by Jules Jones, paranormal (2007)
Loose Id, $7.99, ISBN 978-1-59632-383-4
In Dolphin Dreams, our hero Martin is happily playing with boats in a charming coastal corner of Dorset while housesitting for his friend Simon when he finds the perfect remedy for heartbreak caused by a two-timing married ex-boyfriend - not just one but two dolphins. No, not in a Free Willy way - these dolphins are shapeshifting creatures looking for a plaything and Martin is just the person they are looking for.
First, there's the orca whale, then there's that shark, and now I have dolphins. I like dolphins. I think they are cute. But dolphins as sexual creatures? I don't know what to say other than reading books like this is certainly forcing me to expand my horizons a little. At any rate, I can see why dolphins make sense in a gay paranormal romance since they are supposed to be bisexual creatures where the males often bond in pairs or threes as they do all kinds of things together. But I have always viewed dolphins in a Disney cartoon way so I can't help feeling a little guilty as I read this story. It's like stumbling upon Donald Duck shagging Woody Woodpecker while Woody's going "Ha-ha ha-ha-ha!" in a long-lost cartoon. The dolphins' names are George and Patrick. Such nice wholesome names for Disney movie characters, which only makes me wish that their names are something more outlandish like Du'oc Ogga-Ogga and Tructu'on Yaggayagga so that I can stop feeling like I've stumbled upon an adult parody of a Disney movie. I tell you, I don't know how I should react when Martin educate the dolphins on safe sex but laughing out loud probably isn't the appropriate reaction.
I hope I haven't given anyone the impression that Dolphin Dreams is a bad book, because it isn't. It's just that when it comes to premises like dolphins (and sharks and Orca whales and more), the author runs a risk of the book falling into the hands of a reader who find the premise more "guffaw, guffaw, guffaw" than "oh my oh, this is so hot" and I'm afraid I'm one of those readers who have a good laugh over some of the more, er, outrageous "interesting" scenes in this book.
Nonetheless, even if I don't find this book sexy, I find the story a most readable and interesting one. Martin and the dolphins are likable fellows if a little too similar to the other heroes of this author that I've come across in terms of voice and personality. The premise of Martin being isolated to bond with these dolphins has a nice surreal escapist feel to it which appeals to that part of me that like tales such as Swiss Family Robinson and Robinson Crusoe. I may not appreciate the sexy parts of this grand escapist adventure the way these parts are meant to be appreciated, I suppose, but I like the rest of it, even those expositions on dolphin behavior that other readers may consider too much information.
If you want something a little unusual, and I'm not just talking about horny gay dolphins, Dolphin Dreams may be the one for you. Just pop in All Saints' Pure Shores in the background and you're all set. Speaking for myself, this is an interesting story that manages to capture a sense of an outlandish exotic escapade very nicely. I don't find it particularly sexy but at the end of the day, it is a very readable, interesting, and most memorable tale.
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