PJV Quickie: I confess, I haven’t read a lot of mermaid novels. When I heard Fish Out Of Water was similar to the Stephanie Plum series, however, I couldn’t wait to read it. It had everything I love in a novel: mystery, suspense, romance, and a witty heroine. A heroine who just so happens to be half-mermaid and loves her Glock more than she likes most people. Though this book may have bore some similarities to others that have come before, it was an exciting start to a bright new series.

 

Title: Fish Out Of Water
Author: Ros Baxter
Type: Fantasy, Mystery/Suspense
Published: April 1, 2013 by Escape Publishing
Source: Author
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Review:

Dirtwater’s straight-talking Deputy Sheriff Rania Aqualina has a lot on her plate: a nicotine addiction that’s a serious liability for a mermaid, a soldier-of-fortune ex who’s hooked on her Mum’s brownies, a gorgeous, naked stranger in her shower, and a mysterious dead blonde with a fish tattoo on Main Street.

Heading home to Aegira for a family wedding, Rania has a sinking feeling that’s got nothing to do with hydroporting seven miles under the sea and everything to do with the crazy situation. Now, if she can just steal a corpse, get a crazy Aegiran priest off her case, work out who the hell’s trying to kill her, and stop sleeping with the fishes, she might be able to unravel the mysteries. And maybe even save her own ass while she’s at it. (synopsis courtesy of GoodReads)

I found myself immediately connecting with the characters in Fish Out Of Water. Rania wasn’t some prissy woman afraid of getting her hands dirty; she was a tough cop who threw herself headfirst into difficult situations. I thought it was interesting because at one point toward the beginning she makes a point of saying she’s not brave. She says this because she finds herself scared a lot of the time. Rania proves that you can be scared and still be brave. She found herself in situations that put her life on the line, but she carried on because it was the right thing to do. She also had the burden of belonging to two different worlds, even though she hadn’t been to the underwater world of Aegira in over a decade. There was a lot about her that I admired. I appreciated the fact that all of the women in this novel were strong and independent, from her mom, Lunia, to Imd, Queen of Aegira. Then there are the men in Rania’s life. Her father is a human and just so happens to be a convict. He doesn’t show up much, but when he does it’s clear the love they have for each other. There’s tall, dark, and sexy Doug, with whom she had a fling at one time. He’s definitely a mystery, often going off to do things that are probably illegal. Last but not least is Carragheen, a merman who stumbles right into Rania’s lap (literally). He is also a bit of a mystery, but his secrets are slowly revealed as the story goes along. Even when she found herself doubting him or being suspicious, he had me completely smitten.

I fully expected to be immersed in a love triangle between Rania, Carragheen, and Doug, but it didn’t play out like I expected it to. My clear favorite right away was Carragheen. I think that might be due to the fact that we end up getting to know him a little better than we do Doug. The romance was very subdued, with the suspense/mystery being the focus. I think the author made a good choice with this, because there’s nothing worse than when characters are thrown together so quickly and the reader is just expected to believe that they are madly in love. Instead, this novel shows a possible blossoming relationship that I’m sure will be explored more in the future of this series.

There were some things that were mentioned early on in the story that confused the heck out of me, because there was literally no explanation given. Just a passing mention. I had faith that the author would explain them in due time, and I was right. It helped to increase the mystery for the reader, because these details were always in the back of my mind as I was reading, trying to figure everything out. There were one or two things that weren’t completely explained in this novel, but with the obvious intention for more books in this series I’m positive it will all be clarified in a later book.

Fish Out Of Water combined a couple of my favorite genres into one novel, which I thought was fantastic. It’s nice to get the best of all worlds! The author did a nice job of introducing us to these interesting characters and intense plot, and I’m excited to find out what happens next. Oh, and I would just like to take a second to say how much I love the cover. So gorgeous!

Recommendations:

This book has something for everyone: romance, suspense, mystery, humor. It definitely speaks to a wide audience.

Similar reads:

Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich

Lucky O’ Toole series by Deborah Coonts

Jamie