Hot Tide Series by Michele DeWinton


Title: Another Shot with Summer                                          Title: Making Over Maya     
Author:  Michele DeWinton                                                  Author:  Michele DeWinton
Series: Hot Tide Series #1                                                      Series: Hot Tide Series #2
Pages: 165                                                                              Pages: 195
Format: Kindle                                                                      Format: Kindle                         
Rating: 4/5                                                                             Rating: 4/5       
Price: Provided by the author for review                               Price: Provided by the author for review 
Genre: Contemporary Romance                                            Genre: Contemporary Romance
             Goodreads / Amazon                                                        Goodreads / Amazon

"Girls could do anything, and she was about to prove they could have everything to"

This book review is for the first and second book in the Hot Tide series.

The hot tide series follows the lives of competitive surfers who are taking on the various waves and beaches around the world. The first book follows Summer, an up and coming surfer who is eager to break out into the surf circuit and Ashton, a former surfer turned photographer. They were high school sweethearts along time ago but were left feeling bitter after a messy breakup. The second book follows Maya, a PR consultant for all things surf-ey and Dominic, the business mogul who is looking to take on the surfing community. Maya and Dominic start working together to rebrand his image but also to help Maya get the man of her dreams. 

Each of the main characters in this story takes it, in turn, to describe what they are feeling which gives us, the reader, a well-rounded view of the emotions coming from both sides. I find that this way we can understand a characters motivation a lot better. Each character had a really nice voice and I really enjoyed understanding more about what drove them and what their goals were. The story followed a standard beginning, middle, and end format, so in the middle when the character is going through a moral dilemma it is really useful to see the process and how they are weighing up their options.

Michele is a successful romance writer who also is a dancer. She has also dabbled in screenwriting which we can see in her books which do read a bit like a romcom. This kind of writing is always very easy to read and is especially good for beginners who are venturing into the world of reading. 

Here is an excerpt from the book:

"The photographer had suggested using the very end of Grumari Beach for their shoot, and now Summer could see why. Part of an environmental reserve about fifteen miles from the main sandbar and shops, it had a deserted island feel, although nowhere in Brazil could strictly be called deserted. She headed over to where a man moved around a stack of camera equipment, his back to her.
        “I thought about doing something more urban. You know, with the backdrop of Rio to spice up the image, but it seemed wrong. If the client really wants sun-kissed, this is about as sun-kissed as it gets.”
       Summer froze. That voice. And then the photographer stood from where he’d been partially hidden behind his gear. The full impact of Maya’s text sunk in.
        “You!” Summer’s heart swelled to twice its usual size, and she felt the blood beating all the way up to her ears. Ashton. The man whose picture she’d kept under her pillow as a teenager, and the man who had haunted her loneliest moments as a young woman. The bastard.
        “Oh. She said she’d squared it away with you. She pulled a fast one on both of us, huh?”
        “Don’t worry. The cab can’t have got far. I’ll just call him back.”
       Ashton caught her arm as she swivelled to leave, and she tried to pull free as if he’d stung her. Her reaction to his touch was the same as when she’d been a teenager. Hot, firm, sending her senses into sharp overdrive, his fingers made her skin burn. These were feels she was not ready to feel again.
       He dropped his hand, and there was an awkward moment where they looked at each other, frozen, and Summer realized he felt it, too. His face was shocked, his eyes wide. The moment grew longer, her breath catching in her throat as she waited, unsure of what to do next.
       Then his pupils returned to normal, and his face softened. “We’re here now, and the light is about to turn. Maya’s told the client I’m on the job, so I need to get the shots. I’ll just be the photographer. Everything else…” He waved his hand between them. “It’s history. Ancient history.”
       She felt his gaze on her a moment longer than was strictly necessary. She brushed at her face as if trying to get the sensation of him off her skin. Then her awe turned to anger. “I guess it is all about you, after all. Wouldn’t want you missing out on keeping your new client happy.”
        “That’s not what I meant. Shit.” He rubbed his chin. “This is not how I wanted to see you again after so long.” He looked about as if trying to find a distraction and came up empty. “I’m a different guy behind the camera. I promise.”
She kicked the sand and wished the extra freckles the sun had added to her face today would fade instantly. Nothing like freckles to make a girl feel like a girl, instead of a woman. You are not a girl. Be the bigger person.
There was an awkward pause. She straightened. “Fine,” she said. That was all she was going to give him. Short, calm, professional."

My favourite character from both stories is definitely Summer. She is independent, strong-willed and not afraid to go after what she wants. Her determination to be able to have a career as well as a man that loves her is really refreshing as I have found most romantic female leads to be damsels in distress bordering on ditzy. Both female leads have a backbone and are independent career women that have just been unlucky in love. I guess this was the only typical thing I found was that both career women were very unlucky in love and had previously had their hearts broken. I get that it is difficult to balance both but it is a bit unbelievable that all 3 friends from a friendship group have consistently made bad choices in terms of men. Maybe it is the environment they are in, and the people they are around but that was the only part of the book that was unpalatable.

My favourite part of the series was the awakening for Maya in the second book when she realised that she didn’t need her life to go to plan and she didn’t need the white picket fence and the 2 kids and the perfect husband. Maya had such an enlightening moment when she realised that there was no set time and there were no certain goals that would make you successful. Even though this seems like a pretty simple though it is something that I know lots of people struggle with and so have I. As I mentioned earlier, I thought the fact that the female leads were strong and independent especially in a book of the romance genre which was empowering and gave this book major plus points.

Overall the book was such a pleasant read. It had the right level of romance to steamy sex scenes and if I am completely honest, I didn’t find the romance cheesy at all but found the characters quite endearing and I really rooted for them finding their way through love.

Like I mentioned the books were a pretty easy read. If I am completely honest I was put off by the blurb and the cover so I did leave the reading till the last min but once I started reading I really found the novels easy to read and I actually read the second book in the series in a day.  If I am completely honest I am not a reader of much adult romance or contemporary so it was really nice to read a different genre and find that I enjoyed the writing and the story itself. 

The ending for me was pretty final. As in most romance books alls well that ends well so all our characters got pretty happy endings. Now usually I’m not a fan of this because I am a very logical and realistic person so happy endings are sort of too fanciful for me, but because of the characters and how much I loved them, it was almost more of a relief that love exists and can grow and prosper.

This book was definitely not what I expected. I thought I would get a cheesy sappy damsel in distress, hot steamy I’m here to save you alpha male ending with the female lead dissolving into the hero's arms as they ride into the sunset. Bleugh. Thankfully this series is nothing like that. The book was cute , had relatable characters, strong relatable women, men who respected these women all mixed in with some romance. I loved it. Both books and I would highly recommend it if you love romance or if you want a light easy read this book will definitely get you out of your slump and give you all the feels. The women in these books are strong, empowered and also ready to take the romance they deserve and I can't wait to read this book in the series.


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