Sunday, April 28, 2024

Book Review: Oceans of Mercy

Title: Oceans of Mercy 

Author: Malory Ford

Date: 2022

Publisher: Malory Ford

Quote: “We had a deal, Knox. You don’t comment on my dating life, and I won’t comment on yours.”

This is another one of those deplorable e-books that are sent out free containing only a chapter, or chapters, enough to meet Amazon's minimum word count, with the hope that you'll pay for the complete book. Bah humbug. It's a sweet romance. Allie the Shark Girl and Knox the tour boat captain are old friends who have never liked each other's admirers. Physical attraction is partly a matter of pheromones that signal genetic compatibility between fertile individuals, or mutual sterility between sterile ones, which is why it fluctuates as hormones cycle. Sometimes cross-gender friendship between teenagers "blossoms into love," sometimes it blossoms into real friendship for life, and sometimes it just dies. Because this is a Sweet Christian Romance we know that Knox and Allie are going to feel attracted to each other at last, in the course of the story, and they will at least mention being Christians, too. Neither of those things happens in the sample chapter I received, but everyone knows they will happen. There is no suspense.

Allie dives deep in the relatively shallow water near the beach and finds a souvenir of her brother's failed romance. Suspense? None. The story wouldn't be sweet if that couple didn't get a happily-ever-after ending too, though their wedding might be saved for a sequel.

No matter how much money I had, I wouldn't buy a book that was marketed this way. Amazon blocks ratings from people who received free books, just to protect authors who try this marketing gimmick, but let's just say those authors aren't getting any star points anywhere else. If you don't send the entire book, you don't get stars.

Some people may still want to read a Christian romance about a Shark Girl. Allie really does study sharks as a job. Recalling a news story to which this web site linked, many years ago, she's even named a shark after her mother, who didn't like the idea at first but has accepted it now. Fun facts about sharks would definitely distinguish this book from other Sweet Christian Romances in your collection, and might compensate for misguided marketing in some readers' opinions. Whether there's an afterword identifying sources of the fun facts, at the end of the complete book, I unfortunately can't say.

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