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.
Now this was different to anything I’ve read before involving mermaids. Most often, they are portrayed as sweet, ethereal and elegant, almost as if they had been swimming in an ocean of vanilla. This is definitely not the case with Rania Aqualina, the gloriously colourful heroine of Ros Baxter’s debut, Fish Out of Water. A nicotine-addicted, land-living police deputy with questionable taste in men, who just happens to be a mermaid. Gee, she was fun to read.
When it came to figuring out who Rania’s main love interest was, things got interesting. Is the hero the hot merman prince, Carragheen or is it Doug, the mysterious brownie-addicted ex? Rania gets pulled in all different directions by her emotions and libido, and I am really looking forward to seeing how this plays out over the next two books.
Even though the actual romance was not as clear (mainly because of the setup of the triangle), this didn’t concern me. I had such fun visiting the dry old town of Dirtwater & the lush underworld land of Aegira that it didn’t end being a dealbreaker for me. The secondary characters in both worlds added a nice amount of spice and colour to the story as well.
The cliffhanger ending made me instantly want to read the next one in the series so that I can find out what happens to the land of Aegira and to Rania herself. Cliffhangers often leave me a little cold, especially when i am not expecting them. However, Ms Baxter has done a great job of setting up the story so that it doesn’t feel as if you are all at sea afterwards (pardon that shocking pun!)
My rating: 4.5 out of 5
Release Date: 1 April 2013
Note: I was provided with an advanced reader copy of this book by Escape Publishing, an imprint of Harlequin Enterprises Australia via NetGalley in return for an honest review.