Carrie Talick's exciting first novel, Beware the Mermaids, opens with a scene that packs a wallop. Nancy Hadley, a native Californian who came from modest beginnings to become a wealthy housewife, lives in Hermosa Beach. Nancy--a lifelong sailor, thanks to a doting Finnish grandfather who instilled in her an instinct and love for the sea--cheerfully escorts a charity league on a tour of the Bucephalus, a 38-foot racing yacht owned by Nancy and her husband, Roger. As the group boards the well-appointed sailing vessel, Nancy catches scheming, philandering Roger in a compromising position with none other than Nancy's cunning, devious nemesis, a woman who hailed from the East Coast and clawed her way into "the upper echelons of society."
What follows is the start of an acrimonious divorce between Nancy and Roger. The Bucephalus, which both refuse to relinquish, becomes the obstacle in finalizing the legalities of their split. Locked in a grueling tug-of-war, determined Nancy gears up for a fight. She moves out of their lavish home, buys a boat of her own to live on and rallies the support of her tight-knit circle of girlfriends, intent on teaching them how to sail. When Nancy suggests that she and Roger, via competing vessels and crews, both enter the Border Dash Race, which sails from Newport Harbor to Ensenada, Mexico--winner take all--the stage is set for high-stakes fun and drama.
Fans of women's fiction will eagerly climb aboard Talik's smart, sassy, suspenseful story that sails through choppy waters and shifting tides of betrayal, friendship and new romance. --Kathleen Gerard, blogger at Reading Between the Lines