Reid, an American shark research scientist, is in Perth, Australia working to develop a mobile app that may revolutionize shark safety practices. But even the company of his boyfriend, Graham, isn't enough to stave off homesickness as Christmas approaches, and a missing shark and Graham's struggling business seem set to ruin the holiday for good.
I’m not normally a big fan of short stories, mainly because I feel like they don’t answer all my questions about the story or characters. I’m also not the biggest fan of reading books where you get thrown in to the life of an established couple, usually for the exact same reasons as why I’m not a big fan of short stories. This book, however, is an exception. The established couple route works in this story, as we get enough information about the characters to understand why they are together, how their relationship works, etc. Plus, we do get a glimpse into how they met, which also told me a lot about the characters. Due to the way the characters are portrayed, I didn’t feel cheated by not getting the detailed first year of their relationship. And the fact that the author managed to do this so effectively in such a short story? Brilliant.
As for the characters, I love Reid. As a native Floridian who’s not a big beach fan and someone who always spends Christmas with my family, I could definitely relate. Graham was okay for me, but Reid was my number one, especially with what he pulled on Christmas Day.
This story also had a lot going on…romance, life changes, sharks, and action. And yet it all worked together. I can definitely tell that the author did her research, not only on sharks but on Christmas in Australia as well. The information on the sharks really fit into her story and I had a blast reading all about Australian Christmas, something I’d wondered about in the past but never really learned a lot about. All I have to say is that if you haven’t heard the song Six White Boomers, go look it up right now. Listening to that song while reading was just great.
I will admit though, while I enjoyed most of the book, the missing shark aspect didn’t really work for me. It came off as a bit odd, and didn’t seem to fit as well as Graham’s troubles or Reid’s homesickness. At first Reid was super worried, then we got an odd time skip and didn’t really hear about the issue again until the end of the story when everything worked out. So I was left wondering why this was important to the story. Other than that though, this was a fun, short read, and makes a perfect Christmas in July (or December) read.
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A.V. Sanders loves and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. She shares her home with her husband, two cats, and tropical aquarium fish. She is an avid hoarder of Halloween decorations and inconsequential information. When writing science fiction, mystery, horror and romance with LGBTQ+ main characters, she can be found staying up all hours of the night listening to endless sets of EDM music. She is an advocate of love, art, animals, and frivolous acts of beauty. She also has a growing suspicion that not causing harm to one another is what matters in the end.