Most kids had imaginary friends, but most weren’t like Megan’s friend Niall. There were rules: only at night and only by the sea. She could’ve sworn he was real, but when someone vanishes without a trace, what else can you believe?
All that was seven years ago, buried in the past until Niall shows up in town with his tight swimmer’s body and easy smile. For Megan, just the sight of him is enough to tear open a scar that never fully healed. However, their reunion only elicits more questions. Niall’s keeping secrets, unbelievable ones, and as Megan delves into the supernatural depths of who he really is, she’s sure he’ll vanish again.
Megan’s not stupid—she knows how bad it’ll hurt if she gets involved. The first time Niall disappeared, she never thought she’d recover. But the moment they lock eyes, it’s too late—because Megan will go to any length to see that boy smile.
RATING: 4 Stars
Megan has been struggling for years to recover from losing Niall, a very close friend who just disappeared, leaving no sign that he even existed; her therapists worked hard to persuade her that he’d been an imaginary friend. As she works to support herself as a waitress, living alone in her coastal home town, the loss still haunts her, even if it is buried deep inside. Until the night she meets Mason, an attractive man who becomes a waiter in the same diner Megan works in, and the wound returns to the surface in a vivid flash.
Mason, you see, is Niall. Megan is sure of it, but all his return does is drown her in questions, because he’s obviously hiding a lot of secrets. Megan still can’t resist him, though, and eventually they come together again, Mason admits that he’s Niall. He explains his mysterious disappearance, and his supernatural existence, after which the couple works together to overcome the enemy who ripped them apart all those years ago.
‘By the Sea’ is a somewhat predictable paranormal romance; it isn’t hard to figure out what Niall’s biggest secret is, but this certainly doesn’t ruin the story. Megan is a lovely character who grabs the reader’s sympathy from the very beginning, and you want to see how she learns his secrets. Niall is so nice; you really want things to work out for the couple. McIntyre also uses several lesser-known legends to boost the paranormal elements. The end result is a relaxing, enticing read, one of those stories that puts up a temporary wall between the reader and the problems of real life. I rate ‘By the Sea’ worth 4 stars.
I am grateful for the free reviewer’s copy I was given.
Reviewed by: Roberta