Excited about Reading: London Tides by Carla Laureano

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The Cover Story: 
Irish photojournalist Grace Brennan travels the world’s war zones documenting the helpless and forgotten. After the death of her friend and colleague, Grace is shaken.

She returns to London hoping to rekindle the spark with the only man she ever loved—Scottish businessman Ian MacDonald. But he gave up his championship rowing career and dreams of Olympic gold years ago for Grace … only for her to choose career over him. Will life’s tides bring them back together … or tear them apart for good this time?

My Takeaway:
I read Five Days in Skye, and LOVED it. You can read that review here. It’s not necessary to read Skye first although London Tides revisits Skye for a joyous celebration, so I’d recommend it. 🙂

“She shouldn’t be here.” London Tides pulled me in with the first line. It didn’t take long for Ian and Grace to reconnect after a ten year separation, and, oh, what a sweet romance for a few pages! Always a but, though, right? This is one of those books where I knew the bottom was going to drop out any minute and that my heart would be ripped into shreds. Yes. That’s exactly what this book did.

“You can’t see all the suffering and violence and hatred without wondering if there’s still good in the world. Most of my colleagues see evil as proof that God couldn’t exist. But despite all the bad, there are still people who help others when their safety, their very lives are at risk. When I see that, I know without a doubt he has to exist. I think without God, the good that remains couldn’t survive.” ~Grace

I was so invested in the characters. Grace because she was hurting, suffering from PTSD after living through the horrors of war zones and, since her identity had always been wrapped up in her job, wondering who she was now. Ian because he never gave up loving Grace, not after ten years apart and not even when a close friend and his well-intentioned mother tried to convince him otherwise. But at a crucial spot in the book, I wanted to throw my hands in the air and scream at Grace, “What are you doing? Just tell him how you really feel!”

For me the ending was a bit too abrupt. After ravaging my emotions, I wanted a little more happily-ever-after, a bit more “ahhh” factor when I flipped to the last page. But don’t let that stop you from scooping up this sweet romance! With a subtle faith thread weaved throughout and a plot that’ll keep you guessing whether Ian and Grace will actually enjoy a happily-ever-after, London Tides will appeal to contemporary romance readers across genres.

Disclaimer: I received this book free from NetGalley and David C. Cook Publisher for the purpose of sharing my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own, and I received no monetary compensation.

Have you read FIVE DAYS IN SKYE by Carla Laureano?

Five Days in Skye

About the book~
Hospitality consultant Andrea Sullivan has one last chance to snag a high-profile client or she’ll have to kiss her dreams of promotion good-bye. When she’s sent to meet Scottish celebrity chef James MacDonald on the Isle of Skye, she just wants to finish her work as efficiently as possible. Yet her client is not the opportunistic womanizer he portrays himself to be, and her attraction to him soon dredges up memories she’d rather leave buried. For James, renovating the family hotel is a fulfillment of his late father’s dreams. When his hired consultant turns out to be beautiful, intelligent, and completely unimpressed by his public persona, he makes it his mission to win her over. He just never expects to fall under her spell.

Soon, both Andrea and James must face the reality that God may have a far different purpose for their lives—and that five days in Skye will forever change their outlook on life and love.

Meet the cast~

“I like men. I just don’t particularly trust them.” 
Meet Andrea Sullivan. After a disastrous marriage straight out of college, Andrea abandons her dream of playing in a symphony and strives to become Vice President of a hospitality consultant firm, ignoring the hurtful zingers from the men she works with about her personal life. She’s a workaholic with a strong closing ratio, and that coveted VP designation is right around the next contract.

Until she runs across celebrity Chef James MacDonald, who’s flirty and fun. His smile ignites her dormant excitement about life, but he’s too much like her ex-husband to stand a fighting chance to claim her heart. Besides, he’s fighting his own demons from the past. After a devastating breakup with his ex-fiance, he’s determined not to become emotionally entangled again. It doesn’t help that Andrea’s equally determined not to be just a pretty girl on his arm.

Sharing my thoughts~
OK. Here’s where I confess that I’m not particularly enamored with either the cover or the title, so this book sat unopened in my kindle for at least a month. But, when I read the first few pages and they totally reeled me in, I was hooked! What a playful, engaging book! I loved it, from the cast of characters to feeling like I was actually touring Scotland, if only in the pages of a book. 

I mean, really. What’s not to like about this?

“The entire Sound of Sleat spread out in front of them, a wide expanse of blue. Gentle waves lapped at the rocky beach below, creating lacy ripples of white froth against the dark sand. Across, she could see the mountainous edge of the Scottish mainland. The sun had finally risen, and now the sky was a brilliant blue, dotted with fluffy white clouds.”

Don’t you just want to dive into the pages of this book? Or book a trip to Scotland? Yeah, I know. I hear ya. If I like that excerpt, why don’t I like the cover? For some reason (lack of people maybe?) the cover doesn’t work for me. This is a prime example of why I shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but that’s such a challenge for me.

If you know me, you know I love “happily-ever-after’s.” Like the title implies, this book covered just five days, so there wasn’t what I’d call a “proper” HEA, but the ending definitely left me satisfied. No spoilers from me. You’ll just have to read the book. Those Five Days in Skye are jam-packed with character depth, emotions and setting. 

Reviewers have noted that Five Days in Skye isn’t your typical Christian romance. Some readers might not appreciate particular topics like drinking wine/ale with meals, which I considered to be more of a cultural difference. It’s also rated high on the kissing intensity scale, yet I found the scenes well-balanced with emotional tenderness and never graphic. I appreciate how the author showed realistic characters and tackled sensitive issues like this:

“Christians like to talk about love and forgiveness, but they’re no better than anyone else. They’d sooner judge you than accept you. I’d rather be a heathen than a hypocrite.”


Have you read Five Days in Skye? 

Do you agree with my review? What were your thoughts?
What about you? Do you decide whether to read a book based on whether you like its cover?

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Disclaimer: I scooped this book up from Amazon when it was offered free. The opinions expressed in this review are my own, and I received no monetary compensation.

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