Sunday, 2 December 2012

Book Review: Shark Bait by Daisy Harris

Book Review: Shark Bait by Daisy Harris (Ocean Shifters volume 3)

The heroine here is were-sea dragon princess Sophia Aleahar - she's the girl Kai Nasu jilts for mermaid Alara in the previous book Mere Passion.

After 17 mating refusals Sophia is getting desperate. She's about to go into heat and needs to find a mate before then so she's got some choice in the matter. She sets out to find Kai and beg him to reconsider cancelling their engagement (totally unaware he's fallen for Alara). On the way she gets kidnapped by were-sharks.

In the ship's hold she meets another prisoner, the captain's son Raider ShaCrayz - he's held in contempt by the rest of the were-sharks because he is half mere (mermaid) - this is unusual: usually either dragon or shark genes are dominant when mating with mere - getting an actual hybrid is very rare. Raider is the pirate crew's favourite whipping boy when they don't have anyone better to pick on such as Sophia.

The pirates decide to hold Sophia for ransom. Even so a couple of the sharks decide to rape her. Raider saves her by pretending to do the deed himself which instead gets them both rather hot under the collar. Kai arrives to the rescue at this point and Sophia sees his relationship with Alara and realises she has no chance to make him change his mind.

She comes up with a daring plan. She begs Raider to kidnap her and offers him full use of her body until another single dragon comes along and rescues her who will want to mate with her. Raider agrees, but soon finds himself in love with his dragon princess and unwilling to give her up.

The sub plot revolves around Dendric research - the humans who have been kidnapping mere and sharks for scientific research. They are VERY interested in Raider and a dragon in heat just adds to the excitement. As well as our protagonists there's a hunky merman called Nereus in captivity who falls in love with the new research scientist David Webber. Their romance is hindered by the fact that David refuses to give up his research.

The characters are really strong in this one. Loved both the heroes - Raider the hybrid were-shark was both hunky and vulnerable and I liked Nereus too. Sophia with her innate honesty was a decent enough heroine. I particularly liked the mythology/creatures used - I mean off the top of your head can you name me another were-shark hero?  I love Daisy Harris' universe peopled with mermaids, gay mermen, piratical were-sharks and aristocratic were sea dragons its unusual and exciting.

The story was also pretty decent. What I did find odd was the mix of m/f and m/m romance in the same book - in her previous books the two spheres are separate: urban mermen = m/m, ocean shifters = m/f - this might put some readers off. Events happened much slower in this book and there was time for the romance to build which was great.

Criticisms: The writing - lots of mistakes (some really obvious like using mermaid instead of merman and mixing up tenses) also felt all the modernism - email addresses, tweets etc were a bit self indulgent - its fine to use them but we don't need all the addresses and gobbledygook..

Sex scenes weren't as hot as in previous books, but because I really liked the characters I didn't really care that much about that aspect. It was rather refreshing to get more emotional depth. Mer fan wise there's nothing out of the ordinary - our characters all shift to human. Indeed there's very little of the shark side of Raider to be seen.

To conclude, Shark Bait doesn't disappoint. Its a pretty decent erotic romance featuring were-sharks, although there isn't much shark or shifting action going on. A nice lite read that falls perfectly into the realm of guilty pleasure.


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