Sharing a Pond
Author: Alex Whitehall
Title: Sharing a Pond
Series: Part of LT3's Intertwined Collection
Rating: Four Petals
On the Author's Website:
Brent shows up on Corey and Shane's doorstep in the dead of winter needing a place to stay—and hopeful his mates will provide it, and not mind he's a frog shifter.
Being a shifter is nothing new to Corey and Shane, but neither is being mates. They've been together since before they first met Brent ten years ago—back when Brent was Brenda. Bringing a third into their relationship is more than a little complicated, but they're willing to try.
But change is always easier said than done, and Brent wonders if he ever really stood a chance at being happy with the men he has always loved and admired.
I received this book as an ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This book wasn't at all what I expected. For some reason I thought it would be sweet and fluffy, and while there were portions of the romance that were definitely heartwarming, this story had so much more depth to it. I enjoyed reading it immensely because of that.
Brent is on the run from an abusive boyfriend and his only hope is to find his true mates. He doesn't expect that they'll love him back, but he feels safe with them. So safe, in fact, that their relationship jumps from being mostly strangers who haven't spoken in ten years, to being deeply in love after just a short conversation. It's fast, but it's well explained thanks to their being mates. It doesn't feel fake despite the insta-love. They do spend the rest of the book learning how to work out the inevitable kinks of a threesome relationship, which helps to alleviate much of my initial concern about how quickly their romantic relationship progressed.
One of my favorite scenes in the book was when Brent goes swimming as a frog. The way Whitehall described Brent shifting from human to frog and how his skin breathed was very well done. It showed just how much research went in to the characterizations in the book and helped elevate the story to four petals.
The book was also technically a transgender story, which was a very interesting addition, however I don't feel it was explained properly. Brent was born as Brenda to a family of wolf shifters. When she first changed shape--the exact timing of which is never given--for some unknown reason she turned into a male frog. Those are the only details provided, which was a shame given how fascinated I still am with the idea.
The only other thing that disappointed me was the fact that I kept waiting for something to happen. Brent ran away from a crazy boyfriend and, poof, problem solved. One of the side characters says something disparaging that causes a bit of drama, but that character is never handled. Brent sends an email to an old teacher, but nothing from his past comes back to haunt him. Admittedly, this story was supposed to be solely about the threesome relationship and their growing love. However, not having any additional plot to help carry the story left me with a slight feeling of boredom. I couldn't help wanting more from what was otherwise a very well written book.
I do recommend this book. It was a good read about a poly relationship. The romance did move too quickly, but I liked that after the immediate sex the characters worked to create a relationship based on communication and mutual understanding as well as sex. There were a number of things that needed to be explained better, including the part about Brent being transgender, and the book was missing a secondary plot line to help keep it from being monotonous, but overall it was good.
Maggie reviews paranormal and fantasy novels and novellas. She also interviews authors and hosts giveaways.