In Darkness: The Shark by L. Diane Wolfe

In Darkness: The Shark by L. Diane Wolfe
In Darkness series
Publisher: Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C.
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Paranormal
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Souls shrouded in darkness…

Focused on her studies and duties at the aquarium, Jewels prefers her solitary life. Burned many times and short on trust, she has more in common with her aquatic friends than the people around her. But she never imagined coming face to face with a shark named Clarence…a shark who talks!

As their friendship grows, Jewels must overcome her deep set mistrust. There are dangers, both in the Australian ocean and on dry land. Can Jewels depend on the great white or will his animal nature betray her?

This was a surprising read. I didn’t know what to expect but having a shark for a friend certainly got my attention. The length might be a novella, but it packs a powerful punch when it comes to the storytelling.

I’ll be truthful, there was a moment during the net scene where I thought all my worst tropes and cliches were about to come true and I was stressed and sad. The story was so different and interesting, cute and fun and I really didn’t want it to go in that direction. Well, it sort of did yet didn’t. It followed the science to some degree, and yes, human nature did get in the way as I knew it would. However, compassionate minds prevailed, and the sought-for solution was achieved, yet the consequences couldn’t be prevented. All that to say, my emotions were engaged, I cared and totally was into the groove of the whole story in all its ups and downs.

Now, here is the weird part. It really is a romance story but it’s highly unconventional. It’s sweet and endearing and, I realized when I was almost done with the book, that love really was growing between Clarence and Jewels. It happened through trust and communication. When those two things are all you have, it builds a foundation not distracted by physical attraction, social conventions and shallow presentation. It’s pure and honest. And that’s what the crux of the plot conflict was. Jewels has been hurt so much in her young life that she doesn’t trust anyone – anyone human that is. Clarence has to earn her trust. I mean, he IS a great white shark, and we all know about the movie JAWS and how that story affected people across the world – fear and terror. Now do you see why I found the premise of this book so incredibly fascinating? Add in that it’s a romance and my curiosity got the better of me. I had to find out how this would work. Enter the paranormal aspect. It arrives in a gentle manner. There’s no explanation of how things came to be, they just are. It’s up to a reader to decide what power might have been responsible for it but the end result is just beautiful. It’s happy and it made me happy.

The Shark is unusual fun, a unique adventure of friendship, and proof that love can grow when you have the basics – trust, communication, the ability to learn and have fun, and the willingness to go out on a limb for the one you love. I definitely recommend this story.

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