Rating: 3.5 stars
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Astika didn’t quite know what to expect when coming into a vampire bar where he was promised to find exactly what he needed … but it wasn’t this. A tiny, lovely handful of a beautiful young man with enormous teal eyes, a long mohawk of blueish hair, naked as the day is long, and wet. Soaking wet. And hung. And leering at Astika, as though the seven-foot tall Naga prince is some tasty delicacy. According to this sea-foam clad vision, Astika saved him and, according to the law, now owns him.
Astika doesn’t want a mate, especially not a male mate. He wants a mate who can bring him children, sons and daughters he can cherish and love to make up for his own horrible childhood, not a young man (albeit a gorgeous one) who — while he might be fun in bed — can’t give him babies. However, maybe the magic of the vampire bar knew what it was doing; it turns out Taza, his new husband, is a seahorse. And you know what they say about male seahorses …
This is a silly, fluffy — or should I say sea-foamy — romp of a book. It’s as light as air, as deep as a puddle, and a lightning-quick read. And it’s fun. Taza is all emotion and impulse, having run away from his palace because he didn’t want to be a baby factory for whichever powerful female seahorse managed to get him pregnant, especially since getting Taza’s consent isn’t high on their list of priorities. He has no idea how to live on dry land, no idea how to live on his own, and no idea what he’s doing. But it’s fine! He’s a prince and a powerful seahorse. He’ll … figure it out, or something. Luckily for him, Taza ends up with a seven-foot tall mate who happens to be good at knowing things, like what shoes are.
Astika grew up in a harem of politics, power plays, and the occasional bit of murder and maiming. He’s always been somewhat on the outside of things, with his father being human, and finds it easier to be a diplomat for his people out in the human world than stuck at home with uncles and aunts and politics. He’s a refined and elegant figure completely unused to being manhandled by a five=foot tall gremlin who is delighted at purchasing every shiny sex toy from the shop with giddy, gleeful plans of how to use them — on Astika.
It’s an opposites attract, grumpy meets sunshine romance with a lot of sex, a creative bit of world building, and frankly, it’s a bite-sized bit of fun. The pacing is lightning fast, but it manages to fit in a handful of sex scenes, characters who pay attention to their partners — though Taza is aggressive, often pushing past Astika’s boundaries without asking questions, he’s doing so out of ignorance, not cruelty — and while there are constant conversations of children, Taza makes it clear he’s not interested in having kids right now and Astika is fine with that.
If you like shifters, lots of sex, and don’t mind a bit of silliness, I hope you give this book a try!
I’ve never previously encountered a seahorse shifter. Interesting!