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    Too much story, too few pages

    The ideas behind Dark Water intrigued me. I enjoy shifter romances and found the idea of a kelpie hero and world very different. Unfortunately there were too many elements in this short story that left me wanting. I’m always hesitant about the gay-for-you trope and here it didn’t work for me up until the end. The move from friends to lovers felt like a convenient plot point rather than fueled by an undeniable connection and chemistry. While there’s an attraction that both heroes acknowledge, I didn’t really feel it was enough to motivate a relationship for much of the book and it ended up feeling forced. Due to the story’s brevity and the amount of conflict and character development the author had to cover, the romance between Rez and Benjamin didn’t have sufficient time to build. I felt like the conflict regarding the solstice sacrifice was similarly rushed. There were a lot of emotions and details to work through between the characters coming together and trying to resolve the issues surrounding their relationship, the sacrifice, and the betrayal of their unit. The resolutions became a bit too convenient or not thoroughly explained, and it left me feeling disinterested in the characters and their story. As I understand it, this is Miss White’s debut work, and the writing itself wasn’t bad. The rhythm was a little erratic but I’m uncertain if that’s the author’s style or a result of her needing to cover a lot of ground in a relatively brief period. I’m on the fence as to whether I’d read another title by her in the future, but the plot, relationship, and characters all had a lot of promise and were unique. While Dark Water suffered from incomplete or hurried story and character development, it wasn’t lacking in creativity and I’d be interested to see how those ideas shine within a full length novel or a less complex novella. *Reviewed for Alpha Book Club*
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    I liked this story a lot.

    I read this story as part of the Primal Need anthology and I loved it; it was definitely the best story of the three. I've never read a shifter story about Kelpies before and it was really interesting. It was also heartbreaking in places and very HOT. I'm a sucker for stories about veterans and this one tore me up in all the best ways. I found the writing compelling and I didn't put it down until I finished the whole story. I think it takes an extremely talented writer to construct a story with as much depth to it as this one has in only 29,00 words. I will be looking for more books by this new author. A review copy was provided by the publisher via NetGalley but this did not influence my opinion or rating of the book.
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