December 26, 2022

REVIEW The Captive Merman's Promise (Peculiar Tastes #5) by Zoey Castile

The Captive Merman's Promise (Peculiar Tastes #5) 
by Zoey Castile 
Rating: 2.5 Stars
Release Date: October 4, 2022
Format: eBook (Kickstarter)
Publisher: Bonkers Romance

The Captive Merman’s Promise by Zoey Castile (the pen name Zoraida Cordova uses when writing romance) is a unique novella-length tale with a strong premise. A sort of loose reimagining of The Little Mermaid, Amada is a young bruja looking to break a curse that has plagued her family for generations. When she arrives at the Shadow Market and seeks out the Grand Master of the Abyss, she’s surprised to find merman warrior Ronan locked in a tank. Their chemistry is instantaneous, but Ronan’s existing bargain with the Grand Master (and Amada’s pending one) become a barrier to their happily ever after. 

Unlike some of the other couples in the Peculiar Tastes series, I struggled to become invested in Amada and Ronan’s story. Sure, it’s a classic taste of insta-love and steamy sex scenes. However, I didn’t really get enough background for either of them to care about whether or not they got a happily-ever-after ending. A full-length story (instead of a novella-length book) would have been better in this case, as it would have allowed time to go into the history of the curse as well as develop their relationships more. I wanted to learn more about the Grand Master! I wanted to learn more about Ronan’s background, and Amada’s family. Sadly, there wasn’t enough time to do everything in the pages provided and the story as a whole suffered as a result. 

The highlight of the book was the dynamic of Amada and Ronan’s relationship. Both of them are lost and in bad situations when they run into each other, and they’ve both given up on the ability to find love at this point. It was nice to see characters that don’t start out as confident and to see a relationship where it doesn’t involve one party saving the other. Despite this being a monster romance of sorts, I also appreciated how their intimacy didn’t rely on rutting or animalistic behavior you see in other similar books. It was more of a gentle relationship, and it fits their characters and what we know of their backstories well. 

Overall, The Captive Merman’s Promise was another short enjoyable monster romance book. It wasn’t quite long enough to be fully satisfying, but it does the job and it's an easy book to knock out in an afternoon. I still have two more books to go in the Shadow Market/Peculiar Tastes series, so I’m excited to read some other new to me authors. If you’re looking for a quick and easy mermaid monster romance, this one's for you. However, if you’re looking for a more in-depth tale (complete with lots of worldbuilding and character development), I’d suggest looking at the other books from this Kickstarter (especially The Demon’s Bargain and The Death God’s Sacrifice). 

About the Book
A merman meets the bruja who will change his life...

The women in the Palacios family are cursed to always lose their love. Until one day, Amada Palacios uses all her magic to transfer the curse into her own body. Now, Amada wanders the world alone, never getting too close or too intimate with anyone who might have the misfortune to love her. But when the curse begins to ache in ways it never did before, she's desperate to end her agony. Amada travels to Scotland in search of the Grand Master of the Abyss who is said to have a cure for any curse…for a price.

Rónán is a merman warrior of a dead kingdom. For decades he’s been held captive by the Grand Master—Ronan is the main attraction in the Grand Master’s oddities exhibit. Every night the captive merman weeps tears of pearl and sings the call of the deep. Every night he holds on to a sliver of hope that one day his captivity will end.

As Amada and Rónán’s fates intertwine in the nights surrounding Samhain, their monsoon romance unravels a secret that will bind them together forever, or forsake them into the endless abyss.

About the Author

Zoey Castile was born in Ecuador and raised in Queens, New York. She started writing in her teens and pursued that love in her studies at Hunter College and the University of Montana. For nearly a decade, she worked as a bartender, hostess, and manager in New York City's nightlife. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @ZoeyCastile. You can also email her at

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