Sleeping With The Fishes by MaryJanice Davidson
A FISH OUT OF WATER
Fred is a mermaid, But stop right there. Whatever image you're thinking of right now, forget it. Fred is not blonde. She's not buxom. And she's definitely not perky. In fact, Fred can be downright cranky. And it doesn't help matters that her hair is ocean-colored.
Being a mermaid does help Fred when she works at the New England Aquarium. But, needless to say, it's there that she gets involved in something fishy. Weird levels of toxins have been found in the local water. A gorgeous marine biologist wants her help investigating. So does her mer-person ruler, the High Prince of the Black Sea. You think it would be easy for a mermaid to get to the bottom of things. Think again...
As far as this BCC goes, I can't really say too much, because there really isn't much there, is there? And that isn't actually a bad thing. It gives an idea of who the heroine is, and a rundown of her obstacle. All-in-all, if more pubs went with the idea of less is more, well, I'd be without fodder, but fewer books would get put back on shelves because of the nonsense written there.
Dr. Fredrika Bimm is a hybrid mermaid with attitude. Just like the BCC says, if when you hear "mermaid" you think Ariel , with Fred, you have another think coming. In true Davidson style, Fred is a no-nonsense female, who shoots it straight and just a bit harsh, loves her friends, but tends to focus more on herself and her own problems. And when Dr. Thomas Pearson, hunky water fellow and romance novelist, shows up at the NEA to investigate the source of toxins in the harbor, Fred's problems get even bigger than walking in on her parents getting down and dirty and the fish in her care being on a hunger strike because she won't play Pet Shop Boys for them.
Soon after Dr. Thomas arrives and announces the toxins, Prince Artur of the Black Sea also arrives to do a bit of investigating himself. Since Fred is a mermaid, he informs her that she is his subject and will help him solve the problem. Did I mention the prince is also very hunky? And did I mention that both he and Pearson have a thing for Fred? Oh yeah, Fred's life is about to get very interesting.
When I sat down to do this review, I was really very torn. On one hand, MJD is a must buy for me, and always will be, and when I review one of my must buy's I generally do the whole Fan Girl Squee Fest thing. On the other hand, Fishes just isn't FGSF worthy. I did like the book, but to be honest it's probably because I like Davidson and her humor.
Since we ended up with a blizzard on release date, I was unable to get out of town to buy it right away so I had a chance to read a few reviews. Many of those reviews were not happy ones. There were a lot of complaints about the length and the price of the paperback. I'm not gonna complain about either because I did like the book, and I simply don't mind paying the cash for a book that was worth my time to read. Especially from one of my favorite authors.
The book is short. A mere 268 pages and double spaced at that, and Davidson address just that by saying "Well, I can write fast or I can write long, but I can't do both." in a letter to her readers at the end of the book (true she's addressing the Undead books, but still). Even with the short length, Fishes has all of the elements that make me love Davidson. Like I said, her brash females are always a plus, and there is always a best friend that would do anything for them. A real sense of community about her books, and Fishes had all of that. There was a nice Romance sub-plot, actually two, and some very funny pages with a lovable cast of characters. I also liked the pollution problem they were investigating. Whether intentional or not, Davidson made some very good points about the way we treat our environment, hint-we don't treat it well. And I liked that even while making it funny to read, it brought some awareness to this reader.
Where Fishes was a disappointment for me actually had to do with those two nice Romantic subplots. This is supposed to be the first book in a series, and the way the book ended all nice and tidy didn't really leave room, that I could see, for the Pearson vs Artur triangle to continue, and neither man was chosen at the end. The book is classified as EROTICA, and there was only one scene in which sex actually took place. And guess what? It wasn't even Fred getting some. Now, I didn't buy this book for the erotica label, but I happen to know from reading her other books, that Davidson is a master at really HOT sex scenes. But the one scene we did get, was stilted and since the characters involved in the actual act weren't a major focus of the story, it just felt off. Nothing steamy at all, and that's probably because I just didn't feel invested in the two involved in the act.
If you, like me, are a HUGE Davidson fan, then you'll enjoy this book. BUT, if you are wanting to get some one hooked on Davidson and her style, this isn't the book to give them. I have hopes that the next installment will get better, and feel more natural, we'll just have to wait and see.