyed In Over Her Head.  I haven’t read a lot of stories involving Merpeople, but Fennell was able to not only keep my attention, but made me want to turn around and pick up the second novel, Wild Blue Under.  She builds a really fantastical world where merpeople are not the only ones who populate the oceans. Well, obviously there are fish and mammals in the seas, but they are a part of the society and culture of the merpeople.  There are clown fish doing sentry duty, marlins who pull chariots and seagulls as High Council advisors.  There is nothing in the ocean that doesn’t have a part in this fascinating new world and its very different.  Granted, that was one thing that I did find a little annoying – the constant reminder that we’re under the sea and that the animals around our hero and heroine are talking animals…fish…whatever.  For some reason, that stood out to me, but once I ignored all of that, the story itself is fascinating.

The chemistry between Erica and Reel was fun.  They both were very much aware of each other and it added a lot of complexity to the plot.  Fighting an attraction while fighting for your life is always a great story and Fennell wove it together beautifully.  On top of all of this, neither character ever really deviated from their personalities.  Reel was very much the egotistical cocky second son and while he did grow throughout the novel, it was never a drastic change.  I have to say, Erica really amused me.  She had no problem thinking with all parts of her body.  Yes Reel was hot and very lust-worthy, but she had no problem having her fun and then doing what she needed to do to get back on land.  Granted, she grew during the subsequential events, but the journal these two took just made them that much more interesting.

Overall, In Over Her Head was definitely a fun read and I would recommend anyone finding a copy soon.

Read Order:
In Over Her Head
Wild Blue Under
Catch of a Lifetime

About Jackie 3273 Articles
I am a 30-something SAHM with two adorable boys and a supportive husband who is very tolerant of my reading addiction. I love to read and easily go through about a dozen books a month – well I did before I had kids. Now, not so much. After my first son was born, I began to take my hobby of reviewing a little more serious and started Literary Escapism to help with my sanity. I love to discuss the fabulous novels I’ve read and meeting all the wonderful people in the book blogging community has been amazing.


  1. It appears as if the merpeople have fish tails on the cover. Do they? If so, could you answer something I have pondered for a long time? How on earth do they, um, proliferate (or, to not beat around the bush, fuck)? Because to me it seems to me as if there are several vital parts missing…

    And I know I’m not alone in wondering about this, I’ve read several most interesting (cough, cough) forum threads on the subject. (One of the most creative solutions being that the parts are kept in certain hidden “pouches”…)

  2. Yes, the Mers in Fennell’s series have fish tails, but they can also walk on land with two feet. They just have to make it back into the ocean by the second sunset. Honestly, I have no clue how they would proliferate. In the first two books (2nd review coming soon), the Mer always have legs. But I’m thinking that the “pouches” would be a theory I would join in on. They do mention their gonos (to borrow a word from Fennell) and that would be the only thing I could think of.

  3. This sounds like a really good read Jackie so thanks for sharing about it. I’ve never read anything with merpeople so it sounds like a unique paranormal read :)

Comments are closed.