Reviewed by Sarina
TITLE: Backstroking with a Tiger Shark
SERIES: Beneath Aquatica’s Waves #1
AUTHOR: Charlie Richards
PUBLISHER: eXtasy Books
LENGTH: 104 pages
RELEASE DATE: July 14, 2017
Tortelion, Tort to his friends, is a tiger shark shifter. He spends his workdays awing human audiences with a few aquatic parlor tricks. To him, it’s a pretty good gig. Plus, the people who come to World of Aquatica learn about his kind…well, tiger sharks of the non-shifter variety, anyway. A day that starts the same as any other suddenly takes a turn for the better when a mishap sends two humans tumbling into his tank. Blood in the water tells Tort that one of them is his mate. Joining those taken to the doc’s office as a witness, Tort learns his mate is Kane Cornshun, a busy human graphic designer only visiting the area to see his sister and her kids for a few days. Tort has very little time to woo his unsuspecting mate. Can he convince Kane to give up his life and join him at Aquatica?
I’m always on the lookout for new shifter novels with, well, new shifters. Having only read one previous story that featured a shark shifter, I was looking forward to seeing what this author brought to the table, so to speak, and I have to say I really liked it! The World of Aquatica is an aquarium founded by and staffed by shifters and I have to say that I really liked this set up. There’s a lot of room for expansion with the world introduced in and around Aquatica’s walls and while you do meet several of the shifters involved in the staffing of the place, you aren’t told what kind of shifters the majority of them are so there’s room to be pleasantly surprised in following books; the variety of options the author has to play with gives me something to look forward to, as well.
The story starts off nicely and while it doesn’t take too long before Kane and Tort ‘meet’, I didn’t feel that this portion of the book was rushed at all. Things do move at a fairly quick pace but seeing as how Kane was only supposed to be on vacation for a few days, this was understandable and I didn’t mind it. Another nice point was that while feelings did develop at a faster pace between the main characters, it wasn’t insta-love which, while not really bad, wasn’t what I wanted to see here. The story overall does also feature some decent time skips but you don’t actually know how much time has passed until right before the end of the book; not everything was wrapped up with a neat little bow right away. This brings up my only real complaint about the book, however, in that Kane and Tort seemed to spend more time apart than together over the course of the book and while they were in touch with one another, I would’ve liked to have seen more face to face interaction.
Overall I really liked the story; the set up was interesting and I liked the characters I was introduced to. With the variety of unusual shifter I’m sure to see in the future, I look forward to returning to this series in the future when another book is released. If you enjoy shifter stories and are looking for something outside of the normal offerings, I recommend giving this one a look.