The Mermaid of Penperro

On October 28, 2010, in Historical, by lisa

The Mermaid of Penperro

In the 19th century village of Penperro, Cornwall, life is looking dim for the villagers who rely on smuggling more than fishing for their daily bread. The Preventive Water Guard has come to town, and stationed a boat in their very own harbor.

Tom Trewella is not one to be defeated by a little thing like a boatload of the king’s men. When a singer on the run takes refuge in a cottage nearby, he devises a plan to distract the tax men from their duties: Penperro will have a mermaid.

Konstanze will do anything to stay hidden in the wilds of Cornwall. If that means donning a fish tale and splashing about while singing operatic arias, she’ll do it. For the proper fee, of course.

What neither of them expect, though, is the danger that can come when a man outside the law lands a mermaid who is anything but a cold fish.


Originally published in 2001, by Dorchester Publishing.

Available in both print (at Amazon) and in E for all e-readers.


The Mermaid of Penperro by Lisa Cach

The original, 2001 cover to “The Mermaid of Penperro”

Reviews :: The Mermaid of Penperro

“The Mermaid of Penperro” is a fun romance, the perfect cure for when you have had a bad day. Konstanze and Tom have a wonderful, bantering relationship, with plenty of sexual tension to boot. Konstanze is like a bird that has just left the nest, testing her wings, poised for flight, and discovering her true self in her newfound freedom. Tom is an intelligent man, with a ready charm and mischievous streak. They make a good couple, and their time together had me smiling on more than one occasion.

Wendy Crutcher

The Romance Reader


This one is a keeper! I loved it so much that I refuse to even loan it out, for fear of losing it! …Awesome story that I highly recommend!

Detra Fitch

Huntress Book Reviews


A fun read! Highly recommended

THE MERMAID OF PENPERRO is a delightful romance as exhibiting the flights of imagination, which mark Lisa Cach’s style. The amusing scam, the repulsive Bugg, and the budding romance combine in a light-hearted read certain to entertain the romance lover lookng for an original tale with a twist.

Cindy Penn



THE MERMAID OF PENPERRO is a fun story with a lot of humor – and a dash of whimsy thrown in for good measure.

…I hesitate to reveal details about Konstanze’s mermaid persona, because those funny details add to the charm of the book and are much better encountered as surprises. Suffice it to say that this is a book with a lot of laughs, including a surprising one at the beginning, when Konstanze is still with her loathsome husband. There is a truly delightful scene later than involves Tom’s vulnerability, but this too is much more fun for a reader to discover on her own.

This book has something of a bawdy side as well. Although there really is only one love scene, there is a lot of sexual tension between the main characters. Konstanze is relatively ignorant about sexual matters, and her curiosity is both funny and earthy at times.

Both main characters are interesting, and those who are tired of romances featuring the nobility will find this a nice change of pace.

Blythe Barnhill

All About Romance


“Ms. Cach makes this a wonderful and engaging tale with unique twists that offer happy surprises. The wild Cornish coast and its one of a kind folk come to distinct life under the author’s pen, and her ability to create toe-curling sexual tension make for a must-stay-up-and-read-till-dawn story.”

Romantic Times


“I had a lot of fun reading THE MERMAID OF PENPERRO since the author has such a great sense of humor…. It’s a wild tangle of love that sometimes has you laughing out loud. You wonder how it will all come out! THE MERMAID OF PENPERRO is a very enjoyable read! Tom and Konstanze are an adorable couple who can’t resist the power of love, and it gets them into a lot of trouble too. <Grin>

Lisa Cach really brightens the romance genre with her mermaid story.  Plenty of good romance with some hearty laughs. Loved it!”

Suzanne Coleburn

The Belles and Beaux of Romance


“The Mermaid of Penperro” is not the typical regency romance as it reads as if PT Barnum decided to write a novel using Lisa Cach’s cache of talent. The storyline is superb, amusing, and quite entertaining as Tom, Konstanze, and the townsfolk try to pull off a scam. Anyone who relishes something unique and different in their reading material will find this historical a top choice.

Harriet Klausner


Background Notes with Photos :: The Mermaid of Penperro

The fictional village of Penperro is based on Polperro, Cornwall, a small fishing village on the south coast of England. The place is a tourist haven nowadays, but once upon a time was famous for its smuggling. The hero of the story is loosely based on Zephaniah Job, who served as a sort of manager and banker for the smugglers, as well as owning stakes in several privateers. He died a bachelor at the age of 75, a fate which I could not have befall my hero, Tom Trewella.

The idea for the “mermaid” came from a Cornish legend about the mermaid of Zennor, a village near the very tip of Cornwall. One version of the story goes that the mermaid met the vicar on the beach, and was invited to Sunday services. She came, dressed as a noblewoman, her gown damp with sea water. In the choir was a youth named Matthew, who sang so beautifully the mermaid fell in love. Over time he came to love her as well, until finally she persuaded him to come with her to the sea, where they disappeared under the waves. Of course, on moonlit nights, one can still sometimes hear them singing.

The harbor of Polperro, Cornwall, where Foweather and his crew would have lived on their hulk. [insert photo]

The valley of braken ferns, where Konstanze hides.

Hanging out with the Pirates of Penzance. Err… actually, they were Russian sailors, on a replica of an 18th century ship that they were sailing on a long journey. Although he wouldn’t let me take his picture, there was another sailor present — a Welshman — who served as the physical inspiration for Tom Trewella, the hero of “The Mermaid of Penperro.”

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