Absolute Perfection by Stephanie Burke
Reviewed for The Romance Reviews
There is one word that truly describes this book: unique. This will be something you have never read before.
By a twist of fate, royal naga Astika saves the little sea horse Taza when he is being followed by a crazy human who believes that eating a sea horse will give him immortality. And everyone knows that's just a fairy tale, right? Anyhow, by saving Taza's life, Astika is bound to him forever. They are destined to be mates for life. Astika's dreams of having a naga mate to lay a clutch for him to protect and look over are instantly destroyed. But even his divine parents cannot help him in this matter. He will have to make the best out of it.
I have never read any story about paranormal sea creatures before, and after Absolute Perfection, I can certainly say, I'm a fan. It's amazing to read a story that is so different from all the standard paranormal literature out there, to have a completely new lore to dig in and new creatures to get to know. The downside of this is that, because I had never heard about all these deities before, it was hard to keep track of them all. The author has included a summary of them, but I didn't really feel like looking them up while reading, because that would take the pace out of the story. It would be nice if there had been more time to get to know them. From what we can see in Absolute Perfection, those gods seem like an interesting bunch.
Even though you cannot relate to the main characters at all, their story is incredibly touching. It's really cute how they get attached to each other and find out that their fate isn't that bad at all. I fell in love with the tiny sea horse immediately and found his view on humans hilarious. I laughed out loud when he was telling about his adventures in trying to fit in into human culture. Absolute Perfection has a nice balance between touching and emotional scenes, and light, funny scenarios.
There is also a small amount of extra plot building around their blooming relationship. I thought this was done nicely, the plot enhancing their bond and giving them a reason to grow together. It gave the story a comfortable pace, making you want to keep on reading, without giving it a rushed feeling.
Basically, this is a male/male romance story. With the accessory sex. And some scales, sea foam and split tongues thrown in. This sounds like an awful and incredibly gross combination, but in this book, it actually works. It was quite sexy. Of course, this is only for the open-minded among us. But if you are open-minded and you let the story unfold, you can see the brilliance of it. The scales and long blue hairstyles almost make sense, and you can enjoy the refreshingly different love scenes. They are a little bit silly at times, but still remain a certain amount of credibility, and also very important, a certain hotness.
This book is not for you if you are looking for a serious book. You need to have a liking for this kind of weirdness that makes this book so good. If you cannot enjoy this, you will not be able make sense of it and you will probably hate it. If you think the idea of a sea horse paired up with a naga is awesome, you will thoroughly enjoy Absolute Perfection.