Sunday, July 6, 2014

Book Review: Riding the Wave by Lorelie Brown

Riding the Wave
By Lorelie Brown
Release Date: July 1, 2014
Source: Publisher
Summary: The gray-green swells of San Sebastian haven’t changed in ten years, but Tanner Wright has. The last thing he expects to find back on his home turf is the love of his life.... 

With a make-or-break world championship on the line, professional surfer Tanner Wright has come back to the coastal California hometown he left a decade ago, carrying only his board and the painful knowledge of his father’s infidelity. Now that Hank Wright is dead, Tanner intends to keep the secret buried to spare his mother and sister the burden.

The last time Avalon Knox saw her best friend’s brother, she was fourteen and he was a twenty-year-old surfer god. She’s never understood or respected the way Tanner distanced himself from the family that has embraced her. But now she has the professional chance of a lifetime: to photograph Tanner for the competition—if he’ll agree.

Out on the waves, they find in each other passion that’s impossible to resist. And Tanner’s not the only one trying to move forward from his past. As the competition heats up, secrets get spilled, and lust takes over. How close can Avalon get to this brooding surfer…without getting burned?

Review: Since it's finally July, I've been looking for some books that make me feel like it's really summer, full of sun, sand, and surf. A story about a surfer who lives on the beach in California and an old family friend who gets to photograph him for a magazine sounded like a great novel to lay out under the sun and read the day away with. 

Tanner Wright has finally returned home to California to try and win the surfing world championship after he won it 10 years ago. What no one knows, though, is that Tanner had left California for a reason, but now that his father has passed away, the secret he's kept has to be buried even deeper. That proves difficult, though, when Avalon shows up and tells him she's shadowing him until the championship to shoot pictures for a magazine spread. No longer just his little sister's best friend, Tanner sees Avalon as a full grown woman, one who's very tempting as she's by his side 24/7. As Avalon and Tanner spend more time together, things heat up, but Tanner has some secrets he's not so sure Avalon wants to hear. 

From page one, it was difficult to get into Avalon and Tanner's story. Instead of becoming invested in their relationship and obsessing over when they would finally get together, I felt like I was passively following their story. I didn't care as much as I wanted to about their relationship, which made it hard to get into the novel and lose myself in their romance. I liked Avalon and Tanner enough, but I wish I got more from Avalon than that she'd always had a thing for Tanner and that she would "hide" behind her camera. There just seemed to be very little elements to their characters (surfing and photography) that I wish there was more depth to their characters. 

I really loved Tanner's family and how close they were with Avalon, but I wish we had more of them in the story. Eileen, Tanner's mom, was always described as such a warm and strong character, but we didn't really get as much of her as I would have liked. Then, Sage was supposed to be a huge part of Tanner's life, but I felt like I got to know her from stories Avalon and Tanner tell, not from what she actually does in the novel. Also, Avalon said that she's basically family with Tanner's family, but I didn't get that vibe as strong as she described it. I think that Avalon's constant attention towards Tanner overshadowed her relationships with the other characters. 

Overall, this was a cute enough romance that takes place on the beach, I just wanted more from the characters and their relationships with the secondary characters. Tanner and Avalon's flirty bickering was cute and they definitely had chemistry, but it's a fun romance and that's about it. If you're looking for a light beach read, you should check this out. But if you want a bit more from your books, then I'd say try something else.

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