Don’t Speak is a beautiful contemporary take on the beloved classic, The Little Mermaid.  Katy Regnery has taken this tale and given it new life with a captivating story and characters that swept me off my feet from beginning to end.

Laire Cornish is a fisherman’s daughter from Corey Island, a small island off the coast of North Carolina.  Life on the island was like stepping back in time.  The majority of the population had been there for generations.  They are hard-working people with old fashioned ideals.  They graduated high school, got married, had a family, and lived their lives as their family members before them.  There was no need or desire to head to the mainland to pursue any other kind of life.  They were islanders - that was enough.  But Laire had bigger dreams and aspirations than what the confines of that small island offered.  She had dreams of a college education, designer fashion houses, and the bright lights of New York City.

Erik Rexford is the son of the governor of North Carolina.  His family is from the cultured upper crust of society.  He was studying toward his university degree, trying to live up the expectations that came along with being a Rexford.  His lifestyle couldn’t have been more different from the quaint life that Laire lived, but when he spotted her making a delivery to his family’s posh summer home, he was more than a little intrigued by the charming, innocent young woman in his midst.

This was the beginning of a budding romance between Laire and Erik.  They longed to spend any available time together, to get to know each other better, to bask in the excitement of their attraction and beginnings of young love.  But their relationship wasn’t without its share of complications.  Laire’s father would never approve of Erik, and Erik’s family would never approve of Erik having anything more than a meaningless fling with an island girl who wasn’t from his background.  But their attempts at keeping their relationship a secret also contributed to its demise.  Their love story was cut short before it ever really had time to blossom.

What I really enjoyed was that the relationship between Laire and Erik was genuine.  He wasn’t just an entitled rich boy who wanted to take advantage of a naïve young woman.  He cared for her.  He was falling for her just like she was falling for him.  Katy Regnery did an incredible job of creating these characters whose feelings just jumped off the pages of the book and right into my heart.

Don’t Speak is an emotional story, a forbidden romance, and a second chance at love between two characters who readers will be rooting for right from the first page.  It’s a heartbreaking and hopeful story about the profound nature of true love.  It is a well-rounded story that had all of the elements that would make any adult believe in fairy tales and happily ever afters.

*4.5 Stars

Don't Speak
(a modern fairytale)
By Katy Regnery

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